Veteran on the mend (USAT)
We'll start in the backfield, where the volume is, then circle back to the other positions. Buckle up, bucklers.
• Steven Jackson (hamstring) had a good week of practice and is considered probable for Sunday's game at Arizona. The Falcons have a solid backup in Jacquizz Rodgers, so don't expect Jackson to get a silly amount of work right away. Still, he's worth considering in Week 8. Forget Jason Snelling (ankle), however; he's been ruled out.
• Rashard Mendenhall (toe) is considered doubtful for Sunday's home game against Atlanta. He won't go. Andre Ellington is the likely starter, but we all know the Cardinals are hesitant to give him a heavy workload. Look for Stepfan Taylor and Alfonso Smith to also be in the mix. I don't mind Ellington as a flex play, but I'd be careful not to expect too much here.
• Reggie Bush (leg) was held out of Friday's practice but he insists it was merely for precautionary reasons. He should play against Dallas. Meanwhile, Joique Bell is not on the injury report.
• Brandon Bolden (knee) is listed as questionable, as he usually is. He's expected to have his normal secondary role Sunday against Miami.
• All signs point to C.J. Spiller (ankle) sitting out at New Orleans, which means you'll want to start Fred Jackson anywhere you can. Tashard Choice is worth considering as a Hail Mary flex play.
• The Doug Martin (shoulder) timetable is set for 2-8 weeks. That's helpful. My guess - he'll miss most of the year, if not all of it.
• Ronnie Hillman is expected to be a healthy scratch for the Broncos, which could mean an extended role for Montee Ball.
Wide Receivers and Tight Ends
• Jimmy Graham (foot) had a limited session Friday and looks like a game-time decision against Buffalo. At least it's an early kickoff. Journeyman Benjamin Watson might be needed for extra reps.
• Percy Harvin (hip) has a chance to play Monday at St. Louis, but context clues point to the club waiting until Week 9 or Week 10. The Seahawks get Tampa Bay next week; there's no reason to rush Harvin back.
• Dwayne Bowe (groin) didn't work Friday after a partial session the previous day. With cover ace Joe Haden calling on Sunday, you need to get Bowe on your bench.
• Danny Amendola (post concussion) had a good week of work, but his status won't be known until game day.
• Roddy White (ankle) isn't going to play Week 8 at Arizona. Harry Douglas and Tony Gonzalez are strong plays, especially Gonzo against a defense that can't mark tight ends.
• Calvin Johnson (knee) is listed as probable, as usual. He should start against Dallas, barring a late setback.
[Weekly spread picks: Two of the toughest teams to figure out square off]
• Wes Welker (ankle) was back at it Friday and is considered probable for Sunday's home game against Washington. Eric Decker (toe) is also probable.
• James Jones (knee) isn't expected to play Sunday night at Minnesota. He's carrying the doubtful tag. More Jarrett Boykin for the rest of us.
• Cecil Shorts (clavicle) did fine this week and is considered probable for the Wembley Stadium match against San Francisco. Justin Blackmon (hamstring) is also listed as probable.
• Lance Moore (wrist) had a good week of practice and should play against Buffalo.
• Miles Austin (hamstring) had a limited Friday workout, not that you want to dial him up. Terrance Williams seems to have passed him.
• Julian Edelman (thigh) is listed as questionable, probably the usual Patriots games. As for Rob Gronkowski, he had a full session Friday and looks ready to roll.
• Marvin Jones (shoulder) had a solid day Friday and is probable for the Jets game. He's turned into a useful player.
• Santonio Holmes (hamstring) remains out indefinitely, not that you're missing him.
• Christian Ponder is back in the Minnesota saddle, while Josh Freeman deals with a concussion.
• Peyton Manning (ankle) had a full Friday and will start against Washington.
• Michael Vick (hamstring) returns to action Week 8 against the Giants, and Nick Foles (concussion) will not be available.
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