Week 5 of the 2019 NFL season is right around the corner, and it could feature the return of some big, familiar faces -- as well as the absence of others -- thanks to the latest injury reports from around the league.
While a handful of starters -- like Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley -- were already expected to be out of action this weekend, a few others remain big question marks. Chief among them: Jacksonville Jaguars star Jalen Ramsey, who was not at Wednesday's practice and remains in pursuit of a trade out of town.
On the flip side, Week 5 could play host to the return of Kansas City Chiefs wideout Tyreek Hill, who has been out since suffering a collarbone injury in his team's season opener but was back catching passes from Patrick Mahomes on Wednesday.
Here's a complete rundown of the most notable names on this week's injury reports, which we'll update in the lead-up to Week 5:
- Rams: LB Bryce Hager (shoulder) OUT; S Taylor Rapp (ankle) DOUBTFUL
- Seahawks: OT Duane Brown (biceps), G Ethan Pocic (back) QUESTIONABLE
The Rams will be down two players on defense, though Rapp's performance has been pretty uneven in his rookie season. He didn't practice at all this week, so don't expect to see him out there on Thursday. Corner Marcus Peters (face) practiced in full all week and avoided a final injury tag.
A notable absence from Wednesday's injury report for Seattle: Running back Rashaad Penny, who has missed the Seahawks' last two games with a hamstring issue. Chris Carson remains the No. 1 back in Seattle's offense, but Penny being fully healthy suggests he could return to a rotational role. Though two linemen appeared as questionable on the team's final injury report, everyone on the Seahawks practiced in full on Wednesday.
Wednesday practice report notes
The Ravens were without tight end Mark Andrews (foot) on Wednesday, but the second-year target has been playing through his injury -- and barely practicing -- for almost a month. Barring a dramatic setback, he figures to be ready to go once again on Sunday. Both corner Jimmy Smith and defensive tackle Brandon Williams missed practice with knee injuries.
Pittsburgh, meanwhile, is banged up at some key spots entering a critical rivalry game. Wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster, who could be seen walking gingerly during "Monday Night Football," was held out of Wednesday's practice with a toe injury. Running back James Conner (ankle) was also sidelined. Ditto for defensive lineman Cameron Heyward (quad). Each of those three vets could just be getting some midweek rest, but their status is worth monitoring, especially considering Mason Rudolph's options at receiver aren't exactly plentiful. Jaylen Samuels would assuredly carry the bulk of the RB work in the event Conner doesn't progress.
Bears (-5) vs. Raiders in London
The Bears didn't need their entire defense healthy to shut down the Vikings in Week 4, but young linebacker Roquan Smith was a full go at Wednesday's practice after missing that game for personal reasons. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky (shoulder), meanwhile, is unlikely to take the field against Oakland in London, coach Matt Nagy informed reporters Wednesday, with a looming bye week reason for Chicago to rest him up for the stretch run -- assuming Chase Daniel doesn't light up the Raiders and steal the job. Receiver Taylor Gabriel (concussion) and defensive tackle Akiem Hicks (knee) were among those to join Trubisky on the sideline on Wednesday, while guard Kyle Long (hip) was able to practiced as a limited participant.
Star rookie running back Josh Jacobs (elbow) was limited on Wednesday for the Raiders, but he's still expected to have a full workload against Chicago. Receiver Tyrell Williams (foot) was not as fortunate, sitting out with a new injury after enduring a hip pointed over the last few weeks. Williams has been playing through ailments, so he shouldn't be ruled out just yet, but against Chicago's secondary, he may have been a risky fantasy play anyway. Guard Gabe Jackson (knee) and defensive end Clelin Ferrell (concussion) also sat out on Wednesday.
Arizona isn't likely to have wideout Christian Kirk (ankle) when it travels to Cincinnati, as coach Kliff Kingsbury told the media Wednesday that Kirk, who was officially limited at practice, is fortunate not to be facing a longer recovery timeline. Fellow receiver Damiere Byrd also missed practice with a hamstring injury, and other absences include defensive end Zach Allen (neck) and punter Andy Lee (hip).
The Bengals, meanwhile, placed receiver John Ross (shoulder) on injured reserve, clearing the way for additional targets for Tyler Boyd and Auden Tate out wide over the next eight-plus weeks. A.J. Green (ankle) and tackle Cordy Glenn (concussion) also missed the first practice of the week, while all other Bengals players practiced in full.
