Only four teams remain in the NFL postseason with three games left to play — including Sunday’s AFC and NFC championship games — and per usual this time of the year given the physical grind playing an NFL season, there are some key injuries.
The respective availabilities for Pro Bowlers Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews, Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey and San Francisco 49ers do-it-all wide receiver Deebo Samuel are up in the air.
Below is an update on the league’s final four who are fighting for a spot in Super LVIII out in Las Vegas.
Odds courtesy of SportsLine consensus.
Sunday, 3 p.m. ET (CBS, Paramount+)
Chiefs: DT Derrick Nnadi (tricep), WR Skyy Moore (knee), WR Kadarius Toney (hip, ankle); LB Willie Gay Jr. (neck), S Mike Edwards (concussion), G Joe Thuney (pec), G Trey Smith (illness), RB Isiah Pacheco (ankle, toe), QB Blaine Gabbert (oblique), CB L’Jarius Sneed (calf). Ravens: TE Mark Andrews (ankle), CB Marlon Humphrey (calf), LB Del’Shawn Phillips (shoulder), WR Tylan Wallace (knee), CB Rock Ya-Sin (knee)
Andrews underwent ankle surgery on Nov. 21 following an injury he suffered in a Baltimore’s 34-20 win against the Cincinnati Bengals back in Week 11. He hasn’t played since, but he did practice every day last week: limited on Tuesday and practiced fully on Wednesday and Thursday. Andrews entered the divisional round as questionable, but he did not play. However, Andrews was again a full participant to begin this week heading into the AFC Championship and there’s optimism that he will be activated off injured reserve.
On top of potentially getting Andrews back on offense, the defense could get a boost with the return of their Pro Bowl safety. Humphrey hasn’t played since suffering a calf injury against the Miami Dolphins in Week 17, but was limited on Wednesday. The only player missing from Baltimore’s opening practice due to injury was receiver Wallace (knee).
Chiefs 2023 First-Team All-Pro left guard Joe Thuney suffered a strained pectoral muscle in Kansas City’s AFC divisional-round win at the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, per NFL Media. He did not participate in the first practice of the week and ESPN reported on Wednesday that Thuney is unlikely to play on Sunday, but that he is “going to work like crazy to play.”
On top of Thuney, Kansas City was missing defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi (tricep), receiver Skyy Moore (knee), safety Mike Edwards (concussion) and running back Isiah Pacheco (ankle, toe) did not practice Wednesday. Meanwhile, linebacker Willie Gay Jr., who aggravated a neck injury he was dealing with in the lead-up to the game against the Bills, was limited along with Blaine Gabbert and L’Jarius Sneed.
Detroit Lions at San Francisco 49ers (-7)
Sunday, 6:30 p.m. ET (Fox, fubo)
Lions: LG Jonah Jackson (knee, OUT for Sunday), C Frank Ragnow (ankle, toe, knee, back), WR Kalif Raymond (knee), LB Alex Anzalone (shoulder, ribs), Josh Reynolds (ribs)49ers: WR Deebo Samuel (shoulder)
The top-seeded San Francisco 49ers did not have Pro Bowl wide receiver Deebo Samuel out on the practice field on Wednesday. He suffered a shoulder injury on Saturday night against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC divisional round, and he did not return to the game after being further examined. On Wednesday, head coach Kyle Shanahan did say their star “feels better,” but his status for the NFC Championship is still up in the air.
His presence is critical to the 49ers’ Super Bowl hopes as the team is 8-9 when he doesn’t play since drafting in 2019. That includes being 0-2 this season when he can’t suit up. San Francisco averaged 7.1 yards per play with Samuel on the field in 2023 and 5.6 yards per play with him on the sideline. Samuel’s 8.8 yards after catch per reception led all NFL wide receivers this season.
The 49ers also designated defensive tackle Kalia Davis to return off injured reserve on Wednesday after injuring his ankle against the Cardinals on Dec. 17.
The Lions ran a walkthrough practice on Wednesday, so their initial practice report is an estimation. Guard Jonah Jackson was listed as a non-participant and head coach Dan Campbell said on Monday that he will not suit up on Sunday. However, he could have a chance to play in the Super Bowl if the team advances past San Francisco. He suffered a knee injury in the second quarter against Tampa Bay on Sunday.
Also not participating was tight end Sam LaPorta (knee), receiver Kalif Raymond (knee), and center Frank Ragnow (ankle, toe, knee, back). The Pro Bowl center suffered a sprained knee and a sprained ankle against the Buccaneers in the NFC divisional round, according to NFL Media. However, he played through them last week and is likely to do so again on Sunday against the 49ers with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line. His presence is critical to everything the Lions do as Pro Football Focus rates him as the best center in the NFL with an 88.9 offensive grade.