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Shutdown Corner

Christian Ponder, Antoine Winfield headline wild-card weekend’s injury reports

Shutdown Corner

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Christian Ponder is questionable with a right elbow injury (Getty Images)

The Cincinnati Bengals will likely be without starting strong safety Chris Crocker for Saturday afternoon's Wild Card Playoffs game against the Houston Texans. Crocker did not practice on Thursday or Friday and is listed as "doubtful" on the injury report. Re-signed by the Bengals in October, Crocker had 41 tackles and tied for the team lead with three interceptions during the regular season. If he is unable to play on Saturday, cornerback Nate Clements would start at safety.

In positive injury news for the Bengals, running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis participated fully on Friday and is listed as "probable". A healthy Green-Ellis is key against a Texans defense that has already placed inside linebackers Brian Cushing and Daryl Sharpton on injured reserve and will be without run-stuffing linebacker Tim Dobbins (ankle) on Sunday. The Texans placed Dobbins on injured reserve on Friday, signing linebacker Cameron Collins off the practice squad.

The only other injury issue for the Texans is guard Antoine Caldwell, who is "doubtful" due to a back injury.

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jarrett Boykin (ankle) and second-round defensive end Jerel Worthy (knee) are "out", and running back James Starks is "questionable" with a knee injury. Other than that, the current Packers' 53-man roster is available to head coach Mike McCarthy. That includes wide receivers Randall Cobb (ankle) and Jordy Nelson (knee), who participated fully on Thursday and Friday and are "probable" for Saturday night's game against the Minnesota Vikings.

The Vikings are not as fortunate, health-wise, entering Saturday night's game. Starting quarterback Christian Ponder is "questionable" with a right elbow injury he sustained in last Sunday's win over the Packers and that limited him throughout the week's practices. According to Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com, Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier has not seemed concerned about Ponder's availability.

"I think he'll be all right," Frazier said. "He's going to do everything he can to make sure he's ready to go. He's doing a lot more stuff mentally than physical right now. But he should be fine."

Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield is "questionable" due to a broken right hand that he attempted to play through lasts Sunday. Winfield aggravated the injury when attempting to press wide receiver Greg Jennings and was forced to exit the game.

Indianapolis Colts left guard Joe Reitz has not been cleared to play and will miss Sunday's playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens with a concussion. Jeff Linkenbach will likely start in place of Reitz. Five Colts were listed as "questionable", including nose tackle Antonio Johnson (ankle), right tackle Winston Justice (shoulder), backup center A.Q. Shipley (knee) and safety Tom Zbikowski (knee).

The Ravens listed 21 players on their injury report, though 18 were "probable", i.e., are certain to play. The three players listed as "questionable" were wide receiver Tandon Doss (ankle), offensive lineman Jah Reid (toe) and, most notably, safety Bernard Pollard, who has a chest injury. Pro Bowl fullback Vonta Leach (triceps) missed Thursday's practice, but "looked good" on Friday, according to head coach John Harbaugh, and was among those listed as "probable".

Washington Redskins left guard Kory Lichtensteiger (ankle) did not practice at all this week and is "questionable" for Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks. Lichtensteiger missed only one snap this season and is going to make every effort to play, but the smart money is on rookie Josh LeRibeus getting the start. Redskins safety Dejon Gomes, a core member of their special teams units, is "questionable" with a knee injury.

The Seahawks will have all hands on decks as rookie cornerback Jeremy Lane (knee) returned to practice on Friday after being limited on Thursday. Running back Marshawn Lynch (back) was limited on Wednesday, but practiced fully on Thursday, is listed as "probable" and will be good to go against the Redskins on Sunday.

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