AFC West Blog
Some of you will be playing for fantasy titles in Week 17, but for the majority of us, this is the end. Championship Sunday is here, and it's time to be what this day is all about in fantasy football: A champion. Good luck to you all. To help your efforts, we'll be tracking this morning's game-time decisions and giving you the latest as the official inactives reports come out around 11:30 a.m. Eastern. Some of the bigger names we're tracking include Julio Jones and DeAndre Hopkins. Go get that ring!
The second half of this Saturday NFL doubleheader contains a lot of notable injuries. The two most important players for fantasy purposes who were considered questionable coming into tonight's game are both active. 49ers running back Frank Gore and Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers have both been given the green light.
Gore suffered a concussion in Week 15, but he has been cleared and will start against San Diego. With Carlos Hyde sidelined by back and ankle injuries, Alfonso Smith is expected to be Gore's backup.
Rivers has been dealing with rib and back ailments for a while now. But he will play through them, per usual
The inactives for the 49ers include wide receiver Stevie Johnson. Meanwhile, tight end Ladarius Green is active for the Chargers. He missed Week 15 due to a concussion.
Tight end Ladarius Green returned to practice for San Diego on Thursday and is likely to play this weekend. He missed the team's Week 15 loss to Denver after suffering a concussion in Week 14 against New England. Green practiced the Friday leading up to last Sunday's game but was unable to clear the concussion protocol prior to kickoff.
San Diego Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen's season could be over as he was diagnosed Tuesday with a broken collarbone. The team has yet to make an official move or announcement, but he will likely end up on season-ending injured reserve as he's unlikely to heal in time to play again this season, barring a deep playoff run by the Chargers. They would need help just to get into the playoffs. Their current record is 8-6.
Denver Broncos running back Montee Ball was placed on season-ending Injured Reserve Saturday. He has been unable to overcome the groin injury that has hampered him and kept him sidelined the majority of the season.
As the Broncos' passing game looks to get back on track after a couple of so-so performances, it looks like they will have their full complement of weapons ready to roll this weekend in San Diego. Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas and tight end Julius Thomas went through limited practice Thursday. Demaryius has been playing through an ankle injury while Julius' own ankle injury has kept him sidelined since Week 12.
As expected, Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles returned to practice on Thursday, albeit in limited fashion. Charles sat out Wednesday's session because of knee and ankle pain, but he's fully expected his handle his normal workload Sunday versus the Raiders.
It's looking like Ryan Mathews' impact in this Sunday's showdown versus the Broncos will match what he did during the practice week: nil.
Mathews didn't practice Friday, his third consecutive practice missed because of an ankle injury. The Chargers have yet to rule him out for Week 15.
Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles missed Wednesday practice due to swelling in his knee and ankle soreness. Charles sustained the knee injury in Week 13's loss to the Broncos, but he has remained on the field without seeing a decrease in work over the past two weeks. When asked about Charles' status for Week 15, head coach Andy Reid said, "I think he'll be OK, but he's going to go through treatment. We'll just see." The Chiefs will host the Raiders this Sunday.
Chargers RB Ryan Mathews missed practice Wednesday with an ankle injury he sustained in Week 14. His status is currently unknown for Sunday's game against Denver.
If Mathews is ruled out, Donald Brown will likely get the start at running back, with Branden Oliver backing him up.