The 2019 NFL playoff races are narrowing the potential field each week, and a number of key starters are battling injuries.
Get the latest scoop from inside NFL locker rooms on who's in and who's out for Week 12.
How long will Ty Nsekhe be out? The Bills' right tackle was carted off the field Sunday with an ankle injury, and Sean McDermott described his status as "week-to-week" as the team prepares to play the Broncos on Sunday. It's not likely that Nsekhe plays this week, and his status for Week 13 is uncertain as well, considering the Bills will play Dallas on a short week. Cody Ford will presumably take all reps at right tackle in Nsekhe's stead. Also, special-teams stalwart Siran Neal is in concussion protocol; his absence was felt Sunday, when the Dolphins returned a kickoff for a touchdown and nearly did it again later in the game. -- Marcel Louis-Jacques
The Dolphins placed veteran safeties Reshad Jones and Bobby McCain on injured reserve this week, making secondary a glaring issue for this team Sunday and moving forward. That makes three starters, including Xavien Howard, in the secondary gone for the season. Who will replace the two safeties? Versatile defensive back Eric Rowe is likely to move into a full-time safety role, with Steven Parker stepping in to the spot opposite him. -- Cameron Wolfe
Wide receiver Mohamed Sanu, who has also been handling punt-return duties, was not present at Wednesday's practice after he was banged up in Sunday's win over the Eagles while returning a punt. If Sanu is unavailable this week, the Patriots will need Phillip Dorsett II -- who was knocked out of Sunday's win by a head injury -- to return quickly. Dorsett was present for the start of practice Wednesday. Also, rookies N'Keal Harry and Jakobi Meyers would see expanded roles pending the health of the two veterans. -- Mike Reiss
The biggest issue, as usual, is the offensive line. Right tackle Chuma Edoga (ankle) didn't practice Wednesday and is considered day-to-day. If he can't play, former starter Brandon Shell will return to the lineup. Left tackle Kelvin Beachum (ankle) is practicing, but he isn't 100 percent and has been grinding through an injury that has lingered for weeks. -- Rich Cimini
Defensive tackle Michael Pierce, who is dealing with an ankle injury, missed just his third game of his four-year career on Sunday. The Ravens are holding out hope that he can return for Monday night's game against the Rams. "I'm kind of counting on him right now," coach John Harbaugh said. "But you just never know how healing is going to go." If Pierce can't play, veteran run-stopper Domata Peko will start for the second straight week. -- Jamison Hensley
In a surprising twist, Cordy Glenn could be starting for the Bengals this weekend. The left tackle hasn't seen the field since he was diagnosed with a concussion in the middle of the preseason. Since then, he reportedly got into a dispute with the coaching staff, was suspended for a game and was a healthy scratch for the Week 10 loss at Oakland. But it appears that he is fully recovered from the concussion, made amends around the team facility and can help an offensive line that gave up five sacks to the Raiders. "Everybody is on the same page," Bengals coach Zac Taylor said. "We're excited to see what he can provide for us this week." -- Ben Baby
Due to Thursday's melee with the Steelers, the Browns are completely depleted along the defensive line, with Myles Garrett suspended for the season and Larry Ogunjobi out on a one-game suspension. That makes the healthy return of defensive end Olivier Vernon (knee) all the more important. But Vernon was unable to practice yet again Wednesday, dimming his chances of being cleared to play Sunday against the Dolphins. -- Jake Trotter
How will JuJu Smith-Schuster's injury affect the Steelers' wide receivers? Although Smith-Schuster hasn't had the most productive season, he has at least attracted a good amount of attention from defenses, freeing up other receivers. But Smith-Schuster's availability is in doubt for Sunday's game against the Bengals as he deals with a concussion and a left knee injury that requires a bulky brace. Although the Steelers will have to absorb his likely absence with a cast of lesser-known receivers, there is at least some good news on the injured receiver front: Diontae Johnson (concussion) fully practiced Wednesday, and fellow receiver James Washington expects him to be able to go Sunday. -- Brooke Pryor
Will wide receiver Will Fuller V and cornerback Bradley Roby return from multiweek hamstring injuries? Neither made the trip to Baltimore on Sunday, but head coach Bill O'Brien said they both have a chance to play against the Colts on Thursday and will be game-time decisions. -- Sarah Barshop
The Colts could be getting a boost on offense. Receiver T.Y. Hilton, who has missed four games this season, including three straight because of a calf injury, is questionable for Thursday's key AFC South game at Houston after being listed as a full participant Wednesday. Hilton did not practice Monday or Tuesday. How good has Hilton played in Houston? He has owned the Texans there in his career: nine receptions, 199 yards (2018); five receptions, 175 yards (2017); nine receptions, 223 yards (2014); seven receptions, 121 yards (2013). -- Mike Wells
Bell: Expect Wilkins to play on Thursday
Stephania Bell anticipates that Jordan Wilkins will play Thursday and is hearing that it's possible T.Y. Hilton will play.
