Dodging a bullet

John Murphy
Yahoo! Sports

Last week, Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck got hurt again, the Dolphins had a "Brown" out, the Saints earned a big win thanks to a speedy receiver not named Colston and the Steelers suffered a big loss on the field and two more off of it.

Let's go to the injury report and find out who's in, who's out and who might be getting signed for Week 13.

Matt Hasselbeck of the Seattle Seahawks felt fine against the Packers on Monday night, his first game back after missing four with a knee injury. But he came out of the game with a broken finger on his left non-throwing hand, though it is not expected to keep him out against Denver. He will have it placed in a splint and it will be re-evaluated later this week to see how he can best protect the finger and also limit the chances of creating turnovers on the snap since the ball will potentially hit that finger on one or more occasions.

Donovan McNabb of the Philadelphia Eagles had successful surgery to repair his torn ACL and team doctors say there is a good chance that if his rehab goes well, he could return in time for the start of next season.

Ronnie Brown of the Miami Dolphins rebounded quickly from a groin injury to play on Thanksgiving Day against the Lions, but broke his left hand. The injury required surgery and he will potentially miss the next 2-3 weeks. As a result, the Dolphins will go with veteran Sammy Morris to start and have versatile Travis Minor and Patrick Cobbs as backups.

Kevin Jones of the Detroit Lions is still in the process of recovering from an ankle injury that kept him out of last week's game against the Miami Dolphins. He is still questionable for this week's game, so there is a good chance that Arlen Harris and Aveion Cason will share the workload.

Chris Perry of the Cincinnati Bengals was placed on the IR after suffering an ankle injury in last weekend's victory over the Browns. He has shown flashes of potential, but his lack of durability is sure to create talk of either signing or drafting another young back in the offseason. Veteran Kenny Watson will re-assume the primary backup spot.

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Marques Colston has undergone vigorous treatment and rehab to rebound from the high left ankle sprain he suffered two weeks ago against the Ravens. He tried to run and cut on it before last week's game against Atlanta, but felt a little too much pain to push it on the Georgia Dome turf. Colston expects to be a game-time decision Sunday against the 49ers, but will play if the pain from last week has subsided to a more tolerable level in pregame warmups.

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward will miss this week's game. He failed to practice after suffering a hyperextended knee two weeks ago in a win over Cleveland. An MRI showed no further damage, but Ward, who has only missed one game in his career, could he be out for more than just this weekend. As a result, Nate Washington would see more passes come his way.

Baltimore Ravens tight end Todd Heap is listed as questionable with a back injury. He expects to start and play in Thursday night's game against Cincinnati. Heap leads the team with 51 catches and six touchdowns. The Ravens also feel that running back Jamal Lewis, who is listed as questionable with a foot injury, will be ready to handle a full load of carries, as his play has been rejuvenated under the play calling of coach Brian Billick.

Indianapolis Colts tight end Dallas Clark is out for this week's game against the Titans and might be sidelined for the rest of the season after suffering a major knee injury against the Eagles. The Colts plan to use a combination of Ben Utecht and Bryan Fletcher in his place. Both are capable receivers, but neither are ideal in-line blockers.

The Saints have placed tight end Ernie Conwell on the IR list ending his 2006 season. They have yet to find an adequate replacement for the consistent veteran, but it has not slowed down the league's top passing attack. Veteran Mark Campbell and Billy Miller will continue to split the reps.

The Raiders have lost another offensive lineman as Adam Treu was placed on the season-ending IR list. Subsequently, rookie center Chris Morris was promoted to the active roster from the practice squad. The Raiders are currently without starting left tackle Robert Gallery and over the final six weeks of the season, could rotate two or three rookie linemen into a front five that has been one of the team's biggest weaknesses.

Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis is listed as probable against the Bengals, but will work with the team in pregame to determine if he can play or not. Expect Lewis, who missed two of the previous three games, to make every effort to play against Cincy. If he's out, the Ravens will continue to use linebacker Bart Scott in Lewis' place with Dennis Haley and Jarret Johnson sharing the reps at the other inside linebacker spot. The Ravens will be without the services of outside linebacker Dan Cody and defensive tackle Justin Bannan.

New York Giants defensive ends Osi Umenyiora (hip) and Michael Strahan (foot) will both be out of action again this week. Umenyiora is still trying to get back on the field for the Cowboys game, but it is less than 50/50 that he will be given the go-ahead by the team's medical staff by Sunday. The Giants hope to have cornerback Sam Madison and linebacker Brandon Short back, but there is no guarantee either will be active or 100 percent for Sunday's contest.

New England Patriots linebacker Junior Seau will miss the rest of the season after being placed on the IR with a broken right arm/forearm. Seau had given the Patriots a steady influence at inside linebacker, but he will now be replaced by Mike Vrabel, while Tully Banta-Cain gets the starting nod at outside linebacker.

Steelers safety Troy Polamalu has been ruled out of Sunday's game due to a knee injury suffered in last week's loss to Baltimore. The coaching staff originally feared that he could be lost for the season, but it looks as if he could return to the lineup in a few weeks. Rookie Anthony Smith will see an increased role in the defense in the absence of Polamalu.

Atlanta Falcons cornerback Jason Webster was unable to complete practice on Wednesday and is out for this week's game against Washington. The Falcons plan to use Omare Lowe in his place unless rookie Jimmy Williams is able to rebound from his own ankle injury.

In addition to signing veteran Martin Gramatica, who replaces Mike Vanderjagt the Dallas Cowboys have been forced to sign a second kicker to the practice squad in case they need a kickoff specialist down the line.

Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski missed practice on Wednesday due to a recurring back injury. If Janikowski is unable to go, the team is expected to sign one of several kickers they plan to work out this week. It is not considered a long-term issue, although it could affect his accuracy over the short term if he tries to return too quickly.

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