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Injury Wrap: Ahmad Bradshaw out, Ray Rice iffy, the usual Patriot Games

Scott Pianowski
Roto Arcade

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You can eighty-six No. 44 for this week (USAT)

Running back news carries the day, standard for fantasy life in the NFL. We'll start there, then move to the other positions.

The Spinal Tap Drummer meme applies to the Indianapolis backfield, where Ahmad Bradshaw (neck) has been ruled out for Week 4. Crummy timing for Bradshaw, with the hapless Jaguars on the schedule. Trent Richardson will get all the work he can handle, with Donald Brown elevated to the No. 2 spot.

Ray Rice (hip) had a limited week of practice and he's considered a game-time decision at Buffalo, but I can't see how you can play him. The Ravens are unlikely to force the issue here, especially with a credible backup in Bernard Pierce ready to go.

• Terrelle Pryor (post-concussion) did some work Thursday and Friday, though Matt Flynn took all the first-team reps. Hopefully this is a situation you can avoid. Oakland hosts Washington on Sunday.

The Patriots had their usual misdirection play working with Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola, but the silliness stopped on Saturday: they've both been ruled out for Week 4. Ah, those helpful Patriots.

With Christian Ponder (ribs) a Week 4 scratch, Matt Cassel gets his chance with the Vikings. I can't imagine his passing will be any worse than what Ponder has shown us. Minnesota takes on Pittsburgh in London; perhaps the losing club gets relegated.

• Le'Veon Bell (foot) had a full workout Friday, across the pond, and is considered probable. Pittsburgh has a collection of running backs, but it definitely wants Bell to take the lead.

• Larry Fitzgerald (hamstring) took full reps all week. He's listed as probable.

With Nate Burleson (broken arm) and Patrick Edwards (high-ankle sprain) out of the way, the Lions need more out of Ryan Broyles this week.

After full practices Wednesday and Thursday, it appears Reggie Bush (knee) is ready to go for the Lions. I'm still fine to use Joique Bell as a flex play nonetheless.

It's already a messy 2013 season for the Bucs and it might get worse before it gets better, even with the quarterback change. Starting wideouts Vincent Jackson (ribs) and Mike Williams (hamstring) ran some reps Friday after missing all of the Thursday work. How much rapport can Mike Glennon possibly have with these guys? Look for Doug Martin to run until he drops, and look for a low-scoring game between the Cardinals and Bucs (at least we can say kind things about Tampa's defense).

It's always something with Andre Johnson - a post-concussion scare a week ago and now a shin problem. Nonetheless, the Texans expect him to start on Sunday in an interesting home match against Seattle. Johnson had a productive week of practice.

• Roddy White (ankle) admits he's not 100 percent, and I can't see why you'd start him in any standard format until he shows a productive game. Atlanta hosts New England on Sunday night.

• T.Y. Hilton (toe) was handled carefully in practice, but he's expected to go Sunday against Jacksonville.

• C.J. Spiller (quad) is listed as probable, so go ahead and use him against Baltimore. Same goes for Stevie Johnson (hamstring).

• Chris Ivory (hamstring) and Mike Goodson aren't ready for the Jets, which means Bilal Powell is in line for a monster workload at Tennessee.

• Mark Ingram (turf toe) hasn't been practicing. Forget playing him - in most leagues, he's probably a clear drop. How much proof do you need?

• Miles Austin (hamstring) isn't expected to play at San Diego. Terrance Williams and Dwayne Harris pick up extra run, but more than anything look for Dallas to rely heavily on its three primary playmakers (Bryant, Witten, Murray).

• Kenny Britt (ribs) did some work Friday, though he remains questionable. The wideout you want here is Nate Washington.

Just when we got interested in Jordan Reed, the injury gods push him back down. He's dealing with a quad injury and although he's listed as questionable, he appears closer to doubtful. Is Fred Davis still in the country? Logan Paulsen, anyone?

• Delanie Walker (toe) did some work Friday after missing the two prior workouts. He's listed as questionable.

With several key members of the Bengals secondary unlikely to play (Leon Hall especially, and also Reggie Nelson and Dre Kirkpatrick), the Browns could have tasty throwing lanes against Cincinnati. Keep rolling with Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron.

The Niners need all the wideout help they can get, so it's encouraging to see Mario Manningham (knee) making progress. He should be back at practice in a couple of weeks, paving the way for a late-October return.

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