Monday NFL preview: Ravens, Falcons hit with crushing injuries

D'Qwell Jackson, Patrick DiMarco get game balls following Colts' comeback win (1:43)

Colts LB D'Qwell Jackson earned a game ball for forcing a fumble assisting his team with a win, and Falcons FB Patrick Dimarco would earn the game ball for the Falcons. (1:43)

NFL Nation reporters look ahead to what Monday has in store for each team.


Buffalo Bills: The Bills have a prime opportunity Monday night in New England to improve their playoff position with an upset win over the undefeated Patriots. Helping Buffalo's cause Sunday were losses by the Jets and Dolphins. Given the Bills' head-to-head wins over both of their AFC East opponents, improving to 6-4 on Monday night them a firm advantage over both New York and Miami in the AFC playoff race. -- Mike Rodak

Miami Dolphins: After falling to 4-6 Sunday, Dolphins linebacker Kelvin Sheppard said, "We're going to finish 10-6 and somehow claw and fight to get into these playoffs." There is still a surprising amount of optimism within Miami's locker room, but the reality is the team must win six in a row to have a good shot at the postseason. The team has to quickly turn the page and focus on winning the next game against the Jets. The Dolphins are 0-4 against AFC East foes this season. -- James Walker

New England Patriots: One area to watch for Monday is if the Patriots make a roster move with defensive tackle Chris Jones (calf) or linebacker Dane Fletcher (torn ACL), who opened the year on the physically unable to perform list but began practicing 20 days ago. The team has until Tuesday to make a decision on whether to put them on IR or the 53-man roster, and could consider a move Mondayif they were considering an injured-reserve type situation with No. 3 cornerback Justin Coleman (hand injury). -- Mike Reiss

New York Jets: Center Nick Mangold, who sustained a deep laceration between his pinkie and ring fingers, will have an MRI to determine if there's any ligament and/or tendon damage on his right (snapping) hand. Cornerback Darrelle Revis will have to go through the concussion protocol this week after leaving the game Sunday. Coach Todd Bowles said he'd have a quarterback choice after his Monday staff meeting. He's leaning toward Ryan Fitzpatrick, but he hedged a bit. -- Rich Cimini


Baltimore Ravens: Quarterback Joe Flacco suffered a season-ending knee injury on the game-winning drive of Sunday's 16-13 win over the Rams. That means the Ravens (3-7) will turn to Matt Schaub, who will start his first game since 2013. Coach John Harbaugh came to the defense of Schaub. "Matt Schaub can play quarterback and he's going to come in and he's going to play very well," Harbaugh said. "Those who want to consider themselves amateur evaluators, they can say what they want. We'll rally behind Matt." -- Jamison Hensley

Cincinnati Bengals: When they return to Paul Brown Stadium on Monday, the Bengals will have a full training room as they try to determine health statuses of cornerbacks Adam Jones and Darqueze Dennard. They'll be curious to see what happens with safety Shawn Williams, too. Dennard and Williams were hurt in Sunday night's game at Arizona, while Jones missed the game due to an injury he suffered last week. -- Coley Harvey

Cleveland Browns: The Browns have one more off day before preparing for Monday night's game against Baltimore. They will face an injury-ravaged Ravens team at home that will be without noted Browns tormentors Joe Flacco and Justin Forsett. -- Pat McManamon

Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers have to like their playoff chances coming out of the bye week. With the Jets losing to the Texans, the Steelers will be one of five AFC teams with a winning record if the Bills lose to the Patriots on Monday Night Football, as expected. Knowing Sunday's matchup with Seattle comes with huge implications, the Steelers should return from the bye refreshed and ready for the stretch run. One of the most beat-up teams through the first 10 games can return in relative good health. -- Jeremy Fowler


Houston Texans: Texans owner Bob McNair was impressed with the Texans' game plan against the Jets, which involved a great deal of trickery. "It really made a difference and caught them off guard," McNair said. "I thought the coaching staff did a great job." Houston remains tied for first in the AFC South with a winnable game at home against New Orleans on deck. -- Tania Ganguli

Indianapolis Colts: The Colts hope to have an update on the injury status of cornerback Vontae Davis and left tackle Anthony Castonzo. Both players left Sunday's game against Atlanta in the fourth quarter with their injuries. Davis suffered a hamstring injury and Castonzo is dealing with a knee problem. Darius Butler replaced Davis as the Colts' second cornerback, and they moved Joe Reitz to left tackle, while Jack Mewhort played right tackle after Castonzo left the game. -- Mike Wells

Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jaguars had the weekend off after beating Tennessee on Thursday night. Their task is to start getting ready to face San Diego and quarterback Philip Rivers, who is 4-1 with 11 touchdowns and only four interceptions in his career against the Jaguars. -- Mike DiRocco

Tennessee Titans: The Titans get back to work after a weekend off with an extra practice on Monday. Receiver Kendall Wright, who has missed the last three games with a sprained knee, will run and the Titans are optimistic he will rebound well. If so, he'll be in line to return to the lineup for the Oakland game on Nov. 19. -- Paul Kuharsky


Denver Broncos: With quarterback Brock Osweiler under center for just over 50 snaps in Sunday's win over the Bears, or more than Peyton Manning has been under center all season, the Broncos found the run game they've said is possible in their offense. They rushed for 170 yards in the victory, 102 of those from Ronnie Hillman. The Broncos also ran the ball 36 times and Osweiler threw it 27 times, and that's just about the run-pass split they'd like with Osweiler behind center. -- Jeff Legwold

Kansas City Chiefs: If De'Anthony Thomas, who was removed early from Sunday's game against the Chargers because of a concussion, isn't ready for next week's game against the Bills, the Chiefs need to review their choices for punt and kickoff returner. They used Jeremy Maclin to return punts and Chris Conley to return kickoffs after Thomas left the Chargers game. -- Adam Teicher

Oakland Raiders: The Raiders are four games behind the Broncos in the AFC West. Their wild card hopes are faint after three straight losses. Things looked promising at 4-3, not so much after three straight defeats. With just one catch for four yards, rookie standout Amari Cooper had his worst game of the season in the loss to the Lions. -- Bill Williamson

San Diego Chargers: Mired in a six-game losing streak, even San Diego's veteran players are reaching a breaking point. Quarterback Philip Rivers and tight end Antonio Gates had a heated conversation on the sideline during San Diego's 33-3 loss to the Chiefs. Rivers said afterward that the two were fine, and the difference of opinion was just part of the heat of the battle. "What was said really doesn't matter," Rivers said. "Brothers fuss and fight, for any of you that have brothers. I love Antonio, and I think he will tell you the same thing." -- Eric D. Williams


Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys will be back on the practice field today with the Panthers visiting AT&T Stadium on Thursday. While the Cowboys were pleased with Sunday's win against Miami, they know there is plenty of work to be done to climb out of their hole in the NFC East. If they can end the Panthers' undefeated season, they could be right in the mix in the NFC East by the end of Week 12. To be a factor, the Cowboys will need Tony Romo to be as timely as he was against the Dolphins and the running game (166 yards, 38 carries) to be as dominant as it was. -- Todd Archer

New York Giants: Sunday's games couldn't have gone much better for the resting Giants. Philadelphia and Washington both lost, which means at 5-5 the Giants have a full-game lead on both second-place teams in the NFC East. The Cowboys won to move to 3-7 and aren't all the way out of it yet, but they won't be an issue if the Giants win their games. This Sunday brings a road game in Washington. The Giants are 5-0 against Washington since the start of the 2013 season, and 13-24 against everyone else. -- Dan Graziano

Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles will be back on the practice field Monday, trying to shake off their 45-17 loss to Tampa Bay Sunday. Quarterback Sam Bradford would have to be cleared through the NFL concussion protocol in order to practice. With a game Thursday, it seems likely that Mark Sanchez will start his second game against the Lions on Thanksgiving. -- Phil Sheridan

Washington Redskins: The Redskins have more than injuries to worry about when it comes to the run game. Running back Alfred Morris left Sunday's game in the first quarter after aggravating a rib injury; he said after the game that he was "good" and it's uncertain if he'll miss any time. Still, the nagging aspect is a concern. So, too, is the fact that backup Matt Jones has now fumbled four times this season. If Morris remains banged up, it's hard to trust Jones at this point -- but the Redskins don't have much of a choice. -- John Keim


Chicago Bears: Reserve running back Ka'Deem Carey suffered a concussion in the Bears' loss to the Broncos, which further highlights the need for Matt Forte (knee) to return for Thursday night's game at Green Bay. Forte participated in an extensive pregame warmup on Sunday, and barring an unforeseen setback, appears on track to play against the Packers. The Bears will also monitor the health of wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (groin/shoulder) on Monday. Chicago obviously missed Jeffery's big-play potential against the stingy Broncos' defense. It's a quick turnaround for the Bears. The team practices Tuesday and Wednesday before departing for Green Bay. -- Jeff Dickerson

Detroit Lions: The Lions won back-to-back games for the first time this season -- scoring 18 points in each -- but now have a quick turnaround before Thursday's Thanksgiving game against Philadelphia. The Lions have been a stingy defense the past two weeks as well, holding opponents to under 20 points, led by cornerback Darius Slay and defensive end Ezekiel Ansah. -- Michael Rothstein

