Week 7's biggest injury questions for all 32 NFL teams

Is Minnesota the NFC North favorite? (1:30)

Louis Riddick believes the Vikings are the team to beat in the NFC North following Aaron Rodgers' injury and explains how much the Packers' starting quarterback means to the team. (1:30)

NFL Nation reporters assess the biggest injuries across the league for Week 7.

NFC East | NFC North | NFC South | NFC West
AFC East | AFC North| AFC South | AFC West


Dallas Cowboys

Sean Lee will be back in action after missing two games with a hamstring strain, but left tackle Tyron Smith continues to deal with a back issue that kept him out of Wednesday's practice. The Cowboys say it isn't related to the disc issues that forced him to miss two games last season, but with rest, he should be able to continue to play Sunday in San Francisco. With Wednesdays being full-padded practices focused on the run game, this could be part of Smith's maintenance plan to get through the season. Coach Jason Garrett said the team is hopeful that Smith will be able to practice as the week goes on. -- Todd Archer

New York Giants

The Giants could really use Sterling Shepard back in the lineup, considering how short-handed they are at wide receiver. He returned to practice Wednesday in a limited capacity after missing last week's game with an ankle injury. Shepard said he worked at full speed, "felt good" and is going to play as long as he can operate at full speed. There seems to be a decent chance. -- Jordan Raanan

Philadelphia Eagles

Right tackle Lane Johnson has cleared concussion protocol and is on track to play Monday night against the Redskins. That's good news for Carson Wentz, as all three Panthers sacks last Thursday came off the right side in Johnson's absence. Running back Wendell Smallwood is hoping to play after missing the past two games, but the swelling in his knee will have to stay down as he tests it this week in practice. -- Tim McManus

Washington Redskins

Starting corners Josh Norman and Bashaud Breeland will be closely watched heading into Monday night's game in Philadelphia. Norman, who has already missed one game with a fractured rib, had just started lifting weights with his lower body and jogging lightly last week. The goal was to increase his exercise and running this week and be re-evaluated. There's a chance he'll play against the Eagles, but it's still a little early to express any level of optimism. The injury was supposed to sideline him two to four weeks, and as of Monday, it'll be two weeks. Breeland, who sprained his MCL, has a reputation as a fast healer. The last time he sprained his MCL was in training camp two years ago, but he returned at least a week early. Still, he also missed more than two weeks. If neither can't play, then rookie Fabian Moreau and third-year Quinton Dunbar would start. Running back Rob Kelley (ankle) is expected to practice this week after missing last week's game. -- John Keim


Chicago Bears

The Bears are likely to be without linebacker John Timu (knee/ankle), cornerback Sherrick McManis (hamstring) and wide receiver Markus Wheaton (groin) when they host the Panthers on Sunday, but they remain hopeful that linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski (chest) will return in the near future. Kwiatkoski was limited again at practice Wednesday after missing the past four games with a pectoral injury. Kwiatkoski would give the Bears extra depth at inside linebacker and on special teams, where the Bears figure to lose McManis -- the Bears' special-teams ace -- for at least the next couple games. -- Jeff Dickerson

Detroit Lions

The Lions' bye came at a much needed time. Even Jim Caldwell said that if Detroit had to play Thursday after the loss to the Saints, "it'd be really tough." Even playing Sunday would've potentially been difficult. Receiver Golden Tate (shoulder), safety Glover Quin (concussion) and left tackle Greg Robinson (ankle) are among the players who were hurt against New Orleans last week. It's entirely possible that had the Lions needed to release an injury report this week, 20 players would be on it. How many will get back for next Sunday's game against Pittsburgh? That's the biggest question for the Lions right now. -- Michael Rothstein

Green Bay Packers

It's impossible to pick just one, especially when there are 14 players -- including Aaron Rodgers and his broken collarbone -- on this week's injury report. But the focus should be on the offensive line, given how important it'll be to new starting quarterback Brett Hundley's success. Of the three starters who dropped out of last Sunday's loss at Minnesota, left tackle David Bakhtiari (hamstring) and right tackle Bryan Bulaga (concussion) at least practiced on a limited basis Wednesday. Left guard Lane Taylor (ankle) did not. Last Sunday was the first time the preferred starting offensive line started a game together this season, but it didn't last long. All eight offensive linemen on the active roster played last week. -- Rob Demovsky

