Ah, do you smell that in the air? No, it’s not the sweet hoppy smell of the IPAs flowing at Urban Meyer’s Pint House. No, that’s the smell of Football Sunday… and the smell of torn tendons and pulled hammys. That’s gotta hurt! Still probably can’t hurt as bad as I’m sure many of you out there in the ether are with depleted rosters. God bless the poor souls playing Davis Mills this week. You will be in my prayers.
Anyway, let’s dive into this week’s injury headlines hot off the presses!
Starting with a quick look at the Thursday night game. Basically, Russell Wilson tore a bunch of important things around his fingers after getting smacked around by Aaron Donald and had surgery to repair the situation Friday. Sources are super ecstatic he’s going to return… this season! Hooray! As I’m sure you’ve heard a million times already, Russell hasn’t missed a start in 149 regular-season games, since 2012! How many first team snaps do you think Geno Smith has been taking? Yeah. Probably not a ton. He’s still a must grab if you’re a Russell owner, he’s got plenty of weapons. C’mon Pete, LET GENO COOK!!
Moving onto Sunday’s lineup, the Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer is currently questionable with another torn finger tendon after getting it stuck up the butt of a Co-Ed at the best Pint House in Columbus! Sorry, been workshopping that joke for a week now. It was inevitable. Anyway, the Jaguars will be playing without their dignity, uh, I mean a few defensive players. Chances are Tennessee is feeling very mad about getting beat in the most boring OT of all time last week by the freaking Jets and they’re going to run down the Jaguar’s throat (don’t make the obvious Urban Meyer joke, Skorish….).
Speaking of Tennessee, star receiver Julio Jones and non-factor Nick Westbrook-Ikhine are both out in the showdown in Duvall. A.J Brown is back in action and assuming his hamstring isn’t acting up should eat up this Jacksonville secondary especially with a questionable CB Tyson Campbell. If I have Brown, I’m gladly starting him in this one.
Across the pond in London, the Jets are probably still popping champagne after actually winning a game, destroying survivor pools, and likely defying their own expectations. Congratulations, at least you’re not Jacksonville! They look to have Elijah Moore back from injury and will be without Jeff Smith or Tyler Kroft. If you were planning on starting either of those guys, I’m really very sorry. This might just be a decent game for Zach Wilson, who’s begun to show signs of life on some great throws but these London games are always a crapshoot for everyone.
Joining them in the bottom-five country of England is another bottom-five team, the Atlanta Falcons. They will be without their top receiver not named Coradelle Patterson, Calvin Ridley with a personal issue keeping him out along with missing Russell Gage again with an ankle injury. The Falcons might struggle a bit against a surprisingly not horrible Jets defense but this profiles to be a big game for rookie TE Kyle Pitts who is just dying for a breakout to justify his inflated draft price. Please, Kyle. I’m counting on you. Also, obligatory “don’t forget to set your lineup for the 9:30 game”.
In Carolina, the Panthers have Christian McCaffrey listed as doubtful even after his public comments that he “definitely” feels like he could play Sunday. This is one to monitor going into their 1PM EST game against Philadelphia, if he doesn’t play Chuba Hubbard should lead the backfield in carries. If he is active, I wouldn’t have any second thoughts about playing McCaffrey. He’s a number one RB for a good reason.
The Dolphins will be traveling a few hours West to play Tampa Bay in a classic Florida showdown. The Fins will still be without the ever-controversial Tua Tagovailoa, with Jacoby Brissett still leading the way. Maybe it’ll take a secondary as depleted as Tampa’s to have Jacoby cook up some TDs but I’m not putting my chips on it. Especially with receiver DeVante Parker questionable with a shoulder and a hamstring injury and with Will Fuller landing on IR with a broken finger. In their absence, Jaylen Waddle and Mike Gesicki are must-plays if you got them and other than that maybe Albert Wilson or Preston Williams step up to fill in the vacuum? Hard to say as this Miami offense has been anything but explosive.
For Tom Brady and his Buccaneer Band, they will be missing Rob Gronkowski for another week with his broken ribs and a punctured lung. Remember when I said last week he was going to “Hit the Quan” on Bill Belichick? Well, that was obviously just a joke. Hopefully, if they can manage the pain he returns in Week 6 for their Thursday matchup against the Eagles. Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard have been taking snaps at TE in his absence, with Brate looking like the favorite of the two. However, neither look any good and Tom is having trouble connecting with any TE not named Rob. Look elsewhere if you can.
