NFL Week 14 Injuries Bettors Need to Know: QB Issues for Bills, Lions
The cruel reality of the NFL is that most teams aren’t able to start the same 22 men on a week-by-week basis. The physical nature of every single play is what makes fans love the sport, but also what can ultimately cripple the experience with the loss of key players. Monitoring Market Share and Vegas lines are very important in predicting future performance, but so is accounting for how the absence of key players could impact the rest of the team.
Let’s run through some of the key injuries for Week 14. You can view daily practice participation and estimated game statuses using the Injury Dashboard over at FantasyLabs.
Detroit Lions vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Matt Stafford (hand, questionable) bruised his throwing hand last Sunday, but practiced all week and is reportedly expected to suit up Sunday against a Buccaneers secondary without both cornerback Vernon Hargreaves (hamstring, out) and safety T.J. Ward (concussion, out). Ameer Abdullah’s outlook (neck, questionable) isn’t as clear, meaning Theo Riddick and Tion Green could again lead the Lions backfield. There’s more clarity in the Buccaneers backfield, as Doug Martin has cleared the concussion protocol and expected to start.
Oakland Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Amari Cooper (ankle, questionable) has cleared the concussion protocol, but didn’t practice until Friday due to a sprained ankle. He’s reportedly not expected to suit up Sunday against the same Chiefs defense he torched for an 11-210-2 line in Week 7 – except this time they’ll be without No. 1 corner Marcus Peters (suspended). Michael Crabtree should be the largest beneficiary, but Johnny Holton, Seth Roberts, and Cordarrelle Patterson (hip, questionable) could see additional targets if Cooper is ultimately unable to suit up. The Chiefs offense will take on the Raiders’ league-worst defense in overall DVOA without starting center Mitch Morse (foot, out).
Carolina Panthers vs. Minnesota Vikings
Offensive weapons Greg Olsen (foot, questionable), Devin Funchess (shoulder, questionable), and Jonathan Stewart (toe, questionable) are all expected to play through their Q-tags. They’re expected to be joined by former All-Pro center Ryan Kalil (neck, questionable). The Vikings will again be without starting right tackle Mike Remmers (back, out). They still might be able to overpower a Panthers defense likely forced to play more nickel due to the absence of LB Shaq Thompson (foot, out).
Chicago Bears vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Joe Mixon‘s (concussion, out) absence leaves the backfield to Giovani Bernard, and he’ll face off against a Bears defense expected to be without starters DT Mitch Unrein (knee, IR), S Adrian Amos (hamstring, doubtful), OLB Pernell McPhee (shoulder, doubtful), and DT Eddie Goldman (hip, doubtful). The Bengals defense is similarly banged up, as starting CBs Dre Kirkpatrick (concussion, out) and Adam Jones (groin, out) will join starting LBs Vontaze Burfict (concussion, out) and Vincent Rey (hamstring, out) on the sideline.
San Francisco 49ers vs. Houston Texans
Will Fuller (ribs, not listed on final injury report) practiced all week and will play for the first time since Week 10, but the outlook isn’t as good for fellow weapons Bruce Ellington (hamstring, IR), C.J. Fiedorowicz (concussion, IR), Braxton Miller (concussion, out), and Alfred Blue (concussion, out). The defense will have PFF’s No. 24 overall corner Johnathan Joseph (shoulder, not listed) for their matchup against Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Buffalo Bills
Tyrod Taylor (knee, questionable) was a limited participant in practice all week. Even if he ends up playing, he’ll likely be limited. Rookie Nathan Peterman would start if TyGod can’t suit up, lowering the ceiling for an offense that will also be without Jordan Matthews (knee, IR), but will welcome back Kelvin Benjamin (knee, not listed). The Colts secondary will be without starting corners Pierre Desir (shoulder, IR) and Rashaan Melvin (hand, out).
Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants
Dez Bryant may have cracked a smile while checking out the Giants injury report, as the defense could be without CB Eli Apple (hip/back, questionable) in addition to No. 1 corner Janoris Jenkins (ankle, IR). The Giants offense is also in trouble with both WR Sterling Shepard (hamstring, questionable) and RB Orleans Darkwa (illness, questionable) potentially unavailable against a Cowboys defense welcoming back all-world LB Sean Lee (hamstring, not listed). One key injury for Dallas: David Irving, PFF’s eighth-best pass-rushing DT, is doubtful with a concussion. The Cowboys expect both LT Tyron Smith (back, questionable) and RT La’el Collins (back, questionable) to play Sunday
Arizona Cardinals vs. Tennessee Titans
The Cardinals offense will once again be without Adrian Peterson (neck, out) and No. 2 receiver John Brown (toe, out), but all-world cornerback Patrick Peterson (hamstring, probable) said he’ll suit up Sunday. The Titans defense will have slot corner Logan Ryan (concussion, not listed), but will be without front-seven stalwarts DaQuan Jones (biceps, IR) and Derrick Morgan (knee, out). The Cardinals defense will have their hands full with a Titans passing attack welcoming back Rishard Matthews (hamstring, not listed). Tight end Delanie Walker (ankle, not listed) is good to go, as well.
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