Heading into Week 13, playoff contenders are battling it out for a spot in the postseason. With just six weeks remaining, there are five divisions decided by two games or less and four decided by just a single game.
With all of the focus on the results on the field, let’s take a look at some of the news from around the National Football League this week.
Von Miller Hits Injured Reserve
The Buffalo Bills have the sixth-best defense in the NFL, as they are allowing just 18.1 points per game, but their defense took a bit of a hit this week. The Bills put linebacker Von Miller on the injured reserve as he recovers from a meniscus injury, meaning the 33-year-old is out for at least the next four weeks.
The eight-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro has played in 11 games this season, amassing 21 tackles, eight sacks, and a forced fumble. While the missed time will weaken the Bills’ defense, the team at least could breathe a sigh of relief as he avoided an ACL tear.
Playing in the Thursday night game, the absence of Miller didn’t hurt too bad for the Bills as they were able to limit the New England Patriots to just 10 points in Buffalo’s 24-10 win.
Chase Should Rejoin The Bengals In Week 13
Out since Week 7 with a fracture in his hip, the Cincinnati Bengals expect wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase to be back on the field this weekend as they take on the Kansas City Chiefs.
There was a belief that Chase could play last week, but the 22-year-old ultimately asked for one more week as he felt some discomfort prior to the game.
The Bengals’ offense, which ranks fifth in the NFL in scoring as they are averaging 25.9 points per game, will add another weapon as they take on Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs.
In seven games this season, Chase has 47 receptions for 605 yards and six touchdowns. This was after he had 1,455 yards receiving and 13 touchdowns last season as a rookie.
For the Bengals, they sit at 7-4 in the AFC North, tied with the Baltimore Ravens for the best record in the division (although Baltimore currently owns the tiebreaker). The Bengals currently have the second-best odds of winning the AFC North at +210.
Injuries Mounting For Rams
After winning the Super Bowl last season, the struggles that the Los Angeles Rams have endured are of the magnitude that no one could really anticipate. At 3-8, they have the worst record in the NFC West and the second-worst record in the NFC.
One of the major contributors for their struggles has been the injury bug. With Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp already out, the Rams added another name to the list as Aaron Donald is expected to miss his first NFL game ever due to injury in Week 13.
The 31-year-old Donald, who is an eight-time Pro Bowler and seven-time All-Pro, suffered a high ankle sprain that will sideline him for the foreseeable future. In fact, head coach Sean McVay said the possibility of shutting down Donald, Kupp, and Stafford for the rest of the season was a real possibility.
In 11 games this season, Donald has 49 tackles, five sacks, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery.
Watson To Start For Browns
After serving a lengthy suspension, the Cleveland Browns are set to debut their new quarterback in Week 13 in the form of Deshaun Watson.
After being acquired from the Texans, Watson signed a five-year deal worth $230 million. Despite the contract, Watson faced legal trouble stemming from sexual assault allegations and was suspended for the first 11 games.
Now, back in the fold, Watson will be making his debut against his old team, the Houston Texans.
The 27-year-old Watson has not played since 2020 when he threw for 4,823 yards, 33 touchdowns, and seven interceptions. He also rushed for 444 yards and another three scores that season.
For the Browns, they sit at 4-7 on the season, three games behind the Ravens and the Bengals in the AFC North.