NFL Injury Report Week 17: Team-by-Team Updates, Inactive Lists and More

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistDecember 29, 2013

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 22:  Quarterback Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys scrambles with the ball in the second half during an NFL game against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on December 22, 2013 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Injuries are a way of life in the NFL. As we head into the season's final Sunday, there aren't any truly healthy players left in the league—just ones who are less banged-up than others. Every player has knocks, bumps, bruises and other ailments that would probably cause the average adult to take a week off work, and yet the opportunity to help their teams win keeps them in the lineup.   

In Week 17, those players will have one last chance to suit up in the 2013 regular season. And with so many playoff implications tied to the results of some of these contests, players who may otherwise have sat out are pushing through. 

In the NFC, no division crown or playoff seed has been decided. Both the NFC North and NFC East will be decided in winner-take-all contests between two contenders, and the Seattle Seahawks have the potential to either have home-field advantage in the playoffs or be the No. 5 seed.

While the AFC has five of its six playoff teams decided, only the Kansas City Chiefs have locked themselves into a seed. To put it mildly, all these clubs will want all hands on deck. 

With that in mind, let's check in on the status of a few notable players and look at how all the Week 17 injuries shake out. 

Tony Romo, QB, Dallas Cowboys

Status: Out 

The Cowboys won't have Tony Romo to blame should they not win the NFC East this season. After multiple fits and starts throughout the week, the Cowboys announced Friday that Romo underwent back surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back and would miss the remainder of the season. 

“We felt like the surgery went well, and Tony should be able to come home hopefully later today and start to begin his rehabilitation for the 2014 season,” Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said.

It's unclear when Romo actually suffered the injury, though he did not miss time and led the Cowboys to a comeback victory over the Washington Redskins in Week 16 while playing through the pain. The victory kept Dallas in contention for the NFC East championship, which will be decided in Week 17 when Dallas takes on the Philadelphia Eagles. 

Kyle Orton will start in Romo's place. Orton, one of the league's most prominent backup quarterbacks, appeared in only two games this season, throwing for 40 yards on his five pass attempts. 

Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers

Nov 28, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) before the game against the Detroit Lions during a NFL football game on Thanksgiving at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Status: Active

Speaking of prominent quarterback injuries, the Cowboys will be losing their franchise star at the time the Packers are regaining theirs. Aaron Rodgers' long-awaited return from a broken collarbone will happen Sunday, with the team confirming that the 2011 NFL MVP would start earlier this week.

“We feel it’s time for Aaron to play,” head coach Mike McCarthy said. “We need to go down there and win this game as a team. This is a decision everyone was waiting for. We wanted to get this done on Tuesday.”

Rodgers returning to the lineup is a boon for the Packers, who went 2-4-1 in his seven games on the sideline, not including Week 9's loss when the injury occurred. Green Bay featured three quarterbacks without Rodgers, with Matt Flynn taking over each of the past five weeks. Flynn, who started the season with the Oakland Raiders, kept the Packers in the playoff hunt by earning victories in two of the past three weeks.

Rodgers' return, though, couldn't come at a better time. Green Bay's matchup with the Chicago Bears will determine the NFC North winner.

Steve Smith, WR, Carolina Panthers

Status: Out

With an opportunity to clinch their first division title since 2008, the Panthers will be without their all-time leading receiver. Although he's improving, wide receiver Steve Smith has been ruled out for Carolina's Week 17 contest against the Atlanta Falcons.

"Steve actually improved a lot," head coach Ron Rivera said, per the Panthers' official site. "And in Steve's way, he basically said, 'If I had to, I'd play this weekend.' He probably couldn't, but he'd have tried."

Smith suffered a PCL sprain in last week's win over the New Orleans Saints, and it seems the Panthers wanted to be as conservative as possible with his injury. The 34-year-old veteran will finish below 1,000 yards receiving for the first time since 2010 and only the third time in the past nine seasons.

