NFC South injury report, Week 17: Focus on Steve Smith's knee

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Steve Smith will have an extra week to recover, but his status for the playoffs remains up in the air.

The NFC South teams made it through Week 17 without suffering any major injuries. Now the focus turns to the health of Steve Smith and others.

Smith sat out the game on Sunday and there is no guarantee he'll be ready for Carolina's playoff game, even with the Panthers securing a first-round bye. Here is the latest on Smith and the other injury news from around the NFC South.

Atlanta:

After being plagued by injuries through most of the season, the Falcons were able to wrap things up without any more significant injuries. Getting healthy will be an important part of the offseason with Julio Jones, Sean Weatherspoon, Corey Peters and Sam Baker among the key players dealing with injuries.

Carolina:

The Panthers made it through Week 17 without any notable injuries and will now have a bye week to rest and recover. The focus is on the status of Smith, who missed the game due to a knee injury. He injured his PCL in Week 16 and his status for the divisional round of the playoffs remains unclear. Smith said the bye week will help him recover.

"The longer the better," Smith said, via ESPN.com. "A short turnaround, you can't do it. All the medicine, all the stuff you take, all the treatment, your body is only going to move at the pace you want to move at. I feel it is coming along, but you can't go from being not able to run, to now I'm able to walk without a limp, to all of a sudden I'm running these routes full speed. That's unrealistic."

Jonathan Stewart was also inactive with a knee injury. Defensive tackle Colin Cole missed the game with a calf injury.

New Orleans:

New Orleans didn't have a single player listed as questionable or worse on the Week 17 injury report and the Saints remain relatively healthy going into the playoffs. Marques Colston played through a back injury and showed no ill effects. Pierre Thomas made it through the game fine, despite an eye issue.

Tampa Bay:

The Buccaneers wrapped up their season on Sunday and did so without suffering any significant injuries. Mark Barron missed the game game with a hamstring injury, but will now have the offseason to get healthy. Carl Nicks was inactive with his toe injury and his status will be something to watch heading into next season.

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