It's finals week in Fantasy leagues and possibly the last chance to make a move for NFL teams on the fringe of the playoff hunt. But that doesn't mean those teams will willingly risk banged-up players further injuring themselves if they're not ready.
The Steelers have the luxury of knowing Jaylen Samuels is capable of carrying the load at running back if needed, and that means James Conner could spend another week on the sidelines while recovering from a high ankle sprain. He missed practice to start the week, saying, "These high ankle sprains are deceiving. I can walk around fine, not limping. When I am out there on the field, cutting and stuff, it's not ready yet. ... I won't go out there less than ready. I am day-to-day with it. I tried to do a little jogging today. Then I saw what it is. I will go out there and jog, see how it feels. Just stay the course. It takes time. No matter how much treatment I do, it takes time."
Odell Beckham was sidelined for a second-straight game on Sunday, but while the team managed to score 40 in a blowout win without him in Week 14, the Giants were shut out by the Titans last week. Pat Shurmur said earlier in the week that there were no plans to shut the star receiver down, but with the team eliminated from the playoff hunt, it could be wise to exercise caution.
Falcons receiver Julio Jones typically doesn't practice on Wednesdays, and that was the case this week. But he's also dealing with a new hip injury that caused Dan Quinn to say he wouldn't know if Jones could play until Friday.
Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton played through an ankle injury last week, but he's back on the injury report with the ankle issue, missing practice on Wednesday. The Colts listed a total of nine players as missing practice due to injury, so it'll be a key week of practices for them to see who can get healthy as they try to make a playoff push.
We'll break down everything else you need to know about the injury reports for Week 16 below. Check back with us throughout the day as we react to all the injury news around the NFL. You can see all the action on Saturday and Sunday by streaming the games on fuboTV (Try for free).
Sorry to interrupt your reading, but just a quick PSA here. We have a pretty amazing daily NFL podcast you may not be aware of. It's hosted by Will Brinson and it's all the things you're looking for: news, fantasy, picks, really, just football stuff for football people. Subscribe: via iTunes | via Stitcher | via TuneIn | via Google Play.
Wednesday's injury reports
Redskins at Titans (-10)
Jordan Reed (ankle, foot) missed practice on Tuesday and Wednesday, one of four Washington players to miss both days. Maurice Harris was also a DNP on Wednesday. Seven more players were limited on Wednesday, including Adrian Peterson (shoulder) and both starting tackles. The Titans defense could be in some trouble, with Jurrell Casey (knee) and Brian Orakpo (elbow) both missing the first two days of practice and Wesley Woodyard (back) joining them on the shelf on Thursday. Marcus Mariota (foot) was limited to start the week Tuesday but was upgraded to a full session on Wednesday and should be good to go.
The only Ravens player unable to practice Wednesday due to injury was Anthony Levine (toe, ankle), with Nick Boyle (concussion) and Matthew Judon (knee) joining Alex Lewis (shoulder) as limited. Keenan Allen (hip) was upgraded to a limited practice on Thursday, improving his chances of not missing any time after having to leave his team's win over the Chargers due to his injury. Austin Ekeler (neck) was one of two Chargers to miss practice for two straight days, while Melvin Gordon (knee) was able to practice in full each day.
What NFL picks can you make with confidence in Week 16? And which Super Bowl contender gets a huge scare? Visit SportsLine now to see which NFL teams are winning more than 50 percent of simulations, all from the model that has beaten 98 percent of experts over the past two years.
Buccaneers at Cowboys (-7)
Jason Pierre-Paul (knee) was the only Bucs player to miss practice on Wednesday, though DeSean Jackson (thumb), Gerald McCoy (shoulder) and Demar Dotson (knee) were all limited. Jackson could help boost the Tampa Bay passing attack if he can get cleared for Sunday. The Cowboys were missing three on Wednesday, including Zack Martin (knee) and David Irving (ankle). Cole Beasley (foot) and Sean Lee (hamstring) were among the four players who were limited, while Tyron Smith (neck) practiced in full.
The Bills have several players on the injury report to start the week, but the only two to miss practice entirely were Kyle Williams (back) and Ryan Lewis (concussion). LeSean McCoy (hamstring), Chris Ivory (shoulder) and Isaiah McKenzie (ankle) were among the eight players listed as limited. The Patriots have just one player on the injury report, with Brandon King limited due to a knee issue.
Falcons (-3.5) at Panthers
Julio Jones (hip, ribs) missed practice to start the week as he usually does for the Falcons, and he was joined on the sidelines by Desmond Trufant (ankle). Austin Hooper (knee, ankle) and Grady Jarrett (groin, shoulder) were among the four players limited on Wednesday, while Deion Jones (foot) practiced in full. Eleven Panthers players missed practice on Wednesday, but seven were listed as getting rest. That group doesn't include Cam Newton (shoulder), who didn't practice and will be shut down for the final two games, with Taylor Heinicke getting the start.
