Week 12 comes with some extra Thursday football, thanks to a rather underwhelming trio of Thanksgiving games.

Nevertheless, with three games scheduled, it seemed like a perfect time for a special early-week injury report. It is worth noting most of these reports are simply estimates due to teams conducting walkthroughs or holding no practice at all early in the week.

Here’s a quick breakdown of all the injuries that could affect Thanksgiving football this year:

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Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions; 12:30 PM

Bears

Player Position Injury Mon Tue Wed Game Status
Justin Fields
QB Ribs DNP DNP DNP Out
Akiem Hicks
DL Ankle DNP DNP DNP Out
Allen Robinson II
WR Hamstring DNP DNP DNP Doubtful
Damien Williams
RB Calf DNP DNP DNP Out
Eddie Jackson
DB Hamstring LP LP LP Questionable
Darnell Mooney
WR Foot LP LP LP (-)
Mario Edwards Jr.
DL Ribs FP FP LP Questionable
Tashaun Gipson Sr.
DB Chest FP FP FP Questionable
Marquise Goodwin
WR Shoulder FP FP FP Questionable

Andy Dalton will make his first start for the Bears since losing the quarterbacking job to Justin Fields in Week 2. The Bears passing offense has been the worst in the NFL, ranking last in yards, touchdowns and net yards per attempt. They also rank 31st in EPA, joining Detroit, Carolina and Houston as the only teams with negative EPA coming from throwing the football.

Dalton started on Thanksgiving last year for the Cowboys in a loss to Washington, although he did hook up with Amari Cooper for a 54-yard touchdown in the first half. It was Dallas’s only touchdown in the 41-16 blowout.

– Complicating Dalton’s return is the anticipated absence of Allen Robinson, who is doubtful with a hamstring injury. Dalton targeted Robinson 11 times in Week 1, the only time the wide receiver received more than seven targets all season.

With Robinson out last week, both Darnell Mooney and Marquise Goodwin posted 100-yard games and scored a touchdown as well. Mooney could be in for a big game again with Detroit slot cornerback A.J. Parker ruled out with an ankle injury. He was sixth in receiving yards from the slot in Week 11.

Lions

Player Position Injury Mon Tue Wed Game Status
Trinity Benson
WR Knee LP DNP DNP Out
Trey Flowers
OLB Knee DNP DNP DNP Out
Matt Nelson
T Ankle DNP DNP DNP Out
A.J. Parker
CB Ankle DNP DNP DNP Out
Halapoulivaati Vaitai
G Concussion DNP DNP DNP Out
Michael Brockers
DE Knee (-) LP LP Questionable
Jared Goff
QB Oblique LP LP LP Questionable
Jermar Jefferson
RB Knee/Ankle LP LP LP Questionable

Jared Goff is expected to start on Thursday despite the “questionable” tag. While that deprives us of an Andy Dalton vs. Tim Boyle matchup, the Lions desperately need help to get their first win of 2021.

The Bears pass defense has been improved in recent weeks, allowing over 230 yards just once in their last five games, all losses. Goff’s 26.8 QBR is the second-lowest mark in the NFL.

– As for Parker’s absence, he was replaced by starting safety Will Harris in the slot last week and when he missed time earlier in the season. Harris was targeted just twice in that game, allowing one catch for 16 yards.

If the Lions decide to leave Harris at safety, Corey Ballentine and Nickell Robey-Coleman are both on Detroit’s practice squad.

Robey-Coleman has spent most of his career playing in the slot for the Bills, Rams and Eagles. While he struggled in Philadelphia last year, Robey-Coleman went from 2016 to 2019 without allowing a passer rating over 85 when targeted.

Tommy Kraemer will start for Halapoulivaati Vaitai at right guard. The undrafted rookie has 37 snaps of NFL experience, but did start 39 games for Notre Dame over four years.

