The NFL injury report covers every game, team and player in NFL matchups this week. Any online betting involving NFL odds should take into account who’s on the field, who’s off and who wishes they weren’t there in the first place. We offer NFL picks (or at least solid leans) you can take to the sportsbook as we grind through to Week 12 in a year with about 20% more injuries than average, not counting the ongoing pandemic.
Right on cue, last Saturday, the Raiders shuffled over a half-dozen players from the COVID injured reserve list (IR-C) straight on to the playing field (where they covered the spread against the Chiefs). This week, S/CB Lamarcus Joyner returned to that list, so he’s gone for Sunday.
This week, they’ve also activated LB Cory Littleton and DE Clelin Ferrell from IR-C, though something’s up with Ferrell as he missed Friday’s practice, and the team has already suggested they will likely start with DE Chris Smith. It’s unclear if Ferrell will even play, and his name is worth checking on leading up to game day. Though the Raiders just signed DE Vic Beasley, the coach suggests he’s not ready to hit the field.
The only player with a questionable tag for Sunday is S Erik Harris (calf) who is a game-time decision, having missed Thursday’s practice and was limited on Friday.
The Raiders will be returning two players from previously missed games. RB Jalen Richard (chest) who missed last week and DT Maurice Hurst (ankle) who missed the last three. Both are expected back in this game.
Finally, they lost G Richie Incognito to season-ending Achilles’ surgery.
Atlanta scratched RB Todd Gurley for this Sunday to give his knee time to heal. The Falcons also labelled three other players with the questionable tag, most notably WR Julio Jones. Jones’ status will be blared throughout the NFL news world come Sunday because he’s a fantasy-pertinent game-time decision despite his recently reduced usage.
The Falcons also activated DE Dante Fowler from IR-C, and cleared eight others of their injury designations after limited Friday practice, among them WR Calvin Ridley.
Bets have come for the Raiders so far, but not enough to move the point spread off the three. Money has showed up for the under as well, having opened at 56 and now down to 53.
We’d lean to the Raiders -3 here but would take the chance that Julio Jones will be active and the Raiders’ price would improve from extra juice to at least flat. (If the moneyline is still -160, that’s a good price too.) The total was overpriced and now has been beaten into shape. We’d still lean under 53 but would also consider waiting to see if the better number of 53½ appears.
Arizona cleared QB Kyler Murray of his injury designation after a full Friday practice, though his AC joint is still sore, he’ll be starting.
It’ll be six years to the day that WR Larry Fitzgerald missed a game and it’s happening again on Sunday. The Iron Man tested positive for COVID and he’s been placed on IR-C. Also on offense, the team declared TE Darrell Daniels (ankle) out.
They also lost another offensive player as backup WR Trent Sherfield was placed on the IR-C. Also now on that list is S Deionte Thompson. Neither will be playing Sunday which leaves them thin at safety since Jalen Thomas will be out a week or two with an ankle injury. Also declared out on defense this Sunday is DE Josh Mauro.
They should get some assistance back in the defensive front end as DL Zach Allen is slated to return from IR. The team also just signed free agent DT Domata Peko. In addition, they might get back a couple of players who returned to practice this week, CB Charles Washington (groin) and backup OG Justin Murray (hand), after they were scratched last Thursday. Washington and Murray are the only questionable players heading into the game.
We should start lining prop bets on how many Patriots listed as questionable go on to play. Last week, New England posted 16 such players and we set the line at 2½. (The under cashed. Only one player was inactive from the list.) This week, they’re at it again with 15 players listed questionable. We’ll set the total this week at 3½.
The Pats have five new players to the injury report listed questionable. All five practiced in limited fashion on Friday and are game-time decisions: S Kyle Dugger, RB J.J. Taylor, DT Byron Cowart, DT Carl Davis and DE Tashawn Bower.
Of the other 11 players listed questionable, each of them except DT Adam Butler was active last game, and we’d expect the same this week with Butler active as well.
New England will not have RB Rex Burkhead after he tore his ACL and will land on season-ending injured reserve. Just in time, they are finally expecting RB Sony Michel to play on Sunday.