Jaguars at Panthers (-3.5)
Gardner Minshew was limited in Jacksonville's Wednesday practice with a knee injury sustained in the Jags' close win over Denver, but all indications are that he'll be good to go come Sunday. Former Steelers reserve Joshua Dobbs would be next in line to start in the event of a setback. Six other Jaguars were also limited, including rookie defensive end Josh Allen (knee). Jalen Ramsey, meanwhile, did not take the practice field with a lingering back injury that kept him out of Week 4.
Eight Panthers didn't practice at all due to injuries, including quarterback Cam Newton (foot), cornerback Donte Jackson (groin), safety Eric Reid (ankle) and edge rusher Brian Burns (wrist). Edge rusher Bruce Irvin (hamstring) was also limited. With so many key defenders banged up, the Jacksonville offense could have more upside this week than expected.
Vikings (-5.5) at Giants
Starting receiver Stefon Diggs was not at practice Wednesday, but his absence wasn't related to injury. Rookie center Garrett Bradbury was one of four limited players while dealing with a shoulder injury.
There's little chance Saquon Barkley will be playing against the Vikings as he recovers from a high-ankle sprain, but the Pro Bowler was seen jogging to the side of the Giants' Wednesday practice, and he's publicly targeted a sooner-rather-than-later return, with coach Pat Shurmur refusing to rule him out for Week 5. Wayne Gallman remains New York's fill-in No. 1 in the backfield, although he may have to play through his own injury, as he was limited at Wednesday's practice with a neck issue. Linebacker Alec Ogletree (hamstring) and guard Kevin Zeitler (shoulder) also sat out practice with injuries, while tackle Nate Solder (neck) was limited.
No one other than Stephen Gostkowski has kicked a field goal or extra point for the Patriots over the last eight seasons, but the veteran Wednesday to undergo season-ending hip surgery. Look for the team to sign a free agent soon to take his spot -- and keep an eye on their special-teams unit moving forward. Seven Patriots were listed as limited on Wednesday, including receivers Josh Gordon (knee) and Julian Edelman (chest), running back Rex Burkhead (foot) and linebacker Dont'a Hightower (shoulder).
As if you needed more reason to pick the Patriots in this game, Washington has a cloudy quarterback situation entering Sunday, as starter Case Keenum (foot) was seen in a walking boot Wednesday, with backup Colt McCoy taking his place in practice to split first-team reps with rookie Dwayne Haskins. It remains to be seen if coach Jay Gruden believes Haskins is ready to open a game as a starter, but all three QBs appear to be in play against the Pats. Tight ends Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis were both held out of practice with concussions, while receiver Terry McLaurin (hamstring) and corner Josh Norman (knee) were limited.
Quarterback Sam Darnold (illness) was a limited participant in Wednesday's practice, but it still seems like a long shot that he'll suit up against the Eagles, as he's yet to be cleared for contact. With a volatile spleen, he's hardly a safe bet to start, so Luke Falk is in line to take on the Birds in Philadelphia. Rookie defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (ankle) was also limited, while linebacker C.J. Mosley (groin) and guard Kelechi Osemele (shoulder, knee) were among those not to practice at all.
On the Eagles' side, deep threat DeSean Jackson (abdomen) was not on the field Wednesday despite coach Doug Pederson telling reporters ahead of Week 4 that the wideout was progressing in rehab. Jackson hasn't played since the Eagles' opener, and he looks like a long shot to go against New York, though Pederson said the receiver would be reevaluated Thursday. Cornerbacks Ronald Darby (hamstring) and Avonte Maddox (neck, concussion) were also out, as expected, though Sidney Jones (hamstring) was at least limited, indicating Philly might not be completely devoid of defensive backs entering Week 5.
Wide receiver Chris Godwin, who went off against the Rams in Week 4 and has been a steady target for Jameis Winston, did not practice on Wednesday due to a hip injury. He also missed practice two days in the lead-up to that Rams game, however, so there isn't necessarily reason to be concerned. Linebacker Shaq Barrett, who by most accounts has been the best defensive player in the league through four weeks, didn't practice either due to a groin injury.
For the Saints, defensive end Cameron Jordan (calf) and safety Vonn Bell (back) were only limited participants on Wednesday, while defensive end Trey Hendrickson (neck) joined quarterback Drew Brees on the sideline.
The Falcons' offensive line has struggled this year, and it could be without two starters in this matchup as center Alex Mack (elbow) and guard Jamon Brown (concussion) were unable to practice. Throw in limited participation by tackle Kaleb McGary (knee) and guard Wes Schweitzer (shoulder) and this could be a spot where the Texans' front feasts. Star defensive tackle Grady Jarrett (elbow) was also limited.
