Fresh off the wire

Injury roundup: Darren McFadden, Alex Smith updates


We're starting out this Wednesday's injury roundup with some bad news for fantasy owners: Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden missed practice Wednesday because of his high ankle sprain. It's early, but it would be a surprise if McFadden returned to the field this week.

A four-part series on player health and safety with reporter Andrea Kremer aired Tuesday through Friday on NFL Network:

Tuesday: Football's safety issues
Wednesday: Virginia Tech's helmet technology, The "Hit System"
Thursday: Inside Darrelle Revis' rehab
Friday: The lack of common safety standards in youth football

» For more information on player health and safety, visit

The other injuries we're tracking:

1. New Orleans Saints running back Darren Sproles (hand) is practicing again. It sounds like he might return to the field this week against the Raiders.

2. Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews is out once again. Wide receiver Jordy Nelson (hamstring) was limited. There's hope Nelson will play this week against the Detroit Lions.

3. San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith (concussion) has been cleared for non-contact drills.

4. Atlanta Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (ankle) missed practice again. He has missed the last two weeks of action.

5. New England Patriots guard Logan Mankins (ankle) and wide receiver Wes Welker (ankle) both missed practice Wednesday.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (ankle) missed practice, and the local scribes believe he won't play. Some good news: Running back Rashad Mendenhall (Achilles) returned to practice.

7. Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray (foot) missed practice. It doesn't look good for his availability this week against the Cleveland Browns, even if he did say there's a chance he could play.

8. Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (knee) missed practice on Wednesday, as usual. We're past worrying about him.

9. Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick (concussion) hasn't been ruled out, but he's not expected to play this week against the Washington Redskins.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.