Week 4 Friday Injury Report: Not All the Saints are Marching

Week 4 Friday Injury Report: Not All the Saints are Marching

This article is part of our Injury Analysis series.

This week isn't quite as messy as last when it comes to game-time decisions. That's the good news. The bad news is that a lot of good players have been ruled out, and some of the key GTDs are in the Sunday night game. Oh well.

Good to Go

    

Ruled Out/Doubtful

Friday morning brought good news for the Vikings and bad news for the Saints, who will be missing at least four starters this weekend. It'll be interesting to see who takes snaps in three-wide formations next to Chris Olave and Jarvis Landry; Marquez Callaway had been the No. 4 receiver, but Tre'Quan Smith had 100-plus yards last week off the bench

After what he did last week, Khalil Herbert arguably can be ranked higher than a healthy Montgomery would've been. Herbert is a better runner and doesn't have a talented backup behind him, though the Bears probably sacrifice something on pass plays with Herbert instead of Monty out there (the least of their problems in the passing game, of course)

Jamaal Williams, like Herbert, should be viewed as a strong RB2. But don't be shocked if Craig Reynolds gets a bunch of carries; he's quicker and more agile than Williams, plus he has a cool nickname ("Netflix").

This week isn't quite as messy as last when it comes to game-time decisions. That's the good news. The bad news is that a lot of good players have been ruled out, and some of the key GTDs are in the Sunday night game. Oh well.

Good to Go

    

Ruled Out/Doubtful

Friday morning brought good news for the Vikings and bad news for the Saints, who will be missing at least four starters this weekend. It'll be interesting to see who takes snaps in three-wide formations next to Chris Olave and Jarvis Landry; Marquez Callaway had been the No. 4 receiver, but Tre'Quan Smith had 100-plus yards last week off the bench

After what he did last week, Khalil Herbert arguably can be ranked higher than a healthy Montgomery would've been. Herbert is a better runner and doesn't have a talented backup behind him, though the Bears probably sacrifice something on pass plays with Herbert instead of Monty out there (the least of their problems in the passing game, of course)

Jamaal Williams, like Herbert, should be viewed as a strong RB2. But don't be shocked if Craig Reynolds gets a bunch of carries; he's quicker and more agile than Williams, plus he has a cool nickname ("Netflix"). The Lions are really banged up this week, while the Seahawks are flat-out terrible.

Brian Hoyer time.

It's 'no excuses' season for Darren Waller. I wouldn't bet against him.

Matt Damon says that fortune favors the bold, which probably means you should start Kenneth Gainwell this week (in 18-team leagues).

Key Defensive Players + Offensive Linemen

The Vikings are very healthy. The Saints... are not.

This one helps the Bears' chances of running the ball successfully, which is good because they throw it like a high school team (and about as often).

This is good news for Christian Kirk, whose teammates  (the Jones brothers) will go to battle with standout perimeter corners Darius Slay and James Bradberry. The Eagles do have safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, an experienced slot guy and noteworthy antagonist. Maybe he can get Kirk ejected if he can't cover him?

The Broncos have two starting O-linemen ruled out, plus LG Dalton RIsner (elbow) listed as questionable. Maxx Crosby should enjoy facing a backup RT, though Cameron Fleming doesn't lack for experience.

          

Listed as Questionable - Should Play

If the ankle injuries aren't a big factor, both are in a nice spot, facing a bad Seattle secondary with target hog Amon-Ra St. Brown out of the lineup. Of course, St. Brown gets so many targets because he's the only guy on the team who actually gets open. Still, I like Chark this week. He's not terrible, and he's been getting a lot of deep shots. One of those should connect against Seattle. It's also a great spot for Mr. Hockenson.

      

Truly Questionable

Davis reportedly suffered a small setback in practice this week but still seems more likely than not to play. If not, upgrade Isaiah McKenzie and Jamison Crowder, with the former likely seeing a bunch of snaps outside rather than merely splitting slot work with the latter.

Jones may not get the chance to build on his breakout performance last week. If that's the case, it's unclear whether Kendric Pryor, Tim Jones or Jamal Agnew would join Marvin Jones and Christian Kirk in three-wide sets. It might be a rotation, and the Jags would be wise to attack the middle of the field rather than the boundaries against Philadelphia.

McCaffrey arguably belongs in the 'should play' group above, but better safe than sorry. His only practice this week was a limited session Friday.

Brown was a late addition to the injury report, with the Cardinals attributing his limited participation Friday to both a foot injury and rest. That seemingly means it isn't serious, unlike Moore's hamstring injury. The Cards could really use Moore's help, even if it's limited snaps, especially now that A.J. Green (knee) is out (on top of DeAndre Hopkins being suspended and Antoine Wesley on IR).

He missed last week and now gets Brian HOyer under center if he returns to face a tough Green Bay defense. Then again, a broken offense could work in Meyers' favor in terms of volume.

Justin Watson would be a good play for DFS showdowns if MVS is out. Don't count on SKyy Moore getting involved, especially after his disastrous Week 3 on special teams.

My guess? Jones returns this week, Godwin next. But it really seems it could go any which way. Not ideal with the late kickoff Sunday night.

Key Defensive Players + O-Linemen

All three missed last week's loss to Miami, as did Micah Hyde (IR - neck) and DT Jordan Phillips (hamstring). Plus, the Bills' secondary depth took another hit with rookie corner Christian Benford getting hand surgery this week. It's impressive the Bills were able to hold the Dolphins offense in check last week while dealing with so many injuries. Just don't count on a repeat against Lamar Jackson.

DT Taven Bryan (hamstring) is ruled out, so there's a chance the Browns are missing three of their starting four defensive lineman against a Falcons offense that's run the ball quite well thus far.

The Rams arguably have their top three guys in the secondary (Jalen Ramsey, Nick Scott, Taylor Rapp), but there's not much depth behind them if more than one or two of the guys listed above can't go.

   

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jerry Donabedian
Jerry was a 2018 finalist for the FSWA's Player Notes Writer of the Year and DFS Writer of the Year awards. A Baltimore native, Jerry roots for the Ravens and watches "The Wire" in his spare time.
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