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Biggest Week 13 injury questions for all 32 NFL teams



Daniel Jones, the starting quarterback for the NFC East-leading New York Giants (4-7), leads a host of players whose status is in doubt entering Week 13 of the 2020 NFL season.

Jones, who suffered a hamstring injury last week, was not on the practice field Wednesday in the portion open to the media. Colt McCoy could be the fill-in for the Giants, who play at the Seattle Seahawks (8-3) on Sunday (4:05 p.m. ET, Fox).

Elsewhere, Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs missed practice Wednesday after suffering a sprained right ankle last week. The Raiders (6-5) play at the winless New York Jets on Sunday (1 p.m. ET, CBS). Also, prior to their NFC South showdown between New Orleans and Atlanta, it is still unknown whether Falcons’ star wide receiver Julio Jones will be able to play in Week 13.

Here’s a roundup of the biggest injuries from ESPN’s NFL Nation:

Jump to:
NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF


Is Matt Milano healthy enough to play after four weeks of rest? The Bills’ defense is knocking on the doorstep of its 2019 form, if it isn’t there already. But Milano’s presence as a pass-defending linebacker is still missed, and Buffalo will need all hands on deck during a critical stretch of games over the next five weeks. Especially against a creative offense such as San Francisco’s on Monday night (8:15 ET, ESPN), the Bills (8-3) could use Milano’s skill set. — Marcel Louis-Jacques

Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa sat out last Sunday’s game because of a jammed left throwing thumb, and the rookie appears to have a 50-50 chance to play Sunday against the Bengals. He continues to practice in a limited capacity wearing black tape on his thumb, but it seems likely to again come down to whether coach Brian Flores thinks Tagovailoa is effective enough throwing with the injured thumb compared to a healthy Ryan Fitzpatrick. — Cameron Wolfe

Third-year cornerback J.C. Jackson, whose six interceptions lead the team, was knocked out of Sunday’s win against the Cardinals after landing hard on his back and hip in the fourth quarter. He was spotted at the start of Wednesday’s practice but was limited in his overall participation. If he can’t go on Sunday against the Chargers, veteran Jason McCourty is a top candidate to replace him in the starting lineup. — Mike Reiss

The Jets are relatively healthy. The biggest question for Sunday’s game against the Raiders is on the offensive line, where right tackle George Fant (knee/ankle) isn’t practicing and could miss his second straight start. He would be replaced again by Chuma Edoga. Quarterback Sam Darnold (shoulder) is healthy and practicing fully. — Rich Cimini


Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith left Wednesday’s 19-14 loss at the Pittsburgh Steelers because of a groin injury, depleting an already thin Baltimore team. Smith was injured in the second quarter and ruled out for the remainder of the game. — Jamison Hensley

The Bengals don’t have any massive injury questions. However, cornerback Darius Phillips has been cleared to return from injured reserve and could be available to play as early as this week. If he comes back, he could be in the mix to be a starting outside cornerback. While the impact on Miami’s passing attack would be marginal, that scenario gives Cincinnati another much-needed player at that spot. — Ben Baby

Pro Bowl cornerback Denzel Ward is unlikely to play at Tennessee after suffering a calf strain Nov. 22. Ward sat out Sunday’s game at Jacksonville and is being termed “week-to-week” by Browns coach Kevin Stefanski. — Jake Trotter

The Steelers are the NFL’s lone unbeaten team, but their defense might have taken another massive hit with an injury to linebacker Bud Dupree in the win against the Ravens on Wednesday. Dupree’s knee appeared to go out and he limped off the field. Dupree, playing this season on the franchise tag, had a breakout year in 2019 playing opposite T.J. Watt, and he has eight sacks this season. With Dupree out for any amount of time, rookie Alex Highsmith would be in line for an increased role. Dupree and Watt are the foundational tandem of the Steelers’ pass rush, and losing Dupree would be a significant blow to one of the league’s top units. — Brooke Pryor


