NFL Week 9 Injury Report


Some familiar names once again headline the injury watch this week, this could — finally — be the last week on the injury report for some of them.

And no position has seen more fluctuation than wide receiver, where a couple of players out for numerous weeks may finally get back to game action while another has the Colts holding their breath for the next month.

And in the AFC West, one former Super Bowl MVP quarterback won’t be seeing the field again this season, while another quarterback who seems destined for his own Super Bowl glory may have fans in Kansas City enjoying home games again.

10. Ravens WR Marquise Brown
STATUS: Questionable (ankle)
LEVEL OF CONCERN: Moderately confusing
NEXT MAN UP: After missing the Ravens’ last two games, Brown was by all accounts expected to be ready for Sunday night’s showdown with New England, practicing on a limited basis both Wednesday and Thursday. But then came Friday, and Brown appeared as “did not practice” on the Ravens’ final injury report. His absence from the field led even team beat writers to wonder whether Brown really is as close to game action as most believed. Coach John Harbaugh told reporters later Friday he still expects Brown to play. The Ravens certainly could use him against a Patriots defense playing at a historic pace. New England leads all NFL defenses in points allowed (7.6), sacks (31) and interceptions (19).

9. Packers WR Davante Adams
STATUS: Questionable (toe)
NEXT MAN UP: Could this finally be the week? After missing four games with his toe injury, Adams appears as close as ever to returning to the football field. He practiced every day this week — albeit on a limited basis — and was listed as questionable on the final injury report. Speaking with reporters Friday, coach Matt LaFleur said that Adams has looked good this week and added that the final determination on whether Adams will play Sunday against the Chargers in Los Angeles will be made “90 minutes before kickoff.”

8. Eagles WR DeSean Jackson
STATUS: Questionable (abdomen)
NEXT MAN UP: Out since Week 2, Jackson has been increasingly down to the wire when it comes to his playing status, with Eagles head coach Doug Pederson declaring him out for Week 8 last Friday. But this Friday, Pederson told reporters “I’m optimistic that he’ll go” when Philadelphia hosts Chicago. Since Jackson’s 154-yard effort in the opener, the Eagles’ best game by a receiver was 107 yards by Nelson Agholor in Week 2. Among the Eagles who have the led the team in receiving yards in a game this season are tight ends Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert and running back Miles Sanders.

7. Vikings WR Adam Thielen
STATUS: Questionable (hamstring)
NEXT MAN UP: After Thielen missed a game for the first time in his career win Week 8, the Vikings will have had 10 days off between that Thursday night win over Washington and this Sunday’s game in Kansas City against the Chiefs. Thielen has practiced all week on a limited basis, and told reporters on Wednesday, “I feel good, I feel like it’s progressed.” The reasons Thielen’s injury doesn’t register higher on the concern level are that the Chiefs have lost three straight at home, Kansas City’s passing defense is middle of the pack in the NFL, and in Thielen’s absence last week, running back Dalvin Cook stepped up with 73 yards on five receptions.

6. Texans OL Tytus Howard & Laremy Tunsil
STATUS: Questionable: (Johnson, knee; Tunsil, shoulder; both game-time decisions)
LEVEL OF CONCERN: Low, but still concerned
NEXT MAN UP: There may be no need for a next man up this week. After missing the last two weeks with a partially torn MCL in his left knee, Howard has a chance to play Sunday against Jacksonville in London. Tunsil was injured during last Sunday’s win against Oakland, and is a pivotal part of the offense as quarterback Deshaun Watson’s blindside protector. With Watson’s vision perhaps an issue heading into the game after he was kicked in the face against the Raiders, Tunsil’s availability is even more critical. The Jaguars sport one of the top pass rushes in football, and valuable Texans utility lineman Greg Mancz has already been ruled out.

5. Broncos QB Joe Flacco
STATUS: Out (injured reserve — neck)
NEXT MAN UP: While losing your starting quarterback for the remainder of the season, and handing the offense to a person who has never taken a regular-season snap in the NFL, would be ample reason to put the concern level through the roof, this is no ordinary situation in Denver. Flacco, acquired in a trade with Baltimore in the offseason, was never a long-term solution for the Broncos. And with Denver sitting at 2-6, the team needs to see what it has in backup Brandon Allen. Though Allen has never played in a game, he is 27 and spent the last two seasons with the Rams.

4. Panthers QB Cam Newton
STATUS: Out (foot)
NEXT MAN UP: Finding a next man up has been anything but a problem for the Panthers, as second-year quarterback Kyle Allen got his career off to a historic start while keeping Carolina more than just afloat in the NFC South. The more alarming issue is Newton’s injury itself. Panthers coach Ron Rivera told reporters Friday that Newton flew to Green Bay, Wis., to meet with a foot specialist as the former NFL MVP grows frustrated with lack of improvement in his foot. One thing the Panthers do have going for them is they host the Tennessee Titans — and their 25th-ranked passing defense — this Sunday.

3. Steelers RB James Conner
STATUS: Doubtful (shoulder)
NEXT MAN UP: One of the leading candidates to be the next man up would be rookie Benny Snell Jr. But Snell is out with a knee injury. Then there’s backup Jaylen Samuels, but he is still dealing with the repercussions of October knee surgery and isn’t 100 percent. Add in fullback Roosevelt Nix (questionable, knee) and starting guard Ramon Foster (out, concussion) and the Steelers running game looks like it could be a mess when the Indianapolis Colts come to town Sunday. Trey Edmunds could also be in line for more carries, though he has all of one carry for zero yards this season.

2. Colts WR T.Y. Hilton
STATUS: Out (calf)
NEXT MAN UP: Whoever does step up for the Colts in Hilton’s absence better be ready for the long haul, as Hilton is expected to be out 3-4 weeks. There are plenty of reasons for the Colts — who sit a half-game ahead of Houston atop the AFC South — to be particularly concerned right now. Among the players quarterback Jacoby Brissett will look to get more involved in the offense are receivers Zach Pascal, Chester Rogers, Parris Campbell and perhaps Deon Cain (a group not likely to strike fear in many defensive coordinators out there). But if history is any indication, it may not matter whom the Colts turn to. Indianapolis is 0-5 without Hilton in the lineup since they drafted him in 2012.

1. Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes
STATUS: Questionable (Knee)
NEXT MAN UP: After starting off 4-0, Kansas City is 1-3 in its last four games, has lost three straight at home, and is hosting one of the league’s top defenses in the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. A fourth straight home loss would not only leave the Chiefs at 5-4, it would leave them in somewhat of an uphill battle to get a first-round bye. The Chiefs need Mahomes back. This week is already better than last, as Mahomes had been ruled out by Friday afternoon. Coach Andy Reid was tight-lipped with reporters about his quarterback this Friday, saying he “would see how (Mahomes is)” as Sunday nears. But he did add that the reigning NFL MVP “did good” in practice this week.