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NFL Injuries & News for Week 14 and Fantasy Playoffs

By Jeffrey Beall (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

As you get ready for Week 14 and the playoffs of the fantasy football season, injuries are an integral part of your lineup research.  RotoBaller has you covered with injury reports from around the league after last Sunday’s action.  If you’ve got some questionable players heading into Week 14 and the playoffs, be sure to stay on top of their most recent health updates.


NFL Injuries & News for Week 14


Arizona Cardinals:

RB: Andre Ellington (knee) was inactive for Week 13's matchup against the Eagles.

  • Analysis: Based on Coach Arians' "analysis" about how Ellington was "never close" to playing, this cannot bode well for his status for Week 14.  He'll be questionable for Week 14 and seeing how the Cardinals are a potential playoff team, the team might take the conservative route and hold him out another week if possible.  Seeing as how Arians has loved to "protect" his rookie running back, this situation bears monitoring.


Baltimore Ravens:

TE: Dennis Pitta (hip) will not be potentially activated until December 11th.

  • Analysis: Pitta has been practicing with the team since November 20th and it would be somewhat of a surprise if he wasn't activated by the end of this week.  He's been doing well in practice so it's a matter of how well he's feeling by the activation date.  With the Ravens controlling the last AFC wildcard spot, Pitta's presence would be invaluable to Joe Flacco.  Granted, there is always potential for Pitta to remain inactive based upon the final medical evaluation, but it sounds like he should be activated.


Buffalo Bills:

RB: C.J. Spiller (ankle) said his ankle was fine after the overtime loss to Atlanta.

  • Analysis: We all know how "fine" his ankles have been this season so there's always a cause for concern.  Spiller will be on the injury report all week, but seeing as how he was limping during the game, put up a 15/149/1 line, and finished the game, he should likely be good to go come Week 14.


Carolina Panthers:

RB: DeAngelo Williams (quad) was inactive for Week 13 against Tampa Bay.

  • Analysis: He didn't practice at all last week and as such he was held out of the game against the Buccaneers.  The expectation is that he should be back to practice this Wednesday. Regardless, the running back committee in Carolina (between all three RBs) is a desperation FLEX play at best.

D/ST: LE Charles Johnson (knee) was inactive for the Week 13 game against the Buccaneers.

  • Analysis: Johnson has a sprained MCL and has been nursing it for 2 weeks and is looking forward to the Week 14 divisional matchup against New Orleans.  He tweeted that he should be back for the game and it's not surprising; the winner of that Week 14 game takes the lead in the NFC South.


Chicago Bears:

QB: Jay Cutler (ankle) is still considered "week-to-week."

  • Analysis: Cutler has felt good about playing in Week 14, but Coach Trestman has considered Cutler "week-to-week."  As the team hasn't made an announcement about Cutler's potential return yet, it's possible that he will not.  With McCown playing well, it's likely they'll keep Cutler out, especially seeing how he hasn't been medically cleared yet.  Monitor the situation throughout the week.

Cleveland Browns:

QB: Brandon Weeden (head) was diagnosed with a concussion after the Week 13 loss in Jacksonville.

  • Analysis: He reported the symptoms after the game and joined Jason Campbell on the injuryreport with concussion symptoms.  For what it's worth, Campbell was cleared to return; however, 3rd string QB Alex Tanney is the only healthy QB on the roster at the moment.  This is certainly a QB situation to avoid if at all possible.


Dallas Cowboys:

RB: Lance Dunbar (leg) is confirmed to be out for the season due to torn ligaments in his knee.

  • Analysis: It's a bit of a bummer for a player who was hurt on and off throughout the year.  He was likely only owned in deeper leagues, but he'll hopefully be ready to go for training camp for the 2014 season.

D/ST: LB Sean Lee (hamstring) was out for Week 13, but is expected to be back in Week 14.

  • Analysis: His return to the Cowboys defense is going to be a big boost for a team that managed to hold up well the past few weeks on defense.  His 93 tackles and 4 INTs will be a big boost to a potential streaming defense going forward.


