With six teams on a bye in Week 8, key injuries among teams in action stand out even more. A high-volume running back appears to be set to return, while an electrifying wide receiver is a 50/50 decision to make his regular-season debut with a new team.
Here's a look at the five biggest injury impacts entering the bulk of Week 8:Brandon Jacobs, RB, New York Giants (doubtful, hamstring)
The Giants' running back situation remains a mess with word that Jacobs is expected to miss Sunday's Week 8 matchup with Philadelphia due to a nagging hamstring injury. Jacobs is hoping to recover during the team's Week 9 bye, though regular second-stringer Andre Brown (broken leg) may be close to returning by then. With starter David Wilson (neck) a question mark to return at all this season, New York will rely on retread Peyton Hillis for heavy work this weekend, backed up by rookie Michael Cox.
The Giants are 5.5-point underdogs for Sunday's showdown with the host Eagles. The total is 50.5.Jimmy Graham, TE, New Orleans Saints (questionable, foot)
The top tight end in football returned to practice Friday on a limited basis, but will be a game-time decision for Sunday afternoon. The fact that Graham participated at all is encouraging, though with the team working mostly on its red-zone offense on the final day of practice, it may suggest that Graham will have to settle for a limited role if he does suit up. The rest of the key offensive players, including wide receiver Marques Colston and running back Darren Sproles, will see more attention from quarterback Drew Brees in Graham's absence.
The Saints are installed as 11-point favorites for Sunday's game against visiting Buffalo.Percy Harvin, WR, Seattle Seahawks (questionable, hip)
Harvin has been activated from the physically-unable-to-perform list and is practicing with the team, but is a coin flip to make his Seattle debut in the Monday nighter. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll will only classify Harvin is considered "day-to-day," suggesting that the marquee free-agent acquisition may not be ready to participate in game action. Seattle has done well in Harvin's absence - posting the best record in the NFC at 6-1 - and are in no hurry to rush back their veteran wideout following offseason hip surgery.
The Seahawks are listed as 11-point favorites for the Monday nighter in St. Louis. The total is 42.5.Danny Amendola, WR, New England Patriots (questionable, concussion)
Amendola's injury-plagued season received a boost Friday when it was reported that he passed all of the concussion protocol required to return to the field. "I've done pretty much everything they've asked me to do," he told reporters. "I'm healthy and I'm ready to play." Head coach Bill Belichick may disagree - he's the one making the call on Amendola's playing status for Sunday - but beat writers expect that Amendola will make his return. Considering his injury history, he may be on a limited snap count in the early going.
Oddsmakers have made the Patriots 6-point favorites Sunday against Miami, with a total of 45.5.Steven Jackson, RB, Atlanta Falcons (probable, hamstring)
Jackson practiced in full throughout the week and is ready to return for the first time since exiting the Falcons' Week 2 game against St. Louis with a hamstring injury. Jackson, who scored a touchdown prior to the ailment, should provide a major shot in the arm for an Atlanta rushing attack ranked 30th in the league with just 68.3 yards per game. His presence will be especially critical for a Falcons team that will be without star wide receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White, as well as reserve running back Jason Snelling.
The Falcons are installed as one-point underdogs in Arizona. The total is listed at 46.