The NFL playoffs are finally here. After 18 weeks, we know the matchups, we know the strengths and weaknesses of each of the teams in the tournament, and we know all about the various storylines that will play a role in determining which of them advances to the next round. The last thing we’ll find out before the games actually kick off, of course, is who is actually going to play in these games, and who will be sidelined.
That’s right, it’s time for final injury reports — Super Wild Card Weekend style. In the space below, we’ll keep you updated on who’s in, who’s out, and whose status may be in question. Plus, we’ll analyze any and all absences, and what effect they’ll have on the games.
These two teams are remarkably healthy right now, with most starters available to play in this game. The most notable injury is to Bengals right tackle Riley Reiff, who is likely out for the year. That means the job of blocking star Raiders pass rusher Maxx Crosby falls to backup Isaiah Prince. For the Raiders, cornerback Trayvon Mullen is on injured reserve for the second time this year, leaving them somewhat thinner on the back end against a very good Bengals receiving corps.
Patriots: OL Isaiah Wynn (hip/ankle) OUT; OL David Andrews (shoulder), DL Christian Barmore (knee), DL Cody Davis (wrist), DB Kyle Dugger (hand), K Nick Folk (left knee), DL Lawrence Guy (shoulder), RB Damien Harris (hamstring), LB Dont’a Hightower (knee), LB Brandon King (toe), WR Jakobi Meyers (thigh), DB Adrian Phillips (knee), LB Jamie Collins (ankle) QUESTIONABLEBills: None listed
Among the many Patriots listed as questionable, only Wynn and Collins actually took any DNPs in practice this week. Collins was upgraded to limited later in the week and thus seems to be trending in the right direction, but Wynn was downgraded from limited on Tuesday to DNP on Wednesday and Thursday, before being ruled out on Friday. His absence could have an effect on New England’s run game, which was important in the first meeting between these two teams.
Sweat didn’t practice on Wednesday or Thursday but got in a limited session on Friday, so he’s trending in the right direction. Against an elite offensive line, the Eagles need all the pass-rush firepower they can get. Meanwhile, RB Miles Sanders, who has been out recently with a broken hand, has no injury status and will play.
Grayson was injured during Tampa’s regular-season finale. He’d emerged as an important field-stretching wide receiver in the absence of Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown, so his being out could have an effect on the passing game. Jones is out, but Leonard Fournette is set to return, so the Bucs should have their feature back. Two cornerbacks entering the game questionable is less than ideal, especially considering Davis was a late-week downgrade to a limited practice with his back injury.
The biggest news on the injury front for San Francisco are the omissions here: Left tackle Trent Williams (elbow), who didn’t practice Wednesday, was back in full form on Friday and is good to go; and running back Elijah Mitchell (knee) is also set for a full workload. Kyle Shanahan’s offense should be ready for a regular attack in Dallas, with QB Jimmy Garoppolo (thumb) also not listed on the final report after his strong finish in Week 18.
Harris did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday, but returned to a full practice on Friday. He’s listed as questionable, but generally, players who practice on full in the last session of the week tend to suit up. There’s been some chatter about JuJu Smith-Schuster potentially returning for this game, but he has yet to be activated off injured reserve.
Andy Reid ruled Edwards-Helaire out for the game after he did not practice on Thursday or Friday. That means it’ll be Darrel Williams’ backfield, with Derrick Gore mixing in.
Final injury reports to come.