There could be more changes coming at the NFL’s most important position.
Quarterback Nick Foles missed Wednesday’s practice with a hip injury, while Mitchell Trubisky — who just returned himself from a shoulder injury — took all the reps. In Denver, quarterback Drew Lock did not practice on Wednesday either and could be a long shot to start this weekend unless he shows marked improvement.
But the injury news wasn’t all negative, as the Chiefs could be on track to get WR Sammy Watkins back in time to face the Bucs. And the Eagles could get a boost in the NFC East race with the possible return of TE Zach Ertz, who is “trending in the right direction” according to coach Doug Pederson.
Here’s a roundup of the biggest injury situations from ESPN’s NFL Nation reporters:
What is going on with Mitch Morse? He cleared concussion protocol in Week 10 and was active for the Bills’ game against the Cardinals but did not play. Sean McDermott called it a football decision, which seems odd considering Buffalo made Morse the league’s highest paid center at the time it signed him last offseason. If he’s healthy enough to play and Cody Ford returns to the lineup, the Bills will have their full starting five offensive line for the first time all season. — Marcel Louis-Jacques
The Dolphins running back room is a question mark once again with lead back Salvon Ahmed nursing a shoulder injury that forced him to miss practice Wednesday. Meanwhile, Myles Gaskin was designated to return off IR and practiced in a red non-contact jersey Wednesday as he rebounds from a knee sprain. Coach Brian Flores was noncommittal on Gaskin’s status for Sunday. So the Dolphins may have one, both or neither. If it’s the latter, Matt Breida, Patrick Laird and DeAndre Washington would carry the load. — Cameron Wolfe
Starting left tackle Isaiah Wynn has a knee injury that knocked him out of the final two plays of Sunday’s loss to the Texans, and he hasn’t practiced this week, which seems to foreshadow that the Patriots will have to go to Plan B. The question then becomes if that’s veteran Jermaine Eluemunor or rookie Justin Herron. — Mike Reiss
QB Sam Darnold, sidelined the last two games with a shoulder injury, is trending toward a return to the lineup on Sunday. He took all the first-team reps Wednesday, a clear indication the plan is to start him against the Dolphins. They will wait until the end of the week to make it official, just in case there’s a setback. If he’s cleared, Darnold will get his first chance to play with the three starting wide receivers. — Rich Cimini
Ryan Clark agrees with the NFL’s decision to move Ravens-Steelers from Thursday to Sunday after several positive coronavirus tests from Baltimore.
One of the largest COVID-19 outbreaks in the league this season has put a question mark over the entire roster. Over the past three days, the Ravens have placed seven players on the Reserve/COVID-19 list who have totaled 2,127 snaps this season. This includes two running backs (J.K. Dobbins and Mark Ingram), their sacks leader (defensive end Calais Campbell) and their top two centers (Patrick Mekari and Matt Skura). — Jamison Hensley
The status for the Bengals’ top running back is in question yet again. This time it’s Giovani Bernard, who missed Wednesday’s practice with a concussion. Bernard didn’t play in the Bengals’ final two offensive drives against Washington, according to NFL Next Gen. Bernard was the last Cincinnati running back who was capable of being a serviceable fantasy option. Even if it didn’t participate at practice, Bernard was present for the portion open to the media. It’ll be a situation worth watching the rest of the week. — Ben Baby
The Browns will be without CB Denzel Ward, who suffered a calf injury, and could miss multiple games, according to the team. Ward, a Pro Bowler as a rookie in 2018, was playing like a Pro Bowl corner again this season. Cleveland’s options to replace him include preseason waiver pickup M.J. Stewart, nickelback Kevin Johnson, special-teams ace Tavierre Thomas, undrafted rookie A.J. Green or reserve Robert Jackson. — Jake Trotter
The postponement of the Steelers-Ravens game to Sunday may work to the Steelers’ advantage — at least injury-wise. JuJu Smith-Schuster and Joe Haden, both injured against the Jaguars, practiced on Wednesday. Smith-Schuster (foot) was a full participant, while Haden (knee) returned as a limited participant. Barring any setbacks, both are trending toward playing with the extra rest. — Brooke Pryor
After missing Sunday’s game against the Patriots with an illness, left tackle Laremy Tunsil was listed as a full participant in practice two days in a row. Tackle Roderick Johnson played well in place of Tunsil in Week 11, but the Texans will be happy to have their Pro Bowl left tackle back. — Sarah Barshop
The Colts have a number of concerns, especially on defense where defensive linemen DeForest Buckner and Denico Autry are both on the reserve/COVID-19 list. But quarterback Philip Rivers did not practice Wednesday due to a toe injury suffered while attempting to make a block in their Week 11 victory over Green Bay. The Colts are taking a cautious approach with Rivers and his toe to ensure he’s ready for Sunday’s game against Tennessee. — Mike Wells
