Bryant headlines huge cast of iffy wideouts
As the NFL hits the quarter pole of the 2016 season, some big names are forced to watch from the sidelines. Here’s a look at a few of the hobbled standouts.
J.J. Watt’s back surgery on Thursday figures to put a severe dent in Houston’s chances of seizing the AFC South. The star defensive end simply couldn’t overcome herniated desk and, as a result, will sacrifice the remainder of his campaign. Bill O’Brien’s troops should be able to persevere against Tennessee this afternoon; however, the next several weeks feature a host of offensively gifted opponents.
Staying with the D, Kansas City truly needs Tamba Hali heading into Heinz Field at 8:30 p.m. ET. Yet the linebacker’s status remains questionable on account of an undisclosed hand injury. He missed a pair of practices earlier in the week. If Hali can’t suit up, the Chiefs’ prospects of containing Le’Veon Bell absorb a significant blow.
Moving on to the fantasy moneymakers, Dez Bryant hasn’t exactly fit that description through four contests. Still, the Cowboys won’t be happy if their No. 1 wideout must sit at Levi’s Stadium. Bryant suffered a hairline fracture in his right knee in the squad’s 31-17 win over Chicago. He traveled to San Francisco, but there’s little reason to believe the coaching staff will force the issue with so much time remaining on the schedule.
The Jets, too, face a receiver quandary. While Brandon Marshall is no longer compromised, Eric Decker’s battling a partially torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder. The Minnesota product definitely doesn’t get to partake in his teammates’ bout with Seattle, and the absence may linger well into October.
In that same affair, we’re closely monitoring Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham. He hauled in six catches for 100 yards and a touchdown against the 49ers, only to encounter back spasms thereafter. Coach Pete Carroll expects the former Pro Bowler to lace them up 1 p.m. ET, but will one of Russell Wilson’s favorite targets be as fluid in terms of attacking the seam?
The Patriots hope for positive news concerning the TE position, as well. Rob Gronkowski (questionable) played just 13 snaps in Week 3, and Bill Belichick knows better than to use No. 87 at full tilt with the Bills in town. The more pressing question in New England actually pertains to quarterback, where Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett are trying to ready themselves for action. Look for the former (shoulder) to ultimately draw the starting nod.