NFL Divisional Round Injury Report

NFL Divisional Round Injury Report

Only eight teams remain in the pursuit of Super Bowl LVIII. As we turn our sights to the NFL Divisional Round, each game becomes increasingly important. Who’s available for those games, and at what capacity will be key? Injuries will have a major impact on deciding whose season ends and whose championship hopes remain alive.

Here is everything you need to know regarding the BIGGEST injuries on both sides of the ball. Welcome to the NFL Divisional Round Injury Report!

Injury news happens fast and can change quickly, so for the most up-to-date news and analysis, follow me on X @SGPNFootballDoc! This article is updated daily until Sunday Night Football, so check back in before setting your lineup!

 

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NFL Divisional Round Injury Report

Divisional Round Inactives

Marlon Humphrey (CB) Baltimore Ravens
Mark Andrews (TE) Baltimore Ravens
Tylan Wallace (WR) Baltimore Ravens
Noah Brown (WR) Houston Texans 
Jerry Hughes (DE) Houston Texans
Kingsley Enagbare (LB) Green Bay Packers
Clelin Ferrell (DT) San Francisco 49ers
Kalif Raymond (WR) Detroit Lions
Chrsitan Benford (CB) Buffalo Bills
Gabe Davis (WR) Buffalo Bills
Taylor Rapp (S) Buffalo Bills
Braylon Spector (LB) Buffalo Bills
Kadarius Toney (WR) Kansas City Chiefs
Jerick McKinnon (RB) Kansas City Chiefs

Skyy Moore (WR) Kansas City Chiefs 
Wanya Morris (OL) Kansas City Chiefs
Derrick Nnadi (NT) Kansas City Chiefs

Activated to Active Roster (Likely to play this week)

Devin Duvernay (WR) Baltimore Ravens
Ar’Darius Washington (DB) Baltimore Ravens
Dalvin Cook (RB) Baltimore Ravens
James Houston (OLB) Detroit Lions
Steven Sims (WR) Houston Texans

Terrel Bernard (LB) Buffalo Bills

Injury: Low Ankle Sprain
Injury Date: 1/15/2024
Expected Recovery Time: 1-3 weeks
Recovery Time to Divisional Round: 1 week

The Buffalo Bills can’t seem to shake the injury bug and, for that reason, are littered throughout this NFL Divisional Round Injury Report. After losing their star LB Matt Milano earlier in the season, the Bills were in desperate need for someone to step up.

The young LB Terrel Bernard did this and more than Buffalo could imagine. He has been a tackling machine, calling the defensive plays and a leader on this defense.

This feel-good story, unfortunately, appeared to be coming to an end last week. Bernard stayed down on the turf after making a tackle and had to be carted off the field.

Thankfully, the injury is not nearly as serious as it first looked. He underwent X-rays on his ankle at the stadium, which came back negative.

This ruled out the possibility of a fracture or season-ending injury. Based on his injury mechanism, it appears Bernard suffered a low ankle sprain as his foot got caught in the field and rolled outward.

This is a fairly common injury that can be played through when mild. At this point, we are just waiting to see how severe the injury was to determine if he can return this week or next. His practice participation will be key in providing insight to the severity of his injury.

Bills stud LB Terrel Bernard is dealing with an ankle injury that is thankfully not as severe as initially feared but his status this week is in question – MONITOR.

Jaire Alexander (CB) Green Bay Packers

Injury: Low Ankle Sprain
Injury Date: 1/10/2024
Expected Recovery Time: 1-2 weeks
Recovery Time to Divisional Round: 2 weeks

The Packers pulled off the most surprising upset of the weekend with their DOMINATION of the Dallas Cowboys. One of the key plays early on in that game, was made by their stud CB Jaire Alexander. This play is even more impressive considering there was a real chance that Alexander would be sidelined last week.

During the Wednesday practice before the game, he reportedly sprained his ankle and missed the final two practices of the week. After going through a pregame warm up were he was viewed as a game time decision, Alexander was able to play and the rest is history.

Unfortunately, it was not all good news, as later in the game, Alexander rolled his ankle and left the field. This leaves his status for next week in question, and the reason he is on the NFL Divisional Round Injury Report.

On the plus side, Alexander is dealing with only a mild low ankle sprain. A low ankle sprain refers to damage to the lateral ligaments of the ankle. This is a very common injury and the injury we think of with a normal “rolled ankle.”

In most cases, players are able to play through the injury as long as it is mild. I do expect Alexander to suit up this week, but his reinjury risk is elevated as the ligaments will not be fully healed.

