Several teams could face depleted receiving corps Sunday as the NFL passes the halfway point of the regular season.
New Orleans and Atlanta are among the teams that may be affected, while it appears that Seattle will have to wait at least one more week for the debut of its marquee offseason acquisition. Meanwhile, Dallas could have a big day in the passing game at the expense of banged-up Minnesota secondary.
Here are five of the most notable Week 9 injuries:Percy Harvin, WR, Seattle Seahawks (out, hip)
Optimism surged when word spread that Harvin may be available weeks ahead of schedule in his recovery from offseason hip surgery. But he suffered a setback during practice last week and has already been ruled out for Week 9. An MRI revealed no complications in the hip, but with the Seahawks rolling to the best record in the NFC, there's no pressure to bring Harvin back before he's completely healthy.
Seattle is listed as a whopping 14.5-point favorite for Sunday's game against visiting Tampa Bay. The total is set at 41.Chris Cook, CB, and Jamarca Sanford, SS, Minnesota Vikings (out)
The Vikings face a major shortage in the backfield Sunday. Cook, the team's best pass defender, will miss Week 9 with a a hip injury, though he's expected back in Week 10. Sanford is dealing with a groin injury suffered in last week's loss to the Green Bay Packers. With free safety Harrison Smith already on the injured reserve/designated for return list with turf toe, Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo could have a field day Sunday.
Minnesota is installed as a 10-point underdog in Dallas, with the total set at 48.Marques Colston, WR, New Orleans Saints (questionable, knee)
The lynchpin of the Saints' pass attack over the past seven-plus seasons, Colston has had a rough season to date and is considered a game-time decision for Sunday after practicing just once this week. The 30-year-old, who has undergone multiple microfracture surgeries, may need additional time to recover - and could be facing a reduction in snaps if he does play. Expect the rest of the New Orleans receiving corps to see plenty of targets if Colston sits.
New Orleans comes into Sunday's game against the New York Jets as 6.5-point favorites. The total is 45.5.Roddy White, WR, Atlanta Falcons (questionable, hamstring/ankle)
White is running out of time to salvage what has been a lost season, but he may be ready to return this week against Carolina. The veteran wideout told reporters he's a game-time decision, but added with a smile that returning against the Panthers is "going to be important." The Falcons could certainly use his help with Julio Jones (foot) out for the season and Carolina boasting one of the most formidable pass defenses in football.
Atlanta finds itself as a 9.5-point underdog against the host Panthers, with the total currently 45.Zac Stacy, RB, St. Louis Rams (questionable, ankle)
The Rams breathed a sigh of relief Thursday when Stacy returned to a full practice, though he's still listed as questionable. The rookie running back gashed the stout Seattle Seahawks defense for 134 yards in the Monday nighter before spraining his ankle late in the game. He's expected to play Sunday against the Tennessee Titans, and should see plenty of carries with backup Daryl Richardson a question mark with a foot injury.
St. Louis is a 1-point underdog at home against the Titans. The total is 39.5.