After leaving Houston's Week 4 bout early, wideout Kenny Stills (hamstring, ankle) was limited Wednesday. If he's unable to suit up opposite DeAndre Hopkins at home, Keke Coutee would once again be in line for a larger role. Offensive lineman Greg Mancz (concussion) was the only Texan unable to practice at all and no one else was limited due to an injury.
Bills quarterback Josh Allen (concussion) was a limited participant at practice, and if he can't get cleared by gameday then Matt Barkley would be thrust into the starting role. Running back Devin Singletary (hamstring), who practiced in the lead-up to Week 4 before sitting for the second week in a row, was also limited on Wednesday. If he's back, T.J. Yeldon would likely see a significant drop-off in touches behind Frank Gore. Both receiver Robert Foster (groin) and guard Spencer Long (ankle) practiced in full on Wednesday after sitting out in Week 4.
For the Titans, linebacker Cameron Wake missed practice after sustaining a hamstring injury in Week 4, while tight end Delanie Walker (knee) was also absent, though he was able to play in the win over the Falcons despite missing practices last week as well. Safety Kenny Vaccaro (groin) was among three limited Titans.
The Broncos were beat up heading into last week's game against the Jaguars, but were missing just two players from practice Wednesday: linebacker Josey Jewell (hamstring) and corner Bryce Callahan (foot). Tackle Ja'Wuan James (knee) was able to return to a limited practice, and receiver Emmanuel Sanders (quad), corner Kareem Jackson (hamstring) and defensive end Derrick Wolfe (ankle) were also limited participants.
The Chargers have been ravaged by injuries this year, and with Dontrelle Inman (quad) landing on injured reserve Wednesday, L.A.'s receiving depth will be tested once again. Mike Williams, Travis Benjamin, Hunter Henry and Virgil Green are all either recovering from or fresh off their own injuries. Henry (knee) was spotted doing some individual work Wednesday, but he still appears several weeks from returning to the field. Williams, Benjamin and Green were all limited on Wednesday, as was linebacker Thomas Davis (groin). Seven other players joined Henry as missing practice, including defensive end Melvin Ingram (hamstring), corner Casey Hayward (back) and both the team's kicker and punter.
Aaron Rodgers may not have Davante Adams when he goes Dallas, as the No. 1 receiver missed Wednesday's practice while recovering from a toe injury suffered against the Eagles on "Thursday Night Football." Running back Jamaal Williams (concussion), who was stretchered out of that same game, was also a no-go at Wednesday's practice and is considered a long shot to play.
The Cowboys got receiver Michael Gallup (knee) back at practice on Wednesday, . The second-year pass catcher has missed Dallas's last two games with an MCL sprain but would provide Dak Prescott yet another big-play target if he's able to go against Green Bay. Receiver Amari Cooper (ankle), defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence (knee, shoulder) and guard Zack Martin (back) were also limited, while left tackle Tyron Smith (ankle) didn't practice at all and is unlikely to suit up for this game. Right tackle La'el Collins (back) also missed Wednesday's practice.
Colts at Chiefs (-10.5)
The Colts are going to need every weapon they can get if they want a chance against Kansas City, but receiver T.Y. Hilton was once again limited on Wednesday while recovering from a quad injury that kept him out of Week 4's loss to Atlanta. Coach Frank Reich has hinted that Hilton could remain sidelined through Indy's upcoming Week 6 bye week. Running back Marlon Mack (calf) was not practicing at all Wednesday, but he was also sidelined for two straight days before playing in Week 4. If he can't make it this time around, Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines would be due for an increase in carries. Receiver Parris Campbell (abdominal) and safety Malik Hooker (knee) were among other Colts to miss practice entirely, while linebacker Darius Leonard was a limited participant for the first time since suffering a concussion in Week 2.
The Chiefs aren't exactly lacking in firepower, but now it looks like they might get some reinforcements against Indy, with star receiver Tyreek Hill (shoulder) making a surprise return to practice on Wednesday as a limited participant. Hill has missed K.C.'s last three games after going down in the Chiefs' opener. Running back Damien Williams (knee) was also back Wednesday and practicing in full. He could see lead back duties and likely share snaps with LeSean McCoy, who was limited to start the week due to an ankle injury. Left tackle Eric Fisher (groin) didn't practice at all.