Packers CB Jaire Alexander is likely to play through his mild ankle injury, but there is a real chance he reinjures it again – MONITOR. 

Noah Brown (WR) Houston Texans

Injury: Shoulder Injury
Injury Date: 1/13/2024
Expected Recovery Time: 2-3 months
Recovery Time to Divisional Round: 1 week

The Houston Texans put on an absolute show last week as they lit up the Browns’ defense for 45 points. They did this mostly without their WR2 Noah Brown. Brown came into the game already dealing with a back issue and quickly exited after landing hard on his shoulder, making a catch.

The exact nature of the injury is undisclosed, but the Texans placed him on injured reserve, officially ending his season. Based on the severity and how the injury occurred, Brown is likely dealing with a separated shoulder or clavicle fracture.

He should be good for next season, but for this week, Houston will need someone else to step up.

Texans starting WR Noah Brown is out the rest of the season with a shoulder injury – SIT. 

Tyrel Dodson (LB) Buffalo Bills

Injury: Shoulder Injury (Likely AC Sprain)
Injury Date: 1/7/2024
Expected Recovery Time: 2-4 weeks
Recovery Time to Divisional Round: 2 weeks

The Buffalo Bills dealt with some brutal injury luck on the defensive side of the ball this year. Their season is in danger of ending like it started, with a few key defenders going down last week.

There is an especially crucial injury in the linebacking corps. Bills young LB Tyrel Dodson filled in for injured LB Matt Milano extremely well so far. Unfortunately, after some hard hits, he was quickly ruled out of the game with a shoulder injury.

This injury is currently one of the biggest mysteries on the NFL Divisional Round Injury Report. It is difficult to know exactly which play the injury occurred and there has been no word on what the diagnostic imaging found. At this point, I think Dodson is dealing with an AC sprain, but the severity of the injury is the biggest question mark.

The AC joint connects the clavicle and shoulder, but there is a good range of recovery timelines with this injury type. In mild cases, Dodson would have no issue playing through the pain, but if he suffered a separated shoulder, this would be very unlikely.

Dodson was able to practice last week, but only one day in limited fashion. After being unable to play last week, we are still in wait-and-see mode. He does have a realistic chance to return this week.

Bills LB Tyrel Dodson is dealing with a shoulder injury of an unknown severity – MONITOR.

Dre Greenlaw (LB) San Francisco 49ers

Injury: Achilles Tendinitis
Injury Date: 12/31/2023
Expected Recovery Time: 2-4 weeks
Recovery Time to Divisional Round: 3 weeks

As the 49ers ramp up for their divisional round matchup, they have a few injuries that were aided by the extra week off. This includes LB Dre Greenlaw, who is dealing with Achilles Tendinitis.

This refers to inflammation and damage of the Achilles Tendon that connects your calf muscle to your heel bone. This is typically an overuse injury, and it’s a bit difficult to rehab during the season. It is all about appropriately loading the tendon and not overworking it.

For this reason, Greenlaw did not practice on Tuesday of game week or during the bye week. The 49ers noted this was more of a maintenance decision, and I do expect Greenlaw to be able to play Saturday.

The concern I do have is that his Achilles Tendon is unlikely to fully heal until the offseason, when he can really focus on his rest and recovery. This means that there is a real chance of his tendon flaring up during a game causing him to sit out or cause further damage to the tendon.

49ers LB Dre Greenlaw is dealing with a nagging Achilles injury but is expected to play – MONITOR.

Gabe Davis (WR) Buffalo Bills

Injury: PCL Sprain
Injury Date: 1/7/2024
Expected Recovery Time: 2-4 weeks
Recovery Time to Divisional Round: 2 weeks

During his cardio session two weeks ago, Bills WR Gabe Davis injured his knee and was unable to finish the game. Despite playing almost an entire half, Davis put up 0 catches, 0 yards, and 1 injury. He is dealing with a PCL strain, which refers to damage to a major stabilizing ligament in the back of the knee.

The extent of the strain is yet to be announced, but it is not expected to be major. This still does not give me a lot of hope for this week. Even in the best case of a mild PCL strain, it still takes a good two weeks to fully heal. He may still try to play through the injury, but I would not expect him to be very effective. 

Buffalo WR Gabe Davis is dealing with a PCL strain of unknown severity, and I am skeptical about his ability this week – SIT.

