Indianapolis up 7
After missing three games, All-Pro left guard Quenton Nelson (ankle) was designated by the team to return from the injured reserve list. Nelson was officially limited in practice but the fact he was in practice at all is an extremely positive sign. Chris Reed, his replacement, is a solid veteran, but Nelson is a game-changer. He is the highest graded guard in the league, and arguably the best lineman in football regardless of position. With a road prime-time matchup on the slate for Sunday Night at San Francisco, all signs point to Nelson's return this week on national television. The Colts carry a top-4 grade in the latest rankings, with upside to improve further should right tackle Braden Smith (foot) regain his health.
New Orleans up 7
Coming off a bye week, center Erik McCoy (calf) told interviewers he's "mentally, physically, [and] emotionally" ready for the game. McCoy's return would send Calvin Throckmorton to the bench. This upgrade also includes the return of left tackle Terron Armstead (elbow), as both he and McCoy returned to practice without any injury designation. James Hurst has done a decent job in his place but New Orleans' starting lineup can dominate. They retake 1st overall before facing a vulnerable Seattle defensive front on MNF.
Philadelphia up 6
Right tackle Lane Johnson (depression, anxiety) returned to practice after taking time away from the team to deal with his mental issues. The coaches have been outwardly supportive of this player, with the head coach wearing Johnson's #65 on the bill of his hat while he was away. Johnson is not the perennial Pro Bowler he used to be but his return represents a significant upgrade, not just in talent level, but for the morale of the offense. His return allows Jordan Mailata to move back to left tackle and would send Andre Dillard to the bench. With the trade deadline approaching, Dillard could be valuable trade bait, as the former first-rounder is one of the few starting-caliber left tackles without a starting job. The Eagles' offensive line grades 7th this week just prior to a favorable matchup at Las Vegas.
Dallas up 2
After missing five games serving a suspension (that he contested in federal court) right tackle La'el Collins has been reinstated by the league. Terrence Steele has been excellent in his place, and it would not be surprising if the swing tackle took a few reps away from Collins, that's how well he's been playing. It's more likely Steele returns to his depth role. The team will need a replacement plan at left tackle, where Tyron Smith is battling through his eleventh season. Smith was forced from last week's game against New England briefly with a neck injury, he went to the locker room, then returned to the game. The line is ranked 8th this week but the team is currently on a bye.
New England up 9
The Patriots' offensive line is slowly returning to health. Michael Onwenu was able to return last week against Dallas, and he played 100% of snaps at right tackle. Onwenu is a versatile and rare player, an absolute draft-day steal where they selected him in the middle rounds. The news at left tackle is more nebulous as Isaiah Wynn started but only played 9 snaps against Dallas. Between his knee injury and the COVID list, Wynn has looked very shaky of late. Wynn is not listed on the injury report in any way but after last week's benching, Justin Herron might get the start against a surprisingly active NY Jets' defensive front seven. There are rumors that Trent Brown (calf) could play left tackle upon his return. Right guard Shaq Mason is officially questionable after missing two games with an abdomen injury, and while he is limited in practice, he is also not included in the ranks. Mason seems close to a return but these groin/hernia issues have a way of lingering. To summarize, Brown, Wynn, and Mason are all not in the lineup, and yet the Patriots' line checks in at 17th. This line has serious upside to improve down the stretch as players return to health and form. With injuries mounting around the league, Michael Onwenu's return is worth ten slots in the latest rankings.
Cleveland down 3
The Browns were missing both starting tackles last week, and and the team gave up five sacks last week against Arizona. With a short week before Thursday Night Football, the team could again be without Jack Conklin (knee). Both tackles aren't practicing but left tackle Jedrick Wills (ankle) is rumored to be getting the start. Wills has gutted out this injury for most of the year. James Hudson started in place of Conklin and will likely do so again. The once top-ranked line falls to 12th this week before hosting a tough Denver defensive front.
Carolina down 4
The left side remains a problem in Carolina. Left guard Pat Elfein (hamstring), was not activated from the injured reserve list yet with what coaches are calling a "minor setback" in his hamstring rehab. Last week Dennis Daley started against Minnesota but he was forced from the game in the first quarter with a rotator cuff injury in his shoulder. The team turned to Michael Jordan, who played 89% of snaps. Jordan was waived a few weeks ago, but the team resigned him when their third-string guard rookie Deonte Brown was sent to the injured reserve with a knee issue. Besides starting their fourth left guard of the season Cameron Erving was leaky at left tackle. Together the line gave up four sacks last week. This week Panthers travel to New York to face an underperforming Giants' defensive front seven. With the uncertainty at guard, the line ranks 26th.
Tennessee down 3
Left tackle Taylor Lewan was carted off the field Monday night against Baltimore. Lewan was diagnosed with a concussion and has not played this week. Kendall Lamm replaced Lewan in the game and will likely get the start this week at home against a somewhat weak Kansas City defensive front. While Lamm is a decent backup by league standards, Lewan wears the 'C' patch and sets the tone for this run-first group. Without their leader, the Titans' line falls to 28th overall.
NY Giants down 4
Left tackle Andrew Thomas suffered multiple injuries and was placed on injured reserve with problems in his right foot and left ankle. In his place, Nate Solder swaps over from the right side to his more natural left tackle position, and Matt Peart can regain his right tackle job. The team signed Korey Cunningham to the roster to be the swing man while Thomas heals. In other news, Matt Skura and Wes Martin have been splitting series for Ben Bredeson (hand) who could return this week against Carolina. Still, without their most talented lineman in Thomas, the Giants' line falls to 32nd overall.
