Injuries to the quarterback position was the theme of Week 4, starting with Tua Tagovailoa on Thursday night.
A number of quarterbacks got hurt as we even saw a third-string rookie and a running back get snaps at quarterback before the week was over.
It’s also worth noting Week 5 is the first chance for players to come off the Injured Reserve, meaning reinforcements could be on the way for some banged-up teams:
Cardinals left guard Justin Pugh couldn’t finish Sunday’s win after suffering an elbow injury. He’s currently classified as “day-to-day” according to Kliff Kingsbury.
Max Garcia filled in against the Panthers and allowed three pressures.
On a positive note, Rondale Moore made his 2022 debut, but caught three passes for only 11 yards. Still, he ranked third on the team in targets behind Marquise Brown and Zach Ertz.
Cordarrelle Patterson landed on the IR on Monday after undergoing a procedure on his knee. The running back is expected to return this season after missing a minimum of four games.
Patterson was one of the best stories in the NFL through three weeks, ranking third in rushing yards and averaging close to six yards per attempt.
With him out, it will be rookie Tyler Allgeier and Caleb Huntley splitting time in the backfield. They each got 10 carries against the Browns, although Allgeier broke one run for 42 yards and added a 20-yard catch.
It’s also worth keeping an eye on Damien Williams, who is eligible to come off the IR after next week. He was set to have a big role in this offense prior to his Week 1 rib injury.
Despite being questionable heading into the weekend, Ronnie Stanley was inactive once again. The left tackle hasn’t played since Week 1 of last season and with Ja’Wuan James and Patrick Mekari both out as well, the Ravens were down to their fourth-string left tackle.
Rookie Daniel Faalele didn’t allow a sack, but did allow three of the 12 pressures Buffalo got on Sunday.
Ravens coaches were once again positive in their assessment of Stanley’s progress heading into Week 5, so expect him to be active in practice again.
On another positive note, John Harbaugh did mention Gus Edwards could return to practice this week and is eligible to return from the PUP list.
Isaiah McKenzie is currently in concussion protocol after suffering a head injury on Sunday and fellow wide receiver Jamison Crowder is expected to hit the IR due to a broken ankle.
The duo combined for 10 targets and four receptions against Baltimore.
That leaves Stefon Diggs, Gabe Davis, and Khalil Shakir as the only healthy receivers on the Bills’ 53-man roster.
Diggs remains the top target in the passing game, but Davis has become an afterthought after his four-catch performance in Week 1. After missing Week 2, Davis has just four catches for 50 yards on nine targets.
Safety Jeremy Chinn suffered a hamstring injury and is expected to miss time.
Myles Hartsfield played a career-high 72 snaps across the Panthers’ defense and does have starting experience.
Former Temple Owl Sean Chandler could get a look too, he played 32 snaps on Sunday and made seven starts last season.
On the offensive side of the ball, Sam Darnold is eligible to return from the IR this week, but Matt Rhule told reporters that he isn’t close to returning to the field.
Left guard Cody Whitehair might end up on the IR after suffering a knee injury in Week 4. Whitehair has been the Bears’ best blockers, allowing zero sacks and just three pressures this year.
With Whitehair out, former Packer Lucas Patrick flipped from right guard to fill in with Teven Jenkins being elevated to the starting lineup.
Jenkins was a second-round pick in 2021 and was expected to be the left tackle of the future, but a back injury derailed his season. Playing on the interior this season, Jenkins has allowed two pressures on 58 pass-blocking snaps.
Tee Higgins had seven catches for 124 yards on Thursday night, but is currently dealing with an ankle injury. Higgins missed time in Week 1 this season due to a concussion.
The good news is the injury is considered minor and he expects to play against the Ravens this week after the long layoff.
The last time Cincinnati played Baltimore, Higgins went off, catching 12 passes for 194 yards and two touchdowns.
Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney are both questionable for this week after sitting out the Browns’ loss to the Falcons on Sunday.
Clowney has missed two games due to an ankle injury and Garrett was inactive after suffering a shoulder injury in a car accident last Tuesday.
Isaac Rochell and Alex Wright started at defensive end for the Browns and combined for six pressures on 34 pass rush opportunities. Through four weeks, the Browns rank 24th in the NFL in quarterback pressure percentage.
Despite being undefeated with Cooper Rush under center, the Cowboys will have Dak Prescott meet with a doctor this week to evaluate his surgically repaired thumb.
Once his check-up is complete, the team will figure out the best recovery plan for their franchise quarterback.
