NFL injury tracker Week 18: Lamar Jackson out again for Ravens with lingering knee sprain

Lamar Jackson is set to miss his fifth straight game with lingering left knee injury

The final week of the NFL's regular season is here.

Here's everything you need to know injury-wise headed into Sunday, when the playoff field will be officially finalized.

Lamar Jackson to miss 5th straight game

The Baltimore Ravens will be without starting quartback Lamar Jackson for a fifth-straight game on Sunday.

Jackson will miss the Ravens’ game against the Cincinnati Bengals due to his knee injury, coach John Harbaugh confirmed on Friday. Tyler Huntley will make the start.

“Lamar’s working as hard as he can,” Harbaugh said. “The trainers are working as hard as they can. Can’t wait for him to get back, obviously, just like everybody else. That’s where we’re at with that. He won’t be playing in this game, we’re hopeful for next week.”

Jackson hasn’t played since Week 13, when he first went down with a sprained PCL in his left knee. He hasn’t practiced since, and the Ravens have struggled without him. While they have gone 2-2 and clinched a postseason berth, they are averaging just 12.3 points and have scored only three touchdowns in that span under Huntley.

There’s still no timetable for Jackson’s return, either.

The Ravens can’t win the AFC North, but there is still a chance they could host a wild-card game if they can beat the Bengals on Sunday — and then win a coin flip, a result of the canceled game between the Bengals and Bills last week. Without Jackson, though, a postseason run may be difficult to get off the ground.

Jalen Hurts ‘trending’ to play for Eagles

With the NFC East and the No. 1 overall seed in the conference on the line, Jalen Hurts is eyeing his return for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Hurts has missed the Eagles’ last two games after suffering a shoulder injury against the Chicago Bears in Week 15. The Eagles have lost two straight, which has opened the door for the Dallas Cowboys to steal the division title and the Eagles to lose their spot atop the NFC.

Though the Eagles didn’t specify Hurts’ status, coach Nick Sirianni said he’s “trending in the right direction” to make the start against the New York Giants.

"It looked really sharp," receiver A.J. Brown said of Hurts on Friday, via ESPN. "He's still crafting, he's still knocking the rust off, but I think he'll be fine coming on Sunday."

Jalen Hurts of the Philadelphia Eagles
Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts is 'trending in the right direction' to start Sunday after dealing with a shoulder injury. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images) (Michael Reaves via Getty Images)

Joe Flacco to start for Jets vs. Dolphins

The New York Jets are reverting back to Joe Flacco.

The Jets announced on Friday that quarterback Mike White will miss Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins due to a rib injury. The team will turn to veteran Joe Flacco, who started out the season for the Jets. Zach Wilson will be his backup.

The Jets have already been eliminated from the playoffs.

Skylar Thompson to start for Dolphins vs. Jets

Like the Jets, the Dolphins will start backup quarterback Skylar Thompson on Sunday.

Thompson will lead Miami as Tua Tagovailoa and Teddy Bridgewater are dealing with respective injuries. Tagovailoa is still in concussion protocol and has been ruled out, and Bridgewater is dealing with a dislocated finger he sustained last week. The team hopes Bridgewater can back up Thompson.

The Dolphins enter Sunday’s game on a five-game losing skid. They need a win and a New England Patriots loss or tie to clinch a playoff berth, something they haven’t had since 2016.

"Skylar had an outstanding week of practice," coach Mike McDaniel said Friday, via ESPN. "Much like Teddy, both of those guys thrive when they're able to get team reps. And so it was cool to see, I think the guys are pumped. He was diligent and communicative from the onset, confident from the onset — and he owns the [game plan].

"I'm excited for him to get his deserved opportunity and hope he can set a 2022 season Miami Dolphins backup quarterback record of starting and finishing a game."

Justin Fields out for Bears

The Chicago Bears aren’t going to risk anything.

The Bears have ruled out quarterback Justin Fields for Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings. With nothing on the line but the No. 2 draft pick, and Fields dealing with a hip sprain, resting him only makes sense.

Instead, backup Nathan Peterman will make the start on Sunday.

For more on Fields and the Bears, click here.

Tony Pollard back for Cowboys

After missing a game with a thigh injury, Tony Pollard will play on Sunday for the Dallas Cowboys.

Pollard was a full participant in practice this week after missing last week’s game due to his thigh injury. He will go up against the Washington Commanders, where he needs just 12 rushing yards to hit the 1,000-yard mark for the first time in his career.

Linebacker Leighton Vander Esch was limited in practice this week with a neck injury, but he was ruled out of Sunday’s game. Center Tyler Biadasz is out with an ankle injury, too. Receiver KaVontae Turpin is listed as questionable with a non-COVID illness after not practicing Friday.