Biggest Week 3 injury questions for all 32 NFL teams: Latest on Johnson, Singletary, Williams and more

ByNFL Nation ESPN logo
Thursday, September 19, 2019

Quarterbacks around the league have fallen victim to a variety of maladies in recent weeks, and following Week 2, Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees and Cam Newton joined the ranks of passers on the shelf.

But there's more to the sport than just the players behind center, and just about every team has a key player in question as we look ahead to Week 3. NFL Nation reporters provide the latest intel from inside every locker room:

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Buffalo Bills

Running back Devin Singletary left Sunday's game with a hamstring injury, the extent of which was enough to keep him out of the Bills' practice Wednesday. With two practices to go before Buffalo's Week 3 home opener against the Bengals, Singletary will probably need to turn in at least a limited practice or two for this staff to feel comfortable playing the rookie Sunday. Without him, Frank Gore and T.J. Yeldon will shoulder the load at running back. -- Marcel Louis-Jacques

Miami Dolphins

Wide receiver Albert Wilson missed Sunday's game and Wednesday's practice with a calf injury, and it appears he could be on track to miss his second consecutive game if it doesn't rapidly improve. Brian Flores said safety Reshad Jones was "close" to returning after missing Week 2's game with an ankle injury, but he too missed practice Wednesday. -- Cameron Wolfe

New England Patriots

Starting right tackle Marcus Cannon (shoulder) missed Sunday's win over the Dolphins, but he made the trip and worked out on the field before the game, which indicates he isn't far from returning to action. If that return comes this week, it would be a big help for an offensive line that has been hit by a string of injuries, with starting left tackle Isaiah Wynn landing on injured reserve Tuesday. Another player to keep an eye on is fullback James Develin, who didn't participate in practice Wednesday. Develin missed a series of snaps in Sunday's win as he was examined in the medical tent on the sideline. -- Mike Reiss

New York Jets

Where to start? Quarterback Luke Falk will make his first NFL start, replacing the ill Sam Darnold (mononucleosis) and the injured Trevor Siemian (ankle). The QB2 is David Fales, who was signed off the street Wednesday. Defensive tackle Quinnen Williams (ankle) is likely to return. The big question on defense is middle linebacker C.J. Mosley (groin), who was missed on many levels last week. Neville Hewitt would start in his place if Mosley is out again Sunday. -- Rich Cimini


Baltimore Ravens

Tight end Mark Andrews didn't practice Wednesday because of a foot injury, but there should be little concern of him sitting out Sunday's game against the Chiefs. Andrews, who leads all NFL tight ends with 220 receiving yards, missed a practice last week with the same injury, and he still produced a career-best 112 yards and a touchdown. The Ravens are trying to give him as much rest as possible so he'll be available on game day. -- Jamison Hensley

Cincinnati Bengals

Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green looks like he's closer to returning to the field after he suffered an ankle injury in the preseason. Last week, Green shed his protective boot and started running again. While Green appears to be making progress as expected, he wasn't practicing as of Wednesday and seems unlikely to be back for Sunday's game at Buffalo. "I was always hopeful he'd be back for the early portion of the season," Bengals coach Zac Taylor said. "I can't define what the early portion of the season is. Every time I see him, it looks like he's getting better." -- Ben Baby

Cleveland Browns

The Browns have two key starters going through concussion protocol in tight end David Njoku and safety Damarious Randall. Randall missed Monday Night Football, and Njoku was knocked out of the game in the first half. Both are big pieces in what the Browns do on their respective sides of the ball. But they will not be rejoining the field until they pass protocol. Also of note, Njoku is battling a wrist injury, and if he is out for an extended time, it would be a blow to the flow of Cleveland's offense. Njoku is currently seeking a second opinion on whether surgery is necessary. The Browns have had at least one tight end on the field for almost 98% of the time this season, and Njoku is a big part of that. "David is a good player, so definitely him being limited right now presents problems for us," coach Freddie Kitchens said. -- Jake Trotter

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers' week has been defined by injuries, with two starters going on IR. The most impactful, of course, is Ben Roethlisberger's season-ending elbow injury. Center Maurkice Pouncey said Roethlisberger had been dealing with the injury for a couple years. "Some days he'd come in, and he'd have a sore elbow," Pouncey said. "He's thrown a lot of football passes. Eventually it wears down on you." While Roethlisberger eyes a 2020 return, second-year player Mason Rudolph will take over as the starting quarterback. Sean Davis' shoulder injury directly contributed to the Steelers' decision to trade their 2020 first-round pick for defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick. With Davis on IR, Fitzpatrick will plug a hole at free safety and remain somewhat anchored there until he grasps more of the defense. "In the short term, we're not going to move him around a great deal," coach Mike Tomlin said. "This first time out we're going to anchor him down and allow him to focus on one position and put him in the very best position to be a positive contributor to our efforts this weekend that way." -- Brooke Pryor


