NFL Week 6: Teams Whose Injuries Will Cost Them a Win
Injuries to skill position players who play huge roles in their team's success could be out this week.
While the official status of these players remains unclear, if any of the players are sidelined it will cost their respective team an all-important win in the NFL.
Here are some of the closest matchups that could hinge upon one skill player's injury status:
Philadelphia Eagles (at Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
The Philadelphia Eagles at 2-3 are not a great team, but their offense relies on having a mobile quarterback who can throw the ball. Nick Foles isn't that.
With Michael Vick's status listed as questionable with a hamstring injury, Foles will be expected to step up and run the same read option offense Vick was running under Chip Kelly. Despite Foles' lack of foot speed, Reuben Frank of CSN believes he will be able to fill in capably:
Here's a list of every QB that's ever thrown for 375 yards vs. the Bucs, 60% completion pct with 2+ TDs and 0 interceptions: Nick Foles.— Reuben Frank (@RoobCSN) October 10, 2013
The loss of Vick in the backfield from the outset may not seem like a huge loss with his poor play as of late, but against a top-10 defense in Tampa Bay in points per game and rushing yards per game, the Eagles will have to rely heavily on Foles' arm to carry them.
Detroit Lions (at Cleveland Browns)
Calvin Johnson has been a force no defender can handle when he's on the field for the Detroit Lions. The 6-foot-5, 239-pound receiver went off for a record 1,964 receiving yards last season to pace the Lions' receiving corps.
But when Johnson's knee injury cost him a start last weekend, it looked as though the situation might be more serious than originally anticipated. Now Johnson is listed as questionable again this week and CBS Detroit reports he might not be ready to go on Sunday:
With Nate Burleson still out with a forearm injury sustained during a single-car accident -- despite returning to practice this week in very limited fashion -- Johnson is the lone veteran receiver available for the Lions. Second-year wide receiver Ryan Broyles and third-year receiver Kris Durham, who have combined for 46 receptions in their careers, will be expected to step up in place of Johnson.
Never fear Lions fans, Brandon Pettigrew will be looking to help carry the load for Detroit, according to Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press:
In other news, Pettigrew just dropped another pass.
New England Patriots (vs. New Orleans Saints)
The question of the week: Will Rob Gronkowski start for the New England Patriots?
Which team is most in danger of losing without an injured player?
While that question seemed to be answered by reports earlier in the week that he was likely to play against the Saints, Tom Brady's favorite target looks like he might once again be on the shelf, according to ESPN.
Apart from having fantasy owners on the edge of their collective seats, Gronkowski's uncertain status for Sunday night could be the difference between the Patriots moving to 5-1 or the Saints remaining undefeated.
With Jimmy Graham on the other side of the ball, this matchup was being billed as the two best tight ends in the game facing off against one another. For now, it might be Graham celebrating in the end zone rather than fans seeing this:
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