Peterson, Gordon among ailing stars

Peterson, Gordon among ailing stars

Christmas may be right around the corner, but several marquee performers on the gridiron aren’t quite in the Yuletide spirit.

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Various bell-cow running backs, including Adrian Peterson, will miss the penultimate week of the NFL regular season. Minnesota announced yesterday that a groin ailment would prevent its all-time leading rusher from suiting up against Green Bay. Peterson, of course, returned from a torn meniscus on Dec. 18. He was largely ineffective vs. Indianapolis, though, gaining 22 yards on carries and losing a fumble.

The Chargers want to exercise caution with their premier offensive weapon, as well. Melvin Gordon, having sat out Thursday’s practice in the rain, shall watch this afternoon’s meeting with Cleveland. On the precipice of reaching the 1,000-yard mark, Gordon yields to Kenneth Farrow here. The 23-year-old understudy accomplished very little in his first NFL start, averaging 2.6 yards per tote in a 19-16 defeat to Oakland.

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In Cincinnati, there’s a bit more optimism surrounding Jeremy Hill. The 6-foot-1, 235-pounder just powered through a knee problem en route to a respectable display against Pittsburgh, and he’ll likely do the same at NRG Stadium. Houston, meanwhile, hopes that Lamar Miller’s tender ankle holds up. Given the substantial uncertainty shrouding the Texans’ quarterback position, expect the ex-Dolphin to embrace the challenge.

Also questionable, albeit on the signal-caller side: Los Angeles’ Jared Goff, who nearly got terminated by Seattle’s Richard Sherman in the most recent clash between the division rivals. Nevertheless, the rookie pledges to take on San Francisco at 4:25 p.m. ET. Tom Brady is guaranteed to post huge numbers vs. the Jets, too, after battling some early-in-the-week thigh soreness.

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Moving to the outside, Sammy Watkins appears iffy for the Bills-Dolphins showdown shortly. The former fourth overall pick continues to manage pain in his surgically repaired foot. He’s coming off a two-catch outing vs. Cleveland. On slightly firmer ground: Browns target monster Terrelle Pryor. The Ohio State product should fight through a finger issue well enough to serve as Robert Griffin III’s lone wideout of consequence against the Chargers.

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