Offensive Line Rankings and Notes, Week 13 - Footballguys

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

UPGRADES

Kansas City up 17 slots.

Starting center Mitch Morse has finally been cleared from the league's concussion protocol and he practiced in full this week. Morse has been unavailable since the middle of October with a concussion suffered Week 6 against New England. While coaches have praised Austin Reiter, look for the veteran 44 game starter in Morse to get the nod over the four-game starter in Reiter this weekend at Oakland. Morse is a former second-round pick with rare athletic gifts at the pivot spot and his return should be a significant upgrade to one of the league's most prolific offenses. This offensive line again rejoins the top 10 in the latest rankings.

Baltimore up four slots.

Right tackle James Hurst has recovered from a nerve issue in his back which affected feeling in his calves. The injury occurred in mid-October and was initially expected to be a two or three-week issue, but it has taken longer than Ravens' trainers initially estimated for Hurst to recover. Hurst practiced this week in a limited fashion and while he could be available, he is not expected to play this week at Atlanta. Rookie Orlando Brown Jr. has done a quality job at the right tackle spot and lineup changes are unlikely while the rushing offense is humming. Still, Hurst could fill in there or at left guard, where Alex Lewis is talented but not durable. Any increase in depth at this point in the league calendar is rare good fortune. Besides Hurst's return, the line has been blowing open huge holes in the run game recently. They grade as a top-tier option.

Denver up seven slots.

This unit lost it's two best players in center Matt Paradis and left guard Ron Leary to injured reserve and literally hit rock bottom, 32nd in the rankings. However the last two weeks (against the conferences' better defenses in the Los Angeles Chargers and Pittsburgh Steelers), the backups have performed, earning a cohesion upgrade in the latest rankings. Neither Billy Turner at left guard nor Elijah Wilkinson at right guard has a ton of starting experience, but each is a converted tackle with bulk. Connor McGovern at center is more of a power player than Matt Paradis and the interior is creating space. On the outside, the tackles in Garrett Bolles and Jared Veldheer have cleaned up their play of late, reducing penalties and pressures. The line is pushing the pile, allowing Broncos' backs to average almost six yards per carry in the last two weeks. This line has been a roller coaster this season but they should be solid down the stretch, and as the guards develop, they could be in line for further upgrade.

DOWNGRADES

Dallas down 14 slots.

Left tackle Tyron Smith was a surprise scratch last week for the Thanksgiving game against Washington. Smith added an elbow injury the stinger he had been dealing with and he was replaced in the lineup by Cameron Fleming. While fans of the team remember the recent misadventures of Kendall Lamm and Chaz Green, Fleming did a credible job last week. Fleming has almost two dozen career starts at tackle, including a Super Bowl. Smith has not practiced this week and is being called a game-time decision by coaches. The model assumes he won't play. While Fleming is a decent substitute, this line is only a mid-tier unit without Smith. In other news, the guards are also banged up, as both Zach Martin (knee) and Xavier S'ua-Filo (ankle) have been limited in practice this week. Expect both to play, but the line limps into a home matchup this Thursday against New Orleans.

GB down one slot.

Left tackle David Bakhtiari was forced from the Sunday Night contest at Minnesota with what coaches have described as multiple injuries to the same knee. Bakhtiari was able to play most of the game, 43 of 53 snaps, but his athleticism was limited. The other starter on the left side, guard Lane Taylor, also missed a few plays with a quad injury. The model assumes both players will suit up and be ready for the home contest against Arizona, and they are still a top-tier line, but their grade reflects a short-term penalty due to the possibility the lineup could change if the team wants to rest their best lineman in Bakhtiari.

NY Jets down five slots.

Left guard James Carpenter hurt his shoulder during the Week 11 loss against Buffalo and after he did not recover during the Week 12 bye, the team placed him on injured reserve this week. Carpenter is a power player and did not fit the zone plays preferred by the current offensive coordinator. Still, he and rookie Sam Darnold are the only first round talents on the offense, and both are injured. Spencer Long got the start in place of Carpenter, and Long could have a future at the spot for this team. Moving Long creates a hole at center, where Jonotthan Harrison has been replacement level at best. This line has declined along with the rest of the offense in recent weeks and neither can be trusted in any capacity.

Cincinnati down 10 slots.

