AFC East Injury Preview- Week 17

AFC East Injury Preview- Week 17

The playoff race is heating up in the AFC East heading into Week 17! It has been quite some time since the AFC East was so competitive so late into the season with every team still in playoff contention.

While the Buffalo Bills have secured a playoff berth and the division, the Patriots, Jets, and Dolphins duke it out for the seventh and final playoff spot. The Patriots and Dolphins face each other in what has become a pivotal matchup in recent years either for playoff seeding or berths. The Jets head out west to face the Seattle Seahawks and with both teams at 7-8, fighting for Wild Card spots.

Below are the detailed injury reports for each AFC East team heading into Week 17.

Note: With the AFC East injury reports, not every injury on the report will have a detailed analysis. While I do want to highlight every injury, some don’t have any context. For those that do have context, there will be as much medical analysis as I can provide.

Buffalo Bills | New England Patriots | Miami Dolphins | New York Jets



WR Devante Parker (Concussion)

Parker is still recovering from the concussion he suffered against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 15, missing the last two games. He has yet to get out on the field to practice with the team in any football activities suggesting that he either still has not returned to baseline or cannot progress in exercising without becoming symptomatic. Until he gets some limited practice in, it will be difficult to state when he is able to return. 

CB Jack Jones (Knee)

Jones is still working through what he described as a knee bruise, missing the last two games. He has been able to practice intermittently over the past two weeks, a limited participant last week before being ruled out. Based on the up and down levels of participation, this suggests that he is possibly working through a bone bruise that may be flaring up as he ramps up activity. 

However, he has been ruled out for the third consecutive week despite the razor-thin depth at the cornerback position.

CB Marcus Jones (Concussion)

Jones was a surprising addition to the injury report with a concussion despite playing in a majority of the game Sunday. This was possibly a head injury that presented with delayed symptoms which led to further testing resulting in a concussion. 

TE Jonnu Smith (Concussion)

Smith suffered a concussion on the hit below, getting his head hit twice on a bang-bang play notes below. 

He was unable to pass through the protocol this week, not even able to practice, ruling him out for Week 17. 


CB Jalen Mills (Groin)

Mills has missed the four games due to a groin injury suffered in Week 12. At this point, I suspected he suffered a core muscle injury that may require surgery in the off-season. 

He may be forced to play after a limited practice Friday and not practicing Wednesday or Thursday. I suspect his play will really suffer despite having four weeks off and he may be a liability struggling to the opposite side of the injured groin. 

CB Jonathan Jones (Chest)

Jones appeared on the injury report with the same designation and was able to play in 100 percent of snaps despite the injury. I would expect that he can again do the same thing, especially with the depth of his position. 

RB Rhamondre Stevenson (Left ankle)

Despite suffering what appeared to be a left high-ankle sprain against the Arizona Cardinals, Stevenson has managed to play through the injury the last two weeks, racking up 202 yards and a touchdown. With Damien Harris active, I don’t see Stevenson sitting this one out, but may see his workload reduce.

WR Tyquan Thornton (Knee)

Thornton suffered a knee injury in practice last Wednesday, leaving him questionable for the game. He was able to play but the knee injury cost him reps again this week he appears on track to play despite the questionable designation.

TE Hunter Henry (Right knee)

Henry suffered a right knee injury late in the first quarter when he collided with fellow TE Jonnu Smith. It appeared as though Smith’s thigh caught the front of Henry’s knee, causing both to fall to the turf below. 

He was initially questionable to return but ultimately did not, playing only three offensive snaps. He was limited all week and may be a true game-time decision. 


RB Damien Harris (Left Thigh)

Harris finally is on track to play after missing four games with a left thigh injury originally sustained in the contest against the Minnesota Vikings. He was limited on Wednesday due to the injury before missing Thursday due to a personal matter. He was able to practice in full Friday and will still likely see a limited number of snaps as he is probably still not fully healthy. 

OT Yodney Cajuste (Illness)

After being on the injury report for the past several weeks due to back and calf issues, Cajuste shows up with an illness. He was unable to practice all week and is questionable for the game. 

S Adrian Phillips (Illness)

Phillips missed practice Thursday with an illness but practiced in full on Friday. 



QB Tua Tagovailoa (Concussion)

Tagovailoa is out after suffering his second official concussion of this season late in the first half when he hit the turf as he was tackled. This is potentially his third as he was wobbly during the Week 3 matchup against the Buffalo Bills. 

He must pass through the five-stage concussion protocol as he has before, but to rush back out there would be a bad look for the team and league as they focus on player safety. This is a situation that has to play out as it did the first time when he suffered his head injury against the Cincinnati Bengals. To miss the last two games of the regular season and then return in the playoffs if the Dolphins make it could be possible, but every concussion is different.

There are a lot of opinions and controversy about the management of athletes with multiple concussions, especially those that suffer them within the same season. The health of the player should be the only point to consider at this time both short and long-term. Whatever the decision, not everyone will be happy, but as long as it is in the best interest of the player, then so be it.