Minnesota Vikings

Michael Floyd (hamstring) joined Stefon Diggs (groin) on the injury report this week, leaving Minnesota with five active receivers in practice. After missing practice last week and Sunday's game, Diggs remains the biggest injury concern despite Minnesota having three other non-participants on Wednesday: Sam Bradford (knee), Nick Easton (calf) and Anthony Barr (concussion/ankle). Diggs said last week that his groin injury is different than the one he sustained in 2016, but his absence gives some pause. Barr is still in the concussion protocol and will be monitored throughout the week. He has played tremendously well so far, and the Vikings don't want to be without one of their key defenders when they already have three defensive backs (including Xavier Rhodes) practicing on a limited basis. -- Courtney Cronin


Atlanta Falcons

The biggest injury question mark this week appeared to be wide receiver Mohamed Sanu and his recovery from a hamstring strain. But coach Dan Quinn said Sanu is set to return to practice and was close to playing last week against the Dolphins. Getting Sanu back for the Super Bowl rematch against the Patriots could be key with some of the offensive struggles the Falcons are enduring right now. -- Vaughn McClure

Carolina Panthers

Inside linebacker Luke Kuechly entered the concussion protocol last Thursday for the third time in as many years. Although he's progressing, his history with concussions could mean the team is cautious about putting him back on the field for Sunday's game at Chicago, even if he clears all five steps. That he has a week and a half between games works in his favor, and the Panthers, as coach Ron Rivera made clear, are clearly a better team with the 2013 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. -- David Newton

New Orleans Saints

The Saints' injury report is practically blank, with only wide receiver Willie Snead and left tackle Terron Armstead limited after both made their 2017 debuts last week. Snead should be a little more active after shaking off some rust last week, but fantasy owners should continue to proceed with caution because of New Orleans' depth at the position. The Saints did have to place core special-teams player and backup linebacker Nate Stupar on injured reserve this week -- which is no small loss -- but they had a solid replacement available in former special teams captain Michael Mauti. -- Mike Triplett

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jameis Winston suffered a sprained AC joint in the shoulder of his right throwing arm against the Cardinals last Sunday. He was not throwing the ball at all during Wednesday's practice and isn't expected to test the arm until later in the week. The biggest issue with the injury, aside from pain, is velocity. Winston didn't feel like he had enough of it Sunday, which is why he left the game in the second quarter. Coach Dirk Koetter said Winston is more day-to-day than week-to-week. "The way I understand it -- he will be cleared medically to play," Koetter said. "I know Jameis can handle a lot of pain. That's not going to be an issue. I think it will be more [about] does Jameis feel like he can play at the level he needs to play at?" -- Jenna Laine


Arizona Cardinals

Even though he said Wednesday that he'll "definitely" play Sunday against the Rams, cornerback Patrick Peterson is the injury to keep an eye on -- not just because he's the Cardinals' lockdown corner who can offset the likes of Sammy Watkins this weekend. It's likely that Arizona will make a change at the other cornerback position, replacing Justin Bethel with Tramon Williams. The Cardinals need the stability there. Peterson reaggravated a quad tendon during last week's win over the Bucs. -- Josh Weinfuss

Los Angeles Rams

The only real injury question mark heading into the Rams' Week 7 game in London is defensive back Lamarcus Joyner, who has missed the past three weeks because of a lingering hamstring injury. Joyner practiced last week but only on a limited basis. If he continues to progress, Joyner should be ready to go against the Cardinals. The Rams would then have all their starters healthy. -- Alden Gonzalez

