Playoff Injury Preview: Injury Report for Every Playoff Team

After 18 grueling weeks, there are still 14 teams who have their sights set on hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in Las Vegas next month.

While some teams are hitting their stride and playing their best football, others are limping their way toward Wild Card Weekend with several key injuries that could doom their season.

Here’s a breakdown of where every team’s health stands heading into the postseason.

Browns at Texans Injury Report:

Browns Injuries

Amari Cooper has been inactive the last two weeks due to a heel injury but should be active this week for the first time since he caught 11 passes for 265 yards against this Texans defense.

Cooper didn’t practice at all leading up to Week 18, but it was clear the Browns were resting their key veterans with nothing on the line.

Pierre Strong entered Week 18 as the Browns’ lead back with Jerome Ford and Kareem Hunt both taking lighter workloads in a meaningless game.

Strong suffered a back injury in the fourth quarter and never returned. Before the injury, he had 14 carries for 65 yards. With Hunt and Ford healthy, there probably isn’t much of a role for Strong in the offense.

Myles Garrett was ruled out of Week 18 with a shoulder injury that he’s been dealing with for weeks, but he has been able to play through it. Sitting out Sunday’s game had more to do with the standings than his injury.

Dustin Hopkins has been inactive the last two weeks after suffering a hamstring injury in Week 16 and has not participated in practice since getting hurt.

The Browns signed Riley Patterson to their practice squad, and he kicked the last two weeks, making his only field goal attempt.

Texans Injuries

Noah Brown did not participate in Week 18 after suffering a back injury the previous game. The six-year vet still managed to set a career-high in receiving yards this year despite missing seven games.

The Texans passing game was carried by Nico Collins in Week 18. He was on the receiving end of 195 of CJ Stroud’s 264 passing yards in the win.

– Part of the reason for Collins’ dominant target share was Robert Woods being inactive due to his own hip injury. Woods didn’t participate in practice but wasn’t ruled out until after his pregame workout.

John Metchie III and Xavier Hutchinson both ran over 20 routes against the Colts but combined for just two catches and 11 yards on five targets.

Jonathan Greenard has missed the last two games due to an ankle injury. Despite the absence, Greenard still finished the season leading the Texans in sacks with 12.5 and tackles for loss.

Greenard did not participate in practice last week, and the Texans struggled to pressure Gardner Minshew without him. Only Will Anderson and Jerry Hughes registered multiple pressures in the win.

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Dolphins at Chiefs Injury Report:

Dolphins Injuries

Raheem Mostert missed the final two games of the season due to knee and ankle injuries but did finally rejoin his team on the practice field in a limited capacity on Friday.

With Mostert out, rookie De’Von Achane rushed 24 times for 163 yards in the two losses.

Jaylen Waddle was also inactive on Sunday night after limited participation in Friday’s practice. The third-year receiver is dealing with an ankle injury.

With Waddle out, Tyreek Hill was the only Dolphins receiver to get more than three targets in the passing game, catching seven of them for 82 yards. Cedrick Wilson led the team in routes run but had one catch for 24 yards.

Andrew Van Ginkel will miss the entirety of the postseason after suffering an ankle injury in Week 18. The Dolphins are now down four linebackers with Jaelan Phillips and Bradley Chubb already ruled out for the season and Cameron Goode suffering a torn patella tendon on Sunday.

Currently, the only healthy outside linebackers on the Dolphins roster are Melvin Ingram and Emmanuel Ogbah.

Ogbah has 5.5 sacks this season and 19 quarterback pressures. Ingram has just 1.5 sacks and four pressures on 46 pass rushing snaps.

Jerome Baker will also miss the rest of the season after undergoing wrist surgery.

Duke Riley and David Long should be the team’s starting inside linebackers.

Xavien Howard isn’t expected to miss the entire playoffs, but the Dolphins don’t think he will be active on Saturday against the Chiefs.

Eli Apple was targeted 12 times while starting in Howard’s place against the Bills on Sunday night. He did grab an interception but also allowed nine catches for 141 yards and a touchdown.

Chiefs Injuries

Isiah Pacheco was active in Week 18 but did not play as the Chiefs rested most of their key starters.

The second-year running back has been dealing with shoulder and quad injuries but rushed for a season-high 130 yards against the Bengals in Week 17.

Rashee Rice was inactive in Week 18 after suffering a hamstring injury against the Bengals.

He didn’t participate in practice, but it could’ve just been a cautious move heading into a meaningless game.

– The situation with Kadarius Toney isn’t as cut-and-dry as he deals with a hip injury that has lingered since Week 12. Toney played three games since but has sat out the last two and was a limited participant in just one practice last week.

His status will be worth monitoring throughout the week.

– The other big injury on the Chiefs offense is left tackle Donovan Smith’s neck injury that has kept him out of action since Week 13.

Rookie Wanya Morris has started every game since, but he’s currently in concussion protocol after suffering a head injury in Week 18. Joe Thuney and Jawaan Taylor combined to allow five pressures against the Chargers.

Steelers at Bills Injury Report:

Steelers Injuries

T.J. Watt suffered a knee injury in Week 18 that is being called a Grade 2 MCL sprain by his big brother.

While that is better than a torn ACL, Watt has already been ruled out for the Wild Card Round.

With Watt out, it will be Alex Highsmith and Markus Golden on the edge for the Steelers. They are second and third on the team in sacks, but their combined 11 sacks are eight less than Watt has earned this year.

