The Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams are about as healthy as two teams can be after playing 17 regular-season games and three playoff games. Both teams are not without injury, however, as the Bengals and Rams released their first reports on Wednesday in preparation for Super Bowl LVI.
The health of both teams' starting tight ends has been a notable headline leading up to Sunday's game. Rams tight end Tyler Higbee is dealing with a sprained MCL. Bengals tight end C.J. Uzomah is dealing with a knee injury that was sustained during Cincinnati's win over Kansas City in the AFC Championship Game. Uzomah declared that he will not miss "the biggest game of my life" earlier this week.
Here's a look at both teams' initial Super Bowl injury reports ahead of Sunday's game.
As expected, Uzomah did not practice on Wednesday. While he has yet to practice since sustaining his injury, Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic reported that Uzomah looked great while working on his own during Cincinnati's practice this past Saturday. Uzomah did individual work with trainers while running, riding a stationary bike and working with resistance bands.
Guard Jackson Carman (back) was upgraded to limited after missing the Bengals' previous practice. Cincinnati's second-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Carman appeared in 51% of the Bengals' offensive snaps during their 27-24 win over the Chiefs in the AFC Championship. Hakeem Adeniji would get an increased workload if Jackson's injury limits his availability on Sunday.
Tight end Cameron Sample (groin) and defensive tackle Josh Tupou (knee) were upgraded to full practice participants after both players were limited during the end of last week's practices.
Los Angeles Rams
The Rams held a walk-through practice on Wednesday but Higbee would not have participated in a full practice, according to Rams coach Sean McVay. Also designated as sitting out was offensive tackle Joe Noteboom, who is dealing with a chest injury.
"We're just taking it a day at a time with those guys," McVay said of both players earlier this week, via Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic. "They're doing everything in their power to be available, and I'll probably be able to give you a better answer as we get closer to the game, but there's no change on those guys' status."
Running back Cam Akers (shoulder) and receiver Van Jefferson (knee) were upgraded to limited participants. Akers did not practice last week, while Jefferson did not practice last Friday after being limited on Wednesday and Thursday. McVay stated that Akers' will be a "big part" of the game plan on Sunday after returning from an Achilles injury late in the regular season.
Cornerbacks Grant Haley (quadricep) and Jalen Ramsey (shoulder), safety Taylor Rapp (concussion), linebackers Christian Rozeboom (elbow) and offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth (quadricep) were designated as full participants on Wednesday. Ramsey and Whitworth did not practice last Friday after not appearing on the Rams' injury report during the team's first two practices of the week.
McVay said in his Wednesday press conference that the Rams will practice at the Rose Bowl on Thursday.