Injuries are a way of life in this tackle football bit. Let's see what we learned from the Friday practice cycle, starting with the health report out of San Diego.
Normally you ignore a player carrying the doubtful tag, but Antonio Gates(notes) says he'll try to play through his foot injury at Houston on Sunday. It's an early start for the Chargers and Texans, so we'll have our final answer around noon or so. If Gates can't dress, Randy McMichael(notes) picks up the start.
Malcom Floyd(notes) (hamstring) and Legedu Naanee(notes) (hamstring) are both listed as doubtful; count them out of your Week 9 plans. If you have to have a San Diego receiver at Houston, Patrick Crayton(notes) would be my first choice, followed by Seyi Ajirotutu(notes).
• Matt Hasselbeck(notes) (post-concussion) has been ruled out for Week 9, which means Charlie Whitehurst(notes) gets fed to the formidable Giants pass rush. Stay away from the Seattle passing game here.
• DeAngelo Williams(notes) (foot) didn't practice all week and is listed as doubtful for Sunday's game agains the Saints. Jonathan Stewart(notes) will get as much work as he can handle; he was a major disappointment last week at St. Louis.
• Mike Hart(notes) (ankle) has a messy practice week and although he's listed as questionable (oh, those Colts), I would not count on him at Philadelphia. Joseph Addai(notes) (shoulder) isn't expected to play either, which leaves Indy with Donald Brown(notes) and Javarris James(notes) at the tailback spot.
• Felix Jones(notes) (ankle) was a full participant the past two days and should be in line for his normal workload at Green Bay, though there are whispers that Tashard Choice(notes) will also see an increased role.
• Kevin Smith(notes) (knee) did some work Friday after missing all of the Thursday session. The Lions split the touches between Smith and Jahvid Best(notes) last week, but Best might be needed for an increased workload on Sunday.
• The Saints are without Pierre Thomas(notes) (ankle) for another week, and it's very unlikely we'll see Reggie Bush(notes) (leg) either. Julius Jones(notes), Christopher Ivory(notes) and Ladell Betts(notes) are left to fight for carries at Carolina.
• Percy Harvin(notes) (ankle) had a limited week of practice and is very questionable for Sunday's game against Arizona. He's also the Viking that will miss Randy Moss(notes) the most, on and off the field. Bernard Berrian(notes) (groin) is listed as probable, not that he inspires any confidence.
• Seattle's Mike Williams (knee) had a good day Friday and is listed as probable for Sunday's match against the Giants. You might not want to use him with Hasselbeck out, however.
• Marques Colston(notes) (hand) took all the reps Thursday and Friday and is fine for the Panthers on Sunday. He's woken up over the past two weeks, posting 16 catches, 187 yards and a pair of scores.
• Austin Collie(notes) (thumb) had a strong week of practice, though he remains questionable on the injury report (oh, those Colts). It's a late start on Sunday, so there's some risk here, but context clues point to Collie playing.
• Donald Driver(notes) (quad) was ruled out early in the week, which makes Jordy Nelson(notes) and James Jones(notes) worthy of consideration in deeper pools. The Dallas secondary is a disaster right now.
• Deion Branch(notes) (hamstring) had three days of limited practice and is considered questionable for Sunday's game at Cleveland. Branch hasn't done much over the last two weeks (five grabs, 60 yards).
• Brad Childress says there's a chance that Sidney Rice(notes) (hip) might be able to play next week at Chicago. Now's the time to consider a stash-and-hope play on Rice. Brad Childress also looks a lot like Major Dad.
• Zach Miller (foot) is listed as doubtful and it would be a stunner if he dressed against Kansas City.
• So much for the Owen Daniels(notes) revival; he's dealing with a balky hamstring and knee, and the Texans are calling him a game-time decision for Sunday. Joel Dreessen(notes) could see a few receptions if Daniels can't go.
• Kellen Winslow(notes) (knee) did everything on Friday and is probable for the Falcons. He's no longer an automatic fantasy play, however; he's yet to score in 2010 and he's averaging just 43.7 yards per game.
Image courtesy Associated Press