Kansas City clobbered the Broncos last night, but the big story was Patrick Mahomes going down with a dislocated kneecap. Early reports have him missing a minimum of three weeks, and needing surgery after the season. The insertion of journeyman Matt Moore into the lineup could highlight Kansas City's offensive line issues.
Left tackle Eric Fisher has been sidelined for a month following sports hernia surgery. He may be ready to return soon; the line needs him. They've been using Cameron Erving there, but he's better on the interior. Left guard Andrew Wylie is also dealing with an ankle injury, but he could also be back on the field shortly. For our rankings, we're putting them both in the lineup, but lowering their grade slightly in case they need to miss a game or two. Question is if Matt Moore is able to operate successfully behind this group, lacking the quick release and mobility of Mahomes.
The other big offensive line news involves another AFC West team. Russell Okung (blood clots) has been out all year, but apparently things are under control. He's practicing this week and is expected to return to the lineup soon. May not be 100 percent, but it'd be a big boost to a line that's struggled (and lost Mike Pouncey for the season).
Also back from injury, probably this week: Tyron Smith and La'el Collins in Dallas. Both guys were practicing yesterday. Big boost to the Cowboys line leading up to a big matchup with the Eagles.
There's an off-field concern with Raiders right tackle Trent Brown; some domestic violence accusations. No word yet whether it could affect his playing status, but something to keep in mind.
The Bengals continue to be without Cordy Glenn. He's been sidelined due to a concussion, and there are now reports that a Trent Williams type situation might be going on -- he's displeased with the team's handling of his medical concerns. Leaving him out of the picture for now. The Bengals used John Jerry there last week.
Jason Peters is going to miss time for Philadelphia with a knee injury. First-rounder Andre Dillard steps in, and we're grading him as an average player there for now. Peters might only miss a couple of games.
The Browns apparently would like to replace left tackle Greg Robinson with Washington's disgruntled tackle Trent Williams. But nothing doing at the moment. Trade deadline is two weeks away.
The Rams lost guard Joseph Noteboom for the season. He wasn't playing well, but it's a step down to Jamil Demby. The team acquired Austin Corbett from the Browns, but he flopped in Cleveland; might be just insurance.
Houston lost Tytus Howard to a torn MCL and is down to Roderick Johnson at right tackle. Deshaun Watson is used to operating behind a questionable line (and some of the sacks he takes are on him), so the injury doesn't necessarily move the needle much.
San Francisco is undefeated, but can it continue? Joe Staley is out a couple more weeks, and right tackle Mike McGlinchey is dealing with a 4-6 week injury. Adding in the lost of fullback Kyle Juszczyk, San Francisco has a severely damaged (and low-ranked) line. It could be right back up as an above-average group once those tackles are back, but it's just hanging on for now.
Two key guard injuries to note: Kyle Long (hip, IR) in Chicago, and Kelechi Osemele (shoulder, IR) for the Jets. New York has gotten quality fill-in work from Alex Lewis. Chicago will either use Ted Larsen or possibly Rashaad Coward, a major downgrade.
There are some other players (JaWuan James, Duane Brown) who have missed time but are expected back in either Week 7 or 8. For now those players have been penciled in as the starters, but that could change if it looks like they'll miss more time.
Updated rankings shown below. Colorful table showing how each player is graded can be seen at our Facebook page at this link.
|OFFENSIVE LINE RANKINGS|