Week 5 NFL Injury Report: Who’s Playing, Who’s Out

October 10th, 2010 – by Jimmy

Heading into Week 5 of the NFL Schedule, there are some great games on the docket, however those game could be affected by injuries and players not playing. Without further ado, here are some key injuries to be aware of heading into week 5 action.

Andre Johnson, WR & Mario Williams, DE: Houston Texans – There is little doubt about the impact Andre Johnson is capable of making in a game, however heading into week 5 against the New York Giants, his status is once again uncertain. Johnson is ailing from a lingering ankle injury, one that caused him to miss last week’s game against the Oakland Raiders. His official status for week 5? Questionable (Playing). Johnson was able to participate in limited practice the last week but that doesn’t mean he’ll play. Texans’ head coach, Gary Kubiak, is calling Johnson’s status a “game time decision”, but by his comments, he feels much better about the prospect of Johnson taking the field this week. “He’s obviously much further along,” Kubiak said. “Last week at this time, I think we did not feel good about it. We were still hoping, but we feel much better from what we’ve seen from him this week. As long as there are no setbacks, I feel a lot better than I did last week.”

Should Johnson not be able to go this week, QB Matt Schaub and the Texans will likely depend on a heavy dose of Arian Foster. WRs Kevin Walter, David Anderson, and Dorin Dickerson would be the go to guys in the passing game. WR Jacoby Jones is officially listed as doubtful after missing practice this week with a calf injury. With the WR corps depleted, TE Owen Daniels might even see the ball a couple times and maybe even break into the endzone.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Texans’ #1 pick from the 2006 NFL draft, DE Mario Williams, is officially listed as Questionable (Playing) this week. During Thursday’s practice, Williams suffered a groin injury in what is officially being called a “sore groin.” While this news isn’t good, Williams doesn’t seem to be too concerned with it calling the injury a “little boo-boo.” So far this season, Williams has contributed 5 sacks and will surely be needed to apply pressure on Giants’ QB Eli Manning. If Williams presence can just reduce Manning’s time to throw by just a half of a second, it could have a big impact on this game. Williams seems confident he’ll play but if he isn’t able to go, the Texans have a multitude of good defenders including LB Brian Cushing who is now back in the lineup after missing 4 games due to the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

With two of their biggest names being listed as questionable, one would expect the Week 5 NFL Betting Odds to swing however that isn’t the case. Las Vegas oddsmakers initially opened this game with the Texans being favored by 3 points, and that hasn’t changed one bit. Furthermore, it is unlikely that line will change leading up to the 1pm EST scheduled kickoff.

Pierre Thomas, RB: New Orleans Saints – The defending champion New Orleans Saints will once again be without Pierre Thomas heading into their week 5 matchup with the Arizona Cardinals. Officially listed as Out, Thomas was a late scratch last week when the Saints took on the Carolina Panthers. Thomas, suffering from an ankle sprain, was ruled out for the second straight week by head coach Sean Payton after missing practice all of last week.

While Thomas isn’t necessarily a “game changer,” this isn’t good news. The Saints are already thin in the running backs department with the broken fibula of RB Reggie Bush (Out) keeping him from action, and RB Chris Ivory (Probable) suffering from a knee injury. Ivory is looking like the primary back heading into week 5 with RBs Ladell Betts and DeShawn Wynn backing him up. So far this season, Saints’ running backs have been less than spectacular so it is unlikely the news of Pierre Thomas being out would affect the game lines. If Drew Brees were out, that would be a completely different story.

As it stands now, the NFL Betting Odds indicate that the Saints are 6.5 to 7.5 point favorites against the struggling Arizona Cardinals. Again, with the lack of production from Saints’ RBs, oddsmakers aren’t likely to change their mind on this one leading up to the 4:05pm EST kickoff in Arizona.

Clinton Portis, RB: Washington Redskins – While this isn’t new news, you should know that Clinton Portis will be Out for the next 4 to 6 weeks with a pulled groin. Suffered in the game against Philadelphia last week, Portis said he felt a “pop” in the area and immediately left the game. “That’s disappointing,” Redskins’ head coach Mike Shanahan said, “that working so hard, playing so well, that he’s got that setback.” To call it a setback may be a bit of an understatement as some have speculated that this may be the end of Portis’ career. Groin injuries can be tough and often linger for weeks after a player has returned to the game.

With Portis out of the picture for the time being, RB Ryan Torain will become the Redskins’ “go to guy” in the backfield. Torain managed to put up decent numbers last week against the Eagles, 70 yards on 18 carries with a touchdown, and will be relied upon again to help relieve pressure that the Green Bay defense is sure to apply to QB Donovan McNabb. McNabb (Questionable) popped up on the injury report earlier this week with a thigh injury, however the betting man would wager that McNabb will play, and play the whole game unless something new arises.

Since it has been known that Portis would not play this week, or the next several weeks since early this week, oddsmakers at Bodog Sportsbook formulated their odds accordingly. As it stands currently, the Redskins are 2.5 point underdogs as they play host to the visiting Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers.

Side note: DT Albert Haynesworth will not play this Sunday. Haynesworth is attending a motorcycle rally for his fallen brother who died on Thursday in a motorcycle accident.

