Is it Week Four of the NFL regular season already? The place has the time gone?
However, the motion from the primary 4 weeks of the yr has been nothing wanting sensational. Some groups have stunned followers and specialists, whereas others have underperformed up to now in 2021. Accidents have affected squads early within the marketing campaign, and so they should make some robust selections concerning sure gamers which might be injured on their rosters.
Some franchises have already determined how lengthy a few of their injured gamers can be out of recreation motion.
The Carolina Panthers can be with out operating again Christian McCaffrey (hamstring) and cornerback Jaycee Horn (foot) for a couple of weeks after they each suffered accidents towards the Houston Texans final Thursday. The quarterback drama for the Chicago Bears continues, as Andy Dalton (knee) and Justin Fields (hand) landed on the harm report this week. Lastly, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers misplaced a speedy pass-catcher as Scotty Miller went on the injured reserve checklist with a turf toe harm.
Accidents are part of the sport, however groups may face an uphill battle with out sure gamers. Our NFL reporters present updates on some key gamers earlier than Sunday’s motion begins.
Gage will miss his second straight recreation — reducing down Atlanta’s pass-catching group by a starter. Final week, Olamide Zaccheaus caught a landing after getting extra snaps in Gage’s place. Determine a mixture of Zaccheaus and Tajae Sharpe will fill in two-receiver packages and the choice of extra two operating again or two tight finish appears to be like stays as probably a part of the plan. Atlanta will even be with out rotational defensive lineman Marlon Davidson (ankle). — Michael Rothstein
Jackson returned to follow Friday, however he did not appear like a quarterback who had missed the previous two days with a sore again. Formally listed as questionable, Jackson was a full participant in follow and did not favor his again. He threw on the run and moved throughout the pocket. Requested about how Jackson appeared in follow, large receiver Marquise Brown mentioned “actual good” and added that he believes Jackson was as exact throwing the ball as he is been all season. — Jamison Hensley
Poyer was injured through the Payments’ 43-21 win over the Washington Soccer Workforce final week. The security has not missed a begin for the reason that 2017 season. He had an interception within the win over Washington and has 12 tackles this yr. Jaquan Johnson got here in for him Poyer in Week three and will begin in his place. — Alaina Getzenburg
Feliciano began the week on a restricted foundation with an sickness. He was then downgraded to not working towards in Thursday’s follow with a concussion. Fourth-year guard Ike Boettger is more likely to get the beginning as a substitute at left guard. Boettger began seven video games final yr whereas Feliciano recovered from a torn pectoral muscle.
Harm: Left Knee
The Bears are ready till game-time to disclose the id of their beginning quarterback for Sunday’s recreation versus the Detroit Lions. Bears coach Matt Nagy has mentioned that Dalton stays the staff’s starter when wholesome, however Dalton was restricted in follow all week and is questionable to face the Lions. Dalton mentioned on Friday that his knee harm is bettering, however rookie Justin Fields seems the more healthy of the 2, though Fields did undergo a proper thumb harm final week in Cleveland. — Jeff Dickerson
The primary-round pick of Northwestern has been dominated out of Sunday’s recreation in Minnesota with a calf harm. In his place, Greedy Williams will get the beginning. — Jake Trotter
Gregory didn’t follow Thursday due to a knee harm however he mentioned he totally expects to play Sunday towards Carolina. Gregory had an MRI and this could possibly be one thing the staff displays to ensure he can get to recreation day.
With Gregory banged up and Dorance Armstrong (ankle) and Bradlee Anae (COVID) out, the Cowboys may go together with extra defensive linemen on the energetic roster. The plan is to make use of Micah Parsons at go rusher some however he additionally noticed work at linebacker through the follow week. –Todd Archer
Glasgow injured his knee on this previous week’s recreation towards the New York Jets. Until he improves over the subsequent few days, the guard could possibly be out for Denver’s Week 5 matchup towards the Baltimore Ravens. — Jeff Legwold
The Broncos have accidents points at each guard spots as Risner is coping with a foot ailment. Denver has Netane Muti at proper guard and rookie Quinn Meinerz at left guard if Risner and Glasgow cannot play. Each gamers are highly effective and extra comfy within the run level at this stage of their careers, however the Broncos have been so proficient of their two and three tight finish units within the passing recreation, they would not really feel a lot hesitation about throwing the ball if in addition they wished to get Muti and Meinerz in go safety.
