Plenty of No. 1 wide receivers show up on the Week 8 injury report. Find out below who is shaping up to be a game-time decision, who has already been ruled out and who should be ready to roll.
A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Baltimore Ravens
Doubtful – Toe
Green didn’t practice at all this week, but he was able to get some rehab and conditioning work in on the side. This progress prompted head coach Marvin Lewis to express some optimism about getting his All-Pro wide receiver back. However, Green’s Doubtful designation certainly puts a damper on things. There are reports Green will test his injured toe out early Sunday, but even then you are looking at a game-time decision at best. With Green’s toe still keeping him from merely taking part in practice; it seems highly unlikely that he will return after missing the past two games. Personally, I am not going to sit around and hope Green makes a miraculous return. So Green will remain on my bench and I’ll revisit his situation next week. Mohamed Sanu remains a fairly safe WR2 option with upside.
Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions vs. Atlanta Falcons (London)
Out - Ankle
Johnson did take part in practice for the first time in three weeks, but he remains limited by his ankle injury. With the Lions already expected to be without several other skill position players, they certainly could use Johnson. But he has repeatedly stated that he won’t get back on the field until he knows he can perform at the All-Pro level he expects. And that apparently is not today, as the team ruled Johnson Out prior to kickoff earlier this morning. The Lions being on bye next week probably contributed some to the decision to deactivate him. With Johnson officially inactive, Golden Tate is a bona fide WR1 based on the matchup (Falcons 29th in NFL in passing defense) and the fact that Matthew Stafford also does have Reggie Bush or several of his tight ends to throw to today.
Vincent Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Minnesota Vikings
Questionable – Rib
The Buccaneers are coming off of their bye yet Jackson is still being limited in practice because of a rib injury. That’s not the most encouraging sign, nor is his Questionable designation. However, Jackson is expected to be out there today, as he’s played through this injury previously. Jackson and Mike Glennon have combined for 15 catches for 242 yards and a touchdown over the past three games, so Jackson remains a relatively safe WR2 today against the Vikings.
Harry Douglas and Julio Jones, WRs, Atlanta Falcons vs. Detroit Lions (London)
Questionable – Foot; Probable – Ankle
Douglas has missed the past four games with a foot injury, but he was back at practice this week, albeit in a limited fashion. He is listed as Questionable and it will be a game-time decision whether he plays or not. Just remember that this game is in London, which means a much earlier start (9:30 a.m. ET). Jones meanwhile is taking it easy earlier in the week to give his bothersome ankle as much time to recover as possible. He was a full go on Thursday and Friday and is listed as Probable. Jones remains a must-start WR1, while Douglas should be left on the waiver wire or your bench if you own him.
Andre Johnson, WR, Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans
Probable – Ankle
The good news is that following the short turnaround after playing Monday night, Johnson was able to get one full practice session in on Friday. He’s dealt with this nagging ankle issue for several weeks, but he’s still yet to miss a game. That won’t happen today either, as he’s listed as Probable. Johnson has just one touchdown catch so far, but he’s seeing at least seven targets and registering at least four catches every game. He’s a legitimate WR1 and you just have to keep putting him out there and hope this is the week he and Ryan Fitzpatrick really click.
Eric Decker, WR, New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills
Probable – Hamstring
After not being a factor on last week’s injury report, Decker’s back on because of his bothersome hamstring. He was limited in practice all week, but apparently the coaching staff isn’t concerned about his readiness since he’s listed as Probable. Decker’s been more of a hit-or-miss option this season, but it will be interesting to see how he and Percy Harvin, his new teammate, fare in their first game together. For now, Decker is a risky WR2 and a much safer flex option.
Already Ruled Out:
Reggie Wayne, WR, Indianapolis Colts – Wayne injured his elbow in last week’s win and underwent an MRI to determine the severity. What the MRI showed the team has not shared, but Wayne didn’t practice at all this week and was spotted wearing a compression sleeve on his injured elbow. He’s already been ruled out for this afternoon’s game and the hope right now is that Wayne will only need to miss one or two more games. T.Y. Hilton becomes the Colts’ No. 1 wide receiver in Wayne’s absence, but his actual role and production doesn’t figure to change that much. The beneficiary of Wayne’s injury could be Hakeem Nicks, who should see more opportunities, but don’t rule out rookie Donte Moncrief either. It’s probably too risky to rely on Nicks or Moncrief this week, except maybe in deeper leagues.