Green Bay Packers receiver Davante Adams, who has seven touchdown catches in his past four games, isn’t necessarily sweating his status for Sunday, especially after he was able to return to the game in Week 10 after suffering an ankle injury.
But nothing is certain with Adams, which is a common theme across the NFL with other big-name players, including quarterbacks, heading into Week 11. The status of quarterbacks Matthew Stafford (right thumb) of the Detroit Lions and Teddy Bridgewater (right knee) of the Carolina Panthers are up in the air. And in New Orleans, we know Drew Brees won’t be under center, but how will the Saints use his backups, Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill?
Here’s a roundup of the biggest injuries from ESPN’s NFL Nation reporters:
Can Buffalo’s hobbled players return to full health by Week 12? The Bills’ bye week came at an opportune time with several key players nursing injuries. Linebacker Matt Milano will have one more week on injured reserve following the bye, but Cody Ford, Mitch Morse and John Brown should all benefit from an extra week of rest before Buffalo hosts the Chargers next week. — Marcel Louis-Jacques
Running back Matt Breida has missed the past two games with a hamstring injury, but he appears on track to return Sunday vs. the Chargers after he was a full participant in Wednesday’s practice. Breida would likely eat into some of Salvon Ahmed‘s workload in the backfield. — Cameron Wolfe
Cornerback Stephon Gilmore (knee) has missed the past three games with a knee injury and he remained limited in practice earlier this week. He is scheduled to speak with reporters on Friday, which could mean that he’s cleared to play. The reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year would naturally add a boost to a defense that is coming off one of its best performances of the season — in a win over Baltimore. — Mike Reiss
Quarterback Sam Darnold (shoulder) is out again, so Joe Flacco will make his fourth start. He played well in the Jets’ Week 9 game, throwing for three touchdowns in a loss. For the second game in a row, the Jets will have their full complement of wide receivers. Defensive tackle Quinnen Williams (hamstring), who missed the last game, is expected to play against the Chargers, which helps the interior pass rush. — Rich Cimini
It looks like the Ravens will be without two starters along the defensive line for Sunday’s game against Derrick Henry and the Tennessee Titans. Defensive end Calais Campbell (calf strain) and nose tackle Brandon Williams (ankle) both didn’t practice Wednesday. Campbell is considered day-to-day, and Williams is “touch-and-go for Sunday,” according to coach John Harbaugh. There’s a significant drop-off in the defensive line, where rookie third-round pick Justin Madubuike would replace Campbell and Justin Ellis would fill in for Williams. — Jamison Hensley
Matthew Berry asserts that if Joe Mixon is able to play in Week 11, he will do very well in fantasy.
Well, it’s that time. We are now on Joe Mixon Watch. And so far, things aren’t looking great. Mixon wasn’t at practice on Wednesday, which doesn’t bode well for him moving forward. So, if you have him on your fantasy team, here’s my advice: Trade Mixon. Dump him off on an unsuspecting owner who still thinks running the ball is a good way to win in the NFL. Even if Mixon comes back, it’s unclear if he actually makes the Bengals’ offense better. That is more concerning to his long-term approach than the injury. — Ben Baby
Right tackle Jack Conklin was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list after being identified as a high-risk close contact to an outside practitioner who tested positive. Conklin, as a result, wasn’t at practice Wednesday. The Browns are hopeful, however, that he will be available for Sunday’s game against the Eagles if he continues to test negative this week. — Jake Trotter
The Steelers are mostly healthy entering Sunday’s game against the Jaguars, with Mike Hilton’s availability being the biggest outstanding injury question. The versatile defensive back has missed the past four games after injuring his shoulder against the Browns, but with a full practice Wednesday, barring a setback, he should take the field in Jacksonville. The Steelers badly need him to help with run defense, and he’ll be a key to slowing rookie RB James Robinson. — Brooke Pryor
Defensive end Charles Omenihu returned to practice on Wednesday after missing the Texans’ Week 10 loss to the Browns. In that game, Carlos Watkins started for Omenihu and played 82% of Houston’s defensive snaps. — Sarah Barshop
The odds of tight end Jack Doyle playing Sunday against the Packers took another hit after he didn’t practice, as he remained in the concussion protocol. But the bigger issue for the Colts could be at defensive back. Starting safety Khari Willis didn’t practice Wednesday because of a rib injury. The Colts need all the help they can get against Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Colts coach Frank Reich called the Packers the biggest test of the season for his defense. — Mike Wells
Rookie wide receiver Laviska Shenault, who is third on the team in receptions and receiving yardage, is still dealing with a hamstring injury and did not practice on Wednesday. Coach Doug Marrone said Shenault did some work on the side and they’ll evaluate him again on Thursday to see if he can practice. But if he misses practice again on Thursday, it doesn’t look good for him playing against the Steelers on Sunday. “We’re still hopeful,” Marrone said. “We have him as questionable right now.” Veteran Chris Conley started in Shenault’s place last week and would do so again this week. — Mike DiRocco
Left guard Rodger Saffold came out of last week’s game with an ankle injury but later returned. Saffold didn’t practice on Wednesday. The Titans’ offensive line is already without Taylor Lewan. Center Ben Jones (knee) missed some time in Sunday’s game because of a knee injury but returned. Jones did not practice on Wednesday, either. The interior part of the offensive line could be in trouble. — Turron Davenport