The Lions’ protection should choose up the slack as they appear to get their first victory on the highway at Soldier Discipline. For the second straight week, Trey Flowers has been dominated out of motion with a shoulder/knee harm. The staff is hopeful that he’ll return quickly, however the youthful guys are benefiting from the alternatives.
“To be trustworthy with you, we’re in a reasonably good place simply depth-wise and it is extra — I simply really feel like if we’re — that is the best factor for Trey, too, which in flip can also be the best factor for us long-term,” Lions coach Dan Campbell mentioned on Friday. “If we will get him again to the place he is feeling actually good, I believe in the long term, that is going to be factor for him and for us.” –Eric Woodyard
Aaron Rodgers can be with out his finest deep-threat receiver. Whereas Valdes-Scantling has began slowly this yr, he flashed indicators of final yr in Sunday’s win over the San Francisco 49ers with a 12-yard landing catch, a 47-yard deep ball reception and a 24-yard go interference penalty. Sadly, he pulled his hamstring within the fourth quarter and was dominated out for Sunday towards the Steelers. — Robert Demovsky
Nelson is lacking his first NFL recreation, after beginning all 51 contests of his profession, due to an ankle harm. On Saturday, the Colts put Nelson on IR, which means he’ll be out no less than three weeks. His 75.5% run-block win price is first amongst NFL guards since coming into the league, based on ESPN Stats & Data. Nelson’s 95% pass-block win price is third, so the Colts will really feel Nelson’s absence considerably. — Mike Wells
The Chiefs will determine earlier than Sunday’s recreation whether or not Clark, who has a hamstring harm, can play towards the Philadelphia Eagles. He has missed two of the three video games this season, and the Chiefs may use his pass-rush potential. They’ve simply 4 sacks, one of many causes they’re off to a 1-2 begin. — Adam Teicher
Jacobs, who missed the Raiders’ earlier two video games, returned to follow on Thursday however has been restricted in two practices. Raiders coach Jon Gruden slow-played Jacobs’ return on Thursday, as did quarterback Derek Carr. The truth is, Gruden mentioned he wouldn’t hesitate to play Peyton Barber in a premier function Monday evening on the Chargers after his career-high 111 yard efficiency final week. –Paul Gutierrez
Rams coach Sean McVay mentioned Henderson will play Sunday in a division opener towards the undefeated Arizona Cardinals. Henderson suffered a rib cartilage harm in a Week 2 win over the Indianapolis Colts and was inactive for a Week three victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. — Lindsey Thiry
Usually reserved about his gamers’ accidents, Dolphins coach Brian Flores introduced that Deiter was harm at follow Wednesday and won’t solely miss Sunday’s recreation towards the Indianapolis Colts however will even is probably going be positioned on injured reserve. Flores mentioned it is too early to inform whether or not Deiter will return this season — though that is his typical response to the timeline of gamers’ accidents. In Deiter’s place, former Baltimore Ravens OL Greg Mancz will begin for Miami. — Marcel Louis-Jacques
There’s excellent news and dangerous information for the Vikings this week. The excellent news? Dalvin Prepare dinner practiced daily this week and appeared optimistic about his standing after lacking Week three with an ankle harm. “I am extraordinarily assured in what we have got occurring within the coaching room and what they’re doing to get me again on the sector,” Prepare dinner mentioned. “I am extraordinarily assured.” — Courtney Cronin
The dangerous information? Nostril sort out Michael Pierce is coping with elbow and shoulder accidents and is questionable for Week 4. Being with out Pierce towards Cleveland’s dominant speeding assault, which averages 5.1 yards per run, can be difficult for the Vikings’ protection.
