The Kansas City Chiefs were able to squeeze by the New York Jets last Sunday night, 23-20, thanks to a 15-play, 45-yard drive late in the fourth quarter that helped Patrick Mahomes and Co. run out the clock. There was a very controversial call on that drive that played a large roll in deciding the game.
On a third-and-20, Mahomes dropped back and attempted a pass deep to Marquez Valdes-Scantling. The pass was intercepted by Michael Carter, but there was a flag on the field. Jets star cornerback Sauce Gardner was called for defensive holding. That penalty gave the Chiefs a fresh set of downs, and they were able to run out the clock.
On his “It Needed To Be Said” podcast, former Chiefs wideout Tyreek Hill said that defensive holding penalty was a “50/50” call.
“When the game on the line, you gotta let the players play,” Hill said. “It’s a good game! It’s a good game!”
Hill also pointed out that this same penalty “saved” the Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII vs. the Philadelphia Eagles just months ago.
If you recall in last year’s Super Bowl, Mahomes led the Chiefs down to the Eagles’ 15-yard-line with 1:54 remaining in the game, which was tied at 35 apiece. Facing a third-and-8, Mahomes attempted a pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster in the left corner of the end zone, but the ball was overthrown. However, there was some yellow laundry on the field. Eagles cornerback James Bradberry was called for holding, which gave the Chiefs a first down.
Puka Nacua is making it look easy. Through four games, the rookie fifth-round pick has taken the NFL by storm while putting his name in the record book in the process.
No receiver in league history has caught more passes in his first four games than Nacua, whose 39th and most recent catch resulted in his first NFL touchdown while lifting the Rams to an overtime win over the Colts.
Nacua currently leads the NFL in receptions, and his 501 receiving yards are second to only the Vikings’ Justin Jefferson’s 543. Nacua is on pace to have over 2,100 receiving yards this season, which would smash Hall of Fame wideout Calvin Johnson’s single-season mark of 1,964 yards in 2012.
player headshot team logo Puka Nacua LAR • WR • #17 TAR 52 REC 39 REC YDS 501 REC TD 1 FL 0 View Profile Why has Nacua been able to have so much success so early? Here are five reasons why the 22-year-old has and should continue to excel in Los Angeles.
Early success It’s safe to say that Nacua’s background is paying dividends now.
While he’s currently getting national recognition, Nacua was already somewhat of a household name in Utah after he set state prep records with 260 receptions, 5,226 yards and 58 touchdowns. During his senior season, Nacua set single-season records in all three major receiving categories en route to being named “Mr. Football 2018” by the Deseret News.
Nacua’s football roots began long before his high school success. While other kids were watching cartoons, Nacua was more interested in watching film with his father.
“He’s like a player coach,” Nacua’s high school coach Jeremy Hill said in a 2018 interview. “The stuff he sees, the covers and matchups, he’s always coming off the field saying, ‘This is what I see.’ There are actually times when he’s coming up with the fourth-down play or giving us his input.”
Hidden gem Despite having a sparking prep career, Nacua’s college career mimicked many high school stars who for whatever reason don’t produce up to their potential in college. For Nacua, the reason for his solid yet unspectacular college stats was due to being a victim of circumstance. After breaking his foot during his freshman season at Washington, Nacua and his teammates played in just three games during the COVID-19 shortened 2020 season.
Nacua transferred to BYU the following season and, despite being new to the program, caught 43 passes for 805 yards and six touchdowns. He battled through several injuries in 2022 but still finished as the team’s leader in receptions (48), yards (625) and touchdowns (five).
His lack of gaudy numbers in college ultimately led to Nacua slipping to the fifth round before the Rams scooped him up with the 177th overall pick.
Physical gifts Like most elite players, Nacua is blessed with physical gifts. While he’s not necessarily tall, the 6-1, 205-pound Nacua possesses the perfect blend of height and strength. He’s tough to bring down in the open field and often uses his strength to pick up several extra yards after first contact.
Nacua also has excellent hands, which has allowed him to make tough catches in traffic as well as on the sidelines. And while he isn’t known for his speed, Nacua plays faster than his pro day 40 time of 4.57 seconds. According to Next Gen Stats, Nacua hit 21.05 mph on one of his routes this season, which is one of the six fastest speeds of any player on a route this season (h/t USA Today).
