Biggest Week 1 injury questions for all 32 NFL teams

The 2020 NFL season opens Thursday with the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs playing host to the Houston Texans (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC).

The lack of an offseason program and only 14 padded practices in training camp have led to a variety of soft tissues injuries.

Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery and wide receivers Mike Evans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Mike Williams of the Los Angeles Chargers and Brandin Cooks of the Texans are all questionable for their respective openers.

Here’s a look at the biggest injuries for every team:

AFC EAST

Buffalo Bills

What is the status of the Bills’ cornerbacks opposite Tre’Davious White? Both Josh Norman and Levi Wallace have dealt with hamstring injuries during training camp, with Norman missing practice Wednesday after practicing in full in the days prior. Considering he practiced in full Wednesday, Wallace appears to be headed for his 24th career start Sunday — but the depth behind him is shaky if Norman is not available. — Marcel Louis-Jacques

Miami Dolphins

DeVante Parker has been battling a hamstring injury that cost him a week and a half of practice, but he’s been a limited participant thus far during game week. The Dolphins are optimistic that Parker will be able to go Sunday vs. the Patriots, but for a player with a history of soft-tissue injuries this is something to keep an eye on. Parker is Miami’s top wide receiver and had 137 yards on eight catches in their season finale upset win at New England last season. — Cameron Wolfe

New England Patriots

Starting outside linebacker Chase Winovich showed up as a limited participant in Wednesday’s practice with a shoulder injury, which is notable. The Patriots have been hit hard at linebacker, losing Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins and Elandon Roberts in free agency, and then having Dont’a Hightower opt out of the season. So they’re going to count on Winovich (5.5 sacks as a rookie in 2019), and if he’s limited or can’t play Sunday, that would be a significant hit. — Mike Reiss

New York Jets

After a summer of musical receivers, the Jets expect to be at full strength for the opener. Breshad Perriman (knee) and rookie Denzel Mims (hamstring) returned to practice after lengthy absences and should be ready to play. Quarterback Sam Darnold said it was “awesome” to get them back in the huddle. Don’t expect instant chemistry, but Perriman and Mims bring explosiveness to the field. — Rich Cimini

AFC NORTH

Baltimore Ravens

Defensive tackle Justin Madubuike, a rookie third-round pick, hasn’t practiced in a couple of weeks because of a knee injury. He is expected to return in a couple of weeks. The loss of Madubuike hurts Baltimore’s depth along the defensive line, but the Ravens can’t complain given every starter was a full participant Wednesday. — Jamison Hensley

Cincinnati Bengals

Initially, the recent absences of defensive tackle Geno Atkins was believed to be rest-related. However, Wednesday’s injury support suggests something more serious. Atkins did not practice because of a shoulder injury. That development, coupled with the recent trade for lineman Christian Covington and tackle Mike Daniels’ groin injury, suggests the Bengals bolstered the unit for a specific reason. Atkins’ situation should be watched closely. The Bengals can’t afford to lose him. — Ben Baby

Cleveland Browns

Cornerback Greedy Williams (shoulder) missed practice yet again Wednesday and is beginning to seem doubtful for the opener. But center JC Tretter, who had his knee scoped before training camp, has returned this week as a limited practice participant, and is hoping to be ready to play in Baltimore. — Jake Trotter

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers offensive line already looks different with the retirement of Ramon Foster and move of Matt Feiler to the left side, putting a new face at right tackle. But it might change even more Monday night if long-time right guard David DeCastro can’t practice. DeCastro left a scrimmage with a lower-body injury on Aug. 28 and hasn’t practiced since. Coach Mike Tomlin didn’t elaborate on DeCastro’s injury Wednesday, but said including him in game-planning and play is “significant.” If he can’t go, look for the Steelers to utilize veteran addition Stefen Wisniewski to fill his spot. — Brooke Pryor

AFC SOUTH

Houston Texans

Wide receiver Brandin Cooks is listed as questionable for Week 1 after not practicing on Tuesday with a quad injury. It’s the same injury that he dealt with during training camp. If he doesn’t play in Thursday’s game in Kansas City, expect a bigger workload for Will Fuller and action in three-receiver sets for Kenny Stills. — Sarah Barshop

