Devin Hester (toe, IR/recall) has been cleared to play this week against Tampa Bay.
Atlanta should activate Hester from injured reserve-designated to return this week. He will be nothing but a situational player, but Hester could provide a big play or two for an offense in need.
Broncos SS T.J. Ward suffered a high-ankle sprain Sunday night against the Patriots.
He and DT Sylvester Williams suffered high-ankle injuries on the same play in the first quarter. Ward was spotted with a boot on his left foot as he left the locker room Sunday night. Both players should be out at least a couple weeks.
Dolphins fired OC Bill Lazor.
Dolphins QB coach Zac Taylor will replace Lazor as offensive coordinator the rest of the season, but it has become very clear Miami will completely clean house this offseason. Despite a strong showing last year, Lazor consistently abandoned the run too early and struggled with play calling inside the red zone this season. Ryan Tannehill also took a step back, and Lazor could never create effective protection packages to keep his almost comically unaware quarterback off the deck. Lazor was something of a hot name after last season, and he should get another shot to call plays in a less toxic situation.
Falcons owner Arthur Blank said the team "absolutely" still has confidence in Matt Ryan.
"He's absolutely the competitor that I want. He's what we look for and our team looks for the whole way," coach Dan Quinn said. The Falcons are saying all the right things, but the real story is that they need to be said at all. Ryan was never a question mark even through the dark years of the Mike Smith era, but he has made multiple mistakes in important situations the last several weeks. His play is one of the big reasons Atlanta has lost five of the last six including four in a row. If the Falcons are going to turn this around and nab a playoff spot, Ryan will have to stop making costly mistakes down the stretch.
NFL Network's Albert Breer reports Patriots ILB Dont'a Hightower is believed to have suffered a sprained MCL Sunday night against Denver.
The injury is not season-ending, but Hightower should miss at least a couple weeks. New England struggled against the run once Hightower left Sunday night, and they were gashed by Frank Gore in a game Hightower missed earlier this season. With Hightower out, the health of Jamie Collins (illness) now takes on even more importance.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports the Patriots believe Rob Gronkowski (knee) "is going to be ok."
We should know more after a Monday MRI, but all early reports have suggested Gronk's knee injury is minor. He still may miss Week 13, but at this point it would be surprising if Gronk sat out more than a couple weeks. Brandon LaFell should take on an even bigger role while Gronk is sidelined, and Scott Chandler will take over at tight end.
Owen Daniels caught 5-of-6 targets for 58 yards in Week 12.
Daniels saw more targets than Vernon Davis despite playing fewer snaps. He's been held out of the end-zone in three straight games. Daniels will remain a low-upside TE2 in Week 13 against the Chargers.
Scott Chandler caught 5-of-11 targets for 58 yards and a touchdown in Week 12 against the Broncos.
Chandler saw the biggest role increase in place of Danny Amendola. The Patriots used him in multiple spots, and lined him up on the outside for his touchdown. Chandler’s 11 targets were a team-high. With Rob Gronkowski going down late with a knee injury, he has potential for a huge Week 13 workload. Chandler is one of this week’s top waiver pickups.