Each week, Dr. Mark Adickes shares his analysis of the key injuries in each of the NFL weekend’s upcoming games.
New York Jets at Buffalo Bills
Jets WR Plaxico Burress (lower back tightness)
Jock to Doc Take: Burress was limited in practice Thursday, the Jets’ website reports. This decreased workload is probably a precautionary measure; I expect to see him on the field in Buffalo.
Health Rating: Plaxico Burress @ 80%
Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys
Cowboys RB Felix Jones (ankle)
Jock to Doc Take: Jones did not practice Wednesday or Thursday, the Cowboys’ website reports. DeMarco Murray has taken up the slack in the absence of Jones, who has a nagging ankle sprain. I would bench Jones this week if he were on my fantasy team.
Health Rating: Felix Jones @ 65%
Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans
Texans WR Andre Johnson (hamstring)
Jock to Doc take: Johnson did not practice Wednesday or Thursday, the Texans’ website reports, so he might be a game-time decision. If we see him practicing even in a limited fashion on Friday, then we may see him on the field.
Health Rating: Andre Johnson @ 67%
Atlanta Falcons at Indianapolis Colts
Falcons WR Julio Jones (hamstring)
Jock to Doc Take: Jones was limited in practice Wednesday and Thursday, AtlantaFalcons.com reports. Although Jones has not played in the past two games, I expect to see him on the field, barring any setbacks. I would start him on my fantasy team because of his probable status and because of his opponent. The Colts’ defense has given up double-digit fantasy points to nine receivers this season.
Health Rating: Julio Jones @ 77%
Miami Dolphins at Kansas City Chiefs
Dolphins QB Matt Moore (ribs)
Jock to Doc Take: Moore is probable for Sunday’s game in Kansas City. He has had ailing ribs the past two weeks, but he played through it last week in Miami’s loss to the Giants. I expect to see Moore as Miami’s quarterback Sunday.
Health Rating: Matt Moore @ 80%
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints
Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman (thumb)
Jock to Doc Take: Freeman should be fine to face New Orleans; he was a full participant in practice Thursday, the Bucs’ website reports. However, there is a chance that his sub-par numbers may be perpetuated by this thumb sprain.
Health Rating: Josh Freeman @ 82%
San Francisco 49ers at Washington Redskins
49ers WR Michael Crabtree (foot)
Jock to Doc Take: Crabtree was limited Wednesday and Thursday, according to NFL.com. He most likely will be available for Sunday’s game in Washington and should be a good fantasy pick with the amount of looks Alex Smith should give him.
Health Rating: Michael Crabtree @ 78%
Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders
Raiders RB Darren McFadden (sprained foot)
Jock to Doc Take: Oakland’s starting running back did not practice Wednesday or Thursday, ESPN reports. He was seen in a walking boot, a sign that McFadden will see minimal if any playing time Sunday against the Broncos.
Health Rating: Darren McFadden @ 35%
Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans
Bengals TE Jermaine Gresham (hamstring)
Jock to Doc Take: Gresham did not practice Thursday, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. It is unclear whether he will be playing Sunday, but from his lack of practice and his questionable status, Gresham owners should make different plans.
Health Rating: Jermaine Gresham @ 60%
St. Louis Rams at Arizona Cardinals
Rams QB Sam Bradford (sprained ankle)
Jock to Doc Take: The Rams’ starting quarterback was “extremely limited” at practice Wednesday and Thursday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. It seems like Bradford is taking baby steps to recovery so they can have him ready to go full speed in a week or two. A.J. Feeley has played competent football, so expect Feeley to be the starter this week and until Bradford has shown significant progress.
Health Rating: Sam Bradford @ 50%
New York Giants at New England Patriots
Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot)
Jock to Doc Take: Bradshaw’s cracked foot keeps his status no better than questionable for Sunday, but a source told ESPN that Bradshaw will be ready for the game. It may be too early to tell in this case.
Health Rating: Ahmad Bradshaw @ 70%
Green Bay Packers at San Diego Chargers
Chargers TE Antonio Gates (foot)
Jock to Doc Take: Gates has been struggling with a foot injury the entire season, but he played 75 snaps Monday night in Kansas City. He participated fully in Wednesday’s and Thursday’s practices without any setbacks, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports, and he should be ready to go against a tough Green Bay team.
Health Rating: Antonio Gates @ 85%
Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers
Steelers WR Hines Ward (ankle)
Jock to Doc Take: Ward was a limited participant in practice Wednesday and Thursday after not playing against the Patriots on Sunday. I expect to see him play against the Ravens in this tough rivalry game.
Health Rating: Hines Ward @ 80%
Chicago Bears at Philadelphia Eagles
Eagles RB LeSean McCoy (stomach flu)
Jock to Doc Take: The Eagles’ breakout star did not practice Thursday, the Eagles’ website reports. There’s no indication that this will influence his play this week, so fantasy owners do not need to worry. McCoy will be on the field Monday night.
Health Rating: LeSean McCoy @ 85%
Health Ratings: So what do the numbers mean?
100-85% = NFL players are tough and still perform at a high level despite injuries. Let’s be honest, when is an NFL athlete really physically 100 percent? 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 he still can 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% = Players will not play and there is concern that additional games may be missed.