Biggest injury questions for all 32 teams in Week 13 – ESPN


NFL Nation reporters assess the biggest injuries across the league for Week 13.

Scan through all 32 teams by division, or click here to jump ahead to your favorite team:


AFC EAST

Tight end Charles Clay (hamstring) returned to practice Wednesday on a limited basis, his first practice since injuring his hamstring Nov. 4 against the Bears. If Clay can play Sunday at Miami, it would be his first game playing with rookie quarterback Josh Allen since Oct. 14. Clay, with 19 catches for 169 yards, is on pace for his worst season since 2012. — Mike Rodak

Receiver Danny Amendola (knee) and center Travis Swanson face an uphill challenge to play Sunday vs. the Bills. Leonte Carroo should see a significant uptick in reps if Amendola can’t play. Kenyan Drake reinjured his shoulder last Sunday, but he said he expects to play Sunday. He’s going to wear a red non-contact jersey throughout the week, but he should see his normal workload as a primary pass-catching back alongside Frank Gore. — Cameron Wolfe

Tom Brady is playing through a knee injury that he acknowledged took place in a Nov. 10 loss to the Titans, but believes it won’t be something that lingers all season. His practice time, however, has been limited because of it. Meanwhile, No. 2 TE Dwayne Allen (knee) didn’t practice Wednesday, which puts his status in doubt for the second straight week, and means the Patriots would be without a sturdy blocking presence against arguably the best pass rush they’ve faced this season, against the Vikings. — Mike Reiss

Sam Darnold (foot) practiced Wednesday for the first time since the injury three weeks ago, raising hope he will play Sunday against the Titans. The rookie was limited in practice, which is telling. If Darnold were 100 percent, he would’ve been full-go, especially with Josh McCown dealing with some minor injuries. If Darnold is able to participate in a full practice on Thursday, it’ll be a good sign. If not, it could be another week of McCown. — Rich Cimini


AFC NORTH

Joe Flacco remained sidelined with a hip injury, which means Lamar Jackson is expected to make his third NFL start. Flacco saw a hip specialist on Monday, but there is no timetable on the Super Bowl-winning quarterback. “You just let it play out,” John Harbaugh said of Flacco, who has been out since Nov. 4. “That’s beyond our control.” Gus Edwards, the leading rusher for the past two weeks, missed Wednesday’s practice with an ankle injury. The level of concern would increase if Edwards doesn’t practice Thursday. Edwards has had some wear-and-tear recently, with 40 carries the past two games. — Jamison Hensley

The bigger question for the Bengals is who isn’t injured after losing double-digit players to injured reserve. Now they’ve lost starting quarterback Andy Dalton for the rest of the season. The only bright spot in all of this is that wide receiver A.J. Green appears to be on his way to a comeback after returning to practice this week. Green declared that he’s back, so it looks like the Bengals will have their biggest star on the field this week. — Katherine Terrell

The Browns were down two centers in Wednesday’s practice, but starter J.C. Tretter is expected to play in Houston. Tretter has played through an ankle sprain all season. Backup Austin Corbett had his foot stepped on in Cincinnati and is day to day, interim coach Gregg Williams said. — Pat McManamon

Defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt returned from an elbow injury to practice on a limited basis Wednesday. The team will take it slowly with Tuitt, but could use the pass-rush boost Sunday against the Chargers, especially with OLB Bud Dupree (pectoral muscle) missing Wednesday’s session. Tight end Vance McDonald is also a question mark with a hip issue. — Jeremy Fowler


AFC SOUTH

The Texans started RB D’Onta Foreman‘s 21-day practice window on Nov. 14, but head coach Bill O’Brien said that while the running back is “doing better,” he doesn’t “think he’s all the way back.” Houston still has another week to make the decision to either move Foreman from the physically unable to perform (PUP) list or put him on injured reserve, and O’Brien said they will continue to evaluate him at practice this week to see if a return is feasible. Foreman tore his Achilles tendon more than a year ago, and began training camp on the PUP list. — Sarah Barshop

Running back Marlon Mack remains in the concussion protocol after suffering a concussion against Miami on Sunday. Mack leads the Colts in rushing (556 yards). Friday will be a better indicator to determine if Mack will be out of the protocol in time to play at Jacksonville on Sunday. Rookies Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins will handle the bulk of the carries if Mack doesn’t play against the Jaguars. — Mike Wells

Cornerback Jalen Ramsey did not practice Wednesday because of a knee injury, and coach Doug Marrone said he has a “high level of concern” about the injury. Ramsey was spotted in the locker room and he didn’t appear to have a wrap or brace on either knee so that’s a good sign. Not having him against Indianapolis on Sunday would be a huge loss because he has done a good job of limiting the damage done by T.Y. Hilton over the past two seasons (four games of 100-plus yards for Hilton from 2012-16, but hasn’t had more than 95 yards in seven games against Ramsey). — Michael DiRocco

