Calvin Johnson has many fantasy owners nervous about his status today, but the Rob Gronkowski situation continues to be the most interesting injury issue in the NFL. No one expects Rob Gronkowski to play today, after multiple reports detailed the ongoing concerns about the condition of his surgically repaired forearm. I'll have much more on that situation -- and what lies ahead for David Wilson -- in tomorrow's Injury Rounds column. Today's focus will be on Johnson and a good number of other high-profile backs and receivers with an unclear status heading into this weekend's games.
This column will focus primarily on skill position players. Check my Sunday AM IDP Notes feature for updates and expectations on injured defensive players.
NOTE: This column is a living document and will be updated throughout the morning. Major changes to the content will be in red. Check back often for additions as gameday inactives are announced and lineup / depth chart changes are reported. I'll also be retweeting those reports with quick bits of analysis, so make sure you're following @JeneBramel and checking my timeline on Twitter.
1130 ET: Tampa Bay WR Mike Williams is reportedly inactive.
calvin johnson | knee | questionable
There's obviously a lot more concern about Johnson's availability now than this time last week. No one connected with the Lions nor Johnson himself provided enough information about his condition to guess at a possible diagnosis. What we know is that he continues to have pain and swelling and hasn't been able to comfortably run or change direction. If he misses today's game, it's time to be nervous that his injury could be cartilage related and difficult to manage by rest alone.
Fantasy recommendation: If Johnson is active, he has too much upside -- even against a strong corner like Joe Haden -- to bench.
0945 ET: Jay Glazer is reporting that the Lions are hopeful Johnson shows enough in warmups to be useful in high leverage third down and red zone situations only. That makes him a very tough call if he's active. If he can play in that role, he may have 1-2 touchdown upside, but it's an extreme risk. Fantasy owners should probably root for Johnson to be inactive and not risk an aggravation for the sake of a red zone opportunity or two.
1100 ET; Multiple Lions beat reporters noting Johnson looks good during warmups. No trainers around him checking on his progress. Both strong suggestions that he'll be on the active list. Glazer's report still carries weight. Consider Johnson a boom-bust WR2 type play as of now.
1130 ET: Johnson is active. He's still high variance fantasy play today, but this is a hopeful sign that Johnson isn't dealing with a condition that could require in-season surgery.
1150 ET: Glazer now reporting that Johnson was strong enough in warmups to not restrict him today. There will be a risk of an in-game setback, but it looks safe to start Johnson today.
jamaal charles | toes | probable
Charles is dealing with blisters on his toes. He fully practiced on Friday and will play today. The blisters are just one of many conditions now more likely with the new speed shoes so many athletes wear. They'll be painful but something that can be managed by the medical staff on gameday. The worst case scenario -- of which there's been no indication -- is that the open areas on the feet become infected and require more invasive treatment. That's an unlikely complication, but something to consider as we monitor Charles' practice participation in future weeks.
Fantasy recommendation: Use Charles as you normally would today.
larry fitzgerald | hamstring | questionable
According to local Arizona beat reporter Kent Somers, Fitzgerald's latest hamstring strain is in a different area than his prior injury. That may seem reassuring. Aggravations of previous strains are often worse than the initial injury. But another injury to the same muscle strongly suggests a cascade effect, a new injury that occurs because the player has changed his gait or put an added amount of stress on nearby structures and joints to compensate for an injury. Fitzgerald now has two injuries subject to aggravation. The good news is that he fully practiced Friday and is expected to play.
Fantasy recommendation: Though he seems likely to play, the injuries put Fitzgerald in a higher risk category. If you have another WR3+ option, consider using him instead given the road matchup against San Francisco and the up-and-down nature of Carson Palmer's play.
1150 ET: Adam Schefter reporting that Larry Fitzgerald may be inactive this afternoon. Raises concern that an area in his injured hamstring tightened up after Friday's full practice. Get him out of your lineups unless you have no early game option and a strong late game hedge.
andre johnson | shin | questionable
Johnson told reporters that it was a struggle to get through last week's game, though he didn't appear severely limited to me. After taking most of the week off to rest and prompting concerns that he could miss today's game, he said he felt much better after a limited practice on Friday and fully planned to start today. He's still technically a game-time decision, but he's very likely to play and his Friday comments were reassuring that he's nearing full strength.
Fantasy recommendation: Use Johnson as you normally would.
C.J. Spiller | ankle | questionable
Spiller is reportedly moving much better this week than last. He's had the benefit of ten days to rest, rehab and recover, so that's not surprising. Last Thursday, Spiller looked good as a straight-line runner but struggled to move laterally and to slow down. He should be better able to handle both situations today. However, the Cincinnati front seven will be a tough test and Fred Jackson is off the injury report altogether after his Week 4 knee sprain. There's no guarantee the Bills will give Spiller the volume he may need to hit on another big run.
