NFL Week 2 injury roundup: Key active/inactive players
In the NFL’s constant war of attrition, injuries can decide games, seasons and a whole lot of futures. Here’s who will give it a shot, and who will not, for the morning and afternoon games as we head into Week 2 of the 2013 season:
• Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals (hamstring): It was expected that Fitzgerald would start, but now, it’s official. Jay Glazer of FOX Sports reported that Fitzgerald will play at about “80 percent,” but 80 percent of Fitzgerald is obviously better than 100 percent of most any other receiver — especially against a Lions secondary that allowed 140 catches to Vikings receiver Jerome Simpson last week. As you well know, Jerome Simpson is no Larry Fitzgerald — 80 percent or not.
• Roddy White, WR, Atlanta Falcons (ankle) and Julio Jones, WR Atlanta Falcons (knee): Jones led the Falcons in targets last Sunday in the Falcons’ 23-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints, but that could change against the Rams. Jones was limited in Friday practice and listed as questionable on Friday’s injury report with a knee issue. White is still trying to get past the high ankle sprain he’s been dealing with for a while, but Falcons head coach Mike Smith had said that both players would suit up. White caught two passes in two targets for 19 yards, so adjust your fantasy expectations accordingly.
• Jermichael Finley, TE, Green Bay Packers (toe): Finley traveled to Minnesota this week to get his toe checked out, and told ESPN Milwaukee on Friday that he would find a way to go. Even if he’s a push against the Redskins defense, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb were Aaron Rodgers’ primary targets against the 49ers, and that should continue against Washington’s leaky secondary.
• Chris Long, DE, St. Louis Rams (hip): Long was on the Rams’ injury report as questionable, and he missed Friday’s practice, but that was most likely a rest day. The Rams will unleash Long on Falcons right tackle Lamar Holmes, who was completely overmatched and overwhelmed against the Saints last week.
• Prince Amukamara, CB, New York Giants (concussion): Amukamara suffered a brutal hit to the head from his own teammate against the Cowboys, but he’s good to go against the Broncos, and that’s obviously huge for a New York defense that will be playing quite a bit of nickel against Peyton Manning’s thermonuclear passing offense.
• Nick Fairley, DT, Detroit Lions (shoulder): Fairley was listed as questionable on Friday’s injury report, but he did practice that day. Last week against the Vikings, Fairley was good for two sacks, tying Tennessee’s Jurrell Casey for the lead among defensive tackles. With him out against the Cardinals, the Lions will entrust Justin Bannan with the start alongside Ndamukong Suh.
• Ed Reed, S, Houston Texans (hip): Reed is still getting into game shape from offseason hip surgery, so Shiloh Keo will start against the Titans. At most, Reed was expected to ease back into game shape in passing downs in the Texans’ dime defenses, and we’ll have to wait at least one more week to see what that looks like.
• Carl Nicks, OG, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (toe): The staph infection Nicks picked up in the Bucs’ locker room (well, allegedly), continues to affect the team’s offense. Gabe Carimi is expected to replace one of the best run-blocking guards in the league against New Orleans’ ravenous defense.
• Morgan Burnett, S, Green Bay Packers (hamstring): Burnett is a great pass defender, and his absence was felt against the 49ers. Robert Griffin III might not be ready to light up Green Bay’s defense in the same way on the wet Lambeau Field turf, but the Packers’ back seven bears watching with Burnett gone and cornerback Casey Hayward still on the mend.
• Dwayne Allen, TE, Indianapolis Colts (hip): Allen’s absence will be a problem for Andrew Luck. Not only is the second-year tight end a dynamic target from the line and the H-back position, but he also provides excellent blocking when healthy. Luck will be running for safety quite a bit against a Miami pass rush that dominated the Browns’ weak line last Sunday.