The Texans, on Wednesday, started the 21-day practice window for running back David Johnson, who is on injured reserve because of a concussion. Johnson could return Sunday against the Colts, and interim coach Romeo Crennel said the running back “has made progress” toward that return. — Sarah Barshop

Left tackle Anthony Castonzo, to no surprise, did not practice Wednesday because of a sprained MCL suffered early in the second quarter of Sunday’s game against Tennessee. The Colts do not have a set timetable on when they expect Castonzo in the lineup. “We’ll trust him and the doctors and the trainers, and kind of give him the freedom to test this thing out as he sees fit,” Colts coach Frank Reich said. Le’Raven Clark is the front-runner to start at left tackle against Houston, but the Colts are leaving numerous possibilities open, including moving right tackle Braden Smith or left guard Quenton Nelson. — Mike Wells



Field Yates picks Michael Pittman Jr. and Jakobi Meyers as two WRs that fantasy managers should consider adding off of the waiver wire.

Wide receivers DJ Chark Jr. (ribs) and Chris Conley (hip) were back on the field in a limited basis and appear on track to return to the lineup Sunday at Minnesota. The Jaguars nearly pulled off an upset of Cleveland last week without those two players in veteran quarterback Mike Glennon‘s first start since Week 4 of the 2017 season. If they’re back, especially Chark, that gives Glennon more help against one of the league’s worst pass defenses (Vikings are 25th at 261.3 yards per game). — Mike DiRocco

Titans tight end Jonnu Smith missed practice Wednesday because of a knee injury. He had been nursing an ankle injury for a good part of the season but still managed to play through it. Smith hasn’t been a factor in the past three games, including a zero-catch outing against the Colts last week. But keep an eye on Smith because the Titans will need to get him involved in the offense down the stretch. — Turron Davenport


With cornerback Bryce Callahan (foot) already ruled out for at least three weeks as he was moved to injured reserve, the injury to keep an eye on is running back Phillip Lindsay (knee). Lindsay did not practice Wednesday, but Broncos coach Vic Fangio said the team was “optimistic” Lindsay would be able to play at least some Sunday in Kansas City. It has been a tough season physically for Lindsay who has missed games, the second half of two others and most of the second half this past Sunday because of injuries. Despite that time missed, Lindsay has six of the Broncos’ nine rushing plays this season of at least 20 yards. — Jeff Legwold



Stephania Bell breaks down Phillip Lindsay’s injury and Julian Edelman’s placement on the COVID-19 list.

Cornerback Bashaud Breeland was sent home Wednesday with a stomach virus. There’s a good chance he will recover in time to be available to play Sunday night against the Broncos. The Chiefs would feel his loss if he doesn’t play because Breeland has had a good season and is a steadying presence for an otherwise young group of cornerbacks. — Adam Teicher

Running back Josh Jacobs suffered a sprained right ankle trying to get that extra yard late in the Raiders’ embarrassing 43-6 loss at Atlanta on Sunday and he missed practice on Wednesday. “He’s confident he’s going to be able to play [at the Jets],” Raiders coach Jon Gruden said. “I don’t think he was 100 percent [Sunday]. I think he tried to fight through it.” Indeed, a hip issue popped up on the Raiders’ injury report late in the week and Jacobs was limited to a career-low 27 yards rushing. Fullback Alec Ingold, who is dealing with a rib injury, and third-down back Jalen Richard being sick and inactive, limited the Raiders at the position. Even with a healthy Devontae Booker, Gruden intimated the Raiders could get Richard back this week, as well as Theo Riddick coming off the reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday. “And hopefully,” Gruden said, “our man Josh Jacobs is ready to roll.” — Paul Gutierrez

Justin Jackson (knee) is eligible to come off of injured reserve, and Chargers coach Anthony Lynn says the running back is expected to return Sunday against New England. Running back Kallen Ballage has an ankle injury he is rehabbing in hopes of being re-signed for next season. Ballage was signed when Jackson went down but has been productive until this latest injury. Defensive end Melvin Ingram is still out with a knee injury, which means teammate Joey Bosa will be freed up. Ingram has10 tackles so far this season, well behind his 48 from all of last season. — Shelley Smith


