Injuries are a fact of life in this tackle football game. Grab your clipboard and your copay and let's sort through the Week 12 story.
• The Vikings are going to face an angry bunch of Bears this weekend, and they'll probably be doing it without their best downfield weapon. Percy Harvin (ankle) didn't practice Friday and he's considered doubtful for Week 12. Barring some sort of holiday miracle, he won't be on the field Sunday. The absence of Harvin might push some targets to tight end Kyle Rudolph, and keep your eyes on Jarius Wright, who collected 65 yards and a touchdown in the Week 10 win over Detroit.
• Danny Amendola (foot) missed the full practice week and the Rams consider him doubtful for Week 12. If you're desperate for a St. Louis wideout, your primary options are Brandon Gibson and Chris Givens.
• Although the 49ers have yet to make an official announcement, a handful of published reports are declaring Colin Kaepernick the Week 12 starter at New Orleans. You get the idea Jim Harbaugh is trying to stay coy and vague simply as a smokescreen, but at this point it would be a shock if Alex Smith (post concussion) picked up the assignment. Kaepernick is still largely an unknown commodity, but off a sterling Week 11 effort and up against a horrendous defense, it's easy to be bullish on his potential here.
• Julio Jones (ankle) had limited workouts Thursday and Friday and he's carrying the questionable tag for Week 12. Even if Jones is able to start this game, how confident can we be in him finishing it? The matchup at least is tasty: Tampa Bay's secondary is a mess, and the Bucs play on a natural surface (easier on the ankle, even if some speed is sacrificed).
• Greg Jennings (groin) is listed as questionable, and with the Packers looking at a Sunday night game, I'd look for different options.
• Although context clues point to Jay Cutler (post concussion) starting against Minnesota, the Bears probably won't make an official announcement until Saturday. He still needs to be cleared from an independent neurologist.
• Antonio Brown (ankle) is hoping to play at Cleveland, not that anyone can be that excited in the Steelers passing game at the moment. With Ben Roethlisberger and Byron Leftwich both out, Pittsburgh will start Charlie Batch in Week 12. Batch has thrown a grand total of 208 passes since the beginning of the 2003 season.
• With Michael Vick still in post-concussion limbo, Nick Foles will pick up another start. The Eagles host Carolina on Monday.
• LeSean McCoy is off a concussion in Week 11 and he's probably not going to dress Monday against Carolina. That makes backup Bryce Brown an intriguing plug-and-play option. The Panthers are ordinary against the run, allowing 4.2 yards per carry.
• Darren McFadden (ankle) and Mike Goodson (ankle) continue to heal slowly, and it seems very unlikely either will play at Cincinnati this week. Keep doing what you do, Marcel Reece.
• Maurice Jones-Drew (foot) remains out indefinitely and has already been crossed off the Week 12 page for the Jaguars. Jalen Parmele is expected to be the starter against Tennessee.
• Beanie Wells (toe) should be in uniform against the Rams, though head coach Ken Whisenhunt says Wells might take a limited workload in his first game back. Now that the bye weeks are over, we hope you don't have to gamble on someone like Wells in an uncertain spot like this.
• It looks like Dwayne Bowe (neck) has a good chance to play against Denver, albeit he'll have to make things work with starting quarterback Brady Quinn.
• Although Dennis Pitta is free of his concussion symptoms, he still needs to pass his baseline test before he can be cleared for the Week 12 game at San Diego.
• Clay Matthews (hamstring) might be on every fifth commercial these days, but he's not going to be on the field Sunday night at the Meadowlands. He's been ruled out.
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