Week 10 started and ended with home underdogs coming out as winners in primetime.
However, in between multiple teams suffered major injuries while other got key players back just in time for the second half of the season. Here are the biggest issues facing every team as we look forward to Week 11:
The Cardinals had to finish Sunday’s game with their third-string quarterback after Colt McCoy sat down with a pec strain. Kyler Murray was inactive for the second-straight week after suffering an ankle injury.
If Murray is inactive for a third-straight week, it will be McCoy under center again as he isn’t expected to miss any time with his injury.
Oh, and the Cardinals third-string quarterback is Chris Streveler, a former backup and gadget player for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
The Falcons will play on Thursday this week and Cordarrelle Patterson’s status will be worth monitoring after he was limited in Monday’s estimated practice report due to a sprained ankle.
Patterson played a season-low 15 snaps against the Cowboys this week and has struggled as a rusher recently, averaging just 3.2 yards per carry in his last three games.
Former Giant Wayne Gallman could get the start on Thursday if Patterson doesn’t play. Gallman had 15 carries on Sunday, 11 more than Mike Davis.
Baltimore was upset by the Dolphins on Thursday night last week and thing didn’t get much better over the weekend. John Harbaugh told reporters Derek Wolfe is likely to be on the IR for the remainder of the season.
Wolfe is the seventh key Raven to be ruled out for the rest of 2021. But even in his absence, the Ravens have pressured opposing quarterbacks at the highest rate in the NFL.
The interior of the Bills’ defensive line was decimated this weekend with Star Lotulelei being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list and Justin Zimmer moving to the season-ending Injured Reserve.
With Lotulelei still out, the Bills added Eli Ankou to the practice squad. Ankou spent time with Buffalo during training camp before moving on to Tennessee.
However, Ed Oliver and Harrison Phillips are both still healthy after making the start against the Jets. Oliver was a menace, producing three quarterback hits.
Stephon Gilmore played through a dislocated finger on Sunday against the Cardinals. However, Gilmore played just 13 snaps in the blowout win. Keith Taylor and C.J. Henderson split time at corner, with only Henderson surrendering a completion.
Sam Darnold is expected to miss the rest of the season even though the recovery time of his injury is only estimated to be about 4-6 weeks. The Panthers are planning to roll with Cam Newton (and P.J. Walker) at quarterback for the rest of 2021.
There’s a lot of hope in Chicago after their bye week. Matt Nagy told reporters he’s “hopeful” both Khalil Mack and Eddie Jackson will be available for the Bears in Week 11.
Mack has been out since Week 7 due to a foot injury and Jackson hasn’t played since injuring his hamstring in Week 8.
The Bengals were also resting this week, although both Mitchell Wilcox and Markus Bailey landed on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Baker Mayfield missed the second half of the Browns’ blowout loss on Sunday after suffering a knee injury. He’s considered “day-to-day,” although Kevin Stefanski is feeling good about the status of his quarterback.
The Browns were also without running backs Nick Chubb and Demetric Felton, who have missed two straight games due to COVID-19. D’Ernest Johnson made the most of their absence, gaining 157 yards from scrimmage.
Wide receiver CeeDee Lamb is expected to be fine after injuring his arm on Sunday. The Cowboys’ receiving corps also got Michael Gallup back from the IR on Sunday. He contributed three catches for 42 yards on five targets.
The Cowboys travel to Kansas City next week to face a defense that ranks 30th in the NFL in net yards per pass attempt allowed, but has allowed just 38 points in their last three games.
The Broncos struggled to protect Teddy Bridgewater on Sunday with three starting offensive linemen sidelined. Graham Glasgow is on the IR and Bobby Massie and Garett Bolles were both inactive.
While the replacements weren’t credited with allowing a sack, the Eagles did sack Bridgewater once and pressure him on 15 of his 37 dropbacks.
Jared Goff suffered an oblique injury against the Steelers, but didn’t miss a snap and expects to keep playing. Whether or not that is a positive for the Lions can remain up for debate. Goff ranks ahead of just Davis Mills and Zach Wilson in EPA this year.
The Rams placed kicker Austin Seibert on the IR on Saturday, paving the way for Ryan Santoso to take over for the immediate future. Santoso has never made a field goal longer than 35 yards in his career.
Green Bay Packers
Whitney Mercilus is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his biceps against the Seahawks. The Packers have also been without Za’Darius Smith since he underwent back surgery following Week 1.
