NFL Week 17 injuries: Jaire Alexander, D’Andre Swift return; Lamar Jackson, Justin Fields limited on Wednesday

NFL Week 17 injuries: Jaire Alexander, D’Andre Swift return; Lamar Jackson, Justin Fields limited on Wednesday

Week 17 in the NFL is right around the corner, but we’ll have to wait a little longer than we’ve grown accustomed to with no Thursday game on the docket. The bulk of the action will go down on Sunday with the Browns and Steelers wrapping things up on Monday night. While we only have two weeks left in the regular season, the playoff picture is still pretty open, especially in the AFC with only the Chiefs currently owning a ticket into the postseason. 

Naturally, injuries will play a big part in how the playoffs ultimately come into form, so the statuses of various players leading into Week 17 will be of critical importance. As teams hit the practice field for the first time on Wednesday, we’ll take a look at the initial injury reports to see which way some of those playmakers are trending heading into the rest of the week. 

All NFL odds come via Caesars Sportsbook. 

The Falcons were without cornerback Fabian Moreau on Wednesday as he is dealing with an injury to his ribs. Moreau was the only player listed on the injury report, but the team is dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak as several players have been added to the reserve list, including Jonathan Bullard, Jaylinn Hawkins, Hayden Hurst, and practice-squad player Willie Beavers.

Buffalo conducted a walkthrough practice on Wednesday but did hold out defensive tackle Vernon Butler (illness) and safety Jaquan Johnson (illness). Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (knee) and defensive tackle Ed Oliver were the only players limited due to injury, while others were given veteran rest days. Meanwhile, the Bills were able to activate several players from the reserve/COVID-19 list on Wednesday, including receivers Cole Beasley and Gabriel Davis. 

New York had several notable players missing from practice to begin the week, including running back Saquon Barkley (ankle) and wide receiver Kadarius Toney (shoulder). However, the team did conduct a walkthrough, so participation is a projection of what it would have been had they gone full speed. Tight end Kyle Rudolph (ankle) and kicker Graham Gano (illness) were also among those sidelined.

Justin Fields (ankle) was a limited participant on Wednesday. Fellow quarterback Andy Dalton (groin) was a full participant. Bears coach Matt Nagy said that how Fields progresses this week will determine his status for Sunday’s game. 

Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire (shoulder) was the only Kansas City player who missed practice due to an injury on Wednesday. Edwards-Helaire is reportedly considered week-to-week after sustaining the injury during last Sunday’s blowout win over the Steelers. 

Cincinnati was without just two players on Wednesday — cornerback Jalen Davis (ankle) and defensive end Cam Sample (hamstring). Quarterback Joe Burrow (right finger) along with defensive end Khalid Kareem (concussion) and linebacker Logan Wilson (shoulder) were also listed on the injury report but were full participants during the opening session of the week. 

Miami and Tennessee had largely clean injury reports. The Dolphins had full practice participation two days after their decisive win over the Saints. The only Titans player that missed practice Wednesday was guard Corey Levin, who is dealing with an illness. 

The Raiders did not have a single miss practice Wednesday due to injury. Conversely, the Colts were missing just three players to begin the week of practice — tackle Eric Fisher (knee, shoulder, toe), safety Andrew Sendejo (concussion), and tight end Jack Doyle (knee, ankle). 

Lineman Will Richardson Jr. (finger) and tight end James O’Shaughnessy (hip) were the only Jaguars players that did not practice on Wednesday. Patriots receiver Nelson Agholor, who missed last week’s loss to Buffalo, was sidelined Wednesday as he remains in the concussion protocol. Running back Damien Harris (knee) and linebacker Dont’a Hightower (knee) headlined a list of 10 Patriots players who were limited on Wednesday. 

Tampa Bay was without several of their key defensive players on Wednesday, as Shaquil Barrett (knee), Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder), Richard Sherman (Achilles) and Antoine Winfield Jr. (foot) did not practice. Antonio Brown, three days after posting a 101-yard receiving game in Tampa Bay’s win over the Panthers, was limited with his ankle injury. The Buccaneers are hoping that Barrett will be ready when the postseason begins.  

