Stephen Nover’s NFL Week 11 Injury Report

On November 18, 2016, in NFL, by Stephen

Welcome to my NFL Week 11 injury report and venting center. Today’s report focuses on five matchups that could be impacted by injuries.

Bears at Giants: There’s going to be some wind – 15-17 mph – but that isn’t why the total has dropped three points from the opener. New York is playing much better defense and Jay Cutler went back to being Jay Cutler last Sunday. The Bears offense took a massive hit during the past week. Alshon Jeffery got suspended, right guard Kyle Long was lost with an ankle injury and right tackle Bobby Massie probably isn’t going to play due to a concussion.

Packers at Redskins: The Packers have surrendered an average of 37 points in their last three games. Missing your top cornerbacks and Clay Matthews can cause that. The good news for the Packers is Matthews is expected back and offensive left tackle David Bakhtiari – the team’s best offensive lineman – also is expected to play after suffering a knee injury last week. Aaron Rodgers gets another added weapon as tight end Jared Cook should play, too. The bad news for the Packers is right guard T.J. Lang is out with an ankle injury and Mike McCarthy still is the head coach. Lang is the Packers’ second best offensive lineman. Lang is likely to be replaced by Don Barclay, who is only a minor liability at guard instead of a major liability when he plays tackle.

Ravens at Cowboys: The line currently is a touchdown and should reach Dallas minus 7 1/2 with news that Baltimore’s top cornerback, Jimmy Smith, probably isn’t going to play due to a bad back. This injury really impacts how the Ravens stack up against the Cowboys offense because Smith had the ability to handle Dez Bryant in single coverage. This would have freed up the Ravens to play their safeties in the box to key on Ezekiel Elliott. Elvis Dumervil isn’t likely to play either because of a lingering foot injury. Dumervil has hardly played this season so his absence is of no consequence.

Dolphins at Rams: The Rams went from favorites to underdog with the early-week announcement that Jared Goff would make his NFL starting quarterback debut here. I’m not expecting much from Goff. It was the reach of the decade for the Rams to have taken him with the top overall pick, but the marketplace may want to halt their one-sided betting on Miami. Yes, the Dolphins are on a four-game winning and covering run. The timing of their streak coincided with a return to health of their two best offensive linemen left tackle Branden Albert and center Mike Pouncey. Now both Albert and Pouncey are down again. Albert already has been ruled out with a wrist injury and Pouncey doesn’t have much of a chance to play due to a hip injury. The Dolphins actually fear Pouncey could miss the rest of this month. The left side of Miami’s offensive line now is going to be manned by rookie left tackle Laremy Tunsil and Bills castoff Kraig Urbik at left guard with Anthony Steen taking over at center. If the Rams have any strength it’s their defensive line. So much for any further emergence of Jay Ajayi.

Buccaneers at Chiefs: In those instances when I’m rooting for the Chiefs, I want Alex Smith to throw a pass that actually travels more than five yards. But whenever he does, I then want him to go back to checking down. The Chiefs are 18-3 in their last 21 games, though. Smith may be the greatest mediocre quarterback of all time, which is like saying Chester A. Arthur was the greatest president of the Gilded Age. (I’ll accept congratulations now for getting Chester A. Arthur into an NFL writeup.) Of more importance, do the Buccaneers have a chance here? Well their chances are increased because they aren’t at home and cornerback Marcus Peters may not play for Kansas City on account of a hip injury. He’s been slowed by the injury. The Chiefs may be wise to rest him in anticipation of next week’s game against the Broncos.


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