NFL Week 18 injuries and players resting: Lamar Jackson, Derrick Henry, more originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
And just like that, the 2022 NFL regular season is coming to a close.
But the status of some marquee players – from teams that have clinched a postseason berth and teams still vying for a spot – are up in the air for the pivotal finale.
Here’s a look at some of the key injury situations and teams who are resting their players in Week 18:
Is Derrick Henry playing this week?
After losing six in a row, the Tennessee Titans (7-9) fumbled the top spot in the AFC South and now desperately need a road win against the Jacksonville Jaguars (8-8) to win the division and clinch a postseason berth.
But with starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill on injured reserve, the pressure is on star running back Derrick Henry to shoulder a heavier load, who is currently dealing with a hip injury. There is optimism for Titans fans, as Henry has been a full participant in practice all week and is expected to play on Saturday.
Is Lamar Jackson out again this week?
The Ravens (10-6) have already clinched a playoff berth but will be second in the AFC North behind Cincy (11-4) no matter the outcome of Sunday’s game. Going into the postseason, however, Jackson’s status remains unclear.
Will Josh Allen play Week 18 against the Patriots?
But star quarterback Josh Allen is dealing with a right elbow and ankle injury. The elbow injury first occurred during Week 10, but the ankle injury is fresh. Buffalo has him listed as a full participant from Friday’s practice, so there’s a good chance he’ll take the field in what will be an emotional day as the Bills rally for Damar Hamlin.
Who is the Jets QB in Week 18?
The New York Jets’ quarterback carousel will continue in Week 18. With Mike White out due to a rib injury, Robert Saleh and Co. are turning to Joe Flacco over Zach Wilson to start against the Miami Dolphins.
New York has already been eliminated from playoff contention, so to start a 37-year-old Flacco over last year’s No. 2 overall pick is quite telling.
What is Jalen Hurts’ Week 18 status?
The Philadelphia Eagles could have star signal caller Jalen Hurts back in the mix after losing two in a row, jeopardizing the No. 1 seed in the NFC. Hurts is “trending in the right direction” but doesn’t have an official designation after suffering a shoulder injury.
Are the Giants resting starters in Week 18?
With the Giants locked in at No. 6, they don’t have anything to play for besides players maintaining their rhythm before the Wild Card round begins. However, head coach Brian Daboll reportedly is expected to rest several key starters for Week 18, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.
That means Tyrod Taylor could log his first start of the season. He’s made two appearances in Weeks 4 and 14, with the latter being against Philadelphia. In the 48-22 loss, Taylor came in and completed all five passes for 47 yards and a touchdown to go with two rushes for 40 yards.
What other NFL teams are resting players in Week 18?
Other than the report about the Giants, no team has yet to come out about resting their starters. It may be possible for teams already out of postseason contention, but some who have clinched but won’t be affected by seeding scenarios – like the Giants – could begin the game with starters but phase in backups as the game progresses.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers can do so, having locked up the No. 4 seed by clinching the NFC South. In the AFC, the Los Angeles Chargers can oscillate between the No. 5 and 6 seeds. They’re currently No. 5, ahead of the Ravens, but head coach Brandon Staley is seeking to maintain that spot as they head to Denver.