11-16-2012, 06:00 PM
We begin our roundup of key injuries in the NFL with — what else — the quarterback position. Though the Chicago Bears' final injury report before Monday night's game against the San Francisco 49ers is not due until Saturday, head coach Lovie Smith has already ruled Jay Cutler out with a concussion, naming Jason Campbell the starter. In addition to Cutler, the Bears have ruled 2012 first round defensive end Shea McClellin out for the 49ers game with a concussion he sustained on the opening play of the Bears' 13-6 loss to the Houston Texans last Sunday night. The status of 49ers quarterback Alex Smith (concussion) for Monday night's game has not yet been determined, but he appears on track to start. Smith has not been fully cleared, but has taken first-team reps in a black, "no contact" jersey. If Smith has a setback, or is not cleared by medical personnel, 2011 second round pick Colin Kaepernick would get the start. The best injury news for the 49ers was the return of head coach Jim Harbaugh to practice on Friday. Harbaugh underwent a procedure for an irregular heartbeat after falling ill on Wednesday night. Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was ruled out earlier this week with a sprained sternoclavicular joint in his right shoulder, along with a rib injury that could prove fatal if aggravated or exposed to additional contact. The Steelers will also be without wide receiver Antonio Brown (ankle), right tackle Marcus Gilbert (ankle) and safety Troy Polamalu (calf), but will have running back Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles), who is expected to start against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night. Meanwhile, the Ravens have listed starting defensive end Pernell McPhee (knee) as "doubtful" and, after giving him a week off, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (shoulder/knee) as "probable" along with safety Ed Reed (shoulder), running back Ray Rice (toe) and outside linebacker Terrell Suggs (Achilles). As expected, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick has been ruled out with the concussion he suffered during the second quarter of Sunday's 38-23 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. 2012 third round pick Nick Foles will make his first NFL start on Sunday against the Washington Redskins and he could remain in the lineup as Vick remains in the " first phase " of the concussion recovery process. "He's had symptoms all week, since the (Dallas) game," Eagles head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder said on Friday via Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News. "He's had a headache, which has gotten better during the week. He's foggy -- he's not very alert right now in terms of, he just doesn't have that energy. He's tired all the time. He's sleeping a lot, he's not getting rid of the fatigue. I would consider him heavy-eyed. "When you talk to him, he's just not the Michael Vick that you know when he's healthy." In addition to Vick, the Eagles have ruled out wide receivers Mardy Gilyard and Jason Avant. For the Redskins, wide receiver Pierre Garcon (foot) has a chance to play in his first game since Week 5. Garcon was signed to a five-year, $42.5 million contract in March and has just eight receptions for 153 yards and a touchdown in three games this season. The considerable time Garcon has missed has cost him $93,750 in "per game active" roster bonuses, but he could avoid further financial losses on Sunday. The Green Bay Packers have ruled out wide receiver Greg Jennings (groin/abdomen), linebacker Clay Matthews (hamstring) and safety Charles Woodson (collarbone) for this Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions. The good news for the Packers is that they will get wide receiver Jordy Nelson (ankle) back in action this week. Nelson missed Week 8 and was injured in the first quarter of a Week 9 win over the Arizona Cardinals, but the bye week allowed him to get healthy and he is officially listed as "probable" for the game against a Lions' secondary that will be without safety Amari Spievey (concussion) and possibly Louis Delmas, who is "doubtful" with a knee injury. The Lions also list starting cornerback Chris Houston (ankle) and wide receiver Calvin Johnson (knee) as "questionable", but both players practiced on Thursday and Friday and are expected to play on Sunday.