Week 6 of the NFL season has several big-name players battling injuries heading into the weekend slate.
Carolina Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield, who suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 5, was out of his walking boot Friday and “definitely could be the backup” to PJ Walker, Panthers interim coach Steve Wilks said.
The San Francisco 49ers continue to lose key players to injury. Cornerback Emmanuel Moseley (knee), defensive end Nick Bosa (groin), safety Jimmie Ward (hand) and kicker Robbie Gould (knee) departed last week’s game with injuries. Moseley is expected to miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL, but Bosa, Ward and Gould could return this year.
The Miami Dolphins will start rookie quarterback Skylar Thompson against the Minnesota Vikings this week, as starter Tua Tagovailoa and backup Teddy Bridgewater are in the concussion protocol. Tagovailoa participated in limited football activities in his return to practice Wednesday, and coach Mike McDaniel said Bridgewater would do the same on Thursday.
Our NFL Nation reporters have more updates on key players ahead of Week 6:
Schedule | Depth charts | PickCenter
The Cardinals won’t even try Conner before the game to see how he’s feeling, coach Kliff Kingsbury said. The Cardinals will be careful with Conner to ensure he’s ready for the long haul.
— Josh Weinfuss
Bateman, who was expected to be Lamar Jackson‘s top target at wide receiver, will miss his second game this season and the seventh since being taken in the first round of the 2021 NFL draft. Without Bateman, the only dependable targets for Jackson are tight end Mark Andrews and wide receiver Devin Duvernay. Last week, only one Baltimore wide receiver had more than two targets and 8 yards receiving (Duvernay with five catches for 54 yards receiving).
— Jamison Hensley
The Bills are largely healthy heading into a big game against the Chiefs with safety Jordan Poyer (ribs) and linebacker Tremaine Edmunds (hamstring) set to return with no injury designations, but they could be without one of their key defensive tackles in Phillips. After missing Weeks 3 and 4 because of a hamstring injury, Phillips left the Week 5 game vs. the Steelers with a hamstring injury and was limited all week in practice. The Bills’ defense will need all the help it can get against Patrick Mahomes, who leads the league in passing touchdowns (15).
— Alaina Getzenberg
Early reports were that Mayfield would miss two to six weeks with a high ankle sprain, but interim coach Steve Wilks has him listed as day-to-day, and on Friday he said Mayfield “definitely could be the backup” on Sunday at Los Angeles. All signs point toward Mayfield being available.
— David Newton
After missing the first two practices this week with a sprained ankle, Higgins was a limited participant during Friday’s practice, coach Zac Taylor said. Higgins will continue to be evaluated through the next 36 hours to see if he can play through the injury. He tried to get back on the field in the team’s loss to the Ravens last week but was unable to play.
— Ben Baby
Cleveland’s Pro Bowl corner will miss the game with New England after suffering a concussion last week against the Chargers. Ward didn’t practice all week while in concussion protocol. The Browns will be leaning on Greedy Williams, who is back from injured reserve (hamstring injury), to help fill Ward’s absence.
— Jake Trotter
Schultz was limited last week against the Rams after aggravating his knee injury during the game. He was limited in practice during the week but is no longer wearing a bulky brace for added protection, which should help his movement. He has gone two games without a catch, which had not happened since 2019, before he moved into a bigger role on offense. His health and production could be a heavy factor this week as the Cowboys look for ways to beat the Eagles’ pressure.
— Todd Archer
This is actually a bit of good news for the Broncos. On Friday, Wilson was listed as a full participant on the team’s injury report for the first time since he suffered a muscle tear in the lat near his right shoulder in the Broncos’ Oct. 2 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders. It means Wilson will have had a full week of work — he practiced but was listed as limited Thursday — before the Broncos face the Chargers in SoFi Stadium on Monday night.
— Jeff Legwold
Gary, who is listed as questionable, leads the Packers and ranks tied for seventh in the NFL with five sacks. That accounts for nearly half of the Packers’ sacks this season. There’s also little proven depth behind Gary and fellow starter Preston Smith (3.5 sacks). In fact, no other Packers edge rusher has a sack this season.
