Green Bay up 4
Left tackle David Bakhtiari has reached the end of his three-week window and the team must activate him from the PUP list prior to this week's game against Kansas City. The Green Bay coaches say they know whether he will play but are not saying one way or the other. When teams play their cards close to the vest, that usually means they have something to hide. Uncertainty at quarterback aside, Bakhtiari is an All-Pro, the highest-paid lineman in football. His return from an Achilles tendon injury suffered in last year's playoff would allow another All-Pro, Elgton Jenkins, to return to his normal left guard position. This is speculative, but it all adds up to the top grade in the current rankings, heading into a road match-up against a leaky Kansas City defensive front.
Indianapolis up 2
Right tackle Braden Smith started and played 100% of the snaps last week against Tennessee. Smith had been out since Week 1 with multiple injuries to his foot and thumb. He grades as a "Pro Bowl Snub," one of the better right tackles in the league. Although All-Pro left guard Quenton Nelson is officially questionable for Thursday Night Football, Nelson has been practicing this week and is included in the ranks. At right guard, Chris Reed appears to have replaced Mark Glowinski, playing 95% of snaps against Glowinski's 5%. The coaching staff has found their ideal five-man lineup and the Colts' offensive line ranks 2nd prior to facing a surprisingly decent NY Jets defensive front on Thursday Night Football.
San Francisco up 10
Despite missing practice with an ankle injury, All-Pro left tackle Trent Williams ankle did in fact start and play 100% of snaps in the win over Chicago. Williams was his usual dominant self, and the offense benefits when he is in the game. Williams will probably miss practice with his ankle injury for the rest of the season, but he's one of those players who can just show up on Sunday and go. The 49ers' coaching staff expects him to do just that when the team hosts division rivals Arizona this Sunday. The Cardinals have an excellent defensive front, but it should be best-on-best as the 49ers' offensive line carries a top-3 grade.
Arizona up 13
This upgrade assumes Pro Bowl center Rodney Hudson, who has missed three games with rib injuries, will be activated from the injured reserve prior to facing the 49ers this Sunday. Should Hudson not make this game, Sean Harlow would likely get another start, as he did during last week's loss against Green Bay on Thursday Night Football. The coaches have expressed optimism Huston would play vs SF. Another, less exciting option is Max Garcia, in practice with a calf strain. With ten days off between games, the rankings are rolling the dice that Hudson will return, giving them a top-ten grade against a stout 49ers' defensive front.
Baltimore up 11
This upgrade depends on the return of right tackle Patrick Mekari to the lineup. Mekari suffered a high ankle sprain prior to the bye week, and Tyre Phillips had to see out the rest of the reps during the brutal road loss at Cincinnati. Should Mekari not be able to go, the team could start Phillips and elevate Cedric Ogbuehi from the practice squad, in which case an upgrade would become a downgrade and they would be ranked 25th prior to facing a decent Minnesota defensive front. Injured right tackle Ja'Wuan James is running in a straight line and should be ready by December. But in the meantime, this line grades in the middle of the pack.
Cleveland down 7
Right tackle Jack Conklin returned from his knee injury last week against Pittsburgh, only to be forced from the game again. Conklin has not been placed on the injured reserve, but coaches say he is out multiple weeks with a dislocated elbow. Super-sub Blake Hance will likely start going forward, with Kendall Lamm another possibility down the stretch. The Browns' offensive line still carries a top-ten grade headed into the 'Battle for Ohio' against Cincinnati this weekend.
Buffalo down 4
Left guard Jon Feliciano was forced from last week's game with a calf injury and is doubtful to play this week. With rookie right tackle Spencer Brown also out due to a back injury, right guard Daryl Williams moved back to his natural right tackle position. The lineup this week could be Williams at right tackle again with Ike Boettger at left guard and Cody Ford at right guard. Ford was a starter earlier in the season but had been benched for spotty pass protection. Ford will get a chance to regain the coach's trust this week, as the Bills' offensive line grades 14th prior to facing a vulnerable Jacksonville defensive front.
Dallas down 10
Left tackle Tyron Smith was forced from last week's win over Minnesota with an ankle injury. Team officials later clarified the exact injury as a bone spur, leaving him unlikely to play this week. Although Ty Nsekhe could get the start, the team also could find a way to get La'el Collins back into the mix, either by moving Terrence Steele to left tackle and giving Collins a start at Steele's right tackle spot or by just starting Collins for Smith straight up. The Cowboys' line has options, but without their best player, they fall to 17th in the current rankings.
Minnesota down 4
This is a downgrade based on the pass blocking shortcomings of rookie left tackle Christian Darrisaw. While Darrisaw is lively in the run game, even dominant at times, his pass protection is exceptionally raw by pro standards. Darrisaw is prone to leaning forward, and better defensive ends can beat him one-on-one, putting undue pressure on the quarterback. Minnesota ranks 19th this week prior to traveling to Baltimore to face a dangerous Baltimore defensive front coming off a bye week.
Tennessee down 6
Veteran right guard Nate Davis was forced from last week's win over Indianapolis with a head injury, and he is not practicing this week, due to inclusion in the league's concussion protocol. Rookie Dillon Radunz from North Dakota State replaced Davis last week and he appears to be on track to get the start this week at Los Angeles. Look for the rookie to be game-planned against by the Rams' defensive front, one of the league's best at getting interior pressure.
