NFL betting: Top 5 key Week 12 injuries

Nov 23, 2013 |
With the last of the bye weeks upon us, teams are officially out of additional rest time - and judging by the Week 12 injury list, some rosters could use plenty more.

The Minnesota Vikings will have a hobbled superstar in the lineup this week, while the Washington Redskins will be missing one of their top playmakers. And the San Francisco 49ers may be on the verge of getting back one of the key members of their NFC championship team from a season ago.

Here's a look at five of the most important injuries heading into Week 12:

Michael Crabtree, WR, San Francisco 49ers (PUP, Achilles)

There's some thought that Crabtree might be activated from the physically-unable-to-perform list as early as this week after he made an appearance at practice on Thursday. The 49ers remain mum about a timetable for the standout wide receiver, who hasn't played all season after suffering an Achilles injury over the summer. It may be a stretch to expect him back Monday night - but Crabtree could be back in Week 13, a development that would greatly bolster a pass attack that ranks last in the league in yards per game (168).

San Francisco is a 4.5-point favorite for the Monday nighter against the Redskins. The total is set at 47.

Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins (out, concussion)

While San Francisco goes into its tilt with Washington having known that Crabtree wouldn't be ready for Week 12, the Redskins face a key absence that is no less significant but slightly more of a surprise. Washington had hoped that Reed would be able to pass his concussion protocol in time for the game, but he remains in limbo and hasn't practiced all week. Reed has been one of quarterback Robert Griffin III's favorite targets to date - racking up 499 yards and three touchdowns - and leaves Pierre Garcon as the only pass-catching asset in Washington's arsenal.

Julius Thomas, TE, Denver Broncos (questionable, knee)

The week's most highly anticipated showdown - Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning, Chapter 14 - may be missing one of the Broncos' key contributors. Thomas was limited in practice throughout the week, and interim head coach Jack Del Rio offered little information to reporters about the tight end's availability for the showdown in New England. Joel Dreessen would step into the starting role if Thomas couldn't go; the roster move would give Manning one fewer reliable option in his aerial attack, but Denver has plenty of other weapons where that is concerned.

The Broncos come into the Sunday nighter at New England as a 1-point favorite, with the total at 53.5.

Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings (questionable, groin)

Last year's most dynamic offensive player hasn't been nearly as explosive so far in 2013 - and a nagging groin injury will likely hamper him even further. Peterson sat out Thursday's practice but returned to the field the following day and assured reporters that the ailment wouldn't keep him out of action. While the injury may have had a hand in limiting the defending rushing champion to just 140 yards on 42 carries over back-to-back weeks, he'll be facing a Green Bay defense that allows more than four yards per carry.

Minnesota is a 4.5-point underdog in Green Bay on Sunday. The total is set at 43.5.

Miles Austin, WR, Dallas Cowboys (probable, hamstring)

The Cowboys will have a full complement of healthy receiving options for the first time since Week 3 as Austin makes his return from a nagging hamstring injury. After it was thought that he might be ready to return as soon as Week 10, Austin was a full participant in practice this week and declared himself close to 100 percent. Austin is expected to slide into the No. 2 receiver slot opposite Dez Bryant, though he and rookie Terrance Williams will both see plenty of targets - and may provide Bryant with a break from the weekly double-teams he has faced.

Dallas is installed as a one-point underdog against the host New York Giants. The total is 45.

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