Injury roundup: Nick Fairley (knee) returns to practice


If the Detroit Lions get past the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, they will have a secret weapon for the Divisional Round of the playoffs.

Defensive tackle Nick Fairley practiced Thursday for the first time since injuring his knee Oct. 26 in London. He was listed as a limited participant.

Multiple beat writers noted that Fairley is noticeably slimmer now than he was earlier in the season. He is not expected to play in the Wild Card round, but the coaching staff isn't ruling it out.

"We'll see how far he comes," defensive coordinator Teryl Austin said, "and shoot, maybe a miracle happens."

Fairley had played well as both an interior pass rusher and a run-stuffer prior the injury.

Other injuries we are tracking on New Year's Day:

1. A.J. Green returned to practice after sitting out on Wednesday; he was listed as a limited participant. The Bengals' top receiver is not out of the woods with his concussion just yet, though. He still has to visit a neuropsychologist on Friday to gain clearance for Sunday's game at the Indianapolis Colts.

2. Green's teammate, tight end Jermaine Gresham, missed practice again with a back injury. He appears to be headed for a game-time call on Sunday.

3. Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell did not run Thursday, per NFL Media's Aditi Kinkhabwala, but added he feels good.

Pittsburgh defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau said he expects safety Troy Polamalu (knee) to be ready to play versus the Ravens.

4. Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain (illness) was a full participant at practice on Thursday.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast previews this weekend's four Wild-Card matchups and predicts who will advance. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.