Last-minute med check: Week 13

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Plaxico Burress RB NYG: Forget the hamstring, which made him questionable. Being shot in a nightclub incident reminds us just how tenuous things are for all of us. Reports are still mixed on the severity, but for now, let's be glad it's not life-threatening. He's definitely out for Sunday, but just so you know, he wasn't going to play anyway.

Matt Schaub QB HOU: Schaub made a lot of progress over the last week and is probably in line to start next week. He just doesn't have enough normal lateral movement for Gary Kubiak to think he could safely evade hits. Kubiak's smart enough to know that risking Schaub at this stage of the season isn't going to help the Texans win.

Ahmad Bradshaw RB NYG: With Brandon Jacobs likely back, Bradshaw's role doesn't necessarily change. The problem is that Bradshaw's neck is likely to keep him out of Sunday's divisional showdown. That means a power committee of Jacobs and Derrick Ward, with only Ward at 100 percent.

Selvin Young RB DEN: If there's an upside in Young's groin injury, it's that we haven't had to guess so much about who will get the carries in Denver this season. Young is out again this week, but they'll continue to work week to week on getting him back.


Willie Parker RB PIT:Mewelde Moore is the more productive back, but Mike Tomlin doesn't have that stat sheet apparently. With Parker's knee failing, the Steelers still want to see whether he can take the start. You shouldn't wait, but if you need him that bad, I'll be watching for you.


Steven Jackson RB STL: Jackson is going to get the start, but no one seems to convinced that he'll be healthy enough to be effective or do more than share carries this week. Given the roller coaster ride his quad has taken, I'm officially suspicious until his play gives me reason not to be. Even then, I'll wait to see him back at practice before calling it a success.

Brandon Jacobs RB NYG: Jacobs will get the start and share carries with Derrick Ward. The Giants have two power backs, but Jacobs may end up with the "speed" role in order to keep him from being beat up on the inside runs. So, it looks like he'll get the feature touches, but he might miss out on the goal line carries. He's still a must start.

Clinton Portis RB WAS: Portis will play. The one key to this is that the Redskins are honoring Sean Taylor today and Portis has been using Taylor's passing as motivation all year, playing through injuries. There's some question about how much he can handle and I do believe that Ladell Betts will cut into his touches, but it wouldn't surprise me a bit to see Portis have a big day even facing the Giants.

Kellen Winslow TE CLE: Winslow has a great matchup against the Colts speedy but undersized linebackers, especially now that he doesn't have to worry about Bob Sanders lurking somewhere on a crossing pattern. Winslow's shoulder will affect his blocking, but that's not why the Browns pay him. The biggest concern is that the harness does seem to limit the catches he can make over his head, where Derek Anderson tends to put throws.

Reggie Bush RB NO: If Reggie Bush needs a new gig, maybe LeBron James' breakup with Microsoft would help Bush. Or maybe this might be better. No matter, he'll be on the field this week. Some, at least, but not much. Pierre Thomas and Deuce McAllister will get most of the touches.

Eddie Royal WR DEN: The sore toe won't keep him out of the game, but he doesn't have the same burst. That will keep him off special teams. It's up to you to decide how that impacts his value to your team.

Jason McKie FB CHI: I know few of you have McKie on your roster, but some of you do have Matt Forte. The rest probably wish they did. With McKie questionable, the running might be tougher for Forte. McKie's quad is very questionable.

Arnaz Battle WR SF: His foot looks well enough to play, but it will cost him targets. The problem is the Niners have so many mediocre targets, there's no one good one.


Le'Ron McClain RB BAL: The thigh injury is going to limit him to just goal line and short carries, which is all McClain's owners care about anyway.

Marc Bulger QB STL: Bulger is expected to play after coming back from a concussion. Those are always iffy and he hasn't been great when healthy.

Greg Jennings WR GB: The sore ribs were the result of a physical Saints D. Facing a similar defense from Carolina, it's no easy task for Jennings, but he will be out there as the Pack try to come back.

Roddy White WR ATL: The only thing questionable about White is why he's listed that way. The back is no more an issue than last week.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh WR CIN: He's healthy, as is Chad Johnson. That means good things for the Bengals. Or would, if there was anything else good going.

Tashard Choice RB DAL: He's not playing Sunday (since Dallas played on Thursday) but get your waiver claim in. The dislocated toe is going to affect Marion Barber through the regular season and Choice is the only option the Cowboys have now.

Colts DST: Don't mistake losing Bob Sanders for a death blow to the Colts defense. First, they've played well without him and second, they're taking on the Browns.