While it was lost in the understandably palpable excitement for the conclusion of our long football drought, Week 1 across the NFL was a reminder of just how violent a sport this can be.
Star players across the league saw bumps, bruises and breaks of wide varieties, with their teams now awaiting word from team doctors as we barrel toward the second Sunday of the 2013 season. In such a short sample of games, injury luck is perhaps the most underrated factor in determining who holds the Lombardi Trophy come February.
Last week's games went a long way in starting that journey.
Of course, not all injuries come from the season's opening 16 games. The ever-present truth about life in the NFL is that it's no longer a brief reprieve from your days selling insurance. It's a year-long slog where multibillionaire owners hope against hope that their multimillionaire players will have licked their wounds from last season just to go through the ringer again.
And on top of that, the preseason was yet again a slog that saw plenty of notable names go down—some for the entire season.
The league's "next man up" policy usually begets a standout coming in as a replacement, but knowing who is out and for how long is an absolute necessity. Not only will it help you get to know the replacements on your favorite teams, but it'll also help you get your fantasy lineups in correctly. Our No. 1 goal here is to make sure you win all the delicious Skittles as a fantasy league champion.
With that in mind, let's check in with a few of Week 2's biggest question marks and list the complete inactives for the upcoming action.
(Note: This list will be continually updated as more information comes out. Check back in for the latest inactives. Current statuses are courtesy of CBS Sports unless otherwise noted.)
Rob Gronkowski (TE, New England Patriots)
After sitting out Week 1, there was little hope that Gronk would make his return four days later against the Jets. An official inactives report from the Patriots confirmed that sentiment. The Pro Bowl tight end will miss the New England home opener against the Jets on Thursday night, as he continues to recover from offseason surgeries to his back and forearm.
This is the eighth game of the Patriots' last 10 (including playoffs) that Gronkowski has missed. He re-injured his forearm during last season's playoff victory over the Houston Texans, leading to multiple offseason procedures.
For those who own Gronkowski in fantasy leagues, there is some hope that he'll return Week 3. He's been back in full pads since the beginning of September, and Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald reported this week that he was "close" to returning. Chris Wesseling of NFL.com indicated that Week 4 would be the absolute latest he'll be back on the field.
Michael Hoomanawanui, who made one reception for five yards last week, will start in Gronk's place.
Brandon Browner (CB, Seattle Seahawks)
Browner, who suffered a hamstring injury during the preseason, sat out Seattle's 12-7 win over the Carolina Panthers last week. He was replaced in the lineup by Walter Thurmond.
While still listed as questionable on the official report, there have been some promising signs this week. After missing early-week practices, Browner was expected to return in an unknown capacity Thursday after testing out his hamstring in running drills Wednesday. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said this week that Friday will be the most important day in determining his status, per Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk.
Browner's importance this week is obviously heightened. The division rival San Francisco 49ers will make their yearly trip to CenturyLink Field on Sunday night, a game that both teams will use as a barometer for where they stand on the NFC hierarchy.
With Anquan Boldin having burst out for a 13-catch, 208-yard performance last week, having Browner and Richard Sherman in the lineup will be critical.
Dez Bryant (WR, Dallas Cowboys)
There was a ton of concern about Bryant's status coming out of the Cowboys' 36-31 triumph over the Giants last week. The All-Pro receiver went down in the fourth quarter with a sprained ankle after being hit by Giants safety Ryan Mundy, and his status became a hand-wringing topic of conversation.
X-rays proved negative on his foot and ankle, but Bryant was diagnosed with a sprained foot. ESPN's Todd Archer noted that No. 88 was listed as a full participant in Wednesday's practice, but head coach Jason Garrett acknowledged he wasn't as active as normal.
He just didn’t take every single rep like he normally does. That’s just a function of we played Sunday night, he has a little bit of a foot injury and we want to make sure he’s healthy and ready to go this ballgame. No setbacks. Maybe just a little bit more of a limited practice than a typical Wednesday.
Bryant's Cowboys head to Arrowhead Sunday to take on the resurgent Chiefs. Dallas will also be dealing with another notable injury, as quarterback Tony Romo suffered a rib injury against New York. He's also been listed as a full participant in practice and is expected to play.
Bryant has not been listed on the Cowboys injury report.
