Rob Gronkowski will allegedly make his own decision for when to return to the starting lineup in New England. The tight end saw Dr. James Andrews on Friday, who did not clear him for play. This was a second opinion after Patriots’ doctors did clear him to play. Apparently Gronkowski distrusts the team’s medical staff because they possibly cleared him too early in 2012.
Danny Amendola is expected to play his third game and should get more work this week. Julian Edelman may continue to be relevant while Gronkowski sits; he had seven targets last week with Amendola in the lineup, and still returns punts. Stevan Ridley is expected to play although he is listed as questionable. LeGarrette Blount should remain relevant until Shane Vereen returns.
Marshawn Lynch missed practice on Friday with a “little hip thing,” according to coach Pete Carroll. He also insisted the running back would start Sunday, though Lynch is listed as questionable. Make sure the Seahawks list him as active today.
Calvin Johnson is battling a knee injury and will be a game-time decision again for the Lions. Nate Burleson will likely be out until November. He may be the first player to miss time due to pizza; he crashed his car earlier this season when reaching for a fallen box of pizza.
Michael Vick is not expected to play with a hamstring pull. Originally targeting a Week 7 return, he said he is “still working to get back to it, get to 100 percent, you know. So it’s going to be a long road.” There is obviously new doubt raised by this comment. Coach Chip Kelly already said the backup could earn the starting job with good play today. That means Nick Foles may have more than one chance as a starter to prove his worth.
Adrian Peterson is expected to play, after the horrible news of his son’s death on Friday. “I’m able to release a lot of stress through sports,” Peterson told reporters. “I really appreciate all the support from fans and the Vikings. I ask y’all respect my privacy.”
Ryan Mathews cleared concussion tests and should be able to play Monday against the Colts. The Chargers running back left last week’s game in Oakland after a knee to the head.
Darren McFadden is still struggling through a hamstring injury. When asked if he has gone full burst, he said, “Pretty close.” It sounds like McFadden will miss another game, but it’s worth checking his official status prior to kickoff. Oakland plays a 1 p.m. game in Kansas City today. Rashad Jennings is likely to start again at running back. Jennings rushed 10 times for 41 yards last week, but left the game early with a pulled hamstring. May be time to switch the Raiders’ Gatorade jugs to the “Don’t Pull My Hamstring” flavor.
Bernard Pierce had 11 carries last week in Miami, though Ray Rice received 33 total touches. Pierce remains questionable with a thigh injury. Marlon Brown is also questionable with a thigh injury, but told reporter Aaron Wilson that he will be “good to go” today. Brown missed last week’s game because of this injury.
C.J. Spiller sprained his ankle in week four, during a game in which he rushed 23 times for 77 yards (3.3 yards per carry). Last week, he only touched the ball eight times while Fred Jackson received 21 touches for 93 yards and two scores. Ian Rapoport said that Spiller will play today against an intimidating Bengals defense. Thad Lewis will start at quarterback. Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett said, “I was blown away when I first started talking to him. I started asking him all these questions, and he knew the answers.” Lewis has one career start on his record, as a Cleveland Brown last year against the Steelers. Lewis threw 22 of 32 (68.8 percent complete) for 204 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Stevie Johnson will be a game-time decision according to Doug Marrone.
Jeff Fisher confirmed on Monday that Zac Stacy would return as starter for the Rams. In his first start last week, Stacy has 14 rushes for 78 yards (5.6 yards per carry). He left in the fourth quarter because of a rib injury, though it doesn’t sound as though that was a serious injury.
Andre Johnson (shin) will be a game-time decision for Houston today. The wide receiver said he feels better this week, after catching only three balls in Week 5. Check his status before kickoff against St. Louis.
Mike Williams missed practice on Friday for the Buccaneers. His status is unknown. Rookie quarterback Mike Glennon will get his second career start. In his last game, the rookie from NC State threw for 193 yards, one score, and two interceptions. Tamper your expectations in Tampa.
Larry Fitzgerald is still battling hamstring issues, as he has all season. Through five games, Fitzgerald has averaged only 4.8 receptions for 57.6 yards and 0.6 scores. Apparently, he is being affected by a different area of his hamstring than earlier in the season. Though expected to play, he is listed as questionable for the 4:25 kickoff. The hamstring news is certainly not good for Fitzgerald owners. Add this to the list of disappointing skill players for 2013.
Miles Austin will play Sunday night against the Redskins, as reported by ESPN Dallas. The eighth year receiver has missed two games due to an injured hamstring, and rookie Terrance Williams has played well as a replacement. Austin owners should lower their expectations for their oft-injured player. Williams played well in the last two games as a starter, catching 11 passes for 222 yards and a score. Tony Romo has had plenty of success with backup receivers before, having elevated the careers of Austin and Laurent Robinson, to name two. Dallas expects a lot from Williams, who was taken in the third round last April.
Stats courtesy of pro-football-reference.com.
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