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LA Rams up 8
With their Week 15 game moved to Tuesday, starting center Brian Allen (knee) was able to get healthy and start 100% of snaps in the win against Seattle. Right tackle Rob Havenstein was activated from the Covid list this week and looks to rejoin the lineup. Meanwhile, Joe Noteboom, Tremayne Anchrom, and Bobby Evans (who played 100% of right tackle snaps vs Seattle) are still on the Covid list. Overall, the Rams' offensive line is getting healthier at a point in the season where most squads are doing the opposite. They grade sixth overall in this week's rankings prior to facing an active Minnesota defensive front seven on the road.
Minnesota up 10
Left tackle Christian Darrisaw recovered from his ankle injury in time to play against Chicago on Monday Night Football. Darrisaw's return provided a boost to the running game and allowed Odi Udoh to move back to guard. Udoh got the week off but might be needed against the Rams this week as left guard Mason Cole has missed practice with an elbow injury. The model assumes Cole plays, but the Vikings have more depth than most teams at this point in the season. They rank ninth before facing a very good LA Rams pass rush.
Baltimore up 5
Rookie left guard Ben Cleveland returned from injured reserve and has played 100% of snaps in the last two games. Cleveland is a mauling run blocker and one of the strongest at his position, even as a rookie. At right tackle, the situation is murkier, as Tyre Phillips was forced from tight loss to Green Bay after only 23 snaps. David Sharpe replaced Phillips but Sharpe has been placed on the Covid list this week. Patrick Mekari has been practicing with a hand injury in a limited fashion and the model is trusting him to play this week at Cincinnati. In other news, Ja'Wuan James returned to practice two weeks ago, and the coaches have been coy about his status. James is not included in the model, but he is lurking out there as a possible starter. The Ravens' offensive line grades 12th in the current rankings.
Detroit up 9
Center Evan Brown returned to health prior to last week's surprise win against Arizona. While Brown is still a step down from Frank Ragnow (IR), the offense is far steadier under Brown than with Ryan McCollum starting. In other news, Tommy Kraemer played 100% of snaps at left guard for Jonah Jackson (back - in ranks). Jackson has returned to practice this week and is included in the rankings. Still, it was a positive showing for Kraemer, who could be a depth option down the line. Swing tackle Matt Nelson remains on the Covid list, but overall it is good news for the Lions' offensive line. They rank 14th before facing a vulnerable Atlanta defensive front.
Pittsburgh up 12
When other teams fall in the rankings (see below), sometimes a squad can get a massive upgrade just by remaining steady. This is the case in Pittsburgh where improved play from right tackle Chukuma Okorofor and left guard John LeGlue create an upgrade situation. The Steelers' offensive line has a tough matchup this week at Kansas City, but they have been improving all season. After replacing all five starters from last year, they currently rank 16th overall.
Indianapolis down 5
Backup center Danny Pinter replaced starter Ryan Kelly against the Patriots. Kelly's situation is listed as "not injury related - personal matter" but the Pro Bowl center is not with the team this week at practice this week. In other news, All Pro left guard Quenton Nelson did not practice on Wednesday with an illness. Nelson is included in the model as of Thursday morning, but he could be headed to the Covid list. Assuming Kelly is out and Nelson plays, it's only a five-slot downgrade. Without Nelson, the Colts' line would plummet out of the top-10.
Arizona down 6
Center Rodney Hudson missed the Detroit game with Covid. Max Garcia replaced him, and he is a decent backup, but Hudson is a key to the offense. Left guard Justin Pugh (calf) returned to play 100% of last week, and at right guard, Josh Jones (knee) also returned to the lineup. Still, assuming the Cardinals' line will be without their best player in Hudson, they fall to thirteenth overall prior to facing a tough Indianapolis defensive front.
Buffalo down 7
Left tackle Dion Dawkins missed the loss against Tampa Bay with Covid. The resulting shuffle moved Spencer Brown to left tackle, Daryl Williams to right tackle, and Cody Ford to right guard. Beyond the loss of Dawkins, Ford has been a vulnerability all season, better hidden on the bench. With Bobby Hart and Jon Feliciano also on the Covid list, the Bills are running out of depth options down the stretch. The Bills' offensive line grades 17th prior to facing a very difficult New England defensive front seven.