The Cowboys did not put out an official injury report Wednesday with a kickoff next Tuesday, but defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence worked on the resistance cords during the part of the session that was open to the media. He has been dealing with a knee issue for a good portion of the season and was slowed by something in the Thanksgiving loss to the Washington Football Team. Lawrence has all 4.5 of his sacks in the past seven games and has found something of a groove as a pass-rusher. Potentially facing Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, the Cowboys will need Lawrence to be ready to go. — Todd Archer

Quarterback Daniel Jones (hamstring) did not practice Wednesday. He worked with trainers and said he’s “feeling better.” But Jones also said he was unsure if he could have played had there been a game for the Giants on Wednesday. Luckily there wasn’t. But he also wouldn’t say if he did any running, only that he underwent treatment and did some exercises in the training room. It seems like a stretch for Jones to be ready to face the Seahawks on Sunday. Barring a miraculous recovery, it will be Colt McCoy starting in Seattle. — Jordan Raanan

Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, the centerpiece of the Eagles’ defense, was sidelined to start the week with a neck injury. If he can’t go in Week 13, the task of slowing Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers becomes all the more difficult. On a more positive note, tight end Zach Ertz (ankle) was activated off injured reserve and could play for the first time since Week 6. — Tim McManus

Safety Deshazor Everett participated in some positional work Wednesday, but he’s still dealing with an ankle sprain that has sidelined him the past two weeks. The feeling last week was that Everett was more likely to miss the Week 13 Pittsburgh game. Whether having an extra day will help him remains to be seen. If he can’t play, Washington will use the combination of Troy Apke and Jeremy Reaves to fill the free safety spot. Also, offensive tackle Cornelius Lucas (ankle) took part in an offensive walk-through. If he can play, then Morgan Moses would return to his right tackle position. — John Keim


Bears defensive tackle Akiem Hicks missed practice on Wednesday and is day-to-day with a hamstring injury. “In regards to Akiem, I do think he’s getting better,” coach Matt Nagy said. “I’m hoping that he will be able to go [against the Lions on Sunday].” Last week, the Packers exploited Hicks’ absence up front by running the ball with great success versus Chicago’s normally sturdy defense. Hicks, who is one of the Bears’ best defensive players, has been sidelined since he pulled the hamstring muscle versus the Minnesota Vikings on Nov. 16. — Jeff Dickerson

Kenny Golladay (hip) remains out for the Lions and didn’t practice Wednesday after being limited the past two Wednesdays. Interim coach Darrell Bevell didn’t want to use the term setback, though, when describing his star wide receiver. “He’s pushing himself. … It’s a day-in, day-out thing where we monitor it,” Bevell said. “We push him to a certain level, next day, see how that level — [how] the body reacts to it, and then we come back the next day and go from that plan, that day forward.” — Michael Rothstein

The offensive line, and it’s not just one spot, is a concern for the Packers this week. Green Bay expects to be without center Corey Linsley for multiple weeks because of the knee injury he suffered Sunday against the Bears, and right guard Lucas Patrick (toe) was only a limited participant on Wednesday. Elgton Jenkins, who moved from left guard to center after Linsley’s injury, likely will start at center against the Eagles with rookie Jon Runyan Jr. set to start at left guard, making his first career start. But if Patrick can’t go, then perhaps Green Bay will move Billy Turner inside from right tackle and bring in Rick Wagner to start at right tackle, which is how the team finished the game against the Bears. — Rob Demovsky



Scott Spratt says Dalvin Cook will have difficulty producing fantasy numbers because of the top run defenses that are upcoming on the Vikings’ schedule.

