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NFL Injury News: Players to Watch as Week 13 Approaches

PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 18 : Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers yells to his teammates during the third quarter against the Baltimore Ravens on November 18, 2012 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Joe Sargent/Getty Images
Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistNovember 27, 2012

Injuries can make or break any NFL team this time of year. It's the stretch run of the season, and every game is absolutely important.

The NFL is a brutal league. Making it through an entire season without an injury is nearly impossible, even if it's just a bump or a scrape.

Week 13 will put several players on notice, a few much more than others. The most important players will dictate the games though.

Let's take a look at three to keep an eye on throughout the week.

 

Ben Roethlisberger

Believe it or not, Roethlisberger may play on Sunday versus the Baltimore Ravens. Well, it's really not that hard to believe considering hos tough Big Ben has been throughout his career.

According to ESPN's Ed Werder, Roethlisberger has a 50 percent chance of playing on Sunday:

I'm told that Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is 50-50 to start Sunday against the Ravens.

— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) November 27, 2012

The situation is simple. Baltimore is great at home and will win if Roethlisberger doesn't play, but if he plays Pittsburgh has a chance.

Big Ben gives the Steelers a chance no matter what condition he's in, just so long as he's on the field. Because it's a rivalry game, his presence becomes completely necessary.

It's hard to tell if Roethlisberger will play, or not, but his reputation says that he will. If he does, Baltimore will have to regroup.

 

Matt Forte

According to Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times, Forte isn't expected to miss Sunday's game versus the Seattle Seahawks, but that could change throughout the week.

Without Forte, the Bears could struggle. Although, Michael Bush did prove himself in last week's game.

Even if it's just for fantasy owners, Forte's status is worth paying attention to. He may not be completely cleared until late in the week, but that doesn't mean you can abandon hope. It's going to require a watchful eye to place Forte in the correct lineup slot this week.

Bush is good, but Forte is versatile. Chicago's offense is better with Forte in because he can block, run or catch the ball out of the backfield. If he's out, Bush's north-south style is the only available option, and Seattle isn't going to let him beat that beat them.

Forte is probably going to play, but one minor tweak could change that. Pay attention, folks.

 

LeSean McCoy

According to Jeff McLane of the The Philadelphia Inquirer, McCoy is still in Phase 1 of his concussion tests:

Reid: LeSean McCoy is still in Phase 1 of concussion. Vick still hasn't passed test as of Mon. Will have another tomorrow.

— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) November 27, 2012

That doesn't sound like he will play, but you never know. Until he's completely ruled out, he's not out.

McCoy is the last remaining hope for the Eagles' offense. He's one of the best running backs in the league, even if he is severely underused.

Philadelphia, at 3-8, desperately needs a win. Earning that win over rival Dallas would feel great, but it seems unlikely given the strength of Dallas' pass defense—especially without McCoy.

Surprising developments aren't unusual, so don't rule Shady out until he's officially ruled out. If nothing else, keep your eye on his status for the coming weeks as well as Week 13.

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