Injury Updates for Saturday's NFL Wild Card Round Action
Kansas City Chiefs (11-5-0), 5th Seed in AFC
Indianapolis Colts (11-5-0), 4th Seed in AFC
Antoine Bethea, S (ankle)
According to George Bremer of The Herald Bulletin, safety Antoine Bethea played through an ankle injury in Week 17.
Most likely, his injury is very minor—such as a Grade 1 low ankle sprain.
As long as supportive taping can stabilize his ankle, he can continue to play through it—assuming good pain control. However, an injured ankle is a weaker ankle and can worsen on any given play.
Vontae Davis, CB (groin)
In other words, at worst, the former Fighting Illini likely suffered a minor Grade 1 strain.
Grade 1 strains involve only minor muscle overstretching and microscopic tearing. A Grade 2 or Grade 3 strain—or a partial or complete muscle tear, respectively—usually shows up on MRI.
Very mild Grade 1 injuries may not necessarily affect a player if treatment can provide adequate pain control and normal function.
On the other hand, they remain at risk of further, more serious injury until fully healed and, therefore, cannot be completely dismissed.
Davis' practice status throughout the week will shed some light on the severity of his injury. Participation in two consecutive practices bodes well for Saturday, whereas anything less casts at least some degree of doubt.
Cory Redding, DE (shoulder)
According to Yahoo! Sports, a shoulder injury sidelined defensive end Cory Redding on Sunday.
Fortunately, according to Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star, head coach Chuck Pagano stated Redding is "good to go" for Tuesday's practice.
Details remain scarce for now, but like Davis, if Redding can complete at least two consecutive practices, he may very well return for Saturday. Time will tell.
- According to the same Yahoo! Sports report, the Colts rested linemen Ricky Jean-Francois (foot) and Mike McGlynn (elbow) last week.
New Orleans Saints (11-5-0), 6th Seed in NFC
Before Week 17, the New Orleans Saints injury report listed nine players, but all carried the "probable" tag—implying at least a 75 percent chance of playing.
Even better, the NFC's sixth seed suffered no major injuries on Sunday, boding well for the start of the playoffs.
Fans should keep an eye on quarterback Drew Brees' knee this week, but it did not affect him in his regular-season finale. Nothing yet suggests it will factor in this weekend, either.
Philadelphia Eagles (10-6-0), 3rd Seed in NFC
Similar to their opponent, the Philadelphia Eagles boast a relative lack of recent major injuries heading into the postseason.
That said, safety Earl Wolff aggravated a prior knee injury before Week 17, and he missed the game as a result.
Nevertheless, as of now, the Eagles will enter Saturday's game against the Saints with a reasonably fresh squad—something of which the other playoff teams are certainly envious.
Dr. Dave Siebert is a resident physician at the University of Washington and medical analyst for Bleacher Report. He plans to pursue fellowship training in Primary Care (non-operative) Sports Medicine.
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