Week 12: Game Time Decisions - Injury Updates
In this article we profile players that are struggling to get into uniform for the coming week. At the quarterback position, Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler will be in street clothes for week 12 but they should be back under center by the time fantasy playoff weeks begin. San Francisco WR Michael Crabtree also appears to be nearing a return from an Achilles injury that has kept him out all season. Reports have surfaced that he could be back in uniform for the week 13 matchup with St Louis which would music to the ears of Colin Kaepernick's fantasy owners. Crabtree set career highs in 2012 with 85 catches for 1,105 yards (69 yards per game) and nine touchdowns.
With Reggie Bush benched due to poor field conditions, Bell posted an impressive week 11 stat line in Pittsburgh -- finishing with nine carries for 49 yards and a touchdown, while adding three catches for 48 yards. Unfortunately he departed the game with a fourth-quarter ankle injury and said he heard something pop in his foot. Bell missed Wednesday's practice and his status for the week 12 game against Tampa is up in the air. Reggie Bush owners might want to target Notre Dame rookie Theo Riddick as a potential handcuff for the stretch run depeding on the severity of Bell's injury. In a lost season for Tampa, the Bucs' run defense has surprised as they've only allowed two rushing touchdowns to opposing running backs.
The rookie from Cal suffered a knee injury and sat out most of the 4th quarter during the week 11 loss to Miami. Allen's draft day stock plummeted due to knee concerns, but the most recent injury is not to the same knee he had issues with in college. Allen was able to practice Wednesday and appears likely to play against Kansas City in week 12. On the season, he's averaging 68 yards per game with three touchdowns but will face a stiff test this week against a KC defense that has allowed only seven touchdowns to WRs this season.
Emmanuel Sanders suffered a right foot injury in the first half of the week 11 win over Detroit and did not return. Head coach Mike Tomlin expects Sanders to start against Cleveland, but he remains listed as questionable. The 26-year-old SMU alum is averaging 51 yards per game with just two touchdowns. Sanders had just five touchdowns over his first three NFL seasons and remains just a lower end WR3 option this week against a solid Browns' defense allowing the sixth fewest fantasy PPG to wide receivers. On a positive note for Sanders owners, shutdown CB Joe Haden will likely lockup with Antonio Brown, so Big Ben might be forced to increase the targets for Sanders in week 12. Keep an eye on Jerricho Cotchery (five touchdowns over the past three weeks) and rookie Marcus Wheaton if Sanders is unable to go this week.
After an impressive week 1 performance against the G-men, Miles Austin struggled in back to back weeks totaling just five catches for 53 yards and suffered yet another hamstring injury in the week 3 win over St Louis that has kept him sidelined for the past seven games; the 29-year-old missed six games during 2011 with similar leg problems. Rookie Terrance Williams has impressed -- averaging 50 yards per game with five touchdowns --, but could see his role diminish going forward. Owner Jerry Jones has confirmed that Austin will return to the lineup for a crucial week 12 game against the New York Giants. Fantasy owners should take a wait and see approach with Austin, but he is well worth a pickup as the Cowboys have a favorable remaining schedule. The matchup this week against the Giants is average, as the G-men are allowing the 12th fewest fantasy PPG to opposing WRs. It's worth noting that Tony Romo passed for 263 yards with touchdowns in the week 1 win over the Giants.
With Pryor sidelined with a knee injury, undrafted rookie from Penn State Matt McGloin completed 18-of-32 passes for 197 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in Sunday's win at Houston. Pryor appears likely to sit out another week with McGloin getting a week 12 start when the Raiders host Tennessee. Pryor entered week 10 averaging more than18 fantasy points per game over his previous four games. Despite mediocre passing numbers (five touchdowns and 10 interceptions), Pryor's dual threat ability (averaging 63 yards per game on the ground) keeps him on the QB2 list most weeks. No matter which QB is under center for Oakland in week 12 they will face major test against a Titan defense which is allowing the fourth fewest fantasy PPG to opposing quarterbacks -- including a league low seven passing touchdowns to opposing signal callers.