In Sunday night's battle between the Houston Texans and Chicago Bears, two of the top three teams in this week's Shutdown Corner Power Rankings, the Texans will be without running back Ben Tate (hamstring) and defensive tackle Shaun Cody (ribs), who have already been ruled out by head coach Gary Kubiak. Houston may also be without tight end Owen Daniels, who will be a game-time decision due to a "severe bruise" in his lower back/hip area.
The Bears have listed rookie wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (hand) and defensive tackle Matt Toeania (calf) as "doubtful", but should have cornerback Charles Tillman, whose questionable availability due to the impending birth of he and his wife's fourth child led to the spillage of many pixels on the Internets.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin gutted out right hamstring and left ankle injuries in last Sunday's 30-20 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Harvin may not be as fortunate this week as head coach Leslie Frazier said Harvin is "doubtful" to play against the Detroit Lions.
"He still has a little less than 48 hours to have a chance to continue to improve," Frazier said according to Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com. "He'll continue to get treatment. If it comes to it, we would definitely work him out before the game and get him out there if it's possible. But we'll see what happens."
In addition to Harvin, defensive tackle Letroy Guion is "doubtful" with a foot injury. All other players on Minnesota's injury report, including tight end John Carlson, who has missed the last two weeks with a concussion, are probable and are expected to be available on Sunday.
Lions safety Louis Delmas has been ruled "out" for the Vikings game, as will fellow starting safety Amari Spievey (concussion). Wide receivers Calvin Johnson (knee) and Titus Young (knee), defensive end Cliff Avril (back) and cornerback Chris Houston (illness) returned to practice on Friday and are listed as "questionable".
The Dallas Cowboys have ruled running back DeMarco Murray "out" for Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Murray will miss a fourth straight game with a foot injury. Dallas may also be without Dan Connor, who missed last Sunday night's loss to the Atlanta Falcons with a neck injury. Connor is listed as "doubtful" and, if he cannot play, would again be replaced in the lineup by newly-signed linebacker Ernie Sims. In good news for the Cowboys, nose tackle Jay Ratliff (ankle) and wide receiver Dez Bryant (hip) are listed as "probable".
The Eagles will be without right guard Danny Watkins, the club's 2011 first round pick, who will miss a third straight game with an ankle injury. Dennis Kelly will start in Watkins' place. Running back LeSean McCoy returned to practice on Friday after missing Wednesday and Thursday's sessions with an illness. McCoy is listed as "probable", along with safety Nate Allen, who missed Monday night's loss to the New Orleans Saints with a hamstring injury.
Coming off their bye week, the New England Patriots listed 14 players as "questionable" on Friday's injury report. Among those whose status for Sunday was deemed a "50-50" proposition by head coach Bill Belichick: wide receivers Wes Welker (ankle) and Brandon Lloyd (knee), tight ends Rob Gronkowski (hip) and Aaron Hernandez (ankle), starting offensive linemen Logan Mankins (calf/hip) and Sebastian Vollmer (back/knee), linebackers Dont'a Hightower (hamstring), Jerod Mayo (elbow) and Brandon Spikes (knee), cornerback Kyle Arrington (concussion) and starting safeties Patrick Chung (shoulder/hamstring) and Steve Gregory (hip). Rookie running back Brandon Bolden was ruled out with a knee injury, but he will not be on the Patriots' 53-man roster this weekend. Bolden was suspended for four games for violating the league's policy against performance-enhancing drugs.
As expected, the Bills declared defensive end Mark Anderson and cornerback Aaron Williams out with knee injuries. Six Bills are questionable, including wide receiver Steve Johnson (thigh) and defensive tackle Kyle Williams, both of whom are expected to play against the Patriots.
For the second consecutive week, the Atlanta Falcons defense and New Orleans Saints offense will be without two key contributors. Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon has been ruled out with a low ankle sprain that kept him out of last Sunday night's 19-13 win over the Dallas Cowboys. Saints running back Darren Sproles is unavailable after undergoing surgery on his hand. The Saints will once again rely more heavily on Mark Ingram and Chris Ivory in the running and passing games. Also out for the Saints are right tackle Zach Strief (groin) and defensive end Junior Galette (ankle). Falcons defensive tackles Jonathan Babineaux (hamstring) and Peria Jerry (knee) are listed as "questionable".
