Philadelphia up 1
Heading into a key divisional matchup against Dallas on Sunday Night Football, left tackle Jordan Mailata (shoulder) has returned to practice and appears on track to play. Mailata missed a few games, and Jack Driscoll played decently in his place, but there's a clear difference when Mailata is on the field. The Eagles' running game should be firing on all cylinders this weekend. Granted, there are some minor injuries that must be mentioned: left guard Landon Dickerson missed a few snaps last week against Arizona with an ankle injury, and Sua Opeta replaced him. Jason Kelce missed three snaps and returned to the game, keeping the Cam Jurgens era from starting. Isaac Seumalo is also dealing with an ankle injury. But all those starters, plus Mailata, are in the model for Week 6. Assuming everyone goes, the Birds reclaim their top spot in the offensive line rankings.
Detroit up 5
Left guard Jonah Jackson returned and played 100 percent of snaps in the loss at New England. This allowed Evan Brown and Logan Stenberg to split reps at right guard 60:40. It's tough to upgrade a line one week after a 29-0 shellacking, but the rules of the model are designed to avoid recency bias. Several football cliches come to mind. It's good when the starter returns. Dome teams playing outside with wind are often erratic. Also, in the NFL, teams are never as bad as their last loss or as good as their last win. Last week's abomination aside, the Lions' offensive line has been one of the pleasant surprises of the early season. They rank seventh headed into their Week 6 bye.
NY Jets up 11
Left guard Duane Brown returned to health late in the week and played well against Miami, letting up only one pressure. His return allowed Alijah Vera-Tucker to move to right tackle. After playing left guard as a rookie, Vera-Tucker started at right guard this season, moved to left tackle two weeks ago, and played right tackle last week in the divisional win, the first such occasion for the Jets in three years. I'm not exactly a statistics computer over here but without looking it up, it's a historic sequence of versatility. With George Fant and Max Mitchell weeks away, look for Vera-Tucker to settle in at right tackle this week at Green Bay and perhaps longer term. The Jets' coaches believe in right guard Nate Herbig more than swing tackle Conor McDermott. The Jets' offensive line ranks 17th overall.
Arizona down 7
Center Rodney Hudson missed last week's home loss to Philadelphia with a knee injury and has not practiced this week. Sean Harlow got his second start of the season, his seventh overall, taking all snaps at center for Hudson. With Max Garcia also banged up, it appears to be Harlow's job in the short term. Hudson is an accomplished veteran, and this is a downgrade, but Harlow is an interesting player. He's 27 and the son of former Atlanta Falcons/USC tackle Pat Harlow. This week at Seattle is his opportunity to prove it on tape. Note that D.J. Humphries is nursing a hamstring but has practiced in a limited fashion. He's still in the model. The Cardinals' offensive line grades 24th overall.
Indianapolis down 19
Center Ryan Kelly only made it through 24 snaps before leaving last week's forgettable Thursday Night Football loss against Denver. Kelly has a hip injury and has not practiced in the game. Danny Pinter replaced Kelly and will likely do so again this week. In other news, the Colts tried out a new lineup last week, with Bernhard Raimann at left tackle, Matt Pryor at right tackle, and Braden Smith at right guard. The shuffled line played poorly, allowing six sacks of quarterback Matt Ryan. In his first career start, Raimann had four penalties, three holdings, and a false start. The model hates shuffles, and it was questionable for the coaches to make this change on short rest. The Colts offensive line falls to 26th this week when they host Jacksonville.
Denver down 5
Left tackle Garett Bolles suffered a season-ending leg injury late in the Thursday Night Football loss. Swing tackle Calvin Anderson (five career starts) stepped in for the final snaps, and the team will probably start Anderson this week on Monday Night Football against the Chargers. With Quinn Meinerz still out, the injuries have hit this Broncos' offensive line hard. There's still no sign of Billy Turner at right tackle. Despite Turner being active for the game, the team went with Cameron Fleming. Bolles wasn't the best starting tackle in football, but he was far from the worst. Anderson is a surprisingly decent prospect, but the Broncos' line still falls to 27th on the news.
Washington down 4
Right tackle Sam Cosmi missed last week's loss against Tennessee with a finger injury and has been ruled out of Thursday Night Football against Chicago. Cornelius Lucas replaced Cosmi last week and will provide replacement-grade service until the second-year player heals. Finger injuries usually can be played through, but the team probably wants to be careful with Cosmi, their best young lineman and the one with the most upside. In other news, Saahdiq Charles stopped the bleeding at right guard when the coaches named him the starter over Trai Turner. Charles is good in open space, an asset in the screen game, and getting to the second level. There's some hope, but the group falls to 28th without Cosmi.
