Injury Expectations | Wednesday Update | Week 6

A review of the week's first full practice participation report

KEY WEDNESDAY MEDIA UPDATES

***Adam Schefter reported Tyler Eifert will undergo another back surgery this week and will miss the rest of the season. The Bengals have said only that Eifert's current condition isn't related to last season's back surgery. In the strictest sense, that's likely an accurate statement, i.e. this surgery isn't intended to re-address a degenerative condition at the same vertebral level as the previous surgery. But this surgery is likely to an adjacent level and it's not uncommon for players with degenerative back conditions to require surgical procedures more than one surgical procedure. The early timetable here is 4-6 months, which includes rehab to regain core strength and conditioning. Players have recovered fully from multiple back surgeries but it's unlikely Eifert will have a career arc and length of Antonio Gates, Tony Gonzalez, and others.

***A full practice for Ty Montgomery is a reassuring sign. However, Wednesday's practice didn't involve much contact. Tomorrow's participation is much more important. If the Packers clear Montgomery for more than limited work in their most physical Thursday practice, it's a clear sign he'll be active this week. Don't expect a return to his pre-injury workload, however. Aaron Jones is healthy and coming off a very productive week.

***Travis Kelce did not practice today. Most players who advance through the return-to-play protocol within one week are doing some limited work on Wednesday and increasing exercise through the end of the week. The DNP isn't the only poor prognostic sign for a Week 6 return. Kelce was entered into the protocol due to "memory problems" -- a symptom known to be associated with a longer recovery in some athletes. And Kelce has had multiple past concussions. It's too soon to say for certain but I think Kelce is on the doubtful side of questionable this week.

***Rob Gronkowski is expected to play this week. Today's report from Jeff Howe suggests Gronkowski was injured against Carolina and was unable to recover enough to limit the risk of additional injury last Thursday. Although he did participate in individual drills on Wednesday, the Patriots listed him as DNP after holding him out of team drills.

***There are multiple quarterbacks on the injury report again. However, the news is mostly positive this week. Tom Brady (left AC sprain) and Matthew Stafford (low-grade grade high ankle sprain) are both expected to play through injuries that should not limit them. Derek Carr will very likely be ready to play with a little extra padding to protect his back. Marcus Mariota is reportedly doing much more in practice this week and has already shown signs he'll be better able to protect himself in the pocket this week. I expect both Carr and Mariota to play. The news isn't as good for Sam Bradford. While Bradford didn't aggravate his injury on Monday night, he clearly showed he was not healthy enough to play. He may be out through the Vikings' Week 9 bye.

***It wasn't a hamstring injury for Jordy Nelson last week. Green Bay listed Nelson as a full participant with a back injury. Nelson spoke with the media and had no concern about his availability this week. We'll see if the Packers give him any practice time off later in the week but all signs are currently positive for a full Week 6 workload.

***Jay Gruden said Rob Kelley was unlikely to play after a week off to rest an ankle injury. Bilal Powell was not seen on the practice or rehab field and looks unlikely to play through a calf injury. Matt Forte did some limited work but may only be in the re-conditioning phase of rehab and may not be ready to return yet after missing multiple weeks with turf toe.

***Wednesday's practice report information was limited on DeVante Parker and Stefon Diggs. Neither receiver was at practice and neither receiver's coach sounded optimistic about this week's availability. Consider both doubtful with an outside chance of earning a game-time decision notation by the end of the week. Sterling Shepard was also a DNP on Wednesday has very little chance to play.


THURSDAY NIGHT INJURY EXPECTATIONS

Here are the key offensive players listed on the practice participation or game status report for Thursday Night Football:

DEvin Funchess | Knee | Not Listed

Funchess did not practice until Wednesday. He worked out fully, however, and is not listed on the Panthers' game status report. There's no indication he'll be limited on Thursday night.

Cam Newton has improved with each passing week. He'll again be without center Ryan Kalil but the rest of his offensive line and skill position players are healthy. The Eagles will be without Ronald Darby in the secondary but are otherwise healthier on defense and are expected to have Fletcher Cox back on Thursday night. The Eagles' offense will be without Lane Johnson (concussion) and Wendell Smallwood -- who is listed questionable but hasn't practiced in two weeks with knee swelling.


EARLY WEEK PRACTICE PARTICIPATION REPORT AND EARLY EXPECTATIONS

The Wednesday and Thursday practice participation reports are our first chance to see which players each NFL team are limiting in practice after the previous week's games. Players limited in mid-week practice aren't necessarily in danger of missing that week's game. But they all need to be watched closely.

