The 2022 NFL season has passed the midway point of the calendar and as we draw nearer to the postseason, health becomes a bigger factor for every playoff-hopeful team.
With an MVP candidate currently nursing an elbow injury and a former Defensive Player of the Year nearing his return, keep reading for the biggest injury news from Week 9 of the NFL season:
Arizona Cardinals Injuries
All-Pro safety Budda Baker is expected to miss multiple weeks after suffering a high ankle sprain in the loss to Seattle on Sunday. Arizona’s defense has struggled this season, allowing 2.44 points per drive, good for 30th in the NFL.
The Cardinals don’t have much safety depth with defensive weapon Isaiah Simmons and recently-acquired Chris Banjo listed as the backups on the depth chart.
Considering Baker splits his time evenly between playing deep and in the box, a combination of both guys will probably be the first solution Arizona tries.
Atlanta Falcons Injuries
The Falcons have already ruled out Matt Hennessy for Thursday night’s game against the Panthers. The former Temple Owl was starting at left guard with Elijah Wilkinson on IR.
With Hennessy now out, Colby Gossett is expected to start after playing 11 snaps on Sunday.
Gossett started at left guard back in Week 3, allowing a quarterback hit and earning a 66.1 offensive grade from Pro Football Focus for his efforts.
Baltimore Ravens Injuries
The Ravens placed wide receiver Rashod Bateman on the IR prior to their Monday night game against the Saints. They elevated DeSean Jackson from the team’s practice squad.
Unfortunately, Jackson’s night ended prematurely after he exited in the second half due to a hamstring injury.
Mark Andrews was also inactive on Monday night.
Buffalo Bills Injuries
In perhaps the biggest news of the week, Josh Allen is being evaluated for an injury to his throwing elbow. Despite the UCL injury, Allen was still able to throw a pass nearly 70 yards in the air at the end of the Bills’ loss to the Jets.
As of now, it seems like the Bills are hopeful this is an injury Allen can play through. Case Keenum is the only other quarterback on the active roster.
At the very least, expect Allen’s participation in practice to be spotty moving forward, but unless he needs surgery, this shouldn’t be an injury that affects his availability for now.
One guy who won’t be active this week is edge rusher Gregory Rousseau who is dealing with an ankle injury. He’s considered week-to-week right now.
Carolina Panthers Injuries
The Panthers have a short turnaround this week before playing the Falcons on Thursday night. Wide receivers Rashard Higgins and Laviska Shenault were both inactive during Monday’s walkthrough practice due to an illness.
Jeremy Chinn was spotted at practice on Monday and Steve Wilks told reporters that he’s hopeful the safety can return after missing a few weeks with a hamstring injury.
As for their quarterback situation, PJ Walker has been announced as the starter for the fifth-straight game after being benched at halftime for Baker Mayfield. Sam Darnold is also expected to return from the IR this week, but will not start due to the time crunch.
Walker was benched midway through the loss to Cincinnati after completing just three of 10 passes for nine yards and tossing two interceptions as well.
Chicago Bears Injuries
Cornerback Kindle Vildor played just two snaps on Sunday before exiting with an ankle injury. So far this season, he’s allowed a passer rating of just 84.1 when targeted.
Jaylon Jones and Kyler Gordon split time in Vildor’s spot with Gordon sliding into the slot in nickel situations. Jones has allowed 12 completions on 14 targets this season, but hasn’t allowed any completions longer than 16 yards.
Cincinnati Bengals Injuries
Despite being without both Mike Hilton and Chidobe Awuzie (IR), the Bengals tortured PJ Walker and the Panthers’ passing offense on Sunday, allowing just three completions and intercepting two passes before Walker was lifted for Baker Mayfield.
Hilton told reporters on Monday he hopes to return to the field following the bye week, but the schedule remains easy in Weeks 11 and 12 with the Steelers and Titans on the docket.
Cleveland Browns Injuries
The Browns were on bye this week, but got some key veterans back at practice on Monday. Denzel Ward returned for the first time since suffering a concussion in Week 5 and right guard Wyatt Teller was present for the first time since he injured his calf in Week 6.
Teller ranks 10th among guards in pressures allowed this season while Ward has yielded a passer rating of 100.9 when targeted this season, well above his career average of 76.1 over five seasons.
Dallas Cowboys Injuries
Ezekiel Elliott told reporters that the swelling in his knee has gone down since the Bye Week and if he returns, it will be with a knee brace. It remains to be seen when that return will be, Elliott was not active during Monday’s abbreviated practice session.
Tony Pollard averaged an astounding 9.4 yards per carry in Week 8 against Chicago. This week features another favorable NFC North matchup; the Green Bay Packers are allowing 4.8 yards per carry so far this season.
Starting center Lloyd Cushenberry is expected to miss some time due to a groin injury, according to Nathaniel Hackett.
Graham Glasgow hasn’t made a start at center since Week 12 of the 2019 season when he was with Detroit. He made all 16 starts at center for the Lions in 2018, allowing just one sack and five quarterback hits.
