What you need to know about Week 16's injury report

The Atlanta Falcons are a completely different team without Julio Jones in the lineup. Despite coach Mike Smith's optimism regarding Jones' status earlier this week, the team might need to play without him again Sunday in New Orleans.

Jones is officially listed as questionable with a hip injury. But he missed practice again Friday for a third straight day and will be a game-time decision against the Saints. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Jones will test his hip on Saturday before the team leaves town. How his hip responds to that workout will determine if he's available Sunday.

We're starting to wonder if Smith's confidence in Jones' status early in the week was a misdirection ploy. Even if Jones plays, it's hard to imagine him being close to 100 percent after not stepping on the field for even a practice over the last two weeks. Jones is coming off two games where he totaled 458 yards with 21 catches before missing last week's game against Pittsburgh.

The Falcons' passing attack has stabilized in the second half of the season because of improved protection, but beating their archrivals will be difficult if Jones isn't on the field.

Here are the other injury report nuggets you need to know for Week 16:

  1. The Buffalo Bills listed running back C.J. Spiller as probable. he's returning from injured reserve and should be a factor in Oakland this week.
  1. Peyton Manning (thigh) was listed as a limited participant during the Broncos' practice on Friday and was listed on Saturday as questionable. Linebacker Brandon Marshall (foot) was ruled out.

Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders did not practice on Saturday due to flu-like symptoms, according to The Denver Post. He is questionable.

  1. Carolina listed Cam Newton as probable as he returns from his back injury. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Saturday that Cam's been medically cleared and will start against Cleveland.

Running back DeAngelo Williams, however, is unlikely to play because of his hand injury despite being listed as questionable.

  1. New York Giants starting running back Rashad Jennings (knee) is out. Rookie Andre Williams should start for Big Blue.
  1. Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, who missed practice all week, is listed as questionable for Sunday against Dallas because of his hamstring injury. The Colts' offense hasn't looked the same since their bye week, and this could really hurt. Starting right tackle Gosder Cherilus (groin) also didn't practice all week; he was later ruled out.

Cornerback Vontae Davis has been limited at practice the past two days and is questionable this week. 

  1. The Redskins announced they sent safety Brandon Meriweather to IR with a toe injury.

For Sunday's game, left tackle Trent Williams is questionable with a shoulder injury. Pass rusher Jason Hatcher (knee) is out.

  1. San Diego Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen (collarbone, ankle) and running back Ryan Mathews (ankle) officially out against the 49ers on Saturday. Tight end Ladarius Green (ankle, concussion) and defensive tackle Corey Liuget (ankle) are questionable.
  1. The San Francisco 49ers will be without linebacker Chris Borland (ankle), running back Carlos Hyde (ankle) and wide receiver Stevie Johnson (knee) against the Chargers.

Linebacker Ahmad Brooks (thumb) and wide receiver Michael Crabtree (knee) are questionable. Running back Frank Gore (concussion) will play tonight against the 49ers, according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport.

  1. It seems like half of the Patriots' starting lineup is questionable ahead of the Jets tilt: Kyle Arrington (hamstring), LeGarrette Blount (shoulder), Dan Connolly (knee), Julian Edelman (thigh/concussion), Dont'a Hightower (shoulder), Chandler Jones (hip), Brandon LaFell (shoulder), Rob Ninkovich (heel) and Shane Vereen (ankle).
  1. Green Bay Packers offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga (concussion) is listed on Saturday as probable after initially being listed as questionable against the Buccaneers. Running back Eddie Lacy is probable due to eye irritation.
  1. Pittsburgh SteelersTroy Polamalu (knee) is not expected to play against the Chiefs. James Harrison (knee) will return after missing the last two weeks, given that he's probable.
  1. Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr is set to have knee surgery to end his rookie season. Tight end Kyle Rudolph is doubtful with a ankle/knee injury
  1. Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray (hand) was limited in practice Friday and was listed as questionable for Sunday's critical game against the Colts. NFL Media's Desmond Purnell reported Saturday that Murray plans on playing.

On the offensive line, Zack Martin (ankle) is questionable, and Doug Free (ankle) is doubtful.

  1. The Texans listed young wideout DeAndre Hopkins as questionable with an ankle ailment. Wide receiver Andre Johnson (concussion) is probable after missing Week 15.
  1. Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe (illness) and linebacker Tamba Hali (knee) are questionable against the Steelers. Running back Jamaal Charles is probable.
  1. New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (toe) is officially questionable to face the Patriots, as is safety Jaiquawn Jarrett (shoulder).
  1. Arizona Cardinals quarterback Drew Stanton is listed as doubtful for Sunday night's showdown against the Seahawks. Bruce Arians already tabbed Ryan Lindley as the starting QB. Arians said Friday that Stanton could make the active roster as the No. 2 signal-caller, per The Associated Press, which would be a surprise.
  1. The Seahawks will still be without left tackle Russell Okung (chest) and will probably go to battle without center Max Unger (ankle, knee), who's doubtful.
  1. The Browns listed cornerback Joe Haden (shoulder) and linebackers Karlos Dansby (knee) and Jabaal Sheard (foot) as questionable.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast previews every Week 16 game and recaps the Jaguars' win over the Titans. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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