It’s been an NFL season like no other, but on Sunday Feb 13th, the Bengals and Rams will meet in Los Angeles to determine the 2021 NFL Champion.

With two weeks off between the Conference Championship and the Super Bowl, both teams are getting healthier, but there are still a number of issues that could come into play.

Here’s a breakdown of all the injury and COVID-19 storylines heading into Super Bowl 56:

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Cincinnati Bengals Injury Report, Super Bowl 56

Player Position Injury Wed Thu Fri Game Status
Cam Sample
EDGE Groin FP FP FP (-)
C.J. Uzomah
TE Knee DNP LP FP Questionable
Josh Tupou
DT Knee FP FP FP (-)
Stanley Morgan
WR Hamstring FP FP FP (-)
Jackson Carman
G Back LP FP FP (-)

– After injuring his MCL in the AFC Championship Game, C.J. Uzomah seems to be on track to play in the Super Bowl despite the questionable designation he carries into the weekend.

The tight end was fourth on the team in targets and receptions during the regular season and contributed 13 catches for 135 yards during the first two rounds of the playoffs before getting injured just nine snaps into the Conference Championship.

Drew Sample is the next tight end on the depth chart, but he’s hardly a receiving threat, catching multiple passes just three three times this season and never earning more than 36 yards in a game.

– Right guard remains a curious situation for Cincinnati, but rookie Jackson Carman will be available to play. Carman split time with Hakeem Adeniji against Kansas City and both players struggled mightily.

Adenji started against the Chiefs and allowed three pressures, earning a pass-blocking grade of 1.8 from Pro Football Focus. If that wasn’t bad enough, Carman allowed six pressures and received a pass-blocking grade of 0.1 for his efforts.

Luckily for the Bengals, Aaron Donald doesn’t line up over the right guard much, playing no more than 10 snaps at left defensive tackle in any game since Week 10.

Bengals Injured Reserve List

Player Position Date Added Injury Eligible to Return
Larry Ogunjobi DT 01/17/2022 Foot N/A
Joe Bachie LB 12/21/2021 Knee Playoffs
Riley Reiff T 12/16/2021 Ankle Week 18
Darius Phillips DB 12/14/2021 Shoulder Week 18
Auden Tate WR 12/04/2021 Calf Week 16
Akeem Davis LB 11/09/2021 Foot Week 14
Brandon Wilson DB 11/09/2021 Knee Week 14
Jordan Evans LB 10/11/2021 Knee Week 9
Joseph Ossai DE 08/31/2021 Knee N/A

Bengals players on the COVID-19 List

Player Position Positive Test? Date Added Date Removed
Joe Bachie
LB Yes 1/20/22 1/28/22
Larry Ogunjobi
DT Yes 1/6/22 1/10/22
B.J. Hill
DT Yes 1/5/22 1/10/22
Joe Mixon
RB Yes 1/5/22 1/10/22
Vonn Bell
DB Yes 1/4/22 1/10/22
Akeem Davis
LB Yes 1/4/22 1/20/22
Trey Hendrickson
DE Yes 1/4/22 1/10/22
Trey Hopkins
C Yes 1/4/22 1/10/22
Quinton Spain
G Yes 1/4/22 1/10/22
Trenton Irwin
WR Yes 12/31/21 1/5/22
Trae Waynes
DB Yes 12/31/21 1/5/22
Germaine Pratt
LB Yes 12/29/21 1/1/22
Auden Tate
WR Yes 12/28/21 1/3/22
Brandon Allen
QB Yes 12/27/21 1/1/22
Darius Phillips
DB Yes 12/27/21 1/3/22
Wyatt Ray
DE Yes 12/25/21 12/30/21
D.J. Reader
DT Yes 12/25/21 12/30/21
Mike Thomas
WR Yes 12/24/21 12/29/21
Chidobe Awuzie
CB Yes 12/16/21 12/25/21
Clay Johnston
LB Yes 12/13/21 12/21/21
Mitchell Wilcox
TE Yes 11/15/21 11/25/21
Chidobe Awuzie
CB Yes 11/10/21 11/12/21
Markus Bailey
LB Yes 11/9/21 11/18/21
Jackson Carmine
G Yes 10/11/21 10/15/21
Samaje Perine
RB Yes 10/11/21 10/21/21

Los Angeles Rams Injury Report, Super Bowl 56

Player Position Injury Wed Thu Fri Game Status
Joe Noteboom
OL Chest DNP LP (-) Moved to IR
Cam Akers
RB Shoulder LP FP FP (-)
Christian Rozeboom
LB Elbow FP FP FP (-)
Tyler Higbee
TE Knee DNP DNP (-) Moved to IR
Grant Haley
DB Quadricep FP FP FP (-)
Taylor Rapp
S Concussion FP FP FP (-)
Van Jefferson
WR Knee LP FP FP (-)
Jalen Ramsey
DB Shoulder FP FP FP (-)
Andrew Whitworth
OL Quadricep FP FP FP (-)

Darrell Henderson Jr. will play for the first time since Week 16 after spending time on the IR with a sprained MCL. Los Angeles has relied on Cam Akers and Sony Michel in the postseason, with mixed results. Akers is averaging less than three yards per carry on 54 postseason totes and Michel has 70 yards from scrimmage on 27 touches of his own.

