NFL WEEK 16 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 16.

Robert Griffin III

All signs point to Griffin playing this week despite an injured knee, but that was also the case at this time last week and Griffin ended up being inactive for the first time in his career. The Redskins have already stated that RG3 won't start unless he's 100 percent healthy, so don't screw around here and make sure you have a backup plan in place. And now that you've seen what Kirk Cousins can do, it wouldn't be fantasy suicide to use him as your handcuff. It's an early start against a bad Philadelphia defense, so you're in for some serious points regardless.

Rob Gronkowski

The All-Planet tight end has returned to practice on a limited basis after missing four weeks due to a busted forearm. The Patriots are obviously super-secretive so it's tough to tell if Gronk will have a chance to return and make an impact Sunday against the Jaguars, but the good news is you likely already have a solid handcuff in place if you're still alive and you'll know Gronkowski's status Sunday morning with the game being at 1 p.m. ET.

Torrey Smith

Smith has really struggled the last few weeks, but if you're thinking he could bust out against a weak Giants' secondary and give your fantasy team a boost from the No. 3 wide receiver spot, you might be out of luck. The explosive but inconsistent wide receiver was held out of practice to start the week due to a concussion. He won't have a lot of time to pass baseline tests from an independent neurologist, so you'd better have another plan in place. However, if you're leaning on Smith, your fantasy team is likely in trouble anyway. 

Sidney Rice

Yet another injury for Rice. This time, it's a knee that kept him out of practice to start the week. Last week, it was an ankle, yet Rice still put up 76 yards on four catches against the Bills in Toronto. At this point, he's a must-start in the red-hot Seahawks offense as a No. 3 fantasy receiver, but keep a close eye on Rice's status as Sunday's game approaches. If this injury is the straw to break the camel's back for a player that's been banged up all year, you might want to consider someone else. It's also extra tough because the Seahawks don't play until Sunday night, and it's not an easy matchup against the 49ers.

Maurice Jones-Drew

You definitely shouldn't be counting on MoJo to save your fantasy team this week, but crazier things have happened. The stud back hasn't played since Week 7, but the Jaguars kept him off injured reserve this long for a reason. He is running full speed now as he recovers from a foot injury and is being called questionable for Sunday's game against New England. Keep a close eye on this situation, but expect Montell Owens to carry the load again for the Jags on Sunday.

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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