NFL News on the Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots and more before Championship Sunday

NFL News: Expectations, Injuries And Odds For Championship Sunday

NFL news continues surfacing around the league’s remaining four teams. Here are the latest updates on injuries, expectations, odds and matchups as Championship Sunday gets closer.

Green Bay Packers

The Packers are coming off a 34-31 thrilling victory over the Dallas Cowboys. Now, they face the Atlanta Falcons without many key players.

Receivers Davante Adams, Geronimo Allison and Jordy Nelson were all listed as questionable in Friday’s official injury report. Adams and Allison are expected to play through the injury, according NFL.com.

Head coach Mike McCarthy said that all three of the players will be given every chance to play.

As to if and when they will play, McCarthy said the group has rehab work to do.

“If we know tomorrow, then we’ll know tomorrow,” McCarthy said in Friday’s press conference via the Washington Post. “If we know Sunday, then we’ll know Sunday.”

Other players like running back Christine Michael, safety Morgan Burnett and Quinten Rollins were also questionable.

Plus, the same article cites that there is a sickness bug going around the Packers locker room.

Otherwise, NFL Editor Gregg Rosenthal writes that you can expect quarterback Aaron Rodgers to use his backpedal move versus the Falcons.

Rosenthal compared the move to Steph Curry taking a 35-footer in the NBA. He writes that Rodger’s backpedal move signals that the quarterback is enjoying the game at the highest level.

Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons had no players listed in this week’s official injury report.

Receiver Julio Jones will not have limitations. Plus, safety Keanu Neal and defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux will play too, according to NFL.com.

Moreover, Atlanta is a favorite at home for the NFC Championship versus the Packers.

According to an ESPN report, the line opened with Atlanta at minus-4, minus-4.5, and minus-5 from various oddsmakers. Now, the line is at minus-5.5, minus-4 with action from wise guys and the public. These lines could change more as we have gotten closer to game time.

The Washington Post lists MVP candidate quarterback Matt Ryan, an improved offensive line and an improved Atlanta offensive line as players to watch in the game.

Either way, Rosenthal writes that Falcons running back Devonta Freeman will charge hard versus Green Bay. Freeman can shake defenders, run people over and make full speed cuts, according to the NFL writer.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Linebacker James Harrison, tight end Ladarius Green and running back Fitzgerald Toussaint were all listed as questionable for the Steelers, per the same NFL.com article.

Harrison practiced on Friday and Green was limited on Friday.

You can expect Harrison to use his bull rush, according to Rosenthal. Harrison’s strength should be a factor versus New England. The 38-year old end is one of the best defenders still playing, per the column.

Added, the Washington Post also reported that 15 team members and a number of players were hit with a quick-strike flu bug.

Nonetheless, Pittsburgh’s matchup versus the Patriots is the first postseason matchup between the teams since the AFC championship game in January 2005. The Patriots won that game 41-27.

New England Patriots

The Patriots opened this week at minus-5.5 for all four oddsmakers interviewed in the ESPN article. Now, all four lines are up to minus-6.

Still, New England had seven players on Friday’s injury report. Tight end Martellus Bennett, receiver Danny Amendola, linebacker Dont’a Hightower, receiver Chris Hogan, receiver Malcolm Mitchell and defensive lineman Jabaal Sheard were all listed as questionable.

Hogan and Bennett are expected to go, but the whole group was limited all week, per the NFL.com article.

The Patriots defense has not faced many challenges at quarterback, according to the Washington Post. Hence, Pittsburgh could give them some trouble.

Regardless, you can expect New England quarterback Tom Brady to show his pocket movement versus the Steelers. Rosenthal wrote that the quarterback’s pocket pressence is his signature trait.

NFL Championship Sunday begins with the Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons at 3:05 p.m. EST for the NFC title game.

The Patriots and Steelers play for the AFC championship at 6:40 p.m. EST.

Stay tuned for more NFL news surrounding Championship Sunday.

[Featured Image by Winslow Townson/AP Images]

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