Washington down 16
Center Chase Roullier broke his leg last week against Denver and he has been placed on the injured reserve, likely ending his season. Journeyman backup Tyler Larsen played the remaining 60% of the snaps in the loss, and will likely start going forward. In related news, All-Pro right guard Brandon Scherff did not play last week against Denver, despite returning to practice. There was also uncertainty at right tackle, where Cornelius Lucas was a late scratch due to illness, leaving Saahdiq Charles to get his second career start. The Washington Football Team rank 25th headed into their much-needed bye week.
Denver down 10
Left tackle Garett Bolles has not been practicing due to an ankle injury and the coaches are preparing to start Calvin Anderson this weekend against Dallas. Anderson is an interesting finesse prospect, better at pass protection than run blocking, but he is incredibly raw, and this would be only his third career start. Assuming Bolles doesn't find his health in time, the Broncos' line ranks 27th in the current grades.
Teams on a BYE WEEK - DET Lions, SEA Seahawks, TB Buccaneers, WAS Football Team.
CAR - RG Trent Scott played 100% of snaps for John Miller (IR). Dennis Daley was the projected starter, but both carry similar grades.
CHI - RT Larry Borom played 100% of snaps against SFO. With an extra day of rest before MNF, RT Elijah Wilkinson (Covid list) should be able to regain his starting job.
HOU - C Justin Britt has been placed on the IR, Justin McCray replaced him last week and is likely to start going forward.
LAR - LT Andrew Whitworth got a rest week against Houston. He is expected to play this week against Tennessee.
NOS - LG Andrus Peat (torn pectoral) is going to have surgery, likely ending his season. James Hurst played 100% of snaps last week against TBB and will likely start going forward.
NYJ - LT George Fant has not been practicing with an ankle injury and he is officially questionable for Thursday Night Football at Indianapolis. Fant is included in the ranks. Chuma Edoga played 53% of snaps for Fant last week and could start if Fant can't go. In other-other news, the team acquired right guard Laurent Duvernay Tardiff from Kansas City. "LDT" is out for TNF but look for him to push Greg Van Roten as early as Week 10 at Buffalo.
PHI - Nate Herbig replaced Jack Driscoll at right guard during last week's drubbing of Detroit. Driscoll is limited in practice this week with a thumb injury. These players carry similar grades: Driscoll has better physical attributes but Herbig has more experience at RG.
|1||Green Bay||4||34.1||A+||A+||A+||5.0||LT David Bakhtiari (calf - in ranks) activated from PUP.|
|2||Indianapolis||2||33.9||A+||A+||A+||5.0||RT Braden Smith (foot-thumb) played 100% of snaps Week 8.|
|3||San Francisco||10||33.8||A||A+||A||5.0||LT Trent Williams (knee/elbow) played 100% of snaps Week 8.|
|4||New Orleans||-2||33.8||A||A+||A||4.8||LG Andrus Peat (pectoral) to IR - James Hurst replaced.|
|6||Tampa Bay||0||32.4||A||A||A||5.0||BYE WEEK|
|8||Cleveland||-7||32.1||A-||A||B+||4.8||RT Jack Conklin (elbow) to IR - Blake Hance replaced.|
|9||Arizona||13||31.9||A-||B+||A||5.0||C Rodney Hudson (ribs) designated to return from IR (in ranks for Week 9 vs SFO).|
|10||LA Rams||1||31.6||A-||A-||A-||5.0||Monitor LT Andrew Whitworth (knee - still in ranks). Joe Noteboom would replace.|
|13||Seattle||2||30.9||B+||B||A-||5.0||LG Damien Lewis (shoulder - not in ranks). BYE WEEK.|
|14||Buffalo||-4||30.9||B+||A-||B||4.8||LG Jon Feliciano (calf) and RT Spencer Brown (back) likely out at JAX. Daryl Williams to RT, Ike Boettger to LG and Cody Ford to RG.|
|15||Baltimore||11||30.6||C+||B-||C||5.0||Monitor RT Patrick Mekari (ankle - in ranks), Cedric Ogbuehi to replace.|
|17||Dallas||-10||30.4||B||B+||B-||5.0||LT Tyron Smith (ankle - not in ranks), Ty Nsekhe or La'el Collins to replace.|
|23||Minnesota||-4||29.7||B-||B||C+||5.0||LT Christian Darrisaw individual downgrade.|
|24||Tennessee||-6||29.7||B-||B||C+||4.6||RG Nate Davis (concussion - not in ranks), Dillon Radunz to replace.|
|25||Washington||-16||29.7||B-||C+||B||4.4||C Chase Roullier (leg fracture) to IR. Tyler Larsen replaced. BYE WEEK.|
|26||Chicago||1||29.3||C+||B-||C||5.0||RT Elijah Wilkinson (COVID) missed Week 7, Larry Borom would replace.|
|27||Denver||-10||29.1||C+||C||B-||4.6||LT Garett Bolles (ankle - not in ranks), Calvin Anderson to replace.|
|28||NY Jets||1||29.0||C||C+||C-||5.0||Monitor LT George Fant (ankle - in ranks). Chuma Edoga would replace.|