Offensive Line Rankings and Notes: Week 11 - Footballguys

Offensive line related news, injuries and updates, prior to week eleven of the regular season.

UPGRADES

LA Chargers up five slots.

Led by center Mike Pouncey, the Chargers' offensive line has surged up the rankings in the last month. Pouncey has been effective run blocking at the second level and the success of the rushing attack has been a big factor in the team's current 6-game winning streak. The right side of Michael Schofield at guard and Sam Tevi at tackle are the right blend of powerful and agile to fit the outside zone scheme. Defense fronts are being pushed off the line of scrimmage on most downs. While other teams have been losing players, the Chargers have veteran Joe Barksdale rotating in about a third of the snaps at right tackle just to keep fresh. This unit ranks in the top-tier but they have a tough divisional match-up as they host Denver this week.

Baltimore up 16 slots.

Assuming left tackle Ronnie Stanley returns from his ankle injury, the Ravens' line should be much improved for their home game against Cincinnati. Stanley missed the Week 9 contest against Pittsburgh but was practicing in a limited capacity on Wednesday. Jermaine Elumunor got the start two weeks ago, and should Stanley suffer a setback, this line would again grade in the low-tier. The Ravens' offense will be facing uncertainty at the quarterback position this week, but the line should be able to pick up some of the slack.

Indianapolis up two slots.

Rookie left guard Quenton Nelson became a viral social media sensation this week when a video of Nelson pancaking Jaguars' defender Barry Church was tweeted by the Colts' official account. At a point in the season where many rookies hit the wall, Nelson has been playing at an improved level from week to week. As first-round rookies are given a standard 'B' grade at the start of the season, Nelson receives a rare individual grade upgrade based on his film through ten games. The pre-draft reports said he would be a special player, and so far it looks like these reports were accurate. The Colts' offense has not given up a sack of quarterback Andrew Luck for the last four games, and the line grades at 11th, almost in the top-tier of the latest rankings.

Minnesota up three slots.

Left guard Tom Compton appears healthy and excited to face his old team the Chicago Bears. Compton has been practicing in a limited fashion this week after missing two games with a knee injury. While Danny Isidora is might be an explosive run blocker, Compton is stronger and the more accomplished pass protector. While this line had a rough start to the season, they have gotten healthy and rookie Brian O'Neill has stepped up, allowing Rashod Hill to assume the swing tackle role. Right guard Mike Remmers is also listed on the injury report, as he has been fighting a back injury all season. Compton and Remmers should start, and if they don't, the Vikings have more depth than most teams at this point in the season. They grade as a solid mid-tier line in the latest rankings.

NY Giants up two slots

Right guard Jamon Brown was claimed off of waivers from the LA Rams during the bye week and the coaches gave him the start over John Greco during the Monday Night Football win at San Francisco. The offense looked vastly improved with Brown in the lineup and he should see out the rest of the season in the starting role. Despite being only 25-years-old, Brown has significant experience, as his Week 10 start at right guard was the 31st of his career at this position. The Giants' line has been looking for solutions on the right side all year and they may have finally found something which works. They still grade as a low-tier unit but are trending in the right direction.

DOWNGRADES

New Orleans down six slots.

Left tackle Terron Armstead was forced from last week's away win at Cincinnati with a right shoulder injury and did not return. Armstead did not practice on Wednesday, and his recovery is likely to be a multi-week process. Veteran Jermon Bushrod replaced Armstead in the contest. Bushrod was actually the left tackle starter in the era before Armstead, from 2008-2012, with these same offensive coaches. This isn't a huge loss to cohesion, but Bushrod is far from the player he used to be in his prime. In other news left guard Andrus Peat (hip) and right tackle Ryan Ramzyk (knee) are fighting their own respective injuries but both expected to play. The Saints' line is still a good unit without Armstead, but they are not elite without their starting left tackle.

Jacksonville down nine slots.

Starting center Brandon Linder was placed on injured reserve this week with a right knee injury which requires surgery. Tyler Shatley replaced Linder during the contest and is expected to make his 9th career start this weekend at Indianapolis. In other news left tackle Josh Walker is nursing both foot and ankle injuries and is unlikely to play this weekend. Recently arrived Ereck Flowers is also dealing with a knee injury, which could force his former Giants teammate Patrick Omameh into action. Needless to say, when a team is raiding the Giants scrap heap for starting options, things have gotten desperate.

Arizona down two slots.

Right guard Justin Pugh, who had been fighting a broken hand for most of the season, was forced from the loss at Kansas City with a knee injury which will end his season. Oday Aboushi replaced Pugh during the contest, and Aboushi could get the start again this week. With left guard Mike Iupati dealing with a back injury, Jeremy Vujnovich got the start last week and the team could have two backup guards in the lineup at home against Oakland. Left tackle D.J. Humphries has an injured knee and his status is also in question. The lineup is looking fairly bleak in Arizona, and they grade as a low-tier unit.