*Note: Monday night players with asterisk practice Thursday/Friday/Saturday

Quarterbacks
Player Team Injury Practice Participation Game Status FBGs Expects
Wednesday Thursday Friday
Tom Brady NE Shoulder DNP       Expected to Play
Matthew Stafford Det Ankle Full       Expected to Play
Derek Carr Oak Back Limited       Likely to Play
*Marcus Mariota* Ten Hamstring MNF       Likely to Play
Sam Bradford Min Knee DNP       Likely Inactive
Blake Bortles Jac Wrist Full       Expected to Play
Josh McCown NYJ Shoulder Full       Expected to Play
*Andrew Luck* Ind Shoulder MNF       Inactive
Running Backs
Player Team Injury Practice Participation Game Status FBGs Expects
Wednesday Thursday Friday
Jay Ajayi Mia Knee Full       Expected to Play
Leonard Fournette Jac Ankle Limited       Expected to Play
Ty Montgomery GB Ribs Full       Awaiting Information
Rob Kelley Was Ankle DNP       Unlikely to Play
Bilal Powell NYJ Calf DNP       Unlikely to Play
Matt Forte NYJ Knee / Toe Limited       Awaiting Information
Terrance West Bal Calf DNP       Likely Inactive
Jamaal Charles KC Not Injury Related DNP       Expected to Play
Paul Perkins NYG Ribs DNP       Likely Inactive
Chris Ivory Jac Hip Limited       Awaiting Information
D'Onta Foreman Hou Hip Limited       Awaiting Information
Branden Oliver SD Hamstring Limited       Awaiting Information
Dwayne Washington Det Quad Limited       Awaiting Information
Rex Burkhead NE Ribs Limited       Likely to Play
DeAndre Washington Oak Hamstring Limited       Awaiting Information
Wide Receivers
Player Team Injury Practice Participation Game Status FBGs Expects
Wednesday Thursday Friday
Julio Jones Atl Hip Limited       Expected to Play
Jordy Nelson GB Back Full       Expected to Play
Stefon Diggs Min Groin DNP       Awaiting Information
Pierre Garcon SF Not Injury Related DNP       Expected to Play
Jeremy Maclin Bal Shoulder Limited       Likely to Play
DeVante Parker Mia Ankle DNP       Awaiting Information
Willie Snead IV NO Hamstring Limited       Likely to Play
Amari Cooper Oak Knee Limited       Expected to Play
John Brown Ari Quad Limited       Likely to Play
J.J. Nelson Ari Hamstring Limited       Likely to Play
Sterling Shepard NYG Ankle DNP       Likely Inactive
Marqise Lee Jac Ribs Full       Expected to Play
Mohamed Sanu Atl Hamstring DNP       Likely Inactive
Josh Doctson Was Shoulder Full       Expected to Play
Breshad Perriman Bal Knee DNP       Unlikely to Play
Mike Williams LAC Back Limited       Awaiting Information
Kenny Britt Cle Knee / Groin Limited       Awaiting Information
Sammie Coates Jr Cle Hamstring Full       Expected to Play
Kenny Golladay Det Hamstring Limited       Awaiting Information
Albert Wilson KC Knee DNP       Awaiting Information
Tight Ends
Player Team Injury Practice Participation Game Status FBGs Expects
Wednesday Thursday Friday
Rob Gronkowski NE Thigh DNP       Expected to Play
Travis Kelce KC Concussion DNP       Unlikely to Play
George Kittle SF Chest Limited       Expected to Play
Maxx Williams Bal Ankle Full       Expected to Play
Offensive Line
Player Team Injury Practice Participation Game Status FBGs Expects
Wednesday Thursday Friday
Alex Boone Ari Chest Limited       Awaiting Information
D.J. Humphries Ari Knee Limited       Awaiting Information
Jared Veldheer Ari Knee Limited       Unlikely to Play
Ryan Schraeder Atl Concussion Full       Likely to Play
Matt Skura Atl Knee DNP       Awaiting Information
Hroniss Grasu Chi Hand Limited       Awaiting Information
Joe Thomas Cle Knee DNP       Expected to Play
J.C. Tretter Cle Knee DNP       Awaiting Information
Kevin Zeitler Cle Thumb Full       Expected to Play
T.J. Lang Det Back DNP       Likely to Play
David Bakhtiari GB Hamstring Limited       Likely to Play
Bryan Bulaga GB Ankle Limited       Likely to Play
Xavier Su'a-Filo Hou Knee Limited       Expected to Play
Brandon Linder Jac Illness DNP       Awaiting Information
Patrick Omameh Jac Hip Limited       Awaiting Information
Laurent Duvernay-Tardif KC Knee DNP       Likely Inactive
Mitch Morse KC Foot DNP       Inactive
Joe Barksdale LAC Foot Limited       Likely to Play
John Sullivan LAC Not Injury Related DNP       Expected to Play
Andrew Whitworth LAC Not Injury Related DNP       Expected to Play
Mike Pouncey Mia Hip Full       Expected to Play
Pat Elflein Min Toe Limited       Likely to Play
Nick Easton Min Calf DNP       Awaiting Information