Teams with Bye Weeks: BUF, DAL, JAX, LAC, MIN, PIT
ARZ - C Rodney Hudson (ribs - not in ranks) was placed on IR. Hudson's injury is not expected to be season-ending.
BAL - LT Ronnie Stanley's ankle had not been healing properly so the team put him IR with what will most likely be season-ending surgery. The team signed Brandon Knight from DAL waivers to take his place but Knight did not report. Instead, the team signed James Carpenter to Psquad. In other-other news, C Bradley Bozeman was rolled up upon in the win over LAC. He returned to the game but gave way to Trystan Colon when the game became a blow out. The team signed C Adam Redmond as further depth, but Bozeman should be fine.
CIN - RG Jackson Carman only played 23 snaps against DET. With D'Ante Smith to IR, Trey Hill replaced. Carman should play vs BAL.
DEN - LT Garett Bolles (knee) missed snaps vs LVR, limited in practice, expected to play Thursday against CLE (still in ranks).
GBP - LT David Bakhtiari (knee) returned to practice. This was Bakhtiari's first action in ten months. The Packers have three weeks to activate him from the PUP. In other-other news, C Josh Myers (knee) was forced from the game after only four snaps. Myers' injury is believed to be multi-week but not season-ending. Lucas Patrick again played well in his replacement - no change to the rankings.
HOU - LT Laremy Tunsil (not in ranks) underwent thumb surgery to repair his UCL and will miss about four weeks. In other-other news, C Justin McCray replaced C Justin Britt. There is almost no difference in the grade between these two players.
JAC - RG Ben Bartch (concussion) only played 36% of snaps last week in London. Will Richardson replaced him but the team is on a bye and Bartch will have an extra week to emerge from the league's concussion protocol.
KCC - RT Lucas Niang was benched for veteran Mike Remmers prior to the game against WFT. Remmers is going to start against TEN this week. He has cohesion from last year and there is no change to the rankings.
MIN - LT Christian Darrisaw played 100% snaps for Rashod Hill in the win over CAR. Darrisaw is a mauler in the run game, but like many rookies, somewhat vulnerable in pass protection. The job appears to be won by Darrisaw outright, and Hill returns to his swing tackle role.
PIT - LT Dan Moore was forced from last week's win over Seattle with a hip injury late in the game. Joe Haeg replaced Moore for the final 11 snaps. Moore is still in rankings as the team is on a bye.
SEA - Monitor the status of RG Damien Lewis (shoulder - still in ranks). Lewis was forced from loss vs PIT and Jamarco Jones took his place. With the extra day of practice before Monday, Lewis might be able to go this week against New Orleans.
SFO - LT Trent Williams (ankle, elbow) sat out of practice this week. Williams has been missing a day or two of practice almost every week, so he's still included in the ranks. But those with exposure to the SFO offense should monitor his status closely, as he is a difference-maker.
|1||New Orleans||7||34.2||A||A+||A-||5.0||LT Terron Armstead (elbow) and C Erik McCoy (calf) to return on MNF.|
|2||San Francisco||-1||33.8||A+||A+||A||5.0||Assuming LT Trent Williams (knee/elbow - still in ranks) plays Week 7.|
|4||Indianapolis||7||32.9||A+||A+||A||5.0||LG Quenton Nelson (ankle/knee) returned to practice. Braden Smith (foot) still injured (not in ranks), Matt Pryor replaced.|
|7||Philadelphia||6||32.2||A||A-||A+||4.8||RT Lane Johnson returned to team (personal issues), Jordan Mailata to LT|
|8||Dallas||2||32.2||A||A+||A-||5.0||RT La'el Collins returns from suspension - BYE WEEK.|
|11||Seattle||-4||31.4||A-||B+||A||5.0||Monitor Damien Lewis (shoulder - still in ranks) prior to MNF.|
|12||Cleveland||-3||31.2||B||B+||B-||4.4||RT Jack Conklin (knee) not in ranks. James Hudson replaced.|
|13||LA Chargers||2||30.9||B+||B+||B+||4.6||BYE WEEK|
|16||Denver||0||30.5||B||B-||B+||5.0||Monitor Garett Bolles (knee - still in ranks) prior to TNF.|
|17||New England||9||30.3||B||B+||B-||5.0||LG Mike Onwenu returned and played RT Week 6. Monitor RG Shaq Mason (abdomen - not in ranks) status.|
|19||Washington||1||30.2||B||B+||B-||4.8||RT Sam Cosmi (ankle) likely out Week 8, Cornelius Lucas replaced.|
|26||Carolina||-4||29.4||B-||B-||B-||4.6||LG Pat Elflein (hamstring) not in lineup, Michael Jordan replaced.|
|28||Tennessee||-3||29.1||C+||B-||C||4.8||LT Taylor Lewan (concussion) likely out Week 7, Kendall Lamm replaced.|
|31||Houston||1||28.7||C-||C-||C-||4.8||LT Laremy Tunsil (thumb) out multiple weeks, Geron Christian replaced. RT Marcus Cannon (back) to injured reserve, Charlie Heck replaced.|
|32||NY Giants||-4||28.3||C-||D+||C||4.6||LT Andrew Thomas (knee) to IR. Nate Solder to LT, Matt Peart to RT.|