Another hard hitting week of action in the league has left several units starting new linemen in week three. But not all injuries are downgrades. One injury particular might actually improve the performance of that team's offensive line. Let's get after it!
Buffalo plus 11.
Left tackle Cordy Glenn is reportedly healthy after missing last week's Thursday night contest. Glenn is a Pro Bowl player in his prime and grades out much better than his replacement, Cyrus Kouandijo. This is an offensive line column but to take a moment to talk about this game, this Buffalo team could be a sleeper this weekend against Arizona. The Cards' travel across the country for a 1pm start on the East Coast and getting a player like Glenn back could make the difference for a Bills' team whose season is on the brink of collapse.
New York (N) plus 6.
The right side has been a problem in recent seasons for the Giants. However, since right guard John Jerry got back from offseason workouts with LeCharles Bentley, right tackle Marshall Newhouse has actually been the weak link, and the target of other team's pass rushers. Last week against New Orleans, Newhouse left the game in the second half and the second-year player out of Florida State, Bobby Hart, filled in at right tackle. Hart was by all measures an obvious upgrade over Newhouse, particularly in the passing game. The Giants' also have Will Beatty who could also be an improvement. This is the rare case where an injury has upgraded a line's grade.
Cleveland minus 3.
Starting center Cameron Erving suffered a nasty injury last week and was taken to the hospital after the game. Erving was released and the team is calling his status "week-to-week" with a bruised lung. Erving was the target of the fans' scorn ever since he was drafted, but the lineup is still somewhat better with him healthy than not. In his place John Greco slides over from guard and Alvin Bailey will start in Greco's right guard position.
Tennessee minus 5.
Right guard Chance Warmack tore a tendon in his hand and will be placed on injured reserve. Depending on his rehab, Warmack could be a candidate to be brought off the list after week eight of the regular season. Warmack was just starting to live up to his elite draft status, and had been a beast in the running game this season. In his place, Sebastian Tretola will get a chance to start, as will Josh Kline, recently of the Patriots. Whoever gets the nod will likely be a downgrade from Warmack.
Minnesota minus 17.
Left tackle Matt Kalil was placed on injured reserve with a hip injury. There's no kind way to cushion this news. Even though Kalil was a flawed player in recent years, he had tightened up considerably and has been playing well in 2016. In his place, T.J. Cummings will get the start. Cummings looked awful at left tackle when Kalil was hurt in preseason and it is a huge drop off between the two players. Kalil is another player the team could hope to get back after week eight but his rehab could be lengthy.
Jacksonville minus 4.
Left tackle Kelvin Beachum suffered a scary concussion last weekend and was carted off the field. In his place Jermey Parnell flips from right tackle and Patrick Omameh will join the lineup at right tackle. Quick rant, the way the Jaguars have handled their offensive line has been a disgrace. Luke Joeckel was locked in during the preseason but the team didn't pick up his option, so they moved him to guard. Even with the high-priced free agent addition in Beachum hurt, they refuse to move Joeckel back to his natural position. A football team should be a meritocracy and the coaching staff is being obstinant. This player will get big money next year in free agency and the Jaguars are squandering his talent, probably because they gave his money to Beachum. In related news, Brandon Linder sat out practice on Wednesday and if he can't go on Sunday, Tyler Shatley takes his place. The Jaguars' line is a hot mess right now and they even if Linder plays, they have sunk to the lowest tier of the rankings.
Philadelphia RT Lane Johnson officially suspended.
Lane Johnson's long lost B-sample finally came back positive and he is scheduled to miss 10 games. Johnson will play this week but after that, the Eagles are on a bye and Johnson will not be eligible to play again until week 15. Expect a massive downgrade to the Eagles' offensive line after that point.
New York (A) LG Carpenter expected to play.
James Carpenter missed the second half of Thursday night football against Buffalo but he is expected to play week 3 at Kansas City. The team dodges a bullet here, as Wesley Johnson was only decent in Carpenter's place.
KC lost both guards last week.
Both Parker Ehinger and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif were injured during week two. The "Canadian Doctor" is expected back for week three but Ehinger is still in the concussion protocol. In his place, Zach Fulton has been a solid veteran option, and there's no change to the rankings at this point.
SF backup Anthony Davis in the concussion protocol.
Davis, who went from starter to retired, to starter, to backup again, will not be available for this weekends' contest at Carolina. Davis had been replaced in the lineup by Andrew Tiller so there's no big downgrade at this time.
Denver RT Donald Stephenson out, but Ty Sambrailo back.
A mixed back for the Broncos' line as Stephenson is likely out two to three weeks. The good news is that Ty Sambrailo should be back in the mix, and the team could slide either him or Michael Schofield or Darrion Weems in place of Stephenson. This probably should be a small downgrade but it will be interesting to see how the replacement play.
Seattle right guard Germain Ifedi getting healthier.
Ifedi, the first round pick, is a possibility for this week's home clash versus the 49ers. J'Marcus Webb would go back to the bench in this scenario. There is no upgrade to Seattle at this time because Ifedi is not a sure thing to play and because the line has been so awful all year long.
Week 3 Matchup's of Note
- PHI 2nd O-line @ PIT 25th defensive front seven (+23)
- DAL 1st O-line vs. CHI 19th defensive front seven (+18)
- WAS 4th O-line @ 17th NYG defensive front seven (+13)
- ATL 8th O-line @ 20th NO defensive front seven (+12)
- MIN 26th O-line @ CAR 1st defensive front seven (-25)
- NE 29th O-line vs. HOU 9th defensive front seven (-20)
- JAX 31st O-line vs. BAL 13th defensive front seven (-18)
- LA 25th O-line @ TB 8th defensive front seven (-17)
Week 3 Offensive Line Rankings
|7||CLE||4||-3||30.73||B+||B+||B||C. Erving bruised lung.|
|11||BUF||22||11||30.35||B||B+||B-||C. Glenn returns this week.|
|18||NYG||24||6||29.1||C+||C||C+||B. Hart in for M. Newhouse.|
|23||TEN||18||-5||28.63||C+||C+||C+||C. Warmack to IR.|
|26||MIN||9||-17||28.35||C||C+||C-||M. Kalil to injured reserve.|
|27||HOU||28||1||28.1||C-||C||C-||D. Brown out this week.|
|28||MIA||29||1||28.05||C-||C||C-||M. Pouncey hip fracture.|
|31||JAX||27||-4||27.03||C-||C-||C-||Beachum out with concussion.|
Week 3 Defensive Front Seven Rankings
|7||Cincinnati||Burfict sus. 1 game.|
|10||Kansas City||Houston on PUP.|
|15||New York (A)|
|17||New York (N)|
|24||Dallas||McClain sus. 8 games.|
|26||Buffalo||Dareus sus. 2 games.|
|29||San Francisco||Lynch sus. 2 games.|
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