Below I go through some of the key injuries. Thankfully Week 16 brought only a few injuries to key fantasy players.
Eddie Lacy, who entered the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers with an ankle injury, limped off the field in the fourth quarter with help from the training staff. He aggravated the same injury and wasn’t able to return. James Starks replaced him in the backfield and would face the Bears’ pitiful run defense in Week 17 if Lacy can’t go.
Lions coach Jim Schwartz said after Sunday's overtime loss to the Giants that Calvin Johnson is dealing with injuries to both his knee and ankle. Johnson’s snaps were limited, and he finished with three catches for 43 yards. He was used as a decoy in the second half and with nothing to play for his Week 17 status is in doubt.
Steve Smith injured his left knee will undergo a MRI on Monday. "When I planted to jump for the ball, I felt it pop," Smith said following the first-quarter injury. Smith returned for one snap, but had to shut it down. "When I went back out there and tried to go, I couldn’t," he added.
Ryan Mathews suffered a left ankle injury in the fourth quarter against the Oakland Raiders. Mathews went to the locker room, returned and re-entered the game. He was seen with a walking boot after the game, but said it was merely precautionary. "I feel good. Sore," Mathews acknowledged. "Tough game. Tough yards. ... It's football. It's a contact sport, so stuff's going to happen. It happened to me." Mathews returned after the injury to finish out Sunday's game, rushing for 99 yards and a score on 25 carries.
Shane Vereen left in the first quarter against the Ravens with a groin injury and never returned. He finished his day with two carries for six yards, and a four-yard touchdown catch. We probably won’t know much until practice starts next week due to the Patriots’ tight-lipped nature.
Linebacker Clay Matthews left the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers after reinjuring his thumb. After sacking Ben Roethlisberger he immediately left the field and headed for the locker room. It is very possible he broke it again.
Tyler Eifert suffered a neck stinger in Sunday's win over the Vikings. Stingers can vary in terms of severity so we’ll need to learn more, but consider him questionable for Week 17.
Andre Brown was carted off in overtime of the game against the Detroit Lions after losing a fumble and sustaining a concussion in the process. His status for Week 17 against Washington is up in the air.
Tony Romo said that he will have an MRI on his back on Monday, but he does not believe the injury will jeopardize his availability for the Week 17 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Von Miller will undergo tests Monday to determine the extent of the knee injury he suffered against the Houston Texans, but early reports are that Denver fears he tore his ACL. This would be a big blow for a team poised to go deep into the playoffs.
Linebacker Brian Orakpo was forced from the game against the Dallas Cowboys due to a strained right groin. It seems unlikely that he’ll play in a meaningless Week 17 game.
Ryan Tannehill will undergo testing on his banged-up knee on Monday. He only exited Sunday's game briefly, so the tests will likely be precautionary, as the Dolphins believe Tannehill's injury is minor.
The St. Louis Rams fear offensive tackle Jake Long tore his anterior cruciate ligament. We’ll know for sure after the MRI, but this is a big blow to the Rams.
Other Injury Notes:
Cornerback Joe Haden left the Week 16 game after aggravating his hip injury. . . . Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro has a possible broken ankle. . . . Bengals offensive tackle Andre Smith left the game against the Vikings due to a sprained left ankle. . . . Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict was forced from the game due to a head injury. . . . Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph suffered a foot injury in the second quarter against the Broncos. . . . Bernard Pierce suffered an apparent right arm injury in the game against the New England Patriots. . . . Jaguars’ defensive tackle Brandon Deaderick suffered an elbow injury against the Titans. . . . Jaguars’ cornerback Dwayne Gratz left the game against the Titans due to a left ankle injury. . . . Texans fullback Brad Smelley was forced from the Broncos’ game due to a calf injury. . . . Panthers' defensive tackle Colin Cole sustained a calf injury against the Saints. . . . Patriots’ strong safety Steve Gregory (leg) suffered a leg injury against the Baltimore Ravens. . . . . Patriots’ free safety Devin McCourty left the game against the Ravens due to a head injury and he was unable to return. . . . Broncos center Steve Vallos suffered a concussion in the first quarter of the Texans game. . . . Linebacker Nick Barnett sprained his against the Cowboys. . . . Ravens’ defensive end Arthur Jones suffered a concussion against the Patriots.