QB Mike Glennon is making his first start since Week 4 of the 2017 season and the health status of three of the Jaguars’ top four wide receivers is uncertain. DJ Chark (ribs) and Chris Conley (hip) did not practice on Wednesday and Laviska Shenault (hamstring) was limited. Shenault has missed the last two games so him being on the practice field is positive but not having Chark, the team’s best receiver, would be hard to overcome against Cleveland. — Mike DiRocco
Adoree Jackson missed practice again due to a knee injury. He is yet to participate in a game or practice since being added to the active roster. Jackson is usually the corner the Titans match up with the Colts’ T.Y. Hilton. That likely won’t be the case this week and there’s no telling when Jackson will return to the field. — Turron Davenport
Quarterback Drew Lock, who suffered rib and oblique injuries in Sunday’s loss in Las Vegas, did not practice Wednesday. Unless Lock shows significant improvement and gets much more time on the field, Brett Rypien would be the starter against the Dolphins. Rypien started the Broncos’ Week 4 win over the New York Jets. — Jeff Legwold
Sammy Watkins appears to be on track to play for the first time since Week 5 on Sunday against the Bucs. He was a full practice participant on Wednesday. Watkins has calf and hamstring injuries. The Chiefs would gladly take Watkins back in their lineup. Their depth at wide receiver has been diminshed recently because of injuries. — Adam Teicher
Rookie cornerbacks Damon Arnette, a starter, and Amik Robertson, a backup in the slot, both missed practice Wednesday with illnesses. Raiders coach Jon Gruden lamented his young secondary rarely practicing together this season due to injury and COVID issues. And now, the Raiders face the No. 2-ranked passing offense in the NFL in the Falcons with DB Lamarcus Joyner still on the COVID list. Ouch. — Paul Gutierrez
LB Uchenna Nwosu is out due to a shoulder (AC joint) injury for Week 12 at Buffalo. It’s a Grade 2 sprain according to report, but he’s a big part of the defense and could go on IR. DE Jessie Lemonier is expected to replace him. Nwosu had 3 1/2 sacks for the season — Shelley Smith
Cornerback Anthony Brown is questionable for Thursday’s game because of an aggravated rib injury that kept him out earlier in the season. Already without rookie Trevon Diggs (foot), the Cowboys called up Rashard Robinson and Deante Burton from the practice squad. Robinson was forced into action last week vs. Minnesota and could play a larger role Thursday, which is not a good thing if Terry McLaurin, who is questionable because of a foot injury, can play at full speed for Washington. — Todd Archer
Second-round pick Xavier McKinney (foot) had his practice window opened earlier this week after being on injured reserve since the start of the season. The versatile safety practiced Wednesday in pads for the first time since surgery in the summer. McKinney seemed to be moving well but still seems unlikely to play Sunday against Cincinnati. The Giants need to get him back into playing shape first. — Jordan Raanan
Coach Doug Pederson said tight end Zach Ertz is “trending in the right direction” when asked about his status for Monday night’s game against the Seahawks. Ertz has been sidelined since Week 6 with a high ankle sprain but has practiced the last two weeks. If he gets through this week without incident, he could be back in the lineup vs. Seattle. — Tim McManus
Receiver Terry McLaurin is questionable for Thursday’s game at Dallas with an ankle injury, but the good news for Washington is that he was able to participate in practice on Tuesday. And, though they only had a walk-through, he was listed as a full participant Wednesday. It’s hard to imagine him not playing vs. Dallas. Washington will be minus safety Deshazor Everett, who was ruled out with an ankle injury for Thursday. He was going through drills Tuesday, a good sign for a Week 12 matchup at Pittsburgh. — John Keim
The Bears seem on the cusp of making another quarterback change after Nick Foles (hip) missed on practice on Wednesday. Mitchell Trubisky, who just returned from a shoulder injury, took all the reps in practice and is the favorite to start versus the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night. Bears coach Matt Nagy is officially calling Foles “day-to-day” but Nagy expressed confidence in Trubisky, whom he benched in favor of Foles in Week 3. “I have all the confidence in the world in Trubisky if he has to start,” Nagy said. “I’m impressed with how Mitch has grown week-to-week.” — Jeff Dickerson
Who will play corner and receiver? The Lions again ruled Kenny Golladay (hip) and Danny Amendola (hip) out, so Marvin Hall and Mohamed Sanu could have larger Thanksgiving roles. At corner, Amani Oruwariye (back) is questionable and both Jeff Okudah (shoulder) and Mike Ford (concussion) are out. So it’s potentially a thin group with Desmond Trufant, Justin Coleman and practice squad call-up Dee Virgin the healthy options if Oruwariye can’t go — with safety C.J. Moore or converted corner Jamal Agnew in a pinch. — Michael Rothstein
