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NFL Injury Impacts: Are Ekeler and Barkley Getting Closer to Returning?

The injuries continue to mount with the Los Angeles Chargers apparently having angered the injury Gods. The NFL predictions could see some late-line movement based on the updates this weekend.

The Chargers lost veteran receiver Mike Williams for the season while running back Austin Ekeler and star pass rusher Joey Bosa are other Chargers to keep tabs on. The Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Jimmy Garropolo is dealing with a concussion that has muddied his availability.

NFL Injury Impacts: Are Ekeler and Barkley Getting Closer to Returning?
Stephen Maturen / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

The number of prominent defensive players and offensive linemen carrying questionable tags won’t draw the same attention as the injuries to skill position players, they could have more impact on how the NFL Week 4 games play out.

This week’s slate of games began with the Detroit Lions getting three touchdowns from running back David Montgomery in a win over Green Bay. Montgomery returned after missing last week’s game while the Packers had the services of running back Aaron Jones and receiver Christian Watson.

When looking at the NFL Week 4 picks, the biggest movement has come in the Minnesota-Carolina and Seattle-New York Giants games.

Keep on reading for more on the NFL injuries and updates on who could be in and who could be out or limited in Week 4.

Progress for Ekeler?

Two of the ailing running backs got back on the field as Week 4 kicked off with the Detroit Lions going into Lambeau Field and returning home with a 34-20 win.

Detroit’s David Montgomery returned in a major way after missing last week’s game as he rushed for 121 yards and three touchdowns and added 20 yards on two receptions.

It was a much quieter return for Green Bay’s Aaron Jones with 18 yards on five carries and -4 yards on his lone reception.

The focus now turns to Ekeler, who was listed as a limited participant in practices on Wednesday and Thursday so there is some cause for optimism that he could return after missing the last two games with an ankle injury. Ekeler is always a popular target in the NFL prop bets so keep checking to see how he is progressing.

Things are moving in the right direction for Saquon Barkley of the New York Giants as well. It is something to keep an eye on heading into the Monday night game.

Carolina’s Miles Sanders (groin) is another running back to keep an eye on.

New Orleans will be getting running back Alvin Kamara back after he served a three-game suspension. Running back Jamaal Williams just landed on Injured Reserve so the timing couldn’t be better.

Big-Time Hitters Dealing with Injuries

It would be easy to build the NFL’s best defense just with players showing up with questionable tags for this week’s games.

Bosa of the has multiple lower-body injuries that has his status for the showdown with the Raiders up in the air. Safety Derwin James (hamstring) and linebacker Kenneth Murray (groin) are also questionable.

Baltimore safety Kyle Hamilton is dealing with a back injury while linebackers David Ojabo and Odafe Oweh are also questionable.

Linebackers Josh Allen and Devin Lloyd as well as safety Andrew Wingard of the Jacksonville Jaguars are both questionable. It is a similar scenario for Miami edge rusher Jaelen Phillips.

Tampa Bay could have cornerback Carlton Davis back on Sunday after he missed the last two games, but CB Jamel Dean is questionable with a shoulder injury. Defensive tackle Vita Vea is also questionable as is linebacker Devin White so the Buccaneers have issues with key defensive players on all three levels of their defense.

Buffalo safety Jordan Poyer is slowed by knee soreness and that is not good news with the Bills set to face Miami.

Kansas City linebacker Nick Bolton (ankle) and defensive tackle Chris Jones (groin) are players to keep tabs on as kickoff approaches.

Pittsburgh defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi (foot) and Philadephia DT Fletcher Cox (knee) both are carrying questionable tags as is Christian Barmore (knee) of the New England Patriots.

Seattle cornerback Tariq Woolen (chest) has an uncertain status while San Francisco linebacker Dre Greenlaw is dealing with an ankle injury.

Denver linebacker Josey Jewell missed the last game with a groin injury so keep an eye on his status heading into the matchup with Chicago.

For the Bears, safety Eddie Jackson has missed the last two games with a foot injury. Fellow defensive back Jaylon Johnson is also questionable.

Rich Set To Get Richer

After putting up 70 points the last time out, Miami should be getting back one of its top offensive players now that receiver Jaylen Waddle is out of concussion protocol.

Other prominent pass catchers aren’t quite as fortunate.

Philadelphia’s DeVonta Smith is slowed by illness and questionable while Arizona’s Marquise Brown is hampered by a thumb injury. Now Deebo Samuel has landed on the injury report after suffering a rib injury.

Seattle’s DK Metcalf is another high-profile pass catcher slowed by injury.

Keep an eye on the updates for San Francisco’s Brandon Aiyuk after he missed last week’s game with a shoulder injury.

Zay Jones of Jacksonville is dealing with a knee injury and so is Denver’s Jerry Jeudy. Baltimore might be without both Odell Beckham Jr. (ankle) and Rashod Bateman (hamstring).

Los Angeles Rams tight end Tyler Higbee is slowed with an Achilles injury that has impacted his availability for the game with the Colts.

Big Men On the Mend

It might save time to list the offensive linemen from the Dallas Cowboys not on the injury report as Tyler Biadasz, Chuma Edoga, Zack Martin and Tyron Smith are all questionable.

Baltimore’s Tyler Linderbaum (ankle) and Ronnie Stanley (knee) Miami’s Terron Armstead, and Quenton Nelson (toe) of the Indianapolis Colts, Los Angeles Chargers tackle Rashawn Slater and Minnesota center Garrett Bradbury are all questionable.

It is not looking good for Houston to have tackle Laremy Tunsil back for the matchup with Pittsburgh.

Rookie Watch

Quarterbacks Bryce Young of the Carolina Panthers and Anthony Richardson of the Indianapolis Colts are both trending in the right direction after missing last week’s games.

Puka Nacua of the Los Angeles Rams continues to deal with an oblique injury. It hasn’t forced him out of the lineup yet as he is listed by the sportsbook as one of the front-runners in the Offensive Rookie of the Year odds.

Carolina receiver Jonathan Mingo (concussion) is another rookie to keep an eye on.

Tennessee offensive lineman Peter Skoronski is still working his way back from an appendectomy.

Las Vegas Raiders defensive back Jakorian Bennett, who is fourth among rookies with 12 solo tackles, is questionable with a hamstring injury.


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