- Washington and New York Giants have question marks at pivot as they enter Week 15
- Patrick Mahomes could face greater pressure with O-line injuries in New Orleans
- Read below for Week 15’s most notable injuries and how they may affect betting
No surprise that as we enter the final stretch of the NFL season, there’s a deep and substantial injury report heading into Week 15.
Obviously, losing a starting quarterback at any point will do damage, and in the NFC East turtle derby, the two teams in best position to claim the division may be looking at backups.
That’s just one of the standout injury situations that may have already affected this week’s betting lines, and could play a role in how you decide to spread around your wagers.
Injury Report For Week 15
|Team||Player||Position||Week 15 Opponent||Injury||Thursday Practice||Game Status|
|Denver Broncos||Phillip Lindsay||RB||Bills||Hip||Limited||Questionable|
|Denver Broncos||Melvin Gordon||RB||Bills||Shoulder||Limited||Questionable|
|Carolina Panthers||Russell Okung||T||Packers||Calf||Limited||Questionable|
|Carolina Panthers||Christian McCaffrey||RB||Packers||Thigh||Did Not Practice||Doubtful|
|Seattle Seahawks||Carlos Dunlap||DE||Washington||Foot||Limited||Questionable|
|Washington FT||Alex Smith||QB||Seahawks||Calf||Did Not Practice||Out|
|Washington FT||Antonio Gibson||RB||Seahawks||Toe||Limited||Doubtful|
|Detroit Lions||Matthew Stafford||QB||Titans||Rib, Right Thumb||Limited||Questionable|
|Tennessee Titans||Roger Saffold||G||Lions||Toe||Did Not Practice||Questionable|
|Indianapolis Colts||DeForest Buckner||DT||Texans||Ankle||Did Not Practice||Questionable|
|Baltimore Ravens||Marcus Peters||CB||Jaguars||Calf||Did Not Practice||Questionable|
|Baltimore Ravens||Calais Campbell||DT||Jaguars||Calf||Limited||Questionable|
|Atlanta Falcons||Julio Jones||WR||Buccaneers||Hamstring||Did Not Practice||Out|
|San Francisco 49ers||Deebo Samuel||WR||Cowboys||Hamstring||Did Not Practice||Out|
|Chicago Bears||Khalil Mack||LB||Vikings||Shoulder||Limited||Questionable|
|New England Patriots||Damien Harris||RB||Dolphins||Ankle||Limited||Questionable|
|New England Patriots||Shaq Mason||G||Dolphins||Calf||Limited||Questionable|
|Dallas Cowboys||Ezekiel Elliott||RB||49ers||Calf||Did Not Practice||Questionable|
|Miami Dolphins||Ereck Flowers||G||Patriots||Ankle||Limited||Questionable|
|Miami Dolphins||Mike Gesicki||TE||Patriots||Shoulder||Limited||Questionable|
|Philadelphia Eagles||Darius Slay||CB||Cardinals||Concussion||Limited||Questionable|
|Arizona Cardinals||Chase Edmonds||RB||Eagles||Ankle||Did Not Practice||Questionable|
|Kansas City Chiefs||Mike Remmers||T||Saints||Back, Neck||Limited||Doubtful|
|Kansas City Chiefs||Eric Fisher||T||Saints||Back||Full Participant||Questionable|
|New Orleans Saints||Michael Thomas||WR||Chiefs||Ankle||Did Not Practice||Out|
|Cleveland Browns||Denzel Ward||CB||Giants||Calf||Limited||Questionable|
|New York Giants||Daniel Jones||QB||Browns||Hamstring, Ankle||Limited||Questionable|
Alex Smith Out, Daniel Jones Questionable
Alex Smith’s Comeback Player of the Year trophy is basically guaranteed, but it’s not all just feel good. He’s quarterbacked the Washington Football team to four straight wins and a respectable 6-7 mark. Pro-rate that to the NFC East, and it’s a first-place mark.
It hasn’t always been pretty — in those four wins, he’s managed to throw for over 166 yards just once, but the top pick in the 2005 draft is the ultimate game manager, and makes enough plays to put his team in position to win.
Ron Rivera on Dwayne Haskins taking first-team snaps today: He had a good day. pic.twitter.com/YKnGlDn7r2
— michael phillips (@michaelpRTD) December 16, 2020
How valuable is he? Well, in betting terms, he’s at least two points better than anything else Washington can trot out. That’s how far the line moved as Smith was ruled out for Sunday, giving way to Dwayne Haskins. Washington started as 4.5-point underdogs, and are now 6.5-point ‘dogs as they host the Seahawks.
Another contributing factor is standout rookie running back Antonio Gibson is doubtful with a toe injury. Gibson first among rookies and third in the NFL in rushing TD’s. If he can’t go Washington is left with JD McKissic and Peyton Barber as the primary ball carriers.
