Biggest Week 9 injury questions for all 32 NFL teams: Latest on Adam Thielen, Sterling Shepard

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen is working his way back from a hamstring injury, while Sterling Shepard of the New York Giants awaits his transfer through the concussion protocol. And oh yeah, Green Bay Packers pass-catching dynamo Davante Adams appears ever closer to a return following his turf toe injury from Week 4.

Our NFL Nation reporters update those situations as well as the top injury question for every other team heading into Week 9, with intel gathered directly from the source:

Jump to:

ARI | ATL | BAL | BUF | CAR | CHI | CIN

CLE | DAL | DEN | DET | GB | HOU | IND

JAX | KC | LAC | LAR | MIA | MIN | NE

NO | NYG | NYJ | OAK | PHI | PIT | SF

SEA | TB | TEN | WSH




AFC EAST




Buffalo Bills



How severe is Levi Wallace's shoulder injury? The Bills starting cornerback, opposite Tre'Davious White, practiced in limited fashion on Wednesday, sporting a red noncontact jersey. That's generally a good sign he'll be ready for Sunday, but if he's not, Buffalo is thin at corner. Kevin Johnson would slide into Wallace's starting role if he can't go, but there's no primary outside cornerback behind Johnson. -- Marcel Louis-Jacques



Miami Dolphins



Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard's ongoing knee injuries ended his season this week, and now the team looks to youngsters such asChris Lammons, Nik Needham, Ryan Lewis, Ken Crawley and Xavier Crawford to pick up his reps. Meanwhile, veteran safety Reshad Jones has missed the past two games and hasn't returned to practice yet, setting him up to potentially miss a third. -- Cameron Wolfe



New England Patriots



Starting right guard Shaq Mason (ankle) missed Sunday's win over the Browns, which thrust James Ferentz on to the top unit in the 30-year-old's first career start. That is easily the Patriots' biggest injury question this week, as overall inconsistent play along the offensive line has contributed to some notable struggles for the Tom Brady-led attack. The Ravens present a big, physical defense, and Mason is arguably the Patriots' best lineman when healthy. -- Mike Reiss



New York Jets


The Jets' beleaguered offensive line probably will have a new lineup this week, with center Ryan Kalil (Knee) likely out. He would be replaced by Jonotthan Harrison. It would be the Jets' fourth different offensive line combination of the season. Left tackle Kelvin Beachum (ankle), out the past two games, is trying to get back this week. -- Rich Cimini


AFC NORTH




Baltimore Ravens



Safety Earl Thomas surprisingly missed Wednesday's practice with a knee injury, which isn't a good sign for a team coming off a bye. The Ravens already are down a starting safety after losing Tony Jefferson (knee) for the season earlier this month. Thomas likely will play, but he definitely is banged up. The good news for Baltimore is that wide receiver Marquise Brown (ankle) and cornerback Jimmy Smith (knee) both returned to practice after missing multiple games. -- Jamison Hensley



Cincinnati Bengals



With A.J. Green on track to make a return when the Bengals resume action in Week 10, defensive end Carl Lawson might have the most to gain from the week off. Lawson has battled a hamstring injury that has kept him out of three of the past five games, including Cincinnati's recent loss to the Rams in London. The Bengals need increased productivity from their pass-rushers. If Lawson can get healthy and increase his sack count, that will be a huge positive as the team looks toward 2020. -- Ben Baby



Cleveland Browns



Safety Damarious Randall continues to sit out practice with a hamstring injury. He remains Cleveland's only injury concern and still is day-to-day. -- Jake Trotter



Pittsburgh Steelers


The Steelers are banged up big time. Entering Sunday's game against the Colts on a short week, that's bad news. The hardest-hit position is the running back group, with the game status of James Conner (shoulder) and Benny Snell (knee) up in the air. As expected, neither practiced Wednesday. If neither can go, it'll be up to Jaylen Samuels, returning from arthroscopic knee surgery, and former practice squad back Trey Edmunds to shoulder the load. To fill some of the depth at the position, the Steelers also signed another former Pitt Panther running back in Darrin Hall to the practice squad. -- Brooke Pryor


