Baltimore up 9
Left tackle Ronnie Stanley practiced fully this week and appears to have overcome his most recent ankle injury. Stanley has been a notoriously tough player to predict, injury-wise, but the "full" designation is a sure sign that Stanley will start this weekend against Pittsburgh. His timing is good, as not only is this a key divisional matchup, but Stanley's usual replacement Patrick Mekari was forced from last week's game with a toe injury. Mekari has not practiced this week. Daniel Faalele replaced Mekari and played 37 snaps last week. But with Stanley back in action, Faalele can be the swing reserve this week. The Ravens' line grades out seventh in the current rankings.
Detroit up 2
After missing several games with an ankle injury, right guard Evan Brown returned to practice in a limited fashion. Assuming Brown returns to the lineup, Kayode Awosika (undrafted 2021 from Buffalo) can return to the bench and nurse his ankle injury. Although left tackle Taylor Decker (elbow) and center Frank Ragnow (foot) did not practice this week, both played 100 percent of the snaps last week. Ragnow has a pattern of missing practice to manage his toe injury, then showing up big time in the game. Assuming Brown is ready for this weekend's divisional matchup against Minnesota, the Lions' offensive line has their complete starting lineup. This high-flying offense owes a lot of its success to the players up front. They rank fourth in the current model.
New Orleans up 1
After center Erik McCoy (calf) went on injured reserve several weeks ago, there was speculation that right guard Cesar Ruiz would move back to his college position of center. The team started veteran backup Josh Andrews at first, but eventually, Ruiz refreshed his snapping skills, and he moved to center before last week's close loss against Tampa Bay on Monday Night Football. Besides nailing Josh Andrews to the bench, this move allowed Calvin Throckmorton, the guard they are grooming to take over for Andrus Peat, to start at right guard in Ruiz's spot. It's not an ideal set of circumstances by any means, but the shuffle gives the Saints' offensive line some upside in the last month of the season. The group ranks ninth, headed into their bye week.
Minnesota up 8
This big upgrade comes as left tackle Christian Darrisaw (concussion) returned to practice in a limited fashion. Although Darrisaw has not formally cleared the league's concussion protocol as of press time, all signs indicate his likely return this week at a vulnerable Detroit defensive front seven. The Vikings' offensive line has been a decent group all year, but Darrisaw raises the group to another level. Darrisaw's return sends Blake Brandel back to the swing role, boosting the Vikings' offensive line score to 17th in the current rankings.
LA Chargers up 10
There's a bunch of offensive line news coming out of Los Angeles this week, and most of it is good. Although right tackle Trey Pipkins (knee) is still not practicing, center Corey Linsley (concussion) has returned to action this week. Linsley's return before facing a demoralized Miami defensive front is huge news, as the Chargers' offense plays much more efficiently with Linsley at the pivot rather than Will Clapp. At right guard, rookie Zion Johnson hurt his shoulder last week, missed two snaps, then returned to the game. Assuming Linsley and Johnson are ready to go, and Foster Sarell gets another start for Pipkins, the Chargers' offensive line grades 18th in the latest rankings.
NY Giants up 6
After missing the team's Week 12 loss to Dallas, center Jon Feliciano returned to the lineup. With Josh Ezeudu (neck) and Shane Lemieux (toe) still not practicing, Nick Gates was able to slide over to left guard last week for the tie against Washington, sending Jack Anderson to the bench. Evan Neal's return to starting right tackle also greatly boosted their grade. This lineup isn't perfect, but it is shaping into a decent group, especially at tackle with Andrew Thomas and Neal. The Giants' offensive line grades 20th in the latest rankings, just before facing a red-hot Philadelphia Eagles defense at home.
LA Rams up 2
The Rams' lineup has been battered by injury all year, but they got some good news before last week's close loss against Seattle. Ty Nsekhe recovered from his knee injury and played 100 percent snaps at left tackle over A.J. Arcuri. Arcuri has the upside, but Nsekhe is an established veteran. At center, Brian Allen (knee) returned to the lineup, allowing Matt Skura to start at left guard over journeyman Oday Aboushi. The Rams' offense is reeling from the loss of quarterback Matthew Stafford, but the line is slightly better this week, 29th, before facing the Chargers on Thursday Night Football.
Green Bay down 14
Left tackle David Bakhtiari unexpectedly missed last week's game against Chicago with an appendectomy. Zach Tom took 100 percent of the snaps in his place, and the rookie played well. Although the Packers have a bye this week, the surgery requires recovery from 2-4 weeks. Bakhtiari is a top-tier left tackle, and this latest injury is through no fault of his own, but with Zach Tom replacing him adequately, the team might look at either a cut or restructure of Bakhtiari in the offseason. Without this player, the line drops to 21st in the latest rankings. We will check after the bye to see if Bakhtiari returns to health.
Washington down 1
Center Tyler Larsen suffered a knee cap dislocation last week in the tie against the New York Giants, and he is likely out for the season. The team is on a bye week, but this latest injury could be a career-ender for Larsen, who also suffered a major leg injury last season (Achillies). Veteran Nick Martin replaced Larsen and will likely get the call for the rest of the year. Wes Schweitzer has recently returned to health, and he could be an option at center, but Schweitzer was called to replace Sam Cosmi at right guard last week. Cosmi was slowed by an ankle injury and has been generally snake-bit all season. The Commanders line falls one slot to 19th overall in the latest grades.