Versatility Nacua’s nine catches this past Sunday came in a variety of ways: posts, slants, deep crosses, a deep out and a bubble screen. He did most of his damage on deep crosses that included his game-winning, 23-yard touchdown catch in overtime.
His impressive route tree is being maximized by Rams coach Sean McVay, who in many ways is using Nacua the way he’s used Cooper Kupp in previous years. While he may have been a victim of circumstance in college, Nacua is in the perfect situation in Los Angeles.
Nacua’s situation is similar to what Terrell Davis experienced 28 years earlier. After being under utilized at Georgia, Davis (a sixth-round pick), flourished in Mike Shanahan’s zone-blocking scheme in Denver. Davis ultimately won two Super Bowls, league and Super Bowl MVPs and is in the Hall of Fame.
NFL playoff losses always sting. Unlike the other three major North American professional sports league like the NBA, MLB and NHL, one playoff loss in the professional football postseason means a team’s season is over just like that. In the case of the Dallas Cowboys, the San Francisco 49ers have been the team to slam the door shut on their path to the Super Bowl in each of the last two years. First, there was the 23-17 defeat in the 2021 NFC wild card round at AT&T Stadium. Last season, it was a 19-12 slip-up in Santa Clara, California, at Levi’s Stadium. Dallas now has an opportunity to avenge the losses on “Sunday Night Football” in Week 5 as they return to the Bay Area to face their playoff nemesis. In their most recent showdown, a game in which both teams only scored one touchdown, a big play here or there could have made a significant difference in the outcome.
That’s why Cowboys Pro Bowl running back Tony Pollard, who suffered a fractured fibula just before halftime, feels like he let the team down. With the game tied 6-6 and under two minutes left in the first half, Pollard caught a checkdown from quarterback Dak Prescott for 8 yards down to the San Francisco 18, just inside the red zone. He was tackled by then-49ers safety Jimmy Ward and after Ward came off of him, Pollard could only crawl. Instant replay revealed Ward had landed on the back of the running back’s left foot/ankle area, and the forced applied on that impact resulted in a devastating injury. The play after Pollard’s injury resulted in a Prescott interception as he tried to squeeze a pass to top receiver CeeDee Lamb. His pass was tipped by Ward and then picked off by 49ers All-Pro linebacker Fred Warner.
“It was frustrating, especially when I got hurt,” Pollard said. “We were in the red zone about to score, driving the ball. We had a good drive going and then that kind of killed the momentum. I felt like I kind of let my team down so it hurt. Yeah, it hurt. Once you’re so invested, you have so much invested into the season, you have goals and you know what you want to be, but it hurts once you get cut short like that. Most of all just frustrated I couldn’t help the team and be out there to help us try to get a win.”
Pollard averaged 5.9 yards per scrimmage touch, which led the NFL in 2022. This season, his 311 rushing yards rank fifth in the NFL while his 18 rushing first downs are tied for the third-most in the NFL along with Falcons rookie rusher Bijan Robinson. Pollard’s five rushing touchdowns of 40 or more rushing yards since 2020 are tied for the most in the league along with Titans All-Pro running back Derrick Henry and Colts Pro Bowl running back Jonathan Taylor, meaning Pollard is liable to take one to the house at any time. That ability could make a difference this time around.
“Yeah, Tony is special, and just watching that game last year, obviously, when he went out, I don’t want to say things changed for our offense but not having that explosive weapon could have helped, could have damn sure helped,” Prescott said Thursday. “When you’ve got a guy like that who’s one broken tackle, two broken tackles from 30 yards, 50 yards, a big touchdown or a long run you know what I mean? That’s huge.”
“His injury obviously was very unfortunate, and he is obviously a big part of the game plan,” Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday. “This is a different year. We’re doing a lot of things differently. Tony is our lead back. He’ll be a big part of the game plan this week.”