Left tackle Cordy Glenn injured his back prior to the home contest against Cleveland and he did not start. Glenn has not practiced this week and does not appear likely to play against Denver. Jake Fisher got the start for Glenn but he too injured his back and was replaced by Cedric Ogbuehi. This downgrade is significant because besides the tackle situation, rookie center Billy Price has been hugely inconsistent since returning from injury. Quarterback Andy Dalton was injured and lost for the season on one of Price's high snaps. Without Glenn, this line is a disaster and currently grade as a low-tier option.

Miami down two slots.

Backup center Jake Brendel replaced Travis Swanson who was forced from last week's game at Indianapolis due to an ankle injury. Swanson has not practiced this week, and Brendel will likely get the call again this weekend when his team hosts Buffalo. Left guard Ted Larsen (neck), left tackle Laremy Tunsil (left knee) and right tackle Ju'Wuan James (right knee) are all listed on this week's injury report but are expected to play. This line has been snake-bit by injuries of late and rank in the low-tier.

OTHER NEWS

AZ - Should get back LT D.J. Humphries. His replacement, seventh-round rookie Korey Cunningham, has been installed as the starter at right tackle in place of Andre Smith. This line could be due for an upgrade.

MIN - RT Brian O'Neill left the game but is fine. O'Neill was reportedly evaluated for a concussion but has been cleared. The Vikings have former starter Rashod Hill waiting in the wings.

WAS - Both tackles fighting injuries. LT Trent Williams was lightheaded after a hit to the chest, so the doctors took him from the game at Dallas in an ambulance. Williams checked out fine and was practicing on Monday. Right tackle Morgan Moses is dealing with an ankle issue. This team has an extra day due to Monday Night Football, and the model expects both tackles to play.

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
3
PIT
4
1
30.7
A
A+
A-
4.5
4
GB
3
-1
30.5
A
A
A
4.0
Downgrade due to injuries - LT David Bakthari (knee) and LG Lane Taylor (quad).
5
BAL
9
4
30.3
A
A+
A-
4.5
Power rushing - Cohesion upgrade, plus RT James Hurst practicing.
6
SEA
6
0
30.1
A
A+
A-
5.0
7
LAC
7
0
30.0
A-
A
B+
5.0
8
SF
8
0
30.0
A-
B+
A
4.5
9
NO
10
1
29.8
B+
B
A-
5.0
LT Terron Armstead is still out with a shoulder injury (Jermon Bushrod).
10
KC
27
17
29.8
B+
B
A-
4.0
C Mitch Morse is likely to rejoin the lineup.
11
TEN
11
0
29.6
B+
A-
B
4.5
12
CLE
12
0
29.5
B+
A-
B
4.5
13
OAK
13
0
29.2
B
A-
C+
4.0
14
WAS
14
0
29.2
B
B+
B-
4.0
Assuming LT Trent Williams is ready for Monday Night Football (#32 line without Williams).
15
ATL
15
0
29.1
B
B+
B-
3.0
16
DET
16
0
29.0
B
B
B
4.5
17
IND
17
0
28.9
B
B-
B+
4.5
C Ryan Kelly missed the last game (Evan Boehm). #11 line with Kelly.
18
NE
18
0
28.9
B-
C+
B
5.0
19
DAL
5
-14
28.8
B-
B
C+
4.0
LT Tyron Smith missed last week and is a game-time decision. (Cameron Fleming).
20
CAR
20
0
28.6
C+
C+
C+
4.0
21
MIN
21
0
28.6
C+
C-
B
4.5
22
TB
22
0
28.5
C+
C
B-
4.0
23
NYG
24
1
28.5
C+
B
C-
4.5
24
CHI
25
1
28.3
C+
B-
C
4.5
25
DEN
32
7
28.3
C+
B-
C
5.0
Power rushing - Cohesion upgrade.
26
HOU
26
0
28.2
C
B-
D+
4.5
27
BUF
28
1
28.0
C
C+
C-
4.5
28
NYJ
23
-5
28.0
C
C+
C-
3.5
LG James Carpenter to IR (Spencer Long to LG, Jonotthan Harrison to C).
29
CIN
19
-10
27.8
C-
C
D+
4.5
30
AZ
30
0
27.5
C-
C
D+
4.5
31
MIA
29
-2
27.4
C-
C
D+
4.5
C Travis Swanson (neck) is unlikely to play this week (Jake Brendel).
32
JAX
31
-1
27.4
C-
C+
D
3.5

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