NFL Playoff Injury Report: January 12
Joe Gallina breaks down the top injuries and COVID situations to keep an eye on as we head into a four-game slate this weekend for the Divisional Round!
After watching some great football action this past Super Wild Card Weekend, including a unique Nickelodeon broadcast complete with slime cannons in the end zones, we turn our attention to the four upcoming NFL Divisional Round Matchups.
As for the two teams who had first-round byes, the Packers enter their matchup against the Rams relatively healthy, but we anxiously await updates from the Chiefs regarding WR Tyreek Hill (hamstring), rookie RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire (ankle), and WR Sammy Watkins (calf). The Chiefs first practice is scheduled for Wednesday.
As this article is being written the Browns have no new positive COVID-19 tests. Kevin Stefanski (from the basement), guard Joel Bitonio , cornerback Denzel Ward , and others who were on the COVID-19 list should be back this week. However, there are several other injuries that you need to monitor as you prepare for what is shaping up to be another action-packed weekend of playoff football.
Jared Goff , QB, Rams (Thumb)
Goff was able to throw the ball fairly well in practice leading up to Saturday’s game against the Seahawks, but Rams head coach Sean McVay went with John Wolford as his starting QB. Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, McVay felt that there were questions as to how effective Goff would be and if he’d be able to protect himself on the field. In short, he felt Wolford gave him a better chance for a win. Goff entered the game after Wolford suffered a neck injury, and despite the fact that he threw a touchdown pass he struggled a bit and completed just 9-of-19 pass attempts.
John Wolford, QB, Rams (Neck)
After playing just 15 snaps this past Saturday Wolford was taken away by ambulance for a precautionary visit to the hospital after taking a vicious hit to the head from Jamal Adams . Thankfully he was back in the Rams’ locker room in time to enjoy their post-victory celebration. According to McVay, Wolford suffered a stinger and is considered day-to-day. We’ll have to watch both Wolford and Goff’s availability in practice this week. Goff admitted that McVay had made the decision to start Wolford early last week. However, this week McVay might truly not know which quarterback will get the start against the Packers until right before game time.
Zack Moss, RB, Buffalo Bills
Moss suffered a season-ending ankle injury in the fourth quarter of the Bills’ win against the Colts. It’s not yet known if he will require surgery on the ankle. Devin Singletary will be the Bills’ lead back the rest of the postseason, but head coach Sean McDermott stated that they would also consider using T.J. Yeldon , undrafted rookie Antonio Williams, and Christian Wade against the Ravens this Saturday.
Ronald Jones , RB, Buccaneers (Quad)
Jones logged a full week of practices ahead of the Bucs’ matchup against the Washington Football team. However, he aggravated his quad in pre-game warmups and was forced to sit out the game. Leonard Fournette filled in nicely as the Bucs’ lead back with Ke’Shawn Vaughn taking the change of pace role. Vaughn was benched after losing a third quarter fumble. LeSean McCoy (illness) was also forced to miss Saturday’s game. According to head coach Bruce Arians, he’ll “wait and see” if Jones can practice and potentially play this week against the Saints.
Latavius Murray , RB, Saints (Thigh)
Murray was forced out of Sunday’s game against the Bears due to a thigh injury. If he is forced to miss this week’s matchup against the Bucs look for Ty Montgomery and Dwayne Washington to have a slightly expanded role.
Cooper Kupp , WR, Rams (Knee/Hand)
Kupp suffered what looked like a scary non-contact knee injury on Saturday. However, according to reports he is dealing with bursitis in his knee, and thankfully there’s a good chance he’ll be able to play this week. Monitor his practice availability this week.
Aaron Donald , DL, Rams, (Rib)
Donald suffered a rib injury on Saturday that forced him out of the Rams’ matchup against the Seahawks. X-rays were negative and it has been reported that he was available and could have returned to Saturday’s game. According to Ian Rapoport, Donald suffered a torn rib cartilage, but is expected to be able to play.