Because of the injury, Pollard only has 10 carries across the two postseason matchups against the 49ers. He is now champing at the bit to go up against San Francisco’s imposing 49ers defensive front seven that includes Warner, 2022 NFL Defensive Player Nick Bosa and the stout Arik Armstead. There aren’t many way to replicate that ferocity in practice for most teams, but Pollard going up against All-Pro linebacker Micah Parsons and Pro Bowl defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence every day certainly helps.
“It’s definitely going to be a challenge, these first four games we’ve been going against some pretty good, stout defensive lines [the Giants, Jets and Patriots] so far,” Pollard said. “Going against that defense every day in practice, one of the best defenses in the league, you can only get better. It’s just iron sharpening iron.”
If Pollard can get past the line of scrimmage, Warner will be waiting for him.
“He is one of the best linebackers in the league,” Pollard said. “His speed, his IQ for the game, the way he is always able to be in the right positions. He’s a sure tackler. He is a guy that we have to be aware of on the field. He hits different. He is a hard hitter.”
Prescott said the Cowboys think about the disappointment of coming up just short against Warner and the rest of the 49ers “every day.” Now, Dallas has the chance to partially wipe away that feeling Sunday night.
“We definitely have it in the back of our minds, that disappointment, that feeling,” Pollard said. “At this point, we’re just using that as motivation, leaving the past in the past, and we’re ready for this year. I look forward to those big games, you’re on the big stage. Everybody is looking. We’re ready for that moment.”
The ultimate Cowboys revenge can only come by them knocking the 49ers out of the postseason in January, but here in Week 5, Pollard and his teammates are ready to start chipping away at their disappointment on Sunday night.
The Green Bay Packers will be without their star left tackle for the remainder of the 2023 season. Bakhtiari told reporters on Friday that he will miss the rest of the season due to a cartilage issue in his knee that requires surgery. The Packers had already placed the two-time All-Pro on injured reserve prior to their Week 4 game against the Lions. Bakhtiari said his goal is to return in 2024.
Bakhtiari had been dealing with a knee injury and missed the club’s Week 2 and Week 3 matchup before the team ultimately decided to put him on injured reserve. Now he’ll be missing all of the remaining games.
player headshot team logo David Bakhtiari GB • OT • #69 View Profile When healthy, Bakhtiari is one of the top blindside tackles that the NFL has to offer. However, his health has been a key storyline for the Packers offensive line over the past few seasons. On New Year’s Eve in 2020, Bakhtiari tore his ACL in practice and was ruled out for the remainder of that season. He played just one game the following year. In 2022, he appeared in 11 of the Packers 18 regular-season contests.
Bakhtiari has spent his entire career with Green Bay ever since the franchise selected him in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft out of Colorado. During his tenure, Bakhtiari has earned three Pro Bowl nods along with his All-Pro accolades.
In the immediate, Rasheed Walker has started the previous three games at left tackle for the Packers, and it would appear that would be the option the team will proceed with going forward.
New York Giants rookie cornerback Tae Banks isn’t afraid of the challenge the Miami Dolphins fast-paced offense present this week. Banks is looking forward to facing the speed the Dolphins possess, especially since he’s a fast guy himself.
“Speed doesn’t scare me. But we will respect it,” Banks said, via NorthJersey.com. “I’m a fast guy, too. If you want to run, let’s run. If you want to run, we can run.”
The Dolphins have the five fastest speeds by a ball-carrier in the NFL this season, two by Devon Achane, two by Tyreek Hill, and one by Raheem Mostert. Banks will certainly be seeing Hill and Jaylen Waddle — who surprisingly isn’t on this list — on Sunday.
Per Next Gen Stats, here are the fastest ball-carriers:
Can Banks handle what’s coming with the Dolphins offense? Banks is undergoing a trying rookie season, as opposing quarterbacks targeting him have completed 58.8% of their passes for 105 yards with two touchdowns for a 102.8 passer rating. He hasn’t allowed a completion of 20-plus yards and just 6.2 yards per attempt.
Banks hasn’t been beaten on deep passes yet, even though the Dolphins are a different beast. He’s ready for the test, which is why he was a first-round pick in the first place.
“I belong here. I don’t feel like I need approval or anything like that. You feel me,” Banks said. “I know I belong here, and I don’t back down from nothing. I’m gonna line up the next play and be ready to go, keep going.”
