The Divisional Round of the 2022 NFL Playoffs is here and the pressure is on this weekend, as the winners will advance to the conference championships.
Several key contributors suffered injuries that could derail their teams’ chances at this critical juncture. Others are hoping a long rest break could jumpstart star players, leading their team one step closer to the Super Bowl.
Having a licensed physical therapist interpret the NFL Divisional Playoff injury reports provides you with the information you won’t find anywhere else. It also helps you make clear-cut decisions on tight lines and take advantage of injury mismatches before the odds change.
Below are the top NFL Divisional Round injuries to consider when placing your best NFL Playoffs bet picks.
Please note that all NFL Divisional Playoff odds and lines are current as of 12 p.m. ET on Thursday, January 20.
NFL Divisional Playoff Injuries & Betting Tips
Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans (Right Jones Fracture)
Tennessee Titans vs Cincinnati Bengals
Derrick Henry is set to return to the Titans following surgery to repair a right Jones fracture in his foot suffered during Week 8 against the Indianapolis Colts.
The King looks strong running in the open field but appears to favor the right side at times, which is not surprising. The true test will be how he absorbs contact running between the tackles. He may struggle to generate power off the right foot as he makes first contact and runs to the right side.
- Read our full Titans vs Bengals Predictions
Meanwhile, the Bengals’ defensive front is banged up with DE Trey Hendrickson working his way back from a concussion. They also have DT Josh Tupou dealing with a knee injury and lost DT Larry Ogunjobi to a right foot injury.
Cincinnati has a high-flying offense, but Tennessee has found a way to win close games, going 6-2 in one-score affairs. The NFL gameday odds may swing once it’s officially announced Henry will play, which makes my betting pick 1 unit for the Titans to cover the -3.5 spread (-110) at Caesars.
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Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Kansas City Chiefs (Left Shoulder Injury)
Kansas City Chiefs vs Buffalo Bills
Clyde Edwards-Helaire has missed the last three games following a left shoulder injury that was initially described as a bruised shoulder back in Week 16. As time progressed, it appeared to present more like an AC joint sprain.
With an injection and rest over the past three weeks, Edwards-Helaire will still likely not be 100 percent. Ball security could be an issue along with a possible reluctance to fight for extra yards to avoid further hits to the shoulder.
- Read our full Chiefs vs Bills Predictions
While trending upward, he may be in a timeshare with a resurgent RB Jerick McKinnon, who dominated the Pittsburgh Steelers with 142 yards from scrimmage last week.
However, Josh Allen‘s Bills are red-hot and already smoked the Chiefs back in Week 5. With Buffalo mostly healthy except for backup DE Mario Addison (right shoulder), I love their chances to secure a win here. This makes my NFL bet of the day 2 units on the Bills moneyline (+110) at Caesars.
Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, San Francisco 49ers (Right Shoulder Sprain)
San Francisco 49ers @ Green Bay Packers
Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a right (throwing) shoulder injury after a knockdown from Cowboys DE Randy Gregory late in the second quarter of San Francisco’s upset win over the Dallas Cowboys last weekend.
By video, there is a concern for an AC joint sprain or rotator cuff bruise. Garoppolo admitted that the injury affected his play for the remainder of the game, leading to a costly interception during the fourth quarter.
- Read our full 49ers vs Packers Predictions
With Jimmy G already playing through a right thumb injury affecting his grip, this shoulder ailment could worsen his throwing mechanics. These injuries could potentially cause turnovers due to a lack of power and accuracy when attempting to throw downfield.
The 49ers were lucky to escape with a win last week, but they won’t have the same outcome against a rested Packers squad at Lambeau Field. Despite losing by just two points to Green Bay in Week 3, San Francisco will have trouble keeping pace with Aaron Rodgers, which makes my betting pick 1 unit on the Packers to cover the -6 spread (-110) at Caesars.
Tristian Wirfs, OT, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Right High-Ankle Sprain)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Los Angeles Rams
Tristian Wirfs suffered what appeared to be a right high-ankle sprain last week on a 3-yard run by RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn. Wirfs was caught from behind by a Philadelphia Eagles defender and had his right ankle rolled upon. He stayed in the game for one more play before exiting with assistance.
Even if he does try to play Sunday, he will struggle in pass blocking as he sidesteps to the right. His run blocking may also be compromised on runs to the right, lacking power as he attempts to open running lanes.
- Read our full Buccaneers vs Rams Predictions
The Buccaneers may also be without C Ryan Jensen — who’s dealing with a possible left high-ankle sprain — which could significantly affect QB Tom Brady’s protection.
With DL Aaron Donald looking to exploit the weak points of Tampa Bay’s offensive line, things could get dicey. The Bucs are getting healthier but are still beat up on both sides of the ball, which makes my betting pick 1 unit on the Rams moneyline (+125) at Caesars.
Other Notable Injuries
- Arizona Cardinals S Budda Baker suffered a scary concussion that resulted in a fencing response where the arms stiffen up, requiring a precautionary trip to the ER following Sunday’s loss to the Rams.
- Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield underwent successful labrum repair surgery on his left (non-throwing) shoulder on Wednesday that is expected to sideline him for 4-to-6 months.
- Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott played through a majority of the season with a partially torn PCL that is not expected to require surgery.
Kyle’s Injury Report Betting Record: 59-40, +8.50 Units