Also declared out, is starting LT Isaiah Wynn who will be back in a few weeks, having avoided a major knee injury last Sunday. The Pats also designated TE Devin Asiasi to return from IR, and he could very well start. Check for his name on game day as well.
Markets voiced their support for New England as they went from a three-point dog, now bet down to +1 with reduced juice. Bettors took the total in both directions, up from 48 at the open to a high of 50, and currently at 49.
Don’t expect that number to fall much lower and play Arizona -1 with the belief that it won’t be there soon. Slight lean to the over 49 on the total but don’t have a sense of what direction it might head. The game-day weather forecast is relatively pleasant.
Things look to be improving for most of the New York Giants. The exception being offensive-line coach Marc Colombo who they canned last week. (Look, it was a bye week. You fire someone on a bye week if you’re losing. Just the way it goes.) Rumors surfaced Colombo’s role had been diminished over the past couple of weeks. Now the Giants are planning to rotate around their guards, and they’ve lost backup OT Matt Pert to IR-C.
Otherwise, like last week, the Giants return more than they lose. Star CB James Bradberry is expected to go despite missing two days for personal reasons. They cleared WR Sterling Shepard’s injury designation from earlier in the week. They’ve activated S Xavier McKinney and OLB Oshane Ximines from injured reserve.
And their infected kicker situation should be clear by game time. They activated P Riley Dixon and LS Casey Kreiter from IR-C, and hope to do the same for the patient zero of that little outbreak, K Graham Gano.
If there’s an O-line coach whose feet should be held over the coals, it’s Jim Turner. Put him at the 50-yard line at pregame, and make him explain why he didn’t do enough to stop the other team from breaking Joey Burrow in half.
Of course, last week, after what seemed like endless weeks of physical abuse, they finally broke QB Joe Burrow when both his ACL and MCL (same knee) popped. Joe’s tweet let the world know he was done for the season before the game was even over. Cincinnati, get ready to increase your draft position under Brandon Allen, who signed on Monday.
Once again this week, WR Mike Thomas (hamstring) is a likely scratch, listed doubtful. Also on offense, listed questionable, is RB Giovani Bernard who is trying to clear concussion protocol before Sunday. They also placed WR Auden Tate and backup OL B.J. Finney placed on IR-C.
The Bengals are also still shuffling their O-line, putting Bobby Hart at right guard and recent practice-squad promotion Quinton Spain at left guard.
On defense, they’re coming in pretty thin in the secondary but have activated CB Winston Rose from IR-C. On the bad side, defensive-line coach Nick Eason has tested positive for COVID and neither he nor defensive-backs coach Steve Jackson will be at the game. Also, the team designated CB Mackensie Alexander and MLB Markus Bailey questionable, both for hammies, and since both practiced fully on Friday, they should be expected to be active.
The really good number for this bet, Giants -4½, is long gone, not just from the Burrow injury but the plethora of other wounded Bengals. We’d still play the New York Giants -6, but stop there if that number jumps to 6½ (and we think it will at which time a bunch of sharpies are going to load up on Brandon Allen +6½ wagers). Lean to the over 44, and guessing if it goes up another half point, that’s as far as it will go — but get the over 44 without the hook if possible.
Cleveland holds five players on the COVID-IR list, notably DE Myles Garrett, and also FB Andy Janovich, OLB Sione Takitaki, DE Porter Gustin and DE Joe Jackson. Garrett is lost for this week, but any of the others could be sprung for the list as late as Saturday and are worth checking leading up to game time.
Garrett won’t be playing Sunday, and the team will lean on DE Adrian Clayborn, who returns from a hip injury a couple of weeks ago, to take the bulk of his snaps.
In traditional injuries, Clevland won’t have stand-out CB Denzel Ward who will sit out with a calf strain. Also declared out for the game is backup S Sheldrick Redwine (knee).
The Browns also have a few players questionable leading into Sunday, S Andrew Sendejo (groin) and RG Wyatt Teller (calf) who were limited at the end of the practice cycle. But backup C Nick Harris presumably tweaked his ankle in practice late in the week, as he was limited Friday after not appearing on the report previously. All are game-time decisions worth checking on the inactives list.