Indianapolis Colts

Starting left tackle Anthony Castonzo continues to deal with a oblique injury. The good news is he was able to be a limited participant in practice Wednesday, which gives the indication the injury isn’t severe enough to cause concern that he’ll miss Sunday’s game at Jacksonville. Chaz Green, who has started seven of the 22 games he’s appeared in during his career, is Castonzo’s backup. — Mike Wells

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Running back Devine Ozigbo didn’t practice Wednesday because of a hamstring injury and that leaves the Jaguars with only one running back who has ever played in a game available Sunday against Indianapolis. The Jaguars are already down Ryquell Armstead (reserve/COVID-19 list) and released Leonard Fournette last week, leaving undrafted rookie James Robinson and eight-year vet Chris Thompson (250 carries) as the only backs on the active roster to take reps. Veteran Devonta Freeman was in town for a visit last weekend but left without a deal to join the Jaguars. The team would likely promote undrafted rookie Nathan Cottrell from the practice squad if Ozigbo cannot play Sunday. — Mike DiRocco

Tennessee Titans

Vic Beasley Jr. and Jadeveon Clowney were both on the field through individual period. Beasley worked on a separate field with coach Mike Vrabel before going in while Clowney worked with the outside linebackers. Although Clowney just got to the team, it seems more likely that Clowney will be more involved on Monday. Vrabel said the team will monitor both players over the next couple of days before determining their snap count on game day. — Turron Davenport

AFC WEST

Denver Broncos

It’s the biggest injury the Broncos will deal with all season. Linebacker Von Miller suffered what is likely a season-ending ankle injury in Tuesday’s practice. Miller’s spot in the defense becomes a group effort, led my Malik Reed and Jeremiah Attaochu, but the wild card in all of it is the health of Bradley Chubb. The Broncos dialed Chubb, who is coming back from last year’s ACL surgery, back in practice, holding him out of the workouts in the last week of training camp to rest the knee, but he has practiced this week and is expected to play against the Titans. Coach Vic Fangio has shown a variety of blitz packages in camp and may have to break a few more out against the Titans to generate some pressure. — Jeff Legwold

Kansas City Chiefs

Safety Juan Thornhill, who tore his ACL in the final regular season game last season, has no injury designation for the Texans game, meaning he is ready to play. Thornhill wasn’t practicing when camp started, but progressed nicely as camp moved along and he could even be in the starting lineup Thursday night. — Adam Teicher

Las Vegas Raiders

Right tackle Trent Brown, the largest and, well, richest offensive lineman in the NFL, had been conspicuous by his absence in training camp, practicing only a handful of times for an undisclosed reason. Wednesday, he was limited in practice with a calf injury and the Raiders have obviously been bringing him along slowly. Brown is expected to play at Carolina and, when healthy, the Raiders’ O-line is one of the best in the league. But if he cannot play, expect veteran Sam Young to step in, as he did so often for Brown in camp. — Paul Gutierrez

Los Angeles Chargers

Receiver Mike Williams, who is dealing with a shoulder injury, is getting worked back in “slowly,” coach Anthony Lynn said. Center Mike Pouncey is improving, Lynn wouldn’t go into what he’s dealing with but said it is unrelated to the neck injury he suffered last year. He said he is “absolutely” expecting Pouncey to play but, like Williams, will probably be a game-time decision. — Alden Gonzalez

NFC EAST

Dallas Cowboys

Amari Cooper’s close to training camp was limited by a hamstring injury, but the wide receiver was a full participant in Wednesday’s practice, which is a positive regarding his availability for Sunday’s season opener against the Los Angeles Rams. Cooper caught one pass for 19 yards when these teams met last season as he was in the midst of a late-season production slide. Jalen Ramsey was made the highest paid cornerback in football, so Cooper will have to be at or near his best to be a factor Sunday. If Cooper suffers a setback, look for rookie CeeDee Lamb to move outside and Cedrick Wilson to take over in the slot. — Todd Archer