Tampa Bay down 21
Right tackle Tristan Wirfs suffered ankle and knee injuries during overtime of Week 12's loss against Cleveland. Wirfs also missed last week's close win against New Orleans on Monday Night Football, and the Pro Bowler has not practiced this week. After playing 100 percent of the snaps in Week 13, swing tackle Josh Wells looks on track to get another start, the 22nd of his career. Wells is a decent substitute compared to others around the league, but make no mistake, it's a huge drop from Wirfs to his backup. The Buccaneers' offensive line plunges to 25th in the latest rankings just before facing a tough San Francisco defense on the road.
BUF - LT Dion Dawkins (ankle) has been limited in practice this week. Since it has only been about two weeks since his high ankle sprain, Dawkins will likely not be ready for NYJ and is not included in the model. David Quessenberry (ankle) would gut through another start for this week's home game.
CAR - LT Ikem Ekwonu (knee) has been limited in practice this week, but he played 100 percent of snaps two weeks ago and has had the bye week to get right. Ekwonu is included in this week's model against Seattle.
CHI - RT Alex Leatherwood played ten snaps last week against GBP, rotating with Riley Reiff. Leatherwood held up well in limited action and could be in line for a greater role after the Bears' bye week.
DEN - LG Dalton Risner has not practiced this week with shoulder and back injury designations. Risner played the entire game against BAL last week and is still in the model.
HOU - LG Justin McCray and Kenyon Green have settled into a rotation, splitting reps 50/50 each in last week's loss against CLE.
IND - RT Braden Smith missed last week's game against DAL with an illness, a surprise scratch. Smith was replaced by Dennis Kelly 48 snaps and Matt Pryor 24 snaps. The team is on a bye, and Smith should return to the lineup in Week 15.
KCC - LG Nick Allegretti started and played 100 percent of the snaps last week versus CIN. Joe Thuney (ankle) has practiced in full and is likely to return this week at Denver.
LVR - C Andre James is practicing in full despite having a quad injury. The team also put Lester Cotton on the IR. The Raiders grade out 28th, but that feels low given their current success. I wish there were a way to boost their rating just because, but unless Kolton Miller makes the Pro Bowl, this group stays in the lower tier of the rankings.
MIA - The Dolphins signed Eric Fisher for depth, with Terron Armstead (toe) and Austin Jackson (IR again) nowhere near the starting lineup. The last time we saw Fisher (2021 Colts), he was a good run blocker but had flaws in pass blocking. Look for Fisher to provide depth behind Greg Little and Brandon Shell. The team activated LG Liam Eichenberg to be "designated for return from IR," but Eichenberg seems at least another week away from the action.
NEP - RT Yodney Cajuste (calf) missed TNF last week, and Conor McDermott played 100 percent of snaps in his place. With 11 days of rest between the Bills game and MNF vs ARZ, Cajuste is included in this week's model.
NYJ - RT Max Mitchell was placed on the season-ending NFI list with blood clot issues. George Fant returned and played during last week's loss at Minnesota, but he has been out of practice with illness and knee designations. Fant is still in the model for this week against Buffalo, but should he not be able to go, Mike Remmers is the swing replacement. The team also signed Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, back from his stint as a doctor in the Canadian medical system.
PIT - RT Chukwuma Okorafor missed two snaps last week with a shoulder injury and return to the game to play 98 percent of snaps vs ATL. Even though he is not practicing this week, he is included in the model against Baltimore.
SEA - RT Abraham Lucas (elbow) played 100 percent of last week's snaps against LAR but has been limited in practice this week. Expect Lucas to be ready to play this weekend against Carolina.
SFO - RG Spencer Burford (ankle) missed the MIA game, and Daniel Brunskill took 100 percent of the snaps. This has been a rotation all year, so there has been no change to the grades.
TEN - RG Nate Davis (knee) is still limited in practice, but he played 100 percent of the snaps against PHI and is included in this week's rankings against Jacksonville.
|4||Detroit||6||2||34.25||A||A+||A-||5.0||RG Evan Brown (ankle) likely to return.|
|7||Baltimore||17||10||33.63||A-||A||B+||5.0||LT Ronnie Stanley (ankle) likely to return.|
|9||New Orleans||11||2||32.93||B+||B+||B+||4.8||BYE WEEK. Cesar Ruiz to C, Calvin Throckmorton to RG, Josh Andrews to bench.|
|12||New England||15||3||32.48||B+||A-||B||4.6||Assuming RT Yodny Cajuste (calf) plays on MNF.|
|13||Buffalo||13||0||32.35||B+||B||A-||4.6||Monitor LT Dion Dawkins (ankle - NOT IN RANKS).|
|16||Pittsburgh||19||3||31.88||B||B||B||5.0||Assuming RT Chukwuma Okorafor (shoulder) plays.|
|17||Minnesota||25||8||31.88||B||B+||B-||5.0||LT Christian Darrisaw (concussion) likely to return.|
|18||LA Chargers||28||10||31.75||B-||B||C+||5.0||C Corey Linsley (concussion) and RT Trey Pipkins (knee) likely to return.|
|19||Washington||18||-1||31.63||B-||B||C+||5.0||BYE WEEK. C Tyler Larsen (knee) likely out for season, Nick Martin to replace.|
|20||NY Giants||26||6||31.43||B-||B||C+||4.8||C Jon Feliciano returned, Nick Gates to LG, Jack Anderson to bench.|
|21||Green Bay||7||-14||31.25||B-||C+||B||5.0||BYE WEEK. LT David Bakhtiari (appendectomy) out, Zach Tom replaced.|
|25||Tampa Bay||4||-21||30.88||C+||B-||C||5.0||RT Tristan Wirfs (ankle, knee) unlikely to play, Josh Wells replaced.|
|29||LA Rams||31||2||30.53||C+||C+||C+||4.4||C Brian Allen returned, Ty Nsekhe over A.J. Arcuri at LT.|
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