With Smith out, Cam Newton will need Brandon LaFell and Ted Ginn to step up. The Panthers are ranked 28th in passing with Smith, so Atlanta may be able to play the spoiler if Carolina struggles to put points on the board.

Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions

Dec 16, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) during the game against the Baltimore Ravens at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Status: Out

After battling through a knee injury throughout the season, it seems Calvin Johnson's pain is finally too much to bear. Tim Twentyman of the Lions' official website indicated that Johnson would sit out:

Johnson has been listed on the injury report for much of 2013, though the exact extent of his ailment is unknown. It's also unclear whether Johnson sitting out has more to do with an aggravation of the injury or is simply a team reaction to being outside the playoff hunt.

Seemingly handed the NFC North on a platter, the Lions responded by losing three straight and five of their last six. Johnson, while still fantastic, has actually gone under 100 yards in each of the past three games—the first time that's happened since midway through 2011.

Despite being less than 100 percent, Detroit's offense will likely struggle without Megatron. The Lions scored only nine points when Johnson sat out a Week 5 loss to the Packers, with Matthew Stafford rendered unable to make plays down the field. 

Tony Gonzalez (TE, Atlanta Falcons)

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 23:  Tony Gonzalez #88 of the Atlanta Falcons catches this pass over NaVorro Bowman #53 of the San Francisco 49ers during the first quarter at Candlestick Park on December 23, 2013 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Thea
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Status: Active

Unsurprisingly, Tony Gonzalez won't allow his final NFL game to kick off without him in the lineup. Gonzalez was officially activated for Sunday's game despite being listed all week on the injury report with a toe injury.

Gonzalez's 2013 campaign has gone far differently than he ever could have expected. Viewed as a preseason Super Bowl contender, Atlanta's season quickly went downhill amid defensive struggles and key injuries. Gonzalez was one of the few constants in the lineup, suiting up for all 16 games.

He has 79 receptions for 803 yards and eight touchdowns coming into Week 17.

Full Inactive List

Inactive lists will be updated as they become available, via

Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers

Browns: QB Alex Tanney, CB Joe Haden, OGs Jason Pinkston and Shawn Lauvao, TE Andre Smith, DL John Hughes, DE Phil Taylor

Steelers: OLB Jason Worilds, QB Landry Jones, CB Isaiah Green, DE Brian Arnfelt, C/G David Snow, NT Hebron Fangupo

Washington Redskins at New York Giants

Redskins: QB Robert Griffin III, OG Josh LeRibeus, DB Chase Minnifield, WR Josh Morgan, C J.D. Walton

Giants: LB Allen Bradford, WR Victor Cruz, OG Eric Herman, OG Brandon Mosley, QB Ryan Nassib, DE Jason Pierre-Paul, TE Adrien Robinson

Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals

Ravens: DL Art Jones, CB Asa Jackson, S Omar Brown, C Ryan Jensen, WR Deonte Thompson, LB John Simon, TE Dallas Clark

Bengals: CB Terence Newman, RB Rex Burkhead, WR Ryan Whalen, OG Tanner Hawkinson, DT Devon Still, TE Jermaine Gresham, TE Tyler Eifert

Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans

Texans: QB Case Keenum, WR DeVier Posey, RB Dennis Johnson, FB Toben Opurum, ILB  Joe Mays, G Alex Kupper, G Cody White

Titans: QB Tyler Wilson, WR Michael Preston, WR Kenny Britt, CB Khalid Wooten, C Kevin Matthews, T David Stewart, DT Jurrell Casey

Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts

Jaguars: QB Ricky Stanzi, CB Dwayne Gratz, RB Delone Carter, LB Geno Hayes, TE Allen Reisner, C Patrick Lewis, DE Gerald Rivers.

