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Injury Updates Week 5: Aaron Hernandez, Pierre Garcon, Lance Moore

There are a few key fantasy contributors that have had a number of injury question marks surrounding their playing status leading up to Week 5 of the 2012 NFL season. Here’s a little bit about these three and what you should consider.

Aaron Hernandez, TE, New England Patriots vs. Denver Broncos
Aaron Hernandez (ankle) returned to practice on Thursday, practiced again on Friday and is listed as questionable for today’s late game against visiting Denver. He practiced on a limited basis, per the Patriots’ always forthcoming injury news. If it was gamesmanship to get the Broncos thinking about Hernandez it also has fantasy owners thinking about the standout tight end as well. Denver gave up one touchdown to the tight end position each of the first three weeks and then saw Oakland lay an egg offensively last week.  The Broncos are 19thagainst fantasy receivers and 10th against fantasy running backs and were allowing 25,6 points per game before the Raiders put up just six. Late game, earlier-than-expected recovery from the injury for Hernandez — if he is recovered — and whether the Pats really need him to win this home game would have me a little leery of inserting Hernandez today.

Pierre Garcon, WR, Washington Redskins vs. Atlanta Falcons
Pierre Garcon said earlier this week it’s “going to take some time” for his foot to completely heal, but he should be on the field today against Atlanta — his second game back since missing two games with the injury suffered in Week 1. It might take a fully healthy Garcon, however, to get solid production against a stingy Atlanta pass defense. Outside of Demaryius Thomas’s great toe-drag catch in Week 2 and Kealoah Pilares 36-yard wide-open score on his only offensive play of the game last week, the Falcons have not surrendered any other TDs to receivers. On Wednesday, Garcon had his first full day of practice since the injury. Washington’s pass defense should be no match for Atlanta’s pass offense. You would hope Garcon could get something going early. If the Falcons jump out to a lead and there is garbage-time production to be had, the question is: Will Garcon still be out there to get it? In this offense, if Garcon’s playing, you start him and hope for the best.

Lance Moore, WR, New Orleans Saints vs. San Diego Chargers (Sunday night)
Lance Moore (hamstring), the indoor phenomenon, is out for tonight’s game. He will not get a chance to showcase his skills on turf against a Chargers team that is 11th against fantasy receivers but has allowed production to opposing team’s other non-No. 1 receivers. Rod Streater, Kendall Wright and Julio Jones all caught touchdowns against San Diego and Jonathan Baldwin was 4-for-50. So who steps in for Moore Sunday night?  That’s hard to tell. Being that it is a Sunday night game, there is probably no one on the Saints not named Marques Colston that I would insert in my WR spot today. It’s too much of a gamble when there are better plays out there.

— By Corby A. Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter