While big names have been getting hurt throughout the 2013 NFL season, Week 13 presents the biggest challenge to players that are looking to return from injuries. Four additional teams will have a short week because of Thanksgiving and the six games that are scheduled for Thursday night.
Below are updates for some of the best players that showed up on the Week 12 injury report, as well as those who were injured over the weekend.
When Rodgers broke his collarbone against the Chicago Bears, his three-week projected diagnosis left the door open for him to return on Thanksgiving. With the Green Bay Packers’ game in Detroit just two days away, it doesn’t look like the quarterbacks will be ready to play. Head coach Mike McCarthy called the chances of Rodgers suiting up on Thursday “slim to none.” That means Matt Flynn is likely to get the start on the holiday. He replaced Scott Tolzien on Sunday, helping the Packers tie the Minnesota Vikings. It was the first time the team didn’t lose, since Rodgers went down.
Justin Houston and Tamba Hali
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The defense that’s gotten to the quarterback as much as any other NFL team lost their top two pass rushers on Sunday. Justin Houston left the contest with a dislocated elbow, while Tamba Hali sprained his ankle. The prognosis for Houston is bleaker, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that he’ll likely be out against the Denver Broncos in Week 13. The outside linebacker, who leads the Kansas City Chiefs with 11 sacks, was unable to undergo an MRI on Monday because of swelling in the area of the injury. Hali and his nine sacks are also questionable for the rematch with the Broncos.
The Broncos starting running back had the best performance of his career in Week 12, rushing for 224 yards on 37 carries. However, his night didn’t end well, as Denver blew a 24-0 lead to the New England Patriots and he was forced to use crutches after loss. Moreno bruised his ankle, but Jack Del Rio called the injury “not significant.” The 26-year-old’s status is uncertain for Denver’s next game, but the interim head coach was optimistic, indicating Moreno could be practicing by the end of the week.
In addition to Denver’s starting running back, one of their cornerbacks is also listed as day-to-day. Rodgers-Cromartie hurt his shoulder at the end of the first half on Sunday night, but Del Rio didn’t seem too concerned. The coach also said he expects Champ Bailey to return on Sunday.
With Jay Cutler still sidelined, the injuries on the offensive side are piling up for the Chicago Bears. Forte hyperextended his knee in the team’s loss to the St. Louis Rams. He might not miss any time, though, as head coach Marc Trestman said he remains optimistic about the running back’s status in Week 13 against the Minnesota Vikings. Michael Bush would get the majority of the carries if Forte can’t go, but he has been unproductive in 2013. He’s averaging just 1.6 yards per attempt on 42 carries and finished last game with -5 yards on seven attempts.