LA Chargers down 6
The good news is that rookie left tackle Rashawn Slater has been activated from the Covid list and should be ready for the game at Houston. The bad news is that All-Pro center Corey Linsley has been added to the Covid list. With Scott Quessenberry also on the Covid list, it's not clear if either will be available for this weekend's contest. This shouldn't be a long-term issue, but the Chargers' center situation looks very unsteady for Week 16. They rank 21st in the latest grades.
Washington down 7
Right guard Brandon Scherff missed last week's loss at Philadelphia with Covid. Saahdiq Charles started and played 100% of snaps for Scherff, but it's not an understatement to call Scherff the key to the line. With swing tackle Cornelius Lucas and center Tyler Larsen also on the list, look for Keith Ismael to get another start at the pivot. The Football Team's offensive line ranks 23rd and will be tested this week by a red-hot Dallas defensive pass rush.
Cleveland down 5
The Browns got healthy at guard, where right guard Wyatt Teller returned to health and played against Las Vegas. This week, backup Drew Forbes was also activated from the Covid list. The problem is at tackle, where Jedrick Wills and James Hudson are both still on the list. The Browns could shuffle the line, bumping Joel Bitonio out to left tackle for the game against Green Bay. More likely the coaches will turn to Blake Hance and Alex Taylor, the fourth and fifth string options. Without their starting tackles, Cleveland falls to 25th in the most recent rankings.
NY Jets down 2
Left guard Alijah Vera-Tucker was added to the Covid list this week, and his status appears to be in doubt prior to the game against Jacksonville. Dan Feeney would get the start for Vera-Tucker. Left tackle George Fant missed the loss against Miami with a knee injury, but he has returned to practice in a limited fashion. Assuming Fant can go, and the team won't have to play Conor McDermott, it's only a two-slot downgrade to 26th overall. But if Fant is out again, the group would rank last.
Tennessee down 7
Left tackle Taylor Lewan played 100% of the snaps against Pittsburgh but he did not practice this week with a back injury. The team has ruled Lewan and left guard Rodger Saffold (Covid - not in ranks) out prior to the Thursday Night Football game against San Francisco. Aaron Brewer would replace Saffold, but the bigger loss would be at tackle, where Ty Sambrailo would enter the lineup for Lewan. Without their starting left side, the Titans' offensive line falls to 29th overall.
Green Bay down 19
Coaches have given David Bakhtiari an "unloading" week-off, implying a possible setback in his rehab. Bakhtiari's return has been teased by coaches all season, but it's fair to rule him out until the postseason. With right tackle Billy Turner unavailable with a knee injury, the starters will be Yosh Nijman and Dennis Kelly against Cleveland this week. It's a might fall for Green Bay, checking it at 30th in the current rankings.
New Orleans down 19
Still without the starting tackles of Terron Armstead and Ryan Ramcyzk, James Hurst and Jordan Mills started last week's upset win over Tampa Bay on Sunday Night Football. The Saints have an extra day of rest this week prior to facing the Dolphins on Monday Night Football this week, but the model assumes Armstead and Ramcyzk will get another week of rest. In a week of tough calls, this is one of the toughest to make. The Saints rank 31st, assuming both starters are out. If even one of these players could return to health, this would be a mid-tier option.
Houston down 1
Right guard Justin McCray and left guard Lane Taylor were both added to the Covid list this week. Without the usual veteran starters, Max Scharping and Cole Toner would be the next players up. Toner is a journeyman and the coaches have tried to hide Scharping all season. The Texans grade out dead last, 32nd prior to facing an active LA Chargers' defensive front.
CAR - LT Cam Erving (calf - in ranks) practiced in a limited fashion. He is still in the ranks.
CHI - RT Larry Borom and Elijah Wilkinson returned to practice. LT Jason Peters is still out with an ankle
CIN - RT Riley Reiff was placed on injured reserve - Fred Johnson started vs DEN, but Isaiah Prince could get the start this weekend against BAL. At guard, Jackson Carman replaced Hakeem Adeniji (ankle - in ranks) due to injury. This would usually be a downgrade but the rankings are chaos this week.
DAL - LG Terence Steele 62% of snaps vs NYG (Ty Nsekhe finished). Either Steele or Nsekhe will be needed this week vs WFT as LT Tyron Smith is still out with an ankle injury.
JAX - LT Cam Robinson played 47% of snaps vs HOU (Walker Little replaced). Robinson (ankle - in ranks) had a full practice Wednesday and is included in the rankings prior to facing a dire NYJ defense.
KCC - RT Lucas Niang started TNF last week. Andrew Wylie (knee -in ranks) is also a possibility. RT Mike Remmers and backup tackle Kyle Long are both on the Covid list this week.
