Indianapolis up 13
After missing last week's close loss to Las Vegas, left tackle Eric Fisher (shoulder/toe/knee) participated fully in practice this week. While Matt Pryor did an admirable job in Fisher's place, having Fisher (and right tackle Braden Smith) available represents a full-strength lineup. At this point in the year, not many teams can make the same claim. The 9-7 Colts need to win and will be playing at full motivation. Their offensive line grades out second this week before facing a vulnerable Jacksonville defensive front.
LA Rams up 15
Left tackle Andrew Whitworth missed Week 16 but returned for Week 17's one-point win at Baltimore. Whitworth was mic'ed up for the contest and while Joe Noteboom is a quality player, Whitworth is still a lockdown blocker. Similarly, center Brian Allen returned to health prior to last week's game. Having two starters return puts the LA Rams' in the top 10 in the rankings again. The Rams will be playing at full motivation, and their offensive line ranks third before this week's divisional matchup against San Francisco.
New Orleans up 24
This is a speculative upgrade, as right tackle Ryan Ramczyk (knee) returned to practice in a limited fashion. The Saints have legitimate postseason hopes (a win against Atlanta this week coupled with a San Francisco loss gets them in). This could provide extra motivation for Ramczyk to return to health. On the other side, left tackle Terron Armstead (knee - not in ranks) is still not practicing, and another James Hurst start seems likely. There is a big difference in this lineup when missing one tackle than when missing both. Assuming Ramczyk can go, the Saints' offensive line grade out seventh in the latest rankings.
Jacksonville up 5
This is a modest upgrade, as left guard Andrew Norwell was activated from the Covid list prior to last week's blowout loss against New England. Left tackle Cam Robinson and center Brandon Linder remain on the Covid list and therefore not in ranks, but one or both could return to health prior to this weekend's tough matchup against Indianapolis. This Jaguars' offense is deeply flawed at the moment, but their line should be slightly better (15th overall) headed into Week 18.
Chicago up 8
Veteran left tackle Jason Peters returned from an ankle injury and was able to play 100% of snaps during the win over the NY Giants. Peters' return allowed rookie Larry Borom to swap over to right tackle and put Germain Ifedi back on the bench. Peters (like Andrew Whitworth) is ancient by NFL age standards, but both can turn in gem performances on any given Sunday. The Bears have only pride on the line this weekend but their offensive line ranks 18th before facing a similarly unmotivated Minnesota defense.
NY Giants up 7
This is another note from the games with not much at stake. Still, right tackle Nate Solder's return from the Covid list was timely. With Matt Peart out for the year with an ACL tear, the Giants' depth was being tested. This offense is having serious quarterback issues at the moment, but their offensive line will be slightly less horrible this weekend (22nd overall) against Washington. The Football Team's head coach has said he will get younger players some reps, which could improve the matchup as the game progresses.
Houston up 1
Left tackle Tytus Howard was activated from the Covid list this week. Howard missed last weeks' loss at San Francisco. Howard's return puts Geron Christian back on the bench and moves the needle ever so slightly, boosting the Texans' offensive line out of dead last place. This group is looking to play spoiler against a Tennessee defensive front playing for the AFC #1 overall seed.
Philadelphia down 7
As of press time, centers Jason Kelce and Nate Herbig remain on the Covid list. Kelce was added two days before Herbig, and either of these players could clear protocol by Saturday against Dallas. Left guard Landon Dickerson is also missing practice with a thumb injury. As the Eagles' playoff chances do not change with a win or loss, expect the coaches to give starters time off. The Birds' offensive line should be elite for the playoff game, but this week, they only grade ninth in the current rankings.
Buffalo down 2
The good news is that left guard Ryan Bates has emerged as a run-blocking powerhouse. The bad news is that he is day-to-day with a knee injury, and may not be full strength against the NY Jets. While the Bills offensive line has options in Jon Feliciano and Cody Ford, the offense has performed noticeably worse with these players in the lineup instead of Bates. This group is still good, 10th overall in the rankings, but with Bates they can be dominant.
Seattle down 4
Left guard Damien Lewis was added to the Covid list and has not been practicing. Right guard Gabe Jackson also missed practice with a knee injury, center Ethan Pocic and right tackle Brandon Shell also missed practice with respective shoulder injuries. Phil Haynes, Jamarco Jones, and Jake Curhan could all get starts this weekend against a highly motivated Cardinals squad. This drops the Seahawks' offensive line to 16th in the latest rankings.
