Washington up 11
Coming off their bye week, the Washington Football Team should have some healthy additions to their lineup. Rookie right tackle Sam Cosmi (ankle) and All-Pro right guard Brandon Scherff (knee) re-joined their teammates at practice this week in a limited fashion. Scherff's injury occurred during Week 4 and Cosmi's in Week 5, so they have been without their usual right side for over a month. Assuming they both play this weekend, Scherff is one of the rare players who can change a game from the guard position and Cosmi was coming on well for a rookie. This all adds up to an eleven-slot upgrade just prior to hosting a dominant Tampa Bay defensive front.
Detroit up 13
After missing the entire season to date with a preseason finger injury that required surgery, left tackle Taylor Decker was a full participant in practice this week. Decker's return sends rookie Penei Sewell to right tackle and Matt Nelson to the bench. Sewell has had a mixed rookie experience but overall has looked far better at left tackle in the regular season than he did at right tackle during the preseason. Still, the winless Lions getting their best five linemen on the field has to be interpreted as a positive development. The Lions' offensive line still misses center Frank Ragnow badly, but they grade 17th before traveling to face a tough Pittsburgh defensive front.
Tennessee up 4
Right guard Nate Davis has practiced in full this week and is out of the league's concussion protocol. Davis missed last week's win over the Rams, as Aaron Brewer took his place. The Titans were also short at tackle last week, as Bobby Hart played 100% of snaps at left tackle. Taylor Lewan is officially questionable with a knee injury but Lewan is included in the rankings just prior to hosting an above-average New Orleans defensive front. Assuming Lewan (and Kendall Lamm, also questionable with a back injury) are able to play, the Titans' offensive line rank 20th in the current grades.
San Francisco down 6
Tough news for the 49ers as their stalwart right tackle Mike McGlinchey tore his quad muscle (upper leg) during last week's loss to Arizona. Tom Compton replaced McGlinchey during the game, and the team re-signed Colton McKivitz this week to add depth but the loss of McGlinchey will be difficult for the 49ers' offense. McGlinchey grades out as a "Pro Bowl Snub" in the model, a player who routinely delivers good or even great performances, but has not made the Pro Bowl for whatever reason. If there is any silver lining to this news, it's that McGlinchey (aged 26) has a positive prognosis for his rehab and long-term health. In the near term, the 49ers' offensive line drops to 9th in the latest rankings, driven mostly on the strength of the other tackle, Trent Williams. The line faces a difficult matchup at home against the LA Rams on Monday Night.
LA Chargers down 3
This is a general downgrade to the cohesion of the right side of the line. With both Bryan Bulaga and Oday Aboushi on injured reserve, the team has turned to Storm Norton and Michael Schofield in their place. The right side noticeably struggled against the Philadelphia pass rush last week, and it's not clear that "more time together" will heal this wound. Norton is a finesse player, natural to left tackle, and despite his previous experience with the Chargers, Schofield just looked confused. The left side of Rashawn Slater and Matt Feiler are playing well, and the center Corey Linsley has been excellent. But the right side is floundering in pass protection. The Chargers grade 16th just before hosting a lively Minnesota defensive front this weekend.
Buffalo down 1
Right tackle Spencer Brown (back) has returned to practice this week in a limited fashion. Assuming Brown can go this weekend, it would allow Daryl Williams to slide over to his natural right guard position and return Cody Ford to the bench. That last part is key as Ford was a disaster during the upset loss to Jacksonville. It's not clear what exactly is wrong with Ford's game but getting him out of the lineup should give the Buffalo offense a boost just prior to facing a hapless NY Jets defensive front this weekend. The Bills rank 15th in the latest grades.
Minnesota down 3
With center Garrett Bradbury added to the Covid list just prior to the Baltimore game, backup Mason Cole got this start. While this is a nominal downgrade, Cole had a great game, and it will be interesting to see if Bradbury gets his job back down the stretch. Bradbury had been underperforming this season and while Cole is young as well (only 25) he is a savvy vet in comparison to Bradbury. Like a wolf pretending to be a sheep, this is the classic "upgrade in downgrade clothing." The Vikings' line grades out 26th before facing a difficult LA Chargers defensive front on the road.
Denver down 1
Right guard Graham Glasgow suffered a broken leg during the win over Dallas last week and he has been placed on season-ending IR. While Quinn Meinerz replaced Glasgow during the game, Netani Muti returned from the Covid list this week and could get the start over Meinerz. At right tackle, Bobby Massie is officially questionable with an ankle injury, but he is likely out one or two games. At left tackle Garett Bolles (high ankle sprain) is less than 50/50 to play this weekend, according to coaches. Calvin Anderson will get a start, the question is will the Broncos have either of their starting tackles this weekend? Assuming that one of either Massie or Bolles is available, they rank 28th just prior to hosting a tough Philadelphia defensive line. If neither is available, they drop to 30th.
Carolina down 1
Center Matt Paradis was placed on season-ending injured reserve with a torn ACL. Sam Tecklenburg replaced Paradis in the game, but Pat Elflein could take over the spot going forward. At left tackle Cam Erving played only 19 snaps against New England last week before leaving the game with a calf injury. Dennis Daley replaced Erving last week, and the team also placed Erving on the injured reserve list this week. Erving had been a complete liability at left tackle all season, and the team could use rookie Brady Christensen in some capacity, perhaps moving Taylor Moton to left tackle and giving Christensen the right tackle job. The downgrade at center is more concerning. It all adds up to 31st, almost the worst line in the rankings. It doesn't get easier for the Panthers, who travel across the country to face a superior Arizona defensive front.