Pretty much the whole Lions offense is a bit banged up with D’Andre Swift, Jamaal Williams, and T.J. Hockenson all being limited in practice through the week. They all look to suit up Sunday but it’s worth keeping an eye on going into the morning.
For Minnesota, Dalvin Cook is again questionable with an ankle injury after a game where he clearly wasn’t 100%. It’s hard to say what his true usage will be Sunday if he plays, especially if the Vikings are planning to underestimate the Dan Campbell Lions which is quite possible. Alexander Mattison could again see some play even after he got nowhere on the Browns’ defense. He’s worth monitoring to slot as a low-end Flex.
In Cincinnati, the Bengals could be in a bad spot with their lead back Joe Mixon being held out of practices for a third day and the team could make a final call after he tries practicing Saturday. If he’s out Samaje Perine and the Don Joe Burrow look to pick up more carries in the running game. Luckily for the Big Cats, Tee Higgins is making his appearance after missing two games and should be in line for some possible big plays with the Packers missing key DB Jaire Alexander.
For the Washington Football Team, Curtis Samuel still isn’t looking healthy only finally being limited in practice Friday. He’s not right quite yet and I’m keeping him on my bench until he can show that he’s all the way back. Antonio Gibson is questionable with a shin injury, also limited at practice, and as of now, his status is still in limbo. But rest assured my ZeroRB fans out there, J.D. McKissic is off the injury report and ready to rack up some PPR points and maybe the rogue touchdown. If Gibson is out, I’d throw him in a flex spot and see what he and Taylor Heinicke can do. TE Logan Thomas is out for around 4 weeks with a hamstring injury he suffered last week along with Dyami Brown and Cam Sims who are both out for Sunday. This should open the door even further for Scary Terry McLaurin and perhaps a guy like Ricky Seals-Jones will step up and catch some footballs.
For the Broncos, Albert Okwuegbunam will be out against the Steelers with another damn hamstring injury and could end up on IR. Not that he was eating much into the Noah Fant target share but he’ll be that much more of a solid play against the Steelers. In some good news, Teddy Bridgewater should play provided he clears the final concussion protocols on Sunday which looks like all but inevitable at this point. This is a major bonus for football fans who are planning to watch this one because we shouldn’t have to worry about future insurance salesman Drew Lock throwing the ball directly into Minkah Fitzpatrick‘s hands over and over.
On the other side in Pittsburgh, Chase Claypool and James Washington are both questionable for the Steelers. Another major questionable aspect is if Ben Roethlisberger has a spot reserved at Shady Acres retirement community yet or if we need to continue watching him lumber around and get him for the rest of the season. Doesn’t the Steelers front office know that it’s Dwayne Haskins SZN?
For the Matt Nagy Misery Experience aka the Chicago Bears, they’ll be without lead running back David Montgomery giving way to his backup Damien Williams against a pretty mediocre Las Vegas run defense. This could also be an opportunity for Justin Fields to use his legs a bit before Maxx Crosby rips his head off his body. Bears fans and fantasy players everywhere are really just relying on Matt Nagy not calling plays again even though he insists that “he’s really super-duper still in charge guys”.
In Vegas, Josh Jacobs is finally without an injury designation and will look to bounce back against the Bears who are banged up on defense. Helping his cause is a toe injury for Peyton Barber that’s landed him a questionable designation. I’m hoping the Raiders can pull together and show out offensively with the same juice they gave us in the first 3 weeks.
For the Browns, Baker Mayfield is dealing with a partially torn labrum (which sources tell me is “basically his shoulder, dingbat” on his non-throwing side. You have to hope this won’t affect his game too much but he’ll be having to deal with pain management and will get targeted by opposing defenses to throwing him off his game. TE David Njoku is questionable for the Brownies with a knee injury leaving things open to Odell Beckham Jr. and maybe Rashard Higgins to eat against a tough Chargers defense.
The Chargers could be missing one of their secondary running backs Justin Jackson who is suffering a groin injury. Look for Austin Ekeler to continue pounding the rock with fewer distractions in his way.
