Reece & McFadden, both in the mix (US Presswire)
Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson both returned from their high ankle issues on Wednesday, putting in limited practices for the Raiders. As of this writing, it seems as if both backs should be good to go on Sunday, when Oakland hosts Cleveland and their middle-of-the-pack run defense (4.1 YPC, 118.4 YPG allowed).
So what becomes of Marcel Reece, now that DMC and Goodson are rejoining the flaming wreckage of the 2012 Raiders?
"Marcel has earned the right to carry the ball some," said coach Dennis Allen, stating the obvious.
Don't kick Reece to the curb just yet, unless it's for an upside add. (Think Knowshon, Brown or Jennings). He's averaging 123.75 scrimmage yards per week over his last four, topping triple-digits in three straight games. Clearly, he's earned a larger role moving forward. Now we'll see if he actually gets it.
McFadden will begin a new iron man streak in Week 13, so that's pretty exciting. The previous one lasted eight games and resulted in a 3.3 YPC average.
• In a mildly surprising development, Matt Forte was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday, and all reports seemed fairly encouraging. Forte, you'll recall, suffered an ankle injury in Sunday's win over the Vikings, limping off to the locker room in the second half. If he's OK to face Seattle in Week 13, you can't be too bullish on Michael Bush. The match-up is rough and the carries will presumably be split, tilting toward No. 22. Bush should still see goal line totes, however.
Matt Forte's long, slow, painful walk (Getty)• Titus Young returned from exile, but he's nowhere near the circle of trust right now. He was benched in Week 12 for "repeated acts of insubordination," and clearly needs to work his way back up the depth chart. Ryan Broyles is the guy you want, if you're shopping for a widely available Detroit wideout. I can't construct a good case to own Young in a league of standard size, yet he's still rostered in 36 percent of the Yahoo! universe.
• In other Lions news, Mikel Leshoure missed practice on Wednesday, but the nature of his malfunction wasn't entirely clear. Early reports suggested an illness was to blame, but later updates cited an ankle injury. There's a decent chance that it was simply a day of rest for Mikel, a non-event. Watch the end-of-week practice reports, maybe roster Joique Bell and/or Kevin Smith as your Plan B.
• This season just wouldn't feel complete without a little Ben Roethlisberger injury drama, and the Steelers QB has accommodated us this week. We can't rule him out for Week 13 and we can't rule him in. If he can't go, I want nothing to do with any Pittsburgh skill players, Jonathan Dwyer included. Antonio Brown is expected to return for the Steelers, but that may not mean much if Charlie Batch is at the controls of the team's offense. I'd prefer not to mess with this crew until Week 14, when Pittsburgh hosts the Chargers.
• Percy Harvin practiced on Wednesday, but apparently not well. Onlookers described him as "gimpy," which obviously isn't great. You'll have to make this sit/start call late in the week. For now, there's not an abundance of optimism.
• Greg Jennings has been given the all-clear to face the Vikes on Sunday, and he was a full participant in practice on Wednesday. His playing time is a bit of an unknown, but you should expect him to have something more than a cameo role. With Jennings back in the mix, things get even messier for James Jones, who delivered a big fat zero for fantasy owners in Week 12.