New York Giants

Golden Tate returned to practice Wednesday for the first time since suffering the right leg injury nine days ago. He seemed to be moving well and is believed to have a strong chance to be ready for Monday Night Football. That would give the Giants an opportunity to get Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, Tate and Evan Engram on the field together for the fist time ever in a game. Maybe, finally, a chance to see what this offense can do with all its pieces healthy. — Jordan Raanan

Philadelphia Eagles

Rookie wide receiver Jalen Reagor is practicing this week in a limited capacity, adding intrigue to his status for Sunday’s opener at Washington. He was expected to be sidelined for three-to-four weeks after suffering a small labrum tear in his shoulder in late August. A second opinion on the shoulder delivered good news, according to a source . He could still be held out for precautionary reasons Sunday, but if he continues on this track, should be available for their Week 2 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams. — Tim McManus

Washington Football Team

Corner Kendall Fuller was limited in practice Wednesday because of a knee injury. Linebacker Thomas Davis, Sr., was limited because of a calf injury. It’ll be interesting to see how this develops as Washington coach Ron Rivera is much quieter about injuries than predecessor Jay Gruden. Fuller missed approximately a week of practice leading into this week; Davis has been limited for the past several practices. Fuller’s versatility is important to the secondary — he’s an excellent slot corner who can play other spots, including safety, in various packages. If he can’t play, Jimmy Moreland can cover the slot. Davis isn’t listed as a starter; but they expect him to help. If he can’t play the outside linebacker rotation would include Shaun Dion Hamilton, Kevin Pierre-Louis and Cole Holcomb. — John Keim

NFC NORTH

Chicago Bears

Bears coach Matt Nagy said running back David Montgomery (groin) would be limited to stretching on Wednesday, but backfield mate Tarik Cohen later suggested Montgomery’s injury is not as severe as many think. “The injury was a bigger deal in the media than it really was here,” Cohen said. “He bounced back off of that so fast, it’s like it never happened. He’s already back doing the things you love to see him doing, running hard and just you know making that first person have a tough day tackling him.” Practice has been closed to the media since Aug. 29. Montgomery will likely be a game-time decision for Sunday’s opener at Detroit. — Jeff Dickerson

Detroit Lions

Both Kenny Golladay (hamstring) and Danny Amendola (hamstring) showed up on the Lions’ injury report with limited practice — a concern considering they are two of Detroit’s top three receivers. Of the two, Amendola would be the bigger worry because he missed portions of training camp with an undisclosed injury, while Golladay was largely healthy throughout camp. If one of those two couldn’t play Sunday, larger responsibilities would likely fall to Marvin Hall on the outside and corner-turned-receiver Jamal Agnew in the slot against the Bears. — Michael Rothstein

Green Bay Packers

The status of Billy Turner could have an impact on multiple positions on the offensive line. The Packers would like Turner to move to right tackle and seem settled with Lane Taylor at Turner’s old right guard spot, but Turner’s right knee injury late in camp muddled everything. Turner did not practice Wednesday. The Packers also signed free agent Rick Wagner to compete at right tackle, but he hasn’t stood out. So if Turner can’t go, coach Matt LaFleur’s options are to try Wagner or move one of the guards — Taylor or Elgton Jenkins — to right tackle. “That’s kind of a work in progress right now,” LaFleur said. “We’ll see where we’re at health-wise at the end of the week and then make a decision that we feel is going to give us the best chance to win.” — Rob Demovsky

Minnesota Vikings

That “tweak” that has kept Danielle Hunter out of practice since Aug. 14 is a little more significant than coach Mike Zimmer let on. Minnesota placed Hunter on injured reserve on Wednesday with a neck injury, a league source confirmed to ESPN, where he’ll stay for a minimum of three games. That means the Vikings’ will have to maneuver their pass rush without the Pro Bowl defensive end against Green Bay, Indianapolis and Tennessee with the prospect of Hunter returning Week 4 in Houston. It’s a major blow to this defense but should not come as too big of a surprise given how long Hunter was sidelined from practice. Minnesota has been taking a precautionary approach with its star defensive end, who has gone through rehabilitation work and stretching on his own during practice. — Courtney Cronin