AFC SOUTH




Houston Texans



Quarterback Deshaun Watson still is dealing with a swollen left eye after he was kicked in the face in Week 8, but he will play on Sunday against the Jaguars. Houston could get some help in the secondary, as the team hopes cornerback Johnathan Joseph and safety Tashaun Gipson can return in London. -- Sarah Barshop



Indianapolis Colts



Starting cornerback Pierre Desir didn't practice on Wednesday due to the same hamstring that caused him to miss the Week 8 game against Denver. After Desir played the previous week against Houston despite not being healthy, the Colts have decided not to force the issue with their starting cornerback when it comes to his return. "We are going to try and see if we can get him back to 100 percent," coach Frank Reich said. "We'll see how it goes. You never know. He was fighting through it. But we really feel like to do him service and, really, our team service, even though he's the guy who can [still play without practicing], we still got a long stretch of games to go here, the thinking is let's get him to 100 percent so we don't have to worry about that anymore." -- Mike Wells



Jacksonville Jaguars



Kicker Josh Lambo,who has not missed a field goal attempt this season (21 of 21), is battling a groin injury and did not practice on Wednesday. But coach Doug Marrone said he doesn't think it's a serious issue. He did say the team might bring in another kicker on Thursday just in case, because they Jags are leaving Thursday night for London. Punter Logan Cooke can handle kickoffs, and he has taken some PAT and field goal reps in practice, but Cooke said the last time he tried a field goal in a game was his freshman season at Mississippi State. -- Mike DiRocco



Tennessee Titans


Cornerback Adoree Jackson didn't practice last week and was ruled out against the Bucs due to a foot injury that he suffered in the Titans' Week 7 win over the Chargers. Jackson returned to practice on Wednesday. LeShaun Sims started in place of Jackson last week, but the Titans' pass defense allowed 301 passing yards against Tampa. Even though Jackson was listed as a limited, his return to the practice field is a good sign. -- Turron Davenport


AFC WEST




Denver Broncos



Right tackle Ja'Wuan James is "50-50'' to be able to play Sunday against the Browns, according to coach Vic Fangio. And since the Broncos have to start Brandon Allen at quarterback, James' availability is an issue. James originally suffered a left knee injury 10 snaps into the season opener, then missed the next six games before aggravating the injury 22 snaps into Sunday's loss in Indianapolis. James' absence has been an issue for a line that has struggled in pass protection, especially left tackle Garett Bolles. When James had returned to the lineup, the Broncos had hoped to spell Bolles with Elijah Wilkinson, with the potential for Wilkinson to get a chance to play at left tackle. But that plan can't move forward without James in the lineup. Only three quarterbacks have been sacked more than Joe Flacco this season, so protecting Allen, who has never taken a snap in a regular-season game, could be a concern against the Browns. -- Jeff Legwold



Kansas City Chiefs



Defensive tackle Chris Jones practiced Wednesday for the first time since leaving a Week 5 loss to the Colts because of a groin injury. Jones is questionable to play on Sunday against the Vikings. The Chiefs like to have a player who has been out for while get in two weeks of practice before playing in a game. But unless he has a setback, Jones finally appears to be on a track to return to the lineup, whether that's on Sunday or next week against the Titans. -- Adam Teicher



Los Angeles Chargers



Keenan Allen was a limited participant with a lingering hamstring injury on Wednesday. The Cal product was a game-time decision last week but wound up playing 31 snaps and finishing with seven catches for 53 receiving yards in a win over the Bears. Coach Anthony Lynn said Allen could go down a similar path this week. "It's still kind of up in the air," Lynn said. "We'll see where he is at the end of the week." -- Eric D. Williams



Oakland Raiders


Rodney Hudson is dealing with a right ankle injury that knocked him out of Sunday's game after 10 snaps. And while X-rays came back negative, there is no timeline on when the Pro Bowler, whose annual salary of $11.13 million makes him the highest-paid center in the game, will return. Enter undrafted rookie Andre James, who acquitted himself quite well against the Texans. But he also missed Wednesday's practice with an ankle issue. If neither player can go against the Lions, left guard Richie Incognito will play center for the first time since 2010. "Thirty-six years old and learning a new position?" Incognito mused Wednesday. "I love it." -- Paul Gutierrez


