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News around the AFC: Titans’ Levis did not practice on Wednesday ahead of Jaguars game and more

Your weekly roundup of news in the AFC from SB Nation blog sites

Tennessee Titans v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Perry Knotts/Getty Images

AFC SOUTH:


Indianapolis Colts (via Stampede Blue)

Colts ‘optimistic’ CB Kenny Moore II will be available in ‘do-or-die’ divisional Texans finale

The Colts appear hopeful that one of their top veteran defenders will be back in a critical clash against the Texans.

“According to his head coach Shane Steichen, the Indianapolis Colts appear ‘optimistic’ that former Pro Bowl cornerback Kenny Moore II (back) will be available in a ‘do-or-die’ divisional finale against the Houston Texans on Saturday (via FOX59/CBS4’s Mike Chappell)”

Houston Texans (via Battle Red Blog)

Will Anderson Jr. sets record mark for Houston Texans rookie

Now, if he can get a pick-six off the Bengals in the playoffs...

“With one game left in the 2023 season, Anderson has 7 total sacks, 21 solo tackles and 15 assists, 10 tackles for loss and 22 quarterback hits. This, despite no additional stats in weeks 14, 15 and 16 due to injury.”

Tennessee Titans (via Music City Miracles)

Titans-Jaguars Weds Injury Report: Will Levis absent

Tennessee Titans starting quarterback Will Levis did not practice on Wednesday

“Levis’ absence from Wednesday’s practice doesn’t qualify as surprising. It’s difficult to imagine Levis healing in time to receive the start on Sunday. Ryan Tannehill will likely make his final regular-season start for the Titans.

Defensive linemen TK McLendon Jr. did not practice with a shoulder designation. Wide receiver Colton Dowell did not practice. Dowell should shortly be placed on IR after suffering a season-ending torn ACL and meniscus last weekend.

In the secondary, cornerbacks Eric Garror (illness/knee) and Anthony Kendall (knee) did not practice. The Titans would miss Garror in the slot if he fails to suit up. Based on the shortage of numbers, Tay Gowan and Kendall Sheffield are candidates to be elevated from the practice squad.

Tennessee’s limited practice participants include Denico Autry (rest), Daniel Brunskill (ankle), Jaelyn Duncan (neck), DeAndre Hopkins (rest), and Sean Murphy-Bunting (hip), among others. Brunskill, Duncan, and Murphy-Bunting are the ones to watch here. Andew Rupcich would start if Brunskill isn’t cleared.”

AFC EAST:


Miami Dolphins (via The Phinsider)

Jerome Baker injury update: Dolphins linebacker designated for return

The Miami Dolphins have opened the practice window for linebacker Jerome Baker

“The Miami Dolphins have used their eighth, and final, activation slot for a player on injured reserve in 2023. According to head coach Mike McDaniel on Wednesday, linebacker Jerome Baker will return to practice and begin working toward his activation and return to game play. Baker could be brought back to the 53-man roster as early as this Sunday’s Week 18 game against the Buffalo Bills, though the team has not indicated whether he will be available or not.”

New England Patriots (via Pats Pulpit)

Matthew Slater still undecided about future beyond Patriots’ season finale against Jets

The 38-year-old is a realistic candidate to retire after the season.

“Contemplating retirement is nothing new for Slater. At age 38, he is among the oldest and most experienced players in the NFL, and has had a career others can only dream of: he is a three-time Super Bowl champion, 10-time Pro Bowler, and arguably the greatest special teams player in league history.”

Buffalo Bills (via Buffalo Rumblings)

Buffalo QB Josh Allen listed with both a neck and finger injury on Wednesday’s report

Allen was a full participant in Wednesday’s practice despite appearing on the injury report

“Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen found himself back on the injury report this week after injuring both his neck and a finger on his throwing hand in Sunday’s win over the New England Patriots.

