First off, I just want to wish all of you Happy Holidays on this fine Wednesday morning. Thanks for reading Rotoworld again this season. It’s been one of, if not the heaviest, trafficked year in our history. Hopefully the bulk of you brought home cash, trophies, and/or bragging rights from your fantasy leagues last weekend.
News Nugget #1
Aaron Rodgers made his weekly radio show appearance Tuesday and shed some light on his Week 17 situation one day after coach Mike McCarthy said the team plans to make a call on Rodgers (collarbone) “sooner rather than later” this week. Rodgers took that a step further and said a decision on whether he will start the winner-takes-the-NFC-North or not will be made on Thursday. The Packers had previously been huddling on Fridays to discuss Rodgers’ weekly status.
"We have done a scan [within the last 24 hours] and we are going through the process of evaluation," Rodgers said. "It will be definitive one way or another on Thursday. I've been feeling better every week. Last week felt great at practice. Comes down to is the bone healed or is there a large risk that's too great that the organization wouldn't want to put me out there? If you want to be mad at anybody be mad that my collarbone hasn't healed the way we've wanted it to."
Rodgers didn’t let on which way or the other the team was leaning. He didn’t sound overly optimistic, however. This could truly go either way because the only four people that really know what’s going on are Rodgers, McCarthy, GM Ted Thompson and team Dr. Pat McKenzie. Everything else is just hearsay. Right now, we’d side slightly with Matt Flynn getting the start against the Bears. But we’ll have a definitive answer sometime on Thursday.
News Nugget #2
Coach Andy Reid confirmed on Tuesday that his starters and backup will split first-team reps in practice this week ahead of the Week 17 finale against the Chargers. Kansas City is locked into the No. 5 seed for the AFC playoffs and has nothing to gain by playing its starters. Look for Jamaal Charles, Alex Smith, Dwayne Bowe and company to play maybe a series or two in the meaningless game, while the Knile Davises, Chase Daniels and Junior Hemingways of the world play three quarters or more. This is the exact reason most fantasy leagues don’t play through Week 17. It’s too much of a guessing game as to who is and isn’t going to play.
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News Nugget #3
Coach Pete Carroll hinted Tuesday afternoon that the team may be forced to make a roster decision with Percy Harvin (hip) in the very near future. The only way we interpret that is that the Seahawks are considering sending Harvin to season-ending injured reserve. He wouldn’t be available for the playoffs if that happened, and it would be a devastating end to what’s already been a lost season for the dynamic playmaker. Harvin simply hasn’t been making enough progress and may need another few months of rehab. If Harvin does go to I.R., the Seahawks will roll with Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse as their top three wide receivers for the postseason run. Baldwin has turned into the No. 1.
Quarterback/Running Back Slants
Cam Newton’s toe and ankle are fine. … Joe Flacco says his knee feels a lot better. … Tony Romo (back) reportedly received an epidural injection and the Cowboys will see how he progresses. There’s no way a doctor will clear him to play with a herniated disk. The Cowboys signed Jon Kitna to back up Kyle Orton. Yes, that Jon Kitna. The 41-year-old one who has attempted ten passes since 2010 and hasn’t played in two years. … Terrelle Pryor apologized for his agent’s strong remarks on Monday night. Pryor’s agent’s statements did nobody any good. Coach Dennis Allen called the remarks the “stupidest friggin’ thing I’ve ever heard.” … Interim coach Wade Phillips indicated T.J. Yates is not an option to start the Week 17 finale against the Titans. … E.J. Manuel (knee) was practicing Tuesday. The Bills will revisit him on Thursday. … Jason Campbell will make the Week 17 start for the Browns against the Steelers. … The Texans officially placed Deji Karim (collarbone) on I.R. With Dennis Johnson (hip) also in doubt for Week 17, the Texans named Jonathan Grimes the starter for the finale and signed Ray Graham to help out as a backup. … Maurice Jones-Drew (hamstring) did not practice Tuesday. … Adrian Peterson (foot, groin) and Toby Gerhart (hamstring) did not practice Tuesday. Joe Banyard may get the start in the finale against the Lions. … Fred Jackson (ribs) did not practice Tuesday. … Jonathan Stewart (knee) didn’t practice and won’t play this week against the Falcons. … Shane Vereen (groin) was at practice Tuesday. … Coach Pete Carroll said he’s not ready to give Christine Michael more chances anytime soon. … Ryan Mathews (ankle) is expected to be fine for Sunday’s Week 17 game against the Chiefs. … Ben Tate (ribs, I.R.) believes he’s played his last snap with the Texans. He’ll be a free agent in March.
Wide Receiver/Tight End Slants
Calvin Johnson declined to comment on a Deadspin tip that he’s been playing with a partially torn PCL in his right knee. … Nate Washington didn’t say he’d be opposed to a pay cut but also didn’t say he’d be open to one. Washington is set to earn $4.8 million in the final year of his deal with the Titans in 2014. … Stevie Johnson (personal) remained absent from the Bills. Marquise Goodwin (knee) was practicing. … Kenbrell Thompkins (hip) and Josh Boyce (ankle) were both practicing. … Markus Wheaton broke another finger last Sunday. He’ll attempt to play with a splint. Wheaton broke his pinkie finger earlier this season. … Emmanuel Sanders avoided a serious knee injury. … Cecil Shorts says he’ll need six weeks of rehab after last week’s sports hernia surgery. … Jermaine Gresham (abdomen) and Tyler Eifert (neck) did not practice Tuesday. Gresham should be fine. … Jordan Cameron (concussion) remains sidelined.