OT Eric Fisher (Calf)

A recent signing, Fisher played in Week 15 before missing the following game in Week 16 due to a calf injury. This was likely an acclimation injury having not played since last season with the Indianapolis Colts.

Doubtful players rarely suit up and would only play in the event a pregame injury occurred. Fisher will likely miss his second consecutive game. 


OT Terron Armstead (Right toe/Left pectoral/knee/hip)

Armstead somehow continues to get out there each and every week despite playing through a toe injury since Week 1 and more recently the pectoral, knee, and hip injuries. I feel like Armstead is a Jenga tower, still standing despite key supports being removed, but waiting for that final injury to knock him over. 

I expect he plays despite the injuries and not practicing all week, but he has been an incredible player despite playing with multiple injuries all season.

LB Bradley Chubb (Ankle/hand)

Last week, Chubb was on the injury report with a knee injury sustained in practice, however, he is now working through an ankle and hand injury. 

The hand injury occurred in the first quarter to the right hand and he was spotted with a black cast in practice this week. This suggests that he broke a metacarpal bone in his hand, one of the long bones that connect the fingers to the wrist. 

While the cast would hold a fracture in place, this won’t stop the pain totally when trying to tackle. He will also be limited with hand fighting and tackling which may leave him to alter his plan of attack. 

As for his ankle injury, he did require surgery last year to remove a bone spur early in the season. It’s not clear if the ankle was injured again or if this is even the same side, but Chubb will likely manage.

I do expect him to play despite his questionable designation. 

WR River Cracraft (Calf)

Cracraft continues to work back from a calf injury suffered prior to Week 14 that has cost him the last three games. He returned to practice this week, although only able to get in a limited practice Friday. I’m not thrilled about his chances to play Sunday. 

CB Xavien Howard (Knee)

Howard appeared on the injury report Thursday with a knee designation, originally limited before being downgraded to not participating Friday. Other than the designation, reports do not specify what the issue is. 

FB Alec Ingold (Right thumb)

Ingold suffered a right thumb injury sometime in the second half of Sunday’s loss to the Packers, questionable to return. 

I was unable to find whether he did return, but practice reports stated that he had a cast on his right-hand today suggesting that he either has a nondisplaced fracture in the area or a bad sprain the team wants to immobilize for now. 

He is officially questionable but I do expect him to play given the stakes. I would expect he is primarily used on blocking plays and will not have much impact on the passing or running game with regards to the actual football.

OT Greg Little (Foot)

Little appeared to injure his foot in practice Friday, leaving him limited. Details of the injury are unknown at this time. I would expect that he attempts to play and if he cannot, Eric Fisher would get the nod. 


S Clayton Fejedelem (Knee)

Fejedelem was able to practice all week despite the knee designation. 

LB Jaelan Phillips (Toe)

Phillips has been working through a toe injury, possibly a minor turf toe injury since last week that hasn’t affected his snap count or production. If this is a turf toe, he likely has a plate and tape in the area to prevent excessive dorsiflexion through the toe. 

I can’t say I’ve watched a lot of Dolphins games this year, but I’d expect Phillips to be lining up with the affected foot on the outside. It’s still a lot of pressure through the toe, but less and the plate could help offload the pressure to the rest of the foot. 

S Eric Rowe (Quad/knee)

Rowe was working through a hamstring injury prior to the new designation of quad/knee, but other than the change, it’s not clear the severity of the injury. 

QB Teddy Bridgewater (Knee)

Bridgewater is expected to start despite working through a knee issue that flared up prior to Week 10, leaving him inactive for the past six weeks. This knee issue may be related to his knee injury suffered back when he was with the Minnesota Vikings He has not seen any game action since Week 6 but with the playoffs on the line, Bridgewater will have to step up in place of Tua Tagovailoa due to his concussion. 

CB Kader Kohou (Right thumb)

Kohou continues to work through a right thumb injury, more likely a sprain due to his continued presence since Week 11. He hasn’t missed any time due to the injury, but it has limited his ability at times in coverage due to wearing a brace on the area. 



CB Brandin Echols (Quad)

Echols is set to miss his third consecutive game with a quadriceps injury originally sustained against the Buffalo Bills in Week 14. Regrettably, he had a similar injury last year which cost him three games and it looks like this injury will cost him the same amount of time. Depending on the outcome of this weekend’s game, he could be a player that goes to IR only to bring up someone else to the roster for further evaluation. 

WR Jeff Smith (Knee)

Smith continues to work through a knee injury sustained in the second half against the Detroit Lions in Week 15. He missed the Jacksonville game and is expected to miss this game as well after not practicing all week.


DE Vinny Curry (Elbow)

Curry appeared on the injury report with an elbow designation Friday, appearing to suffer the injury in practice. No other details are available at the moment. 

G Nate Herbig (Ankle)

Like Curry, Herbig showed up on the injury report but with an ankle designation. This potentially occurred in practice this week, giving minimal details about the severity of the injury. 