Houston Texans

Left tackle Laremy Tunsil briefly left the Texans' Week 2 victory over the Jaguars on Sunday because of an ankle injury, but he said this week that he will be ready to play the Chargers. Tunsil was listed as limited on the Texans' injury report Wednesday. -- Sarah Barshop

Indianapolis Colts

All-Pro linebacker Darius Leonard remains in the concussion protocol after suffering the injury in the Week 2 game at Tennessee. The Colts had only a walk-through practice Wednesday. Leonardy will have to pass the NFL's protocol before he's cleared to play. Leonard leads the Colts in tackles, with 18. Rookie Bobby Okereke is the likely candidate to start if Leonard is out Sunday. -- Mike Wells

Jacksonville Jaguars

Cornerback A.J. Bouye is questionable with a hip injury and could miss his second consecutive game. If he's unable to go Thursday night, Tre Herndon would start in his place again. Herndon played well against Houston last week and is in line to be the full-time starter if and when the Jaguars trade Jalen Ramsey. -- Mike DiRocco

Tennessee Titans

Inside linebacker Wesley Woodyard is listed as questionable due to a quad injury. The veteran linebacker only played only 12 snaps against the Colts last week, after not practicing at all during the week. Although he is no longer a starter, Woodyard is one of the team captains and is in a rotation with Jayon Brown and Rashaan Evans for Dean Pees' defense. If he is not able to play, rookie inside linebacker David Long could see snaps. -- Turron Davenport


Denver Broncos

With the Broncos set to face the Packers and quarterback Aaron Rodgers, cornerback Bryce Callahan's availability remains in question. The Broncos built at least some of their defensive plan this past offseason around the idea that Callahan would play on the outside in the defense and Chris Harris Jr. could play in the slot. Callahan, who did not play in the preseason because of his foot injury and has not played in the Broncos' first two games, practiced on a limited basis Wednesday. When he hasn't been in the lineup, the Broncos have been forced to move Harris to the outside and move safety Kareem Jackson down into the slot when they go into the nickel. Callahan's availability would enable the Broncos to play the defense to its biggest strengths and allow the Broncos to play out of the dime (six DBs) in more down-and-distance situations, which is what they would like to do. Without Callahan, they were in the dime for just one snap in the loss to the Bears this past Sunday. -- Jeff Legwold

Kansas City Chiefs

Either Damien Williams or LeSean McCoy has been the Chiefs' featured back on 119 of 129 plays this season (92%). Neither participated in practice Wednesday, Williams because of a knee injury and McCoy because of a sore ankle. Darrel Williams and rookie Darwin Thompson, who between them have 10 plays this season, would be in line to get the work at running back Sunday against the Ravens if Williams and McCoy don't play. Thompson, a sixth-round draft pick, was impressive in training camp and the preseason and looked like he would get a portion of the work in the regular season until the Chiefs signed McCoy. Coach Andy Reid said he wants to make sure Thompson knows his assignments as a pass-blocker before he gets a lot of playing time. "As long as I feel like he knows what he's doing, I'm good with it,'' Reid said. "He'll stick it up in there and hit you. It's just a matter of seeing it. He's young, so he hasn't seen everything there is to see. He's getting there. I feel comfortable with him in there.'' -- Adam Teicher

Los Angeles Chargers

Out for the first two games because of a right groin issue, kicker Michael Badgley was a limited participant Wednesday and has a chance to play Sunday. Although Ty Long missed two field goals in a close loss to the Lions last week, coach Anthony Lynn said the Chargers would go with Long again if Badgley is not healthy enough to play. "Ty's confident, and we're very confident in Ty," Lynn said. "If we have to kick him again, we'll do it." -- Eric D. Williams

Oakland Raiders

For the Raiders this week, it's not a question of which front-line guy is hurt but which one is not hobbled by some sort of malady. Indeed, no fewer than six starters either sat out or were limited in Wednesday's low-key practice: right tackle Trent Brown (knee), cornerback Gareon Conley (neck), middle linebacker Vontaze Burfict (knee/shoulder), rookie running back Josh Jacobs (hip), receiver Tyrell Williams (hip) and returner Dwayne Harris (ankle). It's early in the week, for sure, but the injuries will test the Raiders' depth at this early junction of the season. -- Paul Gutierrez