San Francisco 49ers

This is going to sound familiar, but there's no injury on the 49ers that matters more right now than linebacker Reuben Foster's high ankle sprain. Foster appeared to be on the verge of a return last week, but coach Kyle Shanahan resisted the urge to bring Foster back, despite an apparent flood of hope that he could return. "A lot of guys in this building wanted him to play pretty bad, and I know Reuben did," Shanahan said. "He was close all week. But I didn't think he put together three days 100 percent like we wanted him to, and I just had to go against what we wanted, and I felt like it was much better for Reuben. It was tough to do, but I'm glad we did it." Shanahan said Wednesday that he is "very optimistic" that Foster will return this week. -- Nick Wagoner

Seattle Seahawks

With word that left guard Luke Joeckel will be out for another month or so following knee surgery, the biggest question mark on the injury front is Michael Bennett. The bye week allowed him to rest the plantar fascia foot injury he suffered in Week 5, and though Bennett didn't practice Wednesday, he said he plans to play Sunday against the Giants. "He feels like he's going to play, but he's going to need all these days to keep healing," coach Pete Carroll said. Bennett's availability would be significant not only because he plays more than any other Seattle defensive linemen when healthy but also because the Seahawks are already without their other Pro Bowl defensive end, Cliff Avril, who's out indefinitely with a neck/spine injury. -- Brady Henderson


Buffalo Bills

Wide receiver Jordan Matthews, who suffered a thumb injury in Week 4 that required surgery, was cleared Wednesday to return to practice on a limited basis. Coach Sean McDermott said it has yet to be determined whether Matthews will be able to play against the Buccaneers on Sunday, and he is designated as day-to-day. If Matthews can't play, expect the Bills to turn to Zay Jones as their top wideout again. -- Mike Rodak

Miami Dolphins

Wide receiver DeVante Parker missed his first game of the season last week with an ankle injury and also missed Wednesday's practice. Coach Adam Gase described Parker as day-to-day, but Thursday's practice will be huge in determining Parker's status against the Jets. Miami needs Parker to help stretch the defense. -- James Walker

New England Patriots

With starting cornerback Stephon Gilmore showing up on the injury report with a concussion the day before last week's win over the Jets and then not playing, his status is a question mark for Sunday night's game against the Falcons. With Atlanta determined to get Julio Jones more touches, Gilmore would likely be one of the team's top options to cover him, especially if fellow corner Eric Rowe (groin) misses a third straight game. Gilmore had reportedly been experiencing headaches since a Week 5 win over the Bucs, but he apparently hadn't reported anything to the team's medical staff and participated in practice fully until Saturday. "We followed the rules to the letter on the injuries, like we always do," Bill Belichick said. "We reported it exactly how it happened." -- Mike Reiss

New York Jets

The Jets could be without running back Bilal Powell (strained calf), which would hurt their chances of revitalizing the running game. Since Powell became a big contributor in 2013, the Jets are 1-6 without him. They'd have to lean on 31-year-old Matt Forte, who has lost a step, and rookie Elijah McGuire. -- Rich Cimini


Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore's top three wide receivers are on the injury report. Mike Wallace (back) and Jeremy Maclin (shoulder) were limited Wednesday, and Breshad Perriman (concussion) didn't practice. The team is expected to re-sign Griff Whalen, who spent the preseason with Baltimore. The receiver position is a concern for the Ravens after they dropped a season-worst five passes against the Bears on Sunday. -- Jamison Hensley

Cincinnati Bengals

Rookie John Ross returned to practice after sitting out several weeks with a knee injury. Ross has played only five snaps this season, and the Bengals have been cautious with their first-round pick. Ross will likely need to go through an entire practice without restrictions to play this week against the Steelers, so it's probably a 50/50 chance that he sees the field. -- Katherine Terrell

Cleveland Browns

Rookie safety Jabrill Peppers showed up on the injury report with a toe issue. Coach Hue Jackson said he has been dealing with it for a while, and it kept him out of practice on Wednesday. Peppers' availability could come down to a Friday or game-day decision. -- Pat McManamon

