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Wednesday's injury and roster news ahead of NFL Championship Sunday

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Vita Vea is inching closer to a return.

Bruce Arians told reporters Wednesday that Vea, who's been out with a fractured ankle since Week 5, looked good after participating in a walk-through. Arians also shared he believed Vea had a chance to return after watching him run in a pool about three weeks ago.

"You keep working and we'll keep winning," said Arians on the message he gave to Vea, per NFL Network's Sara Walsh.

Vea was designated to return from injured reserve on Monday.

Arians also said it's too early to tell if receiver Antonio Brown (knee) will play against the Packers in Sunday's NFC Championship Game. He added that Brown is considered day to day after not participating Wednesday.

Running back Ronald Jones (quad) said he's all good and is already feeling better than last week when he was questionable going into the Divisional Round matchup against the Saints, per NFL Network's James Palmer. Jones and wide receivers Mike Evans (knee) and Chris Godwin (quad) were limited.

Here's other injury and roster news we're tracking on Wednesday:

  • The Washington Football Team is hiring 49ers VP of player personnel Martin Mayhew as a high-ranking executive with a title to be determined, NFL Network Insider Iran Rapoport reported. Mayhew will work with coach Ron Rivera and general manager Marty Hurney as WFT restructures its organization. Washington closed its facility Wednesday after a series of COVID-19 cases among coaches and staff members stemming from a small get-together outside the facility after their season ended, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, per informed sources. Pelissero added that the facility is likely to remain closed for the week.
  • Green Bay Packers running backs A.J. Dillon (thigh) and Jamaal Williams (ankle), kicker Mason Crosby (shoulder), linebackers Krys Barnes (thumb) Za'Darius Smith (thumb), wide receiver Allen Lazard (wrist, back), and defensive tackle Kingsley Keke (concussion), who returned, were limited. Offensive tackle Jared Veldheer remains in COVID-19 protocol, and RB Tyler Ervin (foot) did not practice.
  • Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (concussion/toe) was a limited participant in practice Wednesday. Linebacker Willie Gay Jr. (ankle) did not practice, while four players -- Bashaud Breeland, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Rashad Fenton and Sammy Watkins -- were limited.
  • Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Vernon Butler (quad) and receiver Gabriel Davis (ankle) did not practice Wednesday. Receiver Stefon Diggs was limited with an oblique injury. Wide receiver Cole Beasley, who's been battling a knee injury in recent weeks, was removed from the injury report.

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