The Denver Broncos were reportedly set to release veteran pass rusher Randy Gregory unless a trade partner emerged in the eleventh hour. According to CBS Sports Lead NFL Insider Jonathan Jones, that trade partner is the San Francisco 49ers, who agreed to send a 2024 sixth-round pick to Denver for Gregory and a 2024 seventh-rounder, per ESPN.
The 30-year-old outside linebacker signed a five-year deal worth up to $70 million with the Broncos during the 2022 offseason, and it was a decision general manager George Paton likely regrets. In 10 games with Denver, Gregory recorded 21 combined tackles, three sacks and two forced fumbles.
Per ESPN, the Broncos will pay Gregory roughly $10 million for the remainder of the 2023 season. The 49ers will pay Gregory the veteran minimum. Something else to note is that while Gregory has three years remaining on his current deal, none of it is guaranteed beyond 2023. When it came to the decision to release the pass rusher, ESPN reported that the Broncos wanted, “to focus on its young players.”
In 60 career NFL games, Gregory has recorded 106 combined tackles and 19.5 sacks. Now, the former second-round pick of the Dallas Cowboys gets a change of scenery — and it’s a pretty good one at that. Gregory joins a pass-rush rotation that includes the likes of reigning Defensive Player of the Year Nick Bosa, Clelin Ferrell and Drake Jackson. The 49ers have one of the best defenses in the league, and allow 14.5 points per game through four weeks. That is tied for third-best in the NFL.
Let’s attempt to grade this trade:
Broncos: F On one hand, the Broncos got a sixth-round pick for a seventh-round pick for a player they were going to release. But this transaction is more about money. It’s hard to ignore the fact that this original signing was a mistake for Denver.
Back in March of 2022, Gregory walked away from a five-year deal in Dallas that was worth upward of $70 million with $28 million guaranteed. Why? There was language included in the contract that Gregory’s camp did not like. So, the pass rusher was off to Denver on what was virtually an identical deal. After just 10 games played for the Broncos, he’s gone.
The five-year contract was viewed as a risk from the jump, and now, the Broncos will be paying Gregory $10 million to rush the passer for arguably the best team in the NFL.
49ers: A- A low-risk, high-reward move for San Francisco. Gregory, at the very least, can be a rotational spark plug brought off the bench for the 49ers, and they don’t have to 1) pay him big money in 2023, and 2) commit to him past this season. A solid get for general manager John Lynch as he continues to chase a Super Bowl.
PHILADELPHIA — The vibes at Citizens Bank Park in October are why Philadelphia is an established baseball town. An entire city is captivated by the Philadelphia Phillies in the postseason, making sure they play their role in the city’s 141-year old baseball team chasing a third World Series title.
Once an All-American baseball player himself, those fans impacted A.J. Brown this week. Brown certainly gives those same fans reason to be loud across the street at Lincoln Financial Field every Sunday this time of year, yet those passionate fans give him the itch to put on his baseball spikes again.
“Playing in front of The Bank would be crazy,” Brown said. “I could just tell watching that Bryson (Stott) home run, that was just crazy. Everybody was singing his walk up song and he goes out there and hits a grand slam. It was electric.
“I would love to play in The Bank in center field. Even if I was on the opposing team, just to see the atmosphere.”
Don’t worry Philadelphia Eagles fans. Brown isn’t pulling a Deion Sanders and playing Major League Baseball in addition to his full-time job. That’s just the fan coming out of Brown, which is what makes him so relatable to the people that watch the Eagles every Sunday and enjoy him catching touchdowns.
Brown wants to be part of that atmosphere too, even when he can create that same feeling himself.
“Everyone is just on their toes on every pitch. You can change the game on one swing,” Brown said describing a Philadelphia crowd at a baseball game. “In football, you may run the ball, you may hear some cheers (or) you may not. You know, its different.
“Sometimes during a big play, everybody goes crazy. In baseball, they (the fans) are on the edge of their seats every single pitch.”
Unfortunately Brown had to miss the Phillies playoff sweep of the Miami Marlins this week, even though he works two blocks down Patterson Avenue. A father himself, priorities took over.
