Buccaneers’ Baker Mayfield Absent from Practice; Jaguars’ Trevor Lawrence Set to Play in NFL Week 18

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The NFL is approaching the final week of the regular season as 20 teams are still eligible for the Super Bowl heading into Week 18. Five playoff berths remain up in the air, the most entering the final week since 2020 (seven teams still had a shot at the playoffs).

With four division crowns still up for grabs and five playoff spots available, the injury report will be even more vital with all the crucial games in the final week of the year. Here’s a first look at this week’s injury report, as these injuries will be worth monitoring throughout the week. 

*Odds per SportsLine consensus odds

Steelers (-3.5) at Ravens (Saturday)

The Steelers and Ravens play Saturday, so the Wednesday injury report is essentially the Thursday injury report on a typical Sunday week. For the Steelers, running back Najee Harris (knee) did not participate in practice for the second straight day. Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick (knee) and linebacker Elandon Roberts (pectoral) were limited, but practiced for the first time since sustaining their injuries. 

Texans (-1) at Colts (Saturday)

Defensive end Will Anderson Jr. (ankle), wide receiver Noah Brown (back), defensive end Jonathan Greenard (ankle), and wide receiver Robert Woods (hip) did not practice for the Texans. Tackle Laremy Tunsil (groin) was upgraded to limited. 

For the Colts, center Ryan Kelly (ankle) did not practice. Guard Quenton Nelson (ankle) was upgraded to limited. Cornerback Kenny Moore (back), running back Zack Moss (forearm), and tackle Braden Smith (knee) were upgrade to full participants in  practice. 

Buccaneers (-5.5) at Panthers

The Buccaneers need a win to wrap up the NFC South on Sunday, but quarterback Baker Mayfield’s status for the game is in question. Mayfield missed Wednesday’s practice with a rib injury. Tackle Tristan Wirfs (shoulder) did not participate in practice and cornerback Carlton Davis (concussion) was limited. 

For the Panthers, running back Miles Sanders (illness) did not participate while cornerback Jaycee Horn (toe) was a limited participant. Wide receiver D.J. Chark (foot) was also limited. 

Browns at Bengals (-6)

The Browns have their seed locked in for Week 18, so they could be resting quite a few players on Sunday (quarterback Joe Flacco was already confirmed to sit). Guard Joel Bitonio (oblique, knee), wide receiver Amari Cooper (heel), kicker Dustin Hopkins (left hamstring), cornerback Greg Newsome II (knee), and tight end David Njoku (knee/illness) were the notables that missed practice. Cooper and Njoku were given rest days. 

For the Bengals, wide receiver Tee Higgins (hamstring) was the only one who didn’t practice. Wide reciever Ja’Marr Chase (shoulder) was limited. 

Vikings at Lions (-3)

The Vikings don’t have a lengthy injury report, as they are still alive for a playoff spot heading into Week 18. Cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. (knee) did not practice while safety Harrison Smith (shoulder) was limited. 

For the Lions, wide receiver Jameson Williams (ankle) and tackle Taylor Decker (groin) did not participate in Wednesday’s practice. Tight end Sam LaPorta (ankle) was limited, as well as edge rusher James Houston (ankle). Houston has been out since Week 2. Safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson (pectoral) practiced in full. 

Jets at Patriots (-2.5)

The Jets won’t have quarterback Zach Wilson this week (concussion) so Trevor Siemian will get the start. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is still practicing on the active roster as a limited participant. Defensive end John Franklin-Myers (ankle) practiced in full. 

The Patriots didn’t have tackle Trent Brown (illness) and defensive back Myles Bryant (illness) participate in practice. Tight end Hunter Henry (knee) and wide receiver DeVante Parker (ribs) were limited. 

Falcons at Saints (-3)

Both the Saints and Falcons need a win and a Buccaneers loss to capture the NFC South. Quarterback Taylor Heinicke (ankle) was the only notable on the Falcons’ injury report who was limited or missed practice due to rest. Heinicke was limited. 

For the Saints, tight end Juwan Johnson (chest) and running back Alvin Kamara (ankle) were the notables who did not practice. Wide receiver Chris Olave (ankle) and tight end Jimmy Graham (rest) were limited. 

