Injuries week 15 NFL
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Week 14 saw two games go to overtime and four others decided by one score or less. As always, injuries played a role in the outcome, especially in Cleveland.
Lamar Jackson – Ankle
The Ravens nearly pulled off an improbable comeback in their important divisional game against the Browns without quarterback Lamar Jackson, who left in the second quarter with an ankle injury.
Monday’s tests showed the injury was not the dreaded high-ankle sprain that could have sidelined Jackson for a number of weeks, rather just a ‘regular’ sprained ankle. Head coach John Harbaugh says he plans to have Jackson for this Sunday’s home game with Green Bay, but “We’ll see where it goes.”
If Jackson is unable to go, Tyler Huntley gets the start. Against the Browns, Huntley played in relief, throwing for 270 yards and a touchdown. His lack of experience is also apparent, as evidenced by a pair of fumbles.
Huntley also played this season against the Bears, leading a game-winning drive late in the game.
Until there’s more clarity, the game remains off the NFL odds board. Expect to see odds posted by midweek.
Josh Allen – Foot
After the Bills’ overtime road loss to the Buccaneers, Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen was wearing a walking boot on his left leg. It was diagnosed by a foot sprain, with Allen’s status for Sunday’s home game against Carolina unknown as of this writing. If the durable Allen can’t go, former Bears’ quarterback Mitch Trubisky would get the start.
Allen, who never left the game because of the injury, said, “I don’t think it’s going to be a big deal.”
Allen admitted that his foot was sore, but he was able to play without many limitations, as evidenced by his 109 yards rushing and 308 yards passing. The 109 yards rushing are the most for Allen since his rookie season of 2018.
Ezekiel Elliott – Knee
Cowboys’ running back Ezekiel Elliott has been hampered by a knee injury since Week 4 and it’s clearly having an impact. Elliott and the team admit that he is playing at less than 100%, which is obvious to everyone who watched his play. Since the Cowboys had their bye in Week 9, Elliott is averaging just 3.4 yards per carry and has gained at least 10 yards twice on a run.
However, the team and player also say that there are no plans to sit him and let the knee heal. They believe that Elliott at less than 100% is better than no Elliott, even for a week. “Drag me off the field,” Elliott said.
The Cowboys have a three-game lead in the NFC East and have essentially clinched the division, but they also sit as the fourth playoff seed in the NFC with a chance to improve that position over the final four weeks.
Daniel Jones – Neck
The Giants were without quarterback Daniel Jones in Sunday’s road loss to the Chargers and it’s sounding more and more as if his season may be over.
Jones went to another neck specialist and underwent more tests. There’s no word regarding possible structural damage, if the injury is healing properly or if surgery is in the quarterback’s future. Since the Giants are all but eliminated from the playoffs, it wouldn’t be out of the question to shut Jones down for the remainder of the season.
COVID Impacting Week 15
The NFL Monday placed 36 players on the COVID/Reserve list due to positive tests, the most added to the list in a single day since the list was created last season.
Miami now has all three of its running backs on the list, the latest being Phillip Lindsay. His loss doesn’t have too much impact for Sunday where the Dolphins host the woeful New York Jets, laying double digits as home chalk on the BetUS Sportsbook NFL odds.
Chargers’ rookie left tackle Rashawn Slater was placed on the list. He’s out for Thursday’s home game with the Chiefs, who put wide receiver Josh Gordon on the list. The Chargers are catching four points as home underdogs hosting the Chiefs according to NFL point spreads.
The NFL is now mandating that all vaccinated players and coaches receive a booster by December 27.