S Ronnie Harrison made a bit of a miracle recovery after getting knocked out of last week’s game with a knee injury. After he was sent for an MRI, it seemed likely he’d miss a few weeks at least, but he worked back to full practice on Friday and even had his questionable tag removed.
Finally, they activated RT Jack Conklin from normal IR. Though unclear, it’s possible his knee has recovered enough for him to start Sunday. Check the inactives for Conklin.
Where to start with this mess? Let’s declare the Jacksonville Jaguars doubtful. Just doubtful.
Ok, first of all, seemingly afraid they might cost themselves a higher draft position by inadvertently winning another game, they turn now to QB Mike Glennon and bench Jake Luton.
The team shipped four defenders off to injured reserve: CB Chris Claybrooks, CB D.J. Hayden (season-ending hamstring), S Daniel Thomas (arm) and DE Josh Allen (carted off last game in the third quarter with a bum knee). On the flip side, they designated DT Arby Jones and LB Shaquille Quarterman to return from IR. (It’s unclear when they’ll be ready to start and have three weeks to activate them.) No surprise they promoted DB Doug Middleton and RB Nathan Cottrell to the active roster.
Several more players were declared out already as well, chiefly WR D.J. Chark (ribs) and also WR Chris Conley, plus OG Andrew Norwell (hurt his arm, second half of last game). Throw in one more defender, as CB Sidney Jones (Achilles) also won’t be playing again this week either.
Wait, it gets better. Did we mention all the defensive coaches had to work remotely this week due to COVID issues? What’s more, defensive coordinator Todd Wash won’t be at the game, nor will D-line coach Jason Rebovich and assistant Dwayne Stukes.
For good measure, backup RB Dare Ogunbowale did something to his hand during the week and is listed questionable, maybe so the team can have someone with that designation other than QB Gardner Minshew.
Oh, and they put their sixth kicker of the year, Chase McLaughlin, on IR-C. Seriously, the coaches that are left will be calling out to players by number because this is starting to be a different roster than what played back in September.
WR Laviska Shenault is back for the first time in a couple of weeks. There’s your good news, Jacksonville.
What compels someone to want a touchdown with the Jags in this spot? At best, Cleveland’s injuries break poorly and their O-line is weakened. Even without Myles Garrett, we’d only want the Browns side here, and if need be, play Cleveland Browns -7 (but do get the reduced juice). And, hey, come game day there never seems to be a shortage of wiseguys who love to take the points with Jacksonville, which is often a great play, but we’ll short it for this game.
The total jumped a field goal from its open of 46½ to the current 49½. Play under 49½, guessing this number won’t get any better, so take it now.
As everyone knows, QB Teddy Bridgewater will be back this week. He’s fully practiced and clear of an injury tag. Not so clear for RB Christian McCaffrey, who is listed questionable, hinted to not to be playing Sunday, but is a must-check on both Saturday and game day to see his activity status.
Also, the team declared CB Donte Jackson (toe) doubtful for the second consecutive week. He’s as good as out, as is OG Dennis Daley, actually declared out. That draws attention to LT Russell Okung (calf) and RG John Miller (knee) both listed questionable, but having had limited practice they’ll likely play.
A few other players are listed questionable, but most practiced fully on Friday and should start. Possible exceptions here include S Sam Franklin (ankle), who sat last week and might do so again this one, as his practice week degraded from full to limited by Friday. Also questionable is LB Tahir Whitehead who had recently lost snaps to LB Jermaine Carter.
TE Irv Smith’s return didn’t last long before his groin flared up again, and now he’s listed as doubtful leading into this Sunday. The Vikings declared RG Ezra Cleveland out for the second consecutive week. Also in the loss column, Minnesota also won’t have WR Adam Thielen back from IR-C by game time.
On the plus side, they’ve activated G Dru Samia from IR-C and designated CB Mark Fields to return from conventional IR. They should also see some depth come back to the O-line as RG Ezra Cleveland is no longer listed on the injury report.