Miami down 17
This is a tough call. Left tackle Terron Armstead has played through a toe injury all season, missing practice but going 100 percent on Sunday. Last week, Armstead was pulled in the first quarter when his toe injury flared, and he stayed in New York to visit a specialist after the game. Armstead is back in South Florida as the team prepares for Minnesota, and the coaches have praised Armstead for taking this step to get healthy. Armstead is notoriously tough but the whole sequence gives me a bad feeling. With Greg Little already at right tackle for the injured Austin Jackson, Brandon Shell played 60 snaps last week for Armstead, and Shell was often overwhelmed. If Armstead does make a miracle start this week, they grade closer to the middle of the pack. Without him, their grade drops to 30th.
ATL - LG Elijah Wilkinson has missed practice with a knee injury but played 100 percent of snaps vs TBB and is still in the model.
BAL - LT Ronnie Stanley and Patrick Mekari split reps 40/60. It's a normal ramp-up period for Stanley, who isn't practicing but told reporters he had no setback.
CIN - LT Jonah Williams dislocated his knee last week and only missed seven snaps. That is usually a multiple-week injury. Williams wins the tough-guy of the week award. He's still in the model and wearing a huge brace, but Hakeem Adeniji would be the sub if Williams can't go.
GBP - LT David Bakhtiari has been splitting reps 40/60 with Yosh Nijman. Both he and RT Elgton Jenkins are limited in practice but expect both to go against the NY Jets.
JAX - LG Ben Bartch was placed on IR, Tyler Shatley replaced Bartch in the game, and the team signed John Miller. This should be a downgrade but by some fluke of the rankings (Shatley's experience, other teams falling worse), the Jaguars ended up three spots. Don't ask me, I just work here.
KCC - RG Nick Allegretti replaced Trey Smith (pectoral) for all of last week's snaps against Las Vegas. Smith is practicing in full and is included in the rankings.
LAC - RT Trey Pipkins sprained his MCL last week, missed five snaps but returned, braced up. Storm Norton is the other option, but coaches say Pipkins will play through it.
LAR - RG David Edwards was placed on the injured reserve this week. Bobby Evans replaced Edwards in the game, and the team signed Matt Skura for depth. This probably should be a downgrade, but Evans has veteran experience and the Rams are already 31st.
NEP - C David Andrews was limited in practice this week but played all snaps last week against Detroit. The Patriots' offensive line had a great day and look every bit of their top-10 grade.
NOS - LG Andrus Peat returned last week and played 75 snaps in the high-scoring win against Seattle. This is good timing as Calvin Throckmorton is out with a hip injury.
SEA - RG Gabe Jackson was forced from last week's game with knee and hip injuries. Phil Haynes replaced Jackson and will likely get a few starts. By another fluke of the rankings, Seattle goes up 1 spot. While Jackson is the better player, Haynes has a lot of experience replacing him.
SFO - Still no sign of LT Trent Williams, not practicing with a high-ankle sprain. At right guard, Spencer Burford and Daniel Brunskill split reps until Aaron Banks hurt his knee. Banks is practicing in a limited fashion and is included in the model for this week against Atlanta.
|1||Philadelphia||2||1||36.38||A+||A+||A||5.0||LT Jordan Mailata likely to return Week 6.|
|7||Detroit||12||5||34.25||A-||A||B+||5.0||LG Jonah Jackson returned. BYE WEEK.|
|11||Cincinnati||10||-1||33.55||A-||A||B+||4.8||LT Jonah Williams playing through knee injury (STILL IN RANKS).|
|17||NY Jets||28||11||31.65||B||B+||B-||4.4||LT Duane Brown returned, Alijah Vera-Tucker to RT.|
|24||Arizona||17||-7||30.35||C+||B-||C||4.6||C Rodney Hudson (knee) out, Sean Harlow replaced.|
|26||Indianapolis||7||-19||30.05||C||C+||C-||3.8||C Ryan Kelly (hip) likely out, Danny Pinter replaced. Shuffle at LT, RG, RT.|
|27||Denver||22||-5||29.93||C||C-||C+||4.3||LT Garett Bolles (leg) on season-ending IR, Calvin Anderson replaced.|
|28||Washington||24||-4||29.90||C||C+||C-||4.4||RT Sam Cosmi (finger) out, Cornelius Lucas replaced.|
|30||Miami||13||-17||29.63||C-||C||D+||4.5||Assuming LT Terron Armstead (toe) cannot play, Brandon Shell replaced.|
|32||Las Vegas||32||0||28.98||C-||C-||C-||4.6||BYE WEEK.|
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