Week three is upon us and injuries are really starting to pile up. Teams aren't getting upgrades so much as they are staying healthy and suriving their way up the rankings as other teams crash and burn due to injuries. There's a ton of ground to cover. #offensivelines, the big guys, let's get after it!
Right tackle Ryan Schraeder left the first quarter of the win over Green Bay with a concussion. Schraeder was replaced by Ty Sambrailo, who was acquired in a cut-day deal with Denver. Unlike many backups, Sambrailo has actual starting experience and the offense chugged along Sunday night without Schraeder in the lineup. Assuming that Schraeder misses this week's contest (and some offensive linemen clear the protocol quicker than others), it is only a modest downgrade for the Falcons' unit, who still grade out as a top-tier offensive line in the short term.
Left tackle Cordy Glenn left the loss at Carolina in the second quarter with an ankle injury. Glenn had been struggling with foot problems all preseason, but this injury was to the other side. This is speculation but assuming Glenn can't go on Sunday, the usual backup Seantrel Henderson is still suspended for three more games, leaving rookie Dion Dawkins to start on the left side. Pass protection was an issue for most of the game last week as quarterback Tyrod Taylor looked to scramble early and often. Usually a top-tier unit, the Bills' offensive line slip to the mid-tier without their starting left tackle.
Left tackle Garret Bolles was carted off in last week's home win over Dallas. Bolles injury looked to be season-ending at first, but was later referred to by the team as a "high ankle sprain/bone bruise." The team predicts a two-week recovery but Dr. Jene Bremel assumes closer to four to six (or more). The Broncos' insert last year's starter Donald Stephenson into the lineup. What Stephenson lacks in physical upside, he makes up for with cohesion with his teammates and overall experience. It's only a small downgrade for the Broncos' offensive line, still a mid-tier line in the latest rankings.
Center Mitch Morse suffered what the team is calling "a mid-foot sprain" in last week's home win over Philadelphia. Morse is going for an MRI, and this injury could be season-ending. At the least, expect Morse to be out of action for weeks if not months. Zach Fulton steps in at the pivot, and he's a solid veteran. Fulton usually plays guard but last week appeared to have no problem delivering the ball to quarterback Alex Smith. Still, Morse if one of the better young centers in the league, and this is a downgrade for the Chiefs offensive line. Without their starting center, they fall to low-tier classification.
The Cardinals' offensive line is still without left tackle D.J. Humphries (right MCL sprain),while left guard Mike Iupati is also out week-to-week with a triceps injury. John Wetzel starts for Humphries while Alex Boone starts at left guard for Iupati. While Boone is new to the offense, he's played his entire career in the NFC and has a ton of experience. Once upon a time, Boone was a border line Pro Bowl type of player, it will be interesting to see if he can recapture his form. Right tackle Jared Veldheer has also been struggling, and all of these issues together add up to a sizable downgrade for the Cardinals' offensive line, currently a low-tier unit.
Right tackle Bobby Hart only lasted two plays in the loss against Detroit on Monday night. In Hart's place, left guard Justin Pugh moved to the right tackle spot, while Brett Jones stepped in at left guard. Left tackle Ereck Flowers is having a crisis of confidence as was beaten handily by Ezekiel Ansah all evening. The offensive line is getting a ton of flack in the media for the overall poor play of the offense, and the truth is there could be other culprits to blame for the recent struggles. But the line has been in terrible form this season and this shuffle resulting from the Bobby Hart injury has not helped matters.
Right tackle Joe Barksdale exited the fourth quarter of the home loss against Miami with a foot injury. Chris Hairston took Barksdale's spot. Hairston has made a career of this situation, starting 31 games, always filling in for the more highly paid starter who got injured. Assuming Barksdale cannot go, Hairston will start his 32nd career game at home against the Kansas City Chiefs. While Hairston has experience and cohesion on his side, the loss of Barksdale's superior talent drops the Chargers' offensive line to the low-tier in the latest rankings.
The Ravens' offensive line lost a great player as right guard Marshal Yanda injured his ankle and will miss the season. Yanda is one of the best guards in football. This Ravens' line has already lost Alex Lewis and Nico Siragusa for the season, which leaves Tony Bergstrom to replace Yanda. Bergstrom is a veteran with experience but he is not a dominator like Yanda. The Ravens' offensive line falls to the low-tier as the injuries keep piling up.
Both left tackle David Bakhtiari and right tackle Bryan Bulaga missed the loss against Atlanta with injuries. Backups Don Barklay and Jason Spriggs are also hurt, leaving Kyle Murphy to get the start at left tackle while Justin McCray, who is usually a backup guard, got his first career start at right tackle. Right guard Jahri Evans played through a groin injury, he also could be in danger of missing next week's contest. The team was last seen elevating Adam Pankey from the practice squad and working out street free agents. Until they can return to health (and that could happen as soon as this week), the Packers' offensive line grades out as a low-tier option.
- NO - Team shuffled the lineup to replace RT Zach Strief (Peat to LT).
- SF - LG Laken Tomlinson replaced Zane Beadles in starting lineup.
- CAR - C Ryan Kalil missed week 2 with neck injury. Rankings assume he plays.
- CHI- LG Sitton could play through a rib injury, Kyle Long back against Steelers?
- NYJ - RG Brian Winters out with groin injury, Dakota Dozier decent in replacement.
- HOU - LT Duane Brown prepared to hold out until Week 8.
|8||ATL||6||-2||29.18||B+||B+||A||RT Schraeder (Sambrailo).|
|13||BUF||7||-6||28.85||B||B+||B-||LT Glenn ankle injury (Dawkins).|
|20||DEN||19||-1||28.23||C+||C+||C+||LT Bolles (Stephenson).|
|LOW TIER||22||HOU||28||6||28.1||C+||B-||C||LT Brown still holding out.|
|23||AZ||13||-10||28.08||C+||C+||C+||LT Humphries (Wetzel). LG Iupati (Boone).|
|24||KC||17||-7||28.03||C+||B||C+||C Mitch Morse (Fulton).|
|25||NYG||14||-11||27.98||C||B||B||RT Hart (Pugh). Jones for Pugh at LG.|
|26||LAC||18||-8||27.9||C||C+||B||RT Barksdale (Hairston).|
|27||NO||29||2||27.9||C||C-||D+||RT Streif (Peat). Kelemete for Peat at LG.|
|28||BAL||22||-6||27.9||C||B-||C+||RG Yanda (Bergstrom).|
|29||GB||12||-17||27.6||C-||B-||B+||LT Bakhtiari (Murphy). RT Bulaga (McCray).|
|30||NYJ||31||1||27.6||C-||C||D+||RG Winters (Dozier).|
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.
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