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Biggest injury questions for all 32 teams in Week 6

Biggest injury questions for all 32 teams in Week 6

NFL Nation reporters assess the biggest injuries across the league for Week 6.

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


AFC EAST

Top cornerback Tre’Davious White was limited in Wednesday’s practice with an ankle injury he apparently suffered during practice. White was seen walking off the field after practice with his shoes off, accompanied by a trainer. White being limited or not playing Sunday against Texans WR De’Andre Hopkins would be a huge blow for Buffalo’s defense, which has struggled to find a consistent No. 2 cornerback between Phillip Gaines, Ryan Lewis and the now-retired Vontae Davis. — Mike Rodak

Dolphins DE Cameron Wake (knee) didn’t practice Wednesday, but Adam Gase said he isn’t “too far off track” from returning to action. Bobby McCain (knee) and Andre Branch (knee) also returned to practice on a limited basis. Getting all three players back will be a big boost to the Dolphins’ already effective defense. Dolphins receiver DeVante Parker (quad) was a limited practice participant and is expected to return Sunday. — Cameron Wolfe

Starting DT Malcom Brown (knee) has been limited in practice after leaving last Thursday’s game with a knee injury, and he’s the top player on the Patriots’ injury list this week. If he doesn’t play, the Patriots would turn to either Danny Shelton or Adam Butler alongside starter Lawrence Guy at the heart of the line of scrimmage. Defending the Chiefs’ run-pass option plays has been a point of emphasis for the Patriots, so losing Brown would be a notable hit. — Mike Reiss

Running back Isaiah Crowell (ankle), coming off a 219-yard rushing day, didn’t practice Wednesday, but he’s expected to play Sunday. The Jets probably will be without two of their top three corners, Trumaine Johnson (quad) and Buster Skrine (concussion). It’ll mean bigger roles for Darryl Roberts, Parry Nickerson and perhaps Rashard Robinson. — Rich Cimini


AFC NORTH

Michael Pierce, one of the more underrated defensive tackles in the NFL, didn’t practice Wednesday with a foot injury after not playing Sunday. One good sign: Pierce was out of his protective boot. Asked if Pierce will play in Tennessee, coach John Harbaugh said, “That’s a firm ‘maybe.’ I’m very hopeful, and I say that in all sincerity. We’ll find out, but we could use him. He’s a factor inside.” — Jamison Hensley

Bengals wide receiver John Ross returned to practice this week after missing last week, while Giovani Bernard and guard Clint Boling missed practice. Marvin Lewis declined to say if Ross or Bernard would return after missing last week’s game against the Falcons. The Bengals’ offense could certainly use Ross after sputtering somewhat against Miami, while Joe Mixon and Mark Walton combined to take Bernard’s place. — Katherine Terrell

Wide receiver Rashard Higgins has a sprained MCL in his knee and likely will not play Sunday. Higgins had a strong preaseason and had 66 yards and a touchdown against Baltimore before the injury. With Higgins out, rookie Antonio Callaway‘s snaps will increase — after they had decreased with more time given to Higgins. Callaway has talent, but he will have to be more consistently reliable to help the offense. — Pat McManamon

The Steelers hope to have inside linebacker Vince Williams (hamstring) back for the physical matchup with the Bengals. He practiced in full Wednesday and did not experience any setbacks. Inside linebacker L.J. Fort (ankle) proved valuable in passing downs last week against Atlanta but is sidelined with an ankle issue. The Steelers will monitor his progress. — Jeremy Fowler


AFC SOUTH

Quarterback Deshaun Watson was listed as a limited participant in practice with a chest injury on Wednesday, after he took several hard hits on the run in Week 5. But the young quarterback said he will “for sure” play against the Bills on Sunday, and that taking those hits is just “part of the game.” — Sarah Barshop

Coach Frank Reich seems to have already ruled out receiver T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) and tight end Jack Doyle (hip) for Sunday’s game at the Jets because he continues to refer to them as “week to week.” The Colts had nine other starters or key players who did not practice Wednesday. Rookie linebacker Darius Leonard, who leads the NFL in tackles (54) — despite missing a game this season — was the most notable player on the injury list. Leonard should play against the Jets barring any kind of setback between now and Sunday. — Mike Wells

The Jaguars have a bunch of injuries, but the most critical is, believe it or not, backup LT Josh Wells (groin) because it means they have to start a player who hasn’t started a game there: Josh Walker. Or the Jaguars could opt to shuffle their line and move C Brandon Linder or RG A.J. Cann outside. The team is bringing in Ereck Flowers (a first-round bust with the Giants) on Thursday for a visit. The position is a mess, and the Jaguars have to do the best they can to survive there until Wells is able to return. — Michael DiRocco

