Only four teams remain in the NFL postseason with three games left to play — including Sunday’s AFC and NFC championship games — and per usual this time of the year given the physical grind playing an NFL season, there are some key injuries.
Huge news for the Baltimore Ravens: Pro Bowl tight end Mark Andrews has been activated off injured reserve on Friday ahead of Sunday afternoon’s AFC Championship against the Kansas City Chiefs, and coach John Harbaugh says he’ll play on Sunday. Along with Andrews, cornerback Marlon Humphrey (calf) is expected to play — albeit in a possible rotational role — after being labeled as questionable, via ESPN.
Andrews underwent ankle surgery on Nov. 21 following an injury he suffered in a Baltimore’s 34-20 win against the Cincinnati Bengals back in Week 11. He hasn’t played since, but he did practice every day last week: limited on Tuesday and practiced fully on Wednesday and Thursday. Andrews entered the divisional round as questionable, but he did not play. Andrews was again a full practice participant on both Wednesday and Thursday this week. The three-time Pro Bowler and 2021 First-Team All-Pro’s 40 career receiving touchdowns since entering the league in 2018 are the second-most in the NFL among tight ends trailing only Travis Kelce’s 52. Andrews’ 55.8 career receiving yards per game ranks as the sixth-most by a tight end in league history.
Below is an update on the league’s final four who are fighting for a spot in Super LVIII out in Las Vegas.
Odds courtesy of SportsLine consensus.
Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens (-3.5)
Sunday, 3 p.m. ET (CBS, Paramount+)
The Chiefs announced some bad news on Friday, as they officially ruled out All-Pro offensive guard Joe Thuney due to a pectoral strain. He did not practice all week, and this is certainly a hit to Kansas City’s offensive front. Also ruled out were Nnadi and Moore, who did not practice all week. Pacheco, who had quite the outing against Buffalo last week, is officially questionable with ankle and toe injuries. He did not practice Wednesday or Thursday, but was limited on Friday. Gay, who is also questionable, was limited on Wednesday and Thursday, but sat out of practice on Friday. Toney has been downgraded to out (personal/hip). He was a full participant in practice on Wednesday, but limited on Thursday and Friday. Star cornerback L’Jarius Sneed was limited all week with a calf injury, but carries no game designation into this weekend.
For the Ravens, Andrews is officially set to return to the lineup. He has no game designation, and was a full participant in practice all week. Baltimore coach John Harbaugh says he’ll play Sunday. Phillips is considered doubtful after being limited in practice all week, while Humphrey, questionable with his calf injury, is reportedly expected to play. The star cornerback was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday and Thursday, but a full participant Friday. Ya-Sin, who is also questionable, was a full participant in practice on Friday as well.
Sunday, 6:30 p.m. ET (Fox, fubo)
The Lions officially ruled out Jackson and Raymond, who did not practice all week. Emergency quarterback Hendon Hooker is questionable to play due to a chipped tooth he reportedly had to get pulled. NFL Media reports he will be fine. Defensive back Chase Lucas is questionable due to an illness. He missed practice on Thursday, but was limited on Friday. Tight end Sam LaPorta, who injured his knee in the regular-season finale, carries no game designation into this week. He sat out of practice Wednesday, was limited on Thursday and was a full participant on Friday. Center Frank Ragnow, who is battling ankle, toe, knee and back injuries, missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday, but was a full participant on Friday. He will play as well.
The Lions are not activating three-time Pro Bowl tight end Zach Ertz, according to ESPN.
The big news for the 49ers is that do-it-all wideout Deebo Samuel is off the injury report and will play on Sunday. Samuel has been dealing with a shoulder injury. He sat out of practice on Wednesday, was limited on Thursday and was a full participant Friday.