Denver down 4
Left guard Dalton Risner was placed on injured reserve this week with an elbow injury suffered early in last week's loss to the LA Chargers. Risner's injury is to the UCL and will not require surgery, which is good for his long-term prospects. Netane Muti will likely get a start in place of Risner in a tough matchup against Kansas City. Risner is the Broncos' best lineman, and they rank 17th without him.
Minnesota down 2
With left guard Ezra Cleveland and left tackle Christian Darrisaw late adds to the Covid list, and Wyatt Davis also missing practice with a non-Covid illness, the Vikings' offensive line could look very different this weekend against Chicago. Rashod Hill could get the start for Darrisaw and Oli Udoh would go for Davis and Cleveland at guard. The Vikings do not have much to play for this weekend and appear to be limping down the stretch. This group ranks 18th in the latest grades.
Tennessee down 3
Mixed news in Tennessee this week. Right guard Nate Davis was able to return to health prior to last week's convincing win over Miami. However left guard Rodger Saffold (shoulder - not in ranks) was injured in the contest and his status for Week 18 is questionable. Aaron Brewer, who has compiled almost a season's worth of starts in between Saffold and Davis' various injuries, will likely man left guard against Houston. The Titans' offensive line grades out 21st with the latest news.
Cincinnati down 2
With center Trey Hopkins and left guard Quinton Spain on the Covid list, and the Bengals as a team already clinching the AFC North, the starters may not see much time for this weekend's contest against Cleveland. Spain actually was forced from last week's win over Kansas City with an ankle injury, and Jackson Carman replaced. Look for Carman and the other depth players to see time this weekend. The starters are a decent group but the backup-Bengals rank 25th.
LA Chargers down 21
Center Corey Linsley started the game against Denver but was forced out in the first quarter with a back injury. The Chargers as a team are in a must-win situation against Las Vegas this week, and Linsley will obviously try to be ready to play. But assuming Scott Quessenberry gets the start, the drop-off between him and Linsley would drop this group down to the lower rankings, 28th overall. In other news, Trey Pipkins has a bounce-back game at right tackle in place of Storm Norton last week, but it's unclear if this form is just a mirage (his individual grade holds steady for now).
Pittsburgh down 4
Right guard Trai Turner (knee - not in ranks) and Dan Moore (ankle - not in ranks) were both forced from last week's Monday Night Football win over Cleveland. The Steelers as a team have an unlikely path to the playoffs but they will still be playing hard this weekend at Baltimore. Center Kendrick Green, who was benched for J.C. Hassenhauer at center was added to the Covid list. Tackle Zach Banner was activated from Covid list and could factor into some reps but look for Joe Haeg and possibly d Rashad Coward to benefit. Without two starters, the Steelers' offensive line grades at 29th.
Detroit down 15
Left tackle Taylor Decker and right tackle Penei Sewell were both added to the Covid list this week. While technically either of these players could test out of the protocol, the Lions do not have any playoff motivation this weekend against Green Bay and may opt to rest their starters. Matt Nelson and Will Holden would be the next men up, and with them in the lineup, the Lions' line would rank 32nd, dead last in the rankings.
ARZ - Last week LT D.J. Humphries was on the Covid list. Kelvin Beachum played well at LT, his old position from Pittsburgh days. Humphries is free from Covid and included in this week's ranks.
BAL - C Trystan Colon-Castillo started 100% of snaps for C Bradley Bozeman vs LAR. Bozeman (illness - in ranks) practiced in full and is included in the ranks against Pittsburgh.
CAR - With LT Cam Erving on IR, Brady Christensen has been given an audition at the spot.
DAL - LT Tyron Smith was added to the Covid list late in the week. Look for Terrence Steele to get another start against Philadelphia.
GBP - LT David Bakhtiari and C Josh Myers both (knee - limited) returned to practice but neither are included in the rankings. Dennis Kelly was on and off the Covid list.
KCC - Nick Allegretti played 90% of snaps last week after Lucas Niang knee (tore patellar tendon) went out. Andrew Wylie to RT. Mike Remmers from Covid but still on IR with a back injury. Orlando Brown (calf) practiced in full. It's alot of news but they still grade #1 this weekend.