Henderson led the Rams’ backs with 4.6 yards per carry and 12.4 carries per game in the regular season. Sean McVay may still lean on Akers and Michel if Henderson’s knee isn’t 100-percent, but neither guy has performed well enough to keep Henderson off the field if healthy.

– The biggest absence on Sunday will be Tyler Higbee, who was moved to the Injured Reserve on Saturday afternoon. In the regular season, Cincinnati allowed the fourth-most catches and fifth-most receiving yards to opposing tight ends.

With Higbee out, Kendall Blanton will be the Rams’ starting tight end with Brycen Hopkins sliding into the backup slot. Blanton had just four catches for 37 yards in two years with the Rams, but has broken out in the postseason, earning seven catches for 75 yards in the last two games.

Joe Noteboom was also moved to the IR due to a chest injury, but he was relegated to a backup role once Andrew Whitworth was healthy enough to retake his left tackle spot.

If Whitworth’s quad gives him trouble again, Bobby Evans might be the top backup option. The third-year player made two starts at left guard in the postseason last year, allowing five pressures and a sack.

Sebastian Joseph-Day was activated off the IR and is expected to suit up for the first time since Week 7. The defensive tackle had a career-high three sacks this season despite missing all that time.

Joseph-Day will slide in behind Donald and Greg Gaines on the interior against a porous Cincinnati offensive line that has allowed seven sacks to opposing interior linemen this postseason.

Rams Injured Reserve List

Player Position Date Added Injury Eligible to Return
Joseph Noteboom OL 02/11/2022 Chest N/A
Tyler Higbee TE 02/11/2022 Knee N/A
Jordan Fuller DB 01/12/2022 Ankle Super Bowl
Ernest Jones LB 12/28/2021 Ankle Playoffs
Robert Rochell DB 12/11/2021 Chest Week 17
Robert Woods WR 11/24/2021 Knee Week 15
Jacob Harris WR 11/09/2021 Knee Week 14
Chatarius Atwell WR 11/02/2021 Shoulder Week 13
Andre Mintze LB 10/19/2021 Hamstring Week 10
Tremayne Anchrum OG 09/02/2021 Knee Week 4

Rams players on the COVID-19 List

Player Position Positive Test? Date Added Date Removed
Raymond Calais
RB Yes 12/29/21 1/3/22
Andrew Whitworth
T Yes 12/25/21 12/30/21
Joseph Noteboom
OL Yes 12/18/21 12/28/21
Robert Rochell
DB Yes 12/18/21 12/20/21
Jamil Demby
OL Yes 12/17/21 12/22/21
Grant Haley
DB Yes 12/17/21 12/19/21
Justin Lawler
LB Yes 12/17/21 12/28/21
Tyler Higbee
TE Yes 12/17/21 12/24/21
Tremayne Anchrum Jr.
T Yes 12/16/21 12/20/21
Antoine Brooks Jr.
DB Yes 12/16/21 12/23/21
Bobby Evans
G Yes 12/16/21 12/20/21
Jake Grevase
LB Yes 12/16/21 12/23/21
Von Miller
LB Yes 12/16/21 12/21/21
Ogbonnia Okoronkwo
LB Yes 12/16/21 12/22/21
Kareem Orr
DB Yes 12/16/21 12/19/21
Troy Reeder
LB Yes 12/16/21 12/20/21
Christian Rozeboom
LB Yes 12/16/21 12/21/21
Jordan Fuller
DB Yes 12/15/21 12/24/21
Justin Hollins
LB Yes 12/15/21 12/18/21
John Mundt
TE Yes 12/15/21 12/23/21
Tyler Hall
DB Yes 12/15/21 12/22/21
Jared Pinkney
TE Yes 12/15/21 12/22/21
Odell Beckham Jr.
WR Yes 12/14/21 12/18/21
Terrell Burgess
DB Yes 12/14/21 12/22/21
Brycen Hopkins
TE Yes 12/14/21 12/18/21
Juju Hughes
DB Yes 12/14/21 12/23/21
Alaric Jackson
T Yes 12/14/21 12/18/21
Sebastian Joseph-Day
DT Yes 12/14/21 12/22/21
Jonah Williams
DE Yes 12/14/21 12/22/21
Tyler Higbee
TE Yes 12/13/21 12/14/21
Jalen Ramsey
CB Yes 12/13/21 12/19/21
Rob Havenstein
T Yes 12/13/21 12/22/21
Dont’e Deayton
DB Yes 12/13/21 12/18/21
Darrell Henderson
RB Yes 12/11/21 12/18/21
Chris Garrett
LB Undisclosed 9/2/21 9/21/21
Coleman Shelton
G Undisclosed 8/31/21 9/10/21
Johnny Hekker
P Undisclosed 8/21/21 9/2/21
Tutu Atwell
WR Undisclosed 7/26/21 8/4/21
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