Two players listed questionable earlier in the week practiced fully on Friday and have since had those tags removed. Both DE Ifeadi Odenigbo and S Harrison Smith will start.
Early bettors really like the Carolina +4½ so much they bought it down through the four where it sits now at a pricey +3½. The total moved from its open around 50 up to 52, before someone thoughtfully tried to stab a middle and took the 52s. (Good luck gang.)
We can only lean to the Carolina Panthers +3½ before that number drops to three. (And it seems like it’s going to.) This is assuming the Panthers aren’t going to have any last-minute gotchas with regard to the O-line players like Okung and Miller. As for the total, lean to the under 51, but we’d just as soon wait to see if it jumps up a half point and take it then.
Since last they beat the Ravens, the Titans have had to let a few players have some time off — like, at least three weeks, as they shipped a number of them off to injured reserve: DE Jadeveon Clowney, LB Jayon Brown and LT Ty Sambrailo.
Additionally, they’ve declared CB Adoree’ Jackson, WR Adam Humphries and TE MyCole Pruitt all out again this week. (Though Pruitt was an odd scratch, as he practiced all week and was only declared out on Friday.)
Having lost their backup (but now starting) left tackle Sambrailo, the questionable status of starting C Ben Jones and LG Rodger Saffold looms larger. They were limited throughout the week, but it’s quite likely they’ll start.
Tennessee also cleared WR A.J. Brown and RT Dennis Kelly of their questionable designations when they practiced fully on Friday. They also designated P Brett Kern, CB Kristian Fulton and CB Tye Smith to return from IR. Add to that, they’re hopeful LB David Long might be back off IR-C.
We’d follow those last eight names through the weekend and up to the release of the inactives list to see who among them will play on Sunday.
Sure would be funny if QB Philip Rivers’ 224-consecutive game streak was snapped by his minor toe injury. He’s listed questionable, and you can be certain he’ll start unless his foot falls off on Saturday.
In real injuries, the Colts listed MLB Bobby Okereke (ankle) out for Sunday, and also won’t have DT DeForest Buckner who tested positive for COVID. All eyes now on DT Denico Autry who might be able to return if he passes tests and displays no symptoms. Funny thing though, the Colts won’t say if he’s displaying symptoms, so we have to wait to see if he’s activated from IR-C before game time. (Would be detrimental if he’s not.)
Indy lists a handful of others as questionable. Most concerning is C Ryan Kelly who didn’t practice all week. Both WR Zach Pascal (knee) and LG Quenton Nelson (back) were limited on Friday, and S Khari Willis and LB Anthony Walker (both racks of ribs) fully practiced on Friday. We’d expect all of them to play but are worth checking.
Coach Frank Reich told an uncharacteristic fib last week, suggesting RT Braden Smith (thumb) would be fine, but Smith was a late scratch before last Sunday’s game. He’s off the report now, but marking a pen mark in the naughty column for Reich.
Indianapolis will also return both TE Noah Togiai and CB Isaiah Rodgers who missed last week. In addition, they designated WR Ashton Dulin to return from IR.
We have placed RB Jonathan Taylor on the Reserve/COVID-19 List. pic.twitter.com/Q6hYlyzr3a
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) November 28, 2020
Money came for the Titans, as they were bet down from an open of +4 to the current price of three even. Same for the over, in which the total opened at 49½ and has now been jacked up to 51½.
Since the +3½ is likely gone forever, we’ll lean Tennessee Titans +3 even but like the moneyline of +155 better in this case. The total likely makes sense to the people that hammered it over 51, but looking at who’s playing on Sunday we’ll play under 51½ so long as we still have that number or better. Maybe we figure the Colts will just put up 34 points every week now.
A rotating door of players spins on the Chargers’ injured reserve. DE Melvin Ingram finds himself moved there, as did LB Kyzir White earlier in the week. Alternately, CB Chris Harris Jr. and RB Austin Ekeler were moved off the list. The playing status of Harris and Ekeler will be determined on Saturday. On top of that, they’ve activated DE Brandon Facyson from IR-C.
On the downside, DE Uchenna Nwosu injured his AC joint and will miss about three weeks though it was originally thought to be much worse. He’s deemed out for Sunday as is CB Casey Hayward (groin).
