ProFootballDoc: Actionable Health Issues for NFL Week 17

The best information is not in this article but all week long at Sports Injury Central where we were ahead of line movements involving five starting quarterbacks.

Despite continued optimism from John Harbaugh, we indicated all week that Lamar Jackson would not play and Tyler Huntley would clear to start. Earlier in the week we indicated it was Trey Lance's time in San Francisco and that Jimmy Garoppolo's thumb injury has him done for the season. We also were solid that Carson Wentz would start from the Colts. Finally, we indicated early that neither Jared Goff nor Teddy Bridgewater would play. All of this info and more led to line and total movements that could have been played early week.

Here are our five Sunday plays with honorable mentions. The Dolphins won and we even hit the under Monday night, but that doesn't count to the season total of +9 (44-35-1) against the Sunday AM FanDuel lines.



The Eagles are healthier and are in playoff contention while Washington is all but mathematically eliminated and carries injuries on both sides of the ball. The Eagles won't have Miles Sanders but Jordan Howard should play and Philadelphia is otherwise relatively healthy. Washington is without Antonio Gibson and 3/5ths of the starting O line as well as five defenders. With a 21-point SIC score advantage, Philly seems the right choice to win comfortably.

L.A. RAMS (-6) @ BALTIMORE over 46


All week we indicated no Lamar Jackson, and the line was only a field goal, but now has risen. Tyler Huntley will play, but the Ravens still have significant secondary issues. The Rams are healthy offensively as long as Sony Michel stays injury-free. The Field View has us expecting both teams to put up some points. Take the over 46 as the play but we lean to the Rams as well.

NEW ENGLAND (-16.5) vs JACKSONVILLE under 41.5


The No. 1 RB, WR and TE are all out for the Jaguars, as is 4/5ths of the offensive line, against a healthy, stout Patriots' defense, which leans to an under game. New England can rely on the run game with all three defensive line starters out for Jacksonville. Mac Jones can even gain some confidence vs. an injured secondary. Expect a low-scoring game favoring the Patriots, while we acknowledge 16.5 points is a lot even with a huge SIC score differential.



The Texans upset the Chargers last week, and this week take a huge leap up in their SIC score health. the defense returns essentially all its starters and jumps 50 points to almost 90. The Houston offense also improves. With a team SIC score jump of 34 points, the Texans get healthier. The overall health is only slightly better than San Francisco, but the huge delta improvement this week should lead to keeping it close, as the Texans get 12.5 points on the road.



The Chargers let us down last week but they again are over 20 SIC score points healthier against another COVID ravaged team. This time, they are must-win for the playoffs. The Broncos miss their QB1, WR2, WR3 and two offensive linemen while defensively, all four starting LBs are out. Expect a Chargers bounce-back game as they return their offensive stars.

Honorable Mentions

Got to to see the Field View and SIC score advantages for all the games including these runner-up picks.

CHICAGO -6 vs N.Y. GIANTS where it is Andy Dalton vs. Mike Glennon.

TENNESSEE (-3) vs MIAMI under 39.5, where two healthy defenses will battle it out.

SEATTLE -7.5 vs DETROIT where Tim Boyle starts at QB.

NEW ORLEANS -6.5 vs CAROLINA where the Saints defense should carry the day.

Good luck to all and Happy New Year.

Written by
David Chao, MD -- known digitally as Pro Football Doc -- is an expert contributor for Outkick. Chao spent 17 seasons as the team doctor for the San Diego Chargers (1997-2013) and is part of the medical team at OASIS in San Diego where he treats and specializes in orthopedic sports injuries, working with high-profile professional athletes from the NFL, NBA, and MLB.