Answering the biggest injury questions for NFL conference championship playoff teams

20. January 2021

NFL Nation

While backup quarterback Chad Henne inspired social media hashtags to help the Kansas City Chiefs stand up to the Cleveland Browns in Sunday’s divisional playoff round, all eyes were on Casey (and the NFL, for that matter) to follow the Chiefs’ injury reports and wonder if All-Pro quarterback Patrick Mahomes would be available for Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills.

As for the other three teams, the Bills have questions for the receiver general and could promote a veteran from the coaching staff, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hope to add Antonio Brown and a key defensive player who left in October, and the Green Bay Packers could have their hands full.

Our NFL reporters are updating on the major injury concerns for each team as the conference championship weekend approaches:

No 5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers to No. 1 Green Bay Packers, 3:05 p.m.,. ET, Fox

Gingerbread: An MRI has shown no serious structural damage to the Antonio Brown wide receiver’s knee, and it will be day-to-day this week, a source told ESPN. Brown became Tom Brady’s most sought-after receiver in the final five weeks of the regular season. In addition, the Bucs surprisingly activated the Vita Vea defensive tackle from injured reserve this week, which almost no one saw coming. Vea suffered an ankle fracture in Week 5 against the Bears, but has made such encouraging progress that the team will use it this week, which will be a huge boost to pressure on Aaron Rodgers and make the Bucs’ defense even stronger against Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones. Tampa Bay will have a better idea of Vea’s progress and readiness during the week. — Jenna Lane.

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Packer: The Packers had no DNP among their active players on Wednesday, which is good news for their depth of running after rookie AJ Dillon was unable to finish Saturday’s playoff game against Los Angeles Rams due to a quadruple injury. The same was true for striker Mason Crosby, who injured his shoulder after a failed attempt to score an extra point, prompting the JK Scott keeper to try to throw a pass to Crosby for a conversion. As long as the Packers don’t have fake throws with Crosby as a passer or receiver, they should be fine. — Rob Demovsky

No 2 Buffalo Bills in Kansas City No. 1, 6:40 p.m. ET, CBS

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Accounts : How bad is Gabriel Davis’ ankle injury? The rookie saved Saturday’s win over the Ravens for his comeback, but missed the week’s first practice on Wednesday in Buffalo. Perhaps the Bills’ most versatile receiver after Stephon Diggs, Davis’ absence creates a hole in the Bills offense that could be filled by Kenny Stills’ recently signed coaching staff. It’s too early to say if Davis will play, but Buffalo will need everyone on deck if they want to win their first AFC championship since the 1993 season. — Marcel Louis-Jacques

The chiefs: Patrick Mahomes’ work week couldn’t have started better. He trained Wednesday, although he still has a concussion protocol. The Chiefs called Mahomes a limited participant in practice, although coach Andy Reid said he took all the shots in practice. — Adam Thacher.

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