“At 8 o’clock, I’m putting my daughter to sleep. It’s over with, I’m going to bed,” Brown said with a smile. “I’m able to catch a couple innings, but a decent time? For sure, I’m gonna be there. If it’s a Monday or Tuesday, I’ll definitely be there.”
The Phillies won’t be playing at Citizens Bank Park until Wednesday or Thursday, during the middle of the Eagles’ preparation for that week’s opponent (the Jets). Unfortunately Brown will probably be watching the games from home, even if the fans would go berserk if they saw him in attendance.
“Oh for sure. But it has to be at a decent time,” Brown said. “As of late, I just been watching the games until I gotta go to bed. The games start too late. That’s just my opinion.”
Philadelphia is experiencing the best time of of year with its two prominent sports teams. The Phillies are set to square off in a gauntlet with the Atlanta Braves in the National League Division Series. The Eagles are 4-0 for the second consecutive year heading into the second week of October.
Sound familiar? The Phillies ended up upsetting the Braves en route to the National League pennant last year, while the Eagles started 8-0 and won the NFC Championship three months later.
Seeing how the city embraced the Phillies, from “Dancing On My Own” to singing along to Tai Verdes “A-O-K” when Bryson Stott came up to the plate. Add in how crazy the fans were when Brown was terrorizing defensive backs during the Eagles’ Super Bowl run last year, Brown was convinced he made the right choice coming to Philadelphia.
“I was a little nervous when I first came here, from the fans and everything,” Brown said. “But I’ve learned to kinda block out the negative and just really enjoy the positive. There’s more positive in anything to be honest.
“Let’s just say they’re honest. That’s the best way to put it. They’re very passionate and they love their sports here. We love them back. It’s been everything for me. I’ve enjoyed it ever since.”
Brown is ready to experience the same feeling again this fall, with the Phillies leading the way. Let’s not forget the Eagles are 4-0 and one of only two unbeaten teams left in the NFL either. They have the Super Bowl expectations in front of them, and might be on the verge of doing something special again.
“You know, I can’t look ahead. I mean, I thought about (that) last year. Playing in the Linc in the NFC Championship. That was crazy,” Brown said. “Hopefully we can keep doing what we doing and keep getting wins and trying to bring it back here again.”
Everything starts with the Phillies. Just don’t ask Brown to throw out the first pitch if he shows up.
“Oh I’m chill on that,” Brown said with a laugh. “I’m just gonna root for them.”
The only person in the NFL that isn’t caught up with the Taylor Swift attention is the player that’s spending time with her. Travis Kelce is soaking in the moments with Swift, admitting he’s “on top of the world.”
The Kelce-Swift rumors certainly aren’t distracting the Kansas City Chiefs, who have won both games Swift has attended. The Chiefs are getting a lot of attention, but they are handling their business like it’s a normal week.
“We’re learning with the paparazzi just taking photos from all over the place, but at the same time, it comes with it, it comes with it,” Kelce said to reporters Friday. “You have a lot of people that care for Taylor (Swift) and for good reason. Just got to keep living and learning and enjoying the moments.
“At the end of the day you know, I’ve always been pretty good at compartmentalizing and being able to stay focused in this building, so I’ll just keep rolling with that.”
Kelce remains humble about the whole experience, enjoying the attention that comes with being seen with arguably the biggest music star in the world. The Chiefs are embracing the paparazzi as well, as they’re used to getting attention.
“Everybody is having fun with it,” Kelce said. “Whether I think they’re over doing it or not, I brought this to myself. I’ve been fortunate enough to have fun with it. That’s all that really matters, that it’s not pissing anybody off – over here (among the Chiefs) at least. I’m having fun with it.
“I think like I said earlier I’ve been pretty good at compartmentalizing, and making sure my focus is always about winning the game, and I don’t see that changing any time soon.”
Hanging out in the Chiefs facility and working with his team are what gets Kelce through the day. The distractions are gone once he enters that building, focusing only on football. This week, it’s preparing for the Minnesota Vikings.
“I think it’s always been that for me. No matter what’s going on in my life, good or bad,” Kelce said. “I think this is one place where I can get away and just be locked in and focused and always check myself and my ego at the door and make sure that I come in with a clear mind.”
