Wednesday injury reports: Tomlinson back at practice

As the first official injury reports of the week come across the news desk, it’s our first chance to get a true gauge on the status of ailing players across the league.

  • Positive news out of San Diego, where RB LaDainian Tomlinson returned to practice for the first time since spraining his ankle in Week 1. Tomlinson fully took part in practice and told reporters Wednesday that he feels better about his situation. Chargers coach Norv Turnersaid Tomlinson looked good, but he’s still considering the running back day to day. Starting RG Louis Vasquez (knee) also practiced, and OLB Shawne Merriman (groin), who had to leave last week’s game because of his injury, sat out.
  • The Steelers held several starters out of practice, including RB Willie Parker (toe), C Justin Hartwig (ankle) and WR Hines Ward (not injury related).
  • The Rams held QB Marc Bulger (right shoulder), S James Butler (knee) and rookie RT Jason Smith (knee) out of practice. Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo hasn’t ruled out Bulger for Sunday’s game against the 49ers, although his absence increases the chances that backup QB Kyle Boller will start. Smith, who missed last week’s game, is considered questionable.
  • The Cowboys returned to practice Wednesday, but RB Felix Jones (knee) did not. Jones was held out after spraining a ligament in his left knee Monday night, as his status now appears even more in doubt. The player he was replacing — Marion Barber — was able to take part in a limited part of practice as he deals with a thigh injury that kept him out against the Panthers.
  • The Jets continue to deal with injuries in a banged-up secondary. CBs Lito Sheppard (quadricep) and Donald Strickland (ankle), who both sat out last week, were held out again today. Jets coach Rex Ryan said both players looked much better than last week, and he was hopeful they would return to practice. Two other starters — CB Darrelle Revis (hamstring) and S Kerry Rhodes (knee) — were limited.
  • The Patriots held out OT Nick Kaczur (ankle) and DT Vince Wilfork (ankle). Wilfork was injured late in the second quarter against the Falcons and didn’t return to the game. WRs Wes Welker (knee) and Randy Moss (back) were listed as limited in practice.
  • The Dolphins listed only one player on today’s report, as OLB Joey Porter (hamstring) was held out.
  • Bengals starters RB Cedric Benson (knee) and LB Rey Maualuga (knee) were held out. Coach Marvin Lewis indicated to reporters that Maualuga, who left last week’s game after injuring his left knee, would be available Sunday against the Browns.
  • Lions RB Kevin Smith (shoulder) was held out today. Smith injured his right shoulder during the third quarter of last week’s victory over the Redskins and didn’t return.
  • Already thin at linebacker with the absence of Brian Urlacher, the Bears held out Lance Briggs (foot), Hunter Hillenmeyer (rib) and Pisa Tinoisamoa (knee) today. “Whenever you miss practice, you have to take note of it,” coach Lovie Smith told the team’s blog about Briggs’ status. “We’ll see how it goes tomorrow.” DE Alex Brown (ankle) also was held out.
  • The Chiefs continue to sit WR Dwayne Bowe (hamstring), who didn’t play last week.
  • The Giants listed 11 players on today’s injury report, including RB Ahmad Bradshaw (ankle, foot), who sat out practice. Both Bradshaw and coach Tom Coughlin were optimistic that the running back will play Sunday. DE Justin Tuck (shoulder) also sat out today, but said he expects to play more against the Chiefs after being limited last week.
  • The Redskins held out DT Albert Haynesworth (glute), RB Clinton Portis (calf), CB Carlos Rogers (ankle) and RB Mike Sellers (thigh), although coach Jim Zorn was optimistic that all four will play against the Buccaneers.
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