Week 10 of the NFL season continues on Sunday and we assume many of you are already beginning to look for trends that could eventually lead teams to the Super Bowl.
Even though it’s too early to know which teams will represent the NFC and AFC, it’s never too early to consider who the wise guys think is destined to win the game.
According to Betonline.ag, whoever the AFC team is in the Super Bowl will come in as a four-point favorite.
Of course, injuries have a way of disrupting things.
Steelers Confident Big Ben Can Play
If you haven’t noticed by now, COVID has had a major impact on the way NFL teams have prepared. And this week, the Pittsburgh Steelers have dealt with uncertainty concerning the availability of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Big Ben has been on the reserve/COVID-19 list all week and hasn’t been able to practice as the unbeaten Steelers prepare to play the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. However, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Friday he believes Roethlisberger will be available by game time.
For that to happen, Roethlisberger will have to continue to test negative and not develop symptoms. That would enable him to be taken off the COVID-19 list Saturday.
While he’s been away from the team, Roethlisberger has been in virtual team meetings. Just in case he can’t play – he’s also dealing with a sore knee dating back to last Sunday’s win against Dallas – both Mason Rudolph and Josh Dobbs have taken turns working out the first team.
McCaffrey Out Again For Panthers
Buoyed last week by his return after a six-week absence due to a high ankle sprain, the Carolina Panthers are now dealing with the fact Christian McCaffrey will not be able to play against Tampa Bay on Sunday,
McCaffrey suffered a shoulder injury at the end of last week’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs and the Panthers have already said that he will miss the game.
This is a tough loss for the Panthers (3-6), who are barely holding on in the NFC South. Against the Chiefs, McCaffrey carried 18 times for 69 yards and a touchdown and caught 10 passes for 82 yards and another touchdown.
Keep in mind, that McCaffrey hadn’t missed a game his first three seasons. In 2019, became the third player in league history to have 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in the same season and the team offered him a four-year, $64 million extension.
Allen’s Injury Forces Another Change At QB
The Washington Football Team is dealing with its third change at QB this season after starter Kyle Allen fractured his ankle during last week’s loss to the New York Giants.
After starting the season with Dwayne Haskins, the Football Team’s coach, Ron Rivera, switched to Allen, who often started for him when he was Carolina’s coach. Now with Allen on the sideline, Washington will turn to veteran Alex Smith.
It will be Smith’s first start since Nov. 18, 2018 when he suffered a grotesque broken fibula and tibia in his right leg. Smith missed the entire 2019 season while recovering. The injury to Allen also means Haskins, the former first-round draft pick, will be elevated to second string after a few weeks behind Allen and Smith on the depth chart.
Looks Like Luton Is Jacksonville’s New Starter
It’s beginning to look as if the Jacksonville Jaguars have decided to move forward with rookie QB Jake Luton, even after incumbent Gardner Minshew eventually recovers from his thumb injury.
Luton made a big impact his first start last week, throwing for 304 yards and one touchdown with one interception and running for another touchdown in the Jaguars’ 27-25 loss to the Houston Texans. Luton, a sixth-round pick in 2020, is the first rookie quarterback in franchise history to throw for 300 yards in his first start.
Jacksonville has become increasing concerned with Minshew’s performance. He originally injured himself on Oct. 11, but didn’t bother to tell the team until two weeks later after completing just 14-of-27 passes for 173 yards in a loss to the Chargers. He has completed 65.9 percent for 1,855 yards and 13 touchdowns with five interceptions this season.
Around The League
The Dolphins say LB Kyle Van Noy, DT Christian Wilkins will not play against the Chargers after being placed on the reserve COVID list on Thursday. They’ve already placed WR Preston Williams (foot) on IR. Meanwhile, the Chargers say RB Justin Jackson (knee) and DE Joey Bosa (concussion) are out. … RB Kenyan Drake (ankle) returned to practice this week and looks ready to return for the Arizona Cardinals against the Buffalo Bills. …The Jaguars will be without K Josh Lambo (hip) for at least three weeks. …Baltimore DL Calais Campbell (calf), who hadn’t missed a game since 2014, will likely miss a few weeks. …The Jets believe QB Sam Darnold (shoulder) will be ready to play again when the team returns from its bye. …Cleveland RB Nick Chubb (knee) returned to practice this week and is probable for the Browns game against Houston. But the Texans will likely be without RB David Johnson (concussion). …Cincinnati RB Joe Mixon (foot) is doubtful, but Ravens RB Mark Ingram (ankle) was back at practice on Friday and looks ready to return. …The Seahawks may again be without RBs Carlos Hyde (hamstring) and Chris Carson (foot). Seattle coach Pete Carroll said this week that Carson was farther along in his rehab than Hyde. …The 49ers could once again be without WR Deebo Samuel (hamstring) and RB Tevin Coleman (knee) when they travel to New Orleans. and RB Raheem Mostert (ankle) has already been ruled out. DB Jaquiski Tart (turf toe) will miss the remainder of the season. …Detroit’s stud WR Kenny Golladay (hip) is doubtful against the Football Team but Green Bay’s stellar LT David Bakhtiari (chest) is finally ready to play again after missing three weeks. WR Allen Lazard (core) is questionable. …RB Davonta Freeman (ankle) was placed on IR by the New York Giants on Friday. WR Sterling Shepard (toe/hip) has been limited in practice this week and is questionable. …Chicago RB David Montgomery (concussion) and New England DB Stephon Gilmore (knee) are doubtful.