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Green Bay up 8
It finally happened, left tackle David Bakhtiari returned to action in Week 3, a big win on the road at Tampa Bay. The All-Pro split snaps 60/40 with Yosh Nijman and showed absolutely no rust. Bakhtiari missed most of last season with setbacks in his knee rehab, but his return to the lineup is huge news for the Packers' offense. Right tackle Elgton Jenkins has also been playing through his knee recovery. Both he and Bakhtiari are on reduced practice schedules during the week, but assuming this group is finally healthy, they grade third overall before hosting a vulnerable New England front seven.
Cincinnati up 15
What a difference a week makes. The last time I wrote this article, right tackle La'el Collins struggled with his chronic back injury, and the rebuilt line had not been playing well in Weeks 1 and 2. Collins did, in fact, play at New York, 100% of snaps. And more importantly, the other new free agents (Alex Cappa and Ted Karras) found their form in Week 3. A cynic would argue that playing the Jets will get anyone right, and they would have a point. But this is why the cohesion score was invented: teams that replace four of five starters take a few weeks to gel. A version of this story happens every season. With other teams losing players left and right (see below), the Bengals' new-look offensive line grades tenth before hosting Miami on Thursday Night Football.
Detroit up 6
After missing Week 2, center Frank Ragnow (toe) returned last week and played 100 percent of snaps in the close loss against Minnesota. Although the coaches have tried three different lineups in the first three weeks, the line has played extremely well through adversity. Of course, the return of Ragnow is positive news, and with him in the lineup, veteran Evan Brown subbed at right guard for Logan Stenberg. Dan Skipper has become a fan favorite at left guard while replacing Jonah Jackson (finger, still not practicing). This is an upgrade, but Ragnow's issue could be one to watch as it occurred on the same foot as last year. The Lions' line ranks 12th before hosting a shaky Seattle defensive unit.
New Orleans down 2
In the third quarter of last week's road loss at Carolina, left guard Andrus Peat was injured with a concussion. Peat has not practiced this week, and second-year player Calvin Throckmorton will likely get his 15th career start this week at Minnesota. Throckmorton is an unknown name to most casual fans, but the former defensive lineman from Oregon was a key utility piece last year as a rookie. This week's matchup is not great, but Throckmorton is decent and will likely start for Peat full-time when the veteran decides it's time to hang up the cleats. As Peat has missed so much time in recent seasons, and Throckmorton has experience subbing for him, it's only a small downgrade for the Saints' offensive line this week. They still rank in the top five.
Buffalo down 2
It was a rough outing for the Bills' offensive line last week. Center Mitch Morse missed the contest with an elbow injury, and right tackle Spencer Brown was forced from the contest with a heat-related illness. The good news is that both of those starters have returned to practice this week prior to the big game against Baltimore. The problem is at right guard, where Ryan Bates left the game with a concussion. Bates' replacement, Tommy Doyle, immediately tore his ACL, giving way to Greg Van Roten. The team signed Justin Murray to take Doyle's spot on the roster, but with Bates still in the league's protocol, look for Greg Van Roten to get the start. Left tackle Dion Dawkins has missed practice with a non-Covid illness, but he remains in the model. The change at right guard results in a two-spot downgrade for the Bills' line, but it feels more severe.
Washington down 2
The Commanders gave up 9 sacks in the divisional loss against Philadelphia last week. After the game, quarterback Carson Wentz said, "Any time there’s a number like that, that is not the O-line." While this statement holds great truth, the team also has various injuries. Center Wes Schweitzer played 100 percent of snaps but was diagnosed with a concussion after the game. Nick Martin will likely get the start against Dallas this week. Martin and Wentz have a little experience together, playing on the same exhibition team at the Senior Bowl several years ago. Left tackle Charles Leno has not practiced with a shoulder injury, while right tackle Sam Cosmi (knee) was forced from last week's game for 11 snaps (Cornelius Lucas replaced him). Both tackles are included in the model, but the team's third starting center in three weeks drops the Commanders' line to 18th overall, with the downside to be much lower should Leno and Cosmi's issues worsen.
Denver down 10
Right tackle Billy Turner has had a setback in his knee rehab and was inactive for Sunday Night Football. Cameron Fleming took 100 percent of snaps for Turner and will likely do it again this week for the divisional home game against Las Vegas. Dalton Risner has been playing through an ankle injury at left guard, and Graham Glasgow starts at right guard while Quinn Meinherz continues rehabbing his hamstring injury. This downgrade is mostly due to the drop-off between Turner and Fleming, as the guards all grade out pretty much the same. The Broncos' line clocks in at 22nd overall.
LA Chargers down 3
Rough news for the Chargers this week as the team placed All-Pro left tackle Rashawn Slater on season-ending injured reserve with a torn biceps. Storm Norton replaced Slater in the game last week but the team named sixth-round pick Jamaree Salyer as the starter this week. As a prospect, Salyer lacks ideal height and foot speed for left tackle, but he is a versatile player with big-game experience coming out of Georgia. At the risk of "scouting the helmet," an optimistic comparison could be another Isaiah Wynn type. This downgrade would be bigger if not for center Corey Linsley (knee) returning to practice. Linsley has been limited with a knee injury, but should get the start this week at Houston. The Chargers' offensive line ranks 24th.