Minkah Fitzpatrick hasn’t touched the field since injuring his knee in Week 15, but he told reporters last week he would suit up if the Steelers make the playoffs and here we are.

Eric Rowe has started the last three games for Pittsburgh in Fitzpatrick’s spot, allowing 18 receptions for 199 yards on 25 targets.

Bills Injuries

Gabe Davis is dealing with a PCL sprain in his knee, according to Ian Rapaport, but has not been ruled out yet for Wild Card Weekend. Davis was targeted twice before the injury and had zero catches.

Khalil Shakir was the Bills’ leading receiver in Sunday’s win over the Dolphins, catching all six of his targets for 105 yards.

Dion Dawkins claims his finger “almost fell off” in Sunday night’s win over the Dolphins, but he still played 70 snaps and should be active against the Steelers.

The left tackle has allowed just one sack all season.

Rasul Douglas suffered a knee injury in the first half on Sunday night and never returned. However, Douglas told reporters after the game he will be active this weekend.

Douglas was replaced by Dane Jackson, who was targeted four times in coverage and allowed three catches for 33 yards. He was also flagged for two penalties.

Packers at Cowboys Injury Report:

Packers Injuries

AJ Dillon was inactive in Week 18 after suffering a stinger and is also dealing with a broken thumb.

With Dillon inactive against the Bears, Aaron Jones was the only running back to get a carry, rushing 22 times for 111 yards and also catching five passes.

Christian Watson seems to be trending in the right direction after being listed as questionable in Week 18, but he was still inactive. He hasn’t played since injuring his hamstring at the beginning of December.

Dontayvion Wicks and Jayden Reed have been the Packers’ leading receivers with Watson out. The duo combined for 10 catches, 183 yards, and two touchdowns in the win over Chicago.

Romeo Doubs left the game on the Packers’ first drive after suffering a chest injury. He did return but eventually went to a local hospital for testing.

Doubs was back in the Packers locker room by the end of the game, but his status for this weekend is questionable.

Cowboys Injuries

– Both Tyler Smith and Zack Martin were inactive in Week 18, but Stephen Jones believes the Cowboys’ offensive line will be fully healthy by Sunday.

Tyler Bass allowed just one pressure filling in at left guard for Smith and Brock Hoffman allowed three pressures at right guard.

Stephon Gilmore suffered a shoulder injury against the Commanders and had his arm in a sling on the sideline after the game. However, an MRI revealed no damage and he later told reporters he expects to play.

Gilmore has been targeted 91 times in 600 coverage snaps, allowing 50 receptions for 653 yards and breaking up nine passes.

Rams at Lions Injury Report:

Rams Injuries

Tyler Higbee was inactive on Sunday after sitting out of practice all week due to a shoulder injury. His status for Sunday will rely heavily on what he does in practice this week.

Backup tight end Davis Allen has 10 catches for 95 yards on 11 targets.

Jordan Fuller is considered day-to-day by the team after suffering an ankle injury against the 49ers on Sunday.

Russ Yeast could get the start against the Lions, but Fuller will probably start after playing just 12 snaps against San Francisco.

Lions Injuries

Jameson Williams has been inactive the last two weeks due to an ankle injury, but he is “in a good spot” according to Dan Campbell and could be active this week.

The 2022 first-rounder had a career-high 69 yards in the last game he played.

Kalif Raymond likely will not play this week after Campbell said he had “an outside shot” of being active against the Rams. Raymond suffered a knee injury against the Vikings and never returned.

Josh Reynolds led the team in routes run and caught five passes for 44 yards, but Amon-Ra St. Brown was the team’s leading receiver, catching seven balls for 144 yards and a touchdown.

Sam LaPorta is expected to be inactive as well after suffering a hyperextended knee in Sunday’s win.

Campbell also described LaPorta as a long shot to play, so it will be worth monitoring his status in practice this week. Backup James Mitchell caught a 24-yard pass on Sunday. It was just his second of the season.

Eagles at Buccaneers Injury Report:

Eagles Injuries

Jalen Hurts was pulled from Sunday’s disaster before halftime, but he also suffered an injury to the middle finger of his throwing hand. However, he was able to play through the injury and refused a brace, playing with it simply taped up.

It would be a shock if Hurts is inactive given the number of injuries he’s played through this year, but Marcus Mariota is the team’s backup.

A.J. Brown suffered a knee injury on his first touch of Sunday’s game and never returned. However, he was able to walk off the field under his own power and was seen standing outside the locker room following the game to greet his teammates.

As of now, it isn’t expected to be a major injury.

DeVonta Smith missed the first game of his career as he dealt with an ankle injury, but it was seen as a precautionary move.

With both Brown and Smith off the field, the Eagles’ leading receivers in Week 18 were Julio Jones and Quez Watkins. Watkins caught the team’s lone touchdown.

– Right guard Cam Jurgens also left the game early due to an eye injury.

He was replaced by Jack Driscoll, who allowed one quarterback pressure in 25 pass blocking snaps.

Darius Slay could be active this week for the first time since undergoing knee surgery. He’s missed the last four games.

Rookie Kelee Ringo has made his first four NFL starts and allowed five catches on nine targets in coverage.

Buccaneers Injuries

– All of the players on the Buccaneers 53-man roster entered Week 18 healthy.

Quarterback Baker Mayfield was on the injury report this week due to a rib injury, but was a full participant by Friday.

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