Reading the New England Patriots' injury list and interpreting it are two entirely different things.
The team looks good on paper at 4-1, but even a casual glance at the Patriots this season reveals how trying things have been to this point.
Tight end Rob Gronkowski has missed the entire season with forearm and back injuries to this point, and there have been conflicting reports about his availability for Sunday's big home game against the New Orleans Saints. Gronkowski officially is listed as questionable.
On the positive side, wide receiver Danny Amendola (groin) and running back Stevan Ridley (knee) — also both questionable — appear solid bets to play.
Both Danny Amendola and Stevan Ridley are listed as questionable, but I'm told both are expected to suit up and play vs. the Saints on Sun.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) October 11, 2013
But defensive tackle Tommy Kelly, on the other hand, did not practice all week and was ruled out with a knee injury. Also out is returner Leon Washington.
The Saints come to Foxboro with only safety Roman Harper ruled out, but several others listed questionable, including defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley (calf), running back Mark Ingram (toe), safety Malcolm Jenkins (neck), corner Keenan Lewis (knee), wide receiver Lance Moore (hand) and offensive tackle Zach Strief (ankle).
Now here's a look at the other key injuries from around the NFL for Sunday's games:
Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers: Larry Fitzgerald's balky hamstring is really causing him problems, and he had a setback this week that leaves him listed questionable for the game, and if he plays he could be limited. The Niners have eight players listed as questionable, including three-fifths of their offensive line — guard Alex Boone (shoulder), tackle Anthony Davis (shoulder) and center Jonathan Goodwin (illness) — and two-thirds of their defensive line — ends Ray McDonald (biceps) and Justin Smith (shoulder) — along with two other defensive starters, in cornerback Carlos Rogers (knee) and linebacker Patrick Willis (groin). The hope is that most should play.
Carolina Panthers at Minnesota Vikings: Panthers defensive tackle Dwan Edwards and safety Robert Lester both have hamstring injuries and are doubtful. Tight end Greg Olsen just needed a few days off with a foot injury; he's probable and will play. The Vikings' biggest worry is if kicker Blair Walsh (non-kicking hamstring), who is questionable, can go. If not, rookie punter Jeff Locke will kick.
Cincinnati Bengals at Buffalo Bills: Thad Lewis will start at quarterback this week for injured EJ Manuel. The Bills also hope to have both corner Stephon Gilmore (wrist) and receiver Stevie Johnson (back), although both are game-time decisions. Running back C.J. Spiller (ankle) is also questionable, but the feeling is he'll play.
Detroit Lions at Cleveland Browns: For the second straight game, Lions receiver Calvin Johnson (knee) will be a game-time decision, but the optimism is higher he'll be able to go. Right tackle Jason Fox and his lingering knee are doubtful. Browns linebackers Quentin Groves (ankle) and Jabaal Sheard (knee) are both questionable.
Green Bay Packers at Baltimore Ravens: Packers linebacker Clay Matthews (thumb) is out indefinitely. For the Ravens, defensive tackle Terrence Cody (knee) is out, and they have a whopping 11 players listed as questionable, including receiver Marlon Brown (thigh), safety Michael Huff (back), receiver Jacoby Jones (knee), defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (hip), guard Kelechi Osemele (back), running back Bernard Pierce (thigh), defensive end Marcus Spears (knee) and receiver Brandon Stokley (thigh).
Jacksonville Jaguars at Denver Broncos: The Jags will head to Denver without their starting quarterback, two Week 1 offensive tackles or their projected starting tight end. The Broncos should have corner Champ Bailey (foot), who is probable, although defensive end Robert Ayers (shoulder) and linebacker Wesley Woodyard (neck) are both doubtful.
Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs: Raiders running back Darren McFadden (hamstring) was limited for three straight practices and is questionable, as is his backup, Rashad Jennings (hamstring). The next man up would be versatile fullback Marcel Reece (knee), who is probable. The Chiefs' tight ends are banged up. Travis Kelce (knee) is out, Anthony Fasano (ankle/knee) is doubtful and Sean McGrath (knee) is probable. The best news they got all week is when Justin Houston (concussion) was upgraded to probable.
Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Michael Vick (hamstring) is listed as questionable, but there is a sense that the team won't risk it and instead will start Nick Foles in his place. For the Bucs, receiver Mike Williams is questionable with a hamstring injury. Also listed as questionable, are guard Carl Nicks and corner Johnthan Banks, both of whom have suffered from the team's staph infection outbreak.
Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Jets: The Steelers are mostly healthy coming off the bye, save for receiver Markus Wheaton (finger), who is out. For the Jets, both receiver Santonio Holmes (foot/hamstring) and corner Dee Milliner (hamstring) are ruled out, but cornerback Antonio Cromartie, who at one point was feared to have a serious knee injury, is questionable.
St. Louis Rams at Houston Texans: Rams corner Cortland Finnegan (thigh) is doubtful. Running back Zac Stacy (ribs) is questionable after practicing Friday and should play. Texans wideout Andre Johnson (shin, hamstring) is questionable but has been saying he'll play.
Tennessee Titans at Seattle Seahawks: Ryan Fitpatrick again will start for Jake Locker (hip). For the Seahawks, right tackle Breno Giacomini (knee) and special-teams ace Spencer Ware (ankle) are out and linebacker Bobby Wagner (ankle) is doubtful.