The NFL Divisional Round games are coming this weekend, with a lot of incredible action on tap. Getting ready for the all-important contests is going to be challenging for a couple of teams, though, as they’re trying to overcome injuries and COVID-19 issues that have crept up late in the season. As football fans and sports gamblers get ready to lock themselves away in front of the TV this weekend, knowing who is going to be able to take the field can make a big difference.
Bills Straighten The Line For This Weekend
The Buffalo Bills are going to be without Zack Moss, who was forced to take an early exit due to injury. He might be replaced by Devonta Freeman, who just made an entry to the team’s practice squad, similar to how he was picked up by the New York Giants last year. Across five games, he picked up 172 yards and just one touchdown, and the Bills would like to see him do much better if they’re to win against the Baltimore Ravens. In addition to losing Moss, the Bills still aren’t sure if Cole Beasely, Stefon Diggs, Tremaine Edmunds or Ed Oliver will be on hand for the game.
Michael Dunn and Robert Jackson are now on Injured Reserve for the Cleveland Browns, a team that surprised the Pittsburgh Steelers last weekend. They can’t afford to take any more losses after a number of players weren’t in the Wild Card game due to COVID-19. Both Dunn and Jackson helped secure the win for the Browns against the Steelers, so losing them would be a big problem against a superior Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
Bucs Healthy, Saints A Little Banged Up
Linebacker Deone Bucannon, kicker Greg Joseph, guard Ted Larsen and cornerback Herb Miller are the only players listed as questionable for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers right now. That’s a good sign, since all four are practice squad players. With the Bucs and Tom Brady taking on the New Orleans Saints this weekend, they will need every player they can get to counter a defense that has proven to become stronger as the season has progressed.
The Saints are likely to play without Michael Thomas. The star wide receiver suffered an ankle injury and is currently listed as out for the upcoming game. Along with him, Davenport Marcus and Chase Hansen are also listed as out, each one dealing with an injury. Taysom Hill suffered a concussion in the team’s Week 17 game, but could be eligible to play if needed.
The LA Rams meet the Green Bay Packers this Saturday and are still trying to figure out who will be on the field. A walk-through practice yesterday didn’t include either Aaron Donald or quarterback John Wolford, which means Jared Goff might be back in this weekend. Goff is playing with three pins in his thumb and showed some difficulty against the Seattle Seahawks last weekend, but not enough to prevent his team from cruising to a win. Goff is practicing this week and will need all his strength to take on the Packers.
Packers Have No Issues This Weekend
For their part, the Packers are getting things in order. Za’Darius Smith, Allen Lazard and Equanimeous St. Brown had limited participation in the team’s practice yesterday. Coming off a first-round bye in the postseason, is ready for almost anything the Rams can throw at them. Still, they brought in Jared Veldheer from the Indianapolis Colts’ practice squad just in case they need some extra assistance on the line.
The Ravens are confident that Matt Judon and Marcus Peters will be back in action before this Saturday, even though they didn’t participate in the team’s walk-through yesterday. Baltimore’s game against the Bills should be one of the better games this weekend.
The Kansas City Chiefs are keeping pretty quiet about who is in and who’s out. However, Anthony Hitchens and Mike Danna are now off the reserve/COVID-19 list, which should give the team some extra help on defense – if they need it.