If Houston head coach Gary Kubiak can be believed, there's a decent chance Andre Johnson will return this weekend against Jacksonville, four weeks after injuring his right hamstring in the Texans' win over Pittsburgh. Details here, via the Florida Times-Union:
"[Johnson] is doing really well," Kubiak said. "He'll hit the practice field today and we'll monitor his work throughout the week and we'll work towards game day. He's got a chance and so we just have to see how he responds getting back out there with the football team at practices this week."
The last time Andre faced Jacksonville, in Week 10 last year, he hauled in nine passes for 146 yards and a score. The Jaguars pass defense has been stingy so far this season, allowing just 196.3 yards per game, but if AJ is going to play, he's a fantasy starter. You know what to do.
Stafford waffling: Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford isn't entirely sure he'll be able to face Team Tebow in Week 8. This from the Detroit Free Press:
"I think every competitor plans on playing," Stafford said in an appearance on the Mitch Albom Show on WJR-AM (760) today. "We'll see if that comes true. I've got to keep getting better to get there, but I want to, obviously."
Programming note: Remember to join Mitch for the quiet storm, weeknights 10 to 2. All your favorite slow jams, limited commercial interruptions. Just you, your special lady, a bottle of Shiraz, and Mitch [expletive] Albom. Mmm-hmm.
Stafford said the sprain is "kind of in a weird spot," and he's not sure whether he'll practice Wednesday. If he can't play against the Broncos, Shaun Hill, who started 10 games last year, will start.
"We're treating it, doing the best we can, trying to get it as healthy as possible for a chance to try and play this week," Stafford said on the radio.
Shaun Hill reportedly gets the first-team reps on Wednesday. If you're a Stafford owner, Hill would be a shrewd add. He worked especially well with Brandon Pettigrew last season, and he obviously knows to look for Megatron. Hill is in the 80th percentile in the Pianow Backup Index (PBI), if I'm not mistaken. Stafford was able to jog and participate in throwing drills, so we can't rule him out just yet.
Beanie apparently thinks we're pretty gullible: Beanie Wells' consecutive games streak (now at three) is in jeopardy after he suffered yet another knee injury in the Cards' loss to Pittsburgh. He recently told Arizona Sports Radio 620 that he expects to play in Week 8 against the Ravens, but you clearly need to have a back-up plan on your roster, ready to go. These were Beanie's comments:
"It's just a matter of controlling the swelling. It's just a day by day thing. Hopefully I'm out there on Sunday and I personally think I will be."
OK then. Meanwhile, the Arizona Republic's Kent Somers warns you not to listen to anything that anyone says about this situation, and instead just pay attention to the practice reports. That seems like the best plan of action. Let's note as well that the match-up is awful; the Ravens allow only 3.3 yards per carry. Wells is not to be trusted, nor is Alfonso Smith.
For those who still care about Peyton Hillis: He's back at practice, ready to fumble and stumble his way back into your heart. Hillis' match-up is awful this week, as he'll face a San Francisco defense that's allowing just 3.6 yards per carry and 74.7 rushing yards per game. The Niners have yet to allow a rushing touchdown. Montario Hardesty is obviously not a recommended play this week, either, considering the opponent and the looming job-share.
LeGarrette back at practice: Yup, Bucs running back LeGarrette Blount is practicing on Wednesday, at least in some capacity. That's obviously a great sign for his availability after the bye. Kregg Lumpkin remains in line for the third-down/passing-down role, following the season-ending injury to Earnest Graham. Tampa travels to New Orleans after the off-week, where they'll face a defense that allows 5.4 yards per carry.
Harvin healthy enough to start: ...but of course we have no idea if he'll be able to finish. Percy Harvin checked out of the Week 7 home loss to Green Bay, due to a rib issue. It sounds like he'll be available this week, however. Harvin still hasn't reached 80 receiving yards in any game, and he doesn't yet have an offensive touchdown. If you're relying on him, um ... best of luck, champ.
Because I needed a seventh blurb: Joseph Addai will make an appearance at Wednesday's practice, according to Indy's head coach Jim Caldwell, and he's expected to "do some work." That could mean he's running and going through drills, or it could simply mean he's catching up on email. Not sure. But Addai has not yet been ruled out for Week 8, if that matters to you.
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