2021 Super Bowl: Sammy Watkins questionable, Antonio Brown doubtful in off week injury reports

Six Chiefs and four Buccaneers players have been given an injury status update for Super Bowl LV with a little over a week before the big game. And while Chiefs offensive tackle Eric Fisher (Achilles) and Kansas City linebacker Willie Gay (ankle) have been ruled out, the other eight players who have been given status updates still have time to possibly be back in time. 

Among the notable players on the Chiefs’ injury report is quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who was a full participant throughout this week’s practices. Mahomes has been dealing with a toe injury that was sustained during the Chiefs’ divisional round playoff victory over the Browns. Teammate Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who missed the Chiefs’ playoff victory over the Browns with ankle/hip injuries, was limited on Wednesday before being a full participant during Thursday and Friday’s practices. That’s certainly welcomed news for the Chiefs, who are dealing with another notable injury at the running back position.

Here’s a look at both teams’ injury reports as we near the midway point between last weekend’s conference championship games and Super Bowl LV. We’ll also provide analysis on what these injuries/player statuses could mean for both teams. 

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Kansas City Chiefs

Injury report: OT Eric Fisher (Achilles), LB Willie Gay (ankle) OUT; RB Le’Veon Bell (knee), CB Rashad Fenton (foot), CB L’Jaruis Snead (concussion), WR Sammy Watkins (calf) QUESTIONABLE 

The Chiefs will likely replace Fisher with Mike Remmers, who moved from right to left tackle after Fisher exited last Sunday’s AFC title game. Andrew Wylie, a four-year veteran who made 14 starts during the regular season, replaced Remmers at right tackle. And though he is also on the team’s injury report, Remmers (groin) was a full participant during Thursday and Friday’s practices after being limited on Wednesday. Gay’s absence will likely lead to more playing opportunities for fellow rookie Darius Harris, who made his first career starts during the Chiefs’ final two regular season games. 

Watkins, who has not played since Week 16, did not practice on Friday and was limited on Wednesday and Thursday. If Watkins misses the Super Bowl, expect Mahomes to continue to lean on Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, who caught a combined 22 passes in last week’s win over Buffalo. Mahomes may also look more to Mecole Hardman, who caught a touchdown and also had a 50-yard run against the Bills. 

Bell did not practice on Friday after being limited on Wednesday and Thursday. The former Pro Bowl running back’s injury held him out of last Sunday’s win over the Bills. With Bell out, Damien Williams led the Chiefs with 52 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. Williams also led the Chiefs in carries (13) and rushing yards (78) in their divisional round win over the Browns. Expect Williams to have another considerable workload against the Buccaneers. 

While Sneed was limited all week, Fenton was a full participant on Friday after being limited the previous two days. That’s good news for a Chiefs defense that will try to contain Tom Brady, who is preparing to play in his 10th Super Bowl. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Injury report: WR Antonio Brown (knee), S Jordan Whitehead (should/knee) DOUBTFUL; LB Lavonte David (hamstring), S Antoine Winfield Jr. (ankle) QUESTIONABLE

Though David didn’t practice all week, how much he practices next week will be a much better indicator of his status for Super Bowl LV. If David’s injury limits his snaps against the Chiefs, that would lead to more reps for Deone Bucannon, who re-joined the team earlier this month after spending time with the Buccaneers in 2019. Bucannon spent four seasons with Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians in Arizona from 2014-17. 

Like David, Whitehead and Winfield did not practice this past week. Despite Whitehead’s lack of practice time, ESPN’s Jenna Laine has reported that he is expected to face the Chiefs. Winfield is also expected to suit up, according to ESPN, after missing Tampa Bay’s NFC title game win over Green Bay. Winfield was replaced last Sunday by Mike Edwards, a second-year player to recorded two interceptions, five passes defensed, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery during the regular season. 

If Brown misses the Super Bowl, Brady will continue to lean on Scotty Miller, who caught a key 39-yard touchdown pass against the Packers. Brady has also found chemistry with rookie Tyler Johnson, who made impressive catches in each of the Buccaneers’ last two playoff wins. 

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