Five weeks remain in the NFL's regular season, and teams across the league are gearing up for the stretch run. Entering Week 14, there is a trio of playoff-clinching scenarios at play, so we could very well see a couple of clubs punch their ticket to the postseason as early as this weekend.
As most teams begin their preparations for the upcoming slate, injuries naturally are a big piece of the puzzle in how these contests will unfold. That rings true in our Week 14 opener between the Vikings and Steelers, as Minnesota will be without a couple of key pieces on offense. Below, you'll find the final injury report for that game along with the initial practice reports from every other team as they begin the week.
All odds come courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.
- Steelers: CB Joe Haden (foot), LB Robert Spillane (knee), OL B.J. Finney (back), DE Isaiah Buggs (ankle) OUT
- Vikings: OT Christian Darrisaw (ankle), WR Adam Thielen (ankle) OUT; RB Dalvin Cook (shoulder), LB Blake Lynch (hip), S Camryn Bynum (ankle) QUESTIONABLE
Haden will be sidelined for this game after he missed Wednesday's session with a foot injury. Meanwhile, Ben Roethlisberger (pec, right shoulder) and Chase Claypool (toe) were both full participants Wednesday and carry no designation into this game.
The Vikings are leaving the door open for Cook to make his return after suffering a shoulder injury that forced him to miss last week's loss to Detroit. After being held out Monday, Cook was a limited participant both Tuesday and Wednesday. If he does return, he'll join an offense that will be missing Thielen and Darrisaw due to ankle injuries.
Cowboys (-4) at Washington
Running back Tony Pollard was a notable absence in practice Wednesday for the Cowboys. The team said he is dealing with a foot injury, so that'll be worth monitoring throughout the week. As for fellow tailback Ezekiel Elliott, he was a full participant despite that nagging knee injury. Receiver Noah Brown (groin) was the only other player to miss practice for Dallas, while receiver Cedrick Wilson (ankle) was limited.
Washington was missing four players to begin the week: running back J.D. McKissic (concussion), safety Landon Collins (foot), linebacker Jamin Davis (concussion) and lineman Wes Schweitzer (ankle). Guard Brandon Scherff (knee) and receiver Curtis Samuel (groin) headlined those who were limited.
Josh Allen (shoulder) and Myles Jack (knee) were the two big names to miss practice for the Jaguars to begin the week. Meanwhile, running back James Robinson (heel, knee) was one of four players that were limited.
Tennessee was without five players Wednesday: tight end Tommy Hudson (ankle), corner Janoris "Jackrabbit" Jenkins (ankle), linebacker David Long Jr. (hamstring), defensive back Elijah Molden (hip) and defensive lineman Teair Tart (ankle). Linebacker Harold Landry (hamstring) and Denico Autry (knee) were the lone Titans limited.
Seattle was without six players to begin the week of practice. Starting right tackle Brandon Shell -- who has missed the last two weeks due to a shoulder injury -- continues to be sidelined as was receiver DK Metcalf (foot), offensive lineman Kyle Fuller (calf), safety Quandre Diggs (calf), and defensive tackle Bryan Mone (knee). Safety Jamal Adams was the other to miss the session and he's now out for the season due to a shoulder injury. Running back Alex Collins (abdomen) and Travis Homer (calf, hamstring) were limited.
As for Houston, the team had six players sidelined on Wednesday: Offensive lineman Justin Britt (knee), defensive back Terrence Brooks (hamstring), defensive lineman Maliek Collins (illness), tight end Brevin Jordan (hand), defensive back A.J. Moore Jr. (hip) and quarterback Deshaun Watson (not injury related). Offensive lineman Tytus Howard (ankle) was among those limited.
Darren Waller (knee, back) headlined the group of seven players who the Raiders listed as nonparticipants in practice Wednesday. Running back Kenyan Drake was one of those players listed, but the back has since been moved to injured reserve due to an ankle injury. Linebackers Marquel Lee (ribs) and Cory Littleton (shoulder) were limited along with fullback Sutton Smith (quad, ankle).
The Chiefs had a short injury report to begin the week as corner Chris Lammons (ankle) was the only player to miss practice due to injury. Corner Rashad Fenton (knee) and offensive lineman Lucas Niang (ribs) were limited.
New Orleans is seeing a positive sign from star-running back Alvin Kamara as he was a full participant in practice Wednesday after missing time due to a knee injury. That points to him making his return Sunday when the team visits the Jets. Quarterback Taysom Hill -- who suffered a finger injury on his throwing hand last week -- was also a full participant. Tackle Ryan Ramczyk (knee) and linebacker Pete Werner (elbow) were not present Wednesday, while tackle Terron Armstead (knee) was limited.
New York was missing several players to begin the week, including defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins (knee), running back Michael Carter (concussion), receiver Elijah Moore (quad) and linebacker C.J. Mosley (back). Quarterback Zach Wilson was listed on the initial injury report with a knee injury, but he was a full participant.
