NFC North Blog
The injury bug bit many big-name players on Sunday, including the best running back in the game. Vikings running back Adrian Peterson suffered what his team is calling a sprained foot during the second quarter of its loss to the Ravens. Peterson said after the game that he is experiencing pain in the middle area of his right foot and will undergo an MRI on Monday to find out the extent of the damage. His X-rays came back negative. Peterson finished Week 14 with 13 yards on seven carries.
It appears Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers didn't receive the worst news possible from a series of scans on his injured left collarbone Tuesday, but it must not have been all roses. Head coach Mike McCarthy said later in the day that Rodgers has not been ruled out of playing Sunday versus the Falcons, but he hasn't been cleared to play either. Rodgers has been cleared to practice, which he will do in limited fashion on Wednesday, but McCarthy said quarterback Matt Flynn will get the first-team snaps.
In a perfect world, all of your teams would be 12-0 with nothing to think about other than how much you will dominate in your playoffs. But the truth is many of you who are reading this have your season on the line today, staring at a "win or go home" situation. Good luck to you all.
To help you out, I'll be here all morning to give you the latest on the injured stars heading into today's morning games. Adrian Peterson, Andre Ellington, DeAngelo Williams, Chris Ivory, and Santonio Holmes are just a few of the names I'm watching. Keep refreshing this post until the early kickoffs for all of the news regarding the morning's actives and inactives.
-- In late-game news, ESPN's Adam Schefter says Broncos TE Julius Thomas' chances of playing today versus the Chiefs are "iffy at best." This is unexpected after Thomas practice in some fashion every day this week. The Broncos-Chiefs game doesn't kickoff until after 4 p.m. Eastern. If you can't wait on Thomas, don't risk a zero. Find other options.
-- Buccaneers CB Darrelle Revis is active after missing time last week due to a groin injury. That will make things a little tougher for Steve Smith, but Revis is probably not close to 100 percent healthy. Smith, by the way, is active.
-- In other late-game news, Redskins TE Jordan Reed has been officially cleared to play. He didn't play last week due to a concussion, but he has passed all of his tests leading up to tonight's game versus the Giants, he is a fine TE1 now.
-- Cardinals RB Andre Ellington is officially inactive due to his knee injury. Rashard Mendenhall will get a few extra carries, and Stepfan Taylor should be the team's No. 2 RB today versus the Eagles.
-- Patriots RB Stevan Ridley is INACTIVE, a healthy scratch for today's game versus the Texans. This is what happens when you fumble three games in a row for a Bill Belichick team. Shane Vereen will continue to be a PPR beast, and Brandon Bolden should lead the team in early down work. He is a flex option now.
-- All of the other Patriots on the injury report -- Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady, Danny Amendola, Vereen -- are all active. Use as you would. Amendola is more of a WR3 after a few down weeks, but Gronk remains a must-start. Patriots CB Aqib Talib is also active despite a nagging hip injury. He should be on Andre Johnson all day.
-- Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez is active despite toe injury. He was listed as questionable but remains a low-end TE1.
-- Jets WR Santonio Holmes (hamstring) is active. WR Jeremy Kerley (elbow) is not. Both shouldn't be in your lineup versus Miami's good pass defense.
-- Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams is inactive due to his quad injury. Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert are active. Stewart will start and get the majority of the early down work, but none of these guys are more than so-so flex plays against the Bucs, who have a solid run defense.
-- Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is active despite limited practice due to a groin injury. A monster day could be on the horizon for Peterson against the Bears.
-- Titans WR Kendall Wright is active. He was listed as probable with an ankle injury. Continue to trot Wright out there as a WR2 in PPR leagues, a WR3 in standard.
-- Colts WR T.Y. Hilton is active despite a shoulder injury. I think he's more of a WR3 today versus a Titans pass defense that has allowed just two passing touchdowns since Week 4.
-- Jets RB Chris Ivory is active. He has a balky ankle, but is on the RB2 radar against a leaky Dolphins run defense. He could be a workhorse if the Jets get out front of the Dolphins.
-- Bears RB Matt Forte is active one week after hyperextending his knee. He is an obvious must-start against the Vikings.
-- Jaguars WR Mike Brown is active. He was listed as questionable with a shoulder injury. He is a desperation WR4, but know that No. 2 wideouts have had a lot of success against the Browns, so there's a little upside there.
-- Dolphins WR Rishard Matthews. He probably isn't worth your time. He has really fallen off since his two-touchdown game a few weeks ago.
-- Eagles QB Michael Vick is active. He'll back up Nick Foles.
Bears running back Matt Forte was able to go through limited practice Thursday after resting his hyperextended knee yesterday. Head coach Marc Trestman said Wednesday that he was "optimistic" about Forte playing this Sunday against the Vikings. It seems like he has good reason to be optimistic.
After running through Seneca Wallace, Scott Tolzien, and Matt Flynn as starting quarterbacks in place of the injured Aaron Rodgers and zero wins to show for it, the Packers are in a freefall and just waiting for Rodgers to return from his fractured left collarbone. If Rodgers' own timetable is correct, they won't have to wait another game. Rodgers told ESPN's Bob Holtzman on Thursday that he "thinks" he will be completely healthy before Green Bay's Dec. 8 matchup against the Falcons.
The Packers have gone 0-4-1 since Rodgers got hurt and have fallen a game and a half back of the first-place Lions in the NFC North.
Packers quarterback Matt Flynn started in place of Aaron Rodgers for one game in 2010 and 2011 each. Now, after about two years and nearly $15 million made in five games, it looks like Flynn will have to start in place of Rodgers once again. Flynn took the first-team snaps during Tuesday's practice while Scott Tolzien backed him up. Rodgers is on track to miss his fourth consecutive game due to a fractured left collarbone. He said during a Tuesday radio interview that he has only been cleared to practice so far, not play.
As expected, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been ruled out of the Thanksgiving game against the Lions, and Matt Flynn will start in his place. Head coach Mike McCarthy finally made the move official on Wednesday. Rodgers has been going through some light practice but he hasn't been cleared to play as he continues to recover from a fractured left collarbone.