Denver Broncos:

TE: Julius Thomas (knee) was inactive for Week 13.

  • Analysis: Thomas was the true definition of a game-time decision as it came down to about an hour before the game when he was declared inactive.  There aren't any new pieces of information coming from the Broncos camp; however, seeing how Orange Julius practiced the Friday prior to this Sunday, it's certainly probable that he'll play come Week 14.  Consider Week 13 a rest week, but keep monitoring the situation as it could change now that Denver has the inside track for the number 1 seed in the AFC.


Detroit Lions:

D/ST: DB Chris Houston (foot) was not active for Week 13 against Green Bay.

  • Analysis: He didn't play as he was doubtful before the game anyhow.  Not like it mattered against the mediocre Matt Flynn as Detroit was able to smother the Packers.  This might be the game that turns around Detroit's pass D into a good one and if their run D stays as good as it has, they have a favorable schedule going forward, earning them streaming status for the fantasy playoffs.


Green Bay Packers:

QB: Aaron Rodgers (collarbone) has yet to be medically cleared; however he has not been ruled for the Week 14 matchup against Atlanta.

  • Analysis: Coach McCarthy's press conference certainly wasn't completely clear about Rodgers status for the rest of the season, but he didn't rule him out completely for Week 14.  However, he said Matt Flynn will be taking first-team reps in practice, with Rodgers being limited in practice.  Rodgers reportedly feels good and is taking it day-to-day.  Considering that the Packers are facing the Atlanta Falcons, it's possible that they're rolling the dice with that game and waiting for Rodgers to come back for Week 15 against Dallas.  Stay tuned folks...


Houston Texans:

TE: Owen Daniels (leg) is not expected to play in Week 14 against the Jaguars.

  • Analysis: He hasn't even started practicing yet, meaning his timetable was likely pushed back prior to Week 13's game.  Daniels has been on the short-term IR/designated to return list since his non-displaced right fibula fracture, but it's possible he shuts it down for the rest of the season considering how terrible the Texans have been this season.  He is no longer an viable stash option for the rest of the season and is droppable in all re-draft leagues.

Kansas City Chiefs:

TE: Anthony Fasano (head, knee) suffered a concussion and a minor knee sprain in Week 13.

  • Analysis: As usual, the NFL concussion protocol is at play here and he will need to be cleared to have a chance to play in Week 14 against the Redskins.  His knee sprain is more of a day-to-day ailment.  Fasano is a low-end desperation TE2 at best if he plays.  If he doesn't play, Sean McGrath will start at TE.

D/ST: OLB Justin Houston (elbow) was not active for Week 13 against the Broncos.

  • Analysis: Not a surprising sign considering how swollen his elbow was last week.  However, Houston's MRI results turned out to be pretty decent, so the expectation is that he should be back later in the season.  This hurts KC's D's stock for the fantasy playoffs and the schedule isn't necessarily a cake-walk either.  Still, they are at least a matchup play going forward, though they should be okay for fantasy owners to keep starting them (especially in Week 14 against the Washington Redskins).


Minnesota Vikings:

QB: Christian Ponder (head) left Week 13's matchup against the Bears with a concussion.

  • Analysis: As always, he'll have to clear the NFL concussion protocol in order to play for Week 14.  The Vikings will also likely be in a wait-and-see mode seeing how Matt Cassel played in relief of Ponder.  Again, like a few other teams, this isn't a QB situation one would want to be worried about; however, in 2 QB leagues it may merit monitoring.


New England Patriots:.

WR: Aaron Dobson (foot) is dealing with a sprain and Kenbrell Thompkins left Week 13's game with a hip injury.

  • Analysis: Dobson was in active for Week 13 and had Thompkins take his place for Week 13.  It's likely that the Patriots were being cautious in regards to Dobson's injury.  On the other hand, Thompkins injured his hip during the Week 13 game against the Houston Texans and left the game.  The status of both players is unknown, so those in deeper leagues should keep monitoring this situation.


