Last-Minute Med Check -- Week 6

Let's get this straight: health and effectiveness are two entirely separate things. They often go hand in hand, but you have to delve beyond mere definition and certainly in the Official Injury Report to get a handle on both. There's almost a Rumsfeld taxonomy of the pair of conditions: healthy and effective, healthy but not effective, not healthy but effective, and the dreaded not health and not effective. Understand the context of a player's and a team's health is key in assessing things. Is 100 percent of an RB2 better than an RB1 who's at 75 percent? Fifty percent? What if that injured RB1 doesn't have a solid backup? Is it smarter to play him in that situation or will increased playing time just make him more likely to get more injured? These are the decisions that coaches are making every week and the kind that make you agonize every Sunday before setting your lineup. You should have better backups than Norv Turner, Mike Holmgren or Andy Reid, so take some solace in that. Here's the injuries for this week and be sure to check back for last second updates:


LaDainian Tomlinson RB SD It's a big game, so Tomlinson will play, but is he healthy enough to be a better option than Darren Sproles? That remains to be seen. Tomlinson needs to limp -- literally -- through the bye week so that he can carry -- again, literally -- the Chargers to the playoffs.

Brian Westbrook RB PHI The ribs are going to keep him out this week as the Eagles make the smart play, doubling down on healing time with the upcoming bye week.

Carson Palmer QB CIN The Bengals confirmed what we already know, leaving Palmer on the inactive list. One rumbling I heard on calls this morning is that the Bengals are willing to shut Palmer down if the team doesn't get a win in the next couple weeks. My bet is that Palmer won't be on the field for the next couple games, at least.

Marques Colston WR NO In a surprise, the Saints elected against playing Colston. He's on the inactive list for today's game.

Laurence Maroney RB NE When the Pats are activating Benjarvus Green-Ellis, who has the greatest name in the NFL but not much value in the NFL, you know things are bad for Maroney. Whether its the shoulder or other issues, you just can't risk starting Maroney.

Kellen Winslow TE CLE Sources confirm that Winslow is definitely out for Monday night's game, though not much new is known about his condition.

Jeremy Shockey TE NO Shockey wasn't able to practice Friday and won't suit up for the Saints. He's likely to be back next week, so it's worth checking the waiver wire.

Anquan Boldin WR ARZ Boldin's repaired sinuses will get to rest through next week's bye week.

Kevin Curtis WR PHI He's back, but still limited. Look for him to act as a WR3, but to have some designed plays for him. He'll be back to 100 percent after the bye. Donovan McNabb could be a nice buy-low.

Reggie Brown WR PHI With Curtis back, Brown won't be asked to test his groin. The bye week should help him heal up.

Anthony Gonzalez WR IND He was back at practice after grading out okay on his concussion screen. Peyton Manning's going to need all his weapons against the Ravens defense, especially since Joseph Addai seems unable to establish himself.

LaMont Jordan RB NE He's out this week with a foot injury, leaving Kevin Faulk and Sammy Morris to lead the way, with Laurence Maroney in the mix in some form or fashion. It's a pure committee back there.

Selvin Young RB DEN Out with a groin strain, Michael Pittman and Andre Hall will try to establish something ahead of Ryan Torain's return.

Deion Branch WR SEA Out again, this time with a heel injury. Indications are that this may not be as serious as it looked last Sunday, but he's definitely out at least this week.

Jon Kitna QB DET Kitna's back strain and performance give backup Dan Orlovsky the shot to lead this awful offense.

Bernard Berrian WR MIN There's conflicting reports on Berrian's knee. Right now I'll leave him as red, but I'll be watching this one closely. If he plays, he'll be valuable since Sidney Rice won't and the Vikings can't lean too much on Adrian Peterson. High-risk, high-reward play.

Matt Hasselbeck QB SEA The final decision hasn't been made, but the Seahawks seem to be going with Charlie Frye this week. Hasselbeck's knee is an issue and apparently Mike Holmgren is worried the lack of protection the Seahawks have provided this year would put Hasselbeck at serious risk of further injury.


Chris Chambers WR SD Chambers rolled his ankle on the last play of the game last week. He's still very hobbled and unlikely to play, though they'll give him a chance to make his case in warmups.

Vincent Jackson WR SD With Chambers' ankle, Jackson's injured knee won't help things and could lead the Chargers to some odd sets and trick plays. If he's healthy enough, Jackson could be a weapon, but he's such a tease.

Antonio Gates TE SD Not on the OIR? That's a joke. He's still hobbled, still at least a step slow, but he will play and be a red zone target.

Roddy White WR ATL It's almost funny, but White's unintentional Gus Frerotte impression in practice this week has the Falcons worried. He's going to try it in warmups, but it will cost him some snaps and therefore some targets.

James Jones WR GB Missing practice this week will cost him targets, assuming he even plays. The Pack will be run-heavy, anyway.

Eddie Royal WR DEN Royal's ankle has the speed WR hobbled. If Darrell Jackson and Brandon Stokely can go, Royal won't.

Colts DST Bob Sanders is weeks away, Dwight Freeney is banged up, and there's problems in the secondary, too. The Ravens are going to try to roll over a weak defense that's shown they can be beaten by wearing them down. LeRon McClain could be huge this week.

Darren McFadden RB OAK As you'll read below, Justin Fargas is back while McFadden is still trying to heal up his toe. He'll be the No. 2 until he's healthy or until Fargas breaks down again, whichever comes first.

Panthers O-Line All sorts of injuries to the line create a changed offense. As you saw last week, that isn't necessarily a bad thing.


Aaron Rodgers QB GB Don't worry about his lack of practice time. Rodgers will be under center, though the Packers look to run on the Seahawks.

Willis McGahee RB BAL Cam Cameron says he's "healthy enough" and the Colts D will likely make him look healthier than he is.

Justin Fargas RB OAK Back from the groin strain, Fargas buys time for McFadden to heal up. He's the RB1, for now.

Calvin Johnson WR DET Johnson's listed as "questionable" on the OIR. Let me answer that: he'll play.

Donte Stallworth WR CLE This finally looks like the week he'll play, though he's back to being the "Human Hamstring Pull." With Winslow out, the Browns attack needs something and Stallworth is at least a deep threat.

Cowboys DST Terrence Newman is out after groin surgery and Adam Jones is back to acting like Pacman. The front seven? Still dominant enough.

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