Shutdown Corner

Aaron Hernandez, London Fletcher headline Week 8′s injury reports

Shutdown Corner

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Hybrid players like Aaron Hernandez create contractual headaches for NFL teams. (Getty Images)

Washington Redskins inside linebacker London Fletcher practiced fully on Friday and is listed as "questionable" for Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Fletcher has appeared in 231 consecutive games and made 186 straight starts, two streaks that are in jeopardy this weekend. As expected, Redskins receiver Pierre Garcon (foot) or safety Brandon Meriweather (knee) have been ruled "out". For the Steelers, running backs Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles), right tackle Marcus Gilbert (ankle) and safety Troy Polamalu (calf) remain on the shelf. Running back Isaac Redman is "questionable" with an ankle injury, which could lead to Jonathan Dwyer's number being called more frequently again this week.

The New England Patriots ruled out seven players for Sunday's "International Series" game against the St. Louis Rams, including tight end Aaron Hernandez and starting safeties Patrick Chung and Steve Gregory. Hernandez missed three weeks earlier this season with a high ankle sprain, but returned to catch 11 passes for 84 yards with a touchdown in the last two weeks. Hernandez limped through those games, however, and with the bye week approaching and an uncertain surface at London's Wembley Stadium, additional rest should help the versatile weapon get back to 100 percent for the second half of the season. Eleven Patriots are "questionable", most notably tight end Rob Gronkowski, wide receivers Julian Edelman, Brandon Lloyd and Wes Welker, linebacker Don't'a Hightower and Pro Bowl left guard Logan Mankins.

A big surprise on the Rams' injury report is that wide receiver Danny Amendola is listed as "questionable" with a shoulder injury, specifically a sprained SC joint he sustained on Oct. 4. Amendola is supposed to miss six weeks, but made a surprising return to practice this week. The Rams will be without left tackle Rodger Saffold (knee) and his top backup, Wayne Hunter, is "questionable" with a back injury.

In the Sunday night game, the New Orleans Saints ruled tight end Daniel Graham (knee) and wide receiver Joe Morgan (chest) out earlier this week. Tight end Jimmy Graham is listed as "questionable" with an ankle injury that kept him out of last week's win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Linebacker David Hawthorne (hamstring) is also "questionable". The Denver Broncos listed cornerback Tracy Porter (illness) as "questionable" as reports surfaced the former Saints cornerback and Super Bowl hero recently suffered symptoms similar to when he had a seizure in August. Porter missed practice on Thursday and Friday and will need medical clearance to play on Sunday night.

Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray (foot) and center Phil Costa (ankle) have been ruled "out" for Sunday's critical NFC East match-up with the New York Giants. Adding to the Cowboys' injury woes is that running back Felix Jones is "questionable" with a knee injury. The Giants will be without linebacker Jacquain Williams (knee), while defensive tackle Rocky Bernard (quadriceps) and safety Kenny Phillips (knee) are "doubtful". Running back Ahmad Bradshaw is "questionable" with a foot injury, but it would be a surprise if he doesn't play on Sunday.

Five Green Bay Packers were ruled out for Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, a group led by wide receiver Greg Jennings, who will miss a few weeks after opting to have surgery on his groin. The Packers may also be without wide receiver Jordy Nelson, who is "questionable" with a hamstring injury that will be tested this weekend. If Nelson can't play, the Packers will lean heavily on James Jones and Randall Cobb in the passing game.

Jacksonville had previously ruled out running back Maurice Jones-Drew (foot) and listed cornerbacks Derek Cox (back) and Rashean Mathis (groin), fullback Greg Jones (hip) and wide receiver Laurent Robinson (concussion) as "questionable". Second-year quarterback Blaine Gabbert injured his non-throwing shoulder in Week 7, but practiced all week and is listed as "probable" for the Packers game.

