Prelude to a (pretend) Championship: Week 16 status check

For the most part it's a clean Week 16 as we set up for our championship games. Other than the Colts, every other good team has something to prove or play for. Let's look at some injuries, some storylines and some other news from Boxing Day.

Reggie Wayne(notes) is the one star player I want no part of in Week 16. He's up against shutdown corner Darrelle Revis(notes), the cover ace who's been just about impossible to beat for the entire season. Wayne also has a sore foot (though he's listed as probable), and we can't be sure the Colts will expose Peyton Manning(notes) to a full game (head coach Jim Caldwell has been vague about that all week; I'm guessing Manning goes at least three quarters, but I didn't rank him in my Top 10 for the week, either).

It sure looks like the Titans want Chris Johnson to get 2,000 yards rushing (and Marshall Faulk's(notes) total-yardage record, and maybe Eric Dickerson's rushing record), doesn't it? Asked about the 2,000 mark, Jeff Fisher didn't deny anything after Thursday's blowout loss to San Diego. "It's something we pay close attention to as well as [Johnson] does, I'm sure," Fisher conceded. The Titans kept feeding Johnson the ball in the fourth quarter of the blowout loss, clearly looking to give Johnson a chance to hit as many milestones as possible. Tennessee, now out of the playoff race, plays at Seattle next week.

DeAngelo Williams(notes) (ankle) didn't practice all week and is listed as doubtful for Sunday's road tilt with the Giants. Jonathan Stewart(notes) is banged up himself (sore toe and Achilles) and has the questionable tag, but context clues point to him playing. Check back Sunday; at least it's an early kickoff.

Michael Turner(notes) (ankle) didn't practice all week and is very questionable for the Bills Sunday. Given that Turner had early exit's the last two times he tried to play, there's no way I'm risking anything with him here. The odds look better for Matt Ryan(notes) (toe, questionable), who took some reps the last two days.

Brian Westbrook(notes) (post concussion) practiced all week and should be able to play for the Eagles, but he's a very tricky fantasy play as we have no idea how much work the Eagles will steer his way. I'd look at all other options first. Receiver Jeremy Maclin(notes) (foot) is probable.

Hakeem Nicks(notes) (hamstring) took some of the reps in Friday's practice and the Giants appear optimistic here, they're listing him as probable. New York is playing for its season, so look for Nicks to go. Ahmad Bradshaw(notes) (foot/ankle) is also listed as probable, though he was held out of practice.

Brian Brohm(notes) took most of the first-team reps with the Bills this week and figures to be the starter at Atlanta, though Ryan Fitzpatrick(notes) (ankle) did some work Friday. If you're tied to Terrell Owens(notes) this week, you'd rather see Fitzpatrick under center.

Percy Harvin(notes) is not on the injury report, so let him loose on the Bears.

Marc Bulger(notes) was placed on injured reserve, if you wanted to know. Let's hope he gets out of the game while he's still got all of his faculties. Steven Jackson (back) didn't practice all week, his typical MO, and is listed as questionable.

The fans of Cleveland must be excited after their last two wins - the Browns will actually have a home game on local TV this week (third time this season). Derek Anderson(notes). Charlie Frye(notes). The storylines write themselves.

Tom Brady(notes) (various) took all the reps Friday and will start against the Jaguars.

Bruce Gradkowski(notes) (knees) hasn't ruled out playing in Week 17 against Baltimore, if you're in a league that requires three quarterbacks per week. As for Oakland's backfield this week, it's going to be Michael Bush(notes) and Darren McFadden(notes), while Justin Fargas(notes) (knee) sits out.

The Ravens should have all receivers on board for their critical game at Pittsburgh, not that guys aren't nicked up. Mark Clayton(notes) has a sore hamstring, Kelley Washington(notes) is dealing with a tender ankle and Demetrius Williams(notes) has a knee injury.

Hines Ward(notes) (hamstring), Rashard Mendenhall(notes) (hip) and Mike Wallace(notes) (knee) all had full practices Friday and are listed as probable for Sunday's critical game against Baltimore. Use them as you normally would.

Mike Hart(notes) (ankle) took a full workload Friday and will probably be the No. 2 back for the Colts this week. Joseph Addai(notes) is listed as probable; he missed the last two days of practice due to personal reasons. The Colts also have a choice at kicker; Adam Vinatieri(notes) (knee) was able to practice Friday and might play against the Jets. I'd steer clear of Vinatieri and Matt Stover(notes) if possible.

Larry Fitzgerald(notes) (knee) is listed as probable and should go against St. Louis.

Antonio Bryant(notes) (groin) had a full day of practice Friday if you need a deep reach at receiver. He's still listed as questionable, however, as are Michael Clayton(notes) (knee) and Derrick Ward(notes) (knee).

Braylon Edwards(notes) (knee) had a full practice Friday and is listed as probable.

Forget about Lance Moore(notes) (ankle) scoring last week, he's had a setback and won't play against the Bucs. Reggie Bush(notes) (hamstring) is listed as probable, while Jeremy Shockey(notes) (toe) is questionable. If the Saints hold Shockey out again, consider Dave Thomas a possible sleeper.

Devin Thomas(notes) (ankle) is listed as doubtful, so look for Malcolm Kelly(notes) to start Sunday night against Dallas.

Eddie Royal(notes) (neck) has already been ruled out, not that you expected anything here. Brandon Stokley(notes) and Jabar Gaffney(notes) pick up extra snaps at Philly.

Joe Nedney(notes) (hamstring) wont go for the Niners, which makes Ricky Schmitt(notes) a possible kicker of interest in Week 16. San Francisco should get plenty of scoring chances at home against Detroit.

Julius Jones(notes) (ribs) is listed as questionable, which perhaps could lead to more work for Justin Forsett(notes) at Green Bay, in theory.

Austin Collie(notes) figures to get more reps as the Colts are holding Pierre Garcon(notes) (hand) out this week. And forget about Anthony Gonzalez(notes) for 2009, he's been placed on injured reserve.

Matt Moore(notes) (shoulder) got back to a full practice Friday, though he's still listed as questionable. This is probably just John Fox being tricky; we're expecting Moore to start at the Meadowlands.


Photo courtesy US Presswire

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