Darren McFadden, RB: Oakland Raiders – The Oakland Raiders announced on Friday that Darren McFadden would be Out against AFC West rival San Diego due to a sore hamstring. The injury sidelined McFadden the whole week and was unable to participate in practice with the team. This is terrible news for McFadden and the Oakland Raiders. McFadden was seemingly having his best professional season to date when this injury occurred. After 4 weeks, McFadden is among the leaders in terms of rushing yards, tied for 3rd place with 392 yards. Last season, McFadden was injury riddled and only managed to accumulate 357 yards, a far cry from what he has already accomplished through just 4 games this season.

With McFadden on the shelf, RB Michael Bush will get the start against the Chargers. So far this season, Bush has played in just two games and gotten just ten rushing attempts. He has done well with his limited carries, 10 rush for 53 yards (5.3 yard average, and will get his chance to shine this Sunday. Last season with McFadden out, Bush got the lion-share of the carries and managed to rack up 589 yards on 123 rushes good for a 4.8 yards per carry average. Those aren’t bad numbers considering the Raiders’ QB situation last season and defenses stacking the line against them. Behind Bush is RB Rock Cartwright who has no rushes and just 1 catch for 10 yards on the season.

This injury to McFadden is very unlikely to change the odds for this Week 5 NFL Matchup considering the shape of the rest of the team and the opponent. The San Diego Chargers have had Oakland’s number and oddsmakers know this. For that reason alone, the Chargers have been installed as 6 to 6.5 point favorites over the Oakland Raiders. Kickoff is slated for 4:15pm EST.

Michael Vick, QB: Philadelphia Eagles – If you didn’t see the shot that Vick took last week against the Redskins as he tried to break the plane of the goal, you missed a doozie. Vick got popped hard and got up wincing in pain. Vick left last week’s game and was replaced by QB Kevin Kolb who will once again take the reigns as the Eagles travel west to face the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday Night Football this week. Vick, Out, is suffering from a rib cartilage injury and it is uncertain when the explosive QB will be back on the field. After seeing the hit that Vick took, the body language and facial expressions exhibited, there was little doubt that Vick would miss some time.

Though the Eagles lost last week after Vick left, they should still be in good hands with Kevin Kolb. Kolb was initially announced as the Eagles’ starter this season however suffered a concussion during a week one game with the Green Bay Packers which left him sidelined. Essentially, Kolb had lost his job due to an injury, but one must admit that Vick’s outstanding play had something to do with it. Kolb has a chance to redeem himself as well as the Eagles which let QB Donovan McNabb go over the offseason in favor Kevin Kolb.

Though the 49ers are winless and in disarray, they are favored by 3 points to beat the Eagles. Philadelphia typically has a tough time traveling to the west coast as evidenced by losses to the Raiders and other west coast teams in the past. This should be an entertaining matchup between two teams which had high hopes going into the 2010 NFL Season.

Side Note: Other Eagles injured – CB Asante Samuel (Out-Concussion), WR Riley Cooper (Out-Concussion), RB LeSean McCoy (Questionable-Rib), G Nick Cole (Questionable-Knee), CB Jorrick Calvin (Probable-Shoulder), TE Brent Celek (Probable-Wrist), G Todd Herremans (Probable-Shoulder), T Austin Howard (Probable-Back), LB Akeem Jordan (Probable-Abdomen)

Darrelle Revis, CB: New York Jets – Since facing the New England Patriots and Randy Moss in week 2 of the season, the only person that has been on Revis Island has been Darrelle Revis himself. Revis who missed the following two games after the matchup with the Patriots is expected to be back on the field this Monday night as the Jets face the Minnesota Vikings and oddly enough WR Randy Moss. Officially listed as Probable, Revis was able to participate in full during the Jets’ Saturday practice, a sign which has Revis and the team optimistic.

Revis had missed the previous two games due to a hamstring injury suffered while covering Randy Moss in week 2. There is little doubt that Revis will play on Monday Night to once again face his “friend” Randy Moss. With Revis back in the lineup, DB Antonio Cromartie will be free to take the next best receiver. If the Jets’ can cover the Vikings wide receivers, Favre will inevitably have to hold the ball longer which will lead to more sacks for the vaunted Jets defense.

With the game taking place in the New Meadowlands Stadium and other key factors, oddsmakers have set the Jets as 4 to 4.5 point favorites heading into Monday Night Football against the Vikings. This line has the potential to change but it is most likely that it will hold steady unless major news breaks out of either camp.

Brett Favre, QB: Minnesota Vikings – Officially listed as Probable for Monday night’s game against his ex-team, the New York Jets, Favre will almost undoubtedly take the field in this pivotal game for the Vikings. Unless news comes down that Favre’s right elbow completely detached from his body, Favre will play. Currently, Favre holds the NFL’s “ironman” record with an astounding 288 consecutive starts. For a quarterback who has taken the pounding that Favre has taken in past to start 288 games in a row is amazing and is a testament to Favre being one tough s.o.b.

There is little cause for concern with Favre being on the injury report and one should not be hesitant if wanting to wager on the Vikings. NFL betting lines at Intertops Sportsbook currently have the Vikings listed as 4 point underdogs. The real cause for concern should be with CB Chris Cook (Out), C John Sullivan (Questionable), T Bryant McKinnie (Probable), and TE Visanthe Shiancoe (Probable). Sullivan and McKinnie are two of Favre’s primary blockers and Shiancoe has been Favre’s #1 receiver this year. Shiancoe is a valuable TE but Favre will have a new toy in the form of WR Randy Moss this week. This should be quite entertaining come 8:30pm EST on Monday night.

See more players on the NFL Injury Report

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