The Jaguars are in bad shape at tight end after placing rookie Josh Oliver (back) on IR, and Seth DeValve missed Wednesday's practice because of an oblique injury. The only healthy tight ends are Ben Koyack, undrafted rookie Charles Jones (promoted from the practice squad) and Nick O'Leary, who signed on Monday. That group has a total of 11 catches (including DeValve's six). -- Mike DiRocco
Tight end Delanie Walker (ankle) practiced for the first time in three weeks. He was a limited participant but looked smooth while running routes in the open portion of practice. Walker said Monday that the goal is to be back for the Jaguars game. Jonnu Smith has filled in nicely while Walker is out. Having Walker back would give them a potent 12 personnel package. Meanwhile, Corey Davis (hip), Jayon Brown (groin) and Jurrell Casey (shoulder) were full participants. -- Turron Davenport
Broncos coach Vic Fangio said Ja'Wuan James is "50-50'' to play Sunday in Buffalo with a knee injury he has dealt with for much of the season. James has played just 32 snaps in two games this season, but his continued absence is a bigger issue this week, given that the Broncos' line is banged up overall. Center Connor McGovern and guards Ron Leary and Dalton Risner were all held out of Wednesday's practice. Fangio said he expected all three to be ready to play against the Bills on Sunday, but the Broncos were so thin during practice Wednesday that Corey Levin, who is on the team's practice squad, was taking snaps with the starters in some of the drills. -- Jeff Legwold
Having a bye this week gives Tyreek Hill a much better chance of playing in next week's game against the Raiders, one that could decide first place in the AFC West. Hill left the Monday night game against the Chargers because of a strained hamstring. The injury doesn't appear serious, but it might have prevented him from playing if the Chiefs had a game this weekend. -- Adam Teicher
All-pro safety Derwin James has been out since the start of the regular season on the injured reserve with a fractured right foot that required surgery. However, James has been doing change-of-direction drills with the Chargers' training staff the past few weeks and will continue to work at the team's facility during the bye week with the hope of returning at some point before the end of this season. "I'm not going to say he'll be back because I don't like to put a timetable on it," Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said. "But there's a chance." -- Eric D. Williams
Nickel cornerback Lamarcus Joyner, who missed Sunday's win over the Bengals because of a hamstring injury suffered against the Chargers on Nov. 7, sat out Wednesday's walkthrough. Still, the absence was an "estimation" because it was a walkthrough and Joyner was on the field during warm-ups, working on his backpedal and starting and stopping. Nevin Lawson started for Joyner in the slot and would figure to get the assignment again against the Jets should Joyner be forced to miss a second straight game. -- Paul Gutierrez
Amari Cooper went through drills in Wednesday's practice for the first time in two-plus weeks, which is a positive sign. He has played through a knee injury, but practice time is important, especially with the test he faces Sunday at New England. Right tackle La'el Collins (sprained MCL) did not practice Wednesday, but the team is hopeful that he will be able to play Sunday against New England, which would be a boost for a line that has protected well all season and is facing a multiple-front defense. Left guard Connor Williams could also be back in the lineup after missing last week's game because of knee surgery. Xavier Su'a-Filo was OK filling in for Williams, but it looks like the Cowboys will turn back to the second-year player against the Patriots. -- Todd Archer
There is good news and bad news for the Giants' offense. Tight end Evan Engram (foot) didn't practice Wednesday, and wide receiver Sterling Shepard (concussion) was a full participant. It appears that Shepard is on the verge of a return after missing five games. "A lot of times what happens is they get cleared at the end of the week [and practice] with the anticipation that they will be cleared," coach Pat Shurmur said. So it's looking good for Shepard. Not so much for Engram, who did some light running on the side with a trainer for the first time since suffering the injury. He's probably going to need another week to be ready. -- Jordan Raanan