OTHER NEWS

Carolina - C Ryan Kalil is dealing with an ankle injury. Kalil was limited in Wednesday's practice but is expected to play.

Cleveland - Left tackle swap. Rookie Desmond Harrison was dealing with an illness, which allowed former first-round pick Greg Robinson to get the start in the win over Atlanta. Robinson is the more accomplished player, and the team did win, but it is not clear at this time if in fact Robinson is an upgrade over Harrison. Stay tuned.

Kansas City - C Mitch Morse still in the concussion protocol. The injury report for Monday Night Football is not available until Thursday but Morse has not started a game since Week 6. The Chiefs are a top-ten line, when Morse returns to the lineup.

Philadelphia - RT Lane Johnson missed last week's loss against Dallas with an MCL sprain. Johnson was limited in Wednesday's practice and is considered a game-time decision. The model assumes he plays, but they are ranked 14th without him.

Tampa Bay - RT Demar Dotson is nursing knee and shoulder injuries. Dotson is likely to play.

Tennessee - Various injuries. RT Jack Conklin is practicing and likely to play after recovering from a concussion. LG Quentin Spain is not practicing with an ankle injury. Corey Levin is the usual next man up but he has been dealing with an illness. Worst case, Dennis Kelly could move to guard and allow Conklin to get his starting job back.

Washington - Jon Cooper in the lineup. Cooper got the start at left guard last week, with Chase Roullier at center and Tony Bergstrom at right guard. Cooper's natural position is left guard and it is tempting to give this lineup a boost after the win at Tampa Bay, but let's see how this lineup reacts when teams game plan for these specific players.

FULL RANKINGS

Rank
Team
Old
Diff
Score
Overall Grade
Run Grade
Pass Grade
Cohesion
Notes
1
LAR
1
0
32.3
A+
A+
A
5.0
2
PHI
2
0
32.0
A+
A
A+
3.5
Assuming RT Lane Johnson returns after missing last week with a knee injury (H. Vaitai). #14 line without Johnson.
3
PIT
4
1
30.7
A
A+
A-
4.5
4
GB
5
1
30.5
A
B+
A
4.0
5
ATL
6
1
30.1
A-
A
B+
3.5
6
LAC
11
5
30.0
A-
A
B+
5.0
Cohesion upgrade.
7
SF
7
0
30.0
A-
B+
A
4.5
8
SEA
8
0
29.8
B+
A-
B
5.0
9
BAL
25
16
29.8
B+
A-
B
4.0
Assuming LT Ronnie Stanley returns this week. (J. Elumunor started week 9).
10
NO
3
-7
29.8
B+
B
A-
5.0
LT Terron Armstead likely to miss several weeks with a shoulder injury (J. Bushrod).
11
IND
13
2
29.8
B+
B
A-
5.0
Individual grade upgrade for LG Quenton Nelson.
12
TEN
9
-3
29.6
B+
A-
B
4.5
13
DAL
10
-3
29.6
B+
A
B-
3.5
14
CLE
14
0
29.5
B+
A-
B
4.5
LT Greg Robinson for Desmond Harrison (illness; coaching decision).
15
OAK
12
-3
29.2
B
A-
C+
4.0
16
NE
16
0
28.9
B-
C+
B
5.0
17
CIN
17
0
28.8
B-
B
C+
4.0
18
CAR
18
0
28.6
C+
C+
C+
4.0
19
MIN
22
3
28.6
C+
C-
B
4.5
LG Tom Compton likely to return to the lineup (D. Isidora).
20
DET
19
-1
28.5
C+
B-
C
4.0
21
TB
20
-1
28.5
C+
C
B-
4.0
22
CHI
21
-1
28.3
C+
B-
C
4.5
23
HOU
23
0
28.2
C
B-
D+
4.5
24
JAX
15
-9
28.2
C
C+
C-
4.0
C Brandon Linder placed on injured reserve with a knee injury (T. Shatley).
25
NYJ
24
-1
28.1
C
C+
C-
4.0
26
KC
27
1
28.0
C
C-
C+
3.0
C Mitch Morse in concussion protocol (Austin Reiter at C). #9th line with Morse.
27
BUF
26
-1
28.0
C
C-
C+
4.5
28
NYG
30
2
28.0
C
C+
C-
4.0
RG Jamon Brown for John Greco (coaching decision).
29
MIA
29
0
27.8
C-
C
D+
4.5
30
AZ
28
-2
27.5
C-
C
D+
4.5
RG Justin Pugh placed on injured reserve (J. Vujnovich)
31
WAS
32
1
26.7
D+
C-
D
3.0
LT Trent Williams missed last game with a thumb injury and likely out again.
32
DEN
31
-1
26.5
D+
C-
D
3.5

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