Sam LaPorta (TE) Detroit Lions

Injury: Bone Bruise
Injury Date: 1/7/2024
Expected Recovery Time: 1-3 weeks
Recovery Time to Divisional Round: 2 weeks

The NFL Divisional Round Injury Report rolls on with the only rookie on it,  Detroit Lions TE Sam LaPorta. Despite a concerning mechanism of injury in which his left leg hyperextends and bends awkwardly, the young TE luckily did not suffer a major injury. Instead, he is only dealing with a bone bruise on his knee.

A bone bruise refers to damage to the surface of the knee bones, causing a response similar to a bruise or a contusion. Blood and inflammation rush to the injury site leading to a significant amount of pain. Pain and swelling control are going to be the biggest keys to this recovery.

After some doubts initially, the swelling and pain were able to diminish enough to allow the rookie TE to play last week. He did wear a bulky brace, and his mobility was limited, but he was able to be somewhat effective and even caught a TD pass. Headed into this week, I expect LaPorta to only be progressing and regaining his mobility. He may not be fully 100%, but I am expecting him to look much more like his old self this week.

Lions TE Sam LaPorta avoided a major injury and is dealing with a bone bruise will limit him slightly – START.

Marlon Humphrey (CB) Baltimore Ravens

Injury: Calf Strain
Injury Date: 12/31/2023
Expected Recovery Time: 1-3 weeks
Recovery Time to Divisional Round: 3 weeks

Despite the Ravens earning a bye and not playing most of their starters for two weeks, they still have some players on the NFL Divisional Round Injury Report.

Their star CB Marlon Humphrey is one of them as he tries to recover from a calf strain he picked up in Week 17 against Miami. At this point, he has yet to return to practice, and my concern for his availability is growing.

In mild cases, a calf strain typically heals in 1-3 weeks. However, in more severe cases it can take up to six weeks to recover. With each day that passes, my concern for Humphrey grows until he returns to practice.

Ravens CB Marlon Humphrey has yet to practice since his calf injury and is OUT this week – SIT. 

Christian McCaffrey (RB) San Francisco 49ers

Injury: Calf Strain
Injury Date: 12/31/2023
Expected Recovery Time: 1-3 weeks
Recovery Time to Divisional Round: 3 weeks

The importance of the NFL regular season is put on display right away in this NFL Divisional Round Injury Report. The San Francisco 49ers locked up the number one seed in the NFC, and it allows their superstar RB time to rest up. Christian McCaffrey is the best offensive player in the NFL this season, and his health is vital to his team’s playoff chances.

The entire city of San Francisco and Niners backers everywhere held their collective breath once McCaffrey was knocked out of the game a few weeks ago.

Thankfully, the injury appears minor and should not affect him in the playoffs. The 49ers stud RB injured his calf muscle and is already ruled out for this week. This is a precautionary measure as a mild calf strain typically takes 1-3 weeks to recover, and the reinjury risk increases if a player returns before two weeks.

Fortunately, due to the Niners’ regular season success, McCaffrey will have three weeks for his calf to heal. I expect him to be a full go for the second round of the playoffs at this point.

49ers RB Christian McCaffrey is dealing with a minor calf strain that is unlikely to bother him in the playoffs – START.

Mark Andrews (TE) Baltimore Ravens

Injury: High Ankle Sprain + Fibula Fracture
Injury Date: 11/16/2023
Expected Recovery Time: 8-12 weeks
Recovery Time to Divisional Round: 9 weeks

Ravens TE Mark Andrews had his season turned upside down in Week 11. After a great start to the game, he was taken down by a controversial hip drop tackle and injured his ankle.

His foot got caught underneath the defender, causing the leg to twist and damage to occur. In some cases, the force of the injury is so high it not only causes ligament damage but also a fibula fracture.

The star Baltimore TE is dealing with a grade 2 high ankle sprain as well as a slight fibula fracture. This is a serious injury that often requires surgery. Taking at least two months to heal, he will likely miss the rest of the NFL season, while there is some debate on whether he could return for the NFL playoffs.

Just under two months after having TightRope surgery to repair his ankle, Ravens TE Mark Andrews returned to practice during the bye week. He is continuing to progress this week as he looks to ramp up before Saturday.

His progress is encouraging and gives him a real shot to play this week. While I do think there is a chance he returns this week, he is not going to be 100%. I do expect him to only increase his mobility and production if the Ravens are able to advance in the playoffs.

Ravens TE Mark Andrews is BACK from his high ankle sprain and fibula fracture but don’t expect too much this week – SIT.

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