By Justin Lee, Chat Sports
With a win against the Denver Broncos on Monday night, the Bengals would earn a first-round bye on the AFC side of the playoff bracket. If Denver wins, they'll clinch a playoff spot and remain a game ahead of the playoff-bound Kansas City Chiefs for the AFC West title heading into Week 17.
There are a handful of other AFC teams with rooting interests in this game, but perhaps none with higher stakes than the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts. The Texans will win the AFC South if the Bengals win on Monday thanks to the NFL's sixth playoff tiebreaker. Houston is one game up on Indy with one to play.
Check out the latest NFL news and rumors below.
• The NFL playoff picture remains muddled heading into Monday, with three division titles still up for grabs, overall home-field advantage still up in the air in both conferences, and the New York Jets having jumped the Pittsburgh Steelers for the final Wild Card spot in the AFC.
• Indianapolis Colts quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is “not super optimistic” that he'll be ready to go for Week 17 after suffering a right shoulder injury against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, reports Josh Alper of NBC Sports.
• New England Patriots wide receiver Matthew Slater did not understand the overtime coin toss procedure after opting to kick to the New York Jets, reports Mike Florio of NBC Sports. The Jets won the game with a Eric Decker touchdown catch on their first OT possession.
• Patriots offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer sustained a sprained ankle on Sunday, reports Florio. An MRI is reportedly scheduled for Monday.