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Monday NFL Notes

Arian Foster, who has missed time with both calf and back complications this preseason, reportedly feels that his time off could actually benefit his body's health entering the season. The running back has been exposed to less hits than usual during Houston's exhibition preparation, making Foster optimistic about his availability despite not playing this preseason. Foster is expected to be ready to go come Week 1, but it would not be surprising if the very capable Ben Tate cut into the Texans lead back's carries early on.

Santonio Holmes (foot) practiced Monday for the first time since being injured in late September. The wideout's prognosis for his availability this season has been all over the board leading up to Week 1, so it's unlikely that he participated in much of Monday's practice. Despite the uncertainty surrounding Holmes' health, he is the Jets' best receiving option when at full strength, so his involvement to start this week is encouraging. New York's passing game undoubtedly has questions yet to answer, but the team will be happy that their most accomplished pass-catcher is at least back on the practice field.

Titans head coach Mike Munchak revealed Monday that he expects wide receiver Kenny Britt (knee) to need at least one day off from practice during each week of the regular season. The wideout enters this season healthier than in years past, but it is clear that the state of Britt's knees is something the Titans will have to consider in their preparations all season long. When healthy, Britt is a very capable big-bodied receiver, but knee problems have limited the 24-year-old?s production, and he has never eclipsed over 45 receptions or 775 yards in a single season.

Rashard Mendenhall (knee) is being considered day-to-day by Cardinals brass. The running back reported feeling looseness in his knee during Saturday's preseason game, but the issue is thought to be a minor one. The ex-Steeler will be held out of Arizona's final preseason tune-up, making way for another oft-injured back, Ryan Williams (knee), to see playing time. Mendenhall should be ready to start in Week 1, but his knee situation seems to have followed him to the desert, even if the severity has toned down.

Keeping the trend of banged-up running backs, Panthers half-back Jonathan Stewart (ankles) will meet with doctor Robert Anderson on Tuesday in an attempt to determine when the ball-carrier will be available this season. Stewart has not practiced since undergoing surgery on both his ankles this offseason and is a candidate to begin the season on Carolina's PUP list, which would rule him out for the first six weeks of the Panthers' season. Should Stewart remain out, DeAngelo Williams would be freed of his primary backfield handcuff, but runners like Cam Newton, Mike Tolbert, and rookie Kenjon Barner would still cap Williams' fantasy value with their various running contributions.

Wisconsin rookie Montee Ball took the majority of first-team snaps in Monday's practice. Ball has been competing for the Broncos' starting running back position with Ronnie Hillman throughout the preseason, but appears to have an inside track on the gig in light of Hillman fumbling in each of Denver's past two exhibition contests. The former Badger needs to improve his pass blocking skills in order to become a more complete back, but Ball should be one of fantasy's better first-year player options this season.

Packers running back DuJuan Harris is seeking a second opinion on his knee, putting his Week 1 status in doubt. The tailback was considered a first-team option by head coach Mike McCarthy earlier this preseason, but this development catapults impressive rookie Eddie Lacy further into the driver's seat to be Green Bay's starter to open the season.

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