Lane Johnson remains in concussion protocol following a head injury suffered in a Week 11 loss to the Patriots. Rookie Andre Dillard, who has been working at left tackle, is taking first-team snaps at right tackle this week in the event that Johnson can't play against Seattle. That happens to be the side on which Jadeveon Clowney lines up most of the time, making this a key situation to watch. -- Tim McManus
Defensive lineman Daron Payne, who has been arguably Washington's best defensive player this season, did not practice because of a right ankle injury suffered Sunday. He was in a walking boot Monday. Fellow lineman Jonathan Allen also didn't practice, but he said it was mostly for rest. It helped the line that Tim Settle practiced after missing Sunday with a hamstring injury. But losing Payne would be a big blow. His effort shows up week after week, routinely sprinting back into plays and making tackles 10 to 15 yards downfield. He has been their best inside threat, even though he has just one sack. -- John Keim
The Bears are calling quarterback Mitchell Trubisky (right hip pointer) "day-to-day," but it seems likely that Trubisky will be healthy enough to start against the Giants on Sunday. "I feel a lot better," Trubisky said Wednesday. "Day and night [compared to when I suffered the injury Sunday in Los Angeles]. If I feel good, I'm going to go [against New York]." Trubisky is also playing through a slightly torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder, but head coach Matt Nagy does not believe that Trubisky would benefit from being shut down for the final six weeks. -- Jeff Dickerson
Yates: Trubisky's hip injury has no fantasy impact
Stephania Bell, Field Yates and Mike Clay discuss how Mitchell Trubisky's playing status has no effect on the fantasy value of key Bears players such as Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel.
Matthew Stafford (back) remains on the same plan as last week. He'll be at practice but not practicing -- at least not Wednesday. But the way Matt Patricia made it sound, it doesn't seem like Stafford will be back this week. The bigger question is whether he'll return at all this season and how Detroit's record (currently 3-6-1) plays into that. "For us, it's probably, maybe a different conversation as you get closer toward the end of the season," Patricia said. "Right now, where we're at, we're just focused on this week and just worried about kind of everything that affects us for this week." Detroit is beat up at a lot of places as Tracy Walker (knee), Da'Shawn Hand (ankle), Trey Flowers (concussion) and Frank Ragnow (concussion) all didn't practice Wednesday. The ones to watch would be Hand and Ragnow, given that concussion protocol dictates practice procedures before they can play. If Flowers can't go, the Lions' pass rush becomes close to nonexistent (he's tied for the team lead in sacks, with five). Ragnow would be replaced by Graham Glasgow. Glasgow's shift would mean Kenny Wiggins enters the lineup at guard. -- Michael Rothstein
All 53 players practiced Monday upon returning from the bye week, and two days later, the only ones not on the field were for veteran rest: Jimmy Graham and Tramon Williams. Davante Adams has two games under his belt following his return from a turf toe injury, and after staying in Green Bay for the bye to get treatment, his injury should be as good as it's going to get. "I think it speaks to the support that we have around this organization in terms of helping keep our guys healthy," coach Matt LaFleur said. "I think it speaks to our players taking care of their bodies. With anything like that, there's also some luck that's involved there, too. We're in pretty good shape right now." -- Rob Demovsky
The Vikings appear hopeful at the prospect of getting Adam Thielen back after the bye, which would benefit this offense in a big way as it heads to Seattle in Week 13. Thielen has missed the better part of five games since injuring his hamstring in the first quarter at Detroit in Week 7, and in his absence, offensive coordinator Kevin Stafanski has upped Minnesota's tight end usage and gotten rookie receiver Bisi Johnson involved in the mix. Harrison Smith injured his hamstring in the second half versus Denver, so the time off will certainly be beneficial for him, Anthony Harris (groin) and Josh Kline (concussion). Linval Joseph continues to recover from the knee surgery he underwent prior to the Dallas game, but it could be a few more weeks before he's ready to return. -- Courtney Cronin
