Good morning, folks. If you're reading today's entry over breakfast, you might not want to look at this photo of the newly-shortened finger of Cardinals safety Rashad Johnson. As my daughter said, it's "pretty disgusting." Best wishes to Johnson for a speedy recovery.
On to the news:
- FOX Sports' Jay Glazer reports that Steelers rookie RB Le'Veon Bell is expected to play against the Vikings after missing the season's first three games due to a foot injury. It would be nice if Bell had a good line blocking for him, but at least he'll debut with a decent matchup, as the Vikes rank 21st in the NFL against the run (114 yards per game). Watch Bell's progress in practice this week, but look at him as an RB3/flex possibility if all goes well. He figures to carry the ball a lot.
- Bills RB C.J. Spiller expects to play on Sunday after suffering a quad injury versus the Jets. Head coach Doug Marrone also thinks Spiller will be fine.
- Many of us will be on Rob Gronkowski watch this week, but don't expect much info from the Patriots. Check out the transcript of Monday's Bill Belichick press conference to see how much insight we can expect before Sunday. Cross your fingers, Gronk owners.
- In other Patriots' news, WR Danny Amendola is progressing well in his recovery from a groin injury, but his return timetable is still TBD.
- Reminder: We've got our first round of byes this week (Packers, Panthers). Also, the Thursday night game is 49ers at Rams.
- The Bucs didn't shed much light Monday on Vincent Jackson's rib injury, but it doesn't sound too serious.
- Rams RB Daryl Richardson was limited in Monday's practice. Richardson played one snap against the Cowboys, and it resulted in someone stepping on his already-injured foot. Richardson says he'll be ready on Thursday, but stay tuned, since short weeks can be tricky.
- Jets RB Chris Ivory might be out for awhile due to his latest hamstring injury. After Bilal Powell ran all over the Bills in Week 3, Ivory's chances at 2013 fantasy relevance are quickly disappearing. Look to start Powell this week if you have him.
- Packers RB Johnathan Franklin ran for more than 100 yards against the Bengals after James Starks suffered a knee injury. Before you knock over any old ladies during your rush to grab Franklin off the free-agent wire, remember that the Pack is off in Week 4, and Eddie Lacy (concussion) appears likely to return in Week 5. Lacy will play when he's back.
- The Cowboys don't seem to think that Miles Austin's hamstring injury is serious.
- No big takeaways here from last night's Raiders-Broncos game, except that Terrelle Pryor is better than I thought. Pryor suffered a concussion late in the game, so his Week 4 status is TBD.
- Raise your hand if you're excited that Jaguars QB Blaine Gabbert (hand) is expected to return this week. Yeah, that's what I thought.
- It sounds like Ravens RB Ray Rice (hip) will return this week.
- Bears head coach Marc Trestman made it clear Monday that Michael Bush is his goal-line back. We sort of knew that already.
- So, the Panthers decided to include some designed runs for Cam Newton in Week 3, and their offense played well. Who knew?
- Texans WR Andre Johnson (shin) should be able to play this week.
- Will FB Jerome Felton's Week 4 return help the Vikings' rushing offense? Adrian Peterson's owners hope so, though he hasn't exactly been bad so far.
- 49ers TE Vernon Davis (hamstring) was limited in Monday's practice after missing Sunday's game. In related news, I guess I need to remember that if Davis AND Michael Crabtree are out, Colin Kaepernick's receiving options aren't so good. I ranked Kaepernick fourth among QBs last week, and that was too aggressive, as Davis' status was uncertain all week.
- In other 49ers' news, LB Aldon Smith has checked into a rehab facility, and his return date is up in the air.
- My pal Joel Beall will be in the FOXSports.com fantasy chat room today at 3 p.m. ET. Make sure to stop by.
See you back here later today with a baseball post, and on Friday with a new football entry.