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News » Injury review: Palmer set to return

Injury review: Palmer set to return

Injury review: Palmer set to return
The days on the calendar seem to be accelerating, although you wouldn't know it from the record temperatures here in Southern California.

It's just hard to believe we're already through the first half of the college football season and that we've reached Week 5 of this NFL campaign. My mind races back to the long drives during training camp, and you realize that three months vanished.

Savor the fall while you can, particularly those of you in cities where hope of a playoff berth dissipated long ago. The season just chugs along.

It should be noted some of the proposition bets paid off this week. Chad Ocho Cinco talked about showing respect to the Dallas star by kissing it, and Terrell Owens appeared in the postgame interviews following the loss to Washington in shades (always an ominous sign). Al Davis took a proverbial flamethrower to the joint during his 90-minute session in which he discussed the dismissal of Lane Kiffin, and the Rams severed ties with Scott Linehan. Welcome back, Marc Bulger.

What's next in this serial drama?

Let's get back to the task at hand with a review of the injury reports heading into the weekend. Brian Westbrook leads the list of stars, followed closely thereafter by Aaron Rodgers and Carson Palmer. Fantasy owners need to be ready to slide in alternates.

The Philadelphia Daily News reports Eagles running back Brian Westbrook was limited for the second straight day, leaving the Thursday workout early as planned. Impact: The Philadelphia coaching staff has been quoted as saying they're encouraged by Westbrook's progress and called him "day-to-day." This contradicts statements earlier this week by Westbrook's brother, who said the ankle injury is much worse than is being let on. We can only go by what we see and hear from the field, and it appears he's healing quickly. He's a game-time decision against the Redskins in an attractive matchup (see below). Let's begin the weekly vigil over Westbrook's status.

FOX Pick'ems

The Green Bay Press-Gazette says Aaron Rodgers watched the Packers' workout from the sidelines and didn't throw, as he still felt soreness from Wednesday's workout. Mike McCarthy and the coaching staff are working to get rookie Matt Flynn comfortable with the first unit in the event that Rodgers is unavailable. McCarthy told reporters Flynn excelled in a two-minute drill during Thursday's session. Impact: Rodgers will be a game-time decision, but I wouldn't expect to see him to play this week. He's been limited almost entirely to hand-off drills and short passing routes. The Packers can't afford to risk his long-term health at this juncture. Flynn actually makes for an interesting spot start for fantasy owners dealing with issues at QB. The Atlanta secondary has struggled, and Flynn certainly has the playmakers to take care of business downfield. He could surprise with a two-touchdown performance provided, of course, he feels the pressure from John Abraham.

The paper also reports the team lost defensive end/tackle Cullen Jenkins for the season with a torn pectoral muscle. The injury was sustained late in Sunday's loss to the Buccaneers as he attempted to bring down Brian Griese. Impact: Jenkins will certainly be missed on the front lines for the Packers. He'd racked up 18 tackles and numerous QB pressures. His absence should afford Matt Ryan that extra half-second to throw this weekend. The Packers will likely still be missing several starters in the secondary.

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune advises that receiver Bernard Berrian was limping noticeably during Friday's practice and is now listed as "questionable" for Monday against the Saints. Impact: Berrian was gaining momentum as a solid "sleeper" target for owners against the Saints, provided that the Minnesota offensive line held up better than the 49ers did a week ago. Unfortunately, this news puts him back on fantasy benches, as you can't wait for Berrian on a Monday night given the inconsistency from the Minnesota passing game thus far in 2008.

It was reported by The Times-Picayune that Sedrick Ellis of the Saints will miss 2-4 weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a torn medial meniscus. Impact: The Saints were already without Hollis Thomas and now lose Ellis. Adrian Peterson is set for a huge day.

The Detroit Free Press tells us Roy Williams has been a late addition to the injury report for Week 5 because of a knee injury. Impact: Williams was looking at a good matchup this weekend with Nathan Vasher on the sidelines following surgery. Instead, fantasy owners might be looking for a larger workload from Shaun McDonald. Although Williams is listed as "probable" on the latest injury report, this bears watching. Keep an eye on this story as game-time approaches, as we may see decent passing totals from Jon Kitna and company against a Chicago defense that has allowed a number of big plays.

Mike Tomlin told The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette nothing should be read into Ben Roethlisberger missing two practices earlier this week. He continues to recover from his early-season shoulder injury, but Tomlin fully expects him under center for Sunday's prime-time game against Jacksonville. Impact: It should be noted Jacksonville's secondary is quite banged up as well. Reggie Nelson and Drayton Florence are out for this weekend, and Rashean Mathis may be on the sidelines for this Week 5 battle. Fantasy owners who have been anxiously awaiting Big Ben's first huge fantasy output of the 2008 season just might see it this weekend.

The Arizona Republic advises that Anquan Boldin underwent surgery to repair his sinus fracture and will miss the Week 5 game against the heretofore undefeated Buffalo Bills. Impact: Steve Breaston slides into the starting lineup, and he certainly offers and interesting deep ball threat for Kurt Warner. Those in deeper PPR leagues might also roll the dice on Jerheme Urban, who'll see a few looks as well. The website also indicated it doesn't believe either Bertrand Berry or Adrian Wilson will be available for the defense. Impact: Berry's absence from the defensive line certainly limits the pass rush and affords opposing quarterbacks downfield. I suspect Trent Edwards posts a strong game this week without these two veteran starters in the lineup.

The Baltimore Sun reports Ravens tailback Willis McGahee was limited in practice for the second straight day because of the bruised ribs sustained in that hard-hitting loss to Pittsburgh. Impact: The Baltimore coaching staff expects McGahee to be ready for action in this week's tough home matchup against the Titans. While he shouldered most of the load last week against Pittsburgh, look for a more equitable split with bulldozer Le'Ron McClain against the Tennessee front.

Receiver Brandon Lloyd of the Bears missed the entire practice week and has been declared "out" for Week 5 against Detroit because of a knee injury sustained against the Eagles, per The Chicago Sun-Times . Impact: Lloyd's absence creates more opportunities for Devin Hester and Marty Booker, both of whom scored about Philadelphia. Hester's the more electrifying, quite obviously, but Booker's a more solid play. Also, we can expect to see Kyle Orton target Greg Olsen more frequently, making him a great Week 5 starter against a struggling Detroit pass defense.

The Tennessean reports bruising tailback LenDale White's been sidelined from this week's workout because of the shoulder injury sustained in Week 3. Impact: White was limited in practice last week and didn't run with his usual authoritative style against the tough Minnesota run defense. I believe Chris Johnson's two shorter touchdown runs last week might be an indicator about the extent of the injury, not to mention White's 11-carry, 13-yard performance. He was overtaken at the point of contact. And, say what you will about the "three yards and a cloud of dust" running style of White, he's not normally a quick takedown. Johnson will pick up extra carries this week, but save for a broken long run or a short touchdown set up by a turnover, I'm not optimistic for a huge day from him, either. This Baltimore defensive front is tough, led by my hero Haloti Ngata.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: October 4, 2008

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Chris McAlister Name: Chris McAlister
Position: CB
Age: 31
Experience: 10 years
College: Arizona
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