Saturday, December 31, 2011

Saturday updates around the NFL - Week 17

Here are a few snippets from my column in yesterday's Sporting News Fantasy Source:

Ben Roethlisberger is likely to make a cameo appearance in Sunday's game; but don't expect a full day's work. Though the Steelers have a potential bye week at stake, Big Ben (ankle) is expected to be watching from the sidelines by halftime. Pittsburgh also knows is can probably beat the Browns with Charlie Batch at the controls.

Tony Romo will play with his swollen right hand against the Giants, and he should be among the top passers of the day, thanks to New York's sieve-like secondary. Romo will also have his full complement of receivers, including Laurent Robinson (shoulder) at his disposal.

Kevin Kolb has been ruled out of Sunday's finale due to lingering concussion symptoms. John Skelton will make another start for the Cards.

Keep an eye on Reggie Bush's status (say, via my tweets @ladd_biro), as he is dealing with a possible knee sprain. He could be a game-time decision against the Jets. If Bush can't go, Daniel Thomas is in line for a heavy workload. Despite leaving last week's game early, the rookie is not listed on the Dolphins' Week 17 injury report. [UPDATE 12/31: Bush has been ruled out for Week 17.]

You need not worry about Michael Turner's groin (not sure that came out quite right). But you do need to be aware that if the Lions beat the Packers in the earlier game, Atlanta will be locked into the sixth seed and have little reason to go full tilt. That would be a shame, since they'll be facing the pathetic Bucs defense.

LeSean McCoy (ankle) returned to practice on Thursday, indicating that he is gearing up to play as usual against the Redskins. Since the Eagles have nothing to play for besides pride, any hiccup by McCoy could send him to the sidelines early. You have to start him, but be prepared for an early exit.

Not only won't Mark Ingram suit up Sunday, but he is in jeopardy of missing the Saints' postseason run after having a setback with his turf toe injury.

The Chiefs' backfield will be a little less crowded -- yet still not very enticing -- with the absence of Jackie Battle (foot) this weekend. Dexter McCluster and Thomas Jones will split the carries, but it's hard to trust either player. They've scored one touchdown between them all season.

Both Hakeem Nicks (hamstring) and Mario Manningham (knee) are expected to join Victor Cruz in the lineup against the Cowboys on Sunday night. I wouldn't bet against any of them reaching the end zone.

Andre Johnson (hamstring) is expected to play Sunday, but only 15-20 snaps. While that could be enough to find him celebrating in the end zone, I wouldn't bank on it. Ditto for Owen Daniels (knee), who will yield most, if not all, of his playing time to Joel Dreessen.

This would have been a great time for Randall Cobb to rack up meaningless stats, but a groin injury will almost certainly have him watching from the sidelines.

Billy Cundiff will be a game-time decision for the Ravens.

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