Wednesday's NFL injury and roster news ahead of Super Wild Card Weekend

A day after coach Ron Rivera entertained the idea of rotating quarterbacks in Saturday's wild-card game against the Buccaneers, the Washington Football Team took steps toward making it a reality.

With Alex Smith limited by his calf strain, Washington gave backup Taylor Heinicke first-team reps on Wednesday.

"It looked like he threw the ball well," Rivera said of Smith after practice.

Smith, who injured the calf against the 49ers in Week 14 and missed Weeks 15-16, returned in the season finale to lead Washington to a division-winning victory over the Eagles. The 36-year-old's movement was limited throughout the contest, which contributed to his up-and-down performance.

"Tomorrow is going to be a telling day," Smith said in regards to the status of his injury.

Heinicke played in relief of Dwayne Haskins in the Week 16 loss to Carolina and fared well in limited action. The 27-year-old joined Washington's practice squad on Dec. 8; since going undrafted in 2015, Heinicke has had short stints with four NFL teams, including the Panthers in 2018, and in the XFL last year.

Washington running back Antonio Gibson (toe) and wide receiver Terry McLaurin (ankle) were also limited in practice.

Here's other injury and roster news we're tracking on Wednesday ahead of Super Wild Card Weekend:

  • New Orleans Saints receiver Michael Thomas (ankle) is expected to practice on a limited basis and will ramp up during the week, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported. Thomas and WR Deonte Harris (neck) were designated to return to practice. Saints defensive end Trey Hendrickson (neck) and quarterback Taysom Hill (concussion) were limited. The Saints activated running backs Latavius Murray and Dwayne Washington, as well as fullback Michael Burton, from the reserve/COVID-19 list.
  • The Los Angeles Rams activated Cooper Kupp from the reserve/COVID-19 list. Quarterback Jared Goff, who missed Week 17 due to surgery on a broken and dislocated right thumb, was at practice on Wednesday. Coach Sean McVay said Goff's status is still day-to-day, but he was pleased with what was seen today from Goff in normal QB activities and drills, per NFL Network's Omar Ruiz. Goff was listed as limited on the practice report. Running back Cam Akers (ankle) was a full participant.
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans (knee) did not practice; he was also absent during the media portion of practice. Pass rusher Jason Pierre-Paul (knee) did not practice for a second straight day, cornerback Carlton Davis (groin) was limited after sitting Tues. and running back LeSean McCoy (NIR) practiced in full. Linebacker Shaquil Barrett has been activated off the reserve/COVID-19 list. Also, the team signed LB Deone Bucannon to the practice squad and, in a corresponding move, released guard Nick Leverett.
  • The Cleveland Browns activated linebacker B.J. Goodson from the reserve/COVID-19 list and signed center Anthony Fabiano.
  • The Buffalo Bills announced running back T.J. Yeldon has been activated off the reserve/COVID-19 list. Yeldon, who tested positive for the virus has been on the list since Dec. 27. Receiver Stefon Diggs downplayed the severity of the oblique injury that limited him on Tuesday: "I'm fine," Diggs said, per The Athletic's Joe Buscaglia. Diggs and WR Cole Beasley (knee) did not practice.
  • Baltimore Ravens defensive end Calais Campbell (NIR), offensive lineman D.J. Fluker (knee), cornerback Marlon Humphrey (shoulder) and receiver Willie Snead (ankle) did not practice. Center Patrick Mekari (back), LB Yannick Ngakoue (thigh) and CB Jimmy Smith (ribs/shoulder) were limited.
  • The Tennessee Titans are signing former Colts receiver Marcus Johnson to their practice squad and restoring linebacker Tuzar Skipper to the practice squad from IR. Johnson appeared in two games against Tennessee in the regular season. The Titans had a walkthrough Wednesday and in the team's estimated injury report, receiver A.J. Brown (knee/hand) and center Ben Jones (hamstring) were limited participants while guard Rodger Saffold (ankle) did not practice.
  • The Kansas City Chiefs added defensive end Michael Danna to the reserve/COVID-19 list and signed tight end Ricky Seals-Jones to the practice squad.
  • The Indianapolis Colts had a walkthrough Wednesday and their practice estimation listed quarterback Philip Rivers (toe) as a full participant, defensive tackle DeForest Buckner (ankle) as a DNP and running back Jonathan Taylor (shoulder) as a limited participant.
  • Seattle Seahawks safety Jamal Adams (shoulder/hand) reiterated he intends to play Saturday after missing Tuesday's practice: "No question in my mind, I'm playing, man. As long as these legs are moving... I'm going to be out there... Let's get that out there, I'm full-go," Adam said, per team writer John Boyle. Adams was limited in practice on Wednesday, as was running back Chris Carson (foot/load management). Seattle also activated S Damarious Randall from the reserve/COVID-19 list, signed tight end Luke Willson to the active roster off the practice squad and placed cornerback Jayson Stanley was placed on IR.
  • The Pittsburgh Steelers signed defensive back Trevor Williams to the practice squad & released linebacker/longsnapper Christian Kuntz from the practice squad. Also, LB Robert Spillane (knee) and offensive lineman Matt Feiler (pec) have been designated to return.
  • The San Francisco 49ers activated receiver Trent Taylor from the reserve/COVID-19 list.

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