NFL Week 17 injuries: News on Jacoby Brissett, Kadarius Toney, more

ByNFL Nation ESPN logo
Friday, December 29, 2023

The Cleveland Browns punched their ticket to the postseason to kick off Week 17 on Thursday night, routing the New York Jets37-20.

Cleveland got three touchdown passes from Joe Flacco and a score from its defense to push its record to 11-5. It will be in the playoffs for just the third time since 1999.

The news wasn't all good, though. The Browns played without leading receiver Amari Cooper, a late scratch because of a heel injury, and lost receiver Elijah Moore during the game because of a head injury. Moore is now in concussion protocol.

The news was better for some other receivers around the league. Los Angeles Rams rookie Puka Nacua (hip) and Baltimore Ravens rookie Zay Flowers (calf) are trending to play, and Indianapolis Colts veteran Michael Pittman Jr. once again has cleared concussion protocol. Indications are the Cincinnati Bengals will let Ja'Marr Chase (shoulder) decide if he is ready to go.

It's not unusual for politicians to flip-flop in Washington, but the Washington Commanders might be forced to do it, too. In the same week in which they announced that they were benching quarterback Sam Howell and starting veteran Jacoby Brissett, Brissett reported hamstring tightness on Thursday and is listed as questionable.

Here are more injury updates from our NFL Nation reporters as we head toward the Sunday matchups:

Quick links:

Schedule | Depth charts | PickCenter

Jacoby Brissett, QB, Washington Commanders

Injury: Hamstring

Brissett is questionable for Sunday's game vs. the San Francisco 49ers. He reported hamstring tightness after meetings Thursday. If Brissett can't play,Sam Howell will start. Howell had been benched earlier in the week after starting the first 15 games.

-- John Keim

Ja'Marr Chase, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

Injury: Shoulder

Chase is officially questionable for Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs. He was limited at practice Thursday and Friday, and his status remains uncertain. However, coach Zac Taylor said Chase fulfilled his scheduled workload for the week, and Chase spoke to reporters on Thursday about it being his decision on whether he decided to play. It's a mildly positive outlook as Cincinnati preps for a massive game for its playoff hopes.

-- Ben Baby

Kadarius Toney, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

Injury: Hip

Toney won't play against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Chiefs' two top running backs, Isiah Pacheco (concussion) and Clyde Edwards-Helaire (illness), are listed as questionable. The Chiefs would have to dig deep into their running back depth if neither plays. Their other running back is La'Mical Perine, who spent most of the season on injured reserve.

-- Adam Teicher

Michael Pittman Jr., WR, Indianapolis Colts

Injury: Concussion

Pittman cleared concussion protocol Friday and is expected to play. The news comes after Pittman initially cleared a week ago before experiencing a relapse in symptoms last Saturday and sat out.

Running back Zack Moss will miss his second consecutive game with a forearm injury, putting more of the load on Jonathan Taylor to carry the running game.

-- Stephen Holder

Jordan Addison, WR, Minnesota Vikings

Injury: Left ankle

Addison participated in practice Thursday and Friday on a limited basis but made enough progress to be at least in serious consideration to play Sunday night against the Green Bay Packers. "We'll see how he feels after the work," coach Kevin O'Connell said, "and see if he can continue that progression that he's made. He's made really great progress throughout the week so we'll see if he can get there for Sunday."

-- Kevin Seifert

Puka Nacua, WR, Los Angeles Rams

Injury: Hip

Nacua did not practice Friday due to hip tightness, but Rams coach Sean McVay said he doesn't expect it to affect the wide receiver's availability for Sunday against the New York Giants.

-- Sarah Barshop

Zay Flowers, WR, Baltimore Ravens

Injury: Calf

Flowers returned to practice Friday after missing the previous two days with a calf injury. He moved around well, and it seems like he's in line to start Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. This is the second straight week that Flowers has battled an injury, but it didn't affect him last game. He caught nine passes for 72 yards and a touchdown. Flowers has become Lamar Jackson's go-to target since tight end Mark Andrewswas sidelined with an ankle injury.