The Chargers listed only RB Kalen Ballage (ankle) as questionable. He was limited through the week, so there’s a decent chance he’ll play.
In coaching news, assistant special-teams’ coach Keith Burns is taking over for special-teams’ coordinator George Stewart, who will now be called an offensive analyst. Maybe he can, like, watch the clock or something for Lynn.
Not the best return from a bye week, Buffalo loses TE Tommy Sweeny for the season to myocarditis, a heart inflammation he was thought to have developed as a result of having COVID. He’s still on the IR-C but won’t be playing again this year. Also lost for the rest of the season is LG Cody Ford with a torn meniscus. Add to that, lead WR John Brown was declared out this Sunday due to his ankle.
They will finally have C Mitch Morse back (this time for sure). Buffalo also activated CB Josh Norman from IR-C. Also, they designated backup WR Isaiah Hodgins to return from IR.
It doesn’t take as much market action to move NFL betting lines from +5½ down to +4½, as is the case here — at least it takes less money than to move it from, say, +3½ to +2½. We’d like it to keep going, and would lean Buffalo Bills -4½ but would consider it a play if it drops to four or less.
The total opened 51½, got taken up to 53½ and then bought back to the current 52½. Lean to the under 52½ if only because the number seems too high and this is Buffalo, where the forecast will be relatively nice, though windy, on Sunday.
Coach Brian Flores was kind enough this week to muddy the waters surrounding his starting quarterback since Tua Tagovailoa has a sore thumb. He’s doubtful.
Flores played coy about the starting status of his QB and also whether or not RB Myles Gaskin will be anywhere near game shape come Sunday, where he was just designated to return from injured reserve.
Two players who won’t be in game shape are RB Salvon Ahmed (shoulder) and RG Solomon Kindley (foot), and the team has declared both unavailable for Sunday. On the other hand, Miami removed a few players from IR-C earlier in the week: OL Jesse David, WR Matt Cole and DT Christian Wilkins.
Still not comfortable with what they have in the defensive front, the Dolphins also elevated DE Benito Jones from the practice squad.
Now here’s a plan: Take your banged-up quarterback during your completely wasted season, force him to start behind a sketchy O-line full of holes and see if you can destroy what’s left of his trade value. Brilliant!
So that’s apparently how the Jets are going to roll with this one. QB Sam Darnold has been named the starter for Sunday, and the offensive line comes in with two players doubtful, RT George Fant (ankle) and RT Chuma Edoga (ankle), and another questionable, LG Alex Lewis but for a completely undisclosed issue that apparently only limited him on Friday. We’d expect Lewis to play, and Fant and Edoga to sit, but if all three are out, chaos could ensue.
Out for certain is LB Patrick Onwuasor (hamstring), while LB Blake Cashman (hamstring) is listed questionable. Cashman was limited through the week so there’s a good chance he plays.
WR Breshad Perriman (shoulder) was cleared of his designation after fully practicing on Friday.
Since last week, the Jets have moved three players, CB Bless Austin, K Sam Ficken and RB La’Mical Perine, all to the injured reserve. They also signed TE Ross Travis and RB Josh Adams to the active roster.
The Jets-loving wiseguys are back again this week. This time they’re buying Jets +7 and we’re left wondering. Play Miami -6½. Maybe there’s a feeling that the team will do everything in its power to get a win for Frank Gore, which is something they tried in earnest at the start of the year.
Slight lean to the over 44½, partly because we’re eating chalk here but also because it’s likely bottomed out. Having opened at 46½, this number crashed to the current 44½ and we don’t anticipate it’s going to fall any lower. (Weather isn’t a factor for this total move.)
Last game, LG Andrus Peat got clocked and he will not clear the concussion protocol in time to play Sunday. Neither will RB Ty Montgomery (hamstring) also declared out.
The Saints have only one questionable player, WR Deonte Harris (neck). Harris’ status is up in the air, as he didn’t practice all week. It’s possible he still plays, might be scratched on Saturday or simply be listed inactive an hour or so before kickoff.
