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NFL divisional round injuries: Titans’ Derrick Henry clears hurdle to play against Bengals in playoffs

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Believe it or not, the divisional round of the 2021 NFL playoffs are upon us. The NFL’s longest season is down to seven games to determine which team will hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy in Los Angeles on Feb. 13. Four of those games will take play in this weekend’s divisional round, as the Bengals, Buccaneers, Bills, Chiefs, Packers, Rams, Titans, and 49ers vie to keep their respective seasons alive. 

Per usual, injury reports are one of the main headlines leading up to this weekend’s games. And one of the main injury storylines involves Titans start running back Derrick Henry, who is hoping to be back on the field this weekend after missing the second half of the season after suffering a foot fracture. 

Below is the latest update on Henry as well as injury updates from each divisional round matchup. All odds are courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook. 

Bengals at Titans (-3.5) 

The Bengals’ first playoff win in 31 years did not without a cost, especially on their defensive line. The team placed tackle Larry Ogunjobi on injured reserve after injuring his foot. In a corresponding move, the Bengals picked up fellow tackle Zach Kerr off of the Cardinals‘ practice squad. An eight-year veteran, Kerr played in seven regular season games this season while splitting time with the Cardinals and 49ers. 

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Cincinnati also lost Pro Bowl defensive end Trey Hendrickson on Saturday after he was placed in concussion protocol. However, Hendrickson was limited Tuesday and a full participant Wednesday, so it appears he will be good to go for Saturday’s game. 

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For the Titans, their former All-Pro running back cleared the first major hurdle in his quest to face the Bengals in Saturday’s game. The two-time NFL rushing champion, who hasn’t played since breaking his foot in Week 8, endured contact while going through drills during the individual portion of Tuesday’s practice, via ESPN’s Turron Davenport. The Titans want to see Henry participate in the remainder of the team’s practices before making a decision on his status for Saturday’s game. The Titans expect to make a decision on Henry’s status on Friday. 

“It has been a while since he has had contact,” Vrabel said of Henry, who was designated to return to practice from injured reserve on Jan. 5. “We will have a week of work, see how he feels, and make a decision.”

49ers at Packers (-6)

Jimmy Garoppolo is expected to play through significant pain against the Packers. The 49ers’ quarterback is dealing with a torn ligament in his right thumb and a sprained shoulder. 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said Garoppolo sustained the shoulder injury during the second quarter of Sunday’s wild card playoff win over the Dallas Cowboys. Garoppolo acknowledged after the game that the injury impacted his throws during the 49ers’ 23-17 victory. 

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49ers pass rusher Nick Bosa was still in the league’s concussion protocol as of Wednesday afternoon. Bosa sustained the injury during the firs half of Sunday’s game against the Cowboys. Defensive lineman Jordan Willis missed practice at the start of the week as he is dealing with a high ankle sprain. Linebacker Dre Greenlaw (groin), running back Elijah Mitchell (knee) and linebacker Fred Warner (ankle) were among the 49ers’ players who started the week as limited practice participants. 

Packers coach Matt LaFleur is expecting to have receiver Randall Cobb back on the field for Saturday’s divisional round game against the 49ers. Cobb has not played since reportedly undergoing core muscle surgery after getting injured during the Packers’ Week 12 win over the Rams

In other Packers injury news, LaFleur said that practice will determine David Bakhtiari’s availability for Saturday. The three-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle made his season debut in Week 18 after being activated off of the team’s reserve/PUP list in November. He has been working his way back from a torn ACL injury that was sustained during practice prior to the Packers’ final game of the 2020 regular season. 

Rams at Buccaneers (-3)

The only negative from Tampa Bay’s wild card win over Philadelphia where the injuries to offensive linemen Ryan Jensen and Tristan Wirfs. Both players sustained ankle sprains during the Buccaneers’ 31-15 win. Backup tackle Josh Wells sustained a quad injury when he came into the game to relieve Wirfs. As far as Jensen and Wirfs, Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said he likely won’t know the status of either player for Sunday’s game until later in the week. 

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“As tough as he is, I think there’s a chance (of him playing Sunday),” Arians said of Wirfs, via the Tampa Bay Times. “He’s in a boot right now. I think he and Ryan are probably going to go all the way to Friday before we know anything true. So we’ll just have to wait and see.”

Bills at Chiefs (-1.5)

Analysis to come 


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