Both the Washington Football Team and Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be down multiple key contributors when the two clubs match up on Sunday afternoon at FedEx Field.
Let's start with the heavily-favorited visitors, as Tom Brady will be without two of his top targets: Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski. Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians ruled out both players on Friday.
Brown has not played for the Buccaneers since Week 6 after injuring his ankle. The wideout did shed the walking boot earlier this week, so there is optimism he can return to the field as soon as next week for Tampa Bay. Gronkowski has been dealing with a rib injury and is still a couple of weeks away from returning, per Arians.
However, the Buccaneers did receive good news on Friday, as star wideout Chris Godwin returned to the practice field on Friday after missing both Wednesday and Thursday's sessions. Arians said Godwin is a game-time decision, but the team is optimistic he will play.
For Washington, they'll be without wide receiver Curtis Samuel once again. Samuel has played in just two games this season (30 total offensive snaps) as he's dealt with a groin injury that has bothered him since May.
Samuel, who missed practice all week, met with doctors on Thursday to receive another opinion on the groin. When asked if he would consider shutting down Samuel for the remainder of the year, Rivera said the team will exhaust all options first before doing so.
"We'll see what comes out of this last episode," Rivera said. "We've got our fingers crossed. We'd love to have him back because he's a heck of a football player."
Additionally, tight end Logan Thomas will miss Sunday's game for Washington, as he has yet to fully recover from a hamstring injury that landed him on Injured Reserve. Cornerback Benjamin St-Juste (illness/concussion) and Montez Sweat (jaw) are both out for Washington, too.
The Burgundy and Gold will return some key players this week, though, as All-Pro guard Brandon Scherff is off the injury report and will play on Sunday, Rivera said. Scherff has missed the past four games with a knee injury. Cornerback William Jackson III will also return to the lineup this week after missing the past two games with a knee injury as well.
Wide receivers Dyami Brown and Cam Sims will both return to the lineup for Washington on Sunday, too, after each missed multiple games. So, while Samuel won't be able to suit up, Washington's wideout room will receive some reinforcements ahead of Sunday's game.