When handicapping the National Football League, it’s not only important to evaluate the players on the field, but consider who’s not on the field. Injuries are just part of the game, but this year suspensions have become a factor.
Saints-Vikings: The Saints will be without safety Darren Sharper for six weeks as he is recovering from surgery. Receiver Marques Coltson (kidney) is expected to play. Linebacker Jonathan Vilma was limited in practice, but is expected to play. The Vikings will be without Sidney Rice, who is out for six weeks. Center John Sullivan (calf.) is expected to play.
Cowboys-Redskins: The Cowboys’ offensive line may be hampered as right tackle Marc Colombo (knee) and left guard Kyle Kosier (knee) both missed practice again and are not likely to play. Colombo was recovering from arthroscopic surgery and was supposed to be on schedule to return. ”If he doesn’t practice this week, I would say he probably wouldn’t play,” coach Wade Phillips said in a report. Phillips said he has veteran backups for both positions and it would not alter his game plan. The Redskins are much healthier. Donovan McNabb (ankle) and running back Mike Sellers (knee) both fully participated in practice and are expected to play.
Cleveland at Tampa Bay: Browns nose tackle Shaun Rogers (ankle) was limited in practice and is expected to play. Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman (right thumb) also was limited in practice and is reported as his progress is good and is expected to play.
Miami at Buffalo: Dolphins offensive tackle Jake Long (knee) and linebacker Channing Crowder (groin) were both limited in participation. The Bills running backs are healthy as Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch will both see some playing time. But their injuries enabled rookie C.J. Spiller time to win the starting job.
Cincinnati at New England: The Bengals listed only five players on the injury report with nothing too glaring. The Patriots, on the other hand, had 13 players listed. That’s not a surprise because coach Bill Belichick always places more people on the list. Just be glad he did not list the entire roster. Quarterback Tom Brady was in a car accident but reports show he did not suffer any serious injury. Disgruntled receiver Randy Moss did not practice because of illness. He is expected to play.
Indianapolis at Houston: Colts linebacker Cody Glenn (hamstring) and cornerback Jacob Lacey (head) did not participate in practice, which makes their play questionable. Center Jeff Saturday (knee) was able to fully practice and is expected to play. For the Texans, defensive end Mario Williams (groin) was limited, while running back Steve Slaton (toe) fully practiced.
Denver at Jacksonville: Neither team has a serious player on the injury list. Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno (hamstring) fully participated and is probable. But the absence of Maurice Jones-Drew is notable because there were rumors circulating about a knee surgery, which he denied.
Oakland at Tennessee: Raiders running back Michael Bush (thumb) is probable to play. The Titans had three players who could not participate, including tackle Mike Otto (knee) and defensive tackle Tony Brown (knee). Linebacker Will Witherspoon did not participate, but that was not injury related.
Arizona at St. Louis: Good news and bad news for Arizona. Receiver Larry Fitzgerald (knee) fully participated and is expected to play, but running back Beanie Wells (knee) did not and is hopes for him playing are dwindling. Linebacker Joey Porter (back) was limited in practice. The Rams had only one player listed, safety James Butler (knee), who was limited.
Atlanta at Pittsburgh: The Falcons may be without the services of receiver Michael Jenkins (shoulder) as he did not participate. The Steelers, already without suspended quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, will be without backup quarterback Byron Leftwich (knee).
Green Bay at Philadelphia: Both squads are relatively healthy. The Eagles had no players on the report, while the Packers had only one player who could not participate, which was linebacker Brady Popinga (knee).
San Francisco at Seattle: The Niners’ linebacker Ahmed Brooks (kidney) is doubtful for Week 1. The Seahawks will be without tackle Russell Okung (ankle) and defensive back Roy Lewis (thumb) is doubtful.
The Monday night teams, Baltimore at New York Jets, or San Diego at Kansas City, did not report any injuries. You can monitor how NFL injuries effect the lines on our NFL betting odds page as well as get our NFL pick for Thursday as well as the Sunday and Monday night football games.