Dallas Cowboys

Robert Quinn practiced for the first time since training camp after returning from his two-game suspension for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy. It was also his first practice since he broke his hand during a practice this summer in Oxnard, California. He said he hopes he does not need to wear extra protection, but the expectation is he will play Sunday against Miami. The Cowboys eased DeMarcus Lawrence, Tyrone Crawford and Byron Jones into action after they missed most of training camp coming back from injuries, and they could do the same with Quinn, but he at least had the base of a full offseason program and a little bit of camp. "If you ask a man what he can and cannot do, I'm sure he's going to tell you he can do everything," Quinn said. "If they need me to play 50, 60 snaps, that's what I have to do. You look at our D-line, we've got depth. We've got people who can play every position. At the end of the day, I'm just looking to help this team win. If it takes 10 plays or 50 plays, I just want to win." Elsewhere, it's looking as if the Cowboys will be down three defensive starters against Miami in safety Xavier Woods, defensive tackle Antwaun Woods and Crawford, who did not practice Wednesday. -- Todd Archer

New York Giants

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (concussion) was listed as a limited participant in practice Wednesday. He was on the field in a yellow no-contact pinnie and appears primed to return Sunday against the Bucs, barring a setback. The Giants desperately need Shepard, with rookie Daniel Jones set to make his first career start while Golden Tate remains suspended and Cody Latimer appears to be a long shot because of a concussion. -- Jordan Raanan

Philadelphia Eagles

Wide receiver DeSean Jackson is expected to miss two weeks with an abdominal strain, according to sources, andAlshon Jeffery and Dallas Goedert are iffy for Sunday's game against Detroit, both with calf strains. That means elevated roles for young wideouts JJ Arcega-Whiteside and Mack Hollinsand likely a heavier lean on the ground game while the pass-catchers get healthy. -- Tim McManus

Washington Redskins

Tight end Jordan Reed has missed the first two games because of a concussion, but he did practice Wednesday. However, don't celebrate his return just yet. The Redskins thought he'd be available in Week 2 all the way until Friday, so any optimism surrounding him must be muted. His absence alters Washington's game plan: "It takes us out of some packages that we really like, some of our three-tight end sets, and two-tight end sets were limited," Redskins coach Jay Gruden said. Also, corner Quinton Dunbar (left knee) did not practice, but fellow corner Fabian Moreau (ankle) did. The Redskins need one of the two healthy, with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie now on injured reserve. Gruden said Moreau is closer to returning than Dunbar. Moreau played the slot corner last season but might have to play outside if Dunbar can't go. They would leave rookie Jimmy Moreland in the slot. -- John Keim


Chicago Bears

The Bears hope to increase tight end Trey Burton's (groin) workload on Monday. Burton played 26 snaps (43%) in Chicago's win over Denver after being inactive Week 1. "It's the fact of him just getting into game shape," Bears coach Matt Nagy said. "He's been out of it so long. If you expect him to go into Denver there and play 60-70 plays, that's not happening. We knew we'd have a plan for him if he did play, how many reps we'd get him at, and that's kind of what we followed." Burton caught just two passes for 5 yards against the Broncos. -- Jeff Dickerson

Detroit Lions

The Lions are in pretty good shape, health-wise. Taylor Decker (back) and Jarrad Davis (ankle) were both limited on Wednesday but appeared to participate in individual drills, which is a good sign for Sunday against Philadelphia. The biggest concern might be defensive lineman Da'Shawn Hand (elbow), who missed the first two games and is going to be someone to pay attention to Thursday and Friday. Detroit seems to be on track to be close to full strength entering Week 3. -- Michael Rothstein

Green Bay Packers

With a Thursday game next week against the Eagles following this Sunday's game against the Broncos, the Packers opted not to practice Wednesday but instead conducted a walk-through. That made the injury situation tougher to distinguish, but one new name on the list of players who wouldn't have practiced was tight end Jimmy Graham. He's listed with a groin injury, though it's unclear when that happened because he was on the field to finish last week's game. In a sign of progress, inside linebacker Oren Burks was cleared to practice on a limited basis, which would be his first on-field action since he tore his pectoral muscle in the preseason. His return could be especially important, given the loss of Raven Greene to an ankle injury. -- Rob Demovsky

Minnesota Vikings

Mackensie Alexander (elbow) and Ben Gedeon (groin) remained sidelined in practice after missing Week 2 in Green Bay, but the good news for the Vikings' secondary is that cornerback Mike Hughes completed his second full practice since he tore his ACL on Oct. 14 of last season. Hughes says he feels "pretty healthy" and is ready to return when given the green light from coaches and doctors, which could be as soon as Week 3 vs. the Raiders. Although he'll wear a knee brace when he's back on the field, Hughes doesn't think it will limit his mobility in covering receivers. -- Courtney Cronin