Houston down 0
Already the 32nd ranked line, the Texans' group got noticeably worse this week. With Justin Britt on the IR, the team moved Justin McCray to center two weeks ago. That experiment is over as McCray started at right guard last week while seventh-round rookie Jimmy Morrissey (Pitt Panthers) made his first career start against Miami. Getting the inconsistent Max Scharping out of the lineup seems like good news on paper but Morrissey was often overmatched in pass protection last week, and it's not clear he's ready for the job. The Texans are on a bye week, but it's hard to envision how the time away helps matters.
ARZ - LG Justin Pugh (calf) was forced from 49ers game and did not practice this week. Pugh is "Day-to-Day" according to coaches, and he is still included in the ranks.
BAL - RT Patrick Mekari is doubtful with a high ankle sprain. Tyre Phillips played 100% of the snaps vs MIN and will likely get the start on Thursday Night against Miami.
CHI - Rookie RT Larry Borom played 100% of snaps, pushing Elijah Wilkinson to the swing tackle. In other-other news, rookie tackle Tevin Jenkins is nearing his return from abdomen surgery, perhaps a week or two away.
CIN - Swing tackle Hakeem Adeniji was given the right guard job for Jackson Carman. The change didn't seem to help much as the Bengals were outmatched by Cleveland. The team is on a Bye Week.
CLE - Contract news: The Browns extended both start guards Joel Bitonio and Wyatt Teller this week.
DAL - LT Tyron Smith (ankle) did not play last week against Denver, he did not practice this week, and is not in the rankings against Atlanta this week.
IND - RT Braden Smith (elbow/triceps) played 73% of snaps vs Jets (Matt Pryor replaced) Smith did not practice this week but he is included in the ranks. Of course this article wouldn't be complete without pointing out backup lineman Danny Pinter catching a touchdown on national television, the first "big-man-TD" of the year.
JAX - LT Cam Robinson was a late scratch with a back injury just prior to the upset win against Buffalo. Rookie Walker Little (2nd round pick from Stanford earned his first career start and played well. Robinson is included in this week's rankings, but it's good to know there are depth options.
KCC - With Mike Remmers injured last week, and Lucas Niang injured early in the contest, RT Andrew Wylie played the bulk of Week 9 snaps against Green Bay. One of Niang or Remmers should be available against Las Vegas.
MIA - Utility interior Greg Mancz was placed on injured reserve, the team signed Cameron Tom for depth.
NEP - RT Trent Brown returned to practice for the first time since his Week 1 calf injury. While Brown is not included in this week's rankings, his return (at potentially either tackle spot) would get the Patriots' line into the top ten of the rankings, perhaps higher.
|1||Green Bay||0||34.1||A+||A+||A+||5.0||LT David Bakhtiari (calf - in ranks) returns to lineup.|
|2||Indianapolis||0||33.9||A+||A+||A+||5.0||Monitor RT Braden Smith (triceps - still in ranks).|
|9||San Francisco||-6||31.9||A-||A||B+||4.6||RT Mike McGlinchey (quad) to season-ending IR. Tom Compton replaced.|
|11||Seattle||2||31.4||B+||B||A-||5.0||LG Damien Lewis (shoulder - in ranks) returns to lineup.|
|12||New England||-1||31.3||B+||A-||B||5.0||RT Trent Brown (calf - not in ranks) returns to practice.|
|13||Dallas||4||31.3||B+||B+||B-||5.0||LT Tyron Smith (ankle - not in ranks) Terrence Steele replaced.|
|14||Washington||11||31.1||B+||B||A-||4.6||RG Brandon Scherff and RT Sam Cosmi return to lineup.|
|15||Buffalo||-1||31.1||B+||A-||B||5.0||RT Spencer Brown (back - in ranks) returns to lineup, LG Jon Feliciano (calf) to IR, Ike Boettger replaced.|
|16||LA Chargers||-4||30.9||B||B||B||4.6||Right side cohesion downgrade.|
|17||Detroit||12||30.7||B||B-||B+||5.0||LT Taylor Decker returns to lineup, Penei Sewell to RT.|
|20||Tennessee||4||30.3||B-||B||C+||5.0||RG Nate Davis (concussion - in ranks) returns to lineup.|
|21||Baltimore||-6||30.1||B-||B||C+||5.0||RT Patrick Mekari (ankle - not in ranks), Tyre Phillips replaced.|
|22||Cincinnati||-3||30.0||B-||B||C+||4.8||RG Jackson Carman demoted for Hakeem Adeniji. BYE WEEK.|
|26||Minnesota||-3||29.7||C+||B-||C||5.0||C Garrett Bradbury (COVID - not in ranks), Mason Cole replaced.|
|28||Denver||-1||29.2||C||C-||C+||4.2||RT Bobby Massie (ankle - not in ranks), Calvin Anderson to replace. RG Graham Glasgow (ankle) to season-ending IR. Netane Muti or Quinn Meinerz to replace. Monitor LT Garett Bolles (ankle - in ranks).|
|30||NY Giants||1||28.3||C-||D+||C||4.8||BYE WEEK.|
|31||Carolina||-1||27.9||C-||C||D+||3.8||LT Cam Erving (calf) and C Matt Paradis (knee) to IR.|
|32||Houston||0||26.9||D+||D+||D+||4.0||C Justin Britt (knee) to IR, Jimmy Morrissey replaced. BYE WEEK.|