NFL Quick Hits: Watkins should play, but how much?

Sammy Watkins (foot) has been limited in practice this week, but Bills head coach Rex Ryan said Thursday that “as long as there’s not another setback or anything like that, I feel pretty good about him playing.” Good news … sort of.

WBKW’s Joe Buscaglia reports that the Bills seem to be taking it easy on Watkins in practice, and says that he “wouldn’t expect him to get anywhere close to the same workload that he would get as a starter during the game.” If you own Watkins, it’s probably a week too early to get him in your fantasy lineup.

In other news …

Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (chest) was limited in his return to practice on Thursday, and reports earlier in the week suggested that he’ll miss another game. Remember that the Pats have a late afternoon game — don’t take any chances with Gronk if his situation is murky on Sunday morning.

In other Pats’ news, QB Tom Brady (knee) and TE Martellus Bennett (ankle) missed practice Thursday. All is probably well for both, but let’s keep a closer eye on them this weekend than we normally would.

Darren Sproles (broken rib) returned to practice on Thursday for the Eagles, but Ryan Mathews (knee) remained sidelined. Look for a Sproles/Wendell Smallwood backfield against the Packers on Monday night. Smallwood is still available in 81.6 percent of leagues.

The Thanksgiving Day injury report included Colts TE T.Y. Hilton (back) and Redskins TE Jordan Reed (shoulder). Reed finished his game and played well, but we probably won’t know much more about either player until next week. Oh, and in case you’re still kind of lukewarm on Kirk Cousins …

Saints RB Mark Ingram (concussion) has been limited in both practices this week, but it sounds like he’ll play against the Rams. The Ingram/Hightower timeshare isn’t great for fantasy owners — I’ve got Ingram at RB24 and Hightower at RB29.

Chiefs WR Jeremy Maclin (groin) missed another practice on Thursday. As noted here earlier in the week, what wide receiver would want to face the Broncos, anyway?

Cardinals WR Michael Floyd (hamstring) didn’t practice Thursday, and suspects that he suffered the injury at Wednesday’s practice. It’s tough to trust any non-Fitz Cardinal receiver these days, but Floyd is/was in line for a solid matchup at Atlanta.

The Panthers offered no Thursday update on the health of LB Luke Kuechly, who suffered a concussion in Week 11. I’m not a fan of Latavius Murray this week, but his outlook is improved in the likely event of Kuechly’s absence.

Bears head coach John Fox hasn’t ruled out QB Jay Cutler (shoulder) for Sunday’s game, but Cutler isn’t practicing and will probably cede his spot to Matt Barkley for this week if not longer. The Titans’ defense is owned in just 20.5 percent of leagues, and would be in a terrific spot against Barkley.

Finally, Bills RB LeSean McCoy is expected to play just six days after having his dislocated thumb surgically repaired. If McCoy’s fantasy owners want to send tweets that give thanks for this heroic fantasy effort, he’s at @CutonDime25.

Good luck in Week 12!

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