Week 10 wasn’t a good week to be a quarterback - as Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger (shoulder), Chicago’s Jay Cutler, Philadelphia’s Michael Vick and San Francisco’s Alex Smith (all concussion) will tell you. Which of them will make it back in time for Sunday? Your final fantasy football helping of the week - featuring all the latest injury and depth chart news from around the league - is here to tell you.
Let’s get to it:
- New Orleans RB Darren Sproles (hand) is practicing in full, well ahead of the schedule set for him when the injury was first reported. Sproles remains a core piece of the offense but rejoins a crowded backfield that now also includes a rumbling Chris Ivory.
- Pittsburgh RB Rashard Mendenhall is expected to rejoin the Steelers backfield this weekend as the starter, relegating Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman to bit-part roles. It may be prudent to wait a week or two for Mendenhall to get his legs back under him, especially with QB Ben Roethlisberger ruled out.
- Pittsburgh QB Byron Leftwich will get the start versus Baltimore’s depleted defensive backfield, but the Steelers are thought likely to go with a run-heavy gameplan.
- San Francisco QB Alex Smith returned to a limited practice Thursday and has a decent shot at suiting up on Monday night. Even if he starts, the matchup versus the Bears’ tough D is unappealing.
- Chicago QB Jay Cutler did not practice on Thursday, but HC Lovie Smith is saying Cutler may yet get the start on Monday. It’s unclear at this point whether Cutler will be cleared in what shapes up to be a difficult matchup with the Niners, and an announcement may not come until Sunday.
- Atlanta RB Michael Turner was limited with a groin issue on Thursday. He’s still expected to play versus Arizona, but his situation bears watching.
- San Diego RB Ryan Matthews is nicked up with a neck injury. He’s missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday and could end up a game-time decision come Sunday. His participation - or otherwise - in Friday’s practice will be key.
- Oakland RBs Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson missed practice again on Thursday. Goodson will not play, and while McFadden has reportedly improved a little, he’s also likely to be rested. Pass-catching FB Marcel Reece is once again an intriguing play, especially against the Saints’ thin pass defense.
- Philadelphia QB Michael Vick (concussion) will not play on Sunday - or quite possibly for the rest of the season. In the meantime promising rookie Nick Foles will draw his first career start against the Redksins’ so-so secondary.
- New England TE Aaron Hernandez practiced on Thursday and is expected to play versus Indianapolis. That said, Hernandez was a surprise sit in Wembley and did not play last week despite getting some practice work. Monitor his situation closely.
- Detroit WR Titus Young missed practice again yesterday, as has been his habit over the last few weeks. He’s still expected to suit up on Sunday.
- Atlanta WR Julio Jones (ankle) did not practice on Thursday. He’s expected to be a game-time decision at present, but played through the same injury in week 10’s loss to the Saints.
- Green Bay WR Jordy Nelson was limited on Thursday with ongoing ankle and hamstring issues, but is expected back in the lineup for week 11 in a tempting matchup versus Detroit. It’s unknown if his reps will be limited in any way.
- Oakland WR Darrius Heyward-Bey is dealing with a hamstring issue and did not participate in Thursday’s practice. The Raiders will want to see him put in a Friday session before deciding on his status for Sunday.
- Houston TE Owen Daniels practiced in limited fashion on Thursday. He should be a go against Jacksonville.
- Dallas RB DeMarco Murray did not practice on Thursday. While the Cowboys have not yet ruled him out for Sunday, he’s not expected to play.
- New England WR Wes Welker missed Thursday’s practice with a lingering ankle issue. He’s thought to be OK for Sunday, but the Patriots’ secretive injury policy makes it tough to know for sure.
- Baltimore CB Jimmy Smith will be out for multiple weeks after hernia surgery. The Ravens’ secondary is now perilously thin, though it’s questionable if Pittsburgh QB Byron Leftwich will be given free rein to test it in week 11.