It's only Week 1 and already the injury landscape is filled with land mines. Settle in, settler. It's going to be another long and crazy season.
The biggest news from Friday came out of Houston camp, where Arian Foster (knee, questionable) is being called a game-time decision. He didn't do anything at the final workout of the week.
The Texans have a favorable home opener — they draw the Hard-Knock Dolphins — and that adds a tricky element to the story. Does it make sense for Houston to expose Foster in this game, or play him deep into the afternoon if things quickly get out of hand? I can't see how Miami keeps this match competitive for four quarters.
Ben Tate was a possible flex option with everyone on deck; now he's a RB2 on paper and perhaps a RB1 if Foster is scratched on game day. Foster will be buried in my Week 1 update, though a final decision really can't be made until we hear Sunday's news. This underscores why it's just about pointless to set a fantasy lineup several days in advance. You need to see the flow of the practice week, and in many cases wait until game day.
Foster, of course, says he expects to play. The athletes always say that. With all respect to No. 23, we need to hear it from someone else.
There's also a situation in Carolina we have to monitor; Jonathan Stewart (ankle) missed the entire practice week and is listed as questionable, though context clues point to him not playing. It's a fine time to be dialing up DeAngelo Williams, I suppose.
And now for the rest of the story . . .
• Adrian Peterson (knee) had a limited practice week and is considered a game-time decision for the home opener against Jacksonville. Even if Peterson is able to play, there's no guarantee he'd get more touches than teammate Toby Gerhart. I'd sit Peterson on any of my teams (if I actually owned him), unless the alternatives were borderline unplayable.
• Trent Richardson (knee) had three days of limited practice and is considered questionable for the opener with Philadelphia. Cleveland's coaching staff seems optimistic on Richardson being able to play, and context clues point to him starting. Let's confirm that on Sunday.
• Beanie Wells (hamstring) missed part of Friday's work and is considered a game-day call against Seattle. Wells says he's going to give it a go, as most players are wont to do. Whether it's Wells or Ryan Williams (or both) toting the rock Sunday, the holes could be hard to find — Seattle has a decent rushing defense and Arizona's offensive line is dreadful.
• Ryan Mathews (clavicle) isn't back to full practice yet and won't play against the Raiders on Monday, barring a miracle. Journeyman Ronnie Brown is the fallback.
• Marshawn Lynch (back) had a limited practice week and is another late-game call for Sunday. Highly-regarded rookie Robert Turbin is the primary fallback.
• Rashard Mendenhall (knee) won't dress at Denver for Sunday, which means Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer figure to carry the load. Chris Rainey is another running back on the roster.
• Brandon Jacobs (knee) was inactive all week and isn't expected to go at Green Bay.
• Stevie Johnson (groin) was limited all week and has the questionable tag for the opener at the Jets. Johnson also is facing a showdown with Darrelle Revis, though he did well against New York last year (11 catches, 159 yards, one score over two games).
• Marques Colston (foot) is expected to go against Washington, though he's listed as questionable and missed some reps this week.
• Carolina's Steve Smith (foot) did everything asked this week and is probable for the opener against Tampa Bay.
• Austin Collie (post concussion) is another game-time decision for the opening weekend. Given how many head injuries Collie has been through, I don't see how he can be started on fantasy rosters right now. Donnie Avery could see more reps if Collie is limited.
• Denarius Moore (hamstring) did some work Friday and has a shot to play Monday against San Diego, but I'd have a hard time leaving my Week 1 roster in flux that long. Keep in mind Moore was basically MIA for the entire month of August.
• Although Doug Baldwin didn't play in any preseason games — he's recovering from hamstring surgery — he isn't on Seattle's injury report. Golden Tate (knee) won't dress at Arizona, which means Braylon Edwards will start.
• Dustin Keller (hamstring) had a so-so week of practice and is listed as questionable. Given the league-wide depth at tight end, you don't want to risk anything with Keller.
• Jermaine Gresham (knee) looks good in practice and should play Monday at Baltimore.
• If you're in an Ohio-only league, be aware that Cleveland tight ends Benjamin Watson (thigh) and Jordan Cameron (groin) are both listed as questionable. Each player was a limited participant in practice for the balance of the week.
• New Orleans sack artist Will Smith is good to go in the opener, as the bounty suspensions on the Saints players were overturned on appeal Friday. The suspended coaches and executives are still out of commission, however.
• Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison (knee) won't play Sunday at Denver.