The Titans hope to have cornerback Malcolm Butler cleared from concussion protocol at some point this week. Butler was listed as limited on Wednesday’s injury report and rode a stationary bike during the open portion of practice. The injury was originally a stinger, which warrants an evaluation for concussion syndrome and ultimately led to being placed on protocol. Cornerback Adoree Jackson suffered a minor tweak to his left knee against the Texans which caused him to wear a sleeve on his knee on Wednesday. Jackson said after the game that he was fine, and reiterated that he was all right before practicing on Wednesday. Wide receiver Taywan Taylor (foot) was listed as a full participant on Wednesday, which is the first time since he came out of the Week 9 game against the Cowboys. — Turron Davenport


AFC WEST

Broncos cornerback Tramaine Brock (ribs) did not practice Wednesday and if he’s unavailable to play Sunday against the Bengals, it would likely put rookie Isaac Yiadom in the lineup when the team’s goes to its dime (six defensive backs) look. Yiadom played 23 snaps against the Steelers this past Sunday after Brock left the game with just under five minutes remaining in the third quarter, and Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger went right after Yiadom on the first snap after Brock went to the sideline. Yiadom had some rocky moments after that, but Broncos coach Vance Joseph said Yiadom also showed the ability to bounce back after tough plays and “still play with confidence.” Also Wednesday, linebacker Brandon Marshall (knee), who has missed the last three games, returned to practice as a limited participant. — Jeff Legwold

Wide receiver Sammy Watkins didn’t practice for the Chiefs, an ominous sign for his availability for Sunday’s game against the Raiders. Watkins injured his foot against the Browns on Nov. 4 and didn’t play the following week against the Cardinals. He played a handful of snaps against the Rams in the next game, but another week off courtesy of the bye didn’t provide him enough time to begin the practice week. — Adam Teicher

Coach Anthony Lynn said it’s highly doubtful that running back Melvin Gordon plays on Sunday against the Steelers after suffering a sprained right knee last week against Arizona. However, Gordon is at least moving around, as he rode a bike on the side while watching practice Wednesday. Gordon wore a brace on his injured knee for stability, but should be back at some point before the regular season ends. — Eric D. Williams

Did you see the play the Raiders ran Sunday in Baltimore, when 33-year-old WR Jordy Nelson, coming off a missed game with a bone bruise in a knee, ran an end-around that resulted in a loss of yards? That pretty much encapsulated Oakland’s season in general, Nelson’s in particular. Nelson, though, should be healthier for this weekend’s game against the Chiefs. The Raiders have 11 players on injured reserve, another on IR-designated to return and one more still on the PUP list. It has been a tough year for the Raiders with injuries. — Paul Gutierrez


NFC EAST

Left tackle Tyron Smith did not practice all week because of a stinger suffered against Atlanta and was aggravated in warmups on Thanksgiving. The Cowboys will take until 90 minutes before kickoff before deciding on Smith’s status against New Orleans, but the fact he did not work all week and had a flare up in warmups the last time he had contact does not bode well for him being available. Veteran Cameron Fleming would replace Smith and he did a credible job against Washington. A year ago, the Cowboys’ season fell apart when Chaz Green replaced an injured Smith, but Fleming is a solid option, having started 21 games in his career, including a Super Bowl for New England. — Todd Archer

Evan Engram (hamstring) participated in the team’s morning walk-through Wednesday but didn’t practice. The Giants played it safe with him Sunday against the Eagles. They would likely lean in that direction again this week if he’s still not 100 percent. Engram’s snaps had decreased pre-injury anyway. — Jordan Raanan

The Eagles are hopeful they’ll be healthier at cornerback this week. Jalen Mills, Sidney Jones and Avonte Maddox are all considered day-to-day after missing last week’s game against the Giants. Odds are they’ll get at least one of them back. Linebacker Nigel Bradham, meanwhile, will be playing with just one good hand. He broke his thumb in three separate places last week, had surgery and is now in a cast. — Tim McManus

The Redskins are encouraged by the progress made by running back Chris Thompson (ribs) and receiver Jamison Crowder (ankle). Crowder has missed the past seven games, but did participate in individual drills during practice on Wednesday, a step in the right direction for him. Thompson participated in a second consecutive practice and said he remains hopeful about playing Monday at Philadelphia. Thompson said it was a three-week injury, but the third week happened to be a Thursday game at Dallas. This gave him an extra week to recover. The Redskins’ offense would get a boost with the return of both players. — John Keim


NFC NORTH

Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky did not practice on Wednesday, increasing the likelihood backup Chase Daniel makes his second straight start when Chicago visits New York on Sunday. Head coach Matt Nagy reiterated that Trubisky’s right shoulder injury is not a long-term issue, but the Bears are being extra cautious, especially with an important prime time game against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 14. — Jeff Dickerson

