Assessing the injury reports

What we know about Sunday’s lineups based on Friday’s injury reports:

  • Jacksonville will be without outside linebacker Daryl Smith, right tackle Cameron Bradfield, running back Rashad Jennings, defensive ends Austen Lane and George Selvie. Smith is a big absence, especially considering the way the Jaguars struggled to tackle. Corner Derek Cox (hamstring) is questionable and could help in that department as well. Left guard Eben Britton (ankle) is also questionable. With Bradfield out, we’ll see Guy Whimper (or, if they surprise us, waiver claim Troy Kropog) on the right side. Undrafted rookie interior lineman Mike Brewster wasn’t bad last week when called into duty.

  • The Texans have 12 players listed as probable and are in pretty good shape. Outside linebacker Bryan Braman (hamstring) is questionable. His absence could affect special teams, but barring injuries to front-liners it won’t affect the defense.

  • The Titans will be without play-making middle linebacker Colin McCarthy (ankle), with Will Witherspoon shifting to the middle and Zach Brown and/or Zac Diles on the weakside. They should get much-improved defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks back from a knee injury. San Diego won’t have nickel corner Shareece Wright and will use Mike Harris at left tackle with Jared Gaither (back) out. Harris should mean a favorable matchup for pass-rusher Kamerion Wimbley.

  • Dwight Freeney is out for the Colts, which means Jerry Hughes and perhaps Mario Addison will work as the rush linebacker in the 3-4. Major drop off. Left guard Joe Reitz (knee) is out again, so we could see Seth Olsen again or newcomer Trai Essex. T.Y. Hilton is probable and should get some return work as well as receiver snaps. Austin Collie, still coming back from a concussion, had a setback and is doubtful. The Vikings don’t have anyone listed as a starter categorized as worse than probable.