Cordarrelle Patterson was listed as a DNP on Wednesday, but the receiver/running back was merely given a veteran's rest day. Edge rusher Ade Ogundeji (ankle), along with defensive backs Richie Grant (ankle) and Fabian Moreau (hamstring), all missed the session due to injury. Defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard (ankle) was limited.
The offensive line is in question for the Panthers as starting guards John Miller (ankle) and Michael Jordan (hamstring) did not practice Wednesday. Meanwhile, left tackle Cameron Erving has been designated to return from IR and is practicing. He would still need to be activated off of IR if he were to make his return this week.
Baltimore had six players missing from practice due to injury, including defensive tackle Calais Campbell (illness), tight end Nick Boyle (illness, knee), offensive lineman Patrick Mekari (hand) and fullback Patrick Ricard (back). Defensive backs Kevon Seymour (illness) and Brandon Stephens (shoulder) were limited along with receiver Miles Boykin (finger).
The tight end unit for Cleveland may be extremely thin as they gear up for this matchup with the Ravens. After recently placing David Njoku on the reserve/COVID-19 list, the team held Harrison Bryant (ankle) out of practice Wednesday. Malik Jackson (knee), Jarvis Landry (knee), and receiver Anthony Schwartz (concussion) were the other nonparticipants. Safety Ronnie Harrison Jr. (ankle) and center JC Tretter (knee) were limited.
Saquon Barkley was added to the injury report this week as the team says he is dealing with an ankle injury that limited him in practice. Quarterback Daniel Jones (neck) and receiver Sterling Shepard (quad) were also limited. Meanwhile, quarterback Mike Glennon (concussion), receiver Kenny Golladay (rib), defensive back Adoree' Jackson (quad) and receiver Kadarius Toney (oblique) all did not participate.
The reserve/COVID-19 list is growing for the Chargers. After Keenan Allen was placed in the health and safety protocols, L.A. placed fellow receiver Mike Williams and corner Chris Harris Jr. on the COVID list on Wednesday. However, head coach Brandon Staley did say Wednesday that both Williams and Harris were merely deemed close contacts and so long as they continue to test negative they'll be in line to play. Meanwhile, running back Austin Ekeler (ankle) and corner Asante Samuel Jr. (concussion) were limited in practice.
The Lions conducted a walkthrough Wednesday, but it does seem like an illness is hitting the club. Six players were held out to begin the week due to that illness, including quarterback Jared Goff. Meanwhile, running back D'Andre Swift was still sidelined with his shoulder injury. Tight end T.J. Hockenson (hand) was limited.
Denver was without pass-rusher Bradley Chubb on Wednesday due to a shoulder injury he suffered against the Chiefs. Defensive end Shelby Harris (ankle) also did not practice. Meanwhile, tackle Bobby Massie (ankle) and running back Melvin Gordon III (hip) were limited participants during the first session of the week.
The 49ers were without wide receiver Deebo Samuel (groin) to begin the week after he missed last week's game against Seattle. Head coach Kyle Shanahan noted to reporters that he's "hoping he'll practice tomorrow." Meanwhile, the team did welcome back linebacker Fred Warner to practice at full capacity after he missed last week due to a hamstring. Trenton Cannon (concussion), Dre Greenlaw (groin), Maurice Hurst (calf), Elijah Mitchell (concussion, knee), and Emmanuel Moseley (ankle) were the others to miss practice due to injury. Jeff Wilson Jr. (knee) was limited.
As for the Bengals, they were without quarterback Joe Burrow (right finger, knee), running back Joe Mixon (illness) and receiver Tee Higgins (ankle) to begin the week. Burrow suffered an injury to his pinky on his throwing hand in the midst of last week's loss to the Chargers, but did manage to play through it.
Bills at Buccaneers (-3)
Buffalo had perfect attendance to begin the week, minus receiver Cole Beasley, who was given a veteran rest day. Reggie Gilliam (ankle), Star Lotulelei (toe), Efe Obada (hip) and Tommy Sweeney (hip) were all present, but limited on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Ryan Jenson popping up on the Buccaneers' initial injury report with an ankle injury is worth keeping an eye on. The Tampa Bay center was missing from practice along with corner Jamel Dean (concussion), William Gholston (wrist, knee), and safety Jordan Whitehead (calf). Guard Ali Marpet (abdomen) and defensive tackle Vita Vea (knee) were limited.
David Montgomery was a surprise addition to the injury report for Chicago as the running back missed practice due to shoulder, groin and glute injuries, according to the team. Quarterback Andy Dalton (left hand), outside linebacker Trevis Gipson (illness), tight end Jimmy Graham (rest) and kicker Cairo Santos (illness) were the other Bears to miss the session. Meanwhile, Justin Fields was a full participant on Wednesday and is expected to start on Sunday after missing time due to a rib injury. Receiver Allen Robinson (hamstring) and defensive tackle Akiem Hicks (ankle) were among those limited.
The Packers began the week without Aaron Rodgers (toe), David Bakhtiari (knee) and Randall Cobb (core) at practice. Rodgers has been managing that toe injury for quite a while, but has been able to play through it to this point. Receivers Davante Adams (hamstring) and Malik Taylor (abdomen) were limited along with corner Kevin King (hip, knee).