Thanksgiving week is upon us, which means a lot of things: dry turkey (ham is better), awkward “have you figured out your life, yet?” conversations, and of course, Cowboy fans either being laughably disappointed or obnoxiously braggadocios.
Thanksgiving truly is a great holiday because of food, family and football and there are six teams playing on Thursday. As a fantasy football owner, this means that you may be in a frenzy trying to figure out the status of players who are a little banged up. Here is a quick update on the NFL injury report for Week 12. You should continue monitoring these players’ status up until their game time.
Rob Gronkowski (TE, NE)
Rob Gronkowski has missed the last 3-of-4 games while resting a back and ankle injury. According to multiple sources, Gronkowski is expected to play coming off of his BYE week. The New England tight end reinforced this notion by practicing in a limited fashion on Wednesday. Although Gronkowski is progressing, it is always important to monitor his status carefully, throughout the week. I expect him to suit up on Sunday.
A.J. Green (WR, CIN)
Last week, head coach Marvin Lewis told us that A.J. Green had a chance to play. Most level-headed analysts understood that Lewis’ words were doubtful at best, as the electric receiver is battling a stingy toe injury. Nevertheless, we are once again hearing that Green has a chance to play this week. It is important to note that Green did not participate in practice at all on Wednesday. While that is not detrimental to the status of Green this week, it is concerning. With Sunday being the Bengals’ kickoff, Green does have a chance to be on the field, but I would be prepared for him to miss.
Kenyan Drake (RB, MIA)
On the injury report with a shoulder issue, Kenyan Drake was limited in practice on Wednesday. While this is coming off of a BYE week, his status has not been questioned, so far. With Drake practicing in only a limited portion of practice, you will want to keep checking for updates on his health and status. If Drake does miss, Frank Gore may be the biggest beneficiary of touches.
Mitchell Trubisky, (QB CHI)
This one could handcuff a lot of fantasy teams and their players. Mitchell Trubisky is already listed doubtful (shoulder) for his Thanksgiving Day game, against Detroit. With this being a short week, I would expect the second-year quarterback to be inactive. Further, Trubisky has not logged a single practice leading up to this matchup. Make accommodations if you are the owner of Trubisky — and also if you have any Chicago pass-catchers. The risk of Blaine Gabbert performing bad far outweighs the reward of him doing good; and his performance will be passed down to his receivers. If Trubisky misses, Trey Burton and Allen Robinson are startable assets, but you must adjust your expectations of them.
Tre’Quan Smith (WR, NO)
One of the new, shiny toys off of waivers this week is rookie wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith. Unfortunately for his fantasy owners, Smith is battling a foot injury. What makes this even more difficult is that New Orleans will be the evening game on Thanksgiving Day. What we do know is that Smith missed the first two practices of the week and only practiced on Wednesday in limited fashion. I would look to start other receivers if I could, however, this may be tough for teams who just received from the waiver-wire.
Jimmy Graham (TE, GB)
Jimmy Graham left Seattle last Thursday with a broken thumb. Graham has made it known that he does intend to play with his broken finger, which is a bold move seeing that he is a pass-catcher. During Wednesday’s practice, the tight end was not able to participate, though he does have until Sunday to rest. Frankly, I would not play Graham until he can prove that his finger will not affect his catching ability. Not to mention, in the last three-of-four games, he has produced single-digit weeks and that was with a healthy finger. Continue to follow Graham’s status, if you are bold enough to play him.
Marcus Mariota (QB, TEN)
The Tennessee quarterback’s miserable, injury-plagued season continues. With what has been diagnosed as a stinger in his neck, Mariota did throw the ball during position workouts on Wednesday, but in a very limited capacity. His game will be played on Sunday, so he does have a chance to prove his ability to play. But Mariota is shaky any time you start him. Plus, they are playing a tough team in Houston this week. You probably were going to avoid this matchup anyway, but if you are forced to play Mariota, keep yourself updated throughout the week.
Marvin Jones Jr. (WR, DET) and Kerryon Johnson (RB, DET)
Both Marvin Jones Jr. and Kerryon Johnson have been ruled out for their Thursday afternoon contest. Jones continues to battle the same injury that caused him to miss this past Sunday while Johnson injured his knee during his Week 11 contest against Carolina. With both offensive weapons being out and Golden Tate being traded, Kenny Golladay, Bruce Ellington and Theo Riddick will see higher amounts of production at home against Chicago.