Welcome to Week 5 of the 2023 NFL season. As is the case pretty much every week, there are a number of injury situations that are worth monitoring. Friday, the 24 teams that play this Sunday will reveal their final injury reports. Could Von Miller return for the Buffalo Bills this week? Is Amon-Ra St. Brown available after missing multiple practice sessions? There is plenty of notable information to get to.
Let’s take a look at the final injury reports around the league.
All odds via Sportsline consensus
Jacksonville Jaguars at Buffalo Bills (-5.5) (in London) Bills: DE Greg Rousseau (foot), CB Tre’Davious White (Achilles) OUT; CB Christian Benford (shoulder), OLB Von Miller (knee) QUESTIONABLE
Jaguars: WR Parker Washington (knee), LB Devin Lloyd (thumb), LB Dawuane Smoot (Achilles), CB Christian Braswell (hamstring) OUT; WR Zay Jones (knee), DB Antonio Johnson (hamstring), WR Jamal Agnew (quad), DT Foley Fatukasi (shoulder)
The Bills’ final injury report brought forth both good news and bad news. Jordan Poyer is off the report after being limited earlier in the week with a knee injury, and Von Miller could make his 2023 debut after being a limited participant in practice all week. However, cornerback Christian Benford is questionable to play with a shoulder injury, and Buffalo will be without pass rusher Greg Rousseau, who is dealing with a foot injury.
Remaining in London didn’t necessarily help Jacksonville’s injury situation. The Jags will be without linebacker Devin Lloyd, who did not practice all week, while important starters such as Zay Jones, Jamal Agnew and Foley Fatukasi are questionable. In what is good news, all players who are listed as questionable for Jacksonville did practice in a limited capacity all week.
Carolina Panthers at Detroit Lions (-9) Panthers: S Xavier Woods (hamstring), OG Austin Corbett (knee), TE Stephen Sullivan (hip) OUT; CB Donte Jackson (shoulder) QUESTIONABLE
Lions: DB Brian Branch (ankle), FB Jason Cabinda (knee) OUT; TE James Mitchell (hamstring), WR Amon-Ra St. Brown (abdomen) DOUBTFUL; OT Taylor Decker (ankle), RB Jahmyr Gibbs (hamstring), S Kerby Joseph (hip), DB Emmanuel Moseley (knee/hamstring), LB Julian Okwara (shoulder), WR Josh Reynolds (groin), OG Halapoulivaati Vaitai (knee), WR Jameson Williams (not injury related) QUESTIONABLE
Corbett is not yet ready to make his 2023 debut. While he was listed as a full participant in practice on Friday, he has already been ruled out. Starting cornerback Jackson is questionable to play with a shoulder injury, but he was a full participant in practice on Friday.
The Lions have a bit of a worrisome injury report. Versatile rookie defensive back Branch won’t be on the field this weekend, and star wideout St. Brown is doubtful to play after not practicing all week due to an abdomen injury. Every player listed as questionable for the Lions was a full participant in practice on Friday, except for rookie running back Gibbs. He apparently injured his hamstring on Friday, and was a limited participant.
Baltimore Ravens (-3.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers Ravens: LB Odafe Oweh (ankle), CB Daryl Worley (shoulder) OUT; OT Morgan Moses (shoulder) DOUBTFUL; WR Odell Beckham Jr. (ankle), RB Justice Hill (foot/hamstring), CB Marlon Humphrey (foot), RB Keaton Mitchell (shoulder), OT Ronnie Stanley (knee) QUESTIONABLE
Steelers: P Pressley Harvin III (hamstring), OG James Daniels (groin), DE DeMarvin Leal (concussion), TE Pat Freiermuth (hamstring), OT Dan Moore Jr. (knee) OUT; LB Alex Highsmith (groin) QUESTIONABLE
Moses’ streak of 134 consecutive games played is in jeopardy, as the Ravens right tackle is listed as doubtful after not practicing on Wednesday or Friday. Baltimore’s left tackle, Ronnie Stanley, is now questionable after not practicing on Friday, and Marlon Humphrey could be set to make his 2023 debut this week. He was a full participant in practice on Friday. OBJ was limited all week with his ankle issue, but he expects to play.
