John Skelton may be modeling Nike sideline gear on Sunday. (Getty Images)
The big injury story of the week was the New York Jets ruling All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis and tight end Dustin Keller out for their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, who may be without both James Harrison and Troy Polamalu on Sunday. All of the final injury reports of the week are in, so now it's time to take a look at the injury situations worth keeping a close eye on this weekend.
Arizona Cardinals president Michael Bidwell declared Kevin Kolb the starting quarterback for this week, but head coach Ken Whisenhunt wasn't ready to rule John Skelton (ankle) out of Sunday's game against the New England Patriots, listing the Fordham product as "doubtful" on Friday's report. With Skelton missing all of this week's practices, it would be a major surprise if he even suited up on Sunday, which means Kevin Kolb gets yet another bite at the apple.
For the Patriots, right guard Dan Connolly is listed as "questionable" with a concussion. The Cardinals arguably have the best 3-4 defensive line in football and defensive coordinator Ray Horton is very creative when it comes to sending pressure at opposing quarterbacks. Marcus Cannon, Donald Thomas or Nick McDonald would start in Connolly's place and draw the unenviable task of dealing with Darnell Dockett all afternoon. (Either way, Gisele may want to stock up on ice.)
Philadelphia Eagles wide receivers DeSean Jackson (hamstring) and Jeremy Maclin (hip) missed practice during the week and are listed as "questionable" after returning on a limited basis on Friday. Both receivers are expected to play against the Baltimore Ravens, who will once again be without right tackle Jah Reid, but are expected to have Matt Birk and Ed Reed, who are listed as "probable" with thigh injuries.
Linebacker Scott Fujita (knee) was one of nine Cleveland Browns listed as "probable" on the injury report. Fujita had his bounty suspension overturned last Friday and likely would have played had he not missed practice while serving the first of a three-week suspension. Fujita could make his 2012 debut against the Cincinnati Bengals, who may add some depth in the backfield as running back Bernard Scott is "questionable" with a hand injury that kept him out of the opener.
The Dallas Cowboys will once again be without nose tackle Jay Ratliff, but with the additional time off after opening the season on Sept. 5, they are a fairly healthy team heading into Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks. Ten players, including Miles Austin, DeMarco Murray, DeMarcus Ware and Jason Witten were listed as "probable". Seahawks tight end Zach Miller (foot) and left tackle Russell Okung (knee) are questionable. Okung struggled with Cardinals linebacker Sam Acho in the opener and committed three false start penalties. If Okung plays, how he deals with Ware and Anthony Spencer could be determining factor in the game.
Five Jacksonville Jaguars, including outside linebacker Daryl Smith, will miss Sunday's game against the Houston Texans. The Jaguars will also be without starting right tackle Cameron Bradfield (ankle) and Eben Britton is listed as "questionable" (also with an ankle injury), prompting the Jaguars to elevate offensive lineman Daniel Baldridge from their practice squad on Saturday.
The Kansas City Chiefs will once again be without safety Kendrick Lewis, but the secondary is expected to receive a boost with the return of cornerback Brandon Flowers, who missed the season-opener with a foot injury. Flowers is officially listed as "questionable" for Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills, who will be without running back Fred Jackson (knee) for the next few weeks.
The Indianapolis Colts' pass rush took a hit as an ankle injury prevented Dwight Freeney from practicing all week and will keep him out of Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings. With Freeney out, 2010 first round pick Jerry Hughes and first-year player Mario Addison are expected to play opposite Robert Mathis. Hughes and Addison tied for the Colts' lead with three sacks during the preseason. The Colts listed wide receiver Austin Collie (head) as "doubtful" and, like last week, he'll be a player they won't make a final determination on until inactive lists are due 90 minutes before kickoff.
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Devery Henderson (concussion) will miss Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers, which means first-year receiver Joe Morgan and veteran Greg Camarillo will be pressed into duty as the No. 3 receiver. The Panthers listed running back Jonathan Stewart (ankle) and wide receiver Steve Smith (knee) as "questionable", but both have a good shot of playing against the Saints.
The Oakland Raiders ruled cornerback Ron Bartell (shoulder) and wide receiver Jacoby Ford (foot) out for Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins, but stepped that up a notch on Saturday when both were placed on injured reserve. Bartell received the new "Designated for Return" label, which means he can return at some point this season, but Ford's season is done. One of the players added off the practice squad was rookie long-snapper Nick Guess, which is an indicator that Jon Condo (concussion) won't be available. (Travis Goethel exhales.) For the Dolphins, defensive lineman Tony McDaniel (knee) and running back Daniel Thomas (concussion) are out, while wide receiver Anthony Armstrong is listed as "doubtful" and is unlikely to play due to a hamstring injury.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers right tackle Jeremy Trueblood was limited in practice by a knee injury and is a legitimate "50-50" proposition to play against the New York Giants' vaunted pass rush on Sunday. If Trueblood can't go, Demar Dotson would start in his place. Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks (foot) did not practice on two of the three days this week, but is expected to play. The Giants could get a boost from their 2011 draft class as first round cornerback Prince Amukamara could start and second round defensive tackle Marvin Austin (back) could make his NFL debut after missing his rookie season with a torn pectoral muscle.
The middle of the Tennessee Titans took a significant hit when middle linebacker Colin McCarthy was ruled out with an ankle injury. Will Witherspoon moves from the weakside to the middle. The San Diego Chargers will once again be without left tackle Jared Gaither, who will be replaced by undrafted rookie Michael Harris. Chargers tight end Antonio Gates (ribs) and running back Ryan Mathews (shoulder) are listed as "questionable", but of the two, Gates is the more likely to actually play. Mathews may need another week before he's ready to test his broken clavicle in an NFL game.
Washington Redskins wide receiver Pierre Garcon (foot) is listed as "questionable" and is considered to be a game-time decision for Sunday's game against the St. Louis Rams.
The Detroit Lions could be without 75 percent of their starting secondary when they face the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night. Rookie cornerback Bill Bentley has been ruled out with a concussion, while starting safety Louis Delmas (knee) and cornerback Chris Houston (ankle) are listed as "doubtful", which means they have a 25 percent chance of playing. The Lions are expected to have Calvin Johnson, who is "probable" with a foot injury. The 49ers are likely to be without wide receiver/return specialist Ted Ginn and running back Brandon Jacobs, who were listed as "questionable" on the injury report.
On Monday night, the Atlanta Falcons may have to face the Denver Broncos without starting right tackle Tyson Clabo (hip) and linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (hamstring). With the Broncos featuring dangerous edge rushers Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller, going from Clabo to third tackle Mike Johnson would be a big drop-off.
Remember to visit Shutdown Corner tomorrow for all your inactive lists needs. The fun starts at 11:30 a.m. ET.
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