Backfield roulette in New England (USAT)
The Patriots always have something going on, so they'll be the initial focus of our Week 5 Injury Wrap.
Blount is one of the slowest running backs in the league, but he's found good footing over the last two weeks (23 carries, 129 yards, one score). He's yet to be used in the passing game (no catches, one target), but there's still value running behind New England's excellent offensive line. Blount is owned in a modest 21 percent of Yahoo leagues, and has a reasonable chance at 15-18 carries here.
• Although Rob Gronkowski (back) had a partial practice Friday, context clues point to him not playing at Cincinnati. He's officially listed as questionable. At least it's a 1 pm ET start, so we'll have time to get things straight.
• New England has all sorts of goings-on at receiver: Danny Amendola (groin), Aaron Dobson (neck) and Kenbrell Thompkins (shoulder) are all listed as questionable. Each player had a partial workout Friday. Sounds like the usual Patriot Games. Amendola has a shot to return this week, and Thompkins is confident he'll play. Again, we appreciate the early start time.
• Perhaps we have to pull back from Roddy White (ankle) until after Atlanta takes the bye in Week 6. White apparently suffered a setback in the Sunday loss to New England, and he's been limited in practice this week. I wouldn't want to play White until he shows us a complete and productive game.
• Miles Austin (hamstring) isn't expected to go against the Broncos; he's officially listed as doubtful. Terrance Williams is the nominal starter opposite Dez Bryant, and perhaps will get some chances downfield against Denver.
• All signs point to Darren McFadden (hamstring) sitting out the late Sunday game against San Diego. You knew what you were signing up for. With Marcel Reese (knee) also listed as questionable this week, it's a good time to kick the tires on Rashad Jennings (45 percent owned in Yahoo). Volume is a beautiful thing.
• Brian Hoyer suffered a torn ACL early in Thursday's win over Buffalo and is out for the year. Brandon Weeden gets his starting job back for good. The Browns say they're not interested in the recently-released Josh Freeman.
• EJ Manuel (knee) is out indefinitely and the Bills are concerned he could miss 6-8 weeks. Not good news for Stevie Johnson; backup Jeff Tuel looked overmatched in Thursday's loss at Cleveland.
• Terrelle Pryor (post concussion) had a good week of practice and is considered probable for Week 5.
• Although the Lions list Calvin Johnson (knee) as questionable, he did some work Friday and should be able to play at Green Bay. Megatron has a history of playing, and performing well, through injuries.
• Mark Ingram (toe) won't play Week 5, not that you were expecting anything here. You should have cut him a while ago. Lance Moore (wrist) is also out for another week.
• Cecil Shorts (groin) had a limited practice Thursday, and didn't do anything Wednesday or Friday. It's hard to trust him at St. Louis. The Jags also get Justin Blackmon (suspension) back this week.
• Ahmad Bradshaw (neck) is going to miss multiple games, which means the Colts need to rely more on Trent Richardson. Indianapolis hosts Seattle on Sunday.
• Shonn Green (knee) remains out, which pushes Jackie Battle to the goal-line role in Tennessee.
• Although Vernon Davis (hamstring) is listed as questionable, it sounds like he'll be able to play against Houston. I'm using him where I have him.
• Eddie Lacy (post concussion) had a clean week of practice and is expected to start against Detroit. Jermichael Finley (post concussion) is also expected to go.
• Marlon Brown (thigh) did some work Friday after two absentee days. He's a risky play at Miami.
• Chris Ivory (hamstring) had a limited practice Friday and might be able to play at Atlanta on Monday. We'll see what he does Saturday, in the final session that matters for the Jets (keep in mind, they're a day behind everyone else's schedule this week). Until Ivory shows something on the field, I don't see any reason to shy away from Bilal Powell.
• The Chiefs aren't sure about Anthony Fasano (knee/ankle), which pushes Sean McGrath into a notable role again.
• Matt Prater (calf) had a full practice Friday and the Broncos are listing him as probable.
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- LeGarrette Blount
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