Dalvin Cook said he “freaked out” upon initially injuring his ankle against Carolina but defended his durability entering Week 13. The running back was limited in practice Wednesday but says he’ll be ready to go against Jacksonville. Elsewhere, Irv Smith Jr. continues to be sidelined with a back injury that popped up after the Dallas game. Without their No. 2 tight end, the Vikings have been calling Kyle Rudolph’s number more frequently in recent weeks. — Courtney Cronin


It has been an issue already this season, but the health of wide receiver Julio Jones (hamstring) is a question once again. He was limited in Wednesday’s practice, as was teammate Calvin Ridley (foot/ankle) and running back Todd Gurley (knee). Jones and Gurley did not play in this past Sunday’s win over the Raiders. Jones has missed three games this season, including last week, with hamstring struggles, but the Falcons are hopeful he will be available against the Saints this week. After returning the first time this season, he re-aggravated it against the Packers. The second time he returned after a missed game this season, Jones had eight receptions for 137 yards and two touchdowns against the Vikings. — Jeff Legwold

Wide receiver DJ Moore injured his right ankle late in Carolina’s loss at Minnesota, and as of Monday, coach Matt Rhule wouldn’t rule him out when the team returns from its bye for a Dec. 13 game against Denver. Rhule didn’t let on how serious the injury was, but that he left the door open for Moore to face the Broncos could be taken as a good sign. Keep in mind Rhule looks for every competitive advantage he can get with injuries, so don’t read too much into this. Moore leads Carolina wide receivers with four touchdown catches, but he’s fourth on the team in catches with 50. — David Newton

Starting left tackle Terron Armstead remains on the reserve/COVID-19 list, and it’s unclear if he has a chance to return this week. That’s a significant loss since he is one of the Saints’ elite talents at one of the game’s most important positions. Also, starting cornerback Janoris Jenkins missed practice Wednesday after leaving the Saints’ Week 12 win early with a knee injury. He would be especially missed if the Falcons have both wide receivers Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley healthy. — Mike Triplett

The two players who will benefit the most from the Buccaneers having a Week 13 bye? Cornerback Jamel Dean, who missed last week’s game with a concussion, and left tackle Donovan Smith, who played the entire game with an ankle injury after arriving at the stadium in a boot. Coach Bruce Arians said of Smith: “He tried it out and told me, ‘I can probably play a half. I don’t know if I’ll finish the game, but I can give you a half.’ He played the whole game. He gutted it out. I know a lot of people want to tear on that guy — he’s a heck of a football player for me.” — Jenna Laine


Cardinals left guard Justin Pugh is still dealing with an ankle injury suffered Sunday in New England. If he can’t play Sunday against the Rams, it’s likely Max Garcia will take his spot in the lineup. The Cardinals’ offensive line is anchoring a run game that ranks first in the NFL with 5.04 yards per play and fourth with 155.9 yards per game. — Josh Weinfuss



Field Yates explains that this season more than ever is the year to carry a second QB for insurance purposes.

Coach Sean McVay says the Rams came out of Week 12 with “typical bumps and bruises,” so barring any issues that come up during this week’s practices, the active roster should be good to go on Sunday against the Cardinals. The exception remains rookie reserve outside linebacker Terrell Lewis, who was inactive last Sunday because of a lingering knee issue, and is “week-to-week,” according to McVay. — Lindsey Thiry

Niners running back Tevin Coleman returned to practice last week for the first time since re-injuring his knee in a Week 8 loss to Seattle, but he was not active against the Rams. That means he should be a week closer to returning and with the extra day of rest going into the Monday Night Football matchup with Buffalo, Coleman has a better chance to return and offer more depth at a position the Niners will lean heavily on against the Bills. — Nick Wagoner

The foot injury that defensive end Carlos Dunlap suffered Monday night sounds as though it could have been much worse. Coach Pete Carroll said an MRI revealed “there’s a little something going on, but nothing serious.” Dunlap’s status for this week’s game against the Giants is uncertain. “We just need to see how it goes and how he handles the week,” Carroll said. “I can’t tell you how he’ll be on game day yet, but we’re hopeful and he’s hopeful he’ll be able to play.” Dunlap has four sacks in as many games with Seattle. — Brady Henderson

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Sources — Joe Lombardi tracking to become new offensive coordinator of Los Angeles Chargers



New Orleans Saints quarterbacks coach Joe Lombardi is tracking to become the new offensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Chargers, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

New Chargers coach Brandon Staley actually played under Lombardi for one year when he was the quarterback at Mercyhurst University in 2005, and Lombardi was the offensive coordinator.