Las Vegas Raiders at Dallas Cowboys; 4:30 PM

Raiders

Player Position Injury Mon Tue Wed Game Status
Daniel Carlson
K Illness DNP FP FP (-)
Kenyan Drake
RB Knee FP FP FP (-)
Brandon Facyson
CB Finger/Hamstring FP FP FP (-)
Nick Kwiatkoski
LB Ankle DNP DNP DNP Out
Yannick Ngakoue
DE Ribs FP FP FP (-)
Keisean Nixon
CB Ankle DNP DNP DNP Out
Jalen Richard
RB Ribs LP LP FP (-)
John Simpson
G Ribs DNP LP LP Questionable
Dillon Stoner
WR Achilles (-) FP FP (-)
Andre James
C Thumb (-) FP FP (-)

John Simpson is the only starter whose availability is in question after he injured his ribs last week. The left guard has struggled this season, allowing 28 pressures, fifth-most for his position.

Jordan Simmons is the Raiders alternative plan if Simpson is inactive against Dallas. The former Seahawk started six games at left guard for Seattle last year, allowing three sacks and nine pressures.

Cowboys

Player Position Injury Mon Tue Wed Game Status
Ezekiel Elliott
RB Knee LP FP FP (-)
Trysten Hill
DT Foot FP FP FP (-)
CeeDee Lamb
WR Concussion DNP DNP LP Questionable
Tyron Smith
T Ankle LP FP FP (-)
Cedrick Wilson
WR Shoulder FP FP FP (-)
Donovan Wilson
S Shoulder/Chest DNP DNP (-) (-)
Nahshon Wright
CB Hamstring FP FP FP (-)

Amari Cooper will miss his second-straight game due to COVID-19.

– The Cowboys receiving corps won’t be completely barren as CeeDee Lamb is expected to play despite being listed as “questionable.” Expect Lamb and Michael Gallup to lineup on the outside, with Cedrick Wilson being used as the slot receiver.

– Also returning will be left tackle Tyron Smith, who has been absent for three games due to an ankle injury. The former Pro Bowler’s return is a huge upgrade over Terence Steele, who allowed two sacks and 13 pressures while filling in.

Smith will face a tough matchup with Yannick Ngakoue, who is having a rebirth in Vegas after a forgettable season with Baltimore and Minnesota last year. Ngakoue has 19 pressures, three tackles for loss and five sacks in his last four games.

Buffalo Bills at New Orleans Saints; 8:20 PM

Bills

Player Position Injury Mon Tue Wed Game Status
Cole Beasley
WR Ribs LP LP FP (-)
Tremaine Edmunds
LB Hamstring FP FP FP (-)

Tremaine Edmunds returning will be a huge boost for a rush defense that allowed 264 yards to the Colts last week. However, defensive tackle Star Lotulelei remains on the reserve/COVID-19 list and could miss another game.

– Also on the COVID list is right tackle Spencer Brown. It is worth noting that Sean McDermott did say on Wednesday that no one has been “ruled out,” so both Brown and Lotulelei could be available by Thursday night.

The Bills went with Daryl Williams at right tackle and Cody Ford at right guard last week with Brown out. That could be the plan again after Josh Allen was pressured on just 21 percent of his dropbacks against the Colts.

Saints

Player Position Injury Mon Tue Wed Game Status
Alvin Kamara
RB Knee DNP DNP DNP Out
Ryan Ramczyk
T Knee DNP DNP DNP Out
Marcus Davenport
DE Shoulder DNP DNP DNP Out
Tanoh Kpassagnon
DE Ankle DNP DNP DNP Out
Mark Ingram II
RB Knee LP DNP LP Questionable
Terron Armstead
T Knee/Shoulder LP LP LP Questionable
Ty Montgomery
WR Hand LP FP FP (-)
Taysom Hill
QB Foot FP FP FP (-)
Trevor Siemian
QB Right Hand FP FP FP (-)

– The Saints rushing attack might be in some trouble with Alvin Kamara ruled out for a third game and Mark Ingram questionable after suffering a knee injury against the Eagles last week.

Tony Jones is the next man up on the depth chart, despite averaging just 2.6 yards per carry on the 11 touches he’s earned since Week 2. Jones also has three catches for seven yards.

– We do know the Saints will be relying on at least one backup tackle with Ryan Ramczyk out again. James Hurst started at right tackle against the Eagles, allowing four pressures. He could be the option there, especially if Terron Armstead is active.

– The Saints will be starting Nick Vannett at tight end after placing Adam Trautman on the Injured Reserve this week. Vannett did have a 20-yard catch in Philadelphia last week, but those 18 snaps against the Eagles are the only action he’s seen all year.