Here are a few snippets from yesterday's 4th & Long column on Sporting News, along with a few updates from today's news.
If he plays at all, Trent Richardson is only expected to see spot duty thanks to a bum ankle. Montario Hardesty will get the lion's share of the load in the meaningless matchup with the Steelers. [Update: Richardson has now been declared out.]
Keep an eye on Matt Forte's playing status, as he is likely to be a game-time decision. With no Michael Bush to fall back upon, the Bears certainly need their starter in a must-win game. But his latest ankle injury may prove too painful to overcome so quickly. [Update: Forte has been upgraded to probable.]
After suffering a setback in practice, Jonathan Stewart (ankle) is not expected to be ready for the Panthers' finale. That leaves the workload in DeAngelo Williams' unsteady hands again. I reminded you last week that he couldn't be trusted. Did you listen?
A hip injury has kept Mike Wallace off the practice field all week, and it could force him out of Sunday's contest. That means that we've likely seen the last of the up-and-down speedster in a Steelers uniform.
Those who've been holding onto Rob Gronkowski (arm, hip) in hopes that he would be available for the last game or two of the regular season are about to be very disappointed. He's been a limited participant in practice for the past week, but there's little indication he will be activated prior to the playoffs.
More Saturday updates:
Both Brandon Weeden and Colt McCoy will miss Week 17 for the Browns, leaving the QB role in the hands of the great Thaddeus Lewis. With Trent Richardson also missing in action, could there be a better defensive play than the Steelers on Sunday?
Pierre Thomas is out for Sunday's matchup, but Chris Ivory will be back in the Saints' RB rotation along with Darren Sproles and Mark Ingram.
Why MJD waited until now to undergo foot surgery on his ankle is beyond me. But he did.
The 49ers put Mario Manningham on IR. He's done.
Mike Nugent has also gone to IR. Josh Brown will close out the season as the Bengals' kicker.
About the author
Ladd Biro was named 2010 "Football Writer of the Year" by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. Ladd's nationally syndicated columns have appeared in more than 20 publications -- including the Dallas Morning News, San Francisco Chronicle, Philadelphia Inquirer, Chicago Sun-Times and Sporting News magazine -- since 2003. During the NFL season, he can be heard nationwide on Sporting News Radio as host of the weekly "Fantasy Files" program, dispensing his unique blend of wit and wisdom. Since 2009, all his written fantasy content can be found on the Fantasy Fools blog.