Folks was restricted in follow as preparations acquired underway this week, however the staff was continuing as if there was a robust probability he can be kicking Sunday evening. Contemplating Folks has made 35 consecutive discipline targets — which is the longest streak in franchise historical past and tied for the seventh-longest streak in league historical past (Adam Vinatieri, 44) — that is excellent news for the Patriots. — Mike Reiss
The Saints should get by with out two standout offensive linemen after Armstead acquired harm final week and heart Erik McCoy has been sidelined since Week 1. Thankfully, the Saints have a veteran backup choice in James Hurst, who held up properly when he changed Armstead each final week at New England and for 2 video games final season. However Armstead is likely one of the NFL’s finest left tackles, so his absence will certainly be felt. — Mike Triplett
Shepard and Darius Slayton are going to overlook Sunday’s recreation in New Orleans with hamstring accidents. They didn’t follow in any respect this week. It is a huge blow contemplating Shepard (18 catches, 223 yards and 1 landing) has been the Giants’ finest and best receiver in 2021. Slayton (7 receptions, 127 yards and a rating) has additionally made some massive performs this yr. Their absence does make Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney extra palatable fantasy choices towards a troublesome Saints protection. — Jordan Raanan
Crowder is poised to make his 2021 debut. “Trying good,” coach Robert Saleh mentioned. The 28-year-old receiver hasn’t performed for the reason that preseason, so it is onerous to think about him getting each rep out of the slot place. Search for a time-share with Braxton Berrios, the staff’s main receiver via three video games. — Wealthy Cimini
McLeod, who tore his ACL in December, is ready to make his season debut. His return is well timed, with K’Von Wallace being positioned on injured reserve this week with a separated shoulder. One different important piece of harm information: left sort out Jordan Mailata will miss his second straight recreation with an MCL pressure. Andre Dillard will get the beginning. –Tim McManus
After not working towards Friday, Claypool has been ruled out of Sunday’s recreation towards the Green Bay Packers. Claypool’s harm takes away one of many Steelers’ finest intermediate and deep threats, and he is been actually precious in making some fight catches or drawing go interference calls. WRs JuJu Smith-Schuster (ribs) and Diontae Johnson (knee) had been full individuals Friday and haven’t got harm designations. — Brooke Pryor
Kittle didn’t take part in follow on Wednesday or Thursday and was restricted on Friday with what coach Kyle Shanahan has described as calf soreness stemming from getting stepped on in Week 1 towards the Detroit Lions. Earlier within the week, Shanahan appeared optimistic that his star tight finish can be out there towards the Seattle Seahawks, however Kittle’s return has appeared to be slower than anticipated. He is formally listed as questionable for Sunday, however Shanahan mentioned he may have a good suggestion whether or not Kittle is prepared on Saturday afternoon. If Kittle cannot play, Ross Dwelley will step in for him. — Nick Wagoner
Lockett is listed as questionable with a hip harm, however Pete Carroll sounds optimistic that he’ll play Sunday towards the 49ers. Lockett was restricted Wednesday, sat Thursday and was listed as a full participant in Friday’s gentle follow.
“We rested him through the week and he had a bunch of therapy and he feels good,” Carroll mentioned.
DK Metcalf is anticipated to play after displaying up on the harm report Thursday with a sore foot. Seattle’s receiver corps will most likely be with out rookie Dee Eskridge for a 3rd straight recreation. The second-round choose cleared concussion protocol this week however is listed as uncertain. — Brady Henderson
As a result of rib harm, Gronkowski won’t play in Sunday’s recreation towards the New England Patriots, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Saturday. Gronkowski didn’t journey with the staff to New England. Gronkowski has been one of many Buccaneers’ most potent purple zone weapons this season, totaling 6 receptions for 184 yards and 4 touchdowns in three video games.
Coach Bruce Arians mentioned earlier this week that it was unlikely Pierre-Paul, one of many staff’s largest leaders on protection, would play, however Pierre-Paul stunned everybody by working towards Friday for the primary time since Sept 15. He is formally listed as questionable on the harm report, however he advised Arians, “If I am touring, I am enjoying.” — Jenna Laine
Gibson sat out follow Thursday and was restricted Friday with a shin harm that occurred through the loss final week to Buffalo. He is listed as questionable on the harm report. Washington coach Ron Rivera mentioned the staff is optimistic that Gibson will play at Atlanta. Nonetheless, he mentioned he needs to see how Gibson’s shin responds this weekend. — John Keim