You might not think a center is the most important injury — especially for a team with nearly 20 players on their medical report, but Corey Linsley‘s back injury is cause for concern. Yes, the Packers adapted when Linsley dropped out against the Colts, but the seventh-year pro plays a critical role in the pre-snap adjustments that the Packers and Aaron Rodgers make at the line of scrimmage. Linsley warmed up with the team on Wednesday but stayed inside when the rest of the players went outside for drills during the open portion of practice. He was officially listed as a limited participant. — Rob Demovsky
Stephania Bell explains what it means for Adam Thielen’s availability for the Vikings on Sunday now that he has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Adam Thielen remains quarantined on the COVID-19/Reserve list. It’s unknown whether the Pro Bowl receiver tested positive, which would keep him out of Sunday’s game against Carolina, or if he was a close contact with someone who has the virus and could be activated in time for Week 12 should he continually test negative this week. In his absence, Irv Smith Jr. could see a spike in targets like he did the last time Thielen missed time in 2019, but the second-year tight end was limited Wednesday with a groin/back injury. — Courtney Cronin
Almost all of the Falcons’ skill position players are injury question marks early in the week. Julio Jones practiced on a limited basis Wednesday with the hamstring injury that sidelined him for much of last week’s game at New Orleans. Calvin Ridley (foot) also practiced on a limited basis. But RB Todd Gurley (knee) and TE Hayden Hurst (ankle) did not practice. The severity of Gurley’s injury is unknown, but it’s worth monitoring since he did not play in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s loss. — Mike Triplett
Stephania Bell does not expect Christian McCaffrey to play until Week 14, following the Panthers’ bye week.
Running back Christian McCaffrey returned to practice on Wednesday for the first time since suffering a shoulder injury three weeks ago, but he is not expected to play Sunday at Minnesota. It appears McCaffrey won’t return until after the bye week for a Dec. 13 game against Denver. Mike Davis will once again handle the bulk of the running back duties. — David Newton
Top CB Marshon Lattimore was back to full practice participation Wednesday — a good sign that he should be able to return from the abdomen injury that sidelined him last week. That’s good news against a Denver offense that features multiple WR threats in Jerry Jeudy and Tim Patrick. RB Alvin Kamara (foot) and WR Michael Thomas (ankle) were limited in Wednesday’s practice, but they have been playing through those injuries. — Mike Triplett
The Bucs did not practice Wednesday, with coach Bruce Arians giving them an extra day to recover since they’re playing Monday night. Starting right guard Ali Marpet remains in the concussion protocol, but he’s still expected to practice on a limited basis this week. They’re hopeful he can be back after missing the last two games, with Aaron Donald lining up against them this week. — Jenna Laine
Kyler Murray was limited on Wednesday as the Cardinals ease him along this week due to his injured right shoulder. Coach Kliff Kingsbury said the idea of having three quarterbacks active for Sunday’s game at New England was discussed. Murray has tried to limit his throwing during the week in an effort to rest his shoulder. — Josh Weinfuss
Louis Riddick and Brian Griese explain why the Rams’ win over the Buccaneers proves that they are legit contenders coming out of the NFC.
Linebacker Micah Kiser was injured late in the fourth quarter of last Monday’s win over the Buccaneers. If Kiser is unable to play Sunday against the 49ers, expect backup Troy Reeder to start in his place alongside Kenny Young. — Lindsey Thiry
Running back Raheem Mostert (high ankle sprain) had his 21-day window to be activated from injured reserve opened on Tuesday and participated in Wednesday’s practice. Since he’s still on injured reserve, he didn’t get an official injury designation on Wednesday but coach Kyle Shanahan remains hopeful that Mostert will return Sunday against the Rams. Fellow running backs Jeff Wilson Jr. (ankle) and Tevin Coleman (knee) also could return this week but the Niners often go as Mostert does. With that Rams defense next up, they need him more than ever. — Nick Wagoner
Pete Carroll has said he expects running back Chris Carson to return this week along with cornerback Shaquill Griffin and center Ethan Pocic. That leaves right tackle Brandon Shell as the Seahawks’ biggest question mark. Carroll said he’ll be a close call for Monday night’s game at Philadelphia because of the high-ankle sprain he suffered last week against Arizona. The Seahawks list Cedric Ogbuehi as their backup at both tackle spots, but they also have Jamarco Jones capable of stepping in on the right side. — Brady Henderson