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NFL Underrated Injury Report
Do the names Seantrel Henderson and John Miller mean anything to you? They should if you care to get involved in the Texans-Bills game.
Miller is Buffalo’s starting right guard. Henderson is the starting right tackle. Neither offensive lineman is expected to play against the Texans. So pass rushing leader J.J. Watt likely gets to go against a brand new right side of the Bills offensive line. Miller has an ankle injury and Henderson is ill.
Miller was starting ahead of veteran Kraig Urbik while Jordan Mills, a castoff from the Lions, would replace Henderson. Watt has 9.5 sacks in his last five games.
There are some underrated injuries, too, on the defensive side. They reside in Tampa where the Buccaneers are probably going to be without their two best pass rushers, Gerald McCoy and Jacquies Smith. They have a combined 13 sacks ranking first and second on the team. Smith is out with a hamstring injury while McCoy is doubtful with a hand injury.
The Buccaneers host Atlanta. Matt Ryan has looked – and played – older than Matt Hasselbeck. But he would get a huge boost with extra time in the pocket and a return of the Falcons’ top running back, Devonta Freeman.
Two key defensive players are back this week – New England linebacker Jamie Collins and Dallas cornerback Morris Claiborne.
Collins was the Patriots’ leading tackler before missing the last four games with an illness. He also has 4.5 sacks. Claiborne’s return from a hamstring injury has a multiple affect on the Cowboys secondary allowing Brandon Carr to move back to cornerback and for Byron Jones to go from corner to his natural safety spot.
The timing is good because the Cowboys play the Redskins on Monday night. Washington has one of the more underrated tight ends, Jordan Reed. Jones had trouble staying with speedy wide receivers, but is a much better fit matched up against tight ends. When the Patriots played the Cowboys, Rob Gronkowski only caught four passes for 67 yards and no touchdowns against Jones.
The Dolphins are expected to run the ball more under new offensive coordinator Zac Taylor. The former quarterbacks coach replaces Bill Lazor. Another reason why Miami could be running more against Baltimore is it has a cluster injury problem at wide receiver. Rishard Matthews is out with sore ribs and Kenny Stills may miss the game, too, because of an ankle injury. This means rookie wide receiver DeVante Parker, ready or not, assumes a large role in the offense.