This Given Sunday is examining the biggest injury questions before each week of the NFL season. Here are the top-five health-related storylines entering Week 9.
Murray still wasn't practicing to start the week after missing two games in a row, and there's a very good chance he sits out Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons. The Cowboys have said they'll be patient with him, which sucks for fantasy owners because the Atlanta run defense can be had. Expect Felix Jones to get the brunt of the carries if Murray can't go, which is something you should avoid on Sunday Night Football.
If Green Bay's top receiver is forced to miss his second straight game Sunday, you likely won't know until 90 minutes before kickoff. The good news is that the Packers take on the Cardinals in an early kickoff, so you can afford to wait to see if he's active despite a hamstring injury. If he is able to suit up, he's probably a must-start in fantasy leagues that have three starting spots for receivers.
The Pittsburgh backfield is a mess. Dwyer has 229 yards the last two weeks but now he's hampered by a quad injury. With that in mind and with Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman both getting healthier, there might be a crowd fighting for carries against the Giants, who performed very well against the run last week. It's also a 4:25 p.m. ET kickoff, so you might want to avoid all three of Pittsburgh's backs from a fantasy perspective.
Baldwin sat out last week due to an ankle injury, but he had 74 yards and a touchdown two weeks ago before the injury. As a result, fantasy owners might be tempted to give him a shot if he's active against Minnesota. Unless you're real desperate, I'd stay away. Worst-case, have a backup plan because you might not learn Baldwin's status until well after the early games have begun on Sunday.
Our token defensive player on the list this week is Weatherspoon, who injured his ankle against the Eagles and was held out of practice to start the week. Without Weatherspoon, the Falcons could really have their hands full trying to cover the red-hot Jason Witten on Sunday night. The drop-off to Akeem Dent, especially in pass coverage, would be significant.