NFL WEEK 8 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 8.

Jimmy Graham

After missing the Saints' Week 7 game in Tampa, Graham has been practicing this week on a limited basis. That's progress, but it's a bit concerning that Graham wasn't able to go last week coming off the bye. It'll be tempting for fantasy owners to roll the dice on the stat-heavy Graham in Week 8, but he's very likely to be a game-time decision and the Saints don't play the Broncos until Sunday night.

DeMarco Murray/Felix Jones

It's looking as though Murray will sit out his second straight game due to a foot injury, while Jones was held out of Wednesday's practice due to a knee bruise. Jones should still be good to start if Murray can't go, but he'll be less than 100 percent and is coming off a bad game vs. Washington. If you can avoid the Dallas backfield this week, I'd recommend you do so.

Trent Richardson

He played despite a rib injury in Week 7, but he didn't play well. In fact, he played terribly and was benched down the stretch. So while he's likely to be active against San Diego (and it's an early start so you can't get screwed as a fantasy owner), there's no telling how much playing time the rookie will get if his ribs continue to give him trouble. If you have another option in the same neighborhood, go that way.

Rashard Mendenhall

Mendenhall has an Achilles injury that kept him out in Week 7 against Cincinnati and is keeping him out of practices this week. Injuries have plagued Mendenhall all season and Isaac Redman is also hurt, which means you should probably expect Jonathan Dwyer to get the lion's share of the work again Washington. Still, be wary of a crowded backfield against a good run defense.

Jay Cutler

Cutler will play Sunday against Carolina, but it's possible they take it easy considering what kind of shape those ribs might be in after meeting Ndamukong Suh. So if you're a Cutler fantasy owner and you have another quality quarterback on the roster, it might be a week to consider sitting the less-than-100-percent Cutler. 

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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