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Injury roundup: Fitzgerald to play through MCL sprain

One week after losing quarterbackCarson Palmer for the season, the Arizona Cardinals learned that franchise wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald has a knee injury of his own.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday that Fitzgerald suffered a minor MCL sprain, according to a source who has spoken to the pass-catcher. Coach Bruce Arians later elaborated on the injury, telling the Cardinals' official website that the receiver has a Grade 2 MCL sprain but still expects to playnext week at the Seattle Seahawks

Fitzgerald was temporarily forced from Sunday's win over the Detroit Lions after tweaking his knee just before halftime.

"Larry came back after he got dinged up and made that huge third-down catch to ice the game," general manager Steve Keim told KTAR-FM on Monday, via "We'll find a little bit more out this morning."

The timing of the injury is unfortunate, as Fitzgerald had been playing better over the past month than any time since the 2011 season.

His ability to separate from coverage and avoid tackles after the catch will be compromised by the MCL sprain. Look for Michael Floyd and rookie John Brown to take on bigger roles in Drew Stanton's aerial attack in a key NFC West tilt.

Here's who else is on the mend for Monday:

  1. Julius Thomas' sprained ankle sustained in Sunday's defeat against the Rams is deemed to be minor, Rapoport reported, per a source informed of the injury. As a result, the Broncos tight end might not miss any time.
  1. Colts coach Chuck Pagano said that Bradshaw has a fracture of his fibula and is expected to see a specialist in the coming days.

Meanwhile, tight end Dwayne Allen told The Indianapolis Star that he's day to day after spraining his ankle.

  1. Niners coach Jim Harbaugh said the window will open tomorrow for NaVorro Bowman to return to practice. However, how much the linebacker participates is still unknown. 

The team announced that Ian Williams (fractured leg) has been placed on injured reserve and defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey was activated to the 53-man roster.

  1. Philip Rivers has been nursing a rib injury the past few weeks. However, Chargers coach Mike McCoy told reporters that his quarterback will play in Week 12.
  1. Falcons cornerback Robert Alford suffered a broken wrist against the Panthers, Rapoport reported, per a source informed of the injury. Coach Mike Smith said he thinks the cover man will miss 2 to 4 weeks.

Smith added that running back Antone Smith has been ruled out for the season with a broken leg and will go on injured reserve.

  1. The Saints' Brandin Cooks is approximately out 4 to 6 weeks after having successful thumb surgery, according to the rookie receiver's agent, Jeff Sperbeck.
  1. The Giants are set to activate guard Geoff Schwartz after his recovery from a toe dislocation, the team announced.
  1. Redskins coach Jay Gruden said that guard Shawn Lauvao is going through concussion protocol and that linebacker Trent Murphy has a partial PCL tear, which is "something he could play with if he could deal with a little bit of the soreness."
  1. Browns coach Mike Pettine said linebacker Karlos Dansby (knee) could be out for a month, and linebacker Jabaal Sheard (ankle) might be sidelined for the rest of the season.
  1. The Lions announced that Reggie Bush (ankle) expects to play Sunday against the Patriots.
  1. Jets coach Rex Ryan said that both defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson and rookie tight end Jace Amaro sat out practice with undisclosed illnesses.
  1. Pete Carroll reiterated that Seahawks guard Max Unger has a high ankle sprain and "tweaked his knee," with recovery taking approximately 3 to 4 weeks. The coach also stated that linebacker Bobby Wagner is in position to practice by Wednesday and play Sunday against the Cardinals.
  1. Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt said that Blidi Wreh-Wilson tweaked his back and Marqueston Huff injured his hamstring during the Titans' loss on Monday night.

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