— Rob Demovsky
Injury: Concussion, broken nose
Leonard will miss his fifth game of the season after suffering a concussion and broken nose in his season debut in Week 4. Zaire Franklin will continue to fill in for Leonard. Franklin led the NFL with 54 tackles entering Week 6.
Taylor missed last week’s game at Denver but practiced to some extent on Thursday and Friday, making him a decent bet to play on Sunday. The Colts have struggled to run the ball of late, but they had their best rushing performance since Week 1 in their win over the Broncos. Taylor’s return would be a big boost.
— Stephen Holder
Fatukasi is a key part of the Jaguars’ run defense, and his potential absence this week against the Colts could hurt because running back Jonathan Taylor is expected to play on Sunday. Corey Peters replaced Fatukasi last week when he didn’t play against Houston and will do the same this week. Expect him to get more snaps even if Fatukasi does play.
— Michael DiRocco
Butker will kick for the first time since being injured in the season opener. Butker has made 90% of his field goal attempts since joining the Chiefs in 2017. In his absence, the Chiefs missed two field goal attempts and extra point tries.
— Adam Teicher
Kupp, who said he injured his foot in Week 5, did not practice on Wednesday. Coach Sean McVay said that although Kupp is listed as questionable on the injury report, he is expected to play against Carolina on Sunday.
— Sarah Barshop
Armstead stayed in New York overnight to see a specialist for a toe injury that’s bothered him since Week 1. He hasn’t practiced all week — but that’s not entirely out of the ordinary for him. Without him, however, the Dolphins will likely elevate Brandon Shell from the practice squad to start in his place.
— Marcel Louis-Jacques
Jones continues to make progress in his recovery from a left high ankle sprain, and the team is listing him as questionable for Sunday’s game in Cleveland. He had been doubtful on the Friday before last week’s game. Rookie Bailey Zappe would start if Jones ultimately sits out for a third straight game. Jones has naturally been pushing himself to play, but he still hasn’t participated in a full practice since suffering the injury Sept. 25. One other injury note: WR Jakobi Meyers (questionable, knee) is expected to play.
— Mike Reiss
This appears to be the week that Robinson returns. The rookie admitted it has been tough to be patient while missing the previous four games with a sprained MCL, but he can’t wait to get back on the field after lasting nine snaps in the opener. Robinson’s snaps will likely be sprinkled in Sunday against the Ravens, although not enough to be fantasy-relevant in his return.
— Jordan Raanan
The Saints will be severely limited at wide receiver without Thomas, Landry or Harty, who handles kick returns. And while it looks like Chris Olave is progressing through concussion protocol, he’s no sure thing to play either. Combine that with the loss of their best cornerback in Lattimore, and it’ll definitely be a short-handed Saints team hosting the Bengals on Sunday.
— Katherine Terrell
It’s not just that Fitzpatrick is out, it’s that the Steelers are also missing their top three corners because of injuries. The Buccaneers and Tom Brady already have a top-three passing offense, and the Steelers won’t be able to do much to stop it.
— Brooke Pryor
Woods, the Seahawks’ defensive co-captain and one of their best run defenders, is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against Arizona. It’s an old issue that flared back up last week, causing him to miss much of the second half of Seattle’s loss at New Orleans. The Seahawks could be down another D-lineman with end Shelby Harris listed as questionable.
— Brady Henderson
Murphy-Bunting suffered the injury in Week 5 against the Falcons, saying he felt a pop in a quadricep. He did not participate in practice all week and has been ruled out for Sunday. Murphy-Bunting lines up inside and outside and stepped into the nickelback role with safety Logan Ryan out andAntoine Winfield Jr. moving to safety again.
Jones has been dealing with a knee injury that is considered “day-to-day.” Coach Todd Bowles said they’re more interested in playing the long game with Jones, and they’ll keep him out longer if it means he’s fully healthy and available later in the season.
— Jenna Laine
It’s the deadest, least interesting part of the NFL offseason, which makes it the perfect time to do stuff like a game-by-game prediction of the entire reg
The NFL could have a tough time finding a team for "Hard Knocks" this year, and that's
We are in the slowest part of the NFL offseason. So why not throw around some absolutely crazy ideas that will never happen. Re-align the league College foo