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16 things to know about Week 17's injury report

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Julio Jones is back at practice with the Falcons.

Atlanta's game-changing wideout returned to the field on Friday after missing the past two days with his nagging hip injury.

The Falcons have listed their Pro Bowl pass-catcher as questionable for Week 17, but we fully expect Jones to play in Sunday's winner-take-all NFC South showdown with the Carolina Panthers.

After Jones hauled in seven balls for 107 yards in last week's win over the Saints, it was no surprise to see the team rest their most potent weapon this week.

A fully operational Jones at home against the Panthers has the potential to cause major problems for a Carolina defense that has allowed a touchdown on 65.9 percent of red zone drives this season, second worst in the NFL.

Here's what else you need to know from Friday's bustling injury report:

1. Stunning news out of Kansas City, where quarterback Alex Smith will miss Sunday's finale against the Chargers with a lacerated spleen. It's a major blow for the Chiefs, who need to beat San Diego and get extra help from the Ravens and Texans to make the postseason.

Running back Jamaal Charles (hamstring/ankle) is listed as questionable for the regular-season finale. Right guard Zach Fulton (foot) and wide receiver Dwayne Bowe (shoulder) are also questionable.

2. Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (arm) went full in practice and is probable for Sunday's game against the Steelers.

Coach Marvin Lewis confirmed that tight end Tyler Eifert is done for the year after undergoing shoulder surgery earlier this month. Linebacker Emmanuel Lamur (hamstring) and wide receiver James Wright (knee) are questionable.

3. Also for the Falcons: Veteran running back Steven Jackson is questionable and expected to be inactive Sunday with the quadriceps injury he suffered in Atlanta's win over the Saints, per ESPN's Vaughn McClure.

4. With Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer (shoulder, bicep) missing his third straight practice, it has paved the way for undrafted rookie Connor Shaw to take on Baltimore this Sunday. Mike Pettine announced on Friday that Shaw will get the start under center to make his debut. 

5. Chargers running back Ryan Mathews and punter Mike Scifres are out for Sunday's game against the Chiefs, according to the team. Wide receiver Keenan Allen is doubtful, guard Chris Watt is questionable and quarterback Philip Rivers, defensive end Corey Liuget and cornerback Shareece Wright are probable. Here's more on the injured Bolts.

6. With Ravens right tackle Ricky Wagner placed on season-ending injured reserve, the team is keeping a close eye on the availability of bookend Eugene Monroe. The left tackle missed Friday's session with the ankle injury he suffered in Sunday's loss to the Texans. He is doubtful for the must-win Browns tilt. Defensive end Chris Canty (ankle/thigh), linebacker Terrell Suggs (back/thigh) and running back Fitzgerald Touissaint (ribs) are all questionable.

7. Running back Jonas Gray (ankle) will not suit up for the Patriots against the Bills. Sticking with the ground game, LeGarrette Blount (shoulder) and Shane Vereen (ankle) are listed as questionable. Here's more on the banged-up backs

8. "I'm confident I'll be able to go," Jets wideout Percy Harvin told reporters ahead of this weekend's finale against the Dolphins, per Newsday's Kimberley A. Martin.

9. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (calf) is listed as probable. Coach Mike McCarthy said he wasn't concerned about his signal caller in Sunday's NFC North showdown with the Detroit Lions.

10. The 49ers placed guard Alex Boone and safety Bubba Ventrone on injured reserve and signed wide receiver Trindon Holliday and cornerback Cameron Fuller, according to the team.

San Francisco will be without Stevie Johnson (knee), Carlos Hyde (ankle) and Eric Reed (concussion) for the regular-season finale vs. Arizona.

11. Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus and corner Stephon Gilmore are both listed as doubtful to face the Patriots on Sunday.

12. Arizona Cardinals linebacker Larry Foote was listed as doubtful against the Niners due to a knee injury.

13. Tight end Dwayne Allen (knee), offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus (groin) and linebacker Bjoern Werner (shoulder) won't play for the Colts against the Titans. Leading receiver T.Y. Hilton is listed as questionable.

14. Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall (foot) was ruled out vs. the Raiders. Offensive tackle Paul Cornick (toe), wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (hip) and safety T.J. Ward (neck) are questionable.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu (knee) and cornerback Ike Taylor (shoulder, forearm) are listed as questionable vs. the Bengals.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast previews the biggest matchups in Week 17 and makes its picks for the last week of the season. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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