In San Francisco, Jimmy Garoppolo is out with an injury to his calf meaning it’s Trey Lance time, with the hype train at full speed after a decent second half with a few TDs in the air to Deebo Samuel and almost 200 yards. How he plays against the undefeated Arizona Cardinals (that feels kinda weird to say, huh?) will be a litmus test for his preparedness to be a starting QB for the rest of the season. TE George Kittle is listed as doubtful with a calf injury that’s been bugging him for a while now and he appears to be trending towards sitting on Sunday, leaving Lance with one less weapon at his disposal. Maybe this is the game Brandon Aiyuk can put together a complete game and deliver his draft price for us. Maybe? Please?
For the Cardinals, PPR Darling Chase Edmonds and other RB Eno Benjamin are both questionable going into Sunday. If they don’t play then TD Vulture James Connor is going to lead the backfield, pissing me right off and probably getting at least a damn touchdown. GIVE EDMONDS THE BALL IN THE REDZONE, KINGSBURY YOU HACK!!!
In the NFC East, the New York Giants are going to be without Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton for a second week. But in better news for Giants fans, Kadarius Toney did something last week! And so did Saquon Barkley! Season saved!
On the other side of the division, the Cowboys have Amari Cooper and Ezekiel Elliott listen as questionable with a hamstring and knee injury, respectively. If Cooper is out CeeDee Lamb (CeeDees Nuts) and Dalton Schultz should continue their hot streaks and maybe we’ll see Cedrick Wilson Jr. get some yard? Eh? Maybe? In the backfield, Tony Pollard is going to get some action against the Giants if Zeke is a no-go and should be a must-start in his absence. Even if Zeke plays he could be worth a flex spot in deeper leagues or in leagues where you’re missing your good players.
Other Notable Injuries:
In London, the Jets are going to be missing S Marcus Maye and S Adrian Colbert leaving a hole in their secondary that veteran QB and possible washed-up old man Matt Ryan could look to exploit and hopefully THROW THE BALL TO KYLE PITTS!
For Philly, they’ll be without RT Lane Johnson for a second week but LT Jordan Mailata is back and with the Panthers missing LB Shaq Thompson who’s been a key part of this new Carolina defense this could be an opportunity for the Philly offense to cook.
The Buccaneers lost DB Carlton Davis last week decimating an already decimated secondary, leaving them to sign DB Richard Sherman who’s barely played since 2019. Along with losing Antoine Winfield Jr. this week and having DB Jamal Dean be questionable, this could be a shot for Jacoby to COOK! But the Dolphins offense stinks and I expect the Buccaneers to just march down the field on Miami and for their sake try to keep possession.
The Patriots are down essentially their entire offensive line for their game against Houston. Luckily they’re playing Houston who haven’t exactly been world beater with their front seven but could create some opportunities to smash Mac Jones into the turf which is basically their only shot at winning against New England with Davis Mills at the helm.
For Chicago, DL Akiem Hicks, LB Khalil Mack, and LB Tashuan Gipson are all uncertain for their Sunday matchup against the Raiders who are currently struggling with their own OL issues. If they don’t play, it could take some pressure off the Raiders and assist in their passing game.
For the Silver and Black, they’re going to be without DB Damon Arnette and likely without DB Trayvon Mullen Jr. leaving rookies DB Nate Hobbs and DB Amik Robertson to fill in. But between you and me those guys might be better than the starters anyway, especially Hobbs who’s been very solid.
The Cleveland Browns have a whole defensive squad full of injured dudes as well as key injuries on their OL including DB Greg Newsome, T Chris Hubbard both being out and LT Jedrick Wills, DE Jadeveon Clowney, LB Tony Fields, DE Myles Garrett, DB Troy Hill, DE Takkarist McKinley, LB Malcolm Smith, C JC Tretter, and DB Denzel Ward all questionable. The Chargers could have a real window of opportunity to get after Baker and to march down the field taking advantage of a banged-up bunch of Clevelanders.
For the Giants, they’ll be without S Jabrill Peppers against a Cowboys team that’s been slinging the ball around like no one’s business. I’m not putting any stock in New York’s chances here defensively and on the offensive side they have LT Andrew Thomas questionable with a foot injury which is just further fodder for a hungry Cowboy pass rush.
You can find me on Twitter enjoying pints with Urban Meyer at @skorishism. Be sure to let me know what you think and who you’ll be playing Sunday in the comments below. Cheers.