Julio Jones, Jamaal Charles and other NFL injuries to watch for Week 17
With several NFL teams jockeying for playoff position — and some fantasy leagues holding their championship matchups Sunday — SB Nation medical expert Dr. Ali Mohamadi gives insight into the most notable injuries in the NFL landscape and how they might affect your roster decisions.
Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith is already out for the remainder of the season with a lacerated spleen, and with its slim playoff hopes in balance against San Diego, the status of Jamaal Charles, who has been dealing with hamstring and ankle injuries this week, is of utmost importance to the Chiefs. Charles has been limited in practice all week and is listed as questionable on the team’s official injury report. Barring a setback in pregame warmups, it’s hard to imagine he will miss a game of this importance. His effectiveness, however, may be a concern, and backup Knile Davis would get more playing time in the Kansas City backfield if Charles isn’t up to speed.
With the Indianapolis Colts locked into the No. 4 seed in the AFC playoffs, it is a game-time decision for T.Y. Hilton, who injured his left hamstring in Week 15 and missed last week’s loss to Dallas. Hilton has practiced the entire week and if there was anything of significance at stake, he would almost certainly play; the lack of importance places his status more up in the air.
Jets wide receiver Percy Harvin has been playing nicked up for several weeks now, and he’ll miss this week’s game as New York closes the season at Miami with injuries to his ribs and ankle. Earlier this week, it appeared extremely unlikely that Harvin would suit up, but optimism has increased as he has taken the field the past couple of days in practice, albeit on a limited basis.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones returned to action in last week’s key win over New Orleans, and although he was once again listed as questionable for Sunday’s division-deciding contest against Carolina, he’ll be in the lineup this week. On the play that caused him to exit the game two weeks ago against the Packers, Jones fell to the ground then came up favoring the front of the hip area, which was suspicious for a hip flexor injury. Jones has made a speedier recovery than expected.
Steven Jackson, who missed much of last week’s win over the Saints after suffering a quadriceps injury and hasn’t practiced this week, will not play this week for the Falcons. Jackson has a history of muscle strains of the leg. Given the time frame for recoveries for those injuries, it was hard to imagine him suiting up against the Panthers. A bigger question now is whether he would be able to play in the Wild Card round of the playoffs if the Falcons are able to beat Carolina. In Jackson’s absence, Jacquizz Rodgers and Devonta Freeman will split carries for Atlanta.