NFC EAST




Dallas Cowboys



The Cowboys were off Wednesday, but at a brief practice on Tuesday, linebacker Leighton Vander Esch (neck) and Robert Quinn (rib) were able to get in some work, which is a sign they will be available Monday against the Giants. The bye week helped them, as it did Tyron Smith (ankle), La'el Collins (knee), Randall Cobb (back) and Byron Jones (hamstring). Cornerback Anthony Brown (hamstring) remains iffy to play this week, but Jourdan Lewis has filled in fine. Backup offensive tackle Cameron Fleming tweaked his calf during the bye week practice and sat out Tuesday. If he can't play, then undrafted rookie Brandon Knight could work in as the reserve tackle. -- Todd Archer



New York Giants



The Giants' biggest question again is wide receiver Sterling Shepard. He wants to play, but it's up to the medical staff and doctors if he finally is cleared from his second concussion before Monday night's game against the Cowboys. Shepard did participate in a contact practice on Wednesday. He is expected to meet with doctors later in the week, perhaps over the weekend. The situation is trending in the right direction, and there seems to be a strong chance that Shepard returns this week after missing three games. -- Jordan Raanan



Philadelphia Eagles



DeSean Jackson is optimistic about playing Sunday against the Bears, sources say. He is back practicing for the first time since suffering a Grade 2 abdominal strain in Week 2 against the Falcons. If he holds up during practice this week, the expectation is he'll play versus Chicago. -- Tim McManus



Washington Redskins


Quarterback Case Keenum was limited in practice because he remains in the concussion protocol. He did participate during individual work, though he would go third in the rotation -- behind rookie Dwayne Haskins and then Colt McCoy. If Keenum can't play, then Haskins would make his first start on Sunday at Buffalo. Haskins has played in two games, but both came in relief of Keenum. If healthy, Keenum would start. But if nothing else, this gives Haskins a chance to get more reps with the first team offense, as he took the majority of them on Wednesday. Meanwhile, running back Adrian Peterson did not practice because of an ankle injury that he suffered two weeks ago versus San Francisco. He played with the injury four days later at Minnesota. -- John Keim


NFC NORTH




Chicago Bears



The Bears have a small injury report heading into Sunday's game at Philadelphia, but Chicago really misses defensive tackle Akiem Hicks, who is on injured reserve with an elbow injury. Hicks makes it virtually impossible to run between the tackles against the Bears' defense, and he also is a skilled pass-rusher. The Bears could use Hicks versus the Eagles, who no doubt plan to hand the ball off 10 to 15 times to ex-Chicago running back Jordan Howard. -- Jeff Dickerson



Detroit Lions



Lions offensive lineman Graham Glasgow (back) was injured in the fourth quarter on Sunday against the Giants and missed practice Wednesday. That's going to be something to monitor, but the Lions have been prepping for an injury to an interior offensive lineman all year with their three-guard rotation of Glasgow, Joe Dahl and Kenny Wiggins. It likely would be Dahl and Wiggins at guard if Glasgow can't go. Safety Tracy Walker (knee) missed practice, and he is considered day-to-day, leaving Detroit thin at safety if he can't play. Tavon Wilson and Will Harris likely will get the starts there. -- Michael Rothstein



Green Bay Packers



Davante Adams was an official practice participant -- albeit in a walk-through type of session without helmets -- for the first time since his Sept. 26 turf toe injury. So what has to happen between now and Sunday for him to return? "Just the feedback I get from the docs," he said. "I feel good. I know you guys got a chance to see a little bit today. I feel like I'm in a spot where I can make that call for myself. But I've got to [collaborate] with them and see how they're feeling and look at it one more time, and then we'll make that call." Adams officially was listed as limited in the short workout.-- Rob Demovsky



Minnesota Vikings


Adam Thielen is recovering from the hamstring injury that forced him to miss the Vikings' win over Washington. Coach Mike Zimmer said postgame that Thielen has a "good chance" to return in Week 9 at Kansas City, and the receiver was able to participate in practice on Wednesday on a limited basis, at times seen doing agility work away from the rest of the receiver group. -- Courtney Cronin


