The average workplace should distribute absence reports daily to all of its employees just like the NFL does with injuries. Productivity would skyrocket, because everyone would see that Bob in Cubicle E has had a cold for 17 straight days. Yes, public embarrassment and ridicule is key.
Along with the daily Ben Roethlisberger update, that’s how Friday’s injury report will begin, I guess.
1. Mike Tomlin said that Roethlisberger needed to practice at least on a limited basis once this week prior to Monday night’s game against San Francisco. He met that minimum requirement today, but his status is still very much in question.
2. Quarterback may be the most notable area where the Steelers are hurting, but other key players are hobbling throughout Pittsburgh’s aging roster. Center Maurkice Pouncey isn’t among the aging, but he’s still among the injured after not practicing again today due to his high-ankle sprain. Garry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is giving Pouncey worse odds than Roethlisberger. Meanwhile, Troy Polamalu is among the aging, and although his hamstring injury doesn’t sound serious, he’s still listed as questionable.
3. We’ll remember last week as the week that the quarterbacks broke. Big Ben is the most prominent, but as ESPN’s John Clayton notes, the injury list is riddled with other arms who won’t be throwing footballs this week. Colt McCoy is predictably out, while Sam Bradford is doubtful, and Kevin Kolb is questionable. Matt Moore and Matt Hasselbeck will start.
4. A.J. Feeley also didn’t practice for the Rams, so that means we’re likely going to get a Kellen Clemens sighting. Yep, it’s come to that in St. Louis. Defensive linemen James Hall and Chris Long are also questionable.
5. Clayton relayed two other updates that will surprise no one. Adrian Peterson is definitely playing, while James Starks will be a game-time decision.
6. Also filed under definitely: Kyle Orton is starting for Kansas City.
7. And also filed under not surprising at all: Andre Johnson is officially out.
8. Ray Lewis may have been limited, but he still practiced all week and he’s expected to play after missing Baltimore’s last four games. Just don’t ask John Harbaugh about Lewis, because he doesn’t have to answer your questions. So he won’t.
9. The Saints have ruled out Mark Ingram, meaning we’ll see more of Chris Ivory out of the New Orleans backfield against Minnesota.
10. The Saints also listed middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma as questionable while he continues to recover from knee surgery. He played during last week’s win over Tennessee after being listed as probable all week.
11. Jason Pierre-Paul will continue to be the focal point of the Giants’ pass rush with Osi Umenyiora set to miss his third straight game, and Justin Tuck hurting with a neck injury. Center Davis Baas has also been ruled out.
12. Staying with the Giants, running back Ahmad Bradshaw practiced today after maintenance days Wednesday and Thursday. He’s probable, and now he just has to set his alarm clock at the appropriate time Sunday morning.
13. The injury picture in Detroit is no longer one that Lions fans would like to rip out of its frame and smash into tiny pieces. Kevin Smith and Chris Houston practiced for the third straight day, and they’ll play against Oakland, while Eric Wright and Jason Durant participated in position drills and also look ready, and defensive linemen Nick Fairley and Willie Young will be game-time decisions.
14. McCoy isn’t the only Brown dealing with a concussion, and the incompetent training staff in Cleveland. Tight end Benjamin Watson was placed on the injured reserve today with a head injury of his own.