The Titans may have an issue with left tackle Taylor Lewan being healthy on Sunday. He left Week 5 against the Bills due to a right foot injury. Lewan said he couldn’t push off the foot and it was a similar injury to one that he encountered in the 2017 season opener. Mike Vrabel said Lewan met with doctors on Monday, but he was not cleared to practice on Wednesday. If he is not able to go, expect reserve tackle Tyler Marz to start in his place. — Turron Davenport


AFC WEST

Set to face the Rams’ defensive front, which features three former first-round picks and defending Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald, the Broncos have injury questions at both tackle spots. Right tackle Jared Veldheer did not practice Wednesday and is not expected to play Sunday — that would be the second consecutive game he has missed — while left tackle Garett Bolles was limited with an ankle injury he suffered in the second half of Sunday’s loss to the Jets. If Bolles plays this Sunday, he’s expected to be tested early and often by Wade Phillips’ defensive plan. Bolles has been flagged for five holding penalties already this season, including two in the Broncos’ Week 3 loss to the Ravens. — Jeff Legwold

The Chiefs could be dangerously thin at safety against the Patriots. Eric Berry (heel) and Eric Murray (ankle) did not practice on Wednesday, leaving Ron Parker and Jordan Lucas as the starters. Both joined the Chiefs right before the start of the season, though Parker has been a regular ever since. The third safety for now is Josh Shaw, who was signed just last week. Two other safeties, Daniel Sorensen and Armani Watts, are on IR. — Adam Teicher

Kicker Caleb Sturgis, who has missed four extra points and three field goals already this year, was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday due to a quad injury. Sturgis missed all but one game last year due to a hip injury, so his leg injury is worth monitoring this week. — Eric D. Williams

While strong safety Karl Joseph returned to practice Wednesday in a limited fashion, left guard Kelechi Osemele, who missed last week’s game with a knee injury, sat out. He will be questionable Sunday in London against the Seahawks. And if Osemele has to sit out, Jon Feliciano will again start in his place, Jon Gruden said. — Paul Gutierrez


NFC EAST

Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith was limited in Wednesday’s practice because of an ankle injury, but it is not expected to keep him out of action Sunday against Jacksonville. If Smith suffers a setback, the Cowboys would go to Cameron Fleming at left tackle. Cornerback Chidobe Awuzie was also limited because of an ankle injury. He was pulled in the second half of last week’s loss to Houston with Anthony Brown working outside and Jourdan Lewis working the slot. If Awuzie does not show confidence in his ability in practice, the Cowboys won’t hesitate to make a similar move this week. — Todd Archer

Outside linebacker Olivier Vernon (high ankle sprain) is set to play in his first game of the season on Thursday night. That’s huge for a defense tied for the fewest sacks in the NFL. But the offense still won’t have TE Evan Engram (knee). He’s likely a week away from a return. — Jordan Raanan

The Eagles are getting RB Corey Clement (quad) back after a two-week absence. That’s good news with Jay Ajayi (ACL) lost for the year and Darren Sproles (hamstring) still sidelined. Safety Corey Graham (hamstring) and DT Haloti Ngata (calf) are out for Thursday’s game against the Giants. — Tim McManus

Running back Adrian Peterson (shoulder) should be available for Sunday’s game at Carolina after an MRI on Tuesday morning showed no further damage. Meanwhile, their receivers are banged up as receiver Josh Doctson (heel), Jamison Crowder (ankle) and Paul Richardson (knee/shoulder) all would have been unable to practice Wednesday had the Redskins held one (they had a walk-through instead). Doctson was close to playing in the Monday night game, so he should be ready for Sunday, and Richardson’s knee swelled up after the game, but there’s optimism about him too. It’s uncertain how bad Crowder’s ankle is at this point. — John Keim


NFC NORTH

The Bears are hopeful to have rookie wide receiver Anthony Miller available for Sunday’s game at Miami. Miller, who the Bears drafted in the second round out of Memphis, suffered a dislocated shoulder in Week 3 that forced him to sit out Chicago’s victory over Tampa on Sept. 30. Bears coach Matt Nagy sounded optimistic on Wednesday that Miller will be able to have a full week of practice. The rookie has eight catches for 60 yards and one touchdown on the season. — Jeff Dickerson

The Lions are off this week and are hoping that means DE Ezekiel Ansah (shoulder), RG T.J. Lang (concussion) and TE Michael Roberts (knee) can all get back to health for next week against Miami. The bigger concern is All-Pro returner Jamal Agnew (left knee), who was carted off during the Week 5 win against Green Bay. Special teams coordinator Joe Marciano said Tuesday the club hadn’t decided on a new returner yet, but that it’ll likely come from within the organization. That said, it’s a bad sign for Agnew’s immediate future that Detroit is trying to figure out how to replace him. — Michael Rothstein