Things get tougher on the schedule for Dallas in the next few weeks with the defending Super Bowl champion Rams on the docket for next week, followed by a trip to the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles.
Running back Javonte Williams will miss the rest of the season after tearing his ACL on Sunday.
The Broncos’ rushing attack has struggled this season, ranking 19th in yards per attempt. With Williams out, it will be Melvin Gordon and Mike Boone will split time in the backfield.
Gordon and Boone each had three carries on Sunday and Boone could be in for a bigger role in the offense this Thursday with Gordon currently suffering from a neck injury.
Despite missing D’Andre Swift, Amon-Ra St. Brown, and DJ Chark, the Lions’ offense still posted 45 points and 520 yards of offense against the Seahawks, albeit in a losing effort.
We’re still waiting on an update on the wide receivers, but don’t be surprised if Swift sits out one more game before the Lions’ bye week and returns against the Cowboys in Week 7.
Craig Reynolds averaged 14 yards per touch on Sunday and Jamaal Williams has scored multiple touchdowns in three of the Lions’ four games this season.
Green Bay Packers
The Packers’ secondary was shorthanded on Sunday with Jaire Alexander inactive and safety Adrian Amos exiting early due to a concussion.
Alexander was replaced by Rasul Douglas on the outside and he allowed a 27-yard completion.
Special teams ace Rudy Ford filled in for Amos, playing his first defensive snaps of the season. Ford earned the second-highest defensive grade on the team for his performance behind Defensive Player of the Year candidate Rashan Gary.
Third overall pick Derek Stingley Jr. suffered an arm injury against the Chargers on Sunday. However, he was able to return to the game after a brief absence.
Stingley’s college career was marred by leg and foot injuries, but he told reporters on Sunday that the arm issue is no big deal. Still, expect him to be limited in practice this week.
Right tackle Tytus Howard also left the game for a bit, but returned after getting his leg examined.
Blake Cashman wasn’t so lucky, he’s in concussion protocol after suffering a head injury.
Jonathan Taylor is dealing with an ankle injury and his status for Thursday is murky at best.
Frank Reich told reporters that Phillip Lindsay would get playing time should Taylor be inactive this week. The former Bronco hasn’t played at all this season.
Shaquille Leonard’s return was short-lived as he returned from back surgery only to exit due to a concussion. He won’t be able to progress through concussion protocol in time for Thursday night’s game.
Wide receiver Zay Jones was inactive against the Eagles on Sunday, but Doug Pederson told reporters that Jones is expected to suit up for Week 5.
Jamal Agnew had a career day in the rain, catching four passes for 50 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Kansas City Chiefs
L’Jarius Snead tweaked his ankle and right guard Trey Smith suffered a pectoral injury, but Andy Reid told reporters both guys will be fine after the win on Sunday night.
Smith missed just one offensive snap, but turned in his best performance of the season, earning a pass blocking grade of 83.9 from Pro Football Focus.
Snead led the Chiefs in defensive snaps, so it remains to be seen just how much the ankle injury will affect his availability moving forward, if at all.
Las Vegas Raiders
Hunter Renfrow was inactive for the second straight game after suffering a concussion in Week 2.
With Renfrow sidelined, Derek Carr only targeted two wide receivers all afternoon: Devante Adams and Mack Hollins. Adams had nine catches for 101 yards and Hollins added three catches for 33 yards.
The Raiders do have Keelan Cole, who started in the slot on offense, but he was a complete non-factor in his 49 snaps and has now caught just one pass in two games filling in for Renfrow.
Los Angeles Chargers
Keenan Allen is now considered day-to-day after missing three games with a hamstring injury.
Justin Herbert passed for a season-high 340 yards against the Texans on Sunday, targeting Mike Williams 11 times and his other three wide receivers just six times.
As far as the Chargers’ long-term injuries go, Rashawn Slater has an outside chance of returning late in the season from his torn biceps and Joey Bosa is expected to miss at least eight weeks with his groin injury.
Los Angeles Rams
The Rams finished Monday night’s game without three of their starting offensive linemen when Coleman Shelton bowed out due to an ankle injury. Brian Allen and David Edwards were both inactive.
Rookie Jeremiah Kolone got his first NFL starts at center, it remains to be seen just how serious Shelton’s injury is or when Allen could possibly come back and play center again.
The scariest injury of the week came on Thursday night when Tua Tagovailoa was carted off the field with a head injury only four days after it appeared he sustained a concussion.
The good news is Tagovailoa was released from the hospital the next morning and flew home with the team, however he’s already been ruled out for Week 5.
