NFL teams have started to update their injury reports for the coming weekend, per league rules. The men on that list always seem to change on a week-to-week basis, but something that never changes is the impact their absence has on certain rosters.
After the Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins were both fined $20,000 for failing to report injuries consistent with league policy, it becomes especially crucial that teams continue to release information about stars that might not be in any danger of missing time.
One of those such stars is Dez Bryant, the Dallas Cowboys' much-beleaguered wide receiver, who showed up as questionable with a groin problem on the team's injury report.
Bryant's just one of a number of athletes that is listed on the injury report this weekend. For a full look at each team's list, you can check out CBS Sports' weekly updated look.
While injuries have been and always will be a part of the game, no one can deny their impact on any given week. Here are four injured stars whose potential absences will mean the difference between a win and a loss.
The surprise of Friday, Bryant has apparently been dealing with groin issues for some time. As Todd Archer reports, it was not a injury suffered in Thursday's practice, rather, a recurring problem that kept Bryant out of the fold on Friday.
I'm told Dez Bryant has been slowed by groin soreness recently and he did not suffer new injury in practice on Thur. or Fri.— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) October 19, 2012
If Bryant misses time this weekend, Dallas is suddenly without their starting wide out and DeMarco Murray, the starter at running back.
Those two are the team's best big play threats, so Carolina would certainly be able to key in more on Miles Austin and Jason Witten in the passing game. If Bryant is out of the lineup, it could be disastrous for the already 2-3 'Boys.
It's no surprise that Kolb is missing time. John Skelton was announced as the starter earlier in the week, and the Arizona Cardinals are preparing for life without the man who helped lead them to a 4-2 start.
But with Skelton back at the helm, it's going to be a tough task to stop the bleeding of the past two losses. The offensive line, already struggling to the tune of nine sacks allowed against the Rams, will now have to protect a QB without the rhythm and timing that Kolb had with the Arizona receivers.
Call me a pessimist, but Skelton is the starter with the most to lose this week in the NFL. No one expected the Cardinals to be in this position, but now that they are, three straight losses would start to pile on.
The Cards will miss Kolb dearly against the Vikings pass defense this week, but maybe more than anything they'll miss the steady presence he had in the huddle.
The Baltimore linebacker would be a welcome sight for a team that's lost both Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb in a matter of quarters, but his status has been back and forth for Sunday.
Initial reports had him expecting to play, but the latest from the Baltimore Ravens looks like he'll be a game-time decision, if that.
John Harbaugh said he wasn't sure if Terrell Suggs would play on Sunday. And if he did know, he wouldn't say.— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) October 19, 2012
That kind of uncertainty doesn't bode well for his chances to play, barring a miracle. It also doesn't bode well for a defense that's allowed 200 rushing yards in consecutive weeks for the first time in franchise history.
Across the line will be All-Pro Arian Foster and Ben Tate, and without Suggs' leadership and playmaking ability, this Ravens defense suddenly looks a lot more pedestrian than the group we've come to admonish over the years.
The Washington Redskins enter the game against the New York Giants as a heavy underdog, but are popping up as a popular upset pick in certain NFL circles.
Coming off an emotional home win against Minnesota, Robert Griffin III has made it work without his best receiving target for the past few weeks. It looks like he'll have to make do again this week, as Grant Paulsen is reporting Garcon as doubtful for the team's Sunday square-off.
The #Redskins have listed Pierre Garcon as doubtful for Sunday's game in NY. They'll be playing without Garcon for the 4th time in 7 games.— Grant Paulsen (@granthpaulsen) October 19, 2012
On the road and facing a dangerous pass rush, Griffin needs an outlet to avoid some of the pressure Giants' defensive coordinator Perry Fewell has been cooking up in this week's game plan.
Alfred Morris will help out of the backfield, but RG3 could really use that go-to receiver to take some of the pressure off of his offensive line, and, maybe more importantly, the necessity that he be an effective rusher for this team to win.
Facing a hungry Giants team coming off a huge win over the San Francisco 49ers, the Redskins don't look like they have the weapons to contend with the reigning Super Bowl champs, especially if Garcon is on the sidelines.