As some teams make a late push towards the playoffs, they have been forced to deal with injuries to their best players. Clubs like the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers need wins in their final games to play beyond the regular season, but they might have to do so without one of their top stars.
Below are updates for some of the top players on the Week 16 injury report.
The news for the Packers’ quarterback is the same that it has been for the past few weeks. Rodgers has yet to be medically cleared for action, and the team will prepare to start Matt Flynn. Head coach Mike McCarthy said that Rodgers's broken collarbone would be evaluated by the team doctor on Wednesday. The Packers are still in playoff contention, so it doesn’t look like there’s any chance of Rodgers being shut down for the remainder of the season. The Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions are both in serious contention for the NFC North division crown.
Fitzgerald suffered a concussion in his team’s win over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. The Arizona Cardinals’ wide receiver got injured during and onside kick when he collided with Jackie Battle. Fortunately for the Cardinals, it looks like Fitzgerald will be good to go in Week 16. He passed his concussion tests on Monday and hopes to get the same news from an independent neurologist on Tuesday. The Cardinals need Fitzgerald more than ever, as they trail the final NFC wild card spot by one game with two left to play.
In Week 15, the running back missed his first game of the year with a sprained right foot. The injury, though, isn’t expected to force him to sit out any longer. Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier said Peterson should be ready to play on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. Without Peterson, as well as backup Toby Gerhart, the Vikings managed to score 48 points in a win against the Philadelphia Eagles. They struggled on the ground, though, rushing for 85 yards on 35 attempts.
As the Dallas Cowboys make a late push to win the NFC East, their defense has been miserable, allowing 82 points total in the last two games. Lee didn’t play in Sunday’s loss, and could be out for much longer than that. The neck injury will likely keep out the linebacker for Week 16, and Cowboys executive vice president told 105.3 The Fan that Lee is a “long shot” to suit up. Owner Jerry Jones is even more pessimistic, telling KRLD-FM that he’s “very concerned” Lee will miss the remainder of the season.
Welker’s second concussion forced him to miss the Denver Broncos’ "Thursday Night Football" game with the San Diego Chargers. The wide receiver did not practice on Monday, and his status for Sunday is still unknown. The Broncos only scored 20 points without Welker, which was their lowest output of the season.