Divisional playoffs injury updates
John Clayton checks in on the injury status of Panthers RB DeShaun Foster and more heading into the divisional playoffs.
Here is the latest news on key injuries going into the divisional playoffs:
John Clayton is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.
Washington Redskins at Seattle Seahawks
Washington Redskins: Wide receiver James Thrash has a big cast to protect a broken thumb, but it's not certain whether he will play. He missed practice all week, and Joe Gibbs lists him as questionable. If Trash can't play, the Redskins may have to use Jimmy Farris as their No. 3 wide receiver. Cornerback Shawn Springs will be able to start after recovering from a groin injury. Left tackle Chris Samuels (ankle) and defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin (shoulder) practiced the past two days and are listed as probable. Both will start.
Seattle Seahawks: The bye week allowed the Seahawks to get healthy again. Cornerback Marcus Trufant was a question mark early in the week because of a sore back but he practiced all week and should start, reuniting with cornerbacks Andre Dyson and Kelly Herndon, who missed a good portion of December with injuries. Trufant and Dyson will start. Starting outside linebacker D.D. Lewis is questionable with a foot injury. He practiced all week and is expected to play, but it's not certain whether he will start. Right tackle Sean Locklear did light work on the side because of a hip injury suffered in practice, but Mike Holmgren says Locklear will start. Backup tackle Wayne Hunter will miss the game with an ankle injury. Defensive end Alain Kashama is expected to be inactive with a hamstring injury. Defensive end Joe Tafoya (hamstring) is questionable but he practiced and is expected to play.
New England Patriots at Denver Broncos
New England Patriots: The mystery still involves inside linebacker Tedy Bruschi, whose name doesn't appear on the injury report. Bruschi, who missed the last game of the season with a calf injury, dressed for last week's game against the Jaguars but he didn't play. Bruschi moved fair in practice and had a little bit of a limp. Though he's expected to play, how much he will be on the field will depend on how well he moves in pregame warmups. Most people expect him to start against the Broncos. The Patriots have 12 others players listed on the injury report but there aren't any major injuries that should affect them. Some of those players will be inactive, but those will be coaching decisions, not physical decisions.
Denver Broncos: The Broncos had all 53 players on the practice field all week, but it doesn't appear cornerback Darrent Williams is ready to start coming off a groin injury. Williams said he's only about 67 percent. The plan is to start Domonique Foxworth and use Williams as a backup. Defensive end Courtney Brown has recovered from a shoulder injury and will play. Middle linebacker Al Wilson will wear a cast to protect a broken thumb.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Indianapolis Colts
Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers lost two players in last Sunday's victory over the Bengals. Wide receiver Quincy Morgan went on injured reserve with a slight fracture in his leg. He was replaced on the roster by wide receiver Lee Mayes. Linebacker James Harrison won't play because of a high ankle sprain. He's listed as doubtful and didn't practice all week. He could be out a couple of weeks. All the other Steelers practiced and will be able to play. Defensive end Kimo von Oelhoffen missed one day of practice because of a knee injury but he's practiced the last two days and is fine.
Indianapolis Colts: The only question mark for the Colts is cornerback Kelvin Hayden (ankle), who is questionable with an ankle. He will see how he can do in warmups before Sunday's game against the Steelers. If he can't go, the Colts will use Von Hutchins as the backup nickel defensive back. Wide receiver-kick-returner Troy Walters rested Thursday because of a slight groin injury and some leg fatigue, but he practiced Friday and was fine. Defensive end Josh Thomas returned to practice after missing a day with shoulder injury. He will be available. Thanks to the bye week, the Colts are in good shape physically. Ryan Diem returns after being out with a knee sprain.
Carolina Panthers at Chicago Bears
Carolina Panthers: The Panthers upgraded fullback Brad Hoover from questionable to probable Friday after he returned to practice after missing two days. Hoover has been bothered by an ankle injury. DeShaun Foster says his turf toe injury feels good. He's been dealing with it for about a month and is coming off two of his best games of the season, gaining 316 rushing yards. Foster has had to take some pain-killing injections before the past few games, but it's possible he might not have to have one for this game. Defensive tackle Kindal Moorehead (illness), wide receiver Ricky Proehl (illness), guard Tutan Reyes (toe) and linebacker Brandon Short (knee) are probable. They all practiced Friday and are set to play Sunday.
Chicago Bears: The Bears list only three players on their injury report. Fullback Bryan Johnson, who is listed as questionable with a foot injury, won't play. He suffered a stress fracture in a foot Dec. 28. Guard Terrence Metcalf is doubtful with a knee injury, but Roberto Garza will be the starter. Backup guard Lennie Friedman is questionable with a knee injury and hasn't practiced all week. Linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer isn't on the injury report and will play with a cast to protect a fractured thumb. He fractured the thumb on Dec. 4.
John Clayton is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.
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