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NFL Week 12 injuries: News on Kupp, Higgins, Ward, more

Three NFC divisional rivalry games filled the NFL’s Thanksgiving menu, and fortunately there were no major injuries to report.

The Green Bay Packers upset the Detroit Lions, whose Thanksgiving Day losing streak stretched to seven games. Later, the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers posted dominant performances — Dallas routing the visiting Washington Commanders, and San Francisco going on the road and manhandling the Seattle Seahawks.

Much of the injury news for Sunday’s games surrounds pass-catchers and the players who cover them. The Cleveland Browns will be without Denzel Ward, who has been one of the NFL’s best cornerbacks this season, due to a shoulder problem. The Cincinnati Bengals will be without wide receiver Tee Higgins for a third consecutive game because of a hamstring injury.

Meanwhile, the news was all good for the Los Angeles Rams. Wide receiver Cooper Kupp says he’ll play on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, and they’re also expected to get back running back Kyren Williams, who has been on injured reserve since the Rams’ first game against the Cardinals in Week 6.

Here are more injury updates from our NFL Nation reporters as we head toward the Sunday matchups:

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Injury: Ankle; ankle

Kupp will play Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, coach Sean McVay said Friday. The receiver left the Rams’ Week 11 victory over the Seattle Seahawks and was considered day-to-day with a right ankle sprain. He did not practice on Wednesday, was limited at practice on Thursday, and will be a full participant on Friday, McVay said.

Williams, the Rams’ leading rusher in each of their first six games, has missed the past four games with an ankle sprain. He suffered the injury against the Cardinals on Oct. 15, a game in which he rushed for a career-high 158 yards and a touchdown. He has been a full participant in practice all week. McVay said the Rams “want to be able to give him a good workload” in his first game back, but they also want to be cognizant that he had a high snap count prior to his Week 6 injury and want to find a better balance going forward.

— Sarah Barshop

Injury: Hamstring

Higgins will miss his third straight game with a hamstring injury. While he’s making good progress in his recovery, the staff figured it was best if he continues to rest. Trenton Irwin is in line to get the start in Higgins’ absence. Look for rookie Andrei Iosivas to also get some reps as he comes back from a knee injury.

— Ben Baby

Injury: Shoulder

The Browns will be without their Pro Bowl corner against the Broncos. Ward is having his best season yet, as a key part of the NFL’s top-ranked defense. With Ward out, Greg Newsome II and Mike Ford will play bigger roles.

— Jake Trotter

Injury: Knee

Smith popped up on the injury report late in the week and did not practice Friday. While he doesn’t carry a designation into the game and is expected to play, it’s worth monitoring, especially with A.J. Brown (thigh) also banged up.

— Tim McManus

Injury: Hip; shoulder

Flowers, who is officially questionable, said he will definitely play despite missing Thursday’s practice. “I’m ready to go,” Flowers said after Friday’s practice. “I feel great.” Will Flowers play Sunday night? “That wasn’t even a question. I had to take a little break real quick but now I’m back.” Flowers could be in line to have a big game against the Los Angeles Chargers, who have the NFL’s worst defense. Lamar Jackson could target Flowers often, especially with TE Mark Andrews (ankle) out for the foreseeable future.

Beckham said he’s a “game time” decision. He’s listed as questionable, but he had a full practice Friday, which means he’s trending toward playing. Beckham injured his left shoulder in the Ravens’ 34-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Nov. 16. Beckham said, “I’m trying my best in each and every way. I won’t say it will be pain-free. I’m definitely trying to find a way to do what I can for this locker room and this team.” Beckham is coming off his best game of the season — 116-yard game against Cincinnati.

— Jamison Hensley

Injury: Knee

Two-time Pro Bowl edge rusher Crosby has not missed a defensive snap since the Raiders’ blowout loss at the Chicago Bears on Oct. 22, and he has played every snap in seven of Las Vegas’ 11 games. But Crosby, who has been dealing with a knee issue since Week 2 and has missed only 13 snaps all season, missed a practice for the first time in 2023 on Wednesday. Vet’s day off? Mere maintenance? Hard to imagine Crosby and his 10.5 sacks missing a matchup with Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs but if so, expect rookie Tyree Wilson‘s snap count to go way up, along with Malcolm Koonce.

— Paul Gutierrez

Injury: Concussion

Carolina’s starting TE will miss his second straight game with a concussion. The Panthers ran a lot of two tight ends sets last week and probably will again with Ian Thomas, Tommy Tremble and Stephen Sullivan. Tremble had a touchdown catch last week.

