Romo, Vick, Bradford among upgrades in Week 2 medical check
With Ryan Grant's season-ending injury, Brandon Jackson will get GB's carries
Look for Tony Romo to get some relief in the pocket this week against the Bears
The Rams' Sam Bradford will test the Raiders defense if he's given enough time
Back in the dark ages of injury updates -- you know, 2008, when I first started doing them here at SI -- it was much harder to get the speed of updates that fantasy players wanted. I'd get the info from one of my sources, write it up, send it in to the editors, and it'd make it up pretty quick. Today, the world moves at Twitter speed, where quick updates happen in milliseconds. It creates a problem as much as it creates an opportunity, with misinformation and worse, misinterpretation, happening at the same speed.
Last week, a rumor shot out that Larry Fitzgerald was on the inactive list. This wasn't a wild rumor from some no-name, it was from a pre-game show. It was a simple mistake, the same that anyone could have made, but in a five-minute wave, it went from Fitzgerald owners panicking to ... nothing. Did it help anyone to have an update in those five minutes? Not really and that's why we're shifting back a bit here.
I want to make the effort to give the best information, not necessarily the first. You can follow me on Twitter (@injuryexpert) to get the speed, but the updates we'll do this week will be focused on usable, actionable information for the smart fantasy player. So let's get to this week's games and make sure to check back regularly on Sunday morning leading up to 1 p.m. kickoffs for updates:
DOWNGRADE: Donovan McNabb
UPDATE: McNabb, Clinton Portis questionable (10:01 a.m.)
The Texans came out of Week 1 with a big win over their nemesis and a lot of bumps and bruises. They have a lot of issues on the defensive side, but the Official Injury Report (OIR) looks a lot worse than it actually is. Mario Williams played big despite a groin injury heading into Week 1 and he's no worse in Week 2. He'll play, which can't make Donovan McNabb's ankle feel much better. There's bigger questions about Amobi Okoye, who wasn't able to practice on Thursday and will be at best a game time decision. The Texans are already at their DE2 opposite Williams after Connor Barwin suffered a devastating leg injury early in Week 1. The Redskins listed a lot of players on the OIR, but none of them are expected to miss Sunday's game. Clinton Portis has a minor wrist injury, McNabb has his lingering ankle issue, and Albert Haynesworth is, well, still a Redskin. It's a bit surprising that the Redskins listed Donovan McNabb as questionable again, but like last week, he's almost sure to play.
UPGRADE: Brandon Jackson
The Bills didn't provide much clarity for fantasy owners in Week 1. The team spread out the carries, but was that more the ineffectiveness of C.J. Spiller or a plan to keep Spiller healthy? Either way, Spiller was my biggest miss last week as an upgrade. Facing the Packers solid run defense isn't going to help clear things up much. On the defensive side, the Bills will be without Paul Posluszny, though they're getting used to that. The Packers only have Charles Woodson to worry about. His toe injury is problematic, but didn't seem to slow him at all during Week 1. He was held out of practice to make sure that the injury heals, but he'll play on Sunday. Ryan Grant, as you know by now, is done for the season,
DOWNGRADE: Dolphins D/ST
UPDATE: Percy Harvin wil play (11:45 a.m.)
Minnesota will head into Week 2 with only one major question on its list and we can honestly expect this to be there all season long. Brett Favre's ankle is going to be along the lines of Tom Brady's shoulder, though the specter of this one actually costing him a game and ending the starting streak is a bit darker. Favre practiced fully, but let's be clear -- the Vikings don't tax Favre much during practice, rendering this concept a bit uninformative. Favre will play and should be fine after some extended rest. Percy Harvin is never a sure thing, but the hip injury he's dealt with late this week is concerning, especially with the long week. Harvin is the human GTD, so be ready for any changes. They'll be facing a Dolphins defense that is without both Channing Crowder and Jarid Odrick again. You could say that the Dolphins didn't miss those two last week, but here at the Med Check, we understand opponent strength. We expect Adrian Peterson to have a bigger role in attacking that defense than he was allowed in Week 1.
UPGRADE: Thomas Jones
UPDATE: Jake Delhomme is out (10:01 a.m.)
The only significant issue for the Chiefs this week is Tamba Hali. Last week, Hali was a dominant inside force against the Chargers, forcing Philip Rivers to go to the air. His foot shouldn't be much more of an issue this week, as it's really more of a maintenance issue. Get used to seeing him on the OIR and then in the game. The Browns have a ton of issues, starting with Jake Delhomme. His ankle injury came towards the end of the game, so there wasn't much alert until he headed for an MRI. Delhomme is unlikely to play, though the Browns are holding out some hope. The Browns could go from a guy with mobility problems to a guy who's all about mobility if Seneca Wallace is pushed into the start. The Browns defense has a number of dings, focused on Shaun Rogers. With the speed that the Chiefs now feature, Rogers is needed to clog the middle, freeing the linebackers to go wide quickly. Rogers and D'Qwell Jackson are both GTDs, but without them, Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles both become solid fantasy plays.
UPGRADE: Chris Johnson
DOWNGRADE: Dennis Dixon, Steelers D/ST
If health decides games, this one's going to be a good test. The Steelers have an extensive injury listing, plus are without Ben Roethlisberger due to suspension. The Titans? Not much of any significance. They're a bit worried about Tony Brown in the middle of their defensive line, but his missing practice is more to protect him than a real sign he won't play. In black and gold, there's a lot more worries, though not as many as it looks. Several players, like Troy Polamalu and Hines Ward, were held out as precaution. The big worries are Max Starks, who's ankle sprain made some improvement, but is a GTD at best. The dropoff from Starks is, well, stark. The other major concern is Casey Hampton. Facing Chris Johnson, it's key that Hampton plug up the middle, leaving the linebackers to pursue laterally. If Hampton's hamstring keeps him out, the Titans will have a lot more options for freeing Johnson up, focusing on cutbacks and traps. It's hard to "upgrade" a must play No. 1 guy like Johnson, but without Hampton, the Pittsburgh defense should be avoided.
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