Jock to Doc take: Locker, who separated his shoulder against Houston three weeks ago, practiced on a limited basis Wednesday and Thursday, according to the Tennessean. Although backup Matt Hasselbeck will continue to play in his place this week in Buffalo, Locker is targeting an Oct. 28 return against division rival Indianapolis.
Health Rating: Jake Locker @ 50%
Dallas Cowboys at Carolina Panthers
Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (foot)
Jock to Doc take: Murray suffered ligament damage in his left foot last Sunday against Baltimore. On Tuesday morning Cowboys owner and GM Jerry Jones confirmed that the starting running back will not play against Carolina this week, according to the Dallas Morning News. The Dallas offense will rely on backup Felix Jones to carry the running game for the next couple of weeks.
Jock to Doc take: Suggs, who returned to practice Wednesday for the first time this season after suffering a torn Achilles tendon, will be available against Houston this week. "Come Sunday, I may or may not be out there," he said earlier in the week, according to the Ravens' official website. With Ray Lewis out for the season, Baltimore should be excited about the return of their other star linebacker.
Health Rating: Terrell Suggs @ 60%
Cleveland Browns at Indianapolis Colts
Browns WR Greg Little (flu)
Jock to Doc take: Little, who left practice early Wednesday because of flu symptoms, was not at Cleveland’s Thursday practice. According to the Akron Beacon-Journal, Little was present during Thursday’s morning meetings but was sent home after. Because he is dealing with sickness issues instead of an injury, I do not expect his status to be in any danger.
Browns RB Trent Richardson (ribs)
Jock to Doc take: The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that Richardson, who has been dealing with a rib cartilage issue this week, said in regards to Sunday’s game, “In my mind, I’m ready. I’ll be ready to play the whole game.” Neither his status nor his production output seems to be in jeopardy. Rookies with soreness have a better chance of playing than veterans with soreness, and Richardson is expected to be out on the field wearing some sort of rib protection.
Health Rating: Greg Little @ 90%, Trent Richardson @ 85%
Arizona Cardinals at Minnesota Vikings
Vikings RB Adrian Peterson (ankle)
Jock to Doc take: While Peterson did not practice Wednesday or Thursday, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Peterson is expected to start Sunday against the Cardinals. The move to sit Peterson seems precautionary keeping in mind that Minnesota has a Thursday game following Sunday’s game against Arizona.
Cardinals QB Kevin Kolb (ribs)
Jock to Doc take: Kolb left last Sunday’s game with a rib injury, and while coach Ken Whisenhunt claimed that X-ray results were negative, Kolb’s subsequent MRI ruled him out for the next few weeks. John Skelton will be Arizona’s starter again.
Health Rating: Adrian Peterson @ 85%, Kevin Kolb @ 0%
Jock to Doc take: ESPNRadio 980 reported that Redskins coach Mike Shanahan called Garcon a “long shot” to play Sunday against the Giants. While he has not been ruled out, Garcon’s status is doubtful and he should sit on the fantasy bench this week unless he has a large workload during Friday’s practice.
Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot)
Jock to Doc take: Bradshaw will play and lead New York’s rushing attack against the Redskins. Bradshaw noted Thursday, according to the Newark Star-Ledger, that his absence from Wednesday’s practice was a result of having his foot stepped on during last Sunday’s win against San Francisco. Barring any setbacks, Bradshaw is a go for Sunday.
Health Rating: Pierre Garcon @ 60%, Ahmad Bradshaw @ 80%
Jock to Doc take: Jennings has not practiced this week, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and seems like a long shot to play. With Jennings on the sideline last week, Aaron Rodgers still threw six touchdown passes against one of the best defenses in the league. After last week, Green Bay is likely much less reluctant to throw him on the field until he is fully healed.
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers (calf)
Jock to Doc take: Rodgers returned to practice Thursday and appeared to be “doing most everything,” according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Rodgers is on track to play Sunday in St. Louis, and the move to sit him from Wednesday’s practice was simply an extra day of rest following a Monday night game.
Health Rating: Greg Jennings @ 60%, Aaron Rodgers @ 88%
New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Saints TE Jimmy Graham (ankle)
Jock to Doc take: The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported that Graham missed Wednesday’s practice and was limited during Thursday’s practice. If he is not available, David Thomas will assume the tight end position, but at this point, Graham seems to be trending in the right direction. If he is practicing Friday, expect him to start in Tampa Bay.
Health Rating: Jimmy Graham @ 75%
New York Jets at New England Patriots
Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez (ankle)
Jock to Doc take: Although Hernandez was present for Wednesday’s walk-through, he missed Thursday’s practice to receive ankle treatment, the Boston Herald reports. He did, however, speak to the media Thursday and gave optimistic signs of his Week 7 availability. His workload during New England’s Friday practice should give a more definite answer on his status for Sunday’s matchup.
Health Rating: Aaron Hernandez @ 70%
Jacksonville Jaguars at Oakland Raiders
Jaguars WR Laurent Robinson (concussion)
Jock to Doc take: Coach Mike Mularkey noted Wednesday that Robinson did not pass his concussion test and is unlikely to play in Oakland on Sunday. Robinson, who is currently listed as doubtful, probably will sit this one out as he continues to recover from his concussion. Assuming he is on the sideline this week, backup Kevin Elliott is the next in line.
Jock to Doc take: Roethlisberger left Thursday’s practice with a minor ankle injury, according to the Steelers’ official website. While Roethlisberger said he was fine, we will see how much he is limited in Friday’s practice. Regardless, it is no surprise when Big Ben toughs out an injury. He is expected to start Sunday night against the Bengals.
Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles)
Jock to Doc take: Neither starting RB Mendenhall nor backup Isaac Redman (who injured his knee), practiced Thursday. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Steelers believe that Mendenhall has a better chance of playing. It is important that fantasy owners of both backs monitor Friday’s practice. In the event that both backs are out, Baron Batch would presumably be the next in line.
Health Rating: Ben Roethlisberger @ 85%, Rashard Mendenhall @ 70%
Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears
Lions RB Jahvid Best (concussion)
Jock to Doc take: It is a good idea for fantasy owners who eagerly awaited Best’s return to drop him immediately. Best did not pass his neurological tests last week and was ruled out for the rest of the season, Mlive.com reports. Mikel Leshoure and Kevin Smith will carry the Lions’ rushing load the rest of the season.
Health Rating: Jahvid Best @ 0%
Health Ratings: So what do the numbers mean?
100-85% = NFL players are tough and despite injuries still perform at a high level. Let’s be honest, when is an NFL athlete really physically 100% ... practically never. With a rating in this range expect players to perform at peak levels. 70-85% = In this range a player's performance will be affected but they can still get the job done. 55-70% = Players with a rating this low will require assistance to do their jobs. The team might be better served by placing these warriors on the inactive list. Only some All-Pros can get the job done when rated this poorly. 40-55% = These players need some more time to heal. Unlikely to be active unless miraculous healing occurs or my rating was based on erroneous information. 25-40% = Players will not play but show signs of recovery opening the door for a return to the active roster the following week. 25% or less = Players will not play and there is concern that additional games may be missed.