Andrew Luck, Jay Cutler, London Fletcher headline Week 8′s initial practice participation reports

Brian McIntyre
Shutdown Corner

The Minnesota Vikings have ruled out tight end John Carlson (concussion) and safety Mistral Raymond (ankle) for Thursday night's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Carlson has a history of concussions, suffering one in a playoff loss to the Chicago Bears while with the Seattle Seahawks during the 2010 season, so the Vikings should and will be cautious with Carlson. Buccaneers cornerback Brandon McDonald is "questionable" with an ankle injury.

Three days after the first multiple rushing touchdown performance of his career, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck made his debut appearance on the injury report, listed as a "Full Participant" with a knee injury. Luck is expected to start on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans. Several Colts players who have missed games recently practiced on a limited basis on Wednesday, including defensive end Cory Redding and running back Donald Brown. Redding says he's playing against the Titans, who may get quarterback Jake Locker (non-throwing shoulder) back this week. Locker suffered the injury in the season-opener and re-injured the shoulder in a Sept. 30 loss to the Houston Texans. Titans middle linebacker Colin McCarthy (ankle) was a full participant on Wednesday.

Washington Redskins inside linebacker London Fletcher missed Wednesday's practice with a hamstring injury suffered in Sunday's loss to the Giants. The 37-year-old was also experiencing problems with balance and visited a neurologist, head coach Mike Shanahan said according to Mark Maske of The Washington Post. Fletcher has appeared in 231 consecutive games and started 186 straight, two streaks that are in jeopardy when the Redskins host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. The Redskins are expected to be without wide receiver Pierre Garcon, who has a partial tear in the plantar plate of the second toe of his right foot, Mike Garafolo of the USA Today reports. Signed to a five-year, $42.5 million contract in March, Garcon has just eight receptions for 153 yards and a touchdown in three games this season and will likely miss the next two weeks, bringing that number to six games missed, costing Garcon over $93,000 in "per game active" roster bonuses this season.

Speaking of financials, according to a source with knowledge of the situation, newly re-signed tight end Chris Cooley's one-year contract with the Redskins included a $200,000 signing bonus and a base salary of $825,000, which prorated over the final 10 weeks, amounts to $485,294. In a somewhat surprising move, the Redskins agreed to fully guarantee the $485,294 in base salary. Cooley was signed to replace Fred Davis, who will miss the remainder of the 2012 season with a torn Achilles that was surgically repaired on Tuesday.

The Steelers have already ruled right out tackle Marcus Gilbert (ankle) and safety Troy Polamalu (calf) for Sunday's game. Running backs Jonathan Dwyer (not injury related), Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles) and Isaac Redman (ankle) all missed Wednesday's practice. On the bright side, center Maurkice Pouncey (knee) practiced fully and is expected to play after missing most of the last two games.

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (ribs) was limited in Wednesday's practice, two days after taking a brutal, but legal hit from Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. Cutler is expected to be ready for Sunday's game against the 1-5 Carolina Panthers, who placed linebacker Jon Beason on season-ending injured reserve. Beason has had two injury-plagued seasons and with the Panthers firing general manager Marty Hurney this week, no one is safe in that building. Beason is scheduled to earn a $5.25 million base salary in 2013, $3.75 million of which is guaranteed for injury. On April 1, 2013, the Panthers are also scheduled to pay Beason $5 million of the $20 million signing bonus from his 2011 contract extension.

Running back Maurice Jones-Drew (foot) was one of seven Jacksonville Jaguars to miss Wednesday's practice. MJD is definitely going to miss Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers. Second-year quarterback Blaine Gabbert (non-throwing shoulder) was a full participant, despite what's been reported as being a torn labrum. With injuries and losses piling up, Jaguars head coach Mike Mularkey took a defiant tone when discussing the team's medical issues, notes Ryan O'Halloran of the Florida Times-Union.

Eight New York Jets missed practice Wednesday, most notably center Nick Mangold (ankle), linebackers Calvin Pace (shin) and Bart Scott (toe), running backs Joe McKnight (ankle) and Bilal Powell (shoulder) and nose tackle Kendrick Ellis (knee). Nose tackle Sione Po'uha was limited with a back injury. Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez was listed as a full participant with a back injury, which may be tied to him constantly looking over his shoulder.

