When the NFL got rid of the “probable” label as an injury designation, it didn’t exactly have the intended effect. There is now a whole list of “questionable” players, and not so many “doubtful,” heading into this weekend, which makes it more difficult to determine who is actually ready and who isn’t. In some cases, the status might not change until a little before the game, making it even harder to know which way the scales will tip. This is going to have an impact on the lines.
The Arizona Cardinals put running back David Johnson on the questionable list on Wednesday at the same time it added running back Chase Edmonds to the doubtful list. They are nursing ankle and hamstring injuries, respectively, but it’s possible that Johnson gets back into the game.
Also listed as questionable were offensive tackle Justin Murray and defensive end Zach Allen. Murray is day-to-day as he recovers from a knee injury and Allen is still trying to work out a neck injury he’s been suffering since last month. Clinton McDonald, a powerful defensive tackle, will definitely be out after he was placed on the injured reserve list.
Matt Ryan practiced for a little today with the Atlanta Falcons and is still listed as questionable for the big game against the Saints as he gets his sprained ankle back into shape. He will be needed back under center for the Falcons on Sunday and will be valuable if the team expects to beat New Orleans. Cornerback Desmond Trufant hasn’t practiced this week and is still questionable for the game.
If the Carolina Panthers hope to advance, they need to do whatever they can to take Christian McCaffrey off the questionable list before Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers. He and Kyle Allen have developed a good rhythm, but McCaffrey’s knee injury is keeping him out of practice this week. The Panthers have six players who are questionable for the game, including their former starting quarterback Cam Newton, and, as of now, the Packers only have one, tight end Robert Tonyan.
The Indianapolis Colts are down a lot of key players, including quarterback Jacoby Brissett with a knee injury and wide receivers Parris Campbell and T.Y. Hilton. Brissett could make a return, but that call isn’t expected to be made until shortly before game time. The wide receivers, however, are down for the count and won’t be back for several weeks.
The Saints are back in the race for a Super Bowl appearance and they still need all the talent they can muster. This is why having running back Alvin Kamara and tight end Jared Cook on the field are important. They could both make it, but, if Kamara can’t for any reason, Latavius Murray will be there to fill his shoes.
The Kansas City Chiefs are down two offensive tackles and two defensive ends, with both of the latter category listed as questionable while the tackles are definitely out. This will hurt the team’s chances against the Tennessee Titans, but not as much as having to play without quarterback Patrick Mahomes. His ankle injury has kept him off the field for the past couple of weeks, but might be ready by Sunday.
How the Philadelphia Eagles can do without veteran receiver DeSean Jackson is in the air. He just went under the knife to repair a muscle injury and is now on injured reserve for the rest of the season. The Eagles are second in the NFC East and take on the New England Patriots on November 17. That should give the team plenty of time to develop a winning strategy.