The Steelers are two-touchdown favorites against the Bengals. But points may not come so easy for them. Superstar wide receiver Antonio Brown did not practice on Friday because of a sore knee. He’s listed as ‚questionable.‘ On the flip side, the Bengals will still be without their two best wide receivers and starting quarterback. John Ross leads active receivers with all of 209 yards. On defense, Cincy misses starters Dre Kirkpatrick at cornerback and Vontaze Burfict at linebacker. Still, the „under” may merit consideration given the banged-up talent on both offenses.
For Chicago, safety Eddie Jackson has not practiced all week with an ankle injury and he’s listed as ‚doubtful.‘ He’s one of Chicago’s top defensive playmakers, so his absence would be a big deal. When Chicago held on for a 25-20 victory against Minnesota, his pick-six ended up making the difference. He ranks second in the NFL in interceptions. Chicago will also likely miss Allen Robinson, who leads Chicago receivers in yards, despite playing in only 13 games. It seems unlikely that Robinson and Jackson will play through their injuries because Chicago has already clinched a playoff spot. For Minnesota, linebacker Eric Kendricks will miss his second consecutive game. The big question mark is starting cornerback Xavier Rhodes. He practiced for the first time, although in a limited manner, on Friday. He’s listed as ‚questionable‘ with groin issues.
A lot is being made of Andrew Luck’s perfect record against the Titans. But he may be without some key supporters. Star wide receiver T.Y. Hilton did not practice on Friday and will likely be a game-time decision. He’s listed as ‚questionable‘ with ankle problems. Center Ryan Kelly has been ruled ‚out,‘ although the Colts get their starting right guard back from injury. On defense, starting corner Nate Hairston did not practice and is listed as ‚questionable.‘ For Tennessee, the big question mark is quarterback Marcus Mariota. Mariota practiced on Thursday and Friday, although he was limited both days. On defense, the Titans will continue to miss linebacker Brian Orakpo. During the week, they also placed Pro Bowl defensive lineman Jurrell Casey on IR. Without Orakpo and Casey, the Titans miss two of their three leaders in sacks. Casey was also a high-ranked interior defender who was crucial against the run, which has presented problems for the Titans defense.
For the Eagles, Sidney Jones has been ruled ‚out.‘ He’s their fourth injured cornerback. Starting linebacker Jordan Hicks is a big question mark. He had practiced on Wednesday, but experienced a set-back with his calf on Thursday. He was limited in Friday’s practice and is listed as ‚questionable.‘ For Washington, the injury problems on the offensive line continue. Its left tackle Ty Nsekhe has been ruled ‚out.‘ Guard Tony Bergstrom may join him. Leading pass catcher Jordan Reed is already on injured reserve, wide receiver Maurice Harris will also be absent, tight end Vernon Davis is listed as ‚doubtful,‘ and wide receiver Josh Doctson is ‚questionable.‘ With 499 yards, Doctson is Washington’s leading pass-catcher after Reed.’ If he were to miss this game, third-string quarterback Josh Johnson would be heavily reliant on Jamison Crowder. Crowder leads the Washington pass-catchers who are definitely healthy with 381 yards. The Eagles need to win and hope for Minnesota to lose. Washington would love to spoil its rival’s playoff hopes.
The Jaguars’ offensive line will consist of backups and backups’ backups. It has suffered yet another injury. Tackle Josh Wells has been ruled ‚out.‘ The Jags will likely also miss star running back Leonard Fournette. In four of the games he missed, they failed to exceed seven points. The repeatedly injured Fournette is listed as ‚doubtful‘ and it seems unlikely that he’ll try to play through injury for a game that doesn’t mean anything to Jacksonville. Quarterback Blake Bortles regains his starting job. On defense, starting corner A.J. Buoye has been ruled ‚out‘ and the next-best corner, D.J. Hayden, is listed as ‚questionable.‘ Motivation has often been a question mark for Jacksonville. Even if its beleaguered defense shows up, a team total ‚under‘ bet seems reasonable. Houston will want to win this game in order to clinch the AFC South and should have no problem shutting down Jacksonville’s offense.