The St. Louis Rams are expected to have top receiver Danny Amendola back for Sunday's game against the San Francisco 49ers. Amendola, who suffered a sprained SC joint on Oct. 4, was expected to miss around six weeks, but nearly returned for the Rams' 45-7 loss to the Patriots on Oct. 28. Amendola was limited throughout this week's practices, but his return would provide a spark to the offense. The Rams also listed left tackles Rodger Saffold (knee) and Wayne Hunter (back) as "questionable", while the 49ers do not have any serious injuries on their report. Nine 49ers are "probable", including quarterback Alex Smith (right finger), linebacker Patrick Willis (shoulder), running back Frank Gore (hand) and wide receiver Michael Crabtree (illness).
When the Denver Broncos face the Carolina Panthers, they will be without right guard Chris Kuper and cornerback Tracy Porter, neither of which comes as a surprise. Kuper injured his ankle during last Sunday's 31-23 win over the Cincinnati Bengals and is expected to miss some time. Porter has missed the last three games after experiencing symptoms similar to a seizure he suffered in August. The Panthers are getting healthier, listing defensive ends Antwan Applewhite (hamstring) as doubtful and Thomas Keiser as "questionable" with an elbow injury.
Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker will make his long-awaited return to the starting lineup against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. Locker has missed the last five games with a dislocated left (non-throwing) shoulder. The 2011 first round pick out of the University of Washington has completed 63.2 percent of 107 attempts for 781 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions in three-plus games this season. Titans middle linebacker Colin McCarthy was listed "questionable" with an ankle injury, but a new approach to practicing (easing him into the week, as opposed to taking Thursday off) could keep him on the 46-man gameday active roster for the remainder of the season. The Dolphins addressed their biggest injury when they placed cornerback Richard Marshall (back) on injured reserve and claimed Brandon McDonald off waivers from the Buccaneers.
Three New York Giants have been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals, most notably safety Kenny Phillips, who could return after the team's bye week. Running back Ahmad Bradshaw (foot), guard Chris Snee (ankle) and linebacker Keith Rivers (calf) are "questionable. Bengals safety Reggie Nelson's consecutive streak of 67 games player is in jeopardy as he is listed as "doubtful" with a hamstring injury that prevented him practicing throughout the week. Starting center Jeff Faine (hamstring) and first round cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick (thigh) are questionable. Kirkpatrick made his NFL debut last Sunday, logging 10 snaps on special teams after missing most of the season with a knee injury. Kirkpatrick popped up on the injury report on Thursday and missed Friday's practice.
New York Jets nose tackle Kenrick Ellis (knee) and running back Joe McKnight (ankle) have been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks. Center Nick Mangold (ankle), guard Brandon Moore (hip), nose tackle Sione Po'uha (back), running back Bilal Powell (shoulder), linebacker Bart Scott (toe) and safety Eric Smith (knee), but likely to play on Sunday. For the Seahawks, left guard James Carpenter and linebacker K.J. Wright have been ruled out, both with concussions. John Moffitt will make another start for Carpenter, while Wright will be replaced by Michael Morgan in base defense and rookie Bobby Wagner in nickel packages. Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch (back/wrist) returned to practice on Friday and is listed as "probable".
The top running backs on the Oakland Raiders were ruled out for Sunday's game against the Baltimore Ravens due to ankle injuries. Neither Darren McFadden nor Mike Goodson, who have accounted for 566 (91.5 percent) of the team's 618 rushing yards will dress, leaving Taiwan Jones (one carry for two yards this season) as the No. 1 option on Sunday. The Raiders will also be without defensive tackle Richard Seymour (knee/hamstring), cornerback Shawntae Spencer (foot) and right tackle Khalif Barnes (groin) will not start, but could suit up. For the Ravens, defensive end Pernell McPhee (thigh) is out, while defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (shoulder) and starting guards Marshal Yanda (ankle) and Bobbie Williams (ankle) are "questionable". Of the two guards, Williams is the more likely to be inactive, with Ramon Harewood possibly replacing him in the starting lineup.
San Diego Chargers left tackle Jared Gaither is listed as "questionable" with a groin injury that prevented him from practicing on Thursday and Friday. If Gaither is unable to play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, undrafted rookie Michael Harris would make another start protecting Philip Rivers' blindside. Defensive end Corey Luiget (hamstring) is also "questionable". The 2011 first round pick out of Illinois has been disruptive this season, picking up two sacks and six passes defensed. The Buccaneers listed wide receiver Arrelious Benn (shoulder) and safety Cody Grimm (hamstring) as "questionable".
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