NYG - Matt Peart and Nate Solder split 1:1 at RT. Neither man is really winning this job.
PHI - LG Landon Dickerson was placed on the Covid list prior to the game against Washington. (Sua Opeta replaced). Andre Dillard and LeRaven Clark are also on the Covid list. The real news is at LT, where Jordan Mailata is nursing an ankle injury. The rankings assume Mailata plays this week, but without him they fall to the middle of the table.
SEA - RT Brandon Shell (Covid - not in ranks) is likely going to miss another week, leaving Jake Curhan to start. Curhan has actually played well for a prospect, but it's still a step down from Shell.
|2||Philadelphia||1||32.7||A+||A+||A||5.0||Assuming LT Jordan Mailata (ankle - in ranks) plays through injury.|
|6||LA Rams||8||32.1||A||A||A||5.0||C Brian Allen and RT Rob Havenstein returned to health.|
|7||Indianapolis||-5||31.7||A-||A-||A-||5.0||C Ryan Kelly (personal - not in ranks), Danny Pinter replaced. Monitor LG Quenton Nelson (illness - still in ranks).|
|8||Dallas||0||31.3||A-||A||B+||5.0||LT Tyron Smith (ankle - not in ranks), Terrence Steele replaced.|
|9||Minnesota||10||31.2||A-||A||B+||5.0||LT Christian Darrisaw returned to health (Odi Udoh to guard).|
|12||Baltimore||5||30.9||B+||A-||B||5.0||Assuming RT Patrick Mekari (hand - in ranks) plays. LG Ben Cleveland returned to health.|
|13||Arizona||-6||30.8||B||B-||B+||5.0||C Rodney Hudson (Covid - not in ranks), Max Garcia replaced.|
|14||Detroit||9||30.7||B||B-||B+||5.0||C Evan Brown returned to health (Ryan McCollum to bench).|
|16||Pittsburgh||12||30.0||B-||B-||B-||5.0||Cohesion upgrade - John Leglue and Chukuma Okorafor|
|17||Buffalo||-7||29.9||B-||B||C+||4.8||LT Dion Dawkins (Covid - not in ranks), Spencer Brown to LT, Daryl Williams to RT, Cody Ford to RG.|
|19||Cincinnati||2||29.7||C+||B-||C||5.0||RT Riley Reiff (ankle - not in ranks) placed on IR, Isaiah Prince or Fred Johnson to replace.|
|21||LA Chargers||-6||29.6||C||C+||C-||5.0||LT Rashawn Slater returns to health, C Corey Linsley (Covid - not in ranks), Scott Quessenberry to replace.|
|22||Seattle||3||29.5||C+||C+||C+||4.6||RT Brandon Shell (shoulder - not in ranks), Jake Curhan replaced.|
|23||Washington||-7||29.5||C||C-||C+||5.0||RG Brandon Scherff (Covid - not in ranks) Sahdiiq Charles to replace.|
|25||Cleveland||-5||29.4||C||C+||C-||4.4||LT Jedrick Wills and RT James Hudson (Covid - not in ranks), Blake Hance and Alex Taylor to replace.|
|26||NY Jets||-2||29.3||C||C+||C-||5.0||LG Alijah Vera-Tucker (Covid - not in ranks), Dan Feeney to replace. Assuming George Fant (knee - in ranks), returns to lineup.|
|27||Chicago||5||29.3||C||C+||C-||5.0||LT Jason Peters (ankle - not in ranks), RT Larry Borom and Elijah Wilkinson return to health.|
|29||Tennessee||-7||29.1||C-||C||D+||5.0||LG Rodger Saffold (Covid - not in ranks) and LT Taylor Lewan (back - not in ranks) ruled out for TNF, Aaron Brewer and Ty Sambrailo to replace.|
|30||Green Bay||-19||29.1||C-||C-||C-||5.0||LT David Bakhtiari (knee - not in ranks) likely out until postseason.|
|31||New Orleans||-19||28.5||D+||C-||D||4.8||LT Terron Armstead (knee, shoulder - not in ranks) and RT Ryan Ramcyzk (knee - not in ranks) still unavailable (James Hurst and Jordan Mills to replace).|
|32||Houston||-1||28.3||D+||C-||D||4.8||LG Lane Taylor and RG Justin McCray (Covid - not in ranks), Cole Toner and Max Scharping to replace.|