Coming off their bye week, the Pittsburgh Steelers are a much healthier team heading into Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Running back Rashard Mendenhall (knee), outside linebacker James Harrison (knee) and safety Troy Polamalu (calf) are "probable" and expected to play to play against Philadelphia. For Mendenhall and Harrison, Sunday's game will be their 2012 debuts. Linebacker Akeem Jordan is the only Eagles player who will miss the Battle of Pennsylvania due to an injury. Jordan missed last week's win over the New York Giants and was ably replaced by Jamar Chaney.
Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks is one of five New York Giants who have been ruled "out" for Sunday afternoon's game against the Cleveland Browns. Nicks has missed the previous two games with foot and knee injuries, but could return for next Sunday's game against the San Francisco 49ers. Wide receiver Ramses Barden (concussion), defensive tackle Rocky Bernard (quadriceps), cornerback Jayron Hosley (hamstring) and safety Kenny Phillips (knee) were also ruled "out", while starting right tackle David Diehl (knee) and linebacker Keith Rivers (hamstring) are "doubtful". The Browns are unlikely to have wide receivers Mohamed Massaquoi (hamstring) and Travis Benjamin (hamstring) on Sunday.
There will be little suspense on whether or not Green Bay Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings plays against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday as the club ruled Jennings "out" during the week due to a groin injury he aggravated during last week's 28-27 win over the New Orleans Saints. This will be the second game that Jennings will miss due to this injury, costing him $50,000 in "per game active" roster bonuses and possibly damaging his value as an unrestricted free agent in the offseason. In what is expected to be an emotional game for the Colts as first-year head coach Chuck Pagano begins his battle with leukemia, starting cornerback Vontae Davis (ankle) and inside linebacker Pat Angerer (foot) will be in street clothes along with cornerback Justin King and offensive linemen Seth Olsen and Joe Reitz. Outside linebacker Dwight Freeney is "questionable" with an ankle injury.
New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez could make a sooner-than-expected return to the field. Hernandez injured his ankle in Week 2 and has been expected to miss around six weeks, but he practiced on a limited basis this week and is "questionable" for Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos. Hernandez is one of a dozen Patriots players listed as "questionable", a group that includes notable name such as tight end Rob Gronkowski (hip), linebacker Dont'a Hightower (hamstring), left guard Logan Mankins (calf/hip) and Sebastian Vollmer (back). The Patriots have already ruled wide receiver Julian Edelman (hand) and safety Steve Gregory (hip) "out" for Sunday's game. For the Broncos, five players are listed as "probable". That includes right guard Chris Kuper, who could make his 2012 debut after missing the first four weeks of the season after breaking his forearm in August.
No surprise with the injury situation in Nashville as Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker has been ruled "out" with a dislocation of his left (non-throwing) shoulder. Locker is expected to miss a few weeks, which means Matt Hasselbeck takes over as starter and Rusty Smith elevates to the No. 2 spot on the depth chart. The good news for the Titans is that middle linebacker Colin McCarthy practiced on a limited basis on Wednesday and Friday of this week, is listed as "questionable" and could make his first appearance since the regular season-opener. Wide receiver Kenny Britt (ankle) reportedly suffered a setback during Thursday's practice and is not expected to play against the Minnesota Vikings, reports Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean. After missing Wednesday and Thursday's practices, Vikings defensive end Jared Allen (groin) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to start on Sunday. Quarterback Christian Ponder, who was limited with a right knee injury this week, is also "probable". Linebacker Erin Henderson (concussion) and wide receiver Michael Jenkins (rib) are "questionable".
The Miami Dolphins will be without starting cornerback Richard Marshall when they visit the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. Signed to a three-year, $16 million contract in March, Marshall has 17 tackles and an interception in 82.29 percent of the Dolphins' defensive snaps this season, but has missed all of this week's practices with a back injury. Either Nolan Carroll or R.J. Stanford will start opposite Sean Smith in Miami's secondary. Dolphins rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill popped up on the injury report on Friday with a thumb injury, but he is expected to start on Sunday. Meanwhile, the Bengals could be getting 50 percent healthier at the cornerback position this week. Starting cornerbacks Nate Clements (calf) and Leon Hall (hamstring) are listed as "probable", while Jason Allen (quad) and 2012 first round pick Dre Kirkpatrick (knee) are "doubtful" for Sunday's game. All four cornerbacks missed last Sunday's 27-10 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Veteran defensive backs Cedric Griffin (hamstring) and Brandon Meriweather (knee) will miss the Washington Redskins' game against the high-powered passing attack of the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. Through the first four weeks of the season, Griffin has played in just over one-third (33.08 percent) of the Redskins' defensive snaps, while Meriweather has been sidelined throughout the season. The 2007 first-round pick of the New England Patriots was set to make his Redskins debut last Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but injured his knee in a pregame collision with wide receiver Aldrick Robinson, who was knocked unconscious by the collision. Robinson is listed as "probable" and should play against a Falcons team that has center Todd McClure (chest) and safety William Moore (hip) listed as "questionable" on their injury report.