Green Bay also lost Aaron Jones, but his sprained MCL will only sideline him for a couple weeks. A.J. Dillon got 21 carries against Seattle and scored a pair of touchdowns. He’s averaged 4.3 yards per carry this season.
The Texans were off this week, but Laremy Tunsil did get the cast removed from his injured thumb. However, the left tackle is still on the IR.
With Tunsil still sidelined, Geron Christian will remain at left tackle. He hasn’t allowed a sack in four starts this season.
Xavier Rhodes was inactive on Sunday against Jacksonville and his replacement, Isaiah Rodgers, was also unable to finish the game due to cramping.
Even if Rhodes heals up, Rodgers might continue to start over him. The second-year corner has allowed a passer rating of 63.1 when targeted this season, nearly 50 points lower than Rhodes’s mark.
Brandon Linder returned to the practice field this week and could return to game action soon. The starting center has been out since Week 5 due to an ankle injury.
James Robinson did return to action after missing just one game due to a heel injury. He played just 59 percent of the Jaguars offensive snaps against the Colts, but did get 12 carries and five targets in the passing game.
Kansas City Chiefs
Just about everything went well for Kansas City on Sunday night and the good news keeps coming as Andy Reid told reporters Clyde Edwards-Helaire has a chance to return as soon as this week.
The second-year back hasn’t played since Week 5 and the Chiefs haven’t rushed for over 109 yards since. Replacement Darrel Williams has only averaged 3.6 yards per carry this season.
The Chiefs did finish the blowout win without both Willie Gay and Charvarius Ward after both defenders suffered stomach illnesses mid-game.
Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders lost fullback Alec Ingold for the season after he tore his ACL against the Chiefs on Sunday night. Backup running back Jalen Richard was also banged up on Sunday, but his rib injury isn’t expected to be a long-term issue.
To replace Ingold, the Raiders signed Sutton Smith to their practice squad. Smith was a sixth-round pick by the Steelers in 2019, but he hasn’t played in a regular season game yet.
In college, Smith played defensive end for Northern Illinois, recording 15.0 sacks in his senior season.
Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers defense struggled to stop Kirk Cousins on Sunday with both Nasir Adderley and Michael Davis inactive.
Cornerback Tevaughn Campbell was eaten alive by Just Jefferson, allowing five completions for 100 yards. In total, Jefferson torched the Chargers’ secondary for 9 catches and 143 yards on 11 targets.
Davis is expected to return to practice this week, but his availability for Week 11 remains unknown.
Los Angeles Rams
Darrell Henderson was third on the Rams in targets on Monday night despite missing some time to be evaluated for a concussion. However, the running back returned after a short absence.
Von Miller and Odell Beckham Jr. both made debuts for the team. Miller has healed up from an ankle injury and Beckham was a fill-in for Robert Woods, who tore his ACL.
Miller contributed a tackle for loss and Beckham had two catches for 18 yards in a very limited role.
Safety Jason McCourty will miss the rest of the season due to a foot injury, according to Brian Flores. The veteran has been out since Week 7 and Jevon Holland has been his replacement.
The rookie second-round pick has performed well in coverage the last two weeks, allowing just one completion and also intercepting a pass.
Also, Tua Tagovailoa is expected to start in Week 11 after playing the second half of the Dolphins win over the Ravens. He is still dealing with a fracture finger on his left hand, but managed to complete eight of his 13 pass attempts on Thursday night.
The Vikings were without Harrison Smith for the second-straight week after he was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Due to his unvaccinated status, Smith was forced to miss at least 10 days. He will be eligible to return early this week.
Smith isn’t the only Viking to test positive recently, with Garrett Bradbury and Ryan Connelly both ending up on the COVID-19 list as well. Provided they are both asymptomatic, everyone should be eligible to return this week.
New England Patriots
The Patriots have the honor of playing on Thursday Night Football this week after their blowout win over the Browns. Most notably, Damien Harris was listed as a non-participant in Monday’s practice as he is still progressing through concussion protocol.
Rookie Rhamondre Stevenson had the first 100-yard game of his career with Harris sidelined yesterday and even added a pair of touchdowns as well. Stevenson played the majority of the snaps with Brandon Bolden and J.J. Taylor playing 18 and 13 respectively.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints offense struggled to move the ball on the ground in Tennessee with Alvin Kamara sidelined due to a foot injury. However, Mark Ingram did play well as a receiver, catching four passes for 61 yards.