Antonio Gibson working solo with RBs coach Randy Jordan pic.twitter.com/NqLydTAHug
— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) December 18, 2020
The Giants quickly shifted away from the Colt McCoy experience — despite an improbable win in Seattle in Week 13 — opting instead for a hobbled Daniel Jones, trying to chase down a playoff spot in Week 14 against the Cardinals. Wrong move. Jones injured his ankle on top of already not looking right, the Giants were crushed by the Cardinals, and their playoff hopes are on life support.
Daniel Jones has lost 52 yards in sacks and fumbled 3 times. He's the first QB to have a game with 50+ sack yards and 3+ fumbles since…Daniel Jones, in 2019.
— ProFootballReference (@pfref) December 13, 2020
At 5-8, New York is going to have to try and keep the pace against a very tough Cleveland Browns squad. Even with Jones expected to start, they were 4.5-point underdogs, but that line has moved since, to a current -6.5 mark.
Will Matthew Stafford need an apparatus to protect his ribs if he plays Sunday?
"I dunno. Maybe tape a pillow to my ribs or something" 😂 pic.twitter.com/4JFvBnnzK6
— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) December 17, 2020
One other starting quarterback may be sidelined, as Matthew Stafford is battling a rib injury and a right thumb injury, which matters if you’re a right-handed throwing QB. Already massive underdogs on the road to the Tennessee Titans, oddsmakers have lengthened those odds, with some books giving them a whopping 11.5-points.
In case you’re wondering, Chase Daniel is the backup.
Julio Jones, Michael Thomas Both Sitting Sunday
Two of the league’s premier pass catchers will be in street clothes come kickoff. Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones is out with a hamstring injury against the Buccaneers, while New Orleans Saints top target Michael Thomas can’t go with an ankle injury.
Jones missed last week, and is considered week-to-week as the Falcons close out a disappointing stretch. Even though his streak of 1,300 yards receiving was likely coming to an end this year (he had 51 grabs and 771 yards), his presence alone helped Atlanta’s offense.
— Dave Tontini (@3BFantasyDave) December 12, 2020
In the nine games he has played, the Falcons have averaged 25.1 points a contest. In the three he’s missed? They’ve averaged just 19.7 points. In a divisional matchup with the Buccaneers, no Julio has moved the line 1.5 points, with Tampa Bay now favored by six points.
Thomas’ season has been a major disappointment, and the Saints would have loved to have him against the Chiefs — especially after coming off a brutal loss to the Eagles, which could end up costing them top seed in the NFC. While losing Thomas hurts, the line shaved a point off the Chiefs this week.
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) November 15, 2020
Two major reasons why it’s moved from Chiefs -4 to -3 are both likely factors on the injury front. The first: Drew Brees, out with a rib injury for four games, has been cleared to play. The second: both Chiefs tackles, Mike Remmers and Eric Fisher, appeared on the injured list. Remmers is doubtful with back and neck injuries, while Fischer, although a full participant in practice Thursday, is still questionable with a bad back.
Maybe Patrick Mahomes is Superman — if his line is decimated, we’re going to see how he fares against a legit Saints defense.
Other Notable Injuries
Ezekiel Elliott has been hampered by a calf injury and was a limited participant Tuesday. One less weapon for Andy Dalton and the Cowboys’ offense has them as three-point underdogs against the San Francisco 49ers, who counter with Nick Mullens under center. Perhaps it’s time to look at that 45 total and pound the under.
Ezekiel Elliot has been dealing with a calf injury throughout this season, but he claims that it’s just “a big bruise” and he could play through it. 💪 pic.twitter.com/v4HN2qtKLi
— Cowboys Nation (@CowboysNationCP) December 12, 2020
Fellow running back Christian McCaffrey is shelved in Week 15 with a thigh injury. But Carolina has had a lot of reps learning to play without their star, and Mike Davis has proven to be a steady backup and helpful piece for Panthers’ starter Teddy Bridgewater. It probably won’t matter, as they take on the surging Packers as 8-point underdogs.
— RaveOnSports (@raveonsports) November 17, 2020
On the defensive side, the Bears may be without Khalil Mack when they play Minnesota, questionable with a shoulder injury. That might be the best news Kirk Cousins will hear this week, as the Vikings desperately try to stay in the playoff race. Vegas knows his impact: Minnesota is now 4-point favorites after opening at -1.5.
Mike Gesicki, Jakeem Grant and DeVante Parker are all officially questionable for Sunday’s home finale against New England after practicing in limited fashion today.@FullPressNFL @FPC_Patriots #FinsUp
— Full Press Dolphins (@FPC_Dolphins) December 18, 2020
And can the Patriots throw a wrench in the Dolphins’ playoff hopes? The Patriots are now just 1-point underdogs after opening the Week at +3. Miami’s injury woes, particularly on the offensive end, don’t bode well for rookie pivot Tua Tagovailoa, who will face a Bill Belichick defense that preys on inexperienced QBs. They made life miserable a few weeks ago in a 45-0 drubbing against promising Chargers’ pivot Justin Herbert.
Miami could be without guard Ereck Flowers (calf), tight end Mike Geisecki (shoulder) and wide receiver DeVante Parker (hamstring) in this one.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.