Carolina Panthers middle linebacker Jon Beason (knee) and cornerback Chris Gamble (shoulder) could miss Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks. Both are listed as "doubtful" on the Panthers' final injury report of the week. For the Seahawks, defensive tackle Brandon Mebane (calf) returned to practice on Friday and is listed as "probable", while nickel cornerback Marcus Trufant (back) also returned to practice on Friday, but did so on a limited basis and is "questionable". Whether or not Trufant plays is expected to be a "game-time" decision, though it's possible the cross-country flight could result in a downgrade announcement on Saturday.
[Video: Week 5 lock to win]
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Laurent Robinson (concussion) has not been cleared by doctors to return to the field and has been ruled "out" for Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears. To make up for Robinson's absence, the Jaguars added free agent wide receiver Michael Spurlock on Friday. The Jaguars will also be without linebacker Daryl Smith (groin) and defensive end George Selvie (knee) is listed as "questionable". The Bears most serious injury situation involves wide receiver Earl Bennett, who is "questionable" with a hand injury suffered during practice a few weeks back. The injury prevented Bennett from playing in last Monday night's win over the Dallas Cowboys.
Following a few extra days of rest after their win over the Cleveland Browns on Thursday, Sept. 27, the Baltimore Ravens have only one injury concern entering their Week 5 game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Offensive tackle Jah Reid is "questionable" with a calf injury that has kept him out of each of team's four games this season. The Ravens will be facing a banged-up Chiefs team that will be without running back Peyton Hillis (ankle) and defensive end Glenn Dorsey (calf), who were already been ruled "out" for Sunday's game. Starting inside linebacker Derrick Johnson (groin) is "questionable", as is safety Kendrick Lewis (shoulder) and defensive lineman Ropati Pitoitua (elbow), who had a pair of sacks in last Sunday's 37-20 loss to the San Diego Chargers.
The Buffalo Bills will be without a pair of starting offensive linemen as rookie left tackle Cordy Glenn and right guard Kraig Urbik have been ruled out for Sunday's game against the San Francisco 49ers with ankle injuries they sustained in last Sunday's 52-28 loss to the New England Patriots. 2011 fourth round pick Chris Hairston will replace Glenn while Chad Rinehart fills in for Urbik. Three 49ers were listed as "questionable", including cornerback Carlos Rogers (ankle) and defensive lineman Isaac Sopoaga (knee/ankle). They're joined by running back Brandon Jacobs (knee), who has yet to play a down for the 49ers this season.
On Sunday night, the San Diego Chargers will continue to be without kicker Nate Kaeding, who was ruled "out" with a right groin injury. Cornerback Shareece Wright (foot) also will not play against a New Orleans Saints team that will be without wide receiver Lance Moore, who has a hamstring injury. Moore has 19 receptions for 287 yards and two touchdowns on the season and his role in the offense will be played, in part, by veteran receiver Greg Camarillo, who has bounced on and off the roster and was re-signed earlier this week. Also out for the Saints are linebacker David Hawthorne (hamstring) and defensive end Turk McBride (ankle), while linebacker Jonathan Casillas (neck), safety Roman Harper (hip) and wide receiver Joe Morgan (knee) are "questionable".
Final injury reports for Monday night's Houston Texans-New York Jets game will be out on Saturday, but Jets tight end Dustin Keller missed a second straight day of practice with a hamstring injury that has kept him out since the season-opener. Fullback John Conner (hamstring), wide receiver Stephen Hill (hamstring) and nose tackle Sione Po'uha (back) have also not practiced this week and may miss Monday night's game. On the Texans' end, safety Quintin Demps (thumb/forearm) and running back Ben Tate (toe) have missed Thursday and Friday's practices. Starting guard Wade Smith (knee) missed Friday's practice, but is expected to start on Monday night, notes Dale Robertson of the Houston Chronicle.
NFL video from Yahoo! Sports:
Other popular content on the Yahoo! network:
• Questionable infield fly rule call mars MLB playoff opener
• Time is running out for NHL owners, players in lockout mess
• Dwight Howard fires back at Shaq: 'Your time is up'
• Y! Games: EA Sports pilfers Wii users
- American Football
- Sports & Recreation
- New England Patriots
- Rashard Mendenhall
- Greg Jennings
- New Orleans Saints