Head2Head Sports

MenuSkip to content

Football

Pro Playoff Pick'em

Latest Player News

Rolando McClain (shoulder) practiced on a limited basis Wednesday, the Cowboys' official site reports.

Impact

McClain has endured a groin injury throughout much of the season, but his shoulder is currently a bother. His return to the NFL has been fruitful for IDP purposes – 38 tackles (29 solo), three passes defended, two interceptions, one forced fumble, and one sack in seven games – but owners must wait out the week to ensure that additions will be made to his ledger Sunday against the Cardinals.

Greg Salas (wrist/ankle) practiced fully Wednesday, the Jets' official site reports.

Impact

With the Jets' acquisition of Percy Harvin, Salas now slots in no higher than fourth on the Jets' wideout depth chart, with Eric Decker and Jeremy Kerley also in the mix at the position.

L.J. Fort has been promoted from the practice squad to the Seahawks, Nick Eaton of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports.

Impact

This is a depth move for a team thin at linebacker thanks to Bobby Wagner's toe injury and possibly Malcolm Smith's groin injury. Fort saw time at linebacker and fullback during his time on the practice squad, but should figure to mostly play special teams and occasionally fill in at linebacker.

Geno Smith (shoulder) didn't throw any passes during the media-access portion of Wednesday's practice, ESPN.com reports.

Impact

Smith was officially listed as a limited participant by the Jets, but if he is unable to suit up Sunday against the Chiefs, the team would presumably promote Matt Simms from the practice squad to back up Week 9 starter Michael Vick.

Coach Lovie Smith said Wednesday that Charles Sims (ankle) could make his NFL debut Sunday in Cleveland, Scott Smith of the Buccaneers' official site reports.

Impact

Before the regular season kicked off, Sims landed on the IR/designated-to-return list following a mid-August procedure on his right ankle, but eight weeks have passed, and the rookie is eligible to suit up Sunday. Meanwhile, fellow running back Doug Martin is suffering through an ankle injury himself, which has forced a walking boot upon him. Out of necessity, the Bucs may require Sims' presence out of a backfield that counts only Bobby Rainey and Mike James as healthy. Because Sims' own ankle doesn't appear to be a concern due to Smith's optimism, owners in dire need of RB aid should take a flier on Sims.

Justin Forsett, who did not practice Wednesday, relayed that he has a minor ankle injury, Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun reports.

Impact

Meanwhile, the report adds that Forsett plans to play Sunday night against the Steelers, an optimistic outcome that would be supported by the running back's return to practice in some capacity Thursday or Friday.

Vincent Jackson (rib) was a limited participant in practice Wednesday, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Impact

The trade deadline came and went, with Jackson remaining in Tampa Bay, after garnering significant interest around the league. Meanwhile, a rib injury has accompanied him since preparation for Week 6, which has resulted in a combined five receptions (on 18 targets) for 79 yards in the past two games. At the very least, the target count is encouraging, meaning improved health could result in more productive performances.

Ronnie Hillman was limited at practice Wednesday with a shoulder issue, Mike Klis of the Denver Post reports.

Impact

Coach John Fox relays that the running back "landed funny" at practice, resulting in his limitations. More on Hillman's activity no later than Thursday, with his status now worth monitoring in advance of Sunday's game against the Patriots.

Alan Branch signed with the Patriots on Wednesday, ESPN.com reports.

Impact

The move was expected, but not finalized until Wednesday, with linebacker Deontae Skinner released in a corresponding move. The addition of Branch bolsters the interior of the Patriots' defensive line, which also features the likes of Vince Wilfork, Casey Walker and Chris Jones.

Tony Romo (back) said Wednesday that his availability for Sunday's game versus the Cardinals will come down his ability to run the Cowboys' offense, the Dallas Morning News reports. "If it turns out to be just the pain tolerance, I will play," he stated. "That part has never been an issue. But you've got to wait to see. It will be about your ability to be productive in some fashion. That part of it, we will continue to evaluate."

Impact

Romo's contention conflicts with Jerry Jones' comments Wednesday that his quarterback's Week 9 status will be contingent upon pain tolerance. Clearly, Romo's journey throughout the week will be scrutinized with a fine toothed-comb, as he substitutes the practice field for the trainer's room. A call on active status Sunday, one way or the other, could come down to a game-time decision, meaning owners should have a plan in place in case he's donning a headset in support of Brandon Weeden.