Wide receiver Julio Jones popped up on the injury report Wednesday with a foot injury and was held out of practice. Jones, who appeared to stop and flex his right foot during Sunday's win over Carolina, had a noticeable limp as he walked out to observe practice, but he did some light stretching and didn't appear to have a look of concern. Jones has had foot issues in the past and has been given Wednesdays off at times, so there doesn't appear to be a sense of panic. But it will be interesting to see what Dan Quinn says about the injury Thursday and to see if Jones returns to practice. The Falcons rested Matt Ryan on Wednesday after his second game back after a sprained right ankle. It could be Quinn resting his key players, with Sunday's game against Tampa Bay followed by a quick turnaround and Thanksgiving night matchup with the Saints. -- Vaughn McClure
Panthers cornerback Ross Cockrell missed Sunday's game against Atlanta and did not practice Wednesday because of a quad injury, making him at best questionable for New Orleans. Although he started only when Donte Jackson and James Bradberry couldn't, Cockrell had been getting plenty of reps and was valuable because he can play outside corner and nickel back. Not having him hurt the team's depth at a thin position. -- David Newton
Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore's status remains in doubt after he missed Wednesday's practice because of a hamstring injury. The Saints have held up surprisingly well without Lattimore the past six quarters, thanks to experienced replacements such as P.J. Williams. But they will still be much better off when Lattimore returns, given that he has played at a Pro Bowl level this season while routinely matching up against No. 1 receivers. -- Mike Triplett
Quarterback Jameis Winston was a full participant in Wednesday's practice despite suffering a sprained left ankle. He said it won't be an issue this week against the Falcons, despite its impacting his ability to step into some throws against the Saints. "When it's time to play football, I'm here to play football," Winston said. Outside linebacker Carl Nassib, who has been out with a groin injury, is progressing and was limited Wednesday, and Jason Pierre-Paul missed practice due to a knee injury, which is new. -- Jenna Laine
Two Cardinals will really benefit from this week's bye. Running back Chase Edmonds is going through the final stages of his recovery, and the extra days off will likely have him ready for Arizona's game against the Rams on Dec. 1. Linebacker Terrell Suggs will also be able to use the extra days to get healthy. He has been dealing with back and hamstring issues that kept him off the practice field last week. -- Josh Weinfuss
The Rams remain uncertain about the status of receiver Robert Woods ahead of their Monday night matchup against the Ravens. Woods was placed on the inactive list only hours before kickoff Sunday because of a personal issue and remained absent from practice on Wednesday. Sean McVay has been unable to provide any clarity on a return date for Woods. -- Lindsey Thiry
The 49ers have major injury questions at multiple positions, with tight end George Kittle (knee, ankle), receivers Emmanuel Sanders (ribs) and Deebo Samuel (shoulder), running back Matt Breida (ankle), left tackle Joe Staley (finger) and defensive end Dee Ford (hamstring) all expected to be last-minute decisions, according to coach Kyle Shanahan. None of them practiced Wednesday, but Sunday's game being flexed to night could help at least a few of them get back on the field for a huge matchup with the Packers. "I'm just glad we've got four more hours for Kittle and Deebo and Emmanuel to rest and recover," Shanahan said. -- Nick Wagoner
Sanders' fantasy value uncertain due to injury
Field Yates, Mike Clay and Stephania Bell have concerns about Emmanuel Sanders' fantasy value due to the uncertainty of how many snaps he will play.
Tyler Lockett was limited in practice Wednesday as he continues to recover from a leg bruise, but Pete Carroll still thinks Lockett will play Sunday against the Eagles and said Lockett thinks so as well. Luke Willson is the biggest question for the Seahawks coming off their bye. Carroll sounded more hopeful on Wednesday of Willson's playing at Philadelphia than he did earlier in the week, though Ed Dickson's return off IR means the Seahawks are covered at tight end if Willson can't go. -- Brady Henderson