You're playing for a make-believe date in the finals, so let's take a good look at what we learned over the past 24 hours.
Quarterbacks • (ribs) didn't do any throwing all week and it seems likely that Kyle Orton (notes) will get the call against Oakland. This is terrible news for anyone who needs a Broncos receiver in Week 15 – adjust your projections downward for Tim Tebow (notes) Brandon Lloyd (notes), and Jabar Gaffney (notes) It's a cruel thing, gamers. Eddie Royal (notes). • (post concussion) has officially been ruled out for the Packers, which means Aaron Rodgers (notes) gets the start at New England. You can still use Matt Flynn (notes) as your second or third receiver, we suppose, but forget about the rest of the Green Bay offense. Greg Jennings (notes) • (appendectomy) did some work this week and has a shot to play at St. Louis. It's a critical game for the Chiefs and context clues point to Cassel starting, though we won't know until 90 minutes before gametime Sunday. For the love of all things holy, let's hope we don't have to watch Matt Cassel (notes) play again. Brodie Croyle (notes) • (foot) missed some reps this week but he's fully expected to start Sunday night against the Packers. Tom Brady (notes) • (ankle) is listed as probable and should start the final three games for the Browns. This helps everyone in the offense. Colt McCoy (notes) • (hamstring) isn't 100 percent entering this week's critical game at Indianapolis, and the concerned Jags signed David Garrard (notes) as insurance. Todd Bouman (notes) • (finger) probably won't be ready for another week, so look for Shaun Hill (notes) at Tampa Bay. Drew Stanton (notes) Running Backs • (hip) missed some reps this week but remains probable for Sunday's game at Tennessee. Roll with him. Arian Foster (notes) • (knee) had a limited practice Friday and is listed as questionable, not that anyone expects him to sit out against the Colts. Maurice Jones-Drew (notes) • The Vikings held Adrian Peterson (ankle) out of practice Thursday and Friday as a precaution. He's fully expected to play (and outdoors, at that) against Chicago on Monday night. • (calf) took some reps Friday and has a chance to play against the Redskins, just to mess up the good time we're having with Marion Barber (notes) and Felix Jones (notes) Tashard Choice (notes). • (toe) took some reps and should go at Tampa Bay. The Bucs rushing defense is a mess right now – Jahvid Best (notes) showed this last week – so there's some sleeper upside with Best. Ryan Torain (notes) • Speaking of Torain (hamstring), he had a full practice week but remains questionable on the injury report because Mike Shanahan is tricky. Torain looks like a reasonable flex option to me, even with starting at Dallas. Rex Grossman (notes) • (hamstring) was out of Friday's practice and looks very iffy for Sunday's match at Baltimore. Look for something safer. Christopher Ivory (notes) • (hamstring) took some reps Friday and should get on the field at Seattle, though the offense obviously runs through Jason Snelling (notes) Michael Turner (notes). • (neck) did some work this week but probably won't play against the Jaguars. Get ready for the Joseph Addai (notes) and Javarris James (notes) show. Donald Brown (notes) • (flu) had a full day Friday and should be on the field at Carolina, not that your playoff hopes have anything to do with him. Beanie Wells (notes) looks like a solid play. Tim Hightower (notes) Wide Receivers • Brandon Lloyd (calf) had a full practice Friday but he's hard to trust given what the Broncos have rolling at quarterback this week. • (ankle) remains probable on the injury report but he didn't miss any time this week. Keep using him. Roddy White (notes) • (ankle) missed some Friday reps but he'll be ready for the Andre Johnson (notes) grudge match Sunday. Cortland Finnegan (notes) • Seattle's Mike Williams (ankle) had a strong week and is listed as probable for Sunday. The club is also optimistic about (hand, probable). Ben Obomanu (notes) • (foot) is listed as questionable on the injury report but no major concerns here; Andy Reid is saying all the right things. Jackson should play against the Giants. DeSean Jackson (notes) • Roy Williams (groin) had a limited Friday session after sitting out the previous day. You can't risk him against the Redskins this week. • (knee) had a limited Friday but should play Sunday night against Green Bay. He's been locked in with Tom Brady of late. Deion Branch (notes) • (migraines) has been practicing this week and says he'll play Monday against Chicago. But can Percy Harvin (notes) get him the ball? Joe Webb (notes) • (ankle) is listed as probable and will play against the Saints. He's been in fine form of late. Derrick Mason (notes) • (post concussion) had a strong practice week and is set to move ahead of Austin Collie (notes) on the depth chart. Blair White (notes) • (knee) didn't practice Friday, though context clues point to him starting against the Browns. Double check before you commit to anything Sunday. Terrell Owens (notes) • (knee) had a full Friday and will play against Carolina. Steve Breaston (notes) Other Positions • (knee) had a good week of practice and is listed as probable for Week 15. Kellen Winslow (notes) • (illness) remains questionable on the injury report, though he had a good week of practice. He should be fine to play against Jacksonville. Jacob Tamme (notes) • (post concussion) isn't expected to play against the Jets. Heath Miller (notes) • (flu) should go Sunday against the Pack, though he's listed as questionable. Aaron Hernandez (notes) • (hamstring) is out for another week. Todd Heap (notes) did little to help us Monday at Houston. Ed Dickson (notes) • (ankle) isn't expected to play against the Jets, a boost to the New York passing game. Troy Polamalu (notes)
Image courtesy Associated Press