Quarterback Drew Lock, who suffered rib and oblique injuries in Sunday’s loss in Las Vegas, did not practice Wednesday. Lock was on the field and even had his helmet on during practice, but he did not participate beyond any walk-through periods. Broncos coach Vic Fangio said Lock is not in a situation where he could practice with limited snaps or none at all and still play Sunday against the Dolphins. Unless Lock shows significant improvement and gets more time on the field, Brett Rypien would be the starter against the Dolphins. Rypien started the Broncos’ Week 4 win over the New York Jets. — Jeff Legwold
Sammy Watkins is on track to play on Sunday night for the first time since injuring a hamstring in Week 5 against the Raiders. Watkins was a full participant in practice on Wednesday for the first time since the injury. His return would be good news for the Chiefs, particularly because Mecole Hardman remains on the reserve/COVID-19 list, making his availability uncertain for Sunday. — Adam Teicher
The Raiders are in hurry-up-and-wait mode when it comes to the seven defensive players they placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday. As high-risk close contacts, S Johnathan Abram, DT Maliek Collins, DT Johnathan Hankins, DL David Irving, CB Isaiah Johnson, DE Arden Key and DT Kendal Vickers would all be eligible to play the Chiefs on Sunday night should they all continue to test negative until then. In fact, 10 of the 11 Raiders on the reserve/COVID-19 list are defensive players, with DE Clelin Ferrell and DB Lamarcus Joyner going on the list Tuesday and LB Cory Littleton going on it last week. — Paul Gutierrez
Defensive end Joey Bosa was ready to play last week but then was placed back on the concussion protocol list. The Chargers missed him and might not play him vs. the Jets, depending on how he tests. He’s their best defender, a tough edge rusher, and if there’s a way he can play, he’ll do it. But he has to pass the tests. Troymaine Pope is dealing with a neck injury, but expect Kalen Ballage to get the work at running back. — Shelley Smith
RB Ezekiel Elliott said his hamstring is “a little tight, a little stiff,” but he was able to finish Wednesday’s practice as a full participant. Elliott suffered the injury Nov. 1 against Philadelphia, but he played against Pittsburgh despite not going through a full practice. He said he feels more comfortable than he did going into the Steelers game and will continue to get extra treatment to make sure he is good for Sunday’s game against Minnesota. Quarterback Andy Dalton (concussion, reserve/COVID-19) was also a full participant and should resume the job as the starter. — Todd Archer
Matthew Berry expects Ezekiel Elliott to get a high volume of touches against the Vikings but is concerned about his usage in the Cowboys’ passing game and in the red zone.
The Giants are on a bye. Their biggest injury question is when does rookie safety Xavier McKinney return. Coach Joe Judge said Wednesday he was “optimistic” that McKinney, a second-round pick, and several others would return at some point this season. But Wednesday was supposed to be a key day for them, before a positive COVID-19 test this week from kicker Graham Gano forced the team to work virtually. This might even make it less likely that McKinney returns for next Sunday’s game vs. Cincinnati. The following week is more likely. — Jordan Raanan
Tight end Zach Ertz is back practicing for the first time since suffering a high ankle sprain in Week 6 against the Baltimore Ravens. Coach Doug Pederson said the idea was to get him reacclimated into the offense and monitor him as the week progresses. To date, he has still not been activated off injured reserve. He’s not a sure bet to play against the Browns, but Ertz should be back in the lineup before long. — Tim McManus
Safety Deshazor Everett did not practice because of a sprained ankle, nor was he on a side field doing any sort of work. If Everett has a high ankle sprain, it could sideline him for several weeks depending on the severity. But coach Ron Rivera would not yet rule him out for Sunday. If he can’t play, Troy Apke likely would start. Apke has struggled when he has played, allowing way too many deep passes because of poor technique — turning the wrong way, bad angles. Also, left tackles Cornelius Lucas (ankle) and Geron Christian (knee) didn’t practice. If they can’t play, Morgan Moses would move from the right side to the left. He played left tackle in the fourth quarter vs. Detroit last week. David Sharpe would start at right tackle. — John Keim
All the focus is on Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky‘s injured right shoulder. Nick Foles‘ status for the Bears’ next game on Nov. 29 at Green Bay is up in the air after the veteran quarterback suffered a hip injury late in Monday night’s loss to the Vikings. The logical choice — if Foles has to miss time — would be for the Bears to turn the offense back over to Trubisky. But there is no indication yet that Trubisky’s shoulder is healthy enough for him to play. The Bears are off the rest of the week and return to the facility on Monday. — Jeff Dickerson
Quarterback Matthew Stafford didn’t practice Wednesday with his right thumb injury. While coach Matt Patricia said they are being cautious with him, there is reason to be mildly concerned with him not getting any work in. Stafford said he hoped to get some practice time in this week and was hopeful he would play Sunday. Stafford had the thumb protected on Wednesday even though he didn’t participate. If Stafford can’t play, the Lions would likely turn to Chase Daniel to make his second appearance of the season. — Michael Rothstein
Field Yates and Matthew Berry discuss the fantasy impact of Allen Lazard being activated off of the Packers’ IR.
