Each week, Dr. Mark Adickes shares his analysis of the key injuries in each of the NFL weekend’s upcoming games.
Article continues below ...
New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons
Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez (back)
Jock to Doc Take: Gonzalez was limited in practice Wednesday and Thursday, the official Atlanta Falcons’ website reports. He is expected to play against a tough New Orleans team. If he were on my fantasy roster, he would be starting this week.
Health Rating: Tony Gonzalez @ 85%
Tennessee Titans at Carolina Panthers
Titans QB Matt Hasselbeck (knee)
Jock to Doc Take: The Titans’ starter returned to practice Thursday after not practicing on Wednesday, The Tennessean reports. He should play, however, and his availability for Sunday was never in any serious question.
Health Rating: Matt Hasselbeck @ 75%
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals
Steelers WR Emmanuel Sanders (knee)
Jock to Doc Take: Sanders is expected to miss a couple of weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his knee, coach Tomlin announced Tuesday. With Hines Ward struggling with various injuries and now this, the Steelers are stretched thin in their receiving core.
Health Rating: Emmanuel Sanders @ 10%
St. Louis Rams at Cleveland Browns
Rams QB Sam Bradford (ankle)
Jock to Doc Take: Bradford is expected to start on Sunday in Cleveland. He was limited in practice this week and will most likely continue to be limited in practice for a couple of weeks, STLouisRams.com reports, but with the absence of setbacks, he will remain the starter.
Health Rating: Sam Bradford @ 80%
Buffalo Bills at Dallas Cowboys
Cowboys WR Miles Austin (hamstring)
Jock to Doc Take: Austin is listed as doubtful this week against the Bills, but he will for sure miss two to four weeks with a right hamstring injury that forced him out of Sunday’s game, FOX Sports Southwest reports. His injury to his other leg earlier this season will have roughly the same timetable to recovery that this injury does.
Health Rating: Miles Austin @ 40%
Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts
Colts TE Dallas Clark (fibula)
Jock to Doc Take: Dallas Clark left the second quarter of Sunday’s game with a lower leg injury. He has been ruled out for Week 10 against Jacksonville according to Colts owner Jim Irsay.
Health Rating: Dallas Clark @ 50%
Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs
Broncos RB Willis McGahee (hand)
Jock to Doc Take: An ailing hand did not keep McGahee from running for 163 yards on 20 carries with a pair of touchdowns as the Broncos beat Oakland last week. He is listed as probable for Sunday’s game in Kansas City but will for sure play. I would start him.
Health Rating: Willis McGahee @ 80%
Washington Redskins at Miami Dolphins
Redskins WR Santana Moss (hand)
Jock to Doc Take: Moss broke his hand and is expected to miss at least another three weeks, the Washington Post reports. He is still in a cast so I expect the timetable for him to be a factor in the Redskins passing attack to be longer than just three weeks.
Health Rating: Santana Moss @ 0%
Arizona Cardinals at Philadelphia Eagles
Cardinals WR Kevin Kolb (toe)
Jock to Doc Take: Kolb suffered a turf toe injury to his right big toe. There is a chance that backup John Skelton will start Sunday in Philadelphia, but according to The Arizona Republic, Kolb stated that his foot has made drastic improvement. He did not practice Wednesday or Thursday.
Health Rating: Kevin Kolb @ 65%
Houston Texans at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Texans WR Andre Johnson (hamstring)
Jock to Doc Take: The Texans’ all-star receiver is “doing extremely well” and “had his best day” of rehab on Thursday, according to Coach Gary Kubiak. Johnson will be a game-time decision, but there is a good chance the Texans could play it safe and save him for later and tougher games, especially given the bye week next week.
Health Rating: Andre Johnson @ 60%
Baltimore Ravens at Seattle Seahawks
Seahawks WR Sidney Rice (foot)
Jock to Doc Take: Rice did not practice Wednesday, but his availability against the Ravens on Sunday does not seem in danger, ESPN reports.
Health Rating: Sidney Rice @ 80%
Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears
Lions RB Jahvid Best (concussion)
Jock to Doc Take: Best sat out of practice on Wednesday and Thursday, according to The Detroit Free Press, and his availability is doubtful in Chicago this week, for he has not played since his second concussion in mid-October.
Health Rating: Jahvid Best @ 20%
New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers
49ers RB Frank Gore (ankle)
Jock to Doc Take: Gore is expected to start against the Giants on Sunday, CSN Bay Area reports. He has been limited in practice all week, but expect him to get good numbers against a Giants defense that has allowed an average of 4.6 yards per carry. Unless he suffers unsuspected setbacks, expect him to be a go on Sunday.
Health Rating: Frank Gore @ 80%
New England Patriots at New York Jets
Jets WR Plaxico Burress (back)
Jock to Doc Take: According to Jets head coach Rex Ryan, Burress will be “ready to roll” Sunday night against the Patriots, The New York Daily News reports. He did not practice Wednesday or Thursday, but this same injury did not keep him from catching a team-high five passes for 79 yards last week in Buffalo. I expect to see him on the field.
Health Rating: Plaxico Burress @ 75%
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers
Vikings WR Percy Harvin (ribs)
Jock to Doc Take: Harvin has been struggling with sore ribs for a couple of weeks, but it did not keep him from making four catches for 58 yards and scoring a rushing touchdown last week in Carolina. He will be on the field Monday night.
Health Rating: Percy Harvin @ 78%
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.