NFL injury notebook: Packers' Rodgers questionable for Vikings


Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings due to the left knee injury he suffered in the opener against the Chicago Bears.

"Aaron's getting better," Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy told reporters on Friday. "He was in the meeting this morning. I would say he feels better than he did at the beginning of the week."

The Packers didn't practice on Friday but will hold their typical light Saturday on-field workout. Whether or not Rodgers will be a participant remains unknown. Still, Rodgers could play Sunday even if he doesn't participate in the physical phase as he has been doing the mental preparation all week.

Also, receiver Davante Adams (shoulder) is listed as questionable for the Minnesota game. Linebacker Oren Burks (shoulder) also is questionable while safety Josh Jones (ankle) will miss the contest.

--Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette missed practice Friday for the third straight day and was listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the New England Patriots.

Fournette suffered a right hamstring injury during last Sunday's game against the New York Giants. Jaguars coach Doug Marrone termed Fournette as a game-time decision.

"We'll see where he is," Marrone told reporters. "If he's ready go out there, he'll be full go."

Marrone said earlier this week that he was comfortable with Fournette playing even if he didn't practice. T.J. Yeldon will start if Fournette can't play. Yeldon (ankle) was a limited participant in Friday's practice.

--Ben Roethlisberger practiced with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the first time this week, making him the likely starting quarterback Sunday when the Kansas City Chiefs visit Heinz Field.

Roethlisberger missed Wednesday and Thursday practices with an elbow injury but worked with the starting offense on Friday. Roethlisberger declined comment and head coach Mike Tomlin provided no additional details. Roethlisberger was intercepted three times and lost two fumbles in a 21-21 tie in Week 1 against the Cleveland Browns.

Backup quarterback Josh Dobbs took the first-team reps Wednesday and Thursday, Tomlin said. Dobbs said he will be ready "if my number is called."

--Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Houston Texans with a right elbow injury.

Mariota was a limited practice participant for the second straight day on Friday after being listed as a full participant on Wednesday. Titans coach Mike Vrabel was unable to firm up Mariota's chances of playing. Vrabel offered that backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert will likely see action as well.

Two-time Pro Bowl left tackle Taylor Lewan (concussion) hasn't cleared the protocol and won't play Sunday. He was injured against the Dolphins. Tennessee is still missing right tackle Jack Conklin (knee), meaning the Titans will have two backup tackles trying to slow down the Houston trio of J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus.

--Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman will miss Sunday's against the Carolina Panthers because of a lingering knee injury, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Per the report, coach Dan Quinn ruled out his starting running back when he was sidelined for practice again Friday after missing practice all week. Freeman was later listed as out on the team's injury report.

Backup Tevin Coleman will handle the starter's workload when the Falcons host the Panthers on Sunday, with Ito Smith serving as the main backup and Brian Hill to be called up from the practice squad. Also, wide receiver Russell Gage (knee) and guard Ben Garland (calf) also were ruled out of Sunday's game.

--Carolina Panthers Pro Bowl guard Trai Turner was ruled out of Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons due to a concussion.

Turner suffered the injury in the season-opening victory over the Dallas Cowboys. He was placed in the concussion protocol and did not practice all week.

Receiver Damiere Byrd (knee) will miss the game after also being hurt against the Cowboys. Receiver Curtis Samuel (heart) will miss his second straight game.

--Indianapolis left tackle Anthony Castonzo experienced a "minor setback" in his recovery for a hamstring injury and will miss Sunday's game against the Washington Redskins, according to coach Frank Reich. It will be the second straight game Castonzo has missed.

Also ruled out for Sunday's game are defensive lineman Denico Autry (ankle), cornerback Chris Milton (concussion) and offensive lineman Denzelle Good (knee, wrist).

Running back Marlon Mack (questionable, hamstring) is on track to make his season debut. Reich was pleased with what he saw from Mack during Friday's practice.

"He looked good. He's got that explosiveness, that quickness," Reich told reporters. "He's really made good progress. [I} feel confident for the game that if Marlon is up, ready to go, we will use him accordingly."

--Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver DeSean Jackson is listed as questionable with a concussion and a shoulder injury for Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Jackson played for the Eagles from 2008-13. He made five receptions for 146 yards and two touchdowns in a season-opening 48-40 victory over the New Orleans Saints before being injured.

Tampa Bay ruled out cornerback Brent Grimes (groin) and defensive tackle Vita Vea (calf) for the contest. Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (knee) is questionable.

--Philadelphia Eagles running back Darren Sproles' status for Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is up in the air after missing his second straight practice, per multiple reports.

Sproles, 35, was sidelined Thursday and Friday because of a "slight hamstring issue," according to coach Doug Pederson. The 13-year veteran took the bulk of the team's running back snaps in the first half of the Eagles season-opening win over Atlanta, rushing five times for 10 yards and adding four catches for 22 yards. He also served as the team's main punt returner against the Falcons.

If Sproles is out Sunday, the Eagles expect to give more touches to Jay Ajayi and Corey Clement. Pederson admitted easing Ajayi's workload against Atlanta after he had battled a foot injury during the preseason. But Ajayi became what Pederson called the second-half "workhorse" against the Falcons, finishing with 15 carries for 62 yards and two touchdowns.

Clement and wide receiver DeAndre Carter are both candidates to handle punt-return duties Sunday if Sproles can not play.

--The New York Giants had hoped to have pass rusher Olivier Vernon back for Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys, but coach Pat Shurmur said the team has ruled him out.

Vernon missed the season opener with a high ankle sprain suffered near the end of training camp. Shurmur said earlier this week he expected to see Vernon on the field, but after the linebacker missed a third straight practice on Friday, the coach declared he will not dress for the game.

Vernon had 37 tackles, 6 1/2 sacks, an interception and two forced fumbles in 12 games for the Giants in 2017.

--Detroit Lions Pro Bowl guard T.J. Lang will miss Sunday's game against the San Francisco 49ers due to a back injury.

Lang missed most of the preseason with a foot injury before suffering a back injury during Monday night's season-opening loss to the New York Jets.

Defensive end Ezekiel Ansah (shoulder) and running back LeGarrette Blount (shoulder) are listed as questionable. Ansah also left the Jets' game and an MRI exam didn't reveal any significant damage.

--Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry has been listed as doubtful for Sunday's game against Pittsburgh at Heinz Field. He has been dealing with a heel injury since training camp and missed last week's opener.

Berry reportedly is making progress, but there is no timetable set for his return.

He tore an Achilles tendon in the opening game of the 2017 season. He has been named first-team All Pro three times in his career.

--The Los Angeles Rams listed starting linebacker Mike Barron as doubtful because of an Achilles injury. He has missed every practice so far this season.

Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips said he thinks Barron will be on a week-to-week basis for now.

"Yeah, I think so. There's going to be a point when he can, I hope. We hope it's this week. We'll just see," Phillips said.

--Field Level Media

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