We're at the midway point of the regular season with Week 9 in the NFL set to kick off on Thursday when the New York Jets and Indianapolis Colts square off at Lucas Oil Stadium. This upcoming slate has a number of intriguing matchups in store for us, including a couple of divisional matchups between the Bengals and Browns and Cardinals and 49ers.
As those teams begin the week of practice, we're going to use this space to cover the injury angles that this week has to offer. We'll also dive into the final injury reports of the Jets and Colts leading into Thursday night. Below, you'll be able to see who's in and who's out in the Week 9 opener as well as a breakdown of the initial injury reports for every other club.
All odds come courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.
New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts (-10.5) (Thursday)
- Jets: DL Bryce Huff (back), RB Tevin Coleman (hamstring), OL Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (not injury related), QB Zach Wilson (knee) OUT; WR Corey Davis (hip) DOUBTFUL; OL George Fant (ankle) QUESTIONABLE
- Colts: WR T.Y. Hilton (concussion), S Khari Willis (calf) OUT; G Quenton Nelson (toe) QUESTIONABLE
Davis did not practice all week for the Jets, so it would seem like it'd be very unlikely that he is able to see the field on a short week. Meanwhile, Fant was able to return to the field on a limited basis on Wednesday, so it would seem like he is trending in a more positive direction.
It was already expected that Hilton and Willis would be ruled out for this game, but Nelson is a name to watch carefully leading up to Thursday night. He was back on the field on a limited basis on Wednesday after missing Tuesday's session, so that is encouraging for his ability to suit up in Week 9.
Houston Texans at Miami Dolphins (-6.5)
Danny Amendola and Brandin Cooks both did not practice to begin the week for Houston, but the team notes their absences were not injury related. However, the team was also without linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis (illness), tight end Pharaoh Brown (thigh) and linebacker Christian Kirksey (thumb). Running back Rex Burkhead (hip) was among those limited. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor was also practicing today, but his level of participation is unclear as he has yet to be activated off of IR.
Las Vegas Raiders (-3) at New York Giants
Coming off the Week 8 bye, the Raiders had perfect attendance to begin the week of practice. Defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins (neck) and guard John Simpson (knee) were the only players listed on the injury report, but both were full participants during Wednesday's session.
The Giants had a number of players missing from practice on Wednesday due to a potential COVID-19 outbreak. Running back Saquon Barkley, who is vaccinated, was among those who tested positive, but is being retested. Joe Judge said that there were 13 total positive tests on Tuesday, but only one player. Defensive back Xavier McKinney and offensive lineman Matt Skura were also not practicing due to COVID-19 protocols. Meanwhile, receivers Kenny Golladay (knee) and Sterling Shepard (quad) were also not practicing while Kadarius Toney (thumb) was limited.
New England Patriots (-3.5) at Carolina Panthers
New England has one player missing from practice on Wednesday: J.C. Jackson, who is dealing with an illness. While he may have been the only Patriot absent, the team did have a number of players limited, including linebackers Kyle Van Noy (groin), Josh Uche (shoulder), Dont'a Hightower (ankle), and Ja'Whaun Bentley (ribs). Defensive tackle Christian Barmore (foot), kicker Nick Folk (left knee), and tight end Jonnu Smith were also among those limited.
Meanwhile, Carolina did designate running back Christian McCaffrey to return from injured reserve on Wednesday, giving him a chance to play on Sunday. Quarterback Sam Darnold (concussion, right shoulder) was limited in practice as was cornerback Stephon Gilmore (quad).
Minnesota Vikings at Baltimore Ravens (-6)
Minnesota was only missing two players due to injury to begin the week of practice: Linebacker Anthony Barr and cornerback Cameron Dantzler are dealing with knee and ankle injuries, respectfully. Defensive end Everson Griffen was also sidelined on Wednesday, but the team noted it was not injury-related. Safety Harrison Smith was also given a veteran rest day and was limited in practice.
Coming off a Week 8 bye, the Ravens had six players listed as non-participants on Wednesday. That said, linebacker Justin Houston's absence was non-injury-related. Meanwhile, quarterback Tyler Huntley (illness), offensive lineman Patrick Mekari (ankle), running back Latavius Murray (ankle), wide receiver Sammy Watkins (thigh), and defensive tackle Brandon Williams (shoulder) were all dealing with different ailments.
Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints (-6)
The big story last week for the Falcons is that they'll be without star receiver Calvin Ridley for the foreseeable future as he works on his mental well-being. As they move forward, fellow receiver Russell Gage began the week as a limited participant in practice due to a groin injury. Meanwhile, defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard missed the session as he's in the league's concussion protocol.
Jameis Winston was listed as a non-participant on the team's initial injury report, but he'll likely be moved to IR in short order after suffering a torn ACL last week. Star Receiver Michael Thomas -- who has been on IR all season with an ankle injury -- announced on Wednesday that he'll miss the entire year after suffering another injury. Meanwhile, safety Malcolm Jenkins (knee), defensive end Carl Granderson (shoulder), and receiver Ty Montgomery (hamstring) also did not practice. The good news for New Orleans, however, is that quarterback Taysom Hill (concussion) was able to practice on a limited basis.
