Wednesday NFL preview: Where is Gronk?

Gronkowski absent from Pats practice Tuesday (1:39)

Michele Steele reports that Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski was not seen on the practice field Tuesday afternoon, and the reasons for his absence are unknown at this time. Steele also provides injury updates on both Tom Brady and Julian Edelman. (1:39)

With the wild-card games over, eight teams remain in the playoffs. NFL Nation reporters look ahead to what Wednesday has in store for each playoff team.


Kansas City Chiefs: Coach Andy Reid said linebacker Justin Houston was having problems with his bulky brace and not the knee itself during Saturday's game in Houston. "Getting the right tension on it bruised up his leg a little bit," Reid said. "That's just [a matter of him] getting used to it. It's not that big of a deal." -- Adam Teicher

New England Patriots: Where is Gronk? That's the question many in New England are asking after TE Rob Gronkowski was the only player not spotted at Tuesday's full-pads practice. Because the Patriots don't have to submit an injury report until Wednesday, they don't have to declare the reason for his absence, which simply could be precautionary. -- Mike Reiss

Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers just finished a Bengals game stocked with big hits, and now they must answer to the Broncos, who are upset with a late hit by Cody Wallace in the Dec. 20 meeting with Denver that drew a hefty fine. Broncos safety Darian Stewart said he'll make sure Wallace is "sore" after Sunday's AFC divisional round. The Steelers seem to invite the physicality. They also seem to thrive off it, which could help them this week as they work through injuries. Running back DeAngelo Williams is questionable to play with a lingering foot injury. -- Jeremy Fowler

Denver Broncos: With the statuses for Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (shoulder) and WR Antonio Brown (concussion) still murky, the Broncos will have to be flexible in their defensive preparations this week. When healthy, for example, Roethlisberger looks to push the ball down the field in the passing game, with deep drops and plays that take slightly longer to develop. If his shoulder injury means he's compromised in the throws he can make, the Broncos defense will have to be ready to defend more quick throws. -- Jeff Legwold


Green Bay Packers: An already difficult challenge got tougher when the Packers learned they almost certainly won't have receiver Davante Adams on Saturday against the Cardinals because of a sprained MCL in his right knee. Coach Mike McCarthy will likely have to prepare for cornerbacks Patrick Peterson and Jerraud Powers to cover Randall Cobb and James Jones. That could mean more opportunities for Jared Abbrederis, who is expected to fill the No. 3 WR role with Adams out. -- Rob Demovsky

Arizona Cardinals: In a strange twist, the Cardinals unexpectedly lost one of their most effective pass rushers for the rest of the season. Outside linebacker Alex Okafor was placed on the non-football injury list Tuesday with a toe injury. When asked about it, coach Bruce Arians simply said to ask Okafor. -- Josh Weinfuss

Seattle Seahawks: In the Week 6 matchup against the Panthers, the Seahawks got scores from Marshawn Lynch and Ricardo Lockette, while TE Jimmy Graham had 140 yards receiving. Graham and Lockette are out for the season, and Lynch's status is up in the air for Sunday's game. Instead, Russell Wilson will rely on Doug Baldwin (12 touchdowns in his last seven games) and rookie Tyler Lockett against Carolina. -- Sheil Kapadia

Carolina Panthers: Carolina offensive coordinator Mike Shula says it's important to get starting running back Jonathan Stewart back because he's so tough to bring down and because of what he adds in terms of pass protection. Stewart's big test after missing the last four regular-season games with a sprained foot comes on Wednesday when he returns to practice in a role other than rehabbing. Stewart is expected to play on Sunday against Seattle barring a setback. -- David Newton