Playoff week is upon us! Let’s dive in a take a look at who’s in and who’s out and whether you should trust them this week or not!
As always, the injury designations are as follows:
Questionable (Q): The most ambiguous of all the designations, this essentially means that a player is uncertain to play in the coming week. This can be interpreted in a multitude of ways, but there is no scale or percentage likelihood that a guy will suit up. Because the league decided to get rid of the Probable tag, any player who has uncertainty about their availability will fall into this category, which muddies the waters a bit for us.
Doubtful (D): This means that the player is unlikely to play. This should not change much from how it was used in the past, as players who were listed her typically did not end up playing on Sunday or Monday.
Out (O): Pretty straightforward: he’s not playing.
To make it easy, we’ll structure it in order from most tenuous positions down to the guys who are likely to play. If I don’t list a guy on here, chances are he’s either in no risk of missing the week or has been ruled out.
Good luck this week!
Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons (turf toe, Q): This is the one everyone is following this week and it appears that it’ll come down to a pre-game warmup to see how good he actually feels. Jones missed practice all week with a sprained big toe, which is a very difficult injury to play through that affects every aspect of being a receiver (cutting, sprinting, planting, jumping). The tricky part is that the Falcons and Rams play at 4:25pm PST, which leaves you in a position of having someone playing late or on Sunday/Monday night just in case Jones is scratched. At this point in the season, I highly doubt you have some who compares to Julio just hanging out on your bench that you can swap in. So if he’s playing, unless you have a gut feeling, you’re likely starting him. But know that it comes with risk and that he is likely to be well below 100%. He’s played through ankle/foot injuries in the past and did pretty well gutting it out, so this wouldn’t be the first time. However, expect the information to come out prior to kick off and make sure you have another WR ready to roll just in case.
Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins (grade 3 AC joint sprain, Q): He is officially active after missing last week’s game with grade 3 AC joint sprain. He look much less limited in practice this week and was able to reach overhead with much more ease this week. While he carries risk in that he could land on the shoulder or take a hit that requires him to leave the game, he did play through the injury and still caught two TDs two weeks ago. Since he’s active, you have to play him, and despite the fact that this won’t heal fully in 2 weeks time, he should be healthy enough to be productive and make some waves out there this week.
Marvin Jones, WR, Detroit Lions (thigh, Q): He’s expected to play this week after missing last week’s game. He may be a tick under 100%, but with Theo Riddick out this week, he may see an increase in targets against a bad Bears defense.
Trevor Siemian, QB, Denver Broncos (ankle, Q): After missing last week, he is expected to play this week and is active. No major limitations expected here.
Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans Saints (toe/knee, Q): Will play this week, but expect him to be far from 100%, especially considering his limited-missed-limited practice participation this week. There’s not way he’s full strength and he’ll likely get some spells from Tim Hightower during the game. If he’s what you’re relying on and you don’t have a comparable alternative, he’s not the worst play. But if you have someone who’s comparable and you’re looking for a deciding factor, this should be it.
Ryan Mathews, RB, Philadelphia Eagles (MCL sprain, Q): After putting a full week’s practice after missing two weeks due to an MCL sprain, it appears that Mathews will be back in the lineup this week. His return indicates that it was likely a grade 1 to low grade 2 sprain, so his return to the lineup today does align with that in terms of healing time. He should be relatively unlimited today.
Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints (foot, Q): Missed practices on Wednesday and Thursday followed by limited practice on Friday means the door is still open to play today. The Saints have been tight lipped on what exactly Thomas is dealing with, so we truly won’t know anything about him until pregame warmups. My guess is that he misses, but with how little information we have on him, it’s truly hard to speculate. At any rate, he’ll be limited in some capacity, but we just don’t know how much.
Sammy Watkins, WR, Buffalo Bills (foot, Q): He will be active this week. Expect him to be more involved slowly but surely as he guts out this injury.
Robert Woods, WR, Buffalo Bills
Jordan Matthews, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins
Dwayne Washington, RB, Detroit Lions