Plane breaker (USAT)
The Week 17 slate doesn't look too messy from an injury and status report. The Chiefs are the only contending team in obvious danger of sitting guys intentionally. Here's the latest from the clipboard, starting with the running backs.
• Looks like Matt Asiata is back in our lives, as the Vikings don't expect to have Adrian Peterson (various) or Toby Gerhart for the finale against Detroit. Asiata scored three times, despite a horrible YPC, in Week 15 against Philadelphia.
• Ray Rice is expected to play through his thigh injury (queue up the snowsuit jokes). Baltimore is fighting to make the tournament, so they'll appreciate Rice, at any strength level.
• Shane Vereen (groin) had a dodgy week and context clues point to him sitting out against Buffalo.
• Maurice Jones-Drew (hamstring) will probably gut it out against the Colts, though he's listed as questionable.
• Ryan Mathews (ankle) had a limited week of work, though the Chargers nonetheless list him as probable.
• Although Chris Ivory has a sore ankle and quad, the Jets list him as probable for the finale at Miami.
• Jonathan Stewart (knee) remains out indefinitely.
• Jacquizz Rodgers (concussion) won't play in the finale, which might push Jason Snelling into some change-of-pace work.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
• Calvin Johnson (knee) missed the full week of practice and is very questionable for the meaningless finale against Minnesota.
• Randall Cobb (leg) came off injured reserve Saturday and should be able to play on a limited basis against Chicago. I wouldn't look to start him on any fantasy clubs, but his presence helps the passing game overall - and probably takes away snaps from Jarrett Boykin.
• Steve Smith (knee) is out of the Week 17 mix, which could boost Ted Ginn's value.
• The Browns haven't cleared Jordan Cameron (concussion) yet, and given where there season is, there's no reason to do so now.
• Torrey Smith (hamstring) is likely to go, albeit he's listed as questionable.
• Wes Welker (concussion) won't play Week 17. Denver probably needs to beat Oakland to protect seeding, but it's not worth chancing anything with Welker in this spot.
• Rueben Randle (knee) missed some time this week and is listed as questionable. You don't really want to tie yourself to the Giants passing game, do you? Victor Cruz is out for the year.
• Emmanuel Sanders (knee) comes down to a game-day call. The Steelers still have an outside shot at the playoffs.
• Aaron Dobson (foot) has a shot to play Sunday, not that you want to gamble on lesser New England targets. Kenbrell Thompkins (hip) is less likely to go.
• The Bengals aren't sure to have either of their primary tight ends, Tyler Eifert (neck) or Jermaine Gresham (hamstring).
• Steve Johnson (personal) is still in California, dealign with the passing of his mother. He won't play at New England.
• Aaron Rodgers (collarbone), as you surely know, will start for the Packers at Chicago.
• With Tony Romo out for the year, Kyle Orton takes over for Dallas.
• The Texans haven't announced their quarterback yet. Case Keenum (thumb) is listed as probable. Matt Schaub is the other option. The season can't end soon enough in Houston.
• Carson Palmer (ankle/elbow) should be able to start against the 49ers.
• EJ Manuel (knee) is probably out for another week. Thad Lewis figures to start at New England.
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Matt Asiata