Our initial spin around the Week 14 NFL injury and practice participation reports begins with the final reports for Thursday night’s game between the Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos.
The Raiders have ruled out defensive tackle Richard Seymour, who will miss a fifth straight game with knee and hamstring injuries. The good news for the Raiders is that running back Darren McFadden is “probable” with an ankle injury that had sidelined him for the last four games. Quarterback Carson Palmer (right thumb), tight end Brandon Myers (shoulder) and safety Tyvon Branch (neck) are also “probable.” For the Broncos, linebacker Wesley Woodyard is “doubtful” with an ankle injury. Stepping into a starting role due to the multiple suspensions of D.J. Williams, Woodyard leads the Broncos with 97 tackles and three interceptions this season. Williams and rookie Danny Travathan are expected to step up if Woodyard is unable to play. Slot receiver Brandon Stokley is “questionable” with a hip injury.
Green Bay Packers cornerback Sam Shields (ankle) and safety Charles Woodson (collarbone) returned to practice on Wednesday, though Shields is the more likely of the two defensive backs to play against the Detroit Lions on Sunday night. Shields declared himself 100 percent following practice. The Packers practiced without linebacker Clay Matthews (hamstring), wide receiver Jordy Nelson (hamstring), guard/tackle T.J. Lang (ankle), running back James Starks (knee) and defensive ends Mike Neal (shoulder) and C.J. Wilson (knee). Lions cornerback Chris Houston (ankle), safety Louis Delmas (knee) and right tackle Gosder Cherilus (knees) were sidelined on Wednesday, while left tackle Jeff Backus (hamstring) and defensive tackle Nick Fairley (quadriceps) were limited.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger participated fully in Wednesday’s practice and appears set to start against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.
“I saw him make the necessary throws today,” Mike Tomlin said on Wednesday via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Roethlisberger has missed the last three games with a sprained sternoclavicular joint in his right shoulder. Nine Steelers missed practice, most notably safeties Troy Polamalu (calf) and Ryan Clark (hip), wide receivers Antonio Brown (ankle), Mike Wallace (knee) and Emmanuel Sanders (shoulder), linebacker LaMarr Woodley (ankle) and cornerback Ike Taylor (ankle). The Steelers will face a Chargers team that has injury issues along the offensive line. Left tackle Mike Harris (ankle), left guard Tyronne Green (hamstring) and right tackle Jeromey Clary (knee) missed practice and could be out for Sunday afternoon’s game. The Chargers also practiced without wide receiver Eddie Royal (hamstring) and linebacker Donald Butler (groin).
Baltimore Ravens middle linebacker Ray Lewis returned to practice on Wednesday, which is a good sign for him returning to game action later this month or, more likely, in the playoffs. Lewis was placed on the Ravens’ injured reserve list with a “designated for return” tag and is ineligible to return until Dec. 16.
“I’m making progress and will practice some today,” Lewis said on Wednesday. “But the story shouldn’t be about me right now. We’re playing the Redskins Sunday, and I am not eligible to play. If I can help prepare my team in some way for that game, I will. When I know I will play in a game, or when I play in game, I will say more then.”
Because Lewis is not on the injury report, his participation level was not required for submittal to the league office. The Ravens did not have outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, who suffered a torn right biceps during last Sunday’s 23-20 loss to the Steelers. Suggs is expected to be a game-time decision on Sunday against the Washington Redskins. In good injury news for the Ravens, cornerback Jimmy Smith practiced on a limited basis after missing the last month with an abdominal injury.
Redskins inside linebacker London Fletcher (ankle) and left tackle Trent Williams (thigh) did not practice. Both were “questionable” before playing in Monday night’s win over the New York Giants, so they are likely being eased into the preparations and should play on Sunday. Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall (ankle, knee) also did not practice, though wide receiver Pierre Garcon (foot) and cornerback Josh Wilson (shoulder) were full participants.
The Chicago Bears ruled out middle linebacker Brian Urlacher, who has a “Grade 2″ strain of his right hamstring. Chicago will also likely be without wide receiver Earl Bennett, who suffered a concussion in last Sunday’s overtime loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Running back Michael Bush (ribs), cornerback Tim Jennings (shoulder) and defensive tackle Stephen Paea (foot) missed practice for injury reasons, while Brandon Marshall’s absence was “non-injury related.” Wide receiver/return specialist Devin Hester (concussion) was limited, but could possibly return for Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings.
Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin (ankle) and defensive end Jared Allen (back) missed Wednesday’s practice. Harvin has not played since Nov. 4 and has been placed on injured reserve. Limited participants for the Vikings included cornerback Antoine Winfield (knee), tight end Kyle Rudolph (shoulder) and two starting offensive linemen — center John Sullivan (ribs, knee) and right tackle Phil Loadholt (knee).
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb (ribs) was a limited participant, but he will not be playing against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday as John Skelton has been named the starter, replacing ineffective sixth-round pick Ryan Lindley. Wide receiver Andre Roberts (ankle) missed Wednesday’s practice, while defensive end Calais Campbell (calf), safety Kerry Rhodes (quadriceps) and running back Beanie Wells (knee) were limited.
Seahawks wide receiver Sidney Rice (head) was limited as he makes his way through the league’s concussion protocol program. Also limited for the Seahawks were running back Marshawn Lynch (back) and linebacker Leroy Hill (ankle). Defensive end Red Bryant (foot) and cornerback Marcus Trufant (hamstring) did not participate.
