Robert Griffin III, Jay Cutler headline Week 15′s initial practice participation reports

Brian McIntyre
Shutdown Corner

We begin our look at the key injuries in the NFL with the Thursday Night Football game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Philadelphia Eagles. For the Bengals, first round cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick (head/illness) has been ruled out, while kicker Mike Nugent (right calf) and backup running back Cedric Peerman (ankle) are "doubtful". Nugent missed last Sunday's game against the Cowboys and was replaced by veteran Josh Brown, who remains on the roster. Defensive end Michael Johnson, who is second on the team with 8.5 sacks, is "questionable" with a toe injury that has him in a walking boot. For the Eagles, quarterback Michael Vick, running back LeSean McCoy and tight end Brent Celek are out due to concussions. The Eagles also placed defensive tackle Mike Patterson on the "Reserve/Non-Football Illness" list, removing him from the active roster.

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III was limited in Wednesday's practice due to a "mild" sprain of the lateral collateral ligament in his right knee, but sounds intent on playing against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. Left tackle Trent Williams (thigh) was also limited, while inside linebacker London Fletcher (ankle) did not participate. The Browns practiced with nearly a full allotment of players, listing three as "limited participant", most notably left tackle Joe Thomas, who has a back injury.

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New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (forearm/hip) did not participate in Wednesday's walk-through, nor did defensive tackle Kyle Love, whose wife gave birth to their child. As is usually the case, over a dozen Patriots were listed as "limited", including wide receivers Wes Welker (ankle) and Brandon Lloyd (knee), tight end Aaron Hernandez (ankle), starting offensive linemen Dan Connolly (back), Logan Mankins (ankle/calf) and Sebastian Vollmer (back/knee), defensive end Chandler Jones (ankle), linebackers Dont'a Hightower (hamstring) and Brandon Spikes (knee/ankle), cornerbacks Aqib Talib (hip), Kyle Arrington (knee) and Alfonzo Dennard (hamstring), and safety Patrick Chung (shoulder/hamstring).

Four San Francisco 49ers were limited, including linebacker Aldon Smith and wide receiver Mario Manningham, who have shoulder injuries.

Green Bay Packers safety Charles Woodson will not return from his broken collarbone this week as the club has already ruled him out Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears. Woodson will lose another $62,500 "per game active" roster bonus, bringing his season-long tally to $437,500 in lost income. Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson's hamstring injury prevented him from practicing on Wednesday, while linebacker Clay Matthews (hamstring), guard T.J. Lang (ankle), left tackle Marshall Newhouse (wrist) and receiver Donald Driver (thumb) were limited.

The Packers may healthier than the Bears, who had a lengthy list of players not practicing on Wednesday. Quarterback Jay Cutler (neck/knee), running back Michael Bush (ribs), wide receiver Earl Bennett (concussion), defensive linemen Shea McClellin (knee) and Henry Melton (chest), linebackers Brian Urlacher (hamstring) and Lance Briggs (knee/hip) and cornerback Tim Jennings (shoulder) were out. Urlacher is not expected to play due to his strained hamstring, which could sideline him for the remainder of the regular season.

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New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw (knee/foot), wide receiver Hakeem Nicks (knee), defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (back), linebacker Michael Boley (back) and cornerback Prince Amukamara (hamstring) did not practice on Wednesday. Nicks is expected to return to practice later this week, but head coach Tom Coughlin was non-committal about the statuses of Bradshaw and Amukamara for Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons, who practiced without wide receiver Roddy White (knee), defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux (ribs) and safety William Moore (hamstring). Cornerback Asante Samuel (shoulder), left tackle Sam Baker (hand), left guard Justin Blalock (elbow) and No. 3 receiver Harry Douglas (ribs) were limited.

After placing running back Donald Brown (ankle) on injured reserve, the Indianapolis Colts practiced with Delone Carter, who also has an ankle injury. Rookie Vick Ballard is expected to get the bulk of the work in the Colts' backfield in this Sunday's game against the Houston Texans. Colts center Samson Satele (ankle), right tackle Winston Justice (biceps) and safety Tom Zbikowski (knee) did not participate on Wednesday. On a short week, the Texans practiced without cornerback Alan Ball (foot), linebackers Brooks Reed (groin) and Daryl Sharpton (toe), and punter Donnie Jones, who has a right knee injury. Seven Texans were limited, most notably cornerback Johnathan Joseph (groin), right tackle Derek Newton (knee), defensive end Antonio Smith (ankle) and running back Ben Tate, who has foot and hamstring injuries.

Eight Pittsburgh Steelers missed Wednesday's practice, including linebacker James Harrison (illness), wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (shoulder), cornerbacks Ike Taylor (ankle), Keenan Lewis (hip) and Cortez Allen (groin), second round right tackle Mike Adams (ankle) and safety Troy Polamalu, who has battled a calf injury all season, but had his absence listed as "non-injury related". Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant was visiting a specialist regarding his broken left index finger and missed Wednesday's practice. Surgery remains a possibility, which could end his season. Dallas was also without nose tackle Jay Ratliff (groin), linebacker DeMarcus Ware (elbow), guard Nate Livings (concussion) and first round cornerback Morris Claiborne (concussion).

