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New England up 8
Right tackle Trent Brown played only one series against Miami in the season opener before being forced out with a calf injury. Brown missed last week's dominant win over the New York Jets and in his place, Yasir Durant and Justin Herron split reps, both struggling in pass protection. Brown returned to practice in a limited fashion this week, and while this player has been a "gameday-active-gamble" over the course of his career, Brown appears likely to start this weekend at home against a struggling New Orleans defensive front. Brown's condition was described more as day-to-day when it first happened and had last week been a playoff game, he probably would have gutted it out. Having Brown available this week earns this Patriots' line a top-10 grade in the latest rankings.
Indianapolis up 2
Free-agent acquisition Eric Fisher saw his first game action last week, and played 73% of snaps in the loss to the LA Rams. Having Fisher in the lineup is a huge boost but the good feelings are tempered by the situation at right tackle, where Braden Smith (foot and thumb) missed last week's contest and is not practicing this week. Julien Davenport, who had been subbing in for Fisher, swapped sides to replace Smith. The foot sprain appears to be more serious than the thumb injury and could be another couple of weeks for this key starter. The rankings reflect an upgrade for Fisher, but assuming Smith is still unavailable, the Colts' line ranks sixth this week. When Smith returns to health, this line has top-5 potential.
Baltimore up 4
The tackle situation has been dicey of late, with Ronnie Stanley still not practicing due to an ankle injury. This has forced Alejandro Villanueva to swap sides, and Patrick Mekari to play right tackle. The tackles have done just enough to survive but this upgrade is mainly due to the play at left guard, where the coaches gave Ben Powers and Ben Cleveland roughly split snaps in the Sunday Night win over Kansas City. The impressive part was Ben Cleveland's run blocking, as the 360-pound player was just tossing bodies around at the end of the game. The coaches have always wanted the rookie Cleveland to win this job, and an interior trio of him, Bradley Bozeman, and Kevin Zeitler have the potential to upgrade the Ravens' running attack. Look for the snap count to skew in favor of the rookie when the Ravens visit a vulnerable Detroit defensive front in Week 3.
Philadelphia down 7
Right guard Brandon Brooks was forced from last week's home loss to San Francisco with a partially torn pectoral muscle. The team turned to rookie Landon Dickerson to play the remainder of the game's 33 offensive snaps. Brooks was placed on injured reserve this week, and while he could come back later in the year, Brooks' time in Philadelphia could be at an end. The team has also Nate Herbig waiting in the wings, but Dickerson has the physical upside. Dickerson has the physical upside of a right tackle prospect, but his experience lends him more toward center or guard. The Eagles' line is still grading within the top-10 and even without Brooks, they have a favorable matchup this Monday Night against a battered Dallas Cowboys defensive front.
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