Carroll: Examining Ronnie Brown and Frank Gore

From the e-mail stack I came back to on Monday, I guess you guys missed me. Thanksgiving was a nice break for me and I took the chance to get out of Indy and get some sailing in. Even out in Sarasota Bay, Fla., the phone never stopped with the e-mails and texts, so I was watching all the big injuries despite being as relaxed as I get. So call this a warm weather edition of the Injury Report. Warm or cold, the injuries just keep coming, so let's get to it:

If we accept that LaDainian Tomlinson is the best football player in the game and concentrate on the mere humans that are playing the game, you can make a good argument that Frank Gore should be at the top of the MVP checklist. That is, if he can keep putting up the results. Gore left Sunday's game with an ankle injury. The Niners said it was an ankle sprain, but Gore was seen during the game pointing to the lower shin, precisely the area that would be affected by a high ankle sprain. Gore is not only a great running back, he's a top fantasy back, so if this is a high ankle, teams will be scrambling for a playoff RB. Watch this closely to see if he practices at all this week.

Hines Ward had surgery on Monday to correct minor cartilage damage injured when he hyperextended his knee. The Steelers are being very careful with the wording on his surgery and prognosis, so color me watchful. Two weeks (one game) is possible for a wide receiver to come back from very simple surgery, but if there was anything that was damaged or fixed, it should take longer. The question goes beyond can he come back in the stated time frame to what state he'll be in when he does come back. Wide receivers with leg injuries tend to linger. There have been tons of examples this season, so don't be surprised if this goes beyond the two weeks stated. Ward has been a fantasy disappointment all season, but if you've held him this long, you knew that.