In this Week 16 matchup, the 9-5 Detroit Lions host the 7-7 San Diego Chargers in a game where both teams are still in the playoff hunt. While the Lions control their own destiny for one of the NFC Wildcard spots, the Chargers will likely need to win out and get a little help from the Denver Broncos to win the AFC West. In a game that could end the season for either team, both the Lions and Chargers have important players injured that may factor into this game.
Out for Chargers: LB Travis LaBoy
Starting outside linebacker LaBoy is out with a knee injury and will be replaced in the defense with sack specialist Antwan Barnes.
Out for Lions: None
Doubtful for Chargers: None
Doubtful for Lions: CB Aaron Berry, S Louis Delmas
Both Berry (shoulder) and Delmas (knee) are expected to miss one of the most important Lions home games in the past decade. Berry hurt his shoulder against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 14 while Delmas is recovering from a knee injury against the Green Bay Packers in Week 12.
Questionable for Chargers: DT Antonio Garay, WR Vincent Jackson
Jackson is the Chargers' biggest injury concern this week. Missing every practice this week with a groin injury, Jackson's absence could lead way to a huge reliance on Malcom Floyd, Vincent Brown, and Patrick Crayton. Garay (toe) is questionable but should be available on Saturday.
Questionable for Lions: DT Nick Fairley, DT Corey Williams
Williams (hip) is the more likely defensive tackle to play Saturday despite not practicing all week. Fairley (foot) was recently upgraded to limited participation in practice but has been struggling with this foot injury all season and would be a small factor if he was available against the Chargers.
Probable for Chargers: LB Donald Butler
Butler (foot) has been a full participant in practice this week and will start opposite Takeo Spikes this week. Butler is second on the team behind Spikes in tackles this season with 83 tackles (63 solo).
Probable for Lions: T Gosder Cherilus, LB Justin Durant, S Chris Harris, CB Chris Houston, DE Lawrence Jackson, G Rob Sims, RB Kevin Smith, S Amari Spievey, DE Kyle Vanden Bosch, CB Don Carey, DE Willie Young
On offense, Smith (ankle) will likely need a good game against the Chargers in order for the Lions to succeed on Saturday. On defense, Vanden Bosch (neck) will be one of the main players on the Lions defensive line if Fairley and Williams miss the game. Only Carey (concussion) and Young (ankle) were limited participants in practice.
NFL Injuries, Yahoo! Sports
CHARGERS: Bolts hope holiday magic kicks in again, North County Times
Football on the wire, The Windsor Star
No Lions ruled out for Saturday's game; Louis Delmas, Aaron Berry doubtful, Detroit Free Press
San Diego Chargers Stats, Yahoo! Sports
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Austin Chang is a lifelong football fan, San Francisco 49ers supporter, and a Featured Contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @_austinchang.