Miami Dolphins running back Daniel Thomas (concussion) was a full participant on Wednesday and could face the Jets on Sunday. Defensive tackle Randy Starks was excused from Wednesday's practice for personal reasons.

Across the pond, wide receiver Danny Amendola (shoulder) returned to practice on a limited basis. The slot receiver extraordinaire will not play against the New England Patriots at London's Wembley Stadium on Sunday. Among the missing at Rams practice were offensive tackles Rodger Saffold (knee) and Wayne Hunter (back), which could leave second-year player Joe Barksdale as the starter at left tackle. Rookie wide receiver and deep-ball threat Chris Givens missed practice with an illness. (Lay off the bangers and mash, Chris) The Patriots don't make the trip overseas until late Thursday night/early Friday morning. New England's notable absences on Wednesday's practice were linebacker Jerod Mayo (illness, elbow) and safety Steve Gregory (hip).

After being downgraded to "out" last weekend, New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham returned to practice on a limited basis on Wednesday. Graham suffered an ankle injury in an Oct. 7 win over the San Diego Chargers and the bye week wasn't enough to get him ready for last Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Outside linebacker David Hawthorne returned to practice after missing the last three games with a hamstring injury. Former Saints and current Denver Broncos cornerback Tracy Porter (illness) was limited in Wednesday's practice. Porter experienced dizziness prior to the team's flight to San Diego for an Oct. 15 game against the Chargers and the team's medical staff would not clear him to fly. Porter is expected to play against his former team on Sunday.

The New York Giants practiced without running back Ahmad Bradshaw (foot), center David Baas (ankle) and safety Kenny Phillips (knee) on Wednesday. Despite the nagging foot injury, Bradshaw ran for 43 yards and a touchdown in last week's win over the Washington Redskins. His situation is one we'll be monitoring closely throughout the week. The good news out of Giants practice was that No. 1 wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, who is coming off foot surgery and battled a knee injury recently, practiced fully for the first time this season. For the Dallas Cowboys, seven players missed practice due to injury or illness, and that doesn't include inside linebacker Sean Lee, the engine of the team's defense who needs foot surgery and was placed on injured reserve. Among the missing for the Cowboys were running backs DeMarco Murray (foot) and Felix Jones (knee) and linebacker DeMarcus Ware (illness). Ware will likely return to practice on Thursday.

The Oakland Raiders received good news as tight end Richard Gordon (hamstring) and running back Taiwan Jones (knee) practiced on Wednesday and could play against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. The Chiefs had all hands on deck for Wednesday's practice, and could get defensive end Glenn Dorsey (calf) and running back Peyton Hillis (ankle) back in action this week.

Good news/bad news for the Cleveland Browns as second-year defensive tackle Phil Taylor has returned to practice after opening the season on the "Reserve/PUP" list. Taylor remains on that list, but returning to practice opens a 21-day window for the team to add him to the 53-man roster. The sooner, the better as starting defensive tackle Ahytba Rubin missed Wednesday's practice with an ankle injury. Eight Browns were limited on Wednesday, including running back Trent Richardson (chest, ribs), safeties T.J. Ward (hand, shoulder) and Usama Young (hamstring) and wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi (hamstring). Their statuses for Sunday's game against the Chargers will be determined later this week. For the Chargers, they return from their bye week in good shape, health-wise, as left tackle Jared Gaither (back) and cornerback Shareece Wright (foot) were the only two players listed on the injury report and both were determined to be "full participants."

Less than 48 hours after playing the Bears, six Detroit Lions missed Wednesday's practice, including defensive end Cliff Avril (back), wide receiver Calvin Johnson (knee), and linebacker DeAndre Levy (hamstring). Cornerback Jacob Lacey remains sidelined by a concussion. The Lions also placed wide receiver Nate Burleson on injured reserve, which means he'll miss Sunday's game against his hometown team, the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks ruled wide receiver Doug Baldwin (ankle) "out" for the Lions game and practiced with cornerback Byron Maxwell (hamstring) and defensive lineman Jason Jones (ankle). Guard John Moffitt (knee) returned to practice on a limited basis.

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