S Lamarcus Joyner (Hip)

Joyner has been dealing with a hip issue off and on during the second half of the season, first appearing in Week 9 before showing up again in Week 14.

He missed the following week after being a late addition to the injury report but is still limited in practice except for Friday which implies the team is looking to manage his reps to save him for gameday.


OT Duane Brown (Left shoulder)

Brown has been working through a left rotator cuff tear all season and suffered shortly after signing prior to the regular season. He was placed on injured reserve for the first four games before returning with a shoulder brace. He has not missed a snap since he returned.

OT George Fant (Knee)

Fant has been dealing with a chronic knee issue dating back to last season after undergoing a procedure on his knee that ended his season. He did have an ACL tear several years ago which may explain why he is knee is becoming problematic if he is dealing with arthritis. He has already missed eight games due to the knee. 

WR Denzel Mims (Concussion)

Mims cleared the concussion protocol Thursday after missing last week’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. His concussion came as a result of getting a knee to the back of his head late in the first quarter against the Detroit Lions. His return will be welcomed for a Jets team that still is fighting for a playoff spot.

QB Mike White (Ribs)

White has officially been cleared to return to play following rib fractures that forced him out of the past two games. He has maintained that he always felt well enough to play, but doctors were concerned that he could suffer further damage to his internal organs if he took additional hits. 

White will likely receive some rib blocks to manage the pain and wear a flak jacket for added protection. He may still be limited at times, especially if he receives several hits as he did against the Bills. Based on how he kept coming back in Week 14 despite his injuries, it will take a superhuman effort to remove White from the field now that he’s back out there.



S Jordan Poyer (Right knee)

The only questionable player heading into this week, Poyer has been working through a right knee injury originally sustained in the Dolphins game below.

The assumption is that it is a bad contusion that was aggravated playing on the cold, hard ground last week. He was unable to practice this week other than a limited practice Friday. This is likely the team’s way to keep him fresh for gameday and prevent any flare-ups. 

The Bills are undefeated with Poyer in the lineup and with a game this important, I don’t see how he doesn’t play.


QB Josh Allen (Right elbow)

Allen continues to practice in full and receive treatment for his elbow injury originally sustained in Week 9 against the New York Jets. He has begun to put more zip back on his throws and looked like the Josh of old, but he will still continue to manage this elbow sprain until the offseason. 

DE Boogie Basham (Calf)

Basham will return this week following missing last week’s contest against the Chicago Bears with a calf injury. It wasn’t clear what side or when he suffered the injury against the Miami Dolphins, but Basham coming off the edge will be welcomed with the recent loss of Bengals OT La’el Collins due to an ACL/MCL tear last week. 

He is still at risk to re-injure the calf, but the team will likely manage his snaps through the defensive line rotation to keep him and everyone fresh. 

WR Stefon Diggs (Illness)

Diggs missed Wednesday’s practice with an illness before returning to practice in full the rest of the week. He had his usual veteran rest day on Friday.

RB Taiwan Jones (Hamstring)

Jones was a surprise addition to the injury report this week, working through a hamstring strain. It’s not known when he suffered the injury, but he does not have a designation and he has played through multiple injuries before. Considering his role on special teams, he can risk getting out there for brief periods of time to get the job done. 

TE Dawson Knox (Right hip)

Knox worked through a right hip pointer injury from Saturday when he fell to the ground early in the first quarter. He was able to return to the game and finished but wore a non-contact jersey this week to prevent any aggravation to the area. 

CB Cam Lewis (Right forearm)

Lewis continues to be a full participant on the injury report due to a chronic bone infection in his right forearm dating back to an injury from college. What that exact treatment is that receives is unknown at this time. 

LB Matt Milano (Left knee)

Milano continues to limit his workload during the week as he works though his knee injury originally sustained against the Patriots in Week 13. At this point, there is an unknown variable that is presenting itself as to why his knee injury is lingering. This will be an injury that we hear about after the season that will only add to what should be an All-Pro season.

C Mitch Morse (Concussion)

It was announced on Thursday that Morse had cleared concussion protocol and returned to practice in full. He has successfully recovered from his sixth publicly documented concussion in just over one week’s time as he did the previous one in 2020.

As with every injury, there is an obvious concern for future injury, but the team and Morse have taken steps to mitigate the risks. This includes practicing with a Guardian Cap this week, not rushing his timeline for recovery, and discussing his health with the best doctors in the country. 

DT Jordan Phillips (Right shoulder)

Despite missing portions of the game last week due to aggravating the right shoulder injury that cost him the past two games. It is suspected that he is working through a labrum tear in his shoulder, leading to frequent instability. 

I would expect that his snaps are limited to specific packages or obvious passing downs. Playing the run may only aggravate the shoulder as he tackles in close quarters, but he will still have to use the shoulder blocking in either situation.


CB Christian Benford (Oblique)

Benford was activated this week following his four-game stint for his oblique injury suffered against the Detroit Lions in Week 12. The expectation is that he can be activated to the roster with a corresponding roster move, but the team has the window activated now in case of injury or if he is a better option than anyone else on the roster currently.

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