Cornerback Jaire Alexander was a bit of a surprise scratch last Sunday at Detroit. He practiced on a limited basis leading up to the game but did not play because of a groin injury he suffered the previous week. However, with an extra day before Monday night’s game against the 49ers, coach Mike McCarthy said “there’s hope he may be ready this week.” The Packers haven’t had their top two picks the past two years — Alexander (first round, 2018) and Kevin King (second round, 2017) — together on the field since Week 2. King missed Weeks 3 and 4 because of a groin injury but returned against the Lions. — Rob Demovsky

After missing his second game of the season while nursing the hamstring injury he sustained in overtime at Green Bay, running back Dalvin Cook practiced on a limited basis Wednesday, which featured him taking handoffs from Kirk Cousins during individual drills. Cornerback Trae Waynes is out of the concussion protocol and said he expects to play on Sunday against Arizona. While second-year pass rusher Tashawn Bower continues to be held out of practice with an ankle injury, the Vikings had rookie Jalyn Holmes working a bit with the defensive ends. That’s necessary for Minnesota’s depth factor along the defensive line, given the amount of snaps shouldered by Danielle Hunter and Stephen Weatherly in Philadelphia. — Courtney Cronin


NFC SOUTH

Running back Devonta Freeman, who returned to the lineup last week after missing three games with a right knee injury, popped up on the injury report Tuesday with a foot injury and didn’t practice. It’s unclear when Freeman injured his foot in the Pittsburgh game, but his status is worth monitoring in preparation for the Buccaneers. If Freeman doesn’t recover, then Tevin Coleman and rookie Ito Smith will have to carry the load against Gerald McCoy and Tampa Bay’s tough front, which is solid against the run. — Vaughan McClure

Pro Bowl center Ryan Kalil avoided a scare after leaving Sunday’s game in the fourth quarter with a neck injury, something that sidelined him for much of last season. He practice on full on Wednesday. Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen was listed as limited, but he remains on track to return from a fractured foot after missing only four games, five less than he missed a year ago with the same injury. — David Newton

Fortunately the Saints are on a bye, because they lost top cornerback Marshon Lattimore to a concussion in the first quarter of Monday night’s game against Washington, and the position is uncomfortably thin behind him. Lattimore also missed a game with a concussion last year, but it’s too early to predict what his status will be for Week 7 at Baltimore. The good news is that backup cornerback P.J. Williams has stepped up big the past two weeks. Furthermore, seldom-used backup Justin Hardee (normally a special teams ace) had a big-time interception and 77-yard return vs. the Redskins. — Mike Triplett

The Bucs are actually looking a lot better on the injury front, with defensive tackle Beau Allen returning to practice for the first time since suffering a foot injury in Week 2. Tight end O.J. Howard returned to practice after suffering a sprained MCL in Week 4. Starting cornerback Carlton Davis, who aggravated a groin injury against the Bears, was also back practicing. All were limited though, so expectations should be tempered. — Jenna Laine


NFC WEST

Seven Cardinals missed practice on Wednesday, including three of their five offensive linemen. Right tackle Andre Smith is dealing with a hamstring issue, his second injury of the season, and Arizona now has to worry about left guard Mike Iupati, who has an elbow injury. Add in left tackle D.J. Humphries, who missed practice with a knee ailment, and Arizona’s offensive line is banged up six games into the season. If Smith can’t go Sunday, John Wetzel will get another start. The Cardinals will re-evaluate Mike Iupati on Thursday, coach Steve Wilks said, and then decide how to proceed the rest of the week. If he’s out Sunday, then Jeremy Vujnovich would likely see the field. — Josh Weinfuss

Receivers Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp are in concussion protocol, but coach Sean McVay is hopeful both will recover in time to play the Denver Broncos. “Making positive steps in the right direction,” McVay said. “We feel good about those guys being ready to go.” Kicker Greg Zuerlein, who is recovering from a groin injury, is expected to be out another week. — Lindsey Thiry

Receiver Dante Pettis (knee) has already been ruled out for Monday night, and running back Matt Breida (ankle) is considered doubtful. But the Niners still have multiple key players they will monitor this week, including tackles Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchey and center Weston Richburg, all of whom are dealing with knee issues. Linebacker Reuben Foster is also battling a shoulder injury. The good news? With the game on Monday night, the Niners were able to take an extra day to rest and heal up this week. — Nick Wagoner

The Seahawks are in decent shape health-wise heading into Sunday’s game in London against the Raiders, but they’ll again be without linebacker K.J. Wright. With Mychal Kendricks suspended and no longer available to replace Wright, the Seahawks instead moved Barkevious Mingo from strong-side linebacker to the weak-side spot last week against the Rams. That may be the plan for another week as Wright works his way back from arthroscopic knee surgery. Pete Carroll said there’s no sense in rushing him back for this game with Seattle on a bye next week. — Brady Henderson

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