— David Newton

Injury: Ankle/shin

Foreman was upgraded from DNP to limited in Friday’s practice after injuring his ankle and shin against the Detroit Lions, which forced him to exit the game in the first half. Foreman entered the Lions game as questionable with an ankle injury and was able to play, but injuries in back-to-back weeks is something the Bears will monitor closely. Fortunately for the Bears backfield, Khalil Herbert and Roschon Johnson are both healthy.

— Courtney Cronin

Injury: Concussion

Parker has missed the last two games and was limited through the team’s initial practices of the week. He had been the Patriots’ top outside receiver earlier in the season, but now projects to more of a reserve role, with receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster, Jalen Reagor and Demario Douglas seeing an increase in playing time.

— Mike Reiss

Injury: Thumb

Hardman has been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Las Vegas Raiders with what the Chiefs have called a sprained thumb. Hardman did not practice this week, and coach Andy Reid said his absence could extend beyond this week’s game.

— Adam Teicher

Injury: Hamstring

Fitzpatrick hasn’t played since injuring his hamstring against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Oct. 29. The Steelers elected not to place Fitzpatrick on IR, but this will be his fourth game missed. Earlier this week, coach Mike Tomlin declined to say if Fitzpatrick had suffered a setback causing him to miss more time than initially expected. Fitzpatrick’s continued absence is even more concerning with other injuries in the secondary, including Keanu Neal and Elijah Riley each going on IR in back-to-back weeks.

— Brooke Pryor

Injury: Concussion

Kelly seemed on track to return this week but ultimately did not pass concussion protocol. Backup Wesley French probably will start in his place, making his third start of the season. He’ll have his hands full helping to block Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Vita Vea.

— Stephen Holder

Injury: Ankle

Hollins has been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints after missing the past two days of practice. Hollins, who is typically one of Atlanta’s starting receivers along with Drake London, will be replaced with a combination of receivers Van Jefferson and KhaDarel Hodge, running back Cordarrelle Patterson and tight end Jonnu Smith.

Kicker Younghoe Koo (back), who had missed Wednesday’s practice, is good to go and not listed on the final injury report of the week.

— Michael Rothstein

Injury: Hamstring

Lawrence hasn’t practiced at all this week. He said his activity was primarily running on a treadmill. Even though he’s feeling significantly better than the beginning of the week, the Giants are likely to be without their most dominant defensive player against the New England Patriots. It wouldn’t make much sense to rush him back with the Giants having a 3-8 record and a bye next week. Still, when asked if he had a chance to play Sunday, Lawrence responded “always.” He has yet to miss a game in his professional career (75 games) because of injury.

— Jordan Raanan

Injury: Hamstring

Campbell will miss his second consecutive game (and fourth overall) with the injury. Second-year player Montaric Brown will get the start in Campbell’s place. He has 17 tackles and three pass breakups, which includes a fourth-down throw in the end zone against New Orleans, but this will be a much tougher challenge: Houston Texans QB C.J. Stroud has surpassed 300 passing yards in each of his last three games.

— Michael DiRocco

Injury: Ankle

With Kareem Jackson‘s four-game suspension, the Broncos hope Locke, who started both games Jackson missed in his previous suspension, can continue to improve. He practiced both Thursday and Friday. His range is exceptional — he had an interception to close out the Broncos’ win over the Green Bay Packers — and he’s a physical tackler. With the Broncos trying to get back in the playoff conversation, they could use Locke in the lineup for as many of the games Jackson misses as possible.

— Jeff Legwold

Injury: Concussion

Burks will miss his third consecutive game due to a concussion. He was temporarily unconscious after hitting the ground while trying to make a leaping catch towards the end of a Week 9 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. It was the second time in less than a year that Burks experienced a concussion in which he was unconscious. Burks hasn’t practiced or been spotted in the locker room since the Steelers game. Nick Westbrook-Ikhine and Chris Moore will continue to fill in for Burks, who has played in only five games this season.

— Turron Davenport

Injury: Ankle; groin

Dean suffered an ankle injury last week against the San Francisco 49ers and will be out Sunday vs. the Indianapolis Colts. Coach Todd Bowles said it’s unclear at this time how many weeks he’ll be out, but he did not practice at all this week.

David, the Bucs’ leading tackler and top defender in the screen game, will be out, too, and per coach Todd Bowles is “day to day, week to week.”

— Jenna Laine

Injury: Shoulder

Wilson will miss his third game in the past four with a shoulder injury, taking away a primary weapon from Arizona’s passing game. Coach Jonathan Gannon sounded optimistic that Wilson was close to returning but would need at least another week.

— Josh Weinfuss

Injury: Ankle

Lattimore left the Saints game against the Minnesota Vikings on a cart late in the game and hasn’t practiced since the team returned from the bye week. Saints coach Dennis Allen said the injury is going to take some time and hasn’t ruled out a stint on IR if it’s needed.

— Katherine Terrell

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