Detroit Lions Injuries
Rookie safety Kerby Joseph had two interceptions on Sunday, but had to leave the game early due to a head injury and is currently in concussion protocol.
After the game, Dan Campbell compared Joseph’s injury to the concussions suffered by Amon-Ra St. Brown and Brock Wright earlier this. Both guys were able to play the week following their initial injury.
CJ Moore could fill in for Joseph if he is absent this week. Moore played 23 snaps against the Packers and earned a PBU in his only target.
Green Bay Packers Injuries
Edge rusher Rashan Gary is out for the season after tearing his ACL. Through nine weeks, Gary ranked fifth among edge rushers in quarterback pressures and eighth in pass rush win rate.
Rookie fifth-round pick Kingsley Enagbare will get his first NFL start in Week 10 against the Cowboys. In 75 pass-rushing snaps, Enagbare has six pressures and two sacks.
The Packers will also be without Romeo Doubs for a while after he was carted off on Sunday due to a high ankle sprain.
Allen Lazard led all Packers receivers with 10 targets, but Sammy Watkins caught just one of his five targets for nine yards. Rookie seventh-round pick Samori Toure had two catches for 34 yards, but also fumbled.
There is good news in Green Bay, however, Aaron Jones is expected to be healthy and active in practice this week.
Houston Texans Injuries
The Texans played without both of their starting receivers on Thursday night. Brandin Cooks was absent due to a wrist injury and Nico Collins was inactive with a groin injury.
Lovie Smith did tell reporters on Monday that he hopes Collins can rejoin the team on the practice field this week after the extended layoff. Collins hasn’t played since Week 7.
With both of those guys inactive, Chris Moore and Phillip Dorsett were the only Texans to catch multiple passes from Davis Mills, combining for seven catches and 112 yards with Moore contributing a 25-yard touchdown.
Indianapolis Colts Injuries
The Colts were so inept offensively on Sunday, it cost Frank Reich his job and Jeff Saturday was named as the team’s interim head coach.
Indianapolis averaged just 2.02 yards per play against the Patriots in Sam Ehlinger’s second NFL start. Could a Jonathan Taylor return aid the offense?
Taylor was inactive on Sunday due to an ankle injury and Deon Jackson managed just 23 yards on 11 carries.
In two career games against the Raiders, Taylor has averaged over 6.4 yards per carry and scored three touchdowns.
Jacksonville Jaguars Injuries
Safety Rayshawn Jenkins is currently in concussion protocol after suffering a head injury in the win over the Raiders. The former Charger has four pass breakups this season, good for third-most among safeties.
Andrew Wingard replaced Jenkins on Sunday. He made 15 starts for the Jaguars last year, but has been limited to just 16 defensive snaps this season.
Kansas City Chiefs Injuries
The Chiefs’ starting lineup is healthy, but they will miss Frank Clark for one more game as he serves out the remainder of his suspension. Clark was suspended for two games due to a pair of gun-related arrests in the offseason.
Kansas City used Carlos Dunlap to fill in for Clark against Tennessee on Sunday night and the 13-year veteran turned back the clock and recorded 1.5 sacks and two more quarterback pressures.
Las Vegas Raiders Injuries
Linebacker Divine Deablo was placed on IR on Monday after suffering a forearm injury two snaps into the loss to the Jaguars.
He leads the team in tackles and ranks second behind Maxx Crosby in defensive stops.
Blake Martinez played a season-high 63 snaps against the Jaguars and was the team’s second-lowest defender on Pro Football Focus.
Los Angeles Chargers Injuries
Brandon Staley announced that defensive tackle Austin Johnson will miss the rest of the season after suffering an MCL injury and fracturing his knee.
Johnson had one sack and three QB hits this season, but his presence hasn’t affected the run defense much. Los Angeles is allowing over 5.5 yards per carry with him on and off the field.
Fellow defensive lineman Jerry Tillery was inactive on Sunday, but is considered day-to-day by the team.
Los Angeles Rams Injuries
Rookie running back Kyren Williams will have to be activated from the IR before November 16th or else he will remain inactive for the rest of the season.
Williams has been out since injuring his ankle in the season opener and the Rams offense has struggled in all facets this season, ranking 31st in yards per carry and 26th in points per drive.
Darrell Henderson is the team’s current leading rusher and he is averaging just 31.6 yards per game which ranks 56th in the NFL this season.
Fellow running back Cam Akers ranks dead last in the league in yards per carry, averaging just 2.8 yards on 56 carries.
Miami Dolphins Injuries
Byron Jones is still recovering from offseason Achilles surgery and will not return to the practice field this week according to Mike McDaniel.
The Dolphins’ pass defense has struggled this season, ranking 25th in net yards per pass attempt allowed.
Unfortunately, it isn’t Jones’s replacements getting torched, it’s Xavien Howard. He’s allowed six touchdowns and a passer rating of 144.6 when targeted, that’s the highest mark in the NFL.
