There's several key injuries to starters on highly ranked lines, and that always changes the rankings. It's Week 10, let's get after it!
Chicago plus 21.
Both left guard Josh Sitton and right guard Kyle Long returned to practice this week, and getting both Pro Bowlers back is a huge boost for the Bears' offense. While Eric Kush and Ted Larsen are decent NFL vets, they are a downgrade from the starters. With the two star guards back in the lineup, the Bears' line jumps from 29th to 8th and can be considered a top tier unit if they stay healthy.
Minnesota plus 3.
Left guard Alex Boone returned to practice this week. With Kalil and Andre Smith on IR, Boone is clearly the team's best healthy lineman and getting him back into the lineup is good news. The Minnesota line in general has been one of the league worst units, and while getting Boone back helps their team, they still remain in the low tier, at 27th overall. But hey, at least the trend line is going in the right direction.
Buffalo minus 10.
Starting center Eric Wood broke his leg last weekend and has been placed on the injured reserve. Wood was a Pro Bowler last season and his loss is a large one for the Bills' line. Ryan Groy replaced Wood in the game, and is likely to get the first crack at the job. Former Seattle center Patrick Lewis could also get a chance, should Groy struggle. There is no good way to spin this injury to a key player. Without Wood, the Bills' line falls from the top-tier to the mid-tier.
San Diego minus 8.
Left guard Orlando Franklin entered the concussion protocol after last week's game and even though the team was optimistic he would be fine, Franklin remains out of action as of Wednesday's practice. Making a guess, it seems unlikely that Franklin will recover in time for Sunday's contest against Miami. In his place, Spencer Pulley, an undrafted rookie out of Vanderbilt will likely get the start. Pulley relieved Franklin last week and could get the start again. It's a tough call to make this far away from the game, so remember to check the game-day inactives for Franklin's name.
New York (N) minus 7.
The New York offensive line suffered a blow last week when left guard Justin Pugh injured his knee. Pugh was diagnosed with an MCL sprain and is reportedly going to miss 3-4 weeks. Pugh is the glue guy for that line and he not easily replaced. Brett Jones, a former CFL player who is mostly used as a backup center stepped in for Pugh. While Jones has an interesting story, he will be treated as a small downgrade in the rankings until he can prove his worth. Without arguably their best player, the Giants' line slips seven spots to 22nd in the rankings, just outside the mid-tier.
Baltimore minus 12.
All-Pro right guard Marshal Yanda is doubtful for the Thursday night contest against Cleveland. Yanda had missed several games with a shoulder injury but started against Pittsburgh last week. Yanda must have suffered a setback as he has not practiced all week and seems highly unlikely to play. It is not clear but run blocking specialist Vlad Ducasse could get the start. Ducasse isn't Yanda and the switch represents a huge downgrade to the Ravens' grade. The line currently sits at twenty-third overall in the rankings, at the top of the low-tier.
New York (A) minus 10.
Left tackle Ryan Clady had been playing hurt with a shoulder injury since week 3. Finally the team has made a move to put Clady on the injured reserve, which would be the third time he's ended up on that list in the last three seasons. In Clady's place, Ben Ijalana will likely get the start. Ijalana had been starting at right tackle until Breno Giacomini came off the PUP list a few weeks ago. Ijalana grades out as a replacement level starter at the position. The unit is still without Nick Mangold, and without their left tackle and their Pro Bowl center, the Jets' line drops ten spots to the low tier.
DAL - LG Leary concussed, Looney replaced.
Left guard Ronald Leary entered the league's concussion protocol this week. The team is optimistic Leary will play, but keep a close eye on game-day for his name on the inactive list.
GB - C Tretter out with MCL sprain, Linsley replaced.
The Packers will likely be without their starting center J.C. Tretter for about a month. Corey Linsley is a former starter in his own right and there is no change the Packers' grade at this time.
PIT - C Pouncey undegoes thumb surgery but still could play.
Maurkice Pouncey suffered a dislocated thumb last week and had surgery on it early in the week to repair the damage. Surprisingly all signs point to Pouncey as likely to play, but it will come down to if the thumb is well enough to handle snaps. There's no change to the Steelers' ranking at this time but watch for any setbacks to Pouncey's improbable recovery.
PHI - C Kelce's play defended by Head Coach.
Jason Kelce's recent play has been criticized by fans and beat writers. Head Coach Doug Peterson defended his starter to the media this week. There is no change to the Eagles' grade at this time but the situation bears further observation.
IND - LG Mewhort still out but could return after bye.
The Colts are on a bye Week 10, which gives their key guard Jack Mewhort another week to recover from his injuries. Should he return Week 11, the Colts' line will be due an upgrade.
DET - RT Reiff out, Robinson in for one week.
Riley Rieff was ruled out last week and Corey Robinson started at right tackle. Robinson did great but Reiff is expected to rejoin the lineup after the bye week.
NO - LT Armstead out with leg injury, Peat to replace.
Even though their starter is out, this hasn't been new for the Saints' line this season. Somehow the cohesion score of Peat's starts plus Senio Kelemete/Tim Lelito's experience has kept the grade relatively stable. In fact, the Saints get a 3 slot upgrade to the cusp of the top tier. Don't ask me how a starting left tackle getting hurt is an upgrade, it's been a wierd week.
TB - LG Pamphile, C Hawley dealing with injuries.
Hawley left the game last Thursday but is limited in practice this week. He should play. Kevin Pamphile's situation doesn't sound as positive, but vet Evan Smith (formerly Dietrich-Smith) will get the start. Smith grades out similarly, hence no change to the rankings. However, if Hawley goes down, their depth will be tested.
Week 10 Matchups of Note
- 1st DAL offensive line @ 28th PIT defensive front seven (+27)
- 5th MIA offensive line @ 31st SD defensive front seven (+26)
- 13th SF offensive line @ 24th AZ defensive front seven (+13)
- 32nd CAR offensive line vs. 1st KC defensive front seven (-31)
- 30th NYJ offensive line vs. 7th LA defensive front seven (-23)
- 24th WAS offensive line vs. 6th MIN defensive front seven (-18)
- 22nd NYG offensive line vs. 4th CIN defensive front seven (-18)
Week 10 Offensive Line Rankings
|7||CHI||29||22||30.15||A-||A-||B||Sitton & Long return.|
|16||BUF||6||-10||28.73||B-||B-||C+||Wood to IR.|
|18||SD||10||-8||28.65||C||C+||C||Franklin likely out.|
|LOW TIER||22||NYG||15||-7||28.35||C-||C-||C-||Pugh out.|
|30||NYJ||20||-10||27.23||D+||C-||D||Clady to IR.|
Week 10 Defensive Front Seven Rankings
Note that Kansas City is the new number one this week in the defensive front seven rankings, as a key player returned from the PUP list. Also note that the Jamie Collins Sr trade hurt New England's ranking but it was not enough to raise Cleveland's out of 32nd.
|1||Kansas City||Houston returns.|
|15||New York (A)|
|16||New York (N)|
|18||New Orleans||Rankins at practice.|
|21||New England||Collins traded.|
|26||Dallas||McClain sus. 1 game.|
As usual, if you have a question about a team not specifically talked about in this article, please feel free to contact me via twitter or in the Shark Pool.
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