TAMPA FL - DECEMBER 26: Defensive tackle Frank Okam #98 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers tackles running back Marshawn Lynch #24 of the Seattle Seahawks during the game at Raymond James Stadium on December 26 2010 in Tampa Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
The biggest name on the injury report for either team this week has to be Andre Johnson, arguably the best wide receiver in the league. He has been struggling with a hamstring issue for weeks now, and despite feeling better has been ruled out for Sunday's game. That's good news for a Tampa Bay pass defense that has to be one of the worst in the NFL.
For the Texans, two other injuries are significant: S Daniel Manning is out, while T Eric Winston is listed as questionable. Manning has missed the last two games for the Texans. Missing one of their starting safeties will hurt their pass defense. Meanwhile, if the Texans were to miss Eric Winston their offense will be significantly hurt. Winston is one of the best right tackles in the league, and if he were to miss this game Michael Bennett could have a big day.
Meanwhile, for the Bucs it seems unlikely Frank Okam will play. The big defensive tackle has been listed as doubtful but has not practiced at all this week. If he misses Sunday's game, Albert Haynesworth could see significant playing time.
Dekoda Watson is a late addition to the injury report as the strongside linebacker pulled his groin on Thursday, and he participated in practice on a limited basis on Friday. Watson primarily gets on the field as a pass rusher on third downs, but he hasn't been particularly effective in that role in recent weeks.
S Tanard Jackson and WR Mike Williams are both listed as probable, and should both play on Sunday. G Jeremy Zuttah should return to action as well, which would give the Bucs' running game a boost as Zuttah has been a very good run blocker on power plays this year. Josh Freeman is listed with a thumb injury for the second straight week, but he hasn't really been bothered by it.
Full injury reports:
Out: WR Andre Johnson (hamstring), S Danieal Manning (ankle).
Questionable: DT Earl Mitchell (ankle), DE Antonio Smith (shoulder), T Eric Winston (back), CB Sherrick McManis (groin)
Probable: CB Jason Allen (knee), G Thomas Austin (knee), LB Connor Barwin (Achilles), LB Bryan Braman (thigh), G Mike Brisiel (back), T Duane Brown (shoulder), G Antoine Caldwell (ankle), LB Brian Cushing (knee), CB Johnathan Joseph (hamstring), LB Jesse Nading (shoulder), G Wade Smith (ankle), RB Ben Tate (foot), WR Kevin Walter (knee), LB Mister Alexander (shoulder), RB James Casey (pectoral)
Something tells me the Texans don't take the 'probable' listing all that seriously.
Doubtful: DT Frank Okam (calf)
Questionable: LB Dekoda Watson (groin)
Probable: WR Mike Williams (thigh), QB Josh Freeman (right thumb), S Tanard Jackson (hamstring), C Jeremy Zuttah (knee)