Five Jaguars missed practice to start the week, including Jermey Parnell (knee) and Josh Lambo (groin). Aside from the DNPs, the only Jacksonville player on the injury report is Leonard Fournette (foot), but he practiced in full. The Dolphins had three DNPs, including Danny Amendola (knee), with Ryan Tannehill (shoulder) and Xavien Howard (knee) among the six Miami players who were limited to start the week. Kenyan Drake (shoulder) was listed as practicing in full.
Giants at Colts (-9.5)
The Giants were missing four players from practice due to injury to start the week, including Odell Beckham (quad) and Alec Ogletree (concussion). With the Giants officially eliminated from the playoffs, they could choose to rest any injured players the rest of the way. Nine Colts sat out Wednesday due to injury, including T.Y. Hilton (ankle), Eric Ebron (quad) and Jabaal Sheard (ribs), in what could be a get-healthy week for Indy as big favorites. Malik Hooker (hip) was among the three Colts players who were limited.
No Texans missed practice completely on Wednesday, though 11 players were limited, including Lamar Miller (ankle), DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) and J.J. Watt (knee). Alshon Jeffery was listed as a DNP on Wednesday due to illness, while Michael Bennett (foot) and Sidney Jones (hamstring) were also sidelined to start the week. Zach Ertz was limited with an ankle issue, and several key defenders were also limited, including Fletcher Cox (hip), Timmy Jernigan (back) and Jordan Hicks (calf).
Eric Kendricks (knee) was the only Minnesota player to miss practice on Wednesday, while Mike Remmers (back) was among three players limited. The Lions put Kerryon Johnson on the IR, ending his season, and Damon Harrison (ankle) was one of two players to miss practice to start the week. The Lions also had seven players limited on Wednesday, including Matthew Stafford (back) and Kenny Golladay (chest).
Seven Packers missed practice to start the week due to injury, including Randall Cobb (concussion) and Jimmy Graham (knee, thumb). Jamaal Williams (toe) is expected to take over the rushing attack with Aaron Jones on IR, but Williams himself was limited on Wednesday. Aaron Rodgers (knee, groin) practiced in full and said he planned on playing despite the Packers being eliminated from the playoff race. Quincy Enunwa (ankle) was one of five Jets players to miss practice on Wednesday, including two linebackers. Another linebacker was limited in Jordan Jenkins (ankle), so the Jets might be dealing with multiple absences at the position. Elijah McGuire (ankle, quad) was among the many players on the injury report who practiced in full.
Tyler Boyd (knee) was one of five Bengals to miss practice, and he's expected to be out for the remainder of the year. That means the passing attack is down to John Ross (knee), who was limited on Wednesday, and a bunch of complementary weapons. Joe Mixon (wrist) and Vontaze Burfict (concussion) were also limited to start the week. The only Browns to miss practice on Wednesday due to injury were JC Tretter (ankle) and Larry Ogunjobi (biceps), who both played on Saturday after missing the previous week. Three more players were limited, including David Njoku (knee, thigh). Denzel Ward (concussion) was a full participant in practice after missing Saturday's game.
The Rams have been exceptionally healthy in recent weeks, but they have three players listed as DNPs to start the week, most notable Todd Gurley (knee). Samson Ebukam was also sidelined due to an illness. The Cardinals had five players miss practice due to injury, including J.J. Nelson (illness) and Budda Baker (knee). Three other players were limited, including two more receivers in Chad Williams (hamstring) and Trent Sherfield (ankle), so a Cardinals passing attack that has been awful this year is also dealing with a cluster of injuries to close out the season.
The Bears had just two players on the injury report to start the week, with Eddie Jackson (ankle) and Aaron Lynch (elbow) both missing practice. The Bears have the division locked up but still have a shot at getting the No. 2 seed, so don't expect them to take it easy this week. Only Mark Nzeocha (groin) missed 49ers practice completely due to injury. Matt Breida (ankle) was among the six players listed as limited participants.
Steelers at Saints (-6)
James Conner remained sidelined at Wednesday's practice as he recovers from a high ankle sprain, and he said Wednesday the ankle is "not ready yet" when he tries to cut. If he can't go, Fantasy owners will be able to use Jaylen Samuels in their title game. Bud Dupree (knee) also missed Steelers practice, while Terrell Edmunds (concussion) was limited. This isn't a good week to be a Saints offensive lineman, with five of them on the injury report. Jermon Bushrod (hamstring) and Max Unger (concussion) missed practice entirely, while Terron Armstead (pectoral, knee), Andrus Peat (shoulder) and Ryan Ramczyk (shoulder) were limited.
The Chiefs didn't have three key players at practice on Wednesday, with Sammy Watkins (foot), Mitchell Schwartz (knee) and Kendall Fuller (thumb) all sitting. Spencer Ware (hamstring) was the only other player not to practice in full, as he was limited. That means Eric Berry (heel) practiced in full for the first time all year. Tyreek Hill (heel) was also a full participant. The Seahawks were missing nine players at practice due to injury, including Doug Baldwin (hip), Rashaad Penny (knee) and several key defenders. K.J. Wright (knee) was one of three players limited on Wednesday due to injury.