The Rams have signed Damian Williams, Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

Impact

Williams gives the Rams some added depth at wideout, with Brian Quick having landed on IR on Wednesday due to a shoulder injury.

Corey Brown (concussion) won't play Thursday against the Saints, the Charlotte Observer reports.

Impact

Brown's continued absence is a bigger hit to the Panthers' return game and depth at wideout than it is to fantasy owners, given his limited role in the team's passing offense of late.

Robert Griffin (ankle) was a full participant in Wednesday's practice, Mike Jones of the Washington Post reports.

Impact

Since returning to practice last Wednesday, Griffin's rapid progress is aiding the belief that he'll be able to play Sunday at Minnesota. However, coach Jay Gruden called Wednesday's practice a "glorified walkthrough," while pointing to Thursday and Friday as the "key" to unlock active status in Week 9, John Keim of ESPN.com reports. According to Albert Breer of NFL Network, though, Griffin will split first-ream reps with Colt McCoy, whose performance Monday in Dallas – 25-of-30 passing for 299 yards, one interception, and one rushing touchdown – provides a fair fallback option for Gruden, if Griffin doesn't receive clearance.

Anthony Dixon was on the field for 41-of-55 snaps on offense in Week 8's win over the Jets, wgr550.com reports.

Impact

Meanwhile, in the absence of both Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller, fellow RB Bryce Brown was on the field for 14 snaps this past Sunday. Neither back churned out many yards per carry in the contest – Dixon had 22 carries for 44 yards, while Brown ran seven times for 15 yards – but for now, Dixon seems a decent bet to start again once the Bills return to action from their Week 9 bye. That assumes Fred Jackson's continued absence, though in such a scenario it's not difficult to imagine Brown closing the gap in terms of his snap count (in relation to Dixon's) during Week 10's contest against the Chiefs on Nov. 9.

Donald Brown (concussion) practiced Wednesday, Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

Impact

Brown's status for Sunday's game against the Dolphins is still cloudy, but his return to practice Wednesday is clearly a step in the right direction for the running back, who last saw game action in Week 5. With Ryan Mathews iffy this week and the team on bye in Week 10, the Chargers may continue to feature Branden Oliver on Sunday, with an eye toward having an intact backfield on hand in Week 11.

Ryan Mathews (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

Impact

While Mathews has been progressing and thus far hasn't been ruled out this week, Gehlken suggests that it appears likely that the running back will be rested through the Chargers' Week 10 bye, a scenario that would set the stage for his potential return to the team's backfield on Nov. 16 against the Raiders.

Ron Parker had an interception, a sack, a pass deflection and four tackles Sunday against the Rams.

Impact

Parker continues to impress in relief of Eric Berry at safety. When Berry returns, as it appears he will at some point in the near future, Parker will likely move back to cornerback where he should challenge for a starting gig.

Allen Bailey recorded 1.5 sacks and four tackles (three solo) against the Rams on Sunday.

Impact

Bailey also had 1.5 sacks in Week 5, but was quiet against the 49ers a few weeks ago, after Kansas City's bye. He has more sacks through seven games this season than he's had over his first three seasons combined (largely due to extra playing time). If he is able to continue producing, he may keep his starting job heading into next season.

Tyler Eifert (elbow, IR/designated to return) proceeded to the rehab field during Wednesday's practice, the Bengals' official site reports.

Impact

Though Eifert is eligible to play as soon as a week from Thursday in Week 10's contest against the Browns, the report suggests that at this stage it doesn't look like the tight end will be ready for that contest. We'll let you know if optimism on that front increases in the coming days, though it's worth noting that the Cincinnati Enquirer previously suggested that a potential Week 11 return to action for Eifert appears to be a more plausible scenario.

Thomas DeCoud (hamstring) is listed as questionable for Thursday's game versus the Saints, the Panthers' official site reports.

Impact

DeCoud's limited showing in practice Wednesday provides a glimmer of hope for active status on a short week. Still, he's averaging just four tackles per game to go with one interception this season, which tempers his potential in IDP formats. If he's unable to take the field, Colin Jones is the likely candidate to cover free safety in place of DeCoud.