Only eight teams remain! The injury to Jordy Nelson is the most concerning heading into the Divisional Round, but there are some other players we are also watching. Here’s our roundup of the most important injuries to monitor.
Jordy Nelson WR, Packers: multiple rib fractures
Nelson won’t do anything more than work out with the rehab group on the side this week, but if he can practice Saturday he has a shot at suiting up against the Cowboys. The big hit Nelson took forced him to stay at the hospital overnight for further evaluation. If he had suffered any organ damage, there’s no way he would have a chance to play this weekend, so his injury is probably just rib fractures. If non-displaced, he can try to play through it, although it will be very painful, and he is at high risk of further injury.
Ben Roethlisberger QB, Steelers: foot sprain
When Roethlisberger hurt his foot on the Steelers’ final possession, we all started to question why the QB was even out on the field. He was seen in a walking boot following the game but it didn’t last long. By Monday, he was walking without a limp and is ready to be a full practice participant for the rest of the week. Big Ben is no stranger to playing through injuries both big and small, so this one won’t be a concern in the Divisional Round.
C.J. Prosise RB, Seahawks: scapula fracture
The Seahawks hoped to have Prosise back this weekend after an eight-week absence due to a scapula fracture, but it doesn’t look like he will be ready. Prosise is now much more doubtful than questionable and has yet to be cleared for contact. He would be a nice passing-down back and complement to Thomas Rawls out of the Seattle backfield if he can suit up, but don’t count on it.
Danny Amendola WR, Patriots: grade 3 high ankle sprain
Amendola missed the final four weeks of the regular season recovering from a serious high ankle sprain, but he’s finally ready to go after the Patriots’ bye week. Amendola is close to the optimal recovery time, so he is now a cautious DFS start according to the Inside Injuries algorithm. He falls into the elevated injury risk category but is at above average HPF (health performance factor), so expect a solid game out of the wide receiver.
Ladarius Green TE, Steelers: concussion
Green practiced fully twice last week and hoped to clear concussion protocol, but the test results after practice weren’t what they needed to be. Green remains in the league’s protocol and is unlikely to play this weekend. He has a long history of concussions, so it’s very important that he not take any risks. He needs to be placed on IR and shut things down until next year.
Austin Hooper TE, Falcons: MCL sprain
Just as Hooper was emerging as a threat in the Falcons’ offense, he went down with a significant MCL sprain. All things considered this wasn’t the worst result, and he should be back on the field to face the Seahawks. After getting in a full practice on Wednesday, he has moved into the elevated injury risk category from high risk and shouldn’t be hampered by the knee injury.
Spencer Ware RB, Chiefs: bruised ribs
Ware missed Week 17 because of bruised ribs, but this wasn’t ever an injury to worry about. The Chiefs didn’t have much to play for, so there was no reason to run their starting running back out there and risk worsening the injury. Ware practiced fully and is ready to go. He’s in the low risk category and at peak HPF, so he’s a healthy start.
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