After losing three games in a row and barely holding on to a wild card spot in the AFC North, the Pittsburgh Steelers are in strong need of a win. But, they find themselves listed as 1.5-point underdogs for the first time this season against Phillip Rivers and the Indianapolis Colts in the early window of games this Sunday. That is due, in part, to injuries, a problem that many of the teams in the NFL are still facing.
Week 15 Injuries Impact Playoff Odds
Big Ben Roethlisberger is going to have to get better as well, he has not looked to be 100% for a couple of weeks now. But at least Ben was still out there playing. Running back James Conner is out with a quad injury and head coach Mike Tomlin said in an interview on Tuesday that the team hopes to see him for the upcoming game with the Colts this Sunday.
Star linebacker Vince Williams has been out on the COVID-19 list and offensive lineman Kevin Dotson has an injured shoulder. Tomlin also hopes to have them both back for this critical game with the Colts.
In their losing battle against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday night, tight end Eric Ebron had to be carted off the field with a bad back and Derek Watt has gone into concussion protocol until further notice.
The San Francisco 49ers have placed running back Raheen Mostert on injured reserve after he suffered one of those elusive high-ankle sprains. This is a blow to the 49ers already-struggling offense. Mostert has played in 8 games so far this season and accounted for 667 yards and three touchdowns on 120 touches.
However, that’s not all for the 49ers coaching staff to endure. Nick Mullens, who has been doing a respectable job of standing in for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, will have to undergo elbow surgery and rehab before he can take the field again. So, C.J. Beathard will be starting at QB for San Fran when they take on the Arizona Cardinals and try to keep up with scrambling quarterback Kyler Murray on Sunday afternoon.
On the defensive side, tackle Javon Kinlaw banged up his knee and veteran cornerback Richard Sherman did not practice on Tuesday for some undisclosed reason.
Vikings Want Kendricks Back This Friday
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer told reporters that injured linebacker Eric Kendricks could be out for the season. However, he remains hopeful that Kendricks can play against the Saints on Christmas Day after missing the last three games.
Running back Alex Mattison is out with concussion protocol while tight end Kyle Rudolf has hurt his foot and may not be available for the Saints game on Friday.
The surprising Cleveland Browns have put offensive lineman Chris Hubbard on injured reserve after he managed to tear some ligaments in his knee. Hubbard is done for this year.
Fractured Throat Keeps Ragnow Out
Center Frank Ragnow of the Detroit Lions is meeting with a specialist in hopes that they can fix his fractured throat, which sounds just awful. Head Coach Darrell Bevell still hopes that he can play against the Buccaneers in a Saturday game this week.
Chargers coach Anthony Lynn announced this week that the team does not have any intention of shutting defensive end Joey Bosa for the season because he has suffered another concussion. The Chargers coach added that tackle Bryan Bulaga, who also is in concussion protocol, and linebacker Denzel Perryman, who has a bad back, are both expected to be at practice this week.
The Carolina Panthers have placed guard Dennis Daley on injured reserve, but they are getting back defensive tackle Zach Kerr who has been on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Defensive end Austin Edwards of the Atlanta Falcons has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list
And finally, Cardinals linebacker Haason Reddick has an injured shoulder and veteran Larry Fitzgerald suffered a strained groin and did not practice on Tuesday.