Nate Solder NE Not Injury Related DNP       Expected to Play
Marcus Cannon NE Ankle Limited       Likely to Play
Terron Armstead NO Shoulder Limited       Likely to Play
Weston Richburg NYG Concussion DNP       Likely Inactive
Kelvin Beachum NYJ Knee Full       Expected to Play
James Carpenter NYJ Shoulder Full       Expected to Play
Brandon Shell NYJ Shoulder Full       Expected to Play
Brian Winters NYJ Abdomen Full       Expected to Play
Gabe Jackson Oak Foot Limited       Likely to Play
Ramon Foster Pit Back DNP       Likely to Play
Maurkice Pouncey Pit Chest DNP       Awaiting Information
Marcus Gilbert Pit Hamstring Full       Expected to Play
Joe Staley SF Not Injury Related DNP       Expected to Play
Ali Marpet TB Illness Limited       Likely to Play
Trent Williams Was Knee DNP       Unlikely to Play
Edge Players
Player Team Injury Practice Participation Game Status FBGs Expects
Wednesday Thursday Friday
Vic Beasley Jr Atl Hamstring Limited       Limited if Active
Myles Garrett Cle Ankle Limited       Likely to Play
Ezekiel Ansah Det Knee DNP       Likely to Play
Nick Perry GB Hand Full       Expected to Play
Jadeveon Clowney Hou Knee DNP       Expected to Play
Justin Houston KC Calf DNP       Awaiting Information
Dee Ford KC Back Full       Likely to Play
Olivier Vernon NYG Ankle DNP       Awaiting Information
Defensive Line
Player Team Injury Practice Participation Game Status FBGs Expects
Wednesday Thursday Friday
Robert Nkemdiche Ari Calf Limited       Likely to Play
Danny Shelton Cle Calf Full       Expected to Play
Malik Jackson Jac Groin Full       Expected to Play
Bennie Logan KC Knee Limited       Likely to Play
Muhammad Wilkerson NYJ Shoulder / Toe DNP       Awaiting Information
Leonard Williams NYJ Wrist Full       Expected to Play
Linebackers
Player Team Injury Practice Participation Game Status FBGs Expects
Wednesday Thursday Friday
Karlos Dansby Ari Hamstring Limited       Expected to Play
John Timu Chi Knee / Ankle DNP       Inactive
Nick Kwiatkoski Chi Chest Limited       Awaiting Information
Jamie Collins Sr  Cle Concussion Full       Likely to Play
Tahir Whitehead Det Pectoral Limited       Likely to Play
Joe Thomas GB Ankle DNP       Unlikely to Play
Benardrick McKinney Hou Hip DNP       Awaiting Information
Jatavis Brown LAC Ankle Limited       Likely to Play
Mark Barron LAR Knee DNP       Awaiting Information
Eric Kendricks Min Shoulder Limited       Likely to Play
Dont'a Hightower NE Knee Limited       Likely to Play
Jonathan Casillas NYG Neck DNP       Awaiting Information
Cory James Oak Knee DNP       Likely to Play
Marquel Lee Oak Knee DNP       Unlikely to Play
Ryan Shazier Pit Quad Limited       Likely to Play
NaVorro Bowman SF Not Injury Related DNP       Expected to Play
Reuben Foster SF Ankle Limited       Awaiting Information
Kwon Alexander TB Hamstring Limited       Awaiting Information
Lavonte David TB Ankle Limited       Awaiting Information
Zach Brown Was Illness DNP       Likely to Play
Mason Foster Was Shoulder Full       Expected to Play
Defensive Backs
Player Team Injury Practice Participation Game Status FBGs Expects
Wednesday Thursday Friday
Patrick Peterson Ari Quad Limited       Likely to Play
Aqib Talib Den Not Injury Related DNP       Expected to Play
Glover Quin Det Groin Limited       Expected to Play
Morgan Burnett GB Hamstring DNP       Unlikely to Play
Kevin King GB Concussion DNP       Unlikely to Play
Davon House GB Quad Limited       Likely to Play
Kevin Johnson Hou Knee DNP       Inactive
Johnathan Joseph Hou Groin DNP       Likely to Play
Marcus Burley Hou Knee Full       Expected to Play
Jalen Ramsey Jac Ankle Limited       Expected to Play
Lamarcus Joyner LAR Hamstring Limited       Awaiting Information
Andrew Sendejo Min Groin DNP       Awaiting Information
Stephon Gilmore NE Ankle Limited       Likely to Play
Sterling Moore NO Pectoral Full       Expected to Play
Landon Collins NYG Ankle DNP       Likely to Play
David Amerson Oak Shoulder Limited       Likely to Play
Eric Reid SF Knee Limited       Unlikely to Play
Jimmie Ward SF Shoulder Limited       Likely to Play
T.J. Ward TB Hip Limited       Awaiting Information
Josh Norman Was Rib DNP       Inactive
D.J. Swearinger Sr Was Hamstring Limited       Awaiting Information

Note: Monday night players with asterisk practice Thursday/Friday/Saturday.

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