NY Jets down 4
Left tackle George Fant (knee) was forced from last week's loss against Cincinnati. The team placed Fant on injured reserve this week, but his situation doesn't sound season-ending. Conor McDermott replaced Fant in the game and even though the team signed Cedric Ogbuehi from Houston's practice squad, look for McDermott to get the start this week at Pittsburgh. The team might not have to start McDermott for long, as Duane Brown is rumored to return from his injured reserve stint around Week 5. But counting Mekhi Becton, Fant and Brown, McDermott will be the team's fourth starting left tackle this year. The Jets' line falls to 30th overall.
San Francisco down 21
Left tackle Trent Williams suffered an ankle injury after playing 68 percent of snaps against Denver. Williams' exact injury is reported to be a "high-ankle sprain" and coaches have said he will be out for at least two weeks. These situations can linger, but on the other hand, Williams has shown terrific toughness throughout his career. Second-year player Jaylon Moore replaced Williams in the game but coaches have indicated that Colton McKivitz will sub for Williams this week. Daniel Brunskill is returning from his injury and could provide the coaches with other lineup options. But there's no easy way to replace Williams, the highest graded tackle in the model. Aaron Donald and the LA Rams' defense should be salivating before Monday Night Football, as the 49ers fall to 31st in the rankings.
ATL - LG Elijah Wilkinson was a surprise inactive last week as he was dealing with a personal matter. Colby Gossett played solidly in his place but look for Wilkinson to return this week.
BAL - LT Ronnie Stanley missed Week 3 but has practiced this week without restrictions. The timing is fortunate as Patrick Mekari suffered a low ankle sprain after only six snaps last week. Rookie Daniel Faalele saw his first NFL action and held up well for most of the game.
DAL - LG Matt Farniok played 50 snaps compared to Jason Peters' 14. This was a 78/22 split in terms of percentage. Look for Peters to increase those numbers as he plays his way into form.
KCC - RT Andrew Wylie missed two snaps with a hip injury last week. Prince Tega Wanogho took his place, but Wylie has been practicing this week and is still in the model.
LAR - RT Rob Havenstein missed three snaps last week but is included in the model for Monday Night Football.
LVR - The Raiders benched their guards last week. Alex Bars played left guard for John Simpson, and Jermaine Eluemunor played right guard for Lester Cotton. Eluemunor's swap allowed rookie Thayer Munford (seventh round, Ohio State) to get his first career start at RT. This change is all probably good long term and center Andre James will likely return from his concussion this week. But the lack of cohesion keeps this group last in the rankings for now.
MIA - RT Greg Little (finger) played 88 percent of snaps; Robert Hunt slid to right tackle in his place. Little is still in the model.
PHI - LG Landon Dickerson missed 11 snaps with a foot injury last week and has not practiced this week. Dickerson is in the model but should he miss the game, Sua Opeta would replace him (and the Eagles' grade would fall to third overall).
TBB - LT Brandon Walton played 100 percent of snaps last week for Donovan Smith. Smith has had limited practice this week but is included in the model.
TEN - LT Dennis Daley played in place of Taylor Lewan. They also signed LeRaven Clark from the Eagles' practice squad.
|3||Green Bay||11||8||34.88||A||A-||A+||5.0||LT David Bakhtiari (knee) returned Week 3.|
|5||New Orleans||3||-2||34.18||A||A||A||4.8||LG Andrus Peat (concussion), Calvin Throckmorton replaced.|
|7||Buffalo||5||-2||33.50||A-||B+||A||4.5||RG Ryan Bates (concussion), Greg Van Roten replaced.|
|10||Cincinnati||25||15||33.35||A-||A||B+||4.6||RT La'el Collins (back) returned Week 3.|
|11||Baltimore||9||-2||33.23||A-||A||B+||4.6||LT Ronnie Stanley projected to make debut Week 4 (STILL IN RANKS).|
|12||Detroit||18||6||33.05||B+||A-||B||4.8||C Frank Ragnow (toe) playing through injury.|
|13||Miami||15||2||32.43||B+||A-||B||4.8||Cohesion Upgrade, LT Terron Armstead (toe) playing through injury.|
|18||Washington||16||-2||31.65||B||B+||B-||4.4||C Wes Schweitzer likely out, C Nick Martin to replace.|
|22||Denver||12||-10||31.13||B-||C+||B||4.5||RT Billy Turner (knee), Cameron Fleming replaced.|
|24||LA Chargers||21||-3||30.65||C+||C||B-||4.4||LT Rashawn Slater (biceps) season-ending IR, Storm Norton replaced. C Corey Linsley projected to return.|
|30||NY Jets||26||-4||29.63||C-||C||D+||4.0||LT George Fant (knee) to IR. Conor McDermott replaced.|
|31||San Francisco||10||-21||29.00||C-||C||D+||4.0||LT Trent Williams (high-ankle) to miss at least two games, Colton McKivitz to replace.|
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