What’s this? Every Tuesday through Friday, Chris Towers will catch you up on the previous day’s biggest news first thing in the morning. Here’s what you missed Wednesday:

Jameis Winston will start in Week 13

After missing three weeks with a shoulder injury, Winston will be back under center for the Buccaneers this Sunday. Hopefully this time off was enough to get him back to full health, because Winston was impossible to trust for the month leading up to his absence, as he failed to throw touchdown in three of four games, while leaving two of those games as a result of the injury.

Winston doesn’t have a bad matchup this week against the Packers, who allow the 17th-most Fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. However, given his absence and the injury, it’s tough to trust Winston, who is not a top-15 QB in any of our three expert rankings for the week. 

Alex Collins was held out of practice with a calf injury

It’s safe to say we like Collins a lot this week, but this calf injury complicates matters just a bit. It didn’t seem to bother him in Week 12, when he rushed 16 times for 60 yards and a touchdown, so this could have just been a recovery day for a guy who has at least 10 carries in seven straight games, a bigger role than he’s ever managed before. This is one we’ll watch closely throughout the week.

Devonta Freeman has cleared the concussion protocol

Tevin Coleman did his job admirably, rushing for 223 yards over the last three games with Freeman ailing, but we all know whose job this is when both are healthy. Prior to Week 10, when Freeman exited early due to his concussion, Freeman had averaged 16.6 touches per game, while Coleman averaged 9.9 in that stretch. Coleman can still be useful with Freeman around, but he isn’t a recommended play in Week 13 against the Vikings.

Amari Cooper didn’t practice, and is not expected to play in Week 13

Cooper is recovering from an ankle injury and a concussion, and the combination looks like it’s going to cost him at least one game. He sat out Wednesday’s practice, and one Raiders beat writer reports he is “considered unlikely to play Sunday,” leaving Seth Roberts and Cordarrelle Patterson to step up with Michael Crabtree also suspended for the game. 

Christian McCaffrey is dealing with a shoulder injury

McCaffrey was forced to sit out Wednesday’s practice, as a result of a shoulder injury suffered in Week 12. We don’t have any more details about the nature of the injury, but there isn’t necessarily any reason to believe this is a serious issue at this point. Ron Rivera told reporters McCaffrey will be re-evaluated Thursday, and we’ll just keep an eye on this one as we move through the week. If McCaffrey sits out practice Thursday as well, then we’ll start to worry.

Devin Funchess (toe) did not practice

Funchess also got out of Week 12 with an injury, a stubbed toe, however he acknowledged the injury after the game and told reporters the injury isn’t a serious one. He did not practice, but like McCaffrey, we’ll monitor this one as the week goes on just to be sure. If he has to sit out Thursday as well, then it will be time to start looking for a contingency plan. 

Other notes

  • Doug Martin (concussion) was held out Wednesday… Martin has to get through the concussion protocol, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him miss Week 13 as result of this injury. Peyton Barber would be the goal-line work, while Jacquizz Rodgers would see most of the work between the 20’s if Martin is out.
  • Jay Cutler will start in Week 13… Adam Gase was consistent that Cutler is his starter when healthy, so he’ll start in Week 13 after getting out of the concussion protocol. Even with Denver’s defense taking a step back, Cutler is not a recommended start.
  • Greg Olsen (foot) did not practice Wednesday… Olsen did not suffer a serious setback with his foot, but it’s not clear if he’ll be able to play in Week 13 yet. This is definitely one to watch, though after watching him leave his first game back at halftime, it’s going to be tough to trust him either way.
  • Ameer Abdullah (neck) didn’t practice Wednesday… It’s not clear when Abdullah suffered the injury in Week 12, but this is one to watch. Abdullah isn’t more than a low-end starter most weeks, but his potential absence could push someone like Dwayne Washington into a larger role, so we’ll monitor this.
  • Sterling Shepard (migraines) is practicing in full… After missing two games, Shepard seems to be back to full health. He’ll be catching passes from Geno Smith in Week 13 against Oakland, so it’ll be tough to trust him as more than a low-end starter.
  • Adrian Peterson (neck) did not practice… This could just be a veteran’s workload management day, but we’ll monitor this one over the next few days to see if Peterson is at risk of missing time. Kerwynn Williams is dealing with a rib injury, so if Peterson is forced to miss time, it could come down to the likes of D.J. Foster, Elijhaa Penny and Bronson Hill.
  • Jordan Reed (hamstring) has been ruled out for Week 13… No surprise. You don’t have to hold on to him anymore.
  • Aaron Jones (knee) was upgraded to a limited practice… Jamaal Williams has been fine since getting into the starting lineup, but this was Jones’ job before his injury, so we’ll monitor this one. It would be a surprise if he is back in Week 13, but a couple of practices Thursday and Friday could put him on track.
  • Rishard Matthews (hamstring) couldn’t practice Wednesday… Matthews was close to playing in Week 12, so we’ll see if he can get over the injury this week. Hamstring injuries are always tricky.
  • Robert Woods (shoulder) is still sidelined… Woods’ injury was expected to cost him multiple weeks, so this is no surprise. Cooper Kupp will remain a worthwhile starter with Woods out.

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