Mendenhall suffered a right knee injury in the first half of the Steelers' Week 17 win over the Browns, and Head Coach Mike Tomlin has already said it is unlikely he will suit up for next Sunday's Wild Card game at Denver. While there has been no official word out of Pittsburgh, there are concerns that Mendenhall may have torn his ACL, which certainly would put him out for the entirety of the playoffs. Backup Isaac Redman amassed 92 yards on the ground, although he did fumble twice, and would get the nod at running back next week assuming Mendenhall cannot play.
There have been conflicting reports out of Houston regarding the severity of the shoulder injury to Yates' left (non-throwing) shoulder, with the team calling it a bruise while at least one source indicated it may be a sprain. Either way, the Texans do not appear concerned about Yates' status for Saturday's game against Cincinnati. Even if the shoulder is sprained, if it is a low-grade injury (as was the case for Tom Brady in Sunday's game), since it is the non-throwing shoulder, although pain may be a factor there shouldn't be an impact on the Houston QB's throwing motion. If Yates is unable to play, however, backup Jake Delhomme would once again find himself starting an NFL playoff game.
The Saints WR was removed from the team's shellacking of Carolina due to knee pain, which was later diagnosed as a bruised knee. Based on preliminary reports, the injury should not affect Meachem's status for next weekend's game against the Lions, but it remains to be seen whether there is significant swelling or pain over the next day or two.
The 49ers defensive end, a candidate for defensive player of the year, aggravated a left knee injury in the team's win over St. Louis and left the game in the first quarter, although he did re-insert himself in the lineup at the end as his team fought off a Rams comeback effort. Given that San Francisco earned a first-round bye with yesterday's victory, Smith should have ample time to recover, but keep an eye on his practice status over the course of the next two weeks.