Lombardi, the grandson of Hall of Fame coach Vince Lombardi, had one previous stint as an NFL offensive coordinator with the Detroit Lions under Jim Caldwell in 2014-15. But he was fired after a 1-6 start in his second year on the job.

Lombardi began his NFL career as a defensive assistant with the Atlanta Falcons in 2006, before being hired as an offensive assistant with the Saints in 2007 and being promoted to quarterbacks coach in 2009. He was re-hired to the same position in 2016 after being fired by the Lions.

In total, Lombardi spent a total of 12 seasons working with Saints coach Sean Payton and quarterback Drew Brees while they rewrote the NFL’s passing records. He has also tutored backups like Teddy Bridgewater, Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston in recent years.

If officially hired by the Chargers, Lombardi will join new coach Staley, previously the defensive coordinator of the Los Angeles Rams, and an offense centered around Justin Herbert, the rookie who became the youngest quarterback in NFL history to throw 30 touchdown passes in a single season.

The Saints, meanwhile, will lose another coach on Payton’s staff. The Lions hired Dan Campbell, New Orleans’ tight ends coach/assistant head coach, as their new head coach last week.

And Campbell brought Saints secondary coach Aaron Glenn with him as the Lions’ new defensive coordinator.

The Saints also lost assistant general manager Terry Fontenot to the rival Falcons, who named him their new GM.

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Tyreek Hill’s catch-and-run for Chiefs travels a total distance of 102.5 yards



KANSAS CITY — The Kansas City Chiefs opened a 31-15 lead over the Buffalo Bills in the third quarter of the AFC Championship Game after a pair of passes to their top pass-catchers.

Patrick Mahomes threw a short pass to Tyreek Hill, who then weaved his way through the defense for a 71-yard gain to the Buffalo 4-yard line. Hill hit a max speed of 20.76 MPH and traveled a total distance of 102.5 yards on the play.

The expected yards after catch on Hill’s reception was 10 yards, per Next Gen Stats. The actual YAC was 65 yards. The 55 yards after catch over expectation is the highest of any reception in the postseason and the fourth-highest of any reception this season overall.

Two plays later, Mahomes threw a shovel pass to Travis Kelce for a 1-yard touchdown.

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Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Super Bowl — Dickie V, Tampa teams and Patriots celebrate



It would be hard to argue against the sports calendar year Los Angeles had, but Tampa, Florida, is making a case.

The Lakers and Dodgers won championships in the fall, but Tampa now has the Super Bowl with the hometown Buccaneers representing the NFC. This comes after the Lightning won the Stanley Cup and the Rays won the American League before losing to the Dodgers in the World Series.

The Bucs are the first team to play a Super Bowl in their home stadium and return to the Super Bowl after a 12-year drought, the second-longest drought in NFL history.

This is also an excellent civic development for Tampa mayor Jane Castor. She took office in May, 2019, and has seen all her city’s teams make championship runs.

Castor might be the mayor, but Tampa’s biggest fan is undoubtedly ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale. He tweeted about his anxiety early in the game:

But Dickie V was overjoyed when the Bucs won:

Vitale was joined by the Rays and Lightning.

Buccaneers QB Tom Brady is playing in his fourth Super Bowl in five seasons. In Brady’s historic career, he joins Kurt Warner, Craig Morton and Peyton Manning as the only QBs to represent two teams in the Super Bowl. Brady and Morton are the only QBs to play for both an AFC and NFC team. Brady’s latest Super Bowl trip brought out more celebrations, including cheers from former New England Patriots teammates.

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