The 2021 NFL Playoffs kick off on Saturday, and unsurprisingly, most of the teams that remain in the field of contention stayed very healthy over the course of the season.

As of this writing, there isn’t a single backup quarterback expected to play this weekend and there as some key players, such as J.J. Watt and Derrick Henry (next week), who could make heroic returns.

For all non-roster injuries, be sure to bookmark our Playoff COVID-19 Tracker and the Injured Reserve Tracker. And for this week’s injury reports and analysis on all the game, read on:

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2022 Playoffs record: 26-10 (72%)
Super Bowl record: 25-10 (71%)

Las Vegas Raiders at Cincinnati Bengals; (Sat.) 4:30 PM

Raiders

Player Position Injury Tue Wed Thu Game Status
Divine Deablo
LB Shoulder/Wrist FP FP FP (-)
Johnathan Hankins
DT Back/Knee DNP DNP LP Questionable
Casey Hayward Jr.
CB Ankle LP LP LP (-)
Josh Jacobs
RB Ribs LP LP LP (-)
Andre James
C Foot FP FP FP (-)
Tre’von Moehrig
S Shoulder LP FP FP (-)
Foster Moreau
TE Abdomen/Ankle FP FP FP (-)
Denzel Perryman
LB Wrist FP FP FP (-)
Hunter Renfrow
WR Hip FP FP FP (-)
Darren Waller
TE Knee LP LP LP (-)
Quinton Jefferson
DT Foot (-) (-) LP (-)
Kendal Vickers
DT Back (-) (-) LP (-)

– The interior of the Raiders defensive line is already thin after Darius Philon was placed on the IR this week, but if Johnathan Hankins is unable to play as well, it could be an issue for Vegas.

Joe Mixon had a season-high 30 carries against the Raiders when these teams met in the regular season, rushing for 123 yards and two touchdowns. If Hankins can’t go, Las Vegas will rely on Quinton Jefferson, Solomon Thomas and practice squad call-up Damion Square.

Bengals

Player Position Injury Tue Wed Thu Game Status
Ricardo Allen
S Concussion DNP LP FP (-)
Josh Tupou
DT Knee DNP DNP DNP Doubtful
Jalen Davis
CB Ankle LP LP LP Questionable
Vernon Hargreaves III
CB Ankle LP FP FP (-)
Hakeem Adeniji
G Ankle FP FP FP (-)
Joe Burrow
QB Knee FP FP FP (-)
Sam Hubbard
DE Thigh FP FP FP (-)
Evan McPherson
K Groin FP FP FP (-)
Quinton Spain
OG Ankle FP FP FP (-)
C.J. Uzomah
TE Knee/Hip FP FP FP (-)
Stanley Morgan
WR Hamstring DNP LP LP Questionable
Cam Sample
EDGE Hamstring FP FP FP (-)
Tee Higgins
WR Foot FP LP LP (-)

– Defensive tackle Josh Tupou is the only starter who is in jeopardy of being inactive on Sunday after he suffered a knee injury in Week 18. The four-year vet has made nine starts this season, but has zero sacks or tackles for loss.

Tupou played only nine snaps the teams’ previous meeting, with Larry Ogunjobi and D.J. Reader handling most of the playing time. The interior of the Raiders offensive line is weak with both guards, Alex Leatherwood and John Simpson, ranking among the top-10 in pressures allowed at their position,

New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills; (Sat.) 8:15 PM

Patriots

Player Position Injury Tue Wed Thu Game Status
David Andrews
C Shoulder LP LP LP Questionable
Christian Barmore
DT Knee LP LP LP Questionable
Cody Davis
DB Wrist LP LP LP Questionable
Kyle Dugger
DB Hand LP LP LP Questionable
Nick Folk
K Left Knee LP LP LP Questionable
Lawrence Guy
DL Shoulder LP LP LP Questionable
Damien Harris
RB Hamstring LP LP LP Questionable
Dont’a Hightower
LB Knee LP LP LP Questionable
Brandon King
LB Toe LP LP LP Questionable
Jakobi Meyers
WR Thigh LP LP LP Questionable
Adrian Phillips
DB Knee LP LP LP Questionable
Isaiah Wynn
OL Hip/Ankle LP DNP DNP Out
Jamie Collins Sr.
LB Ankle DNP LP Questionable

– The Patriots will be without defensive backs Jalen Mills and Shaun Wade on Saturday as neither was able to clear COVID-19 protocols prior to 4 pm on Friday afternoon.

