The NFL injury questions dominating week 12
As we near the business end of the regular season, injuries start to become more of an issue.
Here, we take a look at the injury situations for the teams in the playoff running, and see who looks like they could use a welcome boost from a returning star.
The New England Patriots could be a couple of wide receivers short if things do not go their way by the weekend.
Mohamed Sanu got injured returning a punt over the weekend, and he now faces a race against time to get fit again.
There is a similar question over Phillip Dorsett II, who suffered a head injury at the weekend.
If they cannot get these two veterans fit enough to feature, then you can expect playing time for a couple of rookies, and N’Keal Harry and Jakobi Meyers will hope to get their chance to shine if some of the senior players are absent.
The Patriots are being chased by the Baltimore Ravens, and they have their own big worry over the fitness of Michael Pierce.
Their defensive tackle has been instrumental in pushing them this season but missed only his third ever game of a four-year career in week 11.
They will be desperate to get him back for Monday night’s clash with the Los Angeles Rams, but if not, Domata Peko will be prepared to take his place.
The Cleveland Browns find themselves entering week 12 with a depleted backline that is much of their own doing.
Myles Garrett is definitely out for the season, so they are already missing one of their stars thanks to his reckless suspension.
They will also miss Larry Ogunjobi for a one-game suspension for his part in that melee, so now the Browns are sweating on the return of Olivier Vernon, who has been dealing with knee trouble.
However, if they are going to have any hopes of making the playoffs, they have to win pretty much all their remaining games.
Vernon missed practice on Wednesday, making his inclusion against the Dolphins on Sunday less likely.
The New Orleans Saints will be hoping to get a boost this weekend or next from the return of Marshon Lattimore, their key cornerback.
He has been out for the last six weeks with a hamstring injury – they have been coping well in his absence, but his return would be welcomed by the Saints, who are pushing with everything they can to get a higher seeding in their division.
Words: Luke Donovan