-- Jamison Hensley

Dontayvion Wicks, WR, Green Bay Packers

Injury: Chest/ankle

Wicks did not practice all week but was listed as questionable. Coach Matt LaFleur, when asked whether a rookie receiver can play without practice all week, said: "I think it's going to be conversational to see where he's at and then test him pregame." If Wicks doesn't play, then the Packers probably will be without two of their top four receivers because Christian Watson was listed as doubtful. They managed last week when Watson and Jayden Reed were out, but Reed is back this week.

-- Rob Demovsky

Darnell Mooney, WR; Cole Kmet, TE, Chicago Bears

Injury: Concussion; knee

Mooney was the only player ruled out for Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons. He self-reported concussion symptoms on Christmas Day and has been in the protocol ever since. Chicago will look to tap into its receiver depth with Velus Jones Jr., Tyler Scott and Equanimeous St. Brown, who is back from a pectoral injury, in Mooney's absence.

Kmet has never missed a game in four seasons with the Bears and hopes he'll be able to keep that streak alive. Kmet was having a career day (four receptions, 107 yards) when he injured a knee against Arizona. He is officially listed as questionable after practicing in limited capacity Friday after being sidelined Wednesday and Thursday.

Also, LG Teven Jenkins was cleared from concussion protocol Friday and carries no injury designation. He is expected to start. Center Lucas Patrick is listed as questionable.

-- Courtney Cronin

Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Injury: Ankle

After another week of being a limited participant in practice following a Dec. 4 ankle surgery, Pickett is officially questionable against the Seattle Seahawks. However, quarterback Mason Rudolph will start, coach Mike Tomlin announced Friday. Defensively, the Steelers will again be without Minkah Fitzpatrick and Trenton Thompson, as well as inside linebacker Elandon Roberts.

-- Brooke Pryor

Ezekiel Elliott, RB, New England Patriots

Injury: Illness

The Patriots' No. 1 rusher now that Rhamondre Stevenson is on injured reserve, Elliott returned to practice Friday after missing Thursday's workout because of illness. He has been a workhorse since Stevenson landed on IR, playing 146 of a possible 168 offensive snaps (86.9%), and the expectation is that continues on Sunday. Meanwhile, WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (ankle) is set to miss his third straight game, while TE Hunter Henry (knee) has upped his level of participation the past two days and is questionable.

-- Mike Reiss

Josh Jacobs, RB, Las Vegas Raiders

Injury: Quad

With Jacobs missing the past two games with a quad injury -- the All-Pro was a game-time scratch at Kansas City on Christmas Day -- second-year back Zamir "Zeus" White has stepped up. White has rushed for a combined 214 yards in his two starts, averaging 5.5 yards per carry. Jacobs is averaging a career-low 3.5 yards per carry. "If you're a good player and you're producing and helping us win, you [play]," Raiders interim coach Antonio Pierce said. "But don't get it fooled. ... Josh Jacobs is one of the best running backs in the National Football League. If we have somebody who can help us out and contribute, it's going to be right in that room, and Zeus knows that." Jacobs, who did not practice this week, is officially doubtful, though Pierce said Jacobs will be a gametime decision.

-- Paul Gutierrez

Tyron Smith, OT, Dallas Cowboys

Injury: Back

He was limited Thursday and listed as questionable for Saturday's game vs. Detroit, which means he is headed in the direction of playing. His return to the lineup will settle some of the issues the Cowboys had last week in pass protection. At running back, Rico Dowdle is out with an ankle injury so look for Tony Pollard to get the bulk of the work, but rookie Deuce Vaughn could figure into the mix after being inactive for the past six games, unless the Cowboys make a late decision to add Malik Davis to the 53-man roster.

-- Todd Archer

Avonte Maddox, CB, Philadelphia Eagles

Injury: Pec

Maddox carried no designation on the team's final injury report this week, suggesting he's on track to play for the first time since Week 2 following surgery to repair a torn pec. The secondary has felt the absence of Maddox, who is a top-tier slot corner when healthy. He can help stabilize a unit that has struggled on third down and in the red zone for much of the year.

-- Tim McManus

Ryan Ramczyk, RT, New Orleans Saints

Injury: Knee

Ramczyk will miss his third straight game with a recurring knee injury dating back three seasons. Ramczyk will have to assess his options in the offseason and consult with doctors about whether there is a fix to his knee problem.

-- Katherine Terrell

Related Video