Player Injury Preview: AFC & NFC Divisional Round Playoff Games

We’re down to just eight teams remaining after the NFL playoffs kicked off with a drama-filled Super Wild Card Weekend.

This year’s Divisional Round will see the Chiefs and Eagles return from their well-earned byes to compete with the six victorious teams from the Wild Card.

Ahead of our official NFL Injury Report (which drops Thursday), here’s a breakdown of the biggest injury storylines for each team as we move closer to the Super Bowl:

Buffalo Bills Injuries

Cornerback Dane Jackson is considered day-to-day after suffering a knee injury against the Dolphins.

Rookie Kaiir Elam filled in for Jackson and played well, intercepting one pass and finishing the day as the second-highest graded Bills defender on Pro Football Focus.

Elam struggled at the end of the regular season, allowing four completions on four targets for 95 yards and a touchdown in the final two games.

Both Micah Hyde and Jamison Crowder were designated to return from the Injured Reserve last week, but neither is expected to be active against the Bengals.

Hyde has been out since injuring his neck in October. His replacement, Dean Marlowe, had an interception against Miami. It was Marlowe’s first pick since 2020, when he had two in a game against the Dolphins.

Cole Beasley led the Bills in snaps out of the slot and caught two passes for 35 yards and a touchdown. He was third on the team in targets, trailing only Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis.

Cincinnati Bengals Injuries

The Bengals could be without left tackle Jonah Williams after he suffered a dislocated kneecap against the Ravens. He’s currently considered week-to-week.

He did suffer a similar injury earlier in the season and was able to play through it.

2021 second-round pick Jackson Carman played the final 28 snaps and allowed one sack. It was his first action as a left tackle after playing exclusively guard as a rookie. Carman didn’t play a single offensive snap in the regular season.

Unfortunately for the Bengals, Carman wasn’t the only backup on the line with Max Scharping playing right guard and Hakeem Adeniji starting at right tackle. Both guys allowed one sack and combined to allow five total pressures.

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Dallas Cowboys Injuries

Jason Peters suffered a hip injury on Monday night and never returned. The 40-year-old had been starting at left tackle with rookie Tyler Smith kicking back inside to left guard.

With Peters out, Smith moved back to left tackle, where he spent most of the season, and Connor McGovern was elevated to left guard.

With the Cowboys holding a commanding lead, Dak Prescott threw just 13 passes in the second half and was sacked zero times.

Jacksonville Jaguars Injuries

The Jaguars are as healthy as could be at this point of the season with no major injuries currently on their 53-man roster. However, it is worth noting Trevor Lawrence hasn’t been a full participant in over six weeks.

In that time span, Lawrence has been a non-participant six times and a limited participant in the other 12 practices.

Since suffering the toe injury, Lawrence has been pressured at least 11 times in every game, except for Week 17 against Houston when he sat out the fourth quarter due to the insurmountable lead.

Kansas City Chiefs Injuries

Edge rusher Frank Clark left Week 18 with a groin injury, but Andy Reid classified it as minor.

We haven’t gotten an update on Clark this week just yet, but he’s been a huge part of the Chiefs pass rush once again.

This season, Kansas City has pressured opposing quarterbacks on nearly 45 percent of their third down dropbacks when Clark is on the field. That number drops to 39 percent when he is on the sidelines.

The Chiefs also thought Mecole Hardman would be active for Week 18, but he remains out after being activated from the IR two weeks ago. Hardman hasn’t played since injuring his abdomen in Week 9.

In the regular season finale against Las Vegas, Marquez Valdes-Scantling was the only Chiefs wide receiver to have more than two targets in the passing game, catching three of his six opportunities for 27 yards.

New York Giants Injuries

Azeez Ojulari suffered a quad injury in the second quarter against the Vikings and underwent further testing on Monday. The linebacker is considered day-to-day by the team. According to reporters, Ojulari was walking around the locker room without a significant limp following the win.

With Ojulari limited to eight snaps against the Vikings, Jihad Ward played 31 snaps, rushing the passer 14 times and recording one quarterback hit.

On the season, Ward posted 24 pressures and three sacks in 362 pass rushing snaps.

It’s also worth noting Kayvon Thibodeaux got his hand stepped on against the Vikings, but he still played 53 snaps after getting it taped up.

Philadelphia Eagles Injuries

Lane Johnson is expected to play after missing the final two weeks of the regular season with a groin injury. The first-team All Pro right tackle was seen at practice last week.

Johnson hasn’t allowed a sack in over two seasons, setting PFF’s record for consecutive snaps and games without allowing a sack. He and teammate Jason Kelce were the only offensive linemen in the NFL to allow zero sacks or quarterback hits in the regular season.

The Eagles allowed pressure on over 36 percent of the passing snaps Johnson sat out compared to 30 percent when he was on the field.

San Francisco 49ers Injuries

The 49ers came of Super Wild Card Weekend with a pair of contributors considered day-to-day: Jauan Jennings and Samson Ebukam. Both guys are dealing with ankle injuries.

Ebukam is third on the 49ers in quarterback pressures, trailing only Nick Bosa and Charles Omenihu. With Ebukam out, Jordan Willis played 30 snaps, earning a pair of pressures on 21 pass rushes.

Since joining San Francisco in mid-2020, Willis has 7.5 sacks in 26 games.

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Don’t Miss out on our Playoff Recommendations

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  • Last 5 weeks in NFL: 34-12 (74%)
  • Final 2022 NCAAF Bowls: 18-8 (69%) including 6-0 (100%) on elevated plays
  • Final 2022 NFL Futures: 17-5 (77%)
  • Final 2022 NFL Regular Season: 92-63 (59%)
  • Final 2022 NFL Computer Totals: 37-15 (71%)
  • Final 2022 NCAAF Regular Season: 126-94 (57%)

It’s truly been a great season and we’re excited for the playoffs, as it’s been extremely good to us in years past.

Historically, we’ve been outstanding on NFL Playoffs:

  • 159-93 (62%) lifetime playoff record
  • 25-10 (71%) lifetime Super Bowl record
  • 16-6 (73%) on Super Bowl week releases last year (including props)

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