Offensive Line Rankings and Notes: Week 15 - Footballguys

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

UPGRADES

Cincinnati up 17 slots.

Left tackle Cordy Glenn has missed the last three games with a knee injury but he returned to practice on Wednesday and was officially listed as a limited participant. If Glenn is healthy enough to start, it would allow substitute left tackle Clint Boling to slide back to his natural left guard spot. Even without Glenn, the line showed signs of life. The offense rushed for a season-high 144 yards last week against Los Angeles Chargers. With Boling at tackle, several fill-ins at guard were required. Christian Westerman (who took 42 (or 63%) of the offensive snaps in the game) looked dominant at times, especially compared to Trey Hopkins. It was not all perfect for fan-favorite Westerman, who did give up a sack on a crucial 2-point conversion attempt. Still, assuming Glenn returns to the lineup and Westerman gets more time to develop his game, this line vaults up the rankings from the cellar to the mid-tier.

Indianapolis up Five slots.

After missing three weeks with a knee sprain (MCL), Ryan Kelly returned to practice prior to this weekend's home game against the Dallas Cowboys. Kelly was given a three to four-week recovery timetable by team trainers. Before the injury, Kelly had been playing at a near Pro Bowl level and his return is potentially good news. However, it's not all positive for the line as starting right guard Mark Glowinski was forced from the Texans game with an ankle injury. Even though Glowinski toughed it out and was able to return to the contest, he has not practiced this week. Josh Andrews replaced Glowinski in the game but Kelly's return could free up Evan Boehm to fill it at guard. Swing tackle Joe Haeg is getting legitimate snaps as an eligible tight end in jumbo sets and although he could fill in at guard, the team appears to want to leave him in the sixth man role. Assuming Kelly can go with a brace, this line continues their climb toward respectability. They grade above the league average in the latest rankings.

Carolina up 14 slots.

Right guard Trai Turner was able to return from a neck injury suffered during Week 13 and play 100% of the snaps last week in the tight loss at Cleveland. Turner, who is from New Orleans and went to LSU, should be plenty motivated for the divisional tilt on Monday Night Football when the Panthers host the Saints. This line has lost three of five starters this season to injured reserve (left tackle Matt Kalil, left tackle Andrew Norwell and right tackle Daryl Williams), yet is still ranked above average. It's not exactly how anyone wanted it to go before the season, but this franchise has done a good job managing their losses. Other teams have suffered similar injuries and fell apart. Their depth is decent, and with Turner and center Ryan Kalil in the lineup, they have a puncher's chance against most defensive fronts around the league.

DOWNGRADES

Dallas down seven slots.

Right guard Zack Martin has been battling through a knee sprain for most of the season and was forced from the overtime win against Philadelphia clutching his knee. Coaches have called Martin "day-to-day" and have offered encouraging words about Martin working through the injury, but he did not practice this week. Second round rookie Connor Williams replaced Martin for 34 of 99 snaps in the game and Williams could get the start this weekend at Indianapolis. Martin is a tough call in terms of injury, Martin could tough it out, as the Cowboys need this win to clinch their division. For those with Cowboys exposure during the fantasy playoffs, be aware: this is the #3 line with Martin but the #10 line without him.

Seattle down four slots.

Starting right guard Danny Lee Jesus Fluker (better known as DJ Fluker) missed the team's Monday Night Football win against Minnesota with a hamstring injury. Former undrafted USC Trojan Jordan Simmons got the second start of his career in place of Fluker and the team rushed for over 200 yards in the game. Fluker has not practiced this week, and the coaches said it "would be something special" if Fluker was ready in time for this week's game at San Francisco. Simmons has the bulk the coaches prefer (compared to Ethan Pocic) and all signs to another start for the 24-year-old. The Seahawks are still a top-tier option and this should be considered only a moderate downgrade to what has been one of the most improved lines this season.

Washington down four slots.

The lineup changes continue in DC, where Austin Howard appears likely to start this week in place of the ailing Ty Nsekhe, who was forced from the loss against New York with a knee injury. Howard had been splitting reps with Luke Bowanko at left guard but with Tony Bergstrom also out (listed with both knee and ankle injuries), it looks like both Howard and Bowanko could start this weekend. The rest of the line is banged up, as left tackle Trent Williams (thumb and wrist), right tackle Morgan Moses (ankle) and center Chase Roullier (knee) were limited in practice this week. This line has been snake-bit by injury of late, and they currently grade as a mid-tier unit, on the brink of the low-tier

Atlanta down 12 slots.

Prior to the loss at Green Bay, the coaches decided to start Ty Sambrailo at right tackle for the struggling Ryan Schraeder. It was never made clear exactly what Schraeder's situation, whether he hiding an injury or simply underperforming, but the coaches said they are in "evaluation mode." With left tackle Jake Matthews set to hit free agency, the team has some big decisions to make. In other news, right guard Ben Garland was forced from the Packers' game with a back injury and has been limited in practice this week. Should Garland not be able to start this weekend against Arizona, Zane Beadles would likely get the start. The Falcons' line was once a strength of the team but they grade as a low-tier unit in the latest rankings.

Detroit down 11 slots.

Right tackle Rick Wagner was forced from last week's win against Arizona with a head injury. Wagner is in the league's concussion protocol and has not practiced this week. Second-year player Tyrell Crosby (a 23-year-old former Oregon Duck) replaced Wagner in the game and would likely get the start this weekend at Buffalo. While the left side of Taylor Decker and Frank Ragnow are doing a decent job, the right side of the line has already lost T.J. Lang for the season. Without their usual right tackle in Wagner, this line grades in the low-tier.

