More news of the sprained, tweaked, and fractured

We begin the Thursday coverage with a review of various injuries, arranged in the order that they affect my fantasy portfolio.

You'll note that we're not covering every tweak in this post. Mr. Pianowski toured the league yesterday afternoon, and you can examine his findings here.

Sounds like Byron Westbrook isn't starting Brian in any fantasy leagues this week. He had this to say to the Washington Post:

"I don't think he'll play," Byron Westbrook said. "The ankle injury is more serious than what the Eagles put out. You know how Andy Reid is about injuries and giving out information" ... "We still have to prepare for him regardless," Westbrook said. "And if he can't play, then we'll just be over-prepared."

Brian Westbrook isn't willing to discuss his practice habits right now, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

(Update/clarification: Byron is a practice squad DB with the Washington Redskins. He's also Brian's younger brother).

The Arizona Republic reports today that Anquan Boldin is "not out, but unlikely" for Week 5:

Boldin has a sinus fracture, he said, as well as a possible concussion. He hasn't been ruled out of this Sunday's game against the Bills, although it seems improbable he would play ... Boldin was still consulting with doctors about treatment options for the sinus fracture. A surgical procedure is possible, he said, or it could be allowed to heal on its own.

We don't have a full timetable here just yet, but you can't rely on him this week. Steve Breaston should start for Arizona.

Justin Fargas (groin) reportedly expects to be ready to play at New Orleans in Week 6.

This from the Indianapolis Star, regarding the Colts' offensive line: guess is we can count on seeing C Jeff Saturday, RT Ryan Diem and LT Tony Ugoh. They all practiced today. (Mike) Pollak looks ready to return, too.

So that's welcome news if you've invested in Peyton Manning and/or Joseph Addai. You're also happy to see the Houston Texans on the schedule this week, since they're allowing 33 points and 160 rushing yards per game.

You don't necessarily have to start Bobby Engram or Deion Branch in Week 5, but both should be more heavily-owned. They're returning from shoulder and knee injuries, and still available in 28 and 55 percent of Yahoo! leagues. All the major pieces of the Seattle passing game are solid buy-low candidates right now. The Seahawks' end-of-season schedule is promising: at STL in Week 15, vs. NYJ in Week 16, at ARZ in Week 17.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that Aaron Rodgers, "did not throw in practice and will not do so until Friday at the earliest." So footballs are out for now, but the Packers' QB is throwing lesser balls:

Rodgers is trying to ready himself for the Falcons. The goal is to strengthen the ligaments around the shoulder socket that were stretched in the dislocation. This isn’t the type of injury that needs only rest. Rodgers is actively rehabbing it, throwing tennis balls and then heavy balls to build up strength -- no matter the pain.

“Oh, there’s definitely pain,” said Rodgers, who could barely sleep on Sunday night because of the pain but has gradually been able to get more rest.

Matt Flynn should not be trusted in anything but the deepest two-quarterback league.

And that's about the only place you should rely on Carson Palmer (elbow) these days, too. On Wednesday, Palmer practiced but didn't throw. Chris Perry was listed as "limited" on the injury report with a hamstring issue, which helps further explain the Cedric Benson signing.

Here's a partial list of Packers who were merely observers at practice on Wednesday, via the Journal-Sentinel:

S Atari Bigby (hamstring), S Nick Collins (back), S Aaron Rouse (knee), CB Charles Woodson (toe), CB Al Harris (spleen), RB Kregg Lumpkin (hamstring), FB Korey Hall (knee), LB A.J. Hawk (groin), DE Jason Hunter (hamstring).

There's a decent chance that the Green Bay D won't make my Week 5 ranks, despite the match-up with Atlanta. That's just too much damage involving too many key players.

"Put this in print," said Willis McGahee to the Baltimore Sun. "I just want to finish a game."

He didn't specify which game, but we'll assume he's thinking of Week 5. The Ravens have an awful matchup -- they're facing Tennessee, a team allowing 3.7 yards per carry and 86.8 rushing yards per game -- so you should look elsewhere to fill a flex position. McGahee considers himself day-to-day.

The fantasy market likes Le'Ron McClain. He was added in 30,211 leagues on Wednesday, and he's well ahead of Ray Rice in the Ravens' RB hierarchy.


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