Mills is a particularly big loss, considering he’s started 16 games at cornerback this season. After a rough start to the season, Mills has played better as of late, allowing just one explosive catch since Week 9.

Joejuan Williams started when Mills was absent in Week 5 and could find himself starting again this week. He allowed two catches for 77 yards and a TD against the Texans, but has improved since, allowing just five completions on his last 11 targets.

– Starting left tackle Isaiah Wynn will be absent on Saturday after the team downgraded him to “out” on Friday afternoon. Justin Herron will get the start after filling in for Wynn against Miami in Week 18.

Herron played well against the Dolphins pass rush, allowing just one hurry on 30 pass-blocking snaps. He did start against Buffalo as a rookie in 2020, allowing two pressures and a sack.

Bills

Player Position Injury Tue Wed Thu Game Status
Efe Obada
DE Ankle FP FP FP (-)
Emmanuel Sanders
WR Knee FP FP FP (-)

– The return of Emmanuel Sanders could be a huge boost for the Bills struggling passing attack, especially with Mills sidelined for New England. Sanders has torched the Patriots in his career, averaging over 70 yards per game against them.

Without Sanders the last two weeks, Josh Allen completed less than 50 percent of his passes and threw three interceptions. Gabriel Davis was targeted 13 times in Week 18, but caught only three passes. His time on the field should diminish with Sanders healthy.

– Backup left guard Ryan Bates has played well since taking over for Ike Boettger in Week 16. He has allowed just three pressures in those games, including one on 52 pass-blocking snaps against New England in Week 16.

Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers; 1:00 PM

Eagles

Player Position Injury Wed Thu Fri Game Status
Shaun Bradley
LB Stinger LP LP FP (-)
Fletcher Cox
DT Rest DNP FP FP (-)
Landon Dickerson
OL Thumb LP FP FP (-)
Andre Dillard
T Knee LP LP FP (-)
Nate Herbig
G Ankle LP LP DNP Questionable
Jalen Hurts
QB Ankle FP FP FP (-)
Lane Johnson
T Rest/Knee DNP LP LP (-)
Jason Kelce
C Rest DNP FP FP (-)
Miles Sanders
RB Hand LP LP FP (-)
Josh Sweat
DE Illness DNP DNP DNP Questionable
Kary Vincent Jr.
DB Foot FP FP FP (-)
Greg Ward
WR Back LP FP FP (-)
Patrick Johnson
LB Back LP (-)

Miles Sanders is expected to play on Sunday with zero limitations after suffering a broken hand in Week 16. He was enjoying the best stretch of his career prior to the injury, averaging over 90 yards per game and six yards per carry over a five week stretch.

Josh Sweat didn’t practice all week due to an illness, but is still considered “questionable.” The Eagles pass rush has struggled all season, ranking 31st in blitz rate and 23rd in pressure rate across the NFL.

Sweat has been the most productive pass rusher on the Eagles in recent weeks, earning four sacks and 15 pressures in the last four games. If he’s out, Ryan Kerrigan will be inserted into the starting lineup.

Kerrigan has been a huge disappointment with the Eagles after a stellar career in Washington. Outside of his lone quarterback hit against Detroit, Kerrigan hasn’t touched a quarterback all season, ranking as one of six edge rushers this season to not record a sack.

