NFL Week 15 Injuries Bettors Need to Know: Seattle Loses More Defenders
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 15. You can view daily practice participation and estimated game statuses using the Injury Dashboard over at FantasyLabs.
Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo Bills
The Bills will be without LT Cordy Glenn (foot, IR) for the remainder of the season, but will welcome back Tyrod Taylor (knee, not listed on final injury report) for their matchup against a Dolphins defense likely without CB Cordrea Tankersley (shoulder, doubtful) and potentially CB Xavien Howard (illness, questionable). That’s good news for WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee, questionable) if he’s ultimately able to suit up. Kenyan Drake will continue to work as the Dolphins’ featured back with Damien Williams (shoulder, doubtful) sidelined, but rushing lanes could be hard to come by without RG Jermon Bushrod (foot, out).
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Minnesota Vikings
Bengals RB Joe Mixon (concussion, questionable) could once again turn over the backfield to Giovani Bernard if he’s unable to get cleared from the protocol by Sunday. The Bengals’ injury-riddled front seven will again be without LBs Vontaze Burfict (concussion, out) and Kevin Minter (hamstring, IR), while the secondary will again be without CBs Dre Kirkpatrick (concussion, out) and Adam Jones (groin, IR). Even the presence of CB Darqueze Dennard (knee, not listed) doesn’t change the great matchup for Vikings WRs Adam Thielen (knee, not listed) and Stefon Diggs, who could see increased target share with TE Kyle Rudolph (ankle, doubtful) sidelined. The Vikings’ offensive line will welcome back RT Mike Remmers (back, not listed), but will be without LT Riley Reiff (ankle, doubtful).
New York Jets vs. New Orleans Saints
The loss of QB Josh McCown (hand, IR) means Bryce Petty will make his fifth-career start vs. a Saints defense without LB A.J. Klein (groin, out) and DE Trey Hendrickson (ankle, out). The Jets could lean on Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire (ankle, not listed) with Matt Forte (knee, questionable) shaping up as a game-time decision. The Saints offense will have game-changing rookie Alvin Kamara (concussion, not listed) and likely field-stretcher Ted Ginn Jr. (ribs, questionable), bad news for a Jets defense that will be without stud DE Muhammad Wilkerson (coach’s decision, out).
New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Eli Manning will be without RT Justin Pugh (back, IR) for the remainder of the season, and his revolving cast of receivers may not include Roger Lewis (ankle, questionable) and Travis Rudolph (hamstring, questionable) this week. The Eagles offense is a mystery without Carson Wentz (ACL, IR) under center, but Nick Foles will at least have his full complement of weapons with Alshon Jeffery (illness, not listed) and Zach Ertz (concussion, not listed) good to go. Foles & Co. are set up well against a depleted Giants’ secondary already without CB Janoris Jenkins (ankle, IR), as well as potentially CB Eli Apple (back/hip, questionable) and S Landon Collins (ankle, doubtful).
Seattle Seahawks vs. Los Angeles Rams
The Seahawks secondary has been banged up without S Kam Chancellor (neck, IR) and CB Richard Sherman (Achilles, IR), and now the front seven will have to make do without LB K.J. Wright (concussion, doubtful) as well as potentially LB Bobby Wagner (hamstring, questionable). Newly-featured RB Mike Davis (ribs, not listed) and red-zone savant TE Jimmy Graham (ankle, not listed) are good to go against a Rams defense without starting CB Kayvon Webster (Achilles, IR). Rams OLB Connor Barwin (forearm, not listed) will play for the first time since Week 12. The Rams offense gets its No. 1 WR back in Robert Woods (shoulder, not listed), but the presence of PFF’s No. 7 overall OT Andrew Whitworth (knee/ankle, not listed) is just as important.
Arizona Cardinals vs. Washington Redskins
The loss of Adrian Peterson (neck, IR) means Kerwynn Williams will continue to work as the Cardinals featured back, but he’ll do so without LT Jared Veldheer (ankle, out) and potentially G Earl Watford (ankle, questionable). John Brown (toe, out) won’t be available to help test a Redskins defense that will be without LB Zach Brown (foot, out). Jamison Crowder should continue to see plenty of work with Jordan Reed‘s season over (hamstring, IR), and WRs Ryan Grant (ankle, questionable) and Maurice Harris (concussion, questionable) aren’t guaranteed to suit up as well. The absence of RB Byron Marshall (hamstring, IR) leaves the backfield to Samaje Perine, but rushing lanes could be hard to come by if RT Morgan Moses (ankle, questionable), LT Trent Williams (knee, questionable), and C Chase Roullier (hand, questionable) are ultimately unable to suit up.
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