Denver Broncos at Dallas Cowboys (-10)
Denver placed cornerback Bryce Callahan on injured reserve on Wednesday after suffering a knee injury against Washington. Vic Fangio said that Callahan will not undergo surgery but will miss a few weeks. Tackle Garett Bolles also did not practice after suffering an ankle injury last week and did not return to the game. Fangio noted that the team is preparing for backup Calvin Anderson to play at left tackle if Bolles is truly ruled out.
Dak Prescott practiced on a limited basis to begin the week after being a game-time decision to play against Minnesota in Week 8, so there does seem to be optimism that he will make his return against Denver. Meanwhile, the club was without tight end Blake Jarwin (hip) and tackle Tyron Smith (ankle) for the opening session, while receiver Amari Cooper (hamstring) and CeeDee Lamb (ankle) were limited.
Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals (-2.5)
Odell Beckham Jr. was excused from practice on Wednesday and CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora reports the Browns may tell the star receiver to stay away from the team for the remainder of the 2021 season after failing to find a trade partner for him on Tuesday. Outside of Beckham, seven Browns players did not practice, including Jadeveon Clowney (ankle, hip, knee), Jack Conklin (elbow), and Jarvis Landry (knee), Baker Mayfield (left shoulder) practiced in full.
Cincinnati was without center Trey Hopkins (knee) and defensive end Cameron Sample (knee) on Wednesday, but coach Zac Taylor did say that Sample would return to practice on Thursday. Meanwhile running back Chris Evans (hamstring) and Auden Tate (thigh) were limited.
Buffalo Bills (-14.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars
Defensive end Mario Addison was given a veteran rest day by the Bills, but there were four other players who missed the opening practice due to injury. Wide receiver Cole Beasley (ribs), tight end Dawson Knox (hand), and offensive linemen Spencer Brown (back) and Jon Feliciano (calf) all were sidelined.
As for the Jaguars, running back James Robinson (heel) did not practice along with linebacker Dakota Allen (ankle) and offensive lineman Ben Bartch (illness). Running back Carlos Hyde (calf) was limited.
Los Angeles Chargers (-1.5) at Philadelphia Eagles
The Chargers were missing four players from practice to begin the week as running back Justin Jackson (quad), safety Alohi Gilman (ankle) and corners Asante Samuel Jr. (concussion) and Michael Davis (hamstring) were held out. Quarterback Justin Herbert was limited to start the week due to a right hand injury he suffered in Week 8 against New England.
The Eagle were missing four players to begin the week: receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (ankle), defensive tackle Fletcher Cox (rest, knee), defensive tackle Javon Hargrave (shoulder), and wide receiver Jalen Reagor (ankle). Tackle Jordan Mailata (elbow) was among those limited.
Green Bay Packers at Kansas City Chiefs (-7.5)
The big story out of Green Bay on Wednesday was that Aaron Rodgers has tested positive for COVID-19 and -- because he is not vaccinated -- has been ruled out for this matchup with the Chiefs on Sunday. That means, second-year quarterback Jordan Love will start for the Packers in Week 9. Meanwhile, defensive linemen Dean Lowry (hamstring), Kingsley Keke (concussion), and Jack Heflin (illness) did not practice.
Arizona Cardinals (-1.5) at San Francisco 49ers
Kyler Murray (ankle) did not practice on Wednesday, but Kliff Kingsbury did note that the quarterback's status is day to day and would be OK with him playing against the 49ers even if he didn't practice at all this week. Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins was another notable Cardinals player who was held out of practice as he continues to manage through a hamstring injury. Running back Chase Edmonds (shoulder) was among those limited. Outside of the injury report, Arizona did place veteran receiver A.J. Green on the reserve/COVID list. Because he is vaccinated, he would need two negative tests separated by 24 hours to be activated.
Meanwhile, San Francisco opened the practice windows for tight end George Kittle, kicker Robbie Gould, and running back Jeff Wilson Jr. on Wednesday. At practice, the team was without running back Elijah Mitchell (ribs), receiver Deebo Samuel (calf), safety Jimmie Ward (quad), defensive lineman Maurice Hurst (calf), and tackle Trent Williams (ankle).
Tennessee Titans at Los Angeles Rams (-7.5)
Tennessee is, of course, looking to move forward after losing star running back Derrick Henry for the season due to a foot injury he suffered last week. The Titans began with the week of practice with six players missing from the session: fullback Khari Blasingame (knee), guard Nate Davis (concussion), linebacker Rashaan Evans (ankle), defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons (ankle), and corners Chris Jackson (foot) and Greg Mabin (ankle). Wide receiver Julio Jones (hamstring) was among those limited.
The Rams gave a number of players a rest day to begin the week of practice, including receiver Cooper Kupp, defensive lineman Bobby Brown, corner Jalen Ramsey, and offensive lineman Andrew Whitworth. Meanwhile, quarterback Matthew Stafford (back), receiver Robert Woods (foot) and pass rusher Von Miller (ankle) were among those who also didn't practice.
Chicago Bears at Pittsburgh Steelers (-6.5)
To be announced.
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