Buccaneers

Player Position Injury Wed Thu Fri Game Status
Shaquil Barrett
OLB Knee LP LP FP (-)
Jamel Dean
CB Hamstring LP LP FP (-)
Mike Evans
WR Hamstring LP FP FP (-)
Cyril Grayson Jr.
WR Hamstring DNP DNP DNP Out
Ryan Jensen
C Shoulder LP LP FP (-)
Ronald Jones II
RB Ankle DNP DNP DNP Out
Sean Murphy-Bunting
CB Hamstring LP LP LP Questionable
Anthony Nelson
OLB Ankle DNP LP FP (-)
Breshad Perriman
WR Hip LP LP FP (-)
Bradley Pinion
P Right hip FP FP FP (-)
Jason Pierre-Paul
OLB Shoulder/Knee LP LP DNP (-)
Rashard Robinson
CB Groin LP LP FP (-)
Ke’Shawn Vaughn
RB Ribs FP FP FP (-)
Justin Watson
WR Quadricep LP LP FP Questionable
Carlton Davis III
CB Back (-) (-) LP Questionable

– The Buccaneers running game will be short-handed on Sunday with Leonard Fournette remaining on the IR.  Playoff Lenny carried the load for Tampa Bay last year, averaging over 20 touches per game and gaining 448 yards from scrimmage during their Super Bowl run.

With Ronald Jones also expected to be out due to an ankle injury, Ke’Shawn Vaughn and the recently-activated Giovani Bernard will split time in the backfield. Vaughn averaged 3.3 yards per carry in the Bucs last two games and Bernard hasn’t had more than five touches in a game since Week 5.

– Linebacker Lavonte David was activated from the IR on Saturday and is expected to start against the Eagles top-ranked rushing attack.

The Buccaneers run defense has struggled without David, allowing 327 yards and nearly five yards per carry over their last three games against the Panthers (twice) and the Jets.

San Francisco 49ers at Dallas Cowboys; 4:40 PM

49ers

Player Position Injury Wed Thu Fri Game Status
Trent Williams
T Elbow DNP LP FP (-)
Elijah Mitchell
RB Knee DNP LP FP (-)
Azeez Al-Shaair
LB Knee LP LP DNP Questionable
Jimmy Garoppolo
QB Right Thumb LP FP FP (-)
Dre Greenlaw
LB Groin LP FP FP (-)
Marcell Harris
LB Achilles LP LP LP Questionable
Jaquiski Tartt
S Groin LP LP FP (-)
Mitch Wishnowsky
P Concussion LP LP FP Questionable
Talanoa Hufanga
S Knee LP LP LP Questionable
Maurice Hurst
DL Calf FP FP FP (-)

Trent Williams doesn’t have an injury designation this week after being inactive in Week 18 due to an elbow injury. The 2021 All Pro left tackle allowed just one sack and 16 pressures all season.

– Linebacker could be an area of concern for San Francisco come Sunday with both Azeez Al-Shaair and Marcell Harris listed as questionable. Al-Shaair has been inactive for the past two games, but John Lynch said on Thursday he expects him to join Dre Greenlaw and Fred Warner in the starting lineup on Sunday.

Al-Shaair could be a huge part of stopping the Cowboys rushing attack. He ranks third on the team in stops with an average depth of tackle of just 1.9 yards downfield.

Cowboys

Player Position Injury Wed Thu Fri Game Status
Francis Bernard
LB Groin LP FP FP (-)
Sean McKeon
TE Neck LP FP FP (-)
Israel Mukuamu
S Hamstring LP LP (-) Moved to IR
Keanu Neal
LB Chest/Elbow LP DNP DNP Out
Tony Pollard
RB Foot FP FP FP (-)
Tyron Smith
T Knee/Ankle LP FP FP (-)

Keanu Neal is the only key Cowboy who will be absent on Sunday. The linebacker has been a key part of the Dallas defense when Micah Parsons slides over to edge rusher.

The Cowboys don’t have much depth at linebacker with Luke Gifford and Francis Bernard listed as the next two guys on the depth chart. The duo has played just 42 combined snaps all season.