It was a relatively light injury report for the Jets, as receiver Jamison Crowder (calf) and defensive lineman Sheldon Rankins (knee) were the only players who did not practice on Wednesday. Crowder’s status for Sunday’s game is currently “50/50” according to Connor Hughes of The Athletic. Crowder, who was inactive for last week’s win over the Jaguars, drew at least six targets in each of his last three games. 

The Eagles were without running backs Jordan Howard (stinger) and Miles Sanders (hand) during Wednesday’s practice. Quarterback Jalen Hurts (ankle) was limited. Sanders has already been ruled out of Sunday’s game. Eagles coach Nick Sirianni is hopeful that Howard will be able to suit up for Sunday’s game. 

Lineman Sam Cosmi (illness) and cornerback William Jackson III (calf) were the only Washington players who did not practice on Wednesday. Running back Antonio Gibson (hip) and receiver Curtis Samuel (hamstring) were limited participants. Samuel has missed Washington’s past two games with his injury. 

Lamar Jackson was not one of the 11 Baltimore players that did not practice Wednesday. Jackson, who missed Baltimore’s last two games with an ankle injury, was limited on Wednesday. Fellow quarterback Tyler Huntley remained on the team’s COVID-19 list as of Wednesday evening. In Los Angeles, safety Taylor Rapp (shoulder) was one of two Rams players that did not practice due to injury. 

Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater did not practice as he remains in the concussion protocol. Drew Lock is expected to start in place of Bridgewater on Sunday, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. For the Chargers, linebacker Drue Tranquill (ankle) was the only player that missed practice on Wednesday. 

Defensive back Jimmy Moreland (illness) was the only Texans player that missed practice Wednesday sans Deshaun Watson. For the 49ers, Jimmy Garoppolo was limited as he continues to deal with a grade-3 UCL sprain in his thumb. Coach Kyle Shanahan said that his quarterback could potentially start Sunday’s game. 

Arizona has a lengthy injury list to kick of the week. In all, nine players were missing from practice with offensive lineman Kelvin Beachum being only one of those players simply being given a veteran rest day. Running back James Conner (heel), safety Budda Baker (ribs), center Rodney Hudson (illness), and defensive end Jordan Phillips headlined the group of missing players. Safety Deionte Thompson (shoulder), tight end Zach Ertz (hamstring), and running back Chase Edmonds (back) were limited. 

In Dallas, no player missed practice due to injury as defensive end Demarcus Lawrence (foot), tackle Tyron Smith (ankle), and receiver Malik Turner (calf) were all limited. The backfield duo of Ezekiel Elliott (knee) and Tony Pollard (foot) were full participants. 

Cornerback Stephon Gilmore (groin) did not practice on Wednesday after he left last Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers and did not return. He wasn’t the only key piece of Carolina’s defense missing as outside linebacker Haason Reddick, defensive ends Brian Burns and Marquis Haynes Sr., defensive tackle Phil Hoskins, linebacker Shaq Thompson, and cornerback Rashaan Melvin are all on the COVID-19 list. Tackle Cameron Erving (calf) and safety Kenny Robinson (illness) also missed the session, while safety Juston Burris (groin) and linebacker Jermaine Carter Jr. (groin) were limited. 

New Orleans did not practice on Wednesday but did release an injury report as an estimation of what participation would have been had they hit the field. Tackle Terron Armstead (knee) and receiver Tre’Quan Smith (chest) would have been held out, while defensive end Marcus Davenport (shoulder) and tight end Nick Vannett (ankle) would’ve been limited. 

Detroit received very good news in the form of running back D’Andre Swift, who was a full participant during Friday’s practice. Swift has missed several games this season with a shoulder injury. The Lions were without quarterback Jared Goff, who was sidelined with a knee injury. 

DK Metcalf (foot) was among the Seahawks’ players who were unable to practice on Wednesday. Metcalf typically misses the week’s first practice, so it’s too early to make any projections about his status for Sunday. 

Harrison Smith (foot/shoulder) headlined a list of three Vikings players that did not practice on Wednesday. Running back Dalvin Cook (illness) was limited. 

Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander, who was activated off of injured reserve earlier in the day, was a limited participant in Wednesday’s practice. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers did not practice on Wednesday as he continues to try to stay off his of injured toe. Running back Aaron Jones (knee) was limited, while tackle David Bakhtiari (knee) was given the day off. 

Cleveland Browns (-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers, Monday

To be announced.

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