(The Spread) – What key injuries should bettors be aware of in Week 6 of the NFL?
Julius Peppers, Bears
“J-Pepp” has a sprained MCL in his left knee and while he hasn’t been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Vikings, he did limp off the field during Monday night’s loss to the Lions. The Bears are already thin along their defensive line and while Minnesota has struggled offensively this year, they still have a healthy Adrian Peterson that Chicago will have to contend with. As of right now the line for this game is Bears –3 but with the public undoubtedly riding Chicago in this one, considering the Vikings at 3.5 or higher. The Bears’ issues go well beyond Peppers’ injury and considering this is a divisional game, expect a tight contest.
Julio Jones, Falcons
Jones hurt his hamstring against the Packers last Sunday night and didn’t practice on Wednesday. The training staff in Atlanta will review his status leading up to game time but it certainly doesn’t appear that he’ll play. That means Harry Douglas will start, which is a huge advantage for Carolina (+4). Douglas has the speed to break plays but he has struggled mightily while playing outside of the slot and Atlanta’s offense has been inconsistent even with a healthy Jones in the lineup. According to latest NFL trends, the Panthers are 4-0 against the spread in their last four games and may be worth taking the points again this week against a struggling Falcons team.
Andre Johnson, Texans
The Texans just acquired Derrick Mason from the Jets, which is telling when it comes to Johnson’s hamstring injury. He’ll miss at least the next two weeks and Mason isn’t a difference maker any more, so look for Houston’s offense to struggle this Sunday in Baltimore. Plus, with Mario Williams now out for the year with a pectoral injury, the Ravens’ offense might be able to cover the 9-point spread with ease.
Brandon Jacobs, Giants
Jacobs did not practice on Wednesday due to a knee injury and hasn’t practiced since October 2. With the Giants’ bye week coming up in Week 7, it’s possible that he won’t play this Sunday against the red-hot Bills. Ahmad Bradshaw will likely received another 20-25 touches against a Buffalo defense that is allowing 5.5 yards per carry this season. Without Jacobs hawking his carries, Bradshaw may have a huge week and help keep the Bills’ explosive offense off the field.