Fantasy Football Conference Championship Injury Report Update: All clear for Chiefs, Patriots
We should have all four teams at full strength for Sunday's games,n with the injury report notably light going into the conference championship games.
We've reached the final multi-game slate of the 2018 season/postseason, and with only four teams in action, the injury report is notably light. It's particularly devoid of any notable names, as two important Chiefs that had been saddled with injury designations for multiple weeks will head into Sunday's AFC Championship Game (Sunday, 6:40 p.m. ET, available on fuboTV) at full health. Without further ado, let's quickly review the encouraging medical outlook ahead of the two games that will decide this season's Super Bowl participants:
- The Chiefs' Spencer Ware (hamstring) carries no injury designation into Sunday evening's battle versus the Patriots and managed to finish the week with a pair of full practices. Ware hasn't played since Week 14, a stretch during which Damien Williams has flourished as the lead back. Consequently, Williams should still see his fair share of touches Sunday, but the workload of fellow back Darrel Williams appears likely to dwindle down to a negligible amount in comparison.
- The Saints' Keith Kirkwood (calf) has been declared out for Sunday's clash with the Rams. The rookie finished with two receptions for eight yards and a touchdown in last Sunday's divisional-round win against the Eagles, and he generated a 13-209-2 line over eight regular-season games. Kirkwood was a modest but steady contributor during the second half of the season while Ted Ginn, Jr. was sidelined with a knee injury, but with Ginn now back in the fold, Kirkwood's role would likely have been minor Sunday. Fellow first-year wideout Tre'Quan Smith is likely to see the biggest boost in Kirkwood's absence, as he projects to slot in as the third receiver versus Los Angeles.
- The Saints' Ben Watson (appendix) is officially listed as questionable for Sunday's matchup against the Rams after working back up to a limited practice Friday. According to Friday beat writer reports, Watson is not expected to play despite his designation. However, definitive word won't be available until inactives are announced 90 minutes before the game's 3:05pm ET kickoff. If Watson sits as is seemingly expected, Josh Hill (16-185-1 line in regular season) and Dan Arnold (12-150-1) would be the top two tight end options for Drew Brees against a Rams team that allowed a robust 80-1,075-5 line to the position this season.
KEY DEFENSIVE PLAYERS
- The Chiefs' Eric Berry notably doesn't carry an injury designation into Sunday's do-or-die battle versus the Patriots, the first time all season he's able to claim a clean bill of health. Berry didn't make his regular-season debut until Week 15 due to ongoing discomfort and complications stemming from the torn Achilles he suffered in the 2017 season opener versus the same New England squad he'll face Sunday. He also sat out last week's divisional-round win over the Colts.
- The Saints' Sheldon Rankins (Achilles) was placed on IR this past week after suffering the injury versus the Eagles in last Sunday's divisional-round victory. Given that the 2016 first-round pick compiled 40 tackles and eight sacks across 16 games in 2018, his absence could affect the overall efficacy of a New Orleans defense that's allowed 71.7 rush yards per home tilt (third lowest in NFL) this season and that will need to keep consistent pressure on Jared Goff.
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