Colts: LB Daniel Adongo, S Sergio Brown, DE Ricky Jean Francois, C Mike McGlynn, CB Sheldon Price, DE Cory Redding, G Joe Reitz

New York Jets at Miami Dolphins

Jets: QB David Garrard, RB Darius Reynaud, LB Jermaine Cunningham, RG William Campbell, OG Ben Ijalana, OL Oday Aboushi, TE Chris Pantale

Dolphins: QB Pat Devlin, RB Mike Gillislee, CB Will Davis, CB Jalil Brown, G Danny Watkins, OL David Arkin, DT A.J. Francis 

Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings

Lions: CB Bill Bentley, C Dylan Gandy, CB Jonte Green, CB Chris Houston, WR Calvin Johnson, QB Kellen Moore, OT LaAdrian Waddle

Vikings: QB Josh Freeman, RB Toby Gerhart, DT Letroy Guion, RB Adrian Peterson, OT Mike Remmers, CB Xavier Rhodes, WR Rodney Smith

St Louis Rams at Seattle Seahawks

Rams: WR Tavon Austin, RB Daryl Richardson, DB Quinton Pointer, LB Sammy Brown, OG Harvey Dahl, DT Matt Conrath, OT Mike Person

Seahawks: WR Percy Harvin, DE Benson Mayowa, OT Caylin Hauptmann, LB KJ Wright, OL Michael Bowie , DT Jordan Hill, RB Christine Michael

Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons

Panthers: WR Tavarres King, CB Josh Norman, RB Jonathan Stewart, LB Dan Connor, OL Travis Bond, WR Steve Smith, DT Colin Cole

Falcons: OT Sam Baker, RB Jacquizz Rodgers, LB Sean Weatherspoon, DT Adam Replogle, OT Terren Jones, G Garrett Reynolds, OT Sean Locklear

Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears

Packers: WR Chris Harper, CB Jumal Rolle, LB Clay Matthews, LB Brad Jones, G Lane Taylor, C/G JC Tretter, DE C.J. Wilson 

Bears: OT James Brown, OT Joe Long, QB Jordan Palmer, OT Jonathan Scott, DE Cornelius Washington, WR Chris Williams

Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders

Broncos: RB C.J. Anderson, QB Zac Dysert, OG Sione Fua, C Steve Vallos, CB Kayvon Webster, WR Wes Welker, DE Derek Wolfe

Raiders: WR Brice Butler, WR Jacoby Ford, C Andre Gurode, CB Mike Jenkins, DT Ricky Lumpkin, OG Lamar Mady, OT Menelik Watson

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints

Buccaneers: SS Mark Barron, LB Ka'Lial Glaud, DE Matthew Masifilo, G Carl Nicks, RB Lonnie Pryor, LB Scott Solomon, LB Dekoda Watson

Saints: Isa Abdul-Quddus, RB Travaris Cadet, DE Keyunta Dawson, DB Terrence Frederick, QB Ryan Griffin, DT Tom Johnson, WR Nick Toon

San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals

49ers: WR Jon Baldwin, TE Derek Carrier, G Joe Looney, OLB Nick Moody, G Ryan Seymour

Cardinals: QB Ryan Lindley, LB Dontay Moch, OT Nate Potter, TE Kory Sperry, DE Ronald Talley, DB Curtis Taylor, RB Ryan Williams

Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots

Bills: QB EJ ManuelWR Stevie Johnson, WR Cordell Roberson, RB Ronnie Wingo, CB Brandon Smith, OL Antoine McClain

Patriots: DE Jake Bequette, OL Chris Barker, DT Isaac Sopoaga, CB Alfonzo Dennard, S Devin McCourty, LB Steve Beauhais, WR Josh Boyce.

Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers

Chiefs: QB Alex Smith, RB Jamaal Charles, WR Dwayne Bowe, OLB Tamba Hali, LB Derrick Johnson, OT Branden Albert, DT Dontari Poe

Chargers: QB Brad Sorensen, WR Lavelle Hawkins, S Brandon Taylor, CB Marcus Cromartie, G Steve Schilling, OT Kenny Wiggins, DT Kwame Geathers

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