Pittsburgh Steelers

The biggest issue is still right tackle Marcus Gilbert (hamstring), who did not practice Wednesday and has been out for much of the past month. As one of the game's best right tackles, Gilbert affects much of the what the offense wants to do schematically. Four other starters sat out Wednesday: center Maurkice Pouncey (chest), offensive guard Ramon Foster (back), defensive end Stephon Tuitt (back) and linebacker Vince Williams. None of those injuries is considered major, but missed game action is possible. -- Jeremy Fowler


Houston Texans

The Texans are hoping to get Kevin Johnson back after this week's bye. The 2015 first-round pick sprained his MCL in Week 3, but coach Bill O'Brien said the cornerback is "close" to returning to practice. The Texans have had success with veterans Johnathan Joseph and Kareem Jackson in Johnson's absence, but his return could allow Houston to move Jackson around in the secondary. -- Sarah Barshop

Indianapolis Colts

The news of Andrew Luck being shut down from practice for at least the rest of week due to soreness in his right shoulder was a big surprise, but the quarterback wasn't going to play against Jacksonville anyway. The Colts will have to change their running back rotation now that Robert Turbin is out with an elbow injury. Turbin, who was injured in Monday's loss at Tennessee, has been the team's primary third-down running back. The Colts will use starter Frank Gore and rookie Marlon Mack on third down, depending on the situation. -- Mike Wells

Jacksonville Jaguars

Running back Leonard Fournette didn't practice Wednesday because of an ankle injury, and it wouldn't be a surprise if Fournette didn't practice at all this week to ensure that he is as healthy as possible for Sunday's game at Indianapolis. The Jaguars' offense is built around Fournette, and he accounts for 36.4 percent of the team's total yards. That's the second-highest percentage in the NFL behind Antonio Brown and Kareem Hunt (38.1 percent). Expect the Jaguars to be ultra-cautious with Fournette whenever he gets banged up. -- Mike DiRocco

Tennessee Titans

DeMarco Murray missed Wednesday's practice with a hamstring strain suffered Monday night against the Colts. It's a minor injury but one that will require watching throughout the week. This is Murray's third hamstring injury in as many months, so it's a bit of a troublesome trend, even though it hasn't cost him any regular-season games. Marcus Mariota is also "real close" to being himself after a strong practice Wednesday, so expect a more mobile quarterback Sunday in Cleveland. -- Cameron Wolfe


Denver Broncos

The Broncos put guard/tackle Billy Turner on injured reserve this week after he underwent surgery to repair a fractured right hand. Turner started last week after starting right tackle Menelik Watson suffered a calf injury. Watson was out of practice Wednesday and is a significant question mark for Sunday's game against the Chargers, who have two players -- Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa -- who are among the league's top 10 in sacks and who gave the Broncos their share of difficulties in the season opener. Donald Stephenson, who was a game-day inactive this past weekend, would most likely start at right tackle if Watson can't play. -- Jeff Legwold

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs won't have their valuable third-down back, Charcandrick West (concussion), for Thursday night's game against the Raiders. They'll miss his receiving and blocking skills. Kansas City will go with either Akeem Hunt or C.J. Spiller on most third downs, and though both might do an adequate job, it'll be difficult for them to produce like West. -- Adam Teicher

Los Angeles Chargers

Coach Anthony Lynn said defensive tackle Corey Liuget aggravated a lingering back issue in a win over the Raiders last week, and that forced him to miss the second half of the game. Liuget was a limited participant Wednesday and hopes to play this weekend. The Chargers allow a league-worst 152.5 yards per contest, so the Bolts can use every healthy body they can get up front to contain the Broncos' potent running attack. -- Eric D. Williams

Oakland Raiders

Did the Raiders miss on another injury-prone cornerback in the first round? Four years after the team drafted D.J. Hayden, Oakland selected Gareon Conley, who missed all of training camp and the exhibition season with a right shin issue. Conley played well in his NFL debut in Week 2 against the Jets but had a setback the next week in Washington and hasn't suited up since. Coach Jack Del Rio said Conley is dealing with a pain-tolerance issue, and there is no timetable for Conley's return. -- Paul Gutierrez