Minnesota Vikings Injuries
The Vikings expect Cameron Dantzler to be inactive this week after suffering an ankle injury early on Sunday against the Commanders.
Rookie fourth-round pick Akayleb Evans could get his first NFL start after playing 44 snaps in Week 9. Evans broke up one pass and allowed just one completion for negative yards.
Andrew Booth Jr. is also on the roster and healthy, but he has yet to play a defensive snap this season, missing time with a quad injury and playing strictly special teams since getting back.
New England Patriots Injuries
Right tackle Marcus Cannon landed on the IR last week after suffering a concussion in practice. He was replaced in the starting lineup by Yodny Cajuste against the Colts.
Cannon will have to miss at least three more games and Cajuste allowed four pressures and one sack against the Colts.
The upcoming bye week could also give David Andrews a chance to heal from his own concussion. He hasn’t been active since Week 7.
New Orleans Saints Injuries
Michael Thomas will miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery to fix a dislocated toe. Since leading the NFL in receiving yards in 2019, Thomas has played just 10 games over the past three seasons.
On Monday night, center Erik McCoy left the game early due to a calf injury. New Orleans shifted Cesar Ruiz to center and elevated Calvin Throckmorton into the starting lineup.
New York Giants Injuries
The Giants were off this week, but that didn’t stop Xavier McKinney from getting injured on an ATV during his vacation. The starting safety will now miss four games while sitting on the non-football injury list.
With fellow safety Tony Jefferson unable to return from the IR until Week 11, Dane Belton and practice squad member Landon Collins are the favorites to fill in for McKinney this week.
Collins previously made 59 starts for the Giants from 2015 through 2018, a stretch that included three Pro Bowl nods. Belton has been targeted in pass coverage 12 times this season, allowing six completions for 88 yards.
New York Jets Injuries
Defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins is expected to miss at least a month after dislocating his elbow on Sunday against the Bills. Former third-overall pick Solomon Thomas should get his first start next week after playing a season-high 44 percent of the defensive snaps.
Rankins had posted 14 pressures in 185 snaps playing next to Quinnen Williams, who leads all interior linemen in pressures and sacks this season. Thomas’s last start came in Week 2 of the 2020 season.
Philadelphia Eagles Injuries
The Eagles came out of their Thursday night clash with the Texans relatively healthy, but they missed defensive tackle Jordan Davis quite a bit. Philadelphia has allowed under four yards per carry with Davis on the field this season, but ranks 29th in the NFL in yards per carry this season.
With Davis on the IR due to a high ankle sprain, Dameon Pierce rushed 27 times for 139 yards against the Eagles. Looking ahead, Jonathan Gannon’s defense will have a four-game stretch against Jonathan Taylor, Aaron Jones, Derrick Henry, and Saquon Barkley.
Pittsburgh Steelers Injuries
The Steelers are coming off their bye week. T.J. Watt could be a candidate to return from the IR this week. The reigning Defensive Player of the Year injured his shoulder in Week 1 and underwent knee surgery while on the IR.
San Francisco 49ers Injuries
Coming off their bye week, the 49ers are expected to open the practice windows for Elijah Mitchell, Azeez Al-Shaair, and Colton McKivitz. They will have 21 days to be added to the active roster or will be ineligible to return until next season.
Mitchell and McKivitz will come back to complementary roles behind Christian McCaffrey and Trent Williams, but Al-Shaair will be a welcome addition to the 49ers’ defense that is ranked seventh in points per drive and first in yards per carry allowed.
Seattle Seahawks Injuries
Bruce Irvin recorded his first sack of the season starting in place of Darrell Taylor on the defensive line.
Pete Carroll told reporters on Monday that he hopes Taylor and wide receiver Marquise Goodwin can return to play against the Buccaneers in Germany on Sunday morning.
As for special teamer Cullen Gillaspia, he will need knee surgery and is expected to miss the rest of the season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Injuries
The Buccaneers were without Antoine Winfield Jr. on Sunday, but did get Akiem Hicks on the field for the first time since Week 2. He didn’t record a single tackle or pressure in the win.
Cameron Brate was inactive for the third consecutive game due to a neck injury. Rookie Cade Otton was the team’s leading receiver, catching five passes for 68 yards and the game-winning touchdown.
Tennessee Titans Injuries
The Titans offense struggled in their second game with Malik Willis at the helm and Ryan Tannehill could return as soon as this week from his ankle injury.
Willis was 2-10 for -2 yards in the second half against the Chiefs.
Edge rusher Bud Dupree left the game in the fourth quarter with a hip injury. He has 16 pressures this season on 137 pass-rushing snaps.
Washington Commanders Injuries
With J.D. McKissic inactive on Sunday, Antonio Gibson led the way in the backfield, playing 36 snaps and getting nine targets on 20 routes run.
Brian Robinson had more carries, rushing 13 times for 44 yards, but his two catches went for -6 yards.
McKissic has struggled to contribute in the passing game in recent weeks before his injury, catching three passes for 14 yards in his last three games.