That means Teddy Bridgewater will start against the Jets for the third time in his career. The Louisville product started 14 games for the Broncos last season, throwing 18 touchdowns and finishing with a QBR of 47.4.
Despite playing with a harness on his dislocated shoulder, Dalvin Cook still managed to carry the ball a season-high 20 times in the win over the Saints on Sunday.
However, Cook wasn’t a terribly effective runner, averaging just 3.8 yards per carry against the NFL’s 11th-ranked run defense.
Even with Cook injured, Alexander Mattison couldn’t earn more touches, rushing just three times for three yards.
New England Patriots
Brian Hoyer got his first start since 2020, but was unable to finish the game after suffering a concussion.
With Hoyer out, the Patriots turned to third-string rookie Bailey Zappe who completed 10 of his 15 passes for 99 yards and a touchdown, however he did lose a fumble.
With Mac Jones still dealing with his high ankle sprain, Zappe could make his first NFL start against a Lions defense that has allowed the most points in the league through four weeks.
New Orleans Saints
Dennis Allen didn’t have an update on Alvin Kamara (ribs) or Michael Thomas (toe) after both guys were inactive on Sunday.
Latavius Murray led the Saints in rushing yards, but he was signed by the Broncos on Monday off the team’s practice squad.
It will also be interesting who starts at quarterback this week for New Orleans as Jameis Winston deals with back and ankle injuries.
Andy Dalton threw a touchdown and averaged 8.4 yards per attempt in London, but also lost a fumble. Despite missing a game, Winston is still second in the NFL in interceptions.
New York Giants
The Giants were down to Saquon Barkley at quarterback–not a typo–after Daniel Jones (ankle) and Tyrod Taylor (head) were both ruled out on Sunday.
Davis Webb is on the Giants’ practice squad, but the team is optimistic Jones will be healthy enough to suit up for Week 5. Still, expect Webb to be elevated from the practice squad to at least be the backup.
The Giants’ receiving corps has gotten even thinner with Kenny Golladay expected to sit out Week 5 against the Packers.
New York Jets
Alijah Vera-Tucker started at left tackle for the first time in his career and allowed three pressures. However, right tackle Max Mitchell is expected to go in the IR after suffering a knee injury on Sunday.
Mitchell becomes the fourth Jets tackle to go on the Injured Reserve, joining Mekhi Becton, Duane Brown, and George Fant.
While Brown is eligible to return this week, it will probably be Conor McDermott at right tackle this week after 41 snaps there on Sunday.
Darius Slay suffered a forearm injury, but it isn’t considered a major issue. The same thing goes for Avonte Maddox’s ankle injury that occurred late last week in practice.
The outlook isn’t as rosy for Jordan Mailata who missed most of Sunday’s game due to a shoulder injury. While Mailata isn’t expected to miss a large amount of time, the Eagles don’t have great depth with Andre Dillard already on the IR.
Jack Driscoll allowed a sack in 30 snaps filling in for Mailata against the Jaguars.
Levi Wallace was elevated into the starting lineup on Sunday with Ahkello Witherspoon inactive.
Wallace earned the lowest PFF grade on the Steelers’ defense and allowed three catches on six targets. .
San Francisco 49ers
Arik Armstead was active for Monday night’s game, but had to bow out early due to lingering pain in his injured foot.
Armstead was previously inactive in Week 3 due to the same injury.
Darryl Johnson is expected to be moved to the IR after suffering a significant foot injury on Sunday. The former Panther was claimed off waivers and August and even got the start in Week 4 before exiting early.
Darrell Taylor could reclaim his spot in the starting lineup, although his ineffectiveness is what handed the job to Johnson.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tom Brady had all his wide receivers active again, but lost Cameron Brate to a concussion against the Chiefs.
Cade Otton is the only other tight end with multiple targets from Brady this season, catching four passes for 33 yards.
On another positive note, Donovan Smith started his first game since Week 1 and allowed a single pressure on 57 bass blocking snaps.
Rookie Treylon Burks was carted off the field Sunday, however it looks like his injury is just turf toe. He could still miss some time recovering, which would be good news for Kyle Phillips.
Phillips hasn’t played much recently, but did have six catches for 66 yards in the Titans’ Week 1 loss to the Giants.
Brian Robinson could be activated this week and play against the Titans, according to Ron Rivera.
The running back was shot over the summer and to make a return to the field this quickly is nothing short of astounding. He’ll join Antonio Gibson and JD Mckissic in the backfield.