Roddy White (WR, Atlanta Falcons)
White may have been in a Falcons uniform and on the field in last week's loss to the division rival Saints, but it was clear he was still dealing with a high-ankle sprain. The 31-year-old wideout hauled in just two passes for 19 yards, as White received only two targets from Matt Ryan on his 37 snaps, per Football Outsiders.
Although there is still hope White will bounce back soon, it's obvious that his ankle is nowhere near 100 percent. Jay Adams, the digital content manager for the Falcons, noted Thursday that White's week-long absence from practice continued Thursday:
From a fantasy perspective, White is probably a stay-away until he proves healthy. The Falcons used him mostly as a decoy last week on snaps he participated in, a strategy that will probably continue against the St. Louis Rams this week.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that White will be active, along with teammate Julio Jones.
Roddy White, Julio Jones officially active.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 15, 2013
Ed Reed (S, Houston Texans)
The Super Bowl-winning safety's debut as a Houston Texan was delayed a week when he was a late scratch against San Diego, and it's looking like that may be the case again in Week 2.
Houston head coach Gary Kubiak spoke to the media Thursday, indicating some hope regarding Reed's status. Mark Berman of Fox 26 noted Kubiak claims the 35-year-old has participated more this week than last with his ailing hip but that we'd still have to wait until Sunday for a concrete status update.
Gary Kubiak says Ed Reed practiced more today than he did last week and believes Reed will be a game-time decision for the Titans.— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) September 12, 2013
According to Kubiak, Reed's status depends in particular on how he feels early—ostensibly, when the hip would be at its tightest in the first half:
"The question right now is when is he ready for those first 25, 30 plays. When we get there, it will be a big plus." Kubiak on @TwentyER— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) September 12, 2013
He also confirmed that Shiloh Keo will get his second straight start regardless of Reed's status:
The Texans return to Reliant Stadium for a matchup with the Tennessee Titans, with both teams coming off one-possession victories. With three of the four AFC South teams getting a win last week, this matchup may wind up carrying more connotations than anyone expects.
ESPN's Adam Schefter confirmed that Reed will miss Sunday's game, as the veteran safety is not quite ready.
Texans S Ed Reed will not play today. Not quite ready.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 15, 2013
Full Inactives List
Inactive lists will be updated as they become available.
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati
Steelers: QB Landry Jones, K Shayne Graham, RB Le'Veon Bell, CB Cortez Allen, CB Curtis Brown, OG Cody Wallace, TE Heath Miller
Bengals: WR Dane Sanzenbacher, CB Brandon Ghee, RB Rex Burkhead, OG Mike Pollak, T Tanner Hawkinson, H-B Orson Charles, DE Margus Hunt
San Francisco at Seattle
49ers: RB LaMichael James, WR Jon Baldwin, WR Chris Harper, QB BJ Daniels, LG Joe Looney, DT Tony Jerod-Eddie, OLB Corey Lemonier, ILB Nate Stupar
Seahawks: RB Christine Michael, OT Alvin Bailey, OT Michael Bowie, DT Jordan Hill, DE Chris Clemons, CB Brandon Browner, S Jeron Johnson
Detroit at Arizona
Lions: DT Nick Fairley, WR Ryan Broyles, RB Mikel Leshoure, T Jason Fox, G Leroy Harris, S Don Carey and QB Kellen Moore
Cardinals: QB Ryan Lindley, RB Ryan Williams, LB Alex Okafor, DT Alameda Ta’amu, T Bobby Massie, G Earl Watford, TE Rob Housler