Davante Adams finished Sunday’s game against the Jaguars after he briefly left because of an ankle injury in the second half — and caught a touchdown pass after his return — so in his mind that should mean he’s ready to go this week against the Colts. But not so fast. He didn’t do anything during the open portion of practice but still was listed as a limited participant, and then he said: “I’m not even going to go there as far as guaranteeing if I’m playing or not, but that’s the idea. Anytime where I feel like I can come back into a game like that, typically speaking my mindset going into the next week is that I’ll be able to roll. We’re doing all the things right, right now, to make sure I’m as pain-free and not limited come Sunday, and that’s where we are.” If Adams plays and Allen Lazard, who was just activated off IR, is good to go, then it would be the first time the Packers’ top two receivers will play together since Week 2. — Rob Demovsky
The Vikings are a step closer to getting TE Irv Smith Jr. back after he missed the Chicago game with a groin injury. Kyle Rudolph saw a significant increase in targets (five) and finished as the Vikings’ second-leading receiver against the Bears. Smith was upgraded to limited in Wednesday’s light walk-through. Elsewhere, rookie right guard Ezra Cleveland was a DNP with an ankle injury, and center Garrett Bradbury (shoulder) was limited. — Courtney Cronin
Wide receiver Calvin Ridley was limited with a foot injury, so his status for the Saints game remains questionable. Ridley is a critical weapon for the Falcons, who face a New Orleans team that still has the potential to put a lot of points on the board without QB Drew Brees. In Atlanta’s last game before the bye with Ridley out, TE Hayden Hurst was the leading receiver with eight catches. With Ridley and Julio Jones, the Falcons have a better chance of pulling off the upset. — David Newton
QB Teddy Bridgewater likely will go down to a game-time decision with the sprained right knee suffered in Sunday’s loss to Tampa Bay. He was moving better on Wednesday after swelling went down, but he still was limited to working mostly with trainers on the side. If he can’t play, the plan is to use both backups, Will Grier and P.J. Walker, to get a clearer picture of who is the true No. 2 since both have served in that capacity this season. Coach Matt Rhule said he’s confident both can win in the NFL. — David Newton
The Saints had a lengthy injury list on Wednesday that will be worth monitoring throughout the week, but QB Drew Brees is the headliner. He will miss an unspecified amount of time after suffering broken ribs and a punctured lung Sunday, a source told ESPN’s Ed Werder. The Saints have not announced their plans for replacing him, though coach Sean Payton suggested that Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill will both have a role. Most likely we’ll see Winston as the starter with some Hill packages sprinkled in like we saw in the second half of last Sunday’s game. — Mike Triplett
The Bucs did not practice Wednesday, with coach Bruce Arians giving them an extra day to recover since they’re playing Monday night. Starting right guard Ali Marpet remains in the concussion protocol, but he’s still expected to practice on a limited basis this week. They’re hopeful he can be back after he missed the past two games — and with the Rams’ Aaron Donald lining up against them this week. — Jenna Laine
By ruling defensive tackle Jordan Phillips out for Thursday night’s game against the Seahawks, the Cardinals’ already-thin line got even thinner, especially after Wednesday’s news that Corey Peters will be out for the year with a knee injury. That leaves the Cardinals with Josh Mauro, Trevon Coley and Angelo Blackson as the only healthy defensive linemen on the roster. — Josh Weinfuss
The Rams placed three starters on injured reserve this week, including left tackle Andrew Whitworth, safety Taylor Rapp and kicker Kai Forbath, but otherwise coach Sean McVay said, “We’re as healthy as really any team in the league.” It’s not anticipated that any other player is in danger of missing Monday night’s game against the Buccaneers. In Forbath’s absence, the Rams signed Matt Gay and he will compete with Austin MacGinnis to take over at kicker. — Lindsey Thiry
Adam Schefter explains that starting Nov. 21, the NFL plans to intensify its coronavirus protocols to reduce team gatherings and ensure safety.
The 49ers are on a bye, but the extra week off could bring a handful of meaningful reinforcements, including receiver Deebo Samuel, running backs Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman and cornerback Richard Sherman. Coach Kyle Shanahan is hopeful that all four will be able to get back on the field for the Nov. 29 game against the Los Angeles Rams. That would be a boon for a team that is 4-6 and dangling on the periphery of the postseason picture. — Nick Wagoner
The Seahawks list starting running back Chris Carson as questionable for Thursday night’s game vs. Arizona, but a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that he’s unlikely to play. The good news for Seattle’s banged-up backfield is that Carlos Hyde will play for the first time since he and Carson were hurt in Week 7. The Seahawks’ run game hasn’t been the same with rookie DeeJay Dallas and Travis Homer, who lack the physicality of Carson and Hyde and are better suited for complementary roles. Hyde was a full participant the past two days. “Feeling really good that Carlos will be out there,” coach Pete Carroll said. — Brady Henderson