The Steelers are banged-up on the offensive line, as they will be without Moore and Daniels. Quarterback Kenny Pickett is off the injury report with his knee issue, but he won’t have his tight end Freiermuth to throw to.
Houston Texans at Atlanta Falcons (-2) Texans: LB Christian Harris (concussion), OT Josh Jones (hand) OUT; DT Maliek Collins (abdomen), OT Laremy Tunsil (knee), LB Jake Hansen (neck), WR John Metchie III (illness), CB Shaquill Griffin (calf) QUESTIONABLE
Falcons: No injuries.
Harris did not practice on Friday due to a concussion, and he won’t play this weekend. Despite being listed as questionable, Tunsil and Metchie were full participants in practice on Friday. Griffin, Collins and Hansen on the other hand were limited. In what is very good news for the Texans, Tytus Howard is making his 2023 debut this week after being sidelined due to a hand injury.
Everyone on the Falcons is healthy and ready to go for Sunday.
New Orleans Saints at New England Patriots (-1.5) Saints: TE Juwan Johnson (calf), CB Lonnie Johnson (hamstring), OT Landon Young (hip) OUT; OG Andrus Peat (concussion), CB Paulson Adebo (hamstring), QB Derek Carr (shoulder), OG James Hurst (N/A) QUESTIONABLE
Patriots: CB Christian Gonzalez (shoulder), OLB Matt Judon (elbow) OUT; DT Christian Barmore (knee), DB Cody Davis (knee), LB Trey Flowers (foot), DT Davon Godchaux (ankle), DB Jonathan Jones (ankle), OT Riley Reiff (knee), RB Rhamondre Stevenson (thigh), OG Cole Strange (knee), CB Shaun Wade (shoulder) OT Trent Brown (chest) QUESTIONABLE
While Carr is listed as questionable, he should play after suiting up last week with the same right shoulder injury. He won’t have his TE1 in Johnson, however, and could be down a couple of offensive linemen as well. Young has already been ruled out, and Peat and Hurst are questionable.
The Patriots ruled out Gonzalez and Judon, which wasn’t a surprise. Both players may be lost for the remainder of the year. New England has several notable names listed as questionable to play, such as Barmore, Godchaux, Jones, Reiff, Stevenson and Strange. Brown is also listed as questionable to play after being limited on Friday with a chest injury. Every player listed as questionable for the Patriots was a limited participant on Friday.
New York Giants at Miami Dolphins (-11) Giants: G Shane Lemieux (groin), C John Michael Schmitz (shoulder), T Andrew Thomas (hamstring) OUT; RB Saquon Barkley (ankle), TE Daniel Bellinger (knee), LB Micah McFadden (ankle) QUESTIONABLE
Dolphins: G Robert Jones (knee), DB Nick Needham (Achilles) OUT; G Lester Cotton (ankle), LB Jaelan Phillips (oblique), OL Connor Williams (groin) QUESTIONABLE
Barkley has been sidelined since Week 2 due to an ankle injury, and was limited in Friday’s practice. The offensive line for the Giants continues to be in shambles with Thomas, Lemieux, and Schmitz all sidelined. They’ll start three backups Sunday.
Jones and Needham were limited all week, but the Dolphins took caution and ruled them out. Phillips and Williams were also limited in Friday’s practice, so Saturday’s walkthrough will be crucial.
Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts (-1) Titans: WR Treylon Burks (knee), LB Luke Gifford (hamstring), DT Teair Tart (toe), OT Nicholas Petit-Frere (non-injury related) OUT
Colts: OLB Shaquille Leonard (groin), DE Kwity Paye (concussion), OT Bernhard Raimann (concussion) OUT: RB Jonathan Taylor (ankle) QUESTIONABLE
Jeffery Simmons (ankle) was added to the injury report Friday as a limited participant, but he was not given an injury designation. The Titans won’t have Burks this week, but are expected to have Kyle Philips (knee) back.
If history shows with players being full participants in practice all week with injury designations, Taylor should be making his seaosn debut this week. Of course, his status will be a mystery until then. DeForest Buckner (rest) also wa snot given an injury designation.
