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Saints seek 1st-round playoff bye despite defensive injuries

Saints seek 1st-round playoff bye despite defensive injuries

The New Orleans Saints will be without three injured players in their secondary — including cornerback Eli Apple and safeties Vonn Bell and Marcus Williams — as they seek a first-round playoff bye with a win over Carolina on Sunday combined with a loss or tie by the 49ers or Packers.

The Panthers will be without 1,000-yard receiver D.J. Moore and linebacker Shaq Thompson because of injuries. Defensive tackle Vernon Butler is active for Carolina after being ejected last week at Indianapolis for throwing a punch and then making an obscene gesture to the crowd on his way off the field.

Jason McCourty headlines the New England Patriots’ list of inactives ahead of their regular-season finale against the Miami Dolphins. The Patriots are battling with the Chiefs for a first-round bye in the AFC playoff race.

McCourty was questionable with a groin injury after being limited at practice all week. The 32-year-old cornerback missed last Saturday’s 24-17 win over Buffalo and has played only four defensive snaps in each of his last two games.

Cornerback Jonathan Jones (groin) and offensive tackle Marcus Cannon (ankle) are active for the Patriots after being listed as questionable on Friday’s injury report.

The Buffalo Bills are resting five starters, including their top two receivers John Brown and Cole Beasley, for their finale against the New York Jets.

The outcome means little for playoff-bound Buffalo, which at 10-5 is already locked in as the AFC's fifth seed and will open the wild-card playoff round at either Houston or Kansas City next weekend.

Buffalo is dressing just three receivers in a game starting quarterback Josh Allen is expected to get limited playing time before giving way to backup Matt Barkley.

Also sitting out for the Bills are cornerback Tre'Davious White, running back Devin Singletary and defensive end Shaq Lawson, who had been bothered by a hamstring injury last week.

Green Bay Packers running back Jamaal Williams (shoulder) and fullback Dan Vitale (knee) are inactive at Detroit.

Lions left tackle Rick Wagner is inactive with a knee injury. Wagner’s absence will leave rookie quarterback David Blough even more exposed to hits in a game the Packers will be motivated to win to clinch a first-round bye.

With the Bears eliminated and the Vikings locked in to the sixth seed in the NFC for the playoffs, both teams put multiple starters on the inactive list.

The Vikings are without their top two running backs Dalvin Cook (shoulder) and Alexander Mattison (ankle) for the second straight game. They also gave left tackle Riley Reiff and right tackle Brian O’Neill a rest on offense and linebackers Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr and defensive tackle Shamar Stephen a break on defense.

Kendricks was previously ruled out with a quadriceps injury.

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NEW YORK JETS-BUFFALO

Jets: WR Demaryius Thomas, S Blake Countess, RB Josh Adams, RB Kenneth Dixon, S Bennett Jackson, DL Jordan Willis, TE Ross Travis.

Bills: WR Cole Beasley, WR John Brown, WR/KR Andre Roberts, RB Devin Singletary, CB Tre'Davious White, TE Dawson Knox, DE Shaq Lawson.

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L.A. CHARGERS-KANSAS CITY

Chargers: QB Easton Stick, WR Jalen Guyton, S Jaylen Watkins, S Roderic Teamer, G Spencer Drango, T Russell Okung, DT Sylvester William.

Chiefs: QB Chad Henne, CB Morris Claiborne, CB Alex Brown, OL Jackson Barton, OL Andrew Wylie, TE Deon Yelder, DL Xavier Williams.

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NEW ORLEANS-CAROLINA

Saints: S Vonn Bell, CB Eli Apple, S Marcus Williams, FB Zach Line, LB Manti Te'o, DE Noah Spence, OL Ethan Greenidge.

Panthers: WR D.J. Moore, LB Shaq Thompson, DE Marquis Haynes, CB Corn Elder, OL Matt Kaskey, DE Christian Miller, DT Woodrow Hamilton.

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GREEN BAY-DETROIT

Packers: RB Jamaal Williams, WR Ryan Grant, S Will Redmond, FB Danny Vitale, OT Alex Light, OT John Leglue

Lions: OT Rick Wagner, DT A'Shawn Robinson, OG Caleb Benenoch, CB Michael Jackson, CB Dee Virgin, RB Wes Hills, DE Jonathan Wynn.

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ATLANTA-TAMPA BAY

Falcons: WR Brandon Powell, S Chris Cooper, LB Ahmad Thomas, G Sean Harlow, G Jamon Brown, OL John Wetzel, DE Adrian Clayborn.

Buccaneers: WR Chris Godwin, OLB Kahzin Daniels, G Aaron Stinnie, T Jerald Hawkins, WR Spencer Schnell, TE Codey McElroy, DL Beau Allen.

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CLEVELAND-CINCINNATI

Browns: WR Taywan Taylor, S J.T. Hassell, DE Robert McCray, T Kendall Lamm, G Colby Gossett, WR Rashard Higgins, TE Pharoah Brown.

Bengals: QB Jake Dolegala, WR Damion Willis, WR Stanley Morgan, OL John Jerry, OT Isaiah Prince, TE Mason Schreck, TE Jordan Franks.

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CHICAGO-MINNESOTA

Bears: WR Taylor Gabriel, CB Michael Joseph, RG Rashaad Coward, RT Bobby Massie, TE Bradley Sowell, NT Eddie Goldman, DT Akiem Hicks

Vikings: RB Alexander Mattison, RB Dalvin Cook, LB Eric Kendricks, LB Anthony Barr, LT Riley Reiff, RT Brian O’Neill, DT Shamar Stephen

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MIAMI-NEW ENGLAND

Dolphins: LB Vince Biegel, DE Taco Charlton, WR Allen Hurns, C/G Keaton Sutherland, TE Clive Walford, OT J’Marcus Webb, CB Jomal Wiltz.

Patriots: DB Terrence Brooks, DL Byron Cowart, OL Jermaine Eluemunor, RB Damien Harris, TE Ryan Izzo, QB Cody Kessler, CB Jason McCourty.

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Updated : 2021-05-13 12:25 GMT+08:00