NFC SOUTH




Atlanta Falcons



Matt Ryan's status with a sprained right ankle will be the biggest concern coming off this week's bye. All indications are Ryan will be ready to go against New Orleans on Nov. 10. Ryan missed last week's game against Seattle, the first time he has missed a game since December 2009. "Definitely not worried about this weekend's [hypothetical] game, but if we had to, I would say he'd be a go or close to it, I'm sure,'' coach Dan Quinn said. "He pushed it as hard as humanly possible to get himself in a space to get ready to play [last] Sunday, but I would anticipate him being ready for when we come back to play New Orleans." -- Vaughn McClure



Carolina Panthers



Running back Christian McCaffrey was listed as limited on the injury report with a knee injury, but coach Ron Rivera expressed no concern that the NFL's fourth-leading rusher, with 735 yards, would miss Sunday's contest against Tennessee. McCaffrey showed up on the injury report a few weeks ago with a back injury, and he wasn't impacted. This has more to do with getting McCaffrey rest during the week, since he carries such a big load on Sundays. -- David Newton



New Orleans Saints



The bye comes at a great time for running back Alvin Kamara, who missed the past two games with ankle and knee injuries. He returned to practice last week on a limited basis, so there's a good chance he'll be ready for Week 10. It's less clear if tight end Jared Cook and wide receiver Tre'Quan Smith will be back from their own ankle injuries, but the bye gives them each another week of recovery, as well. -- Mike Triplett



Tampa Bay Buccaneers


Not only is Bucs tight end O.J. Howard still not back practicing after suffering a hamstring injury last week, but Cameron Brate also missed Wednesday's practice with a rib injury. Considering the Bucs' lack of consistency from Breshad Perriman as the third wide receiver, as well as the fact that the Bucs elevated Jordan Leggett from the practice squad, this is concerning. On a positive note, coach Bruce Arians said right guard Alex Cappa, who suffered a broken arm against the Saints in Week 5, did do some light work in practice. Arians has been hopeful Cappa can return this week. -- Jenna Laine


NFC WEST




Arizona Cardinals



David Johnson returned to practice on Wednesday after missing Sunday's game as well as practices on Monday and Tuesday. He stretched with the team and went through positional drills but was listed as questionable for Thursday night's tilt against the 49ers. The Cardinals are "still working through it" with Johnson in regard to his status, according to coach Kliff Kingsbury. On Thursday morning, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Johnson is not expected to play. -- Josh Weinfuss



Los Angeles Rams



The Rams' bye week provides relief for a tired group of travelers after the team spent 11 days on the road, with stops in Atlanta and London. It also allows for the continued healing of outside linebacker Clay Matthews, whom Rams coach Sean McVay said had the hardware removed from inside his mouth after undergoing jaw surgery. The Rams hope to have Matthews back for Week 10. The open date also provides ample time for the squad to look out for receiver Brandin Cooks, who traveled to Pittsburgh to see a specialist, after suffering his second concussion in a month. McVay said the team must look out for Cooks the person -- not the football player -- and that they will take their time deciding what is best for him and his health. -- Lindsey Thiry



San Francisco 49ers



The 49ers have a deep stable of running backs, but two of them -- Matt Breida and Raheem Mostert -- are dealing with ailments that could make the quick turnaround to a Thursday night game difficult to overcome. Breida (ankle) and Mostert (quad) did not participate in Tuesday's practice, though coach Kyle Shanahan is remaining optimistic that they'll be ready to play against the Cardinals. If not, expect an expanded role for Jeff Wilson Jr.in complementing Tevin Coleman.Breida and Mostert officially are listed as questionable for Thursday night, but Shanahan told KNBR radio in San Francisco that he expects both to be available against the Cardinals.-- Nick Wagoner



Seattle Seahawks


Bradley McDougald is back to "full speed" after not starting the Seahawks' past two games due to back spasms, coach Pete Carroll said. He returns as Tedric Thompson goes on injured reserve. With Lano Hill still out with an elbow injury, the Seahawks will use their fourth different starting safety combination of the season on Sunday against Tampa Bay -- presumably with McDougald and emerging rookie Marquise Blair. Quandre Diggs is a long shot to make his Seattle debut this week, as he still is dealing with a hamstring injury that predated his arrival in a trade from Detroit. -- Brady Henderson

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