|Arizona Cardinals||47929||LB||Ques Week 1 – Poss. Suspension||Mon, Jun 21||Collins is facing a potential suspension for an off-field incident, and it is undetermined if he will face the Chiefs in Week 1.|
|Atlanta Falcons||32557||T||Out Indefinitely – Undisclosed||Mon, Jun 21||Gono is recovering from offseason surgery to an unspecified location, and he will miss an extended period.|
|Buffalo Bills||29698||DE||Out Indefinitely – Achilles||Tue, Jun 22||Cox Jr. is recovering from offseason Achilles surgery, and there is no timetable for recovery.|
|Cincinnati Bengals||40125||G||Out Indefinitely – Pectoral||Wed, Jun 16||Adeniji will miss an extended period after undergoing surgery to repair a pectoral injury.|
|Dallas Cowboys||31394||CB||Elig Week 3 – Suspension||Sun, Jun 13||Robinson is serving a two-game suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. He is eligible to return in Week 3 versus the Eagles.|
|Detroit Lions||40784||DT||Elig Week 4 – Suspension||Sun, Jun 13||Cornell has been handed a three-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, and he is eligible to return against the Bears during Week 4.|
|Green Bay Packers||28055||QB||Out Indefinitely – Holdout||Thu, Jun 10||Rodgers is unsatisfied with his current situation with the Packers, and it is uncertain how long he will remain away from the team.|
|Green Bay Packers||55718||TE||Elig Week 3 – Suspension||Fri, Jun 11||Sternberger has been issued a two-game suspension by the NFL for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. He is expected to make his season debut Week 3 against the 49ers.|
|Houston Texans||28473||QB||Out Indefinitely – Personal||Thu, Jun 10||Watson is dealing with an alleged off-field legal matter, and it is unknown when he will return to the field.|
|Indianapolis Colts||29418||T||Ques Week 1 – Achilles||Sun, Jun 13||Fisher is on the mend from a torn Achilles, and it is unclear if he will be active against the Seahawks in Week 1.|
|Kansas City Chiefs||31627||G||Ques Week 1 – Leg||Fri, Jun 11||Long is dealing with a lower-leg injury, and it is unclear if he will make his season debut Week 1 versus the Browns.|
|Kansas City Chiefs||31173||DE||Ques Week 1 – Poss. Suspension||Mon, Jun 21||Clark is facing a potential suspension for an off-field incident, and it remains to be seen if he will face the Browns in Week 1.|
|Las Vegas Raiders||28156||DB||Elig Week 3 – Suspension||Sun, Jun 13||Lawson has been issued a two-game suspension by the NFL for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. He is eligible to return against the Steelers in Week 3.|
|Miami Dolphins||29368||CB||Out Indefinitely – Holdout||Tue, Jun 15||HOward is unsatisfied with his current contract with the Dolphins, and it is uncertain when he will rejoin the team.|
|New England Patriots||30182||CB||Out Indefinitely – Holdout||Sun, Jun 13||Gilmore is unsatisfied with his current situation with the Patriots, and it remains to be seen how long he will remain away from the team.|
|New Orleans Saints||28863||CB||Ques Week 1 – Poss. Suspension||Sun, Jun 13||Lattimore is facing a potential suspension for an off-field incident, and it remains to be seen if he will suit up against the Packers in Week 1.|
|New York Giants||33108||RB||Ques Week 1 – Knee||Thu, Jun 10||Barkley is working his way back from a torn ACL in his right knee as well as MCL and meniscus damage. It is uncertain if he will play Week 1 versus the Broncos.|
|San Francisco 49ers||33851||DB||Out For Season – Achilles||Wed, Jun 9||Moore sustained a season-ending torn Achilles tendon.|
|San Francisco 49ers||45875||T||Out For Season – Knee||Wed, Jun 16||Skule suffered a torn ACL and will miss the entire season.|
|San Francisco 49ers||30577||DE||Elig Week 8 – Suspension||Fri, Jun 18||Willis has been suspended for six games due to violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. He is expected to be ready for Week 8 versus the Bears.|
|Seattle Seahawks||31662||S||Out Indefinitely – Personal||Tue, Jun 15||Adams is away from the team while tending to a personal matter, and team officials have yet to provide an exact return date.|
If you are going to have success handicapping the NFL, you have to pay attention to the injury report on a consistent basis. A lot of amateurs make the mistake of focusing only on the injuries to star players and overlooking the guys who don’t receive a lot of attention from the media. Plus, they don’t know the point spread values assigned to the players that are missing.
It’s no secret that the most important position in regards to how an injury can impact a game is the quarterback, especially if we are talking about a top level signal caller. The elite NFL quarterbacks can be worth anywhere from 4-points to a touchdown on the spread. The thing to keep in mind, is that oddsmakers are almost always going to over-adjust the line in these circumstances, as few are willing to lay their hard earned money on a backup quarterback. So before you jump to fade a team that just lost their starting quarterback, keep in mind that you are betting into an inflated line.
It’s easy to pay attention to injuries to quarterbacks, as the media outlets are quick to bring these to our attention, but it’s not the only position that can have a huge impact on the outcome of a game. On the offensive side of the ball, injuries to wide receivers, tight ends and fullbacks are definitely ones that you want to focus on when it comes to the skill positions, while injuries to running backs aren’t all that important.
This is where a lot of people get in trouble, as it’s easy to over-react to a team that just lost a star running back. In reality it’s not all that important to the overall success of a team. Almost every NFL team has a capable backup running back who can quickly step in and put up similar numbers to that of the starter, but that’s not the case for wide receivers, tight ends and fullbacks.
If you think about it, it makes sense. A teams’ starting wide receivers spend countless hours forming chemistry and most importantly timing with the starting quarterback. Rarely do the backup wide outs get time with the starting unit in practice. When they get forced into action, the chemistry and timing simply isn’t there. An injury to a starting tight end can be even worse, as many times these are the guys that quarterbacks count on being open when under pressure. You might be asking why an injury to a fullback would matter all that much. The key thing to remember here is that few teams carry more than one fullback. If there’s not a capable backup, those formations that require a fullback may be thrown out of the game plan entirely.
It’s also worth noting that injuries to exterior offensive linemen (tackles) typically have a larger impact than that of interior offensive linemen (guards and center). This also makes sense, as it’s a lot easier for a quarterback to avoid pressure up the middle, than on the outside. Also, if the offensive line can’t set the edge on the outside, it will also hurt their ability to run the football.
As far as the defense is concerned, injuries on this side of the ball historically don’t have all that big of impact in the outcome of a game. In terms of importance, linebacker and safety are the two positions that you want to pay attention to, while injuries up front on the defensive line and at cornerback aren’t something you need to be overly concerned with.
While evidence suggests that some positions are more important than others, in order to take full advantage of the value that may or may not present itself when a team suffers an injury to a key player, you need to make sure to check the depth charts of the team in question. Some teams may have a more than capable backup at a key position, where an injury to a starter won’t hurt them. Others may not have adequate depth at some less important positions, where an injury could drastically reduce their chances of winning.