NFL WEEK 14 INJURY ANALYSIS

This Given Sunday is examining the biggest injury questions before each week of the NFL season. Here are the top-five health-related storylines entering Week 14.

Ben Roethlisberger

All signs point to Big Ben returning to the Steelers' lineup after missing three games with that shoulder injury. He "made all the necessary throws" in Wednesday's practice, according to head coach Mike Tomlin and he'll be eager to get back for a home game against San Diego considering that the Steelers are now back in the AFC North race. Pittsburgh hosts the Bolts at 1 p.m. ET so unless Carson Palmer is your handcuff Thursday night, there's really not a lot of risk from a fantasy perspective.

Cecil Shorts

Shorts has scored in four straight games and has become a fantasy football difference-maker in the process. But he suffered a concussion against the Bills and wasn't ready to return to practice at the start of the week. There aren't any viable handcuffs on the Jacksonville roster and head injuries can be tricky, so fantasy owners would be smart to ensure that they have a quality replacement ready in case news breaks that Shorts can't suit up for a 1 p.m. ET kickoff against the Jets.

Terrell Suggs

Suggs' status is up in the air both long term and short term after he tore a biceps muscle in Week 13. He says he's a game-time decision for Sunday's matchup with the Redskins, but that's a tough injury to bounce back from. Even if Suggs does play, he won't be close to 100 percent, so you can upgrade Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris and downgrade the Ravens' defense a tad. I'm thinking he won't play anyway, so don't hold back with your Redskins.

DeAngelo Hall

I know this seems like a weird name for a list like this, but consider that the Redskins already have the league's 31st-ranked pass defense and that they just lost solid No. 3 corner Cedric Griffin for the season due to a suspension. Then consider that Hall was on crutches to start the week due to an ankle injury and that he wasn't practicing as a result. What I'm suggesting is that if you have Joe Flacco, Anquan Boldin or Torrey Smith on your fantasy roster, you'd better find a spot for those guys if Hall sits out Sunday,

Alshon Jeffery

If you're desperate and looking for a playoff spark in your third wide receiver spot, you might have your eye on the rookie Jeffery, who has barely played since Week 5 but had at least eight fantasy points in two of those first five games, scoring twice. Jeffery, who's coming back from knee surgery, practiced on a limited basis to start the week. He'd be a very risky fantasy play against a solid Vikings pass defense, but at least you'll know well ahead of the 1 p.m. ET kickoff if he'll be good to go.

Brad Gagnon

About Brad Gagnon

Brad Gagnon has been passionate about both sports and mass media since he was in diapers -- a passion that won't die until he's in them again. Based in Toronto, he's worked as a national NFL blog editor at theScore.com (covering Super Bowls XLIV, XLV and XLVI), a producer and writer at theScore Television Network and a host, reporter and play-by-play voice at Rogers TV. His work has also appeared at Deadspin, FoxSports.com, The Guardian, The Hockey News and elsewhere at Bloguin, but his day gig has him covering all things NFC East for Bleacher Report.

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