NFC SOUTH

Atlanta Falcons

Cornerback Kendall Sheffield missed Wednesday’s practice with a foot injury, and a source told ESPN Sheffield was in a walking boot. The news was somewhat of a surprise, although Sheffield was limited some during training camp due to a foot injury. Whether it’s the same injury or not, Sheffield was supposed to play an integral role on defense, and even was thought to be possibly the team’s No. 1 cornerback. But the camp injury obviously set him back, allowing Isaiah Oliver and rookie A.J. Terrell to emerge as the starting outside corners and newcomer Darqueze Dennard to assume the nickel back role. If Sheffield’s not on the field Sunday against the Seahawks, the Falcons could miss his speed and athleticism against a receiving corps led by DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. — Vaughn McClure

Carolina Panthers

Starting left guard Dennis Daley did not practice on Wednesday and has been out since suffering an ankle injury during last Friday’s dress rehearsal for Sunday’s opener against the Raiders. If he can’t go, and that appears likely at this point, coach Matt Rhule feels good about Michael Schofield, a 2014 third-round pick by the Denver Broncos who spent the past three seasons with the Chargers. Schofield has 66 career starts, and there’s a comfort level with him since he played the last three years with line coach Pat Meyer, now with Carolina. — David Newton

New Orleans Saints

The Saints were missing two first-round draft picks from Wednesday’s practice — rookie guard/center Cesar Ruiz (ankle) and third-year defensive end Marcus Davenport (elbow). Ruiz has been absent from practices for more than a week, so it appears likely that the Saints will start the year with experienced veteran at Nick Easton at right guard. Davenport would be an even bigger loss against the Buccaneers’ loaded offense. If he is unable to go, the Saints will count a lot more on young backups Trey Hendrickson and Carl Granderson and possibly promote veteran Margus Hunt from the practice squad. — Mike Triplett

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans suffered a hamstring injury and missed practice Tuesday and Wednesday. Coach Bruce Arians said he is day-to-day. Evans missed the last three games of the season last year with a hamstring injury but it is unclear if it’s the same leg. “We’ll take it all the way to the wire with him,” Arians said. “He’s got 1,000 reps already for this game, the whole camp. So it’ll just be a game-time decision. If he doesn’t go Friday, we’ll take it all the way to the ball game. If he can’t play, other guys will step in and step up.” — Jenna Laine

NFC WEST

Arizona Cardinals

Tight end Maxx Williams continued to be hampered by an ankle injury as the Cardinals continued their first week of practice. He was limited Wednesday but that comes after missing significant time toward the end of camp. With just three tight ends on the roster, if Williams can’t play Sunday in San Francisco or is limited, then the Cardinals will have to rely on Dan Arnold and Darrell Daniels. — Josh Weinfuss

Los Angeles Rams

Rams coach Sean McVay said he felt “optimistic” running back Darrell Henderson, who suffered a hamstring injury during training camp, would be available to play in the opener against the Cowboys. Henderson is part of a three-back rotation that includes Malcolm Brown, who is expected to start, and rookie Cam Akers. — Lindsey Thiry

San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers practiced without projected starting receivers Deebo Samuel (foot) and Brandon Aiyuk (hamstring) on Wednesday, as both work their way back from injuries. Coach Kyle Shanahan has expressed hope one or both would be available against Arizona on Sunday but it could be difficult if they aren’t able to return to practice soon, especially in Samuel’s case. If Samuel and/or Aiyuk can’t play, the Niners will have to lean on Kendrick Bourne, Trent Taylor, Dante Pettis and Richie James Jr. or, perhaps more likely, go with more multiple tight end looks that include George Kittle and Jordan Reed to pick up the slack. — Nick Wagoner

Seattle Seahawks

Coach Pete Carroll said the Seahawks are in “fortunate shape” in terms of how healthy they stayed through the end of camp and into Week 1. Phillip Dorsett, who has been competing with David Moore for the No. 3 receiver job, missed time with a sore foot he’s dealt with in the past. It sounds like something that could require regular maintenance, but Dorsett returned late in camp and was participating during the open portion of Wednesday’s practice. — Brady Henderson

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