New Orleans at Tampa Bay
Saints: RB Khiry Robinson, OT Terron Armstead, WR Nick Toon, DE Glenn Foster, DE Tyrunn Walker, DT Brodrick Bunkley, S Isa Abdul-Quddus
Buccaneers: QB Dan Orlovsky, CB Michael Adams, RB Peyton Hillis, G Carl Nicks, TE Tom Crabtree, DE William Gholston, DE Steven Means
Jacksonville at Oakland
Jaguars: QB Blaine Gabbert, CB Dwayne Gratz, TE Marcedes Lewis, DE Abry Jones, WR Mike Brown, DB Marcus Burley and LB J.T. Thomas
Raiders: QB Matt McGloin, CB Chimdi Chekwa, T Menelik Watson, G Antoine McClain, WR Juron Criner, TE D. Ausberry, DE J. Crawford
Denver at New York
Broncos: QB Zac Dysert, CB Champ Bailey, TE Joel Dreessen, RB CJ Anderson, OL John Moffitt, OL Chris Kuper, CB Quentin Jammer
Giants: QB Ryan Nassib, RB Michael Cox, LB Allen Bradford, T David Diehl, T Brandon Mosley, TE Adrien Robinson, DT Johnathan Hankins
St. Louis at Atlanta
Rams: S Darian Stewart, RB Zac Stacy, CB Quinton Pointer, G Shelley Smith, C Barrett Jones, G Brandon Washington and DE Gerald Rivers
Falcons: RB Josh Vaughan, S Kemal Ishmael, S Zeke Motta, OT Ryan Schraeder, G Harland Gunn, DT Travian Robertson, DE Stansly Maponga
Minnesota at Chicago
Vikings: QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson, S Mistral Raymond, LB Mike Mauti, LB Gerald Hodges, DT Chase Baker, DE George Johnson, G Jeff Baca
Bears: WR Marquess Wilson, CB CJ Wilson, RB Michael Ford, DE David Bass, DT Zach Minter, OLs James Brown & Jonathan Scot
Washington at Green Bay
Redskins: K Kai Forbath, QB Rex Grossman, RB Evan Royster, S Jordan Pugh, S Jose Gumbs, OG Josh LeRibeus, NT Chris Neild.
Packers: CB Jarrett Bush, CB Casey Hayward, S Morgan Burnett, LB Nate Palmer, G Lane Taylor, DE Josh Boyd, DE C.J. Wilson
Carolina at Buffalo
Panthers: RB Kenjon Barner, CB James Dockery, CB Melvin White, C Brian Folkerts, TE Brandon Williams, DT Sione Fua, DE Wes Horton
Bills: K Dustin Hopkins, CB Stephon Gilmore, S Jairus Byrd, CB Ron Brooks, C Doug Legursky, WR Marquise Goodwin, TE Chris Gragg
Miami at Indianapolis
Dolphins: QB Pat Devlin, CB Jamar Taylor, RB Mike Gillislee, CB Will Davis, LB Josh Kaddu, G Danny Watkins, G Dallas Thomas
Colts: CB Delano Howell, LB Kavell Conner, C Khaled Holmes, OT Jeff Linkenbach, TE Dwayne Allen, WR David Reed, NT Montori Hughes
Dallas at Kanasas City
Cowboys: WR Cole Beasley, RB Joseph Randle, LB Ernie Sims, G David Arkin, OT Darrion Weems, TE Andre Smith, DE Caesar Rayford
Chiefs: QB Tyler Bray, WR Chad Hall, CB Dunta Robinson, LB Nico Johnson, C Eric Kush, LB Josh Martin, DL Jaye Howard
Cleveland at Baltimore
Browns: QB Brian Hoyer, TE MarQueis Gray, OL Martin Wallace, OL Shawn Lauvao, DL Ahtyba Rubin, DL Armonty Bryant, LB Paul Hazel.
Ravens: WR Jacoby Jones, DT Brandon Williams, WR Deonte Thompson, C Ryan Jensen, DE DeAngelo Tyson, T Jah Reid and RB Shaun Draughn
Tennessee at Houston
Titans: RB Shonn Greene, WR Damian Williams, LB Zaviar Gooden, C Brian Schwenke, T Byron Stingily, DE Keyunta Dawson, DE Lavar Edwards.
Texans: QB Case Keenum, S Ed Reed, RB Cierre Wood, DE Sam Montgomery, T Andrew Gardner, G Cody White and DE Tim Jamison
San Diego at Philadelphia
Chargers: LB Manti Te’o, QB Brad Sorensen, WR Seyi Ajorotutu, SS Brandon Taylor, LB Terrell Manning, G Johnnie Troutman, DE Drake Nevis, LB Tourek Williams
Eagles: QB Matt Barkley, CB Bradley Fletcher, CB Shaun Prater, T Matt Tobin, T Dennis Kelly, DE Vinny Curry and TE Emil Igwenagu
New York Jets at New England Patriots
Patriots: WR Danny Amendola, TE Rob Gronkowski, TE Zach Sudfeld, OL Will Svitek, RB Brandon Bolden, DL Chris Jones, LB Steve Beauharnais.
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