New Orleans removed the questionable designation from a number of players as they worked in some practice by week’s end. Set to play on Sunday are TE Josh Hill (out for two prior weeks with a concussion), RB Alvin Kamara (foot), WR Michael Thomas (ankle) and — this time really, because we totally called this wrong last week — CB Marshon Lattimore (abdomen).
Additionally, DT Sheldon Rankins was designated to return from IR. It’s unclear if he’ll be starting and would first have to be activated on Saturday.
A significant loss for New Orleans’ offensive line: Saints’ Pro-Bowl LT Terron Armstead tested positive for COVID and is out for Sunday‘ a game vs. the Broncos, per sources.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 28, 2020
Update: The Broncos have huge problems at QB as Jeff Driskel has led to its other three quarterbacks being declared high-risk and not eligible to play against New Orleans.
Denver lists backup S Trey Marshall (leg) as their only declared player out this Sunday. It gets more complicated from there. A half dozen others are questionable, but having at least limited practice on Friday it shouldn’t be a surprise to see any (or all) of RT Demar Dotson (calf), RG Graham Glasgow (leg), WR Jerry Jeudy (ankle), LB Joseph Jones (missed two previous games with a calf), DT Sylvester Williams (elbow) or CB Bryce Callahan (foot) active on Sunday. Also expect to see LB Malik Reed (ankle) who had his injury designation removed after Friday’s practice.
That said, the Broncos have a bunch of players moved to the IR-C this week. Namely WR/KR Dionare Spencer, and the team has also placed Driskel there too. DT Shelby Harris is still in the protocol but he and DT Jurrell Casey might clear it in time for Sunday’s game.
RB LaVante Bellamy’s week started out great when he was activated from the injured reserve, but the good feelings only lasted a day until he was cut, as the team also activated LB Mark Barron from IR and needed the roster spot.
Denver can expect to have both OT Elijah Wilkinson on the field from IR as well as backup RT Jake Rodgers (shoulder) after he missed last week.
Gross. It’s a game you have to hold your nose and take the dog. Market support has come entirely for the Saints from -5 now up to -6. But the Broncos are still fighting to improve and have some bodies back to help. It’s hard to say how Taysom Hill will respond to playing in Denver (unlike with Brees when you knew it could be bad) but we’ll lean +6 with the Denver Broncos and probably hate ourselves for it before the half.
Same for the total, which the markets crashed from its open of 46 all the way down now to 43. Lean to the over 43 (if the number’s still around when the game comes back up on the board). Denver in late November can get brutal, but the forecast calls for pleasant conditions.
Since they had a bye week making it harder to send players off to injured reserve, the Niners have shifted their efforts to moving players on and off the COVID-IR, apparently the result of too much free time. Back from the IR-C list this week are DT Javon Kinlaw, DL Arik Armstead and OL Hroniss Grasu. Still pending their returns are LT Trent Williams, WR Brandon Aiyuk, DT D.J. Jones, DE Jordan Willis, LB Joe Walker and TE Daniel Helm. Helm and perhaps Williams are thought to be back for Sunday, but it’s worth checking on Saturday to see who clears this hurdle.
David Lombardi has been keeping track if you’d like to score along at home:
Clearing up 49ers Covid list situation w/ timetable for Williams, Aiyuk, Jones to play vs. Rams…
5 straight days of negative tests needed. Players in bold are still on the list. All remaining players except DJ will be 8-9 days in when their last activation chance comes tomorrow pic.twitter.com/cbEG2mlDBk
— David Lombardi (@LombardiHimself) November 27, 2020
It’s not all bad coming off a bye week for San Francisco, as they will finally see the return of RB Raheem Mostert, RB Jeff Wilson and CB Richard Sherman all back from injured reserve, and even WR Deebo Samuel cleared the injury report this week.
The injury monster claimed quite a few Niners’ players nevertheless, starting with the surprise scratch of RG Tom Compton who sustained a concussion in Thursday’s walk through. (That leads to some follow-up questions.) Also declared out by the team, none of whom played last week, are LB Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles (hamstring), CB K’Waun Williams (ankle) and RB Tevin Coleman (knee).
