As the season progresses it is hard to find those diamonds in the rough or that guy that no one has heard of. This week we are going to examine the plethora of injuries across the league and who the most likely successor is to that starting job as well as highlight some prime matchups as well as surprising performers to this point. This article will also highlight a few long-term and speculative players that could see their value rise over the course of the season.
- Uchenna Nwosu LB (LAC): 2 solos, 1 assist, 60% defensive snaps
- Vince Williams LB (PIT): 2 solos, 2 assists, 61% defensive snaps
- A.J. Johnson LB (DEN): 6 solos, 3 assists, 1.5 sacks, 87% defensive snaps
- Brandon Graham DE (PHI): 3 solos, 1 assist, 1 sack, 77% defensive snaps
- Robert Quinn DE (DAL): 2 solos, 2 sacks, 76% defensive snaps
- Mario Addison DE (CAR): 1 solo, 75% defensive snaps
- Byron Murphy CB (ARI): 6 solos, 1 pass defended, 100% defensive snaps
- Will Redmond S (GB): 1 solo, 1 pass defended, 97% defensive snaps
- Isaiah Oliver CB (ATL): 6 solos, 100% defensive snaps
Now, let's find this week's prospects.
Nathan Gerry LB (PHI):
Life can come at you fast if you are Zach Brown. Brown was released after a mixture of poor play and even worse media etiquette last week. That gives Gerry a chance to step up and start against the Cowboys this weekend. Nigel Bradham is also considered day to day with an ankle injury and Gerry could have his best chance to play this week.
Najee Goode LB (JAX):
Everyone is just looking for a chance. Goode replaced rookie outside linebacker Quincy Williams last week and played almost every down after that point. Goode racked up four solos, two assists, a sack, and a pass defended in relief last week and has a chance to match and or surpass that this week against a poor Cincinnati team.
Rashaan Evans LB (TEN):
The Titans could be without their leading tackler in Jayon Brown this week after leaving the Denver game with an injury. Evans went on to have a 10 total tackle game and could see an even greater bump in time this week against the Chargers. Los Angeles has been trying to run the ball all season long and it should provide ample opportunity for Evans to have another double-digit tackle game.
Taco Charlton DE (MIA):
In what might be one of the most fun names to say in the NFL, Charlton has seen a huge increase in playing time since coming over to Miami. He registered a sack in each of his first two games with the Dolphins and saw his playing time jump to 93% of defensive snaps last week. His stat line against the Redskins was underwhelming, but he is seeing a lot of snaps on a defense that will be on the field a lot. Look for Charlton to bounce back against Buffalo this week.
Jarran Reed DT (SEA):
It is finally that time. Reed is returning in Week 7 from suspension and has a great matchup right of the bat against Baltimore. He will most likely be on a limited snap count, but he should still have plenty of opportunities to rack up points. If he is still available, grab him and ride his production for the rest of the season.
Tyson Alualu DE (PIT):
It is a tough loss for Pittsburgh to see Stephon Tuitt out for the season with a torn pectoral muscle. The defense is going to have to step up in a big way and it will start with Alualu on the outside. This pick up has more to do with Week 8 than 7 as the Steelers are on a bye, but it will be good to jump on it early. Pittsburgh takes on Miami in week 8 and Alualu will be a sneaky stash for Week 8 against a team that has not been able to protect its quarterbacks.
Maurice Canady CB (BAL):
It has been a nice two-game run for Canady for the Ravens with 14 solos, 2 assists, and a forced fumble. He should continue to be pressed into action with injuries to Jimmy Smith and Tavon Young. Canady is in line to have a good game against Seattle this week and could reach CB1 territory.
Tashaun Gipson Sr S (HOU):
It is a very thin week at defensive back, and Gipson is a pure upside boom or bust play. He is coming off back to back weeks with an interception but has left a lot to be desired in the tackle department. Gipson will get to sit back on Ryan Tannehill this week who is getting his first start for the Titans. Gipson has a great chance to extend his interception streak and make a big play against Tennessee.
Taylor Rapp S (LAR):
John Johnson III went down with an injury in week 6 for the Rams and did not return. If he is unable to go this week it will be Rapp as the next man up for the Rams. Rapp will be taking on an Atlanta team that loves to air the ball out and should have plenty of opportunities for tackles. Watch the injury report as the week goes on and start Rapp with confidence if Johnson is unable to go.