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Injury Updates Week 5: Reggie Bush, Christian Ponder, Rashard Mendenhall

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.

Reggie Bush, RB, Miami Dolphins vs. Cincinnati Bengals
First the knee, now the hip but neither should keep Reggie Bush from playing against the Bengals. He practiced Friday and it’s a decent matchup for the Miami running game as they go against the eighth-worst fantasy defense against running backs. There might be some fear in the fact theBengals just held Maurice Jones-Drew to 38 yards on 13 carries and he only sniffed a double-digit day in PPR thanks to five catches for 42 yards. At least we know Bush can both run and catch  — 369 ground, 72 air this season, on pace to best his No. 11 ranking as a fantasy RB last year. Prior to MJD, Cincinnati had allowed Alfred Morris 78 yards rushing and a score, Trent Richardson 109 yards rushing, 36 yards receiving and two scores and Ray Rice 68 yards rushing and two scores.

Christian Ponder, QB, Minnesota Vikings vs. Tennessee Titans
Christian Ponder is listed on the injury report as probable with a knee but his availability should not be a concern. After what the Titans have displayed on defense thus far — or lack thereof — Ponder cannot take to the field fast enough. They have allowed the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks, third-most to running backs and most to tight ends. Ponder-Adrian Peterson-Kyle Rudolph all sound pretty good to me this week. And that’s not even mentioning what Percy Harvin might do. No starting QB has thrown for under 200 yards, no team has collected less than two touchdowns and only Philip Rivers has been intercepted (once) by the Titans this season. Start Ponder with confidence.

Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Rashard Mendenhall is slated to make his season debut today against the Eagles, returning from a torn ACL suffered late last season. It is unlikely he will take a full workload in his return. But what is a full workload in Pittsburgh this season? No back has eclipsed 12 carries in a game and Jonathan Dywer’s 43 yards in Week 1 is the high point for rushing. Keep in mind that Mendenhall was not that great last season before the injury. He carried over 20 times once and produced 146 yards and a score in that game (Week 6 against Jacksonville). From that point until the Week 17 injury, he averaged 60.9 yards rushing per game with six scores. Philadelphia is ranked seventh against fantasy running backs this season, having allowed just one rushing score to the position and 3.3 yards per carry.

— By Corby A. Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter