NFC West Blog
Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer has admitted that the pain in his right (throwing) elbow affected him during last week's loss to the Eagles, and that pain kept him from doing much throughout practice this week. He was limited to throwing only soft tosses on Thursday. However, head coach Bruce Arians expressed confidence Friday when asked if Palmer would play against the Rams, and Palmer handled all of the first-team snaps in Saturday's walk-through. He is officially listed as questionable but is expected to start.
I usually don't pay much mind to most players who miss Wednesday practices. After getting beat up almost every week for close to three months, all of these players could use a little extra time off, especially those on teams that are eyeing a playoff run. But I do get concerned when I see players whom have already taken a lot of time off, including the previous week's game, not return to the practice field Wednesday. Such is the case with Cardinals running back Andre Ellington.
Ellington, who didn't play last week against the Eagles due to a knee injury, missed the day's practice. For what it's worth, he thinks he will be able to suit up this weekend against the Rams.
"I'm fine right now," Ellington said Monday via Darren Urban of the Cardinals' official website. "It's a day by day thing. I'll be ready to go on Sunday."
49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree caught two passes for 68 yards in his 2013 debut on Sunday versus the Rams. But his day was more impressive than those numbers suggest. While some guessed that he would see only 20 snaps in his first game back -- similar to what the Seahawks did with Percy Harvin a couple of weeks ago -- Crabtree actually got the start and was on the field for 42 of San Francisco's 67 offensive snaps, 62.6 percent. One of his two catches went for 60 yards.
NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported Monday that wide receiver Percy Harvin not playing until the postseason is a "real option" for the Seahawks. After undergoing hip surgery in August, Harvin made his debut in Week 12. But then he experienced a setback with his hip and didn't play tonight versus the Saints. He has received multiple cortisone injections in his hip, and now the team is waiting to see how he responds before making a decision on what to do with Harvin.
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.
Fantasy owners have been waiting all season to start Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin with confidence, and there was hope that this week's game versus the Saints would finally present that time. Well, hold everything. Harvin didn't practice on Thursday or Friday, and NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reports that's because his surgically repaired hip "flared up." Rapoport added on Twitter, "[Harvin is] seeing doctors today, but his status for [Monday Night Football] is in doubt." In fact, Harvin is officially doubtful to play.
The 49ers' offense will look as complete as it has looked all year against the Rams on Sunday. That's because wide receiver Michael Crabtree will make his 2013 debut, the team has confirmed. It will come a little more than six months after Crabtree tore his Achilles tendon. He will be joined by a man who has played in every game this year, running back Frank Gore. Gore has been battling an ankle ailment, which he aggravated last week. He was limited during all practices but is officially listed as probable for Week 13.
Rams running back Zac Stacy still hasn't been cleared for contact following his Week 12 concussion, but he took a step forward as he practiced Thursday one day after not practicing at all. Benny Cunningham is waiting in the wings if Stacy is unable to play this weekend versus the 49ers.
We have a dreaded mid-week addition to an injury report. Cardinals running back Andre Ellington popped up on the report Thursday with a knee injury. He was listed as limited during the day's practice. There are no specifics on the injury or exactly when Ellington suffered it. Head coach Bruce Arians might shed some light Friday.
Rams running back Zac Stacy was limited to minimal work during the walk-through portion of Wednesday's practice. Officially, he did not practice and is still working his way through the league's concussion protocol. He left Sunday's game against the Bears in the third quarter due to the traumatic brain injury.