With the fantasy football semifinals getting set to launch tonight, every nugget of information is key. So on that front, let's take a look at the status of some key players.
-Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford vows that here will be no limitations to the injured finger on this throwing hand when the team plays the New York Giants Sunday. The gunglinsger passer though is a bit of risky to go with due to the fact there is heavy rain in the forecast and any issue with his finger could negatively impact his throwing even more. Throw in the resurgence of the Giants defense (especially the secondary) and Stafford is far from a slam dunk in such an important game.
-New York Jets running back Matt Forte thinks he will be able to play Saturday night despite learning of a meniscus tear in his knee but he is still less than 50/50 to go based on the snow expected for the game and the fact the Jets are out of it and don't need to risk further injury to a guy who is signed for two more years. Bilal Powell should get 25-plus carries yet again in the elements and be a prime RB 2.
-A.J. Green practiced again on Thursday as he tries to fight his way into the Week 16 lineup. Again like with the Jets, the Bengals are pretty much out of the playoff hunt and so they will be cautious here. Green has been limited with his practice reps but the fact he has gone back-to-back is leading to optimism for Week 16.
-Aaron Rodgers has not practiced the last two days but he publicly said he will be out there Sunday despite dealing with a sore calf. The weather will be very cold and frigid Sunday in Chicago against the Bears but Rodgers torched them earlier in the season and is in as hot a stretch as he has had all year. He is a must start this week.
-Alshon Jeffery makes his return this week after sitting four games due to a PED suspension. He is staying after at practice to build chemistry with QB Matt Barkley and he gets a good matchup against a Packers defense whose best attribute is their run defense.
-There is optimism that New Orleans Saints rookie wideout Michael Thomas will be able to play Sunday after missing last week with an injured foot. Thomas got in some work at practice on Wednesday but he will likely draw the coverage of All-Pro CB Patrick Peterson which really limits his upside. Brandin Cooks would benefit if Thomas could go though.