We’re still awaiting an update on Kamara, but the Saints will take on an Eagles defense next week that is seventh in the league in yards per carry allowed.
However, Philadelphia has struggled to cover running backs in the passing game, allowing the third-most receptions to opposing running backs this season. Kamara could have a big game as a pass-catcher if he returns.
New York Giants
The Giants were off last week, but their offensive weapons seem to be close to returning. Saquon Barkley and Sterling Shepard were both present at Monday’s practice.
Barkley has missed the last three games and Shepard has played just twice since Week 3. One player who wasn’t seen at practice was left tackle Andrew Thomas who has missed four-straight games.
New York Jets
Cornerback Brandin Echols is expected to miss 3-5 weeks after suffering a thigh injury on Sunday. The rookie sixth-round pick has allowed 375 yards on 43 targets this season, the most on the team in both categories.
Javelin Guidry replaced Echols against Buffalo and allowed three catches and a touchdown on 12 coverage snaps.
Left tackle Mekhi Becton is still a couple weeks away from returning to the field, according to Robert Saleh. He hasn’t played since injuring his knee in Week 1 and was originally expected to return just eight weeks after surgery.
Dallas Goedert suffered a concussion in the first half of the Eagles win in Denver. With Goedert out and Zach Ertz in Arizona, the Eagles are down to rookies Jack Stoll and Tyree Jackson at tight end for the time being.
While Jackson is still looking for his first target after playing the last two weeks, Stoll has caught three passes for 15 yards this season.
Elsewhere on the offense, Miles Sanders is eligible to return from the IR after missing the last three games with an ankle injury. The Eagles’ rushing attack has exploded in his absence, averaging over 200 yards per game.
The Steelers played without both Ben Roethlisberger and Minkah Fitzpatrick on Sunday after both were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Roethlisberger will probably also miss next week’s game due to being symptomatic and having to sit at least 10 days.
There is good news in Pittsburgh as the MRI on T.J. Watt’s hip came back clean. However, he still might miss some time based on the soreness he’s experiencing.
San Francisco 49ers
Prior to Monday night’s game, the 49ers released former third-round pick Jalen Hurd from their IR, ending his time with the franchise. Hurd never played a snap for the 49ers, spending his entire three-year career on the IR.
Russell Wilson’s return didn’t exactly go as planned, but he remains healthy and will quarterback the Seahawks for the rest of the season.
As for Chris Carson, Pete Carroll didn’t seem too confident the running back will return this week, telling reporters the team will revisit his status later in the week.
The Seahawks haven’t rushed for over 100 yards since Week 6 and Alex Collins is averaging just 3.3 yards per carry in Seattle’s last three games.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sean Murphy-Bunting is close to returning as is Carlton Davis, but neither guy has been activated off the IR yet. Tampa Bay finished Sunday’s loss with Jamel Dean and Pierre Desir at cornerback.
Luckily for the Buccaneers, they don’t have to face a decent passing offense until Week 14 when they host the Buffalo Bills. The play the Giants on Monday Night Football this week.
The Titans placed Julio Jones on the IR on Saturday. The veteran wide receiver has played just 15 of 26 games since the start of 2020. He will now miss at least two more weeks as he deals with his hamstring injury.
Marcus Johnson was revelation on Sunday, earning a team-high six targets and catching five passes for 100 yards in Jones’s absence. In fact, Jones has put up those numbers just once since joining the Titans.
Bud Dupree played just one snap against the Saints before exiting with an abdominal injury. Mike Vrabel didn’t have any updates on Dupree’s condition on Monday.
Olasunkanmi Adeniyi played a season-high 30 snaps with Dupree out, but failed to register a pressure on his 22 pass rushes.
Washington Football Team
It has been an abysmal year for Chase Young, but he will be out for the rest of the season after tearing his ACL against the Bucs on Sunday. The reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year has just 1.5 sacks and his 23 pressures rank fourth on his own team.
The Washington pass rush was already hurting with Montez Sweat sidelined by a broken jaw.
Casey Toohill and James Smith-Williams are the next two guys up on the depth chart. Neither guy registered a pressure of Tom Brady on Sunday and each have just one sack on the season.