Kerryon Johnson (knee) didn’t practice Wednesday so there’s at least a chance (and it might be a good one) that he doesn’t play Sunday against the Rams. Thursday will be a big day for the rookie, who is the Lions’ top running option and possibly their best offensive weapon. If Johnson ends up not playing, that’ll mean more of LeGarrette Blount and Theo Riddick on passing downs. Nick Bellore (ankle) missed practice, too, and if he can’t play perhaps Zach Zenner would have an increased role. — Michael Rothstein

With 13 players on the injury report, where do you start? Probably with left tackle David Bakhtiari, who, aside from Aaron Rodgers and maybe Davante Adams, is the most important player on offense. Bakhtiari is listed with a knee injury but a source said he’s actually got two knee injuries plus an ankle issue. He tried to come back last week after initially dropping out against the Vikings, but could not finish the game. Even if he’s able to go against the Cardinals, can he play up to his usual high level? Said the two-time, second-team All-Pro selection: “I’ll just be honest. I expect a lot from myself physically, and when things aren’t operating right, it’s stressful.” — Rob Demovsky

With Andrew Sendejo off to injured reserve, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer confirmed that Anthony Harris will start at safety for the rest of the season. Zimmer said this week that Xavier Rhodes‘ hamstring injury is “very, very mild,” but the cornerback was held out of practice on Wednesday, as was Stefon Diggs (knee), Chad Beebe (hamstring) and David Morgan (knee). Adam Thielen is still dealing with the calf injury he sustained during the Detroit game, but his lower-back injury is no longer showing up on the injury report. Thielen was limited Wednesday, as was linebacker Ben Gedeon, who is progressing through the concussion protocol. — Courtney Cronin


NFC SOUTH

Despite being activated from injured reserve, the status of LB Deion Jones remains a mystery. Coach Dan Quinn constantly praises the progress Jones has made following foot surgery and talked about Jones getting a full allotment of reps in practice. At the same time, Quinn said he’ll do what’s best for Jones regarding any return to game action. It might be wiser to wait until next season, although there’s a chance Jones will play Sunday. — Vaughn McClure

Cornerback Donte Jackson (quad) worked on the side and his status for Sunday is up in the air, so the Panthers are preparing Lorenzo Doss to play. Doss was just brought up from the practice squad. Wide receiver Devin Funchess missed practice to handle a personal issue after missing Sunday’s game with a back injury. Coach Ron Rivera left it up in the air what Funchess’ status would be when he returns. — David Newton

Left tackle Terron Armstead has been ruled out for the third straight game, which is no small thing since he was playing at an All-Pro level before suffering a pectoral injury. However, the Saints’ offense has continued to roll with veteran Jermon Bushrod as a capable fill-in. Everyone else on New Orleans’ roster is full-go for Thursday night at Dallas, including rookie WR Tre’Quan Smith, who was out last week with a toe injury. — Mike Triplett

The Bucs got what coach Dirk Koetter called a “big morale boost” Wednesday with starting weakside linebacker Lavonte David (knee) and free safety Justin Evans (toe) back practicing, arguably their two most athletic guys on defense who are actually capable of stopping Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey. It’s too early to tell if and when either will be back, and they’ve both missed the past two games. DeSean Jackson (thumb) did practice Wednesday despite traveling to New York for a second opinion. Starting cornerback Carlton Davis did not practice due to an ankle injury, which could create even more problems against a team that posted a 76 percent completion percentage in the first matchup this season. — Jenna Laine


NFC WEST

Linebacker is becoming a critical position for the Cardinals as injuries there continue to pile up. With Josh Bynes already on IR, neither Deone Bucannon nor Haason Reddick practiced Wednesday. Reddick suffered a stinger in his neck in Sunday’s loss to the Chargers, and Bucannon is still out with a chest injury. — Josh Weinfuss

The Rams are in good health as they prepare to play the Lions, and every player is expected to be available. That could also include cornerback Aqib Talib, who has been designated to return from injured reserve, and could be activated in time for Sunday’s game, depending on how he performs at practice this week. — Lindsey Thiry

The 49ers are still waiting for receiver Pierre Garcon to return from the knee injury he suffered against the Raiders a few weeks ago. Garçon was close last week and limited in practice Wednesday, so he appears to be getting closer to a return but with fellow wideout Marquise Goodwin away from the team dealing with a personal issue, Garçon’s return would be helpful. — Nick Wagoner

The Seahawks will again be without linebacker K.J. Wright against the 49ers. He’s out of town this week getting treatment on the knee injury that has limited him to only three games this season. Pete Carroll sounded encouraged with receiver Doug Baldwin‘s progress from the groin injury that had had him questionable for last week’s game, saying, “he feels really good.” It sounds like Baldwin will be ready to face his close friend and former teammate Richard Sherman on Sunday at CenturyLink Field. — Brady Henderson

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