While backup quarterback Chad Henne inspired hashtags on social media in helping the Kansas City Chiefs hold off the Cleveland Browns in the divisional playoff round this past Sunday, all eyes in K.C. (and the NFL, for that matter) are watching Chiefs injury reports, wondering if All-Pro quarterback Patrick Mahomes will be available for Sunday’s matchup with the Buffalo Bills.
As far as the other three teams are concerned, the Bills have questions at wide receiver and could be promoting a veteran off the practice squad, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are hopeful about Antonio Brown and a key defensive player that has been out since October, while the Green Bay Packers could have all hands on deck.
Our NFL Nation reporters update the top injury question for every team heading into conference championship weekend:
No. 5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at No. 1 Green Bay Packers, 3:05 p.m. ET, Fox
Buccaneers: An MRI revealed no major structural damage to the knee of wide receiver Antonio Brown, and he will be “day-to-day” this week, a source told ESPN. Brown had become Tom Brady’s most targeted receiver in the final five weeks of the regular season. Also, in a surprise move that virtually no one saw coming, the Bucs activated defensive tackle Vita Vea from injured reserve this week. Vea suffered a fractured ankle against the Bears in Week 5 but has made such encouraging progress that the team is contemplating using him this week, which would provide a huge boost in pressuring Aaron Rodgers and making their top-ranked run defense even more stout against Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones. They’ll get a better feel for Vea’s progress and readiness as the week goes on. — Jenna Laine
Packers: The Packers didn’t have a single DNP among their active-roster players Wednesday, which was good news for their running back depth after rookie AJ Dillon couldn’t finish Saturday’s divisional playoff game against the Los Angeles Rams because of a quad injury. The same goes for kicker Mason Crosby, who injured his shoulder after a bad snap on an extra-point attempt led to holder JK Scott trying to throw a pass to Crosby for the conversion. So long as the Packers don’t have any fakes planned with Crosby as either the passer or the receiver, they should be OK. — Rob Demovsky
No. 2 Buffalo Bills at No. 1 Kansas City Chiefs, 6:40 p.m. ET, CBS
Bills: How serious is Gabriel Davis’ ankle injury? The rookie receiver left Saturday’s win over the Ravens before returning but did not practice in Buffalo’s first practice of the week Wednesday. Arguably the Bills’ most versatile receiver besides Stefon Diggs, Davis’ absence creates a hole in the Bills’ offense that could possibly be filled by recently-signed practice squad wideout Kenny Stills. It’s too early to guess whether or not Davis will play but Buffalo will need all hands on deck if it wants to capture its first AFC Championship since the 1993 season. — Marcel Louis-Jacques
Chiefs: Patrick Mahomes’ work week couldn’t have gotten off to a better start. He practiced Wednesday, though he remains in the concussion protocol. The Chiefs listed Mahomes as a limited practice participant, though Andy Reid said he took all of the snaps in practice. — Adam Teicher