With seeding and potential playoff berths on the line, there are a number of star players who have been injured and are hoping to play in Week 17.
With one week left in the regular season, only one playoff spot remains in the AFC, and all four division titles are already clinched. In the NFC, no division titles have been locked up, although three teams have already clinched playoff berths.
Below is a look at the latest updates on some of the big stars who are currently dealing with injuries, breaking down what it could mean for their respective teams if they can't play.
Wes Welker, Denver Broncos
Two concussions have kept Wes Welker off the field for the Denver Broncos, as he hasn't played since December 8 against the Tennessee Titans.
The good news for the Broncos is that Wes Welker was finally able to return to practice on December 25 according to Joan Niesen from the Denver Post.
Wes Welker, Kayvon Webster and Derek Wolfe are all back out at Broncos practice. Merry Christmas!— Joan Niesen (@JoanNiesen) December 25, 2013
The news came after a report on December 20 that Welker would likely be ruled out for the remainder of the regular season (per the New York Daily News). While Welker hasn't been medically cleared to play in Week 17 against the Oakland Raiders, it's a good sign that he's back out on the field.
With 73 receptions for 778 yards and 10 touchdowns, Welker has been a key part to the passing game for Peyton Manning and company. While Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Julius Thomas have been able to pick up the slack in his absence, it would be nice for the Broncos to have him as they get ready for the postseason.
Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
After leading his team down the field for a game-winning drive against the Washington Redskins, things were looking good for Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys. But now there's a chance that the star quarterback can't even play in a must-win game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted on December 23 that Romo was ruled out for the rest of the season with a back injury, but NFL.com's Marc Sessler tweeted two days later that head coach Jason Garrett believes he is "day-by-day" at this point.
Cowboys QB Tony Romo has been ruled out the rest of the season due to his back injury, per league source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 23, 2013
Jason Garrett says Tony Romo still 'day-by-day' at this point. #Cowboys— Marc Sessler (@MarcSesslerNFL) December 25, 2013
Desmond Purnell from the NFL Network included this quote from Garrett at his press conference.
Jason Garrett on Tony Romo: "He certainly doesn't seem overly comfortable."— Desmond Purnell (@DesmondPurnell) December 25, 2013
At 8-7, the Cowboys have had a good season, but not the great one they were hoping for. Romo has been criticized a lot, but he's having one of the best seasons of his career, throwing for 3,828 yards, 31 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions for a 96.7 passer rating.
With a win against the Eagles this week, the Cowboys would win the NFC East title and go to the playoffs. But a loss would send them home early and give them their third consecutive 8-8 season.
There's a ton of pressure, and this team will have a very hard time winning if Romo can't play.
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
There are a lot of injuries heading into Week 17, but no player is attracting more attention heading into this week than Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Having not played since Week 9 due to a broken collarbone, Packers fans have been hoping for the past few weeks to see Rodgers return. Yet every time it got close to game day, the 30-year-old quarterback would be ruled out.
Heading into Week 17, there's been much of the same, but Rodgers has yet to be ruled out for this week.
According to Ian Rapoport from the NFL Network, Rodgers said on his weekly radio show that he will know whether or not he can play by Thursday.
Aaron Rodgers tells @jasonjwilde: “We have done a scan & are going through the process of evaluation. Definitively we will know by Thursday”— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 24, 2013
Rodgers joined 540 ESPN in Milwaukee to address his status.
Without their star QB, the Packers have gone 2-5-1 including the game in which he went down. Now, they will play the Chicago Bears for the NFC North title, and with how many players have been hurt this year, they really need Rodgers to play if they want to have a serious shot at winning the division.
If he can't go, Matt Flynn will have to find a way to lead the team to a big win, and that will be no easy task, even against a struggling Bears defense.