Oakland down 11 slots.

The Raiders could be without their starting guards for the game at Cincinnati as both Kelechi Osemele and Gabe Jackson missed practice this week. Osemele missed last week's game with a toe injury and his replacement for the season Jon Feliciano was placed on injured reserve after the game with a calf injury. Right guard Gabe Jackson has a fairly serious elbow injury and also appears unlikely to start. Assuming neither starter can play, it's not clear exactly who will get the start in their place. The coaches would have to choose two of these four players: Chaz Green, Denzelle Good, Cam Hunt and Denver Kirkland. In other words, this could be an excellent matchup for Bengals' star defensive tackle Geno Atkins.

Jacksonville down three slots.

RT Jermey Parnell made it through last week's Thursday Night loss against Tennesse but has not practiced since with a knee injury. If Parnell can't go this week against Washington, Josh Wells, who was recently activated off of injured reserve would get the start. The Jaguars' line would be without four starters, leaving only A.J. Cann standing from when the season began.

OTHER NEWS

BUF - RG John Miller returned. Miller isn't amazing but far better than Jeremiah Sirles.

CLE - C JC Tretter (ankle) is not practicing. Tretter is expected to play this Saturday at Denver.

GB - RG Byron Bell to IR. The team will continue to start Justin McCray. They also poached Nico Siragusa from Baltimore's practice squad.

HOU - Fulton & Kelemete are limited in practice. Usual behavior from the starting guards, who are likely to play this Saturday at New York.

KC - LG Jeff Allen in for Cameron Erving. Erving is doubtful with a knee injury but Allen is a dream replacement from a cohesion standpoint, having been drafted by the Chiefs and spent 5 years in their system.

LAR - Signed Jamil Demby from DET taxi squad. Demby could be a future replacement for Rodger Saffold.

MIA - C Jake Brendel to IR. The team has been starting Travis Swanson. but also signed Hroniss Grasu from free agency for depth.

NO - LT Terron Armstead to return from pectoral injury? Armstead missed last week but was limited in Week 14. The Saints play on Monday Night and their mid-week practice report has not been released as of press time. They are the #3 line with Armstead, #7 without.

PHI - LG Isaac Seumalo is out with a pectoral injury. Last year's starter Stefan Wisniewski replaced him in the lineup.

TB - RT Demar Dotson returned to the lineup. Leonard Wester returned to the bench.

FULL RANKINGS

Rank
Team
Old
Diff
Score
Overall Grade
Run Grade
Pass Grade
Cohesion
Notes
1
LAR
1
0
33.5
A+
A+
A+
5.0
2
PHI
2
0
33.0
A+
A+
A
4.0
3
PIT
5
2
30.7
A
A+
A-
4.5
4
BAL
6
2
30.1
A-
A
B+
4.5
5
LAC
8
3
30.0
A-
A-
A-
5.0
6
SF
9
3
30.0
A-
B+
A
4.5
7
NO
4
-3
29.8
A-
B+
A
5.0
LT Terron Armstead still out with shoulder injury (Jermon Bushrod). Michael Ola to IR.
8
CLE
10
2
29.5
B+
A-
B
4.5
9
TEN
11
2
29.5
B+
A-
B
4.0
10
DAL
3
-7
29.3
B+
A-
B
4.5
Assuming RG Zack Martin misses the game at IND (Connor Williams).
11
SEA
7
-4
29.3
B+
A-
B
4.5
Assuming RG D.J. Fluker misses the game at SF (Jordan Simmons).
12
KC
12
0
29.3
B+
B
A-
3.5
13
CIN
30
17
29.3
B+
A-
B
4.5
LT Cordy Glenn likely to return; allowing Clint Boling to return to LG.
14
IND
19
5
29.2
B+
B
A-
4.0
C Ryan Kelly likely to return but RG Mark Glowinski likely out (Josh Andrews or Evan Boehm).
15
CAR
29
14
29.1
B
A-
B
4.5
RG Trai Turner returned.
16
GB
15
-1
29.0
B
B
B
3.5
17
TB
18
1
29.0
B
B-
B+
4.5
18
NE
20
2
28.9
B-
C+
A-
5.0
19
DEN
21
2
28.8
B-
A-
C+
5.0
20
MIN
22
2
28.6
C+
C-
B
4.5
21
WAS
17
-4
28.5
C+
C
B-
3.0
OL Ty Nsekhe and Tony Bergstrom likely to miss the game at JAX (Austin Howard; Luke Bowanko).
22
NYG
23
1
28.5
C+
B
C-
4.5
23
NYJ
26
3
28.5
C+
C+
C+
4.0
24
CHI
24
0
28.3
C+
B-
C
4.5
25
HOU
25
0
28.2
C
B
D
4.5
26
ATL
14
-12
28.1
C
C+
C-
3.0
RT Ryan Schraeder benched (Ty Sambrailo). RG Ben Garland hurt (Zane Beadles).
27
DET
16
-11
28.0
C
C
C
4.5
Assuming RT Rick Wagner (concussion) misses the game at BUF (Tyrell Crosby).
28
MIA
28
0
27.8
C-
C-
C-
4.5
29
OAK
13
-16
27.7
C-
C
D+
4.0
Assuming both LG Kelechi Osemele and RG Gabe Jackson miss the game at CIN (Chaz Green; Denzelle Good or Cam Hunt).
30
JAX
27
-3
27.4
D+
C-
D
4.5
Assuming RT Jermey Parnell misses the game vs WAS (Josh Wells).
31
BUF
31
0
27.4
D+
C-
D
4.5
32
AZ
32
0
27.4
D+
D+
D+
4.5

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