After appearing on the injury report earlier this week, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (knee) is "probable" and will start Sunday's game against the Tennessee Titans. The Colts will be without cornerback Darius Butler (shoulder) and defensive tackle Fili Moala (knee) and linebackers Pat Angerer (foot) and Robert Mathis (knee) are "questionable" and considered game-time decisions on Sunday. Running back Donald Brown (knee) is also 50/50 to play this week. Titans quarterback Jake Locker was penciled in to return this week from a left shoulder injury, but he was ruled "out" and Matthew Hasselbeck will make another start. The Titans will also be without left tackle Michael Roos (abdomen), who will be replaced in the starting lineup by Mike Otto. Tennessee had ruled out running back Javon Ringer (knee), but instead placed him on season-ending injured reserve.

In what figures to be one of the most physical games involving pink penalty flags in NFL history, the New York Jets could be without nose tackle Kenrick Ellis (knee) and linebacker Bart Scott (toe), who are listed as "doubtful" for Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins. Scott has appeared in 119 straight games, the fifth-longest streak among active NFL linebackers. If he is unable to play, 2012 third round pick Demario Davis will see more playing-time. Jets center Nick Mangold (ankle), running back Joe McKnight (ankle) and nose tackle Sione Po'uha (back) are "questionable". Dolphins cornerback Richard Marshall will miss a third straight game with a back injury, giving Nolan Carroll another opportunity to start opposite Sean Smith.

Jay Cutler and Charles Johnson, two key players in Sunday's Chicago Bears-Carolina Panthers, are listed as "probable" on the injury report. Cutler injured ribs in Monday night's win over the Detroit Lions and was limited on Wednesday, but practiced on Thursday and Friday and will play on Sunday. Johnson suffered a hip injury during Thursday's practice and was limited in the final two practices of the week.

The Seattle Seahawks ruled out wide receiver Doug Baldwin with an ankle injury earlier this week. The most serious injury heading into Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions is defensive lineman Jason Jones' ankle, which has him listed as "doubtful". The Lions will be without cornerbacks Jacob Lacy and safety Amari Spievey, who have concussions. Detroit's injury problems don't end there as linebacker DeAndre Levy (hamstring) is "doubtful" and defensive end Cliff Avril (back), cornerback Bill Bentley (shoulder) and safety Louis Delmas (knee) are "questionable". Pro Bowl wide receiver Calvin Johnson missed most of this week's practices with a knee injury, but is listed as "probable" and will be able to participate in his highly-anticipated match-up with Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman.

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Harry Douglas will miss this week's game against the Philadelphia Eagles due to knee and ankle injuries, but Atlanta is fairly healthy otherwise. Right guard Garrett Reynolds is "questionable" with a back injury, but the club has 2012 second round pick Peter Konz at the ready if Reynolds can't play. The Falcons did activate defensive tackle Corey Peters, a starter the last two seasons, off the "Reserve/Non-Football Injury" list on Friday, which could be a storyline as the Eagles will be without starting right guard Danny Watkins, who is "doubtful" with an ankle injury. Dennis Kelly will likely start for Watkins on Sunday.

22 players, over 40 percent of the Cleveland Browns' 53-man roster, is on the injury report this week. Seventeen of those players are probable, so the main injuries of note are defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin, linebacker Scott Fujita and cornerback Dimitri Patterson, who are "out" for Sunday's game against the San Diego Chargers. With Rubin out, the Browns could add Phil Taylor to the 53-man roster. Taylor opened the season on the physically unable to perform list after suffering a pectoral injury while lifting weights during the offseason. The 2011 first-round pick returned to practice this week and the club has until 4:00 p.m. EST on Saturday to add him to the active roster for this week. Running back Trent Richardson and wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi are "questionable". The Chargers are fairly healthy coming off their bye week, with cornerback Shareece Wright (ankle) and wide receiver Eddie Royal (hamstring) listed as "questionable".

As expected, the Oakland Raiders will not have Khalif Barnes (groin) and cornerback Shawntae Spencer (foot) against the Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday. Seven Raiders are "questionable", including tight end Richard Gordon (hamstring) and running back Taiwan Jones (knee), and defensive linemen Desmond Bryant (elbow), Matt Shaughnessy (shoulder) and Dave Tollefson (shoulder). Coming off their bye week, the Chiefs should get running back Peyton Hillis back from an ankle injury. Hillis is listed as "probable". Defensive end Glenn Dorsey is "questionable" with a calf injury that has kept him out of the last three games.

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