NYJ - LT George Fant (knee) to IR. Chuma Edoga or Conor McDermott to replace. The Jets' line actually gets a boost in the rankings this weekend because Alijah Vera-Tucker and Laurent Duvernay-Tardiff both returned to health before Week 17.
SFO - LT Trent Williams has been missing practice with an elbow injury. Jaylon Moore would be the next man up but Williams will likely go all out for the 49ers this weekend who are fighting for the playoffs.
TBB - Backup guard Aaron Stinnie has returned to practice, as a designated return from IR. Stinnie could be a good depth option in the playoffs.
WFT - LG Ereck Flowers and RT Sam Cosmi were on and off the Covid list in the last week. This group would be due for an upgrade, were the coaches not treating this game like a preseason contest in terms of starting reps.
|2||Indianapolis||13||32.7||A+||A||A+||5.0||LT Eric Fisher and RT Braden Smith return to health.|
|3||San Francisco||0||32.5||A+||A+||A||5.0||Assuming LT Trent Williams (elbow - in ranks) plays Week 18.|
|6||LA Rams||15||32.1||A||A||A||5.0||LT Andrew Whitworth returned to health.|
|7||New Orleans||24||32.0||A||A||A||4.8||Assuming RT Ryan Ramcyzk (knee - in ranks) plays Week 18. LT Terron Armstead (knee, shoulder - not in ranks) James Hurst to replace.|
|9||Philadelphia||-7||31.8||A||A+||A-||4.4||LG Landon Dickerson (thumb - not in ranks), C Jason Kelce and C Nate Herbig on Covid list. Could rest starters.|
|10||Buffalo||-2||31.3||A-||A||B+||5.0||LG Ryan Bates (knee - not in ranks). Jon Feliciano to replace.|
|12||Dallas||-2||31.3||A-||A||B+||5.0||LT Tyron Smith (ankle - not in ranks), Terrence Steele to replace.|
|15||Jacksonville||5||30.5||B+||A-||B||4.2||LG Andrew Norwell returned to health. LT Cam Robinson and C Brandon Linder still on Covid List.|
|16||Seattle||-4||30.4||B+||A-||B||5.0||LG Damien Lewis (Covid - not in ranks), Phil Haynes or Kyle Fuller to replace. RT Brandon Shell (back - not in ranks), Jake Curhan to replace.|
|17||Denver||-4||30.4||B+||B||A-||5.0||LG Dalton Risner (elbow - not in ranks) to IR, Netane Muti to replace.|
|18||Minnesota||-2||30.3||B||B+||B-||4.4||LG Ezra Cleveland and LT Christian Darrisaw (Covid - not in ranks), Wyatt Davis and Rashod Hill to replace.|
|19||Chicago||8||30.3||B||B+||B-||5.0||LT Jason Peters returned to health.|
|21||Tennessee||-3||30.1||B-||B||C+||5.0||LG Rodger Saffold (shoulder - not in ranks), Aaron Brewer to replace. RG Nate Davis returned to health.|
|22||NY Giants||7||29.8||B-||B||C+||5.0||RT Nate Solder returned to health.|
|25||Cincinnati||-2||29.5||C+||B-||C||4.8||LG Quinton Spain (ankle- not in ranks), Jackson Carman to replace.|
|27||NY Jets||3||29.4||C||C-||C+||5.0||LT George Fant (knee - not in ranks) to IR, Chuma Edoga or Conor McDermott to replace.|
|28||LA Chargers||-21||29.2||C||C-||C+||5.0||C Corey Linsley (back - not in ranks). Scott Quessenberry to replace.|
|29||Pittsburgh||-4||29.2||C||C||C||4.6||LT Dan Moore (ankle - not in ranks) and RG Trai Turner (knee - not in ranks) could miss Week 18. Joe Haeg and Rashad Coward would replace.|
|31||Houston||1||28.5||C-||C-||D+||5.0||LT Tytus Howard returned to health.|
|32||Detroit||-15||28.2||D+||C-||D||5.0||LT Taylor Decker and RT Penei Sewell to Covid list, not in ranks. Matt Nelson and Will Holden to replace.|