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Three starters for the Seattle Seahawks did not practice on Wednesday. Defensive end Red Bryant was out with a foot injury that has bothered him throughout the season, while safety Kam Chancellor (groin) and wide receiver Sidney Rice (foot) also sat out the session. Running back Marshawn Lynch was limited with a back injury, while cornerback Walter Thurmond, who is coming off his most extensive action of the season, was limited with a hamstring injury. Nickel cornerback Marcus Trufant was out with a hamstring injury that kept him out of Sunday's 58-0 win over the Cardinals. For the Bills, eight players were absent, a number that is a bit misleading as it includes running back Fred Jackson, who was placed on injured reserve due to a knee injury. Other notable names on Buffalo's "Did Not Participate" list are defensive linemen Marcell Dareus (shoulder), Spencer Johnson (knee) and Kyle Williams (ankle). Starting center Eric Wood was out with a knee injury and is not expected to play against the Seahawks. Defensive end Mark Anderson was limited after missing the last eight games with a knee injury.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Da'Quan Bowers did not practice due to a hamstring injury, as well as a "non-injury" situation that is not believed to be serious. Right guard Jamon Meredith was out due to an ankle injury that has been nagging him for the last few weeks and is not expected to keep him out of Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints, who practiced on Wednesday without offensive tackles Zach Strief (ankle) and Charles Brown (knee), running back Chris Ivory (hamstring), cornerback Corey White (knee) and safety Malcolm Jenkins (hamstring).

The Carolina Panthers opened their week of preparations for Sunday's game against the San Diego Chargers without running back Jonathan Stewart (ankle), wide receivers Brandon LaFell (toe) and Louis Murphy (hamstring), linebacker Thomas Davis (knee) and defensive tackle Dwan Edwards (wrist). Safety Charles Godfrey, who is moving from strong safety to free safety, was limited with a back injury. The Chargers practiced without inside linebacker Donald Butler, right tackle Jeromey Clary and left guard Tyronne Green, while rookie left tackle Michael Harris was limited.

Denver Broncos right guard Chris Kuper (ankle) and linebacker Wesley Woodyard (ankle) were limited. Neither played in last Thursday night's 26-13 win over the Oakland Raiders, but could return for Sunday's game against the Baltimore Ravens, who ruled linebacker Jameel McClain out with a neck injury. Inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (ankle), safety Bernard Pollard (chest) and right guard Marshal Yanda (ankle) did not practice on Wednesday, while running back Ray Rice (hip) and outside linebacker Terrell Suggs (biceps) were limited.

[Related: Where do the Broncos land in the Week 15 Power Rankings?]

Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew did not practice and is "very questionable" with a foot injury. At this point, the 2-11 Jaguars should just end MJD's season and place him on injured reserve. The Miami Dolphins practiced without No. 2 receiver Davone Bess, who has a back injury, and outside linebacker Koa Misi (ankle). Safeties Chris Clemons (ribs) and Jimmy Wilson (hip) were limited.

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Oakland Raiders due to a rib injury. Bowe, who is playing under the one-year franchise tag worth $9.515 million in fully guaranteed base salary, is a candidate for injured reserve. Left tackle Branden Albert (back) and center Ryan Lilja (knee) missed Wednesday's practice, while linebacker Derrick Johnson (hamstring) and cornerback Brandon Flowers (hamstring) were limited. The Raiders practiced without safety Tyvon Branch (neck/ankle) and had right tackle Khalif Barnes (triceps), safety Michael Huff (wrist) and defensive tackle Richard Seymour (hamstring/knee) were limited.

St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson (foot), middle linebacker James Laurinaitis (back) and cornerback Cortland Finnegan (ankle) did not practice on Wednesday. Laurinaitis has not missed a single snap this season, one of a dwindling number of defensive players with perfect playing-time percentages at this stage of the season. Rams wide receiver Danny Amendola was limited with a foot injury, a good sign he'll play against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. Several key Vikings were absent or limited on Wednesday, including cornerback Antoine Winfield (did not participate, knee) and offensive linemen Charlie Johnson (ankle) and Phil Loadholt (knee), tight end Kyle Rudolph (shoulder) and running back Adrian Peterson (abdomen), each of whom was limited.

The Detroit Lions practiced without safety Louis Delmas (knee), cornerback Chris Houston (hamstring), defensive tackle Nick Fairley (shoulder) and tight end Brandon Pettigrew (ankle), while wide receiver Calvin Johnson was limited by a knee injury. The Lions travel to the desert to face the Arizona Cardinals, who placed quarterback Kevin Kolb on injured reserve. Notable injuries for the Cardinals are Calais Campbell, who was limited with a calf injury, but is expected to play against the Lions.

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