Conference Championship NFL Injury News and Updates
It’s sobering to think that right now, there are only three NFL games left this season. I know we are keeping the players safe world now, and that’s all fine and good, but I’m looking forward to the 17-game season next year. Yeah, I understand it does put the players at risk, but that is also the game’s nature. No matter how much the NFL tries, you can’t take the risk away from football players. That being said, I’m thinking about myself here. I would love for the NFL to go with an 18-game season with an additional bye week one year. Why? In this scenario, there would be football for most of February, if not the entire month. I’m not too fond of February. Living in the northeast, it’s cold, frigid, just not much to do in February, and if we kill off this month, we’re that much closer to baseball starting. Yeah, it’s all about me. Now for the games Sunday.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Green Bay Packers
The Bucs have quite a few players on the injury report this week, but most, if not all, are expected to play. Ronald Jones still has a quad injury that needs to be managed but will see action in this game. Leonard Fournette should still start, but the Bucs and have thunder and lightning thing going here with the two of them. The receiving corps is also banged up. Mike Evans (knee) and Chris Godwin (quad) were limited in practice this week but will play. The Bucs will need Evans and Godwin as Antonio Brown has been ruled out with a knee injury.
The Packers have some minor issues in their run game. Jamaal Williams (ankle) and A.J. Dillon (quad) are being managed in practice. They are both likely to play, but neither may finish the game. It’s not expected to matter anyway as the Bucs have one of the best run defenses in the game, and that may only get better with Vita Vea’s return from injured reserve. Allen Lazard is once again limited. It seems he has been that way all season long due to wrist and back injuries. Lazard will play and could be a key to this game if the Bucs do everything they can to take away Davante Adams.
Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs
Stefon Diggs was dealing with an oblique injury and was limited in practice this week. Diggs has been beat up over the past few weeks but always manages to play. Nothing will change Sunday. The more significant concern is Cole Beasley. He hasn’t been the same since suffering a knee injury in Week 17. That was a zero catch performance he put up last week. Initially, this week, Beasley wasn’t on the injury report, then all of a sudden, he was. Beasley will play Sunday, but how healthy he is, well, that is anyone’s guess. Gabriel Davis has an ankle injury and hasn’t practiced all week. Davis seems questionable at best to play Sunday.
Okay, we left the significant injury of the week to last. Patrick Mahomes had to leave the game last week due to a concussion. First off, there is no way he’s not going to clear concussion protocol. Everyone wants Mahomes to play Sunday, except for Bills’ fans. The more problematic injury is the toe problem. That won’t stop him from playing but may hamper his mobility. Mahomes plays Sunday, and if you wanted to place a bet on the Chiefs, you should do it as soon as possible before it is made official. Now, as for Clyde Edwards-Helaire. He has been limited in practice this week with ankle and hip injuries. In the first meeting between these two teams earlier this season, the Bills tried to take away the passing game, and CEH ran wild. The game plan might be the same for Buffalo in this game, but CEH is unlikely to run wild as he still won’t be anywhere near 100% healthy. Le’Veon Bell is also banged up with some knee swelling, but this doesn’t matter. He has lost a step and is nowhere near the player he used to be. Sammy Watkins has a calf injury and has been limited in practice. He may play this week but will be extremely hard to trust.