Expect San Francisco to run the ball a lot against a Cowboys defense that has allowed 4.5 yards per carry this season, 23rd in the NFL.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs; 8:15 PM

Steelers

Player Position Injury Wed Thu Fri Game Status
Ben Roethlisberger
QB Pectoral/Right Shoulder LP FP FP (-)
Najee Harris
RB Elbow DNP DNP FP (-)
Arthur Maulet
CB Concussion LP LP FP (-)
Dan Moore Jr.
OT Ankle FP FP FP (-)
Trai Turner
G Knee (-) DNP FP (-)

Najee Harris was upgraded from “questionable” on Saturday with his elbow healed enough for him to shed that injury designation. The rookie played a season-low 40 snaps against the Ravens last week and ran 11 times for 28 yards.

Against the Chiefs earlier in the season, Harris racked up 93 yards on 19 carries and also added five catches for 17 yards in the passing game. He will once again be the focal point of the Steelers offense.

– This is a longshot, but Juju Smith-Schuster was designated to return from the IR on Friday and rejoined his team at practice just three months after undergoing shoulder surgery.

Mike Tomlin down-played Smith-Schuster’s participation in practice as just a part of his rehab process, but there could be some optimism, considered the receiver is a pending free agent and might not be a Steeler come next season.

Smith-Schuster averaged nearly seven targets per game prior to his Week 5 injury, catching 15 passes for 129 yards.

Chiefs

Player Position Injury Wed Thu Fri Game Status
Darrel Williams
RB Toe LP LP LP Questionable
Clyde Edwards-Helaire
RB Shoulder LP DNP DNP Out
Orlando Brown
T Calf FP FP FP (-)
Willie Gay
LB Wrist FP FP FP (-)
Tyreek Hill
WR Heel FP LP FP (-)
Travis Kelce
TE Hip FP FP FP (-)
Tyrann Mathieu
S Knee FP FP FP (-)
L’Jarius Sneed
CB Knee FP FP FP (-)
Andrew Wylie
G Glute FP FP FP (-)

Clyde Edwards-Helaire has already been ruled out, leaving Darrel Williams as the top back going into Sunday, provided he is active with his toe injury. Williams had a lot of success against Pittsburgh back in Week 16, gaining 55 yards on 11 carries and catching three passes for 30 yards.

Another guy to monitor is Derrick Gore, who has worked himself into a decent role during Edwards-Helaire’s absence. Gore has 22 carries for 110 yards and four catches for 69 yards in the Chiefs last three games.

Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams; (Mon.) 8:15 PM

Cardinals

Player Position Injury Thu Fri Sat Game Status
Zach Allen
DE Ankle DNP LP FP (-)
James Conner
RB Ribs DNP DNP LP Questionable
Antonio Hamilton
CB Tooth DNP LP FP (-)
Jonathan Ward
RB Knee DNP DNP LP Questionable
Chase Edmonds
RB Ribs/Toe LP LP FP (-)
Rondale Moore
WR Ankle LP LP LP Questionable
Jordan Phillips
DE Knee LP LP FP Questionable
Marco Wilson
CB Shoulder LP LP FP Questionable
Demetrius Harris
TE Shoulder FP FP FP (-)
Justin Pugh
OL Calf (-) LP DNP Questionable
Isaiah Simmons
ILB NIR – Personal (-) DNP (-) (-)

J.J. Watt will return on Monday night. The former two-time Defensive Player of the Year has been absent since Week 7 due to a shoulder injury that required surgery.

Watt was having a monster season as a pass-rusher prior to the injury, despite recording only one sack. He had 28 pressures and his 11 quarterback hits led the NFL at the time of his injury.

Rams

Player Position Injury Thu Fri Sat Game Status
Taylor Rapp
S Concussion DNP DNP DNP Out
Buddy Howell
RB Hamstring DNP DNP DNP Doubtful
Leonard Floyd
OLB Back DNP FP FP (-)
Matthew Stafford
QB Toe FP FP FP (-)
Van Jefferson
WR Shoulder FP LP LP Questionable
Darious Williams
CB Shoulder FP FP FP (-)

– With both Jordan Fuller (IR) and Taylor Rapp out for Monday night, the Rams signed veteran safety Eric Weddle off the street to play next to Nick Scott on the back end of their defense.

The six-time Pro Bowler and two-time All Pro hasn’t played since 2019 when he suited up for all 16 games for the rams and contributed four passes defended.