Posted by Andy Benoit
Raiders @ Steelers
For Oakland, WR Chaz Schilens is out. That has become as standard as eating lunch after breakfast. Superstar CB Nnamdi Asomugha hopes his speedy recovery from a high ankle sprain will allow him to play. Asomugha participated in parts of practice during the week. The Steelers will have WR Hines Ward back (he missed three quarters with a concussion against New England last week), but the Raiders would probably prefer to put Asomugha on the more explosive Mike Wallace.
Oakland’s passing game might be more limited than usual, as TE Zach Miller (foot) and WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (hamstring) are both questionable. The Steelers vaunted defense is at full strength minus the all-important defensive ends, Aaron Smith (triceps) and Brett Keisel (hamstring).
Browns @ Jaguars
Josh Cribbs is a no-go after dislocating every toe in his right foot except the big one last week against the Jets. That obviously hurts Cleveland’s return game (though rookie Joe Haden is solid running back kickoffs) and it limits the creativity of the already-mundane offense. The offense could be further limited if sensational LG Eric Steinbach (calf) can’t play. He’s questionable – and so is backup Floyd Womack (knee).
Defensively, the Browns could once again be without Shaun Rogers (ankle). They will certainly be without LB Scott Fujita (knee). CB Sheldon Brown is questionable after last week’s shoulder injury. LB Matt Roth got sick and did not practice all week. DE Kenyon Coleman was limited in practice with a knee injury.
Cleveland’s banged-up defense presents the Jaguars with a golden opportunity to get to 6-4 and, remarkably, sneak to the top of the AFC South (that is, if New England beats Indy). The Jags will be near full strength Sunday, as WR Mike Sims-Walker (doubtful, ankle) is the only player listed as anything worse than probable.
Lions @ Cowboys
The Lions listed 17 players on the injury report this week. That’s not good considering they have to play just four days after the conclusion of this game.
The Lions will of course be without QB Matthew Stafford (shoulder). Kicker Jason Hanson (leg) is still out. So is RB Kevin Smith (thumb), which is a problem exacerbated by the fact that Jahvid Best is battling a toe injury (he’ll likely play but at less than 100 percent).
Tony Romo’s injury means we get to see Jon Kitna facing his former team. Somehow this doesn’t quite have the glamour of Favre facing the Packers. Kitna will have his full arsenal of weapons. The only iffy starter for the Cowboys is cornerback Terence Newman (ankle).
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