Tagovailoa, Jackson Ruled Out of Playoff Openers
A long, challenging regular season is in the books and now there are 14 teams left vying for the Super Bowl.
With the Los Angeles Rams missing the playoffs, there will be no repeat champion once again. The New England Patriots are the last back-to-back Super Bowl winners, capturing the NFL title following the 2003 and 2004 seasons.
The title contenders all have some injury issues. The biggest news is that quarterbacks Tua Tagovailoa of the Miami Dolphins and Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens have been ruled out of this weekend’s games.
The NFL playoff odds have the Kansas City Chiefs (+350) and Philadelphia Eagles (+550) among the front-runners in the odds to win the Super Bowl. The Chiefs and Eagles have first-round byes as they have a week to get healthier.
Keep on reading for more on the NFL injuries and updates of who could be in and who could be out or limited in the wild card action.
Let’s check the latest NFL picks, stats, injury reports, and NFL predictions. We’ve plenty of NFL expert picks for you to consider.
Time for the Understudies
The Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens head into the postseason without their starting quarterbacks.
A concussion has Miami’s Tua Tagovailoa, who was leading the NFL in passing efficiency, out for the matchup against AFC East rival Buffalo.
Former MVP Lamar Jackson’s knee injury will keep him out of action for the showdown with Cincinnati, a matchup of the top two teams in the AFC North.
remains unstable. I’m still in good spirits, as I continue with treatments on the road to recovery. I wish I could be out there with my guys more than anything but I can’t give a 100% of myself to my guys and fans I’m still hopeful we still have a chance. 💜💜
— Lamar Jackson (@Lj_era8) January 12, 2023
Making matters worse is that there are concerns about the backups as well.
Teddy Bridgewater and Skylar Thompson are expected to be available for Miami, even though Bridgewater has been slowed by injury. Tyler Huntley of Baltimore did practice on a limited basis as he deals with wrist and shoulder issues.
When looking at the Las Vegas odds, there have been significant line movement in both the Miami-Buffalo and Baltimore-Cincinnati games. The Bills went from being favored by 10½ points to being a 14-point favorite. There was also a three-point move in the Ravens-Bengals game, with Cincinnati now favored by 10½ points.
The Bengals will be without starting guard Alex Cappa due to a leg injury while Baltimore hopes to have the services of running back Gus Edwards.
Veteran cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters are trending in the right direction for Baltimore and that could be crucial in trying to slow down Cincinnati’s explosive passing offense.
Los Angeles Chargers head coach Brandon Staley took some heat for playing some of the star players in the regular-season finale against Denver even though the result had little impact on the playoff seeding.
Edge rusher Joey Bosa (groin) and receiver Mike Williams both went down during the game.
Bosa has been upgraded to probable while Williams is questionable. There are probable tags on cornerback Bryce Callahan (groin), third-leading tackler Kenneth Murray (neck) and fullback Zander Horvath (ankle).
There is a chance that left tackle Rashawn Slater could return to action after going on injured reserve with a biceps injury in late September.
The NFL betting lines continue to list the visiting Chargers as slight favorites against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Stars Appear Ready to Go for Bucs
Tampa Bay has had an injury-plagued season. Perhaps some good news is about to arrive as star receiver Mike Evans (illness), fellow receiver Julio Jones (probable), left tackle Donovan Smith (foot), cornerback Carlton Davis and safety Mike Edwards (hamstring) have all recently been upgraded to probable.
There have been positive reports on defensive tackle Vita Vea as he works his way through a calf injury while center Ryan Jensen has a chance to return as well.
Receiver Russell Gage, offensive lineman Robert Hainsey and safety Logan Ryan are among the other Tampa Bay players listed as questionable for the matchup with Dallas.
For Dallas, linebacker Leighton Vander Esch (shoulder) and center Tyler Biadasz (ankle) are probable while defensive end Demarcus Lawrence (foot) and offensive tackle Tyron Smith (knee) are questionable
Good News for Seahawks
There have been some key players missing time for Seattle in recent weeks. However, most of the news in the injury department is positive.
Offensive linemen Damien Lewis (ankle) and Abraham Lucas (kee), running back Kenneth Walker (ankle), receiver Tyler Lockett (shin), cornerback Tariq Woolen (ankle), defensive lineman Al Woods (Achilles) and linebacker Bruce Irvin (pectoral) are all probable.
It is a similar deal for their opponents.
San Francisco running back Christian McCaffrey (knee), defensive linemen Arik Armstead (foot), Javon Kinlaw (knee) and Kevin Givens (knee), offensive lineman Aaron Banks (ankle) and linebackers Dre Greenlaw (back), Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles (neck) are listed as probable.
Seattle tight end Noah Fant is questionable due to a knee injury and that could be an issue considering that fellow tight end Will Dissly is on injured reserve.
Protection Plan in Question
Tagovailoa is not the only injury-related issue with the Dolphins.
Offensive linemen Terron Armstead (toe), Kendall Lamm (ankle), Brandon Shell (knee) and Liam Eichenberg (arm) are questionable and that is not good news against an aggressive Buffalo front seven, even if the Bills will be missing star pass rusher Von Miller.
Miami is hoping to have pass rushers Bradley Chubb (ankle) and Jaelen Phillips (toe) available, although it is not looking promising for leading rusher Raheem Mostert (thumb) to be suiting up.
Cook Looks Ready to Go
While running back Dalvin Cook is listed as questionable after leaving the Vikings‘ last game with a knee injury, all signs point to him being good to go for Sunday’s matchup with the Giants. Cornerback Cameron Dantzler (ankle) and safety Harrison Smith (knee) are also questionable.
The New York Giants rookie offensive tackle Evan Neal (ankle) is questionable as is Azeez Ojulari (ankle), who is second on the team with 5½ sacks, and defensive lineman Leonard Williams (neck).