Atlanta Falcons

Punter Matt Bosher is dealing with a groin injury that limited his effectiveness in the last game vs. the Eagles. Coach Dan Quinn said, "I would never bet against Bosher'' in terms of the punter's availability for Sunday's game at Indianapolis, but the Falcons won't know Bosher's status until he kicks on Friday. There is a backup plan, and it's not wide receiver Mohamed Sanu. The Falcons signed Matt Wile to the practice squad knowing he could punt, hold and handle kickoffs, if needed. The Falcons would have to elevate Wile by Saturday if he's going to replace Bosher. Elsewhere, right tackle Kaleb McGary did not practice with a left knee injury, though he was supposed to be limited. His status is in limbo, with Ty Sambrailo the likely starter if McGary can't go. -- Vaughn McClure

Carolina Panthers

Ron Rivera wasn't ready on Wednesday to rule Cam Newton (foot) out for Sunday's game at Arizona, but all indications are that backup Kyle Allen will get the start in his hometown. Newton has been going to team meetings and rehabbing the sprained left foot he reaggravated Thursday night against Tampa Bay, but he hasn't been on the field practicing. Allen has taken all the first-team snaps, and tight end Greg Olsen seems resigned to having the second-year player out of Houston start, saying, "We have a lot of confidence in him. ... It's going to be up to the rest of us to do our part.'' -- David Newton

New Orleans Saints

The Saints are thin at wide receiver, with backup Keith Kirkwood being placed on injured reserve and backup Tre'Quan Smith missing Wednesday's practice with an ankle injury. Starter Ted Ginn Jr. was also limited with a thigh injury. The Saints will be counting on third-year pro Austin Carr and undrafted rookie Lil'Jordan Humphrey (who was just promoted from the practice squad) to pick up the slack. On a positive note, the offensive line should be intact, with guard Andrus Peat (ankle) returning to practice on a limited basis Wednesday. -- Mike Triplett

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Inside linebacker Devin White (sprained MCL) did not practice Tuesday or Wednesday and is day-to-day, according to coach Bruce Arians, who would not rule him out for Sunday's game. Arians said cornerback Jamel Dean, who also missed practice with an ankle injury, is now running, which is a big step forward. Outside linebacker Shaq Barrett, whose 4.0 sacks are currently second in the NFL, was limited in Wednesday's practice with a groin injury; that's something worth keeping any eye on, considering he has recorded all of the Bucs' sacks so far this season. Quarterback Jameis Winston is dealing with a foot injury, but it has not impacted his ability to practice. He looked fine throwing on the run and in simulated pressure drills Wednesday. -- Jenna Laine


Arizona Cardinals

Running back David Johnson practiced in full Wednesday after suffering a left wrist injury Sunday in Baltimore, which was good news for the Cardinals. His wrist will be watched closely throughout the rest of the week, as will his status. Johnson has yet to have a breakout performance through two games, but he could be in line for one this week if his wrist is healthy. -- Josh Weinfuss

Los Angeles Rams

Right guard Austin Blythe and tight end Tyler Higbee are both day-to-day ahead of the Rams' Sunday night game against the Browns. Blythe suffered a low ankle sprain, and Higbee was diagnosed with a lung contusion following a Week 2 win over the Saints. If Blythe is unable to play, the interior of the offensive line would be made up of all first-year starters, with Jamil Demby likely replacing Blythe. If Higbee is unable to play, Gerald Everett will start in his role, and Johnny Mundt, who is typically inactive on game day, will be the backup. -- Lindsey Thiry

San Francisco 49ers

After missing most of the preseason because of tendinitis in his left knee, defensive end Dee Ford had a flare-up in that same knee last week against Cincinnati. Ford did not practice Wednesday, and his status for Sunday will be determined later this week, though coach Kyle Shanahan said he is "somewhat optimistic" that Ford will be able to play against Pittsburgh. The Niners invested a lot to acquire Ford in the offseason, and his presence is important in their quest to get to 3-0. With a Week 4 bye following Sunday's game, the 49ers might prefer to play it safe and let him rest this week, buying him extra time off to be closer to full strength in Week 5. But that bye would also allow him time to recover if he can make it through against the Steelers. -- Nick Wagoner

Seattle Seahawks

Right guard D.J. Fluker is dealing with a minor ankle sprain, while defensive tackle Poona Ford has a calf injury that kept him out Sunday at Pittsburgh. Pete Carroll said Wednesday that both are practicing and believe they'll play against New Orleans. Fluker was able to finish the Steelers game, which is an especially good sign. The Seahawks already expect edge rusher Ezekiel Ansah to make his debut this week, so Ford's return would put their defensive line even closer to full strength. -- Brady Henderson

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