San Francisco lists a bunch of under-the-weather players as questionable with the dreaded description of “illness”. OLB Dre Greenlaw, OLB Azeez Al-Shaair, TE Jordan Reed and DE Arik Armstead (the last one, undisclosed) all started the week but couldn’t finish. Check these names leading up to the game to see if they’re inactive or recover from whatever ails them.
Finally, just to keep it busy during the week off, CB K’Waun Williams was suspended for PEDs. And then rescinded the next day because of testing procedure issues. And they signed S Chris Edwards to the active roster.
Even the Rams, who have been known as the least injured team over the course of the last month or so, have some bruises this week. They lost ILB Micah Kiser to a knee injury as he’s been moved to injured reserve. Unlikely to play this Sunday is OLB Terrell Lewis, declared doubtful, also with a bum knee.
The Rams list two players as questionable for Sunday. TE Tyler Higbee (elbow) didn’t practice all week and is considered a game-time decision. Backup C Brian Allen (knee) was limited all week. Check both names on the inactives list, but Higbee might make news before then.
Finally, the team designated LB Obo Okoronkwo to return from IR. It’s unclear when he’ll be returning to action, but assume it’ll be about ten minutes after they file to activate him. Finally, the team also activated rookie WR J.J. Koski from IR-C.
Early bettors couldn’t get enough of the points when the Niners were catching 7½ of them. That number plunged down to +6½ with extra juice. At this point, we think it’s dropped as low as it’s going to and have a slight lean to the Los Angeles Rams -6½ but only because it’s cheap and below seven.
The total on the other hand is confusingly low and just got lower. Starting at 46½ and shedding two points, it now sits at 44½. We’ll play over 44½ and hope for a 20-20 ballgame going into the fourth quarter. (It would also help to know the status of Higbee and whether the Niners will be short handed two outside linebackers.)
This week’s winner of the cleanest injury slate is none other than the Kansas City Chiefs, led by the healthy hamstrings of one Sammy Watkins. Watkins was listed on the week’s practice report, but presumably so that we could admire the three full days of practice sustained by his hamstrings.
In real news, last Saturday, the team dispatched DE Taco Charlton and RT Mitchell Schwartz to the injured reserve. This week, it was WR Byron Pringle’s turn. At this stage of the season, it’s hard to speculate if/when they’ll all be back.
One player set to return is backup OG Martinas Rankin, activated from IR-C. He’s now spent more time on the IR-C than he has as an active player of the Chiefs.
Tampa Bay listed three players who won’t be active on Sunday. First, CB Jamel Dean did not clear concussion protocol yet, so he’s benched. TE Tanner Hudson is still grieving the death of his father. And, finally — to put a positive spin on it as the team has done — C A.Q. Shipley’s coaching career will begin as early as Sunday. Shipley sustained a second neck injury that doctors recommend be career ending. Everyone loves Q, particularly Bruce Arians, and has invited Shipley to start as a coaching assistant as they move him to career-ending IR.
His immediate absence will put some pressure on LT Donovan Smith (ankle) and LG Ali Marpet (concussion) to be able to play Sunday. Smith is a game-time decision, they say, as he hasn’t practiced all week. Marpet seems to have cleared the concussion protocol and practiced in full. Smith’s name is worth close monitoring leading up to the game.
The Bucs also signed RB Kenjon Barner to the active roster.
Finally, they will have LB Jason Pierre-Paul, whose injury designation was removed in the final report. (Special note, this last sentence just keeps getting copied and pasted from week to week because that’s what Pierre-Paul and the Bucs seem to be doing now.)
Support for both teams showed up so far this week in the betting market but not enough to move the number off the three, where the juice on -3 has moved from -110 up to -130 and now down to -120. We could only play the Kansas City Chiefs at -3 here and wonder what’s going to happen with the Bucs’ O-line.
The total got popped shortly after opening at 54, now bet up to a stratospheric 56½. Lean under 56½ with the opinion that the Bucs will aim to win the shootout over the defensive ground fest, and we like the Chiefs chances in that case and still don’t think the total will hit 57.