The injury lists gets longer as the season goes on but for this week 17 the injuries get a different twist. Many teams have their futures locked up and so there is no need to risk players while other players will need to win every game so look for superstars to play even if they have a nagging injury.
The New England Patriots have the playoffs locked up and although they can get a better seeding depending on the outcome of the Houston Texans and the Denver Broncos game, not much should change. The one injury that will get a lot of attention is the recovery of tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Gronkowski is a huge target on offense and Tom Brady would love to have him back for a warm up game before the playoffs start. His status remains questionable but don’t be surprised if he makes an appearance in Week 7 against the Miami Dolphins.
Rookie Robert Griffin III returned from a knee injury to suit up last week and lead his team to victory. With a must win home game on Sunday night football expect RG3 to suit up and try and clinch the NFC East.
The Vikings are also in a must win game and head coach Leslie Frazier said running back Adrian Peterson (abdomen, groin) will absolutely play in the team’s Week 17 game. Peterson was kept out late in Week 16 with soreness.
Other teams that are out of the playoffs are shelving players for the remainder of the season.
Oakland Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said QB Carson Palmer (ribs, lung) will not play Week 17 because of broken ribs and a bruised lung he suffered in Week 16. Palmer had to spend a night in the hospital after suffering the injuries. The Raiders have no need for him anymore as their season is over.
The injury report deserves a second look every week when handicapping football games, especially in Week 17.