Fantasy recommendation: Spiller has the boom-bust upside to be a trustworthy RB2+ today. Be aware that there's a wide range of expectation for his production today, however.
marshawn lynch | hip | questionable
Lynch practiced fully Thursday then was listed with a hip injury on Friday's injury report after not practicing. Pete Carroll minimized the issue after practice, telling reporters Lynch was fine. There's always some concern with late week injuries and Lynch after back spasms during pregame warmups caused him to miss a game he was active for in 2011. All signs point to him playing today.
Fantasy recommendation: Leave yourself a late game hedge if you're nervous, but plan to use Lynch as you normally would today.
danny amendola | groin | questionable
Amendola looked better in the second half last week. That's generally a good sign for a player working through a muscle injury, as it shows they did not have any issues with stiffening and tightening around the injury after cooling down. The Patriots continue to limit Amendola in practice, but there's been no indication of a setback or that rumors of a possible related sports hernia from earlier in the year may be ongoing issues.
Fantasy recommendation: Use Amendola as you usually would today.
1245 ET: Latest casually dropped news item on a late Sunday morning on a New England player comes from Albert Breer, who is reporting that Amendola has torn adductors on BOTH sides. Fully torn adductor we've read about for weeks but apparently a partially torn adductor on the opposite side. There's no report on how new the second injury may be.
alfred morris | ribs | probable
Morris wouldn't talk to reporters about his injury on Monday, but was much more positive after his first practice this week. He went on to fully practice through Friday and will play tonight.
Fantasy recommendation: Use Morris as you normally would tonight.
michael vick | hamstring | questionable
It's unlikely Vick plays today. There is some reason for optimism given Vick's full practice on Friday and the early week reports that he was moving better than expected. However, the Eagles have too big divisional matchups at home in Weeks 7 and 8 and Vick told reporters yesterday that he was not yet 100% and realizes it could take more time to get there. The Eagles are almost certainly going to err on the side of caution today.
Fantasy recommendation: It's hard to sit Vick if he's active, but you should do so today if he's cleared to start by Philadelphia. There's too much risk of a setback or an in-game decision to hold him out if he feels the slightest cramping around the muscle.
1130 ET: Vick is active today, but will serve as the emergency quarterback only. Nick Foles starts for the Eagles.
darren mcfadden | hamstring | questionable
McFadden did more in practice that may have been expected this week, participating in position drills without taking a day off all week. But, despite the big divisional matchup in Kansas City today, it's hard to see McFadden suiting up today. The Raiders have a Week 7 bye and McFadden has often had difficulty recovering quickly from muscle strains. An extra two weeks might go a long way toward keeping McFadden healthy later.
Fantasy recommendation: If McFadden is active, he's no more than a boom-bust RB2 / flex play against a strong Kansas City front. His upside is a little higher if both Rashad Jennings and Marcel Reece are inactive.
1100 ET: McFadden expected to play today per Stacey Dales of NFL Network.
1130 ET: McFadden, Jennings and Reece all active today. May be a stretch for McFadden to get to 15 touches today.
cecil shorts | groin | probable
Shorts missed practice on Thursday, which prompted worries that he had aggravated his groin strain. But he was back to a limited practice on Friday and is listed probable. I've been concerned about the lingering injury and his limited practice time over the past two weeks, but Shorts has not been limited on Sundays. This week's practice participation looks favorable for him.
Fantasy recommendation: There's a risk that Shorts will sit should the Jaguars fall behind big early and miss out on any stat-padding garbage time. But his target counts have been strong through the injury and he's a solid WR2 today.
steve johnson | back | questionable
Johnson continues to deal with back issues and is likely not yet fully over a hamstring injury that has limited him over the past couple of weeks. He did not participate in practice on Friday after missing earlier practices to attend a funeral. He's on the doubtful side of questionable today and will be at high risk of leaving the game early if he plays.
Fantasy recommendation: Leave Johnson on your bench today unless you have no other viable top 40 wide receiver options available.
stevan ridley | knee | questionable
Ridley was able to dress for practice this week, but has the always-nebulous questionable designation on the Patriots' injury report. He may be active for today's game against New Orleans, but the game script and rotation and recent injury make it unlikely that he'll see extended snaps or touches today.
Fantasy recommendation: Ridley is a desperation flex play at best if he's active today.
Miles Austin | hamstring | probable
Austin will play tonight and has had three consecutive full practices after a two week absence with a low grade hamstring strain. That's the profile of a player who's at low risk of any game day complications on his return. However, this is Miles Austin, who's been prone to setbacks and the Cowboys have seen Terrence Williams prove himself ready for a larger role.
Fantasy recommendation: Consider Austin a flex play at best tonight.
zac stacy | chest | questionable
Stacy was expected to play early this week and has increased his practice participation steadily through Friday's full practice. The rotation and committee of available backs in St. Louis is more likely to limit Stacy's upside today than his injury.
Fantasy recommendation: The matchup, injury and rotation are all reasons to consider Stacy no more than a flex play today.
Best of luck in your fantasy games this weekend. I'll be back on Monday morning to review all the Week 5 injuries in the Injury Rounds column. Follow me on Twitter @JeneBramel for breaking news and analysis during the games today.