The injury isn’t particularly great news for the Bills who, with a win over the Miami Dolphins in the NFL’s final game of the 2023 regular season on Sunday night, could secure their fourth straight AFC East divisional title. However, Allen himself has shrugged off the injury saying it’s nothing serious and that he just suffered a stinger — something he had never experienced prior to his scramble for a first down that secured Buffalo’s 27-21 victory over the Patriots.”

New York Jets (via Gang Green Nation)

Jets waive Dalvin Cook

“The Jets are waiving running back Dalvin Cook at his request per his Tom Pelissero.

As Pelissero mentions, Cook likely requested his release because he now can catch on with a Playoff team.”

AFC WEST:


Kansas City Chiefs (via Arrowhead Pride)

Andy Reid confirms Patrick Mahomes will rest in Week 18 against Chargers

The Chiefs will rest their star quarterback in the regular season finale, giving the veteran backup a start.

“In the opening statement of his press conference, Reid revealed the plan to rest quarterback Patrick Mahomes in Week 18, giving the starting reigns to backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert for the week.”

Denver Broncos (via Mile High Report)

Playoff hopes are destroyed, but the Broncos may still have a winning season

Denver may have their first winning record since 2016.

“Now that that the Denver Broncos have officially been eliminated from the playoff picture, it’s easy to view the season as over - but it’s really not. Denver entered 2024 on a victory and with an 8-8 standing, Broncos have a chance to come out ahead next week with its first winning record since 2016.”

Los Angeles Chargers (via Bolts from the Blue)

Chargers Injury Report: Keenan Allen remains sidelined

Chargers wideout Keenan Allen hasn’t suited up since the team’s 24-7 loss to the Broncos in Week 17.

“For the fourth consecutive week, Keenan Allen was once again a non-participant to begin this week’s game prep. Allen hasn’t played since the Chargers’ 24-7 loss to the Broncos in Week 14.”

Las Vegas Raiders (via Silver and Black Pride)

Raiders-Broncos injury update: Josh Jacobs will be game-time decision Sunday

Running back may have played final game for Las Vegas

“Pierce did note that Jacobs will “is going to fight until the end” to try to play Sunday, even though the 7-8 Raiders have been eliminated from playoff contention. Jacobs has missed the past three games with a quad injury.”

AFC NORTH:


Cincinnati Bengals (via Cincy Jungle)

Bengals’ Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins are both day-to-day with injuries

The Bengals may be without their top targets against the Browns.

“Higgins left last week’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs with a hamstring injury. He returned later in the game attempting to play through it. Chase was a game-time decision with a shoulder injury last week. He opted to play through it describing it as a pain tolerance issue at that point.”

Baltimore Ravens (via Baltimore Beatdown)

Lamar Jackson inactive vs Steelers; Ravens QB plans revealed

Tyler Huntley will start Saturday with other quarterbacks to get reps

“With the No. 1 seed in the AFC locked up, the plan for starters is under constant watch as the Ravens game will play on Saturday against Pittsburgh. The largest domino has fallen as Head Coach John Harbaugh revealed on Wednesday that Lamar Jackson would not play.”

Pittsburgh Steelers (via Behind the Steel Curtain)

T.J. Watt voted Steelers MVP for fourth time

Watt is tied for the most MVP selections in team history.

“The Pittsburgh Steelers (-4) voted outside linebacker T.J. Watt as team MVP for the 2023 season today. It’ll be Watt’s fourth Steelers MVP honor since 2019, tying him with Antonio Brown for the most selections in team history.”

Cleveland Browns (via Dawgs by Nature)

Browns add veteran O-line depth to practice squad

Cleveland signs guard Rodger Saffold a day after the 14-year veteran was released by the New York Jets.

“The 6-foot-5 and 325-pound Saffold brings some significant experience to Cleveland as he has made 173 starts since being a second-round selection in 2010 by the St. Louis Rams. Saffold spent his first nine seasons with the Rams before moving on to the Tennessee Titans (46 starts from 2019 to 2021) and then playing last season with the Buffalo Bills (16 starts).”