Week 9 of the NFL season is here, but injuries will prevent some stars from joining their teams on the field.
Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen is facing a setback in his recovery from a hamstring injury following his team’s Week 8 bye.
Elsewhere in SoCal, Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp is set to play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, despite an ankle injury he suffered in last week’s game against the San Francisco 49ers.
A handful of backfields across the league will be thin this week, as running backs Jonathan Taylor and D’Andre Swift missed significant practice time this week.
James Conner and Chuba Hubbard were limited participants in practice for the Arizona Cardinals and Carolina Panthers, respectively.
Here are more Week 9 injury updates from our NFL Nation reporters:
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Patterson returned to training off injured reserve on Wednesday. Although he hasn’t been activated yet, Falcons coach Arthur Smith hasn’t ruled out Patterson’s availability for Sunday against the Chargers.
Patterson has taken part in all practices this week and seemed in good spirits, saying he was “90 per cent” on Wednesday after his first official practice with the club. If Patterson returns, the Falcons get back one of their most versatile players and best running back — he was averaging 5.9 yards per carry before his injury. If he doesn’t return, expect the Falcons to continue using a combination of Caleb Huntley and Tyler Allgeier in the backfield. If he is back, Huntley and Allgeier could still have roles, as Patterson is a player who can be used throughout an entire lineup to create lags for opposing defences.
Andrews missed his second straight day of practice, which means he tends not to play. He’s never missed a game through injury in his five-year career, but it might be smarter for Baltimore to hold him off. If Andrews sits out, he would get 24 days off between games (the Ravens would get a bye next week) and be healthier heading into the second half of the team’s schedule. Isaiah Likely would probably start in place of Andrews.
It looks like Edwards is a long way off Monday night after missing his second straight practice. If Edwards doesn’t play, the Ravens would rely on Kenyan Drake and Justice Hill against the Saints. Drake leads Baltimore running backs with 251 yards rushing this year, and Hill leads all Ravens RBs with an average of 6.4 yards per carry. It looks like a heavy game for Baltimore, which will be without Andrews at tight end and No. 1 wide receiver Rashod Bateman.
— Jamison Hensley
Poyer will miss his third game of the season with a left elbow injury he suffered late in the team’s win over the Green Bay Packers. He hasn’t practiced all week. With safety Micah Hyde (neck) out for the season, safeties Damar Hamlin and Jaquan Johnson are expected to start. In the games he played, Poyer was a key veteran in the high school, starting the year with four interceptions (tied for second in the NFL). Linebacker Matt Milano (slant) and right tackle Spencer Brown (ankle) are both questionable for the game against the Jets.
With Hubbard out for the second game in a row, look for D’Onta Foreman to get the bulk of the runs again. Foreman has rushed for 118 yards in each of the past two games, but his throws increased significantly last week against Atlanta with Hubbard out. He made 15 carries against Tampa Bay and 26 against the Falcons. Look for it again in the 20 range.
Wound: Shoulder and concussion, respectively
The availability of their most reliable receiver (Lazard) and most explosive receiver (Watson) could be a game-changer for the Packers’ struggling offense. Aaron Rodgers didn’t have Lazard (shoulder) last week against the Bills and lost Watson (concussion) in the first series. The two returned to training this week. Coach Matt LaFleur said Lazard will be a game-time decision, while Watson has yet another step to clear protocol.
— Rob Demovsky
Taylor battled injuries for weeks and is now struggling after hurting his ankle. He aggravated the previous injury in last week’s loss to Washington and will not play against New England. The question now is whether Taylor can make enough progress by sitting down on Sundays to regain his health, or whether he will have to get by for weeks.
Waller hasn’t played since suffering a hamstring injury after eight snaps in Kansas City on Oct. 10, and is officially listed as doubtful to play in Jacksonville after being restricted to practice all week. . “Nobody wants to play faster than Darren,” Raiders coach Josh McDaniels said. If Waller, who will test the leg before Sunday’s game in Jacksonville, can’t go, expect Foster Moreau to step in again. Moreau is coming off a career-high six catches against New Orleans last week.
— Paul Gutierrez
Wound: hamstrings and ankle, respectively
The Chargers will be without their top two wide receivers on Sunday, with Allen ruled out after suffering another setback in his recovery from a lingering hamstring injury and Williams struggling with a sprained ankle. To make matters more concerning, trusted backup DeAndre Carter is questionable due to illness.
Tomlinson doesn’t have a lot of prominence in the league, but he had a Pro Bowl-caliber season as a nose tackle in the Vikings’ new 3-4 scheme. The Vikings will rely on a number of substitutes on Sunday against Washington, from James Lynch to Khyiris Tonga to Ross Blacklock, in hopes of stopping the Commanders’ inside run game.
— Kevin Seifert
Harris, who is second on the team with 302 yards on 71 carries (4.3 average) and three touchdowns, did not participate in practices Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. It is officially listed as questionable. While Rhamondre Stevenson has taken over No. 1 duties, he can’t do it all, and that’s where Harris comes in as an important addition. If Harris doesn’t adapt on Sunday, the team has rookies Pierre Strong Jr. and Kevin Harris as backup options, with JJ Taylor on the practice squad.
With Michael Thomas now on IR, the latest wide receiver is Landry, who hasn’t played in a month after suffering an ankle injury. Landry returned to practice this week on a limited basis, so it remains to be seen if he can return against the Baltimore Ravens on Monday or if he needs more time to heal.
– Katherine Terrell
Davis will miss his second straight game, leaving QB Zach Wilson without his most reliable receiver against the Bills’ best defense. Once again, Davis will be replaced by Denzel Mims, with Garrett Wilson likely starting as the other outside receiver. The Jets expect Davis to return in Week 11 after their departure.
— Rich Cimini
Dotson will miss his fifth straight game with a hamstring injury. He didn’t train this week and only worked side-court on Friday. However, Washington coach Ron Rivera said the team hopes Dotson returns next week. Second-year receiver Dyami Brown will return after missing the last two games with a groin injury.
Holcomb was ruled out for a second straight game. The problem is that his replacement, David Mayo, won’t play either due to a hamstring injury. Washington, however, has veteran Jon Bostic to play alongside improving Jamin Davis. Washington also likes to use a five-man defensive line — which often looks like a 3-4 front — or use safety Kamren Curl in a big nickel role. Curl called defensive signals last week.
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