New York Giants:

D/ST: Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder) was inactive in Week 13 against the Washington Redskins and is looking questionable for Week 14.

  • Analysis: JPP didn't practice at all last week and Coach Coughlin has "no idea" if he will play in Week 14.  This will force Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiwanuka into larger workloads and as a defense, it certainly weakens the unit.  They certainly have been worth a look if one has been streaming defenses, but as of right now, they're likely only a matchup play at best.


Oakland Raiders:

WR: Denarius Moore (shoulder) did not play for the Week 13 game.

  • Analysis: The news are the same from last week; he did not travel with the team to Dallas so this was to be expected.  He expects to play in Week 14 where he'll be a WR4 or WR5.

RB: Rashad Jennings (head) suffered a concussion  in the Week 13 game against the Cowboys.

  • Analysis: He was apparently concussed on the last drive of the game and while this may potentially hurt his status in the "running back by committee" setup in Oakland, he has until December 8th to be cleared by the NFL concussion protocol.  Owners should hold onto him even with McFadden there as a backup.

Pittsburgh Steelers:

RB: Le'Veon Bell (head) left Week 13's matchup against the Ravens with a concussion.

  • Analysis: Bell had a viscous collision with the Ravens' Jimmy Smith and had to be helped off the field near the end of the game.  Afterwards, he said he didn't remember the play, but as of now, Bell hasn't had any lingering effects.  Obviously, the NFL concussion protocol applies here.  Both Felix Jones and Jonathan Dwyer would share the load if Bell is out, but they would be RB3/FLEX plays at best.  Stay tuned to the situation throughout the week.


San Diego Chargers:

WR: Eddie Royal (chest, toe) was inactive for Week 13.

  • Analysis: Royal had been battling the toe injury for a while now, but the chest issue was too much for him.  He's week-to-week and he's a WR5/FLEX option at best.


Seattle Seahawks:.

WR: Percy Harvin (hip) did not play on Monday Night Football  in Week 13 against New Orleans.

  • Analysis: Harvin was declared doubtful on Saturday before the game, due to a flare-up of his hip injury and was even given a cortisone shot to alleviate the hip issues.  The team is taking a wait-and-see approach to see how Harvin responds; however, the word is that the Seahawks could potentially hold him out for the rest of the regular season so he's ready for the playoffs.  More information will come out later in the week; however, with Seattle likely clinching home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, Harvin's status will be made known much earlier in the week.  Fantasy owners should be prepared to potentially drop Harvin, unfortunately.


St. Louis Rams:.

TE: Delanie Walker left the Week 13 game against the Colts with a concussion.

  • Analysis: This did not look good for Walker, and for those who were thin at TE already, this was a blow to their rosters.  Walker made a 5 yard play before suffering the concussion; however, there are no more details coming out of the Rams camp as of yet.  Owners should keep monitoring Walker's status.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers:.

D/ST: CB Darrelle Revis left Sunday's game against Carolina with a shoulder/chest injury.

  • Analysis: Revis took quite a hard fall in the second half of the game and did not return.  It is possible the Buccaneers held him out to be safe since they were not competitive in the game and Coach Schiano sounded optimistic about the injury afterwards.  That being said, until Revis is healthy enough to stay on the field or can get onto the field, Tampa Bay's D is not one that one would want to start.  Though they may not have been worth starting as a unit regardless of how good their run D has been.


Washington Redskins:.

TE: Jordan Reed (concussion) was inactive for the Sunday Night Football game against the Giants.

  • Analysis: Reed was originally cleared to play earlier on Sunday, but pre-game headache immediately forced him out.  Logan Paulsen started in his place.  Monitor his status closely throughout the week; he'll need to re-clear the NFL's concussion protocol before being cleared to play.  Fantasy owners should have a back-up TE ready in case there are any snags throughout the week prior to the game against the Chiefs.


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