Jaguars (-5.5) at Titans

The Jaguars need a win to clinch the AFC South. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence (right shoulder/left finger) is on track to play this week and was a limited participant. Wide receiver Christian Kirk (groin) had his 21-day practice window opened, as he was limited. Wide receiver Zay Jones (knee/hamstring) was also limited. 

For the Titans, quarterback Will Levis (foot) did not practice. If Levis doesn’t go, Ryan Tannehill would be in line to start Sunday. Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins received a rest day. 

Seahawks (-2.5) at Cardinals

Analysis to come

Bears at Packers (-3)

The Bears had a few players who didn’t practice on Wednesday, the notable ones being tight end Cole Kmet (knee) and wide receiver Darnell Mooney (concussion). Wide receiver D.J. Moore (ankle) was limited. 

A lengthy injury report for the Packers. Running back AJ Dillon (thumb/neck), guard Elgton Jenkins (knee/ankle), an linebacker Preston Smith (ankle) did not participate. Running back Aaron Jones (knee/finger), wide receiver Jayden Reed (chest), wide receiver Christian Watson (hamstring), and wide receiver Dontayvion Wicks (chest) were limited participants. 

Chiefs at Chargers (-3)

Wide receiver Keenan Allen (heel) and edge rusher Joey Bosa (foot) were the notables who did not practice for the Chargers. Wide receiver Joshua Palmer (concussion) was a limited participant. 

The Chiefs will be resting players Sunday, as quarterback Patrick Mahomes won’t be getting the start (Blaine Gabbert will start). Defensive tackle Chris Jones (groin), running back Isiah Pacheco (quad), cornerback L’Jarius Sneed (calf) and wide reciever Rashee Rice (hamstring) did not practice. 

Broncos at Raiders (-2.5)

Analysis to come

Eagles (-5) at Giants

The Eagles are getting healthy at the right time, as head coach Nick Sirianni said everyone has a chance of playing this week. Defensive tackle Jordan Davis (ankle), edge rusher Haason Reddick (illness), and wide receiver DeVonta Smith (ankle) did not participate in practice while linebacker Zach Cunningham (knee), cornerback Avonte Maddox (elbow), and cornerback Darius Slay (knee) were limited. Smith and Slay could play this week. 

The Giants had a walkthrough, so Wednesday’s injury report is an estimation. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor (back) was limited, as well as cornerback Deonte Banks (shoulder). Center John Michael Schmitz (shin) was a nonparticipant. 

Rams at 49ers (-3.5)

Analysis to come

Cowboys (-13) at Commanders

The Cowboys need a win for the NFC East title, but have a lengthy injury report. Plenty of veterans got rest days, but guard Tyler Smith (foot) and safety Malik Hooker (ankle/illness) did not practice. Defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, guard Zack Martin, tackle Tyron Smith, wide receiver Brandin Cooks and cornerback Stephon Gilmore were the notables who had veteran rest days. 

For the Commanders, quarterback Jacoby Brissett (hamstring) was limited in Wednesday’s practice. Brissett was supposed to start in Week 17 before the injury in last Friday’s practice kept him out for Sunday. Cornerback Kendall Fuller (knee) also did not practice while cornerback Benjamin St-Juste (concussion) was limited. Tackle Andrew Wylie (elbow) was also limited. 

Bills (-3) at Dolphins (Sunday night)

The Bills have a light injury report heading to Sunday’s showdown for the AFC East title. Safety Micah Hyde (neck) was limited in Wednesday’s practice while quarterback Josh Allen (neck/right finger) practiced in full. Allen said he’s “good to go” for Sunday. 

The Dolphins have a lengthy injury report, as tackle Terron Armstead (knee/ankle/back), running back Raheem Mostert (knee/ankle), edge rusher Bradley Chubb (knee) and cornerback Xavien Howard (foot) were the notables who did not practice. Running back De’Von Achane (toe/ribs), wide receiver Tyreek Hill (ankle/personal), and safety Jevon Holland (knees) were limited. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (quad/left shoulder) practiced in full. 

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