Atlanta Falcons safety William Moore (hamstring) and cornerback Asante Samuel (shoulder) were held out of Wednesday’s practice. Samuel had been “questionable” for last Thursday night’s game against the Saints, but played briefly before exiting in the first quarter. Running back Michael Turner was limited by an elbow injury (make your own Golden Corral joke), but should be available against the Carolina Panthers, who practiced without running back Jonathan Stewart (ankle), tight end Greg Olsen (back) and wide receiver Brandon LaFell (toe).
Wide receiver Steve Johnson (hamstring) and defensive tackle Kyle Williams were two of the five Buffalo Bills players to not participate in Wednesday’s practice. That list also includes defensive end Mark Anderson (knee), right tackle Chris Hairston (ankle) and center Eric Wood (knee), who will miss Sunday’s game against the St. Louis Rams. Sam Young is expected to start for Hairston, while David Snow will start at right guard as Kraig Urbik moves to center. Johnson and Williams are expected to play against the Rams, who practiced without wide receiver Danny Amendola (foot), running back Steven Jackson (foot) and center Scott Wells, who has a knee injury and is being held out of Wednesday practices.
Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray (foot) did not practice, but expects to on Thursday. After missing a considerable chunk of the season, Murray had 23 carries for 83 yards and a touchdown in Sunday night’s 38-33 win over the Philadelphia Eagles. Nose tackle Jay Ratliff also missed practice with a groin injury that has kept him out of the last two games, but he could return against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. Bengals tight end Jermaine Gresham was limited by a hamstring injury during Wednesday’s practice. Gresham is second on the team with 51 receptions for 593 yards and five touchdowns while playing in exactly 96 percent of the Bengals’ offensive snaps. Four Bengals missed practice, including first round cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick (head) and kicker Mike Nugent, who has a calf injury.
As has been the case the last few weeks and will likely remain the case for the remainder of the season, New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw did not participate in Wednesday’s practice due to an injured foot. Bradshaw is coming off his first 100-yard rushing game since aggravating his foot injury and leads the team with 836 yards on the season. Right tackle Sean Locklear was ruled out for Sunday afternoon’s game against the New Orleans Saints with a right knee injury that will end the veteran’s season. As for the Saints, backup offensive tackle Charles Brown (knee) and defensive end Martez Wilson (toe) were held out of practice, while safety Roman Harper was limited by a rib injury.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson was limited with a calf injury, but should play on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. Buccaneers defensive tackle Roy Miller missed practice with a head injury. Concussions once again kept Eagles quarterback Michael Vick and running back LeSean McCoy out of practice, while first round defensive tackle Fletcher Cox was absent due to a tailbone injury. Starting cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was limited by a knee injury.
Six Indianapolis Colts missed Wednesday’s practice, including running back Donald Brown (ankle) and safety Tom Zbikowski (knee), who will not play against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. Linebacker Dwight Freeney was rested, while left guard Joe Reitz and right tackle Winston Justice are coming off concussions and will have their statuses determined later in the week. No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck was a full participant with a knee injury, but has not missed a snap this season and will start on Sunday. For the Titans, left tackle Michael Roos did not participate due to a knee injury. After 12 games, Roos is the only starting offensive lineman standing for the Titans, who placed left guard Steve Hutchinson on injured reserve, where he joins center Eugene Amano, right guard Leroy Harris and right tackle David Stewart. On defense, defensive end Kamerion Wimbley (toe) missed practice, while middle linebacker Colin McCarthy was limited in his return from a concussion.
The Cleveland Browns had nearly all hands on deck during Wednesday’s practice, including cornerback Dimitri Patterson, who has missed the last seven games with an ankle injury. Wide receiver/return specialist Josh Cribbs (shoulder/chest) and safeties Usama Young (head) and Ray Ventrone (calf) were limited, while first round running back Trent Richardson was a “full participant,” listed on the report with chest, rib and finger injuries. Several notable Kansas City Chiefs either missed or were limited in Wednesday’s practice: Cornerback Brandon Flowers and inside linebacker Derrick Johnson missed the session with hamstring injuries, while safety Eric Berry (hand) and outside linebacker Tamba Hali (knee) were limited. On offense, center Ryan Lilja was out with a knee as left tackle Branden Albert was limited with a back injury.
New York Jets tight end Dustin Keller did not practice on Wednesday, but may not have a high ankle sprain, after all. Keller’s status for Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars will be determined later in the week. The Jets did get Tim Tebow back after the No. 2 quarterback/personal punt protector missed Sunday’s 7-6 win over the Arizona Cardinals with a rib injury. Jets running back Joe McKnight also practiced on Wednesday. Jaguars wide receiver Cecil Shorts (concussion) passed his baseline test, but his status for Sunday’s game with the Jets will not be determined until later in the week. Running back Rashad Jennings and defensive end George Selvie have not yet passed their concussion baseline tests and do not appear likely to play against the Jets. Also out for the Jaguars is guard Mike Brewster, who has a broken hand. Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew did not practice due to a foot injury and is considered “very questionable” to play against the Jets.
Miami Dolphins nickel back Jimmy Wilson (hip) did not participate on Wednesday and his status for Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers is up in the air. Dolphins punter Brandon Fields was limited with injuries to both knees.The big injury question regarding the Dolphins is along the offensive line as perennial Pro Bowl left tackle Jake Long was placed on injured reserve this week with a torn triceps. As expected, 2012 second-round pick Jonathan Martin will move from right tackle to replace Long, with Nate Garner stepping in for Martin on the right side. Forty Niners wide receiver Mario Manningham (shoulder) missed Wednesday’s practice, as did cornerback Tarell Brown (hamstring). Kicker David Akers (pelvis), cornerback Chris Culliver (illness) and outside linebacker Aldon Smith (shoulder) were limited, but should play on Sunday.