Cincinnati Bengals (-3) at Arizona Cardinals Bengals: LB Akeem Davis-Gaither (knee) OUT; WR Tee Higgins (rib), CB Cam Taylor-Britt (concussion), CB Chidobe Awuzie (back), DE Trey Hendrickson (back) QUESTIONABLE
Cardinals: DE Jonathan Ledbetter (finger), CB Garrett Williams (knee) OUT; LB Josh Woods (ankle), G Will Hernandez (back), T Dennis Daley (ankle), RB Keaontay Ingram (neck) QUESTIONABLE
The Bengals big injury news is Joe Burrow was not on the injury report for the first time all season. We’ll see what a healthy Burrow can do this week. Tee Higgins, on the other hand, will try to play (his playing status will have to do with pain tolerance). Hendrickson (back) was a surprise on the injury report, so we’ll see for Sunday.
No major injuries for the Cardinals, buit Hernandez didn’t practice Friday despite being ruled as questionable.
Philadelphia Eagles (-4) at Los Angeles Rams Eagles: S Sydney Brown (hamstring), DT Fletcher Cox (back), G Cam Jurgens (foot), DT Marlon Tuipulotu (triceps) OUT: WR Britain Covey (concussion) QUESTIONABLE
Rams: OL Joe Noteboom (groin) OUT; DE Desjuan Johnson (thumb) DOUBTFUL; OL Alaric Jackson (hamstring) QUESTIONABLE
The Eagles will be down two defensive tackles this week, so expect more Milton Williams and Kentavius Street. Quez Watkins (foot) doesn’t have an injury designation, so the Eagles will have their No. 3 wide receiver back for the first time in two games.
The major news for the Rams is Sean McVay said the team will activate Cooper Kupp from injured reserve, so he’ll play Sunday. Johnson is doubtful after having thumb surgery, so Warren McClendon Jr. would start in his place.if he’s downgraded to out.
Kansas City Chiefs (-5) at Minnesota Vikings Chiefs: DT Matt Dickerson (knee), LB Nick Bolton (ankle), T Wanya Morris (hip) QUESTIONABLE
Vikings: LB Brian Asamoah (ankle), S Lewis Cine (hamstring), LB Marcus Davenport (ankle), QB Nick Mullens (back) QUESTIONABLE
Bolton will be a game-time decision for the Chiefs as he was a limited participant Friday. Kadarius Toney (toe) and Chris Jones (groin) were full participants and not given an injury designation.
For the Vikings, Davenport is questionable despite being a full participant. He’s expected to play Sunday.
New York Jets at Denver Broncos (-2) Jets: CB D.J. Reed (concussion), CB Brandin Echols (hamstring) OUT; LB Sam Eguavoen (ankle), S Jarrick Bernard-Converse (foot), T Carter Warren (shoulder), T Billy Turner (toe) QUESTIONABLE
Broncos: LB Randy Gregory (team decision), LB Baron Browning (knee) OUT; RB Javonte Williams (quad), C Lloyd Cushenberry (quad), DT Mike Purcell (ribs) QUESTIONABLE
Reed had started 21 straight games for the Jets, but didn’t clear the five-stage protocol for a concussion. He’s out for Sunday, along with backup cornerback Echols. Bryce Hall may be starting opposite Sauce Gardner.
Good look for the Broncos in likely getting five starters back: Frank Clark, Josey Jewell, and Justin Simmons for certain. Williams looks to be a go for Sunday even with a questionable injury designation while and Jerry Jeudy was a full participant at practice.
Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers (-3.5) Cowboys: TE Peyton Hendershot (ankle) OUT, LB Damone Clark (shoulder) QUESTIONABLE
49ers: RB Elijah Mitchell (knee) OUT; C Jon Feliciano (concussion) QUESTIONABLE
The key component for the Cowboys here is there is no injury designation for Tyron Smith, meaning they’ll have all five of their starting offensive linemen healthy against the 49ers. Dallas is as healthy as it can be going into this matchup (minus Trevon Diggs being out for the year).
For the 49ers, they are close to full strength. McCaffrey will receive the bulk load of the running back carries with J.P. Mason and Ty Davis-Price a sthe backup running backs.