Green Bay Packers: Eddie Lacy and James Jones, two Packers players who had all but disappeared during the three-game losing streak, gave the Bears something to think about when game-planning for Thursday's Thanksgiving game at Lambeau field. Lacy showed some of his old explosiveness in Sunday's win over the Vikings, and Jones finally got involved in the offense again. It gave them the kind of balance they lacked. -- Rob Demovsky

Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings allowed six sacks on Sunday, and with left tackle Matt Kalil nursing a toe injury, they'll have to once again evaluate their pass protection before a key game with the Falcons next Sunday. The Falcons are 31st in the league in pressuring opposing QBs, according to ESPN Stats and Information, but few quarterbacks have been under more heat than Teddy Bridgewater. -- Ben Goessling


Atlanta Falcons: The Falcons have to be concerned about losing running back Devonta Freeman to a concussion on Sunday. A concussion typically means a player will miss at least a week, which could mean no Freeman against Minnesota next Sunday. And depending the extent of the concussion, there's a possibility he could miss multiple games. The Falcons need the balance Freeman brings with the run game, plus he leads the team with 11 touchdowns. And rookie Tevin Coleman, with two fumbles lost in the last five games, just doesn't appear to be running with confidence right now. -- Vaughn McClure

Carolina Panthers: The Panthers begin a short-week of preparation on Monday for a Thanksgiving Day game at Dallas. First on the agenda is determining whether defensive end Charles Johnson (hamstring) will be activated from injured reserve with a designation to return. He appears ready, but it's not a done deal. Left guard Amini Silatolu will undergo an MRI on his left knee that is believed to be a mild sprain. Andrew Norwell (hamstring), the player Silatolu has replaced the past few weeks, appears set to return. -- David Newton

New Orleans Saints: The bye week gave the Saints (4-6) a chance to do some tinkering. Two of their top priorities should be making better use of their top two free agent signings -- cornerback Brandon Browner and running back C.J. Spiller. Both have unique skill sets, but the Saints have not properly maximized either one. Browner, a physical press cornerback leads the NFL with 17 penalties called on him, and he has been beaten deep too often. The Saints need to figure out how to take advantage of his press coverage skills without letting his lack of speed get exposed down the field. On the flip side, the need to maximize Spiller's speed and shiftiness in more creative ways to at least keep defenses off balance. Coach Sean Payton said the Saints prefer Mark Ingram over Spiller as a pass protector. But Spiller is averaging just six touches per game, which is surprisingly low. -- Mike Triplett

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Kwon Alexander was able to play -- and play extremely well. He made 10 tackles for the Buccaneers during their blowout victory in Philadelphia, but the news could be grim Monday with Alexander facing a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs. Losing their starting middle linebacker for four games with only six remaining would hurt the momentum the Bucs (5-5) gained Sunday. -- Andy Jasner


Arizona Cardinals: The Cardinals proved -- again -- they can come from behind in the second half to beat a top-flight team. But Sunday's over the Bengals was Carson Palmer proving he could put aside a bad first half and the emotion of playing his former team to win in a potential Super Bowl 50 matchup. Arizona is now 8-2, three games ahead of Seattle in the NFC West. -- Josh Weinfuss

St. Louis Rams: The season is quickly sliding away from the Rams after they suffered their third straight loss Sunday, this time against the Ravens. The loss followed an all-too-familiar pattern where the defense kept the Rams in it and the offense did next to nothing. Which means the Rams will again turn their attention to attempting to fix a woeful offense in short order before playing AFC contender Cincinnati next week. -- Nick Wagoner

San Francisco 49ers: With quarterback Colin Kaepernick on season-ending Injured Reserve, Blaine Gabbert owns the Niners' starting QB gig for the rest of the season. And after looking more comfortable as the game went on Sunday -- a 29-13 loss to the Seahawks -- does it feel different for Gabbert going forward? "My mindset stays the same," Gabbert said. "It's one week at a time, one day at a time, one practice at a time. ... you can't look ahead, you can't get ahead of yourself. It's really just step by step in the NFL." -- Paul Gutierrez

Seattle Seahawks: Thomas Rawls will need some time to recover after carrying the ball 30 times for 209 yards in the Seahawks' victory over the 49ers. He still has a relatively small body of work, but every time Rawls gets a chance, he looks like he could be a viable option to eventually replace Marshawn Lynch. At 5-5, the Seahawks are still alive for a wild-card spot with a huge matchup against the Steelers looming next weekend. -- Sheil Kapadia