ProFootballDoc: Ho, ho, ho! The Doc Has An Early Christmas Present

In the ultimate pandemic irony, I can’t find a Santa for my young children to visit, but a judge just ruled that two strip clubs can remain open. Considering that backdrop, the NFL may not have been perfect, but the league has done a much better job with COVID than most municipalities as the football season rolls on.

The vaccine is here, but it will not save the league nor will it even change much about anything in 2021.

Most people I talked to were surprised when I told them that the vaccine doesn’t provide lifetime or long-term immunity but only protection for a few months.

As professional football heads toward a regular season conclusion and the playoffs, a decision has been made to eschew post-season bubbles and continue the current protocols.

The fantasy football post-season is in full swing, but not for me. I made it past the second Sunday of the playoffs, but both the Ravens and Browns scoring in the 40s on Monday had me a sitting duck. My luck finally ran out.

Tonight’s Chargers – Raiders game provides some fantasy and wagering opportunities.

With two key linebackers and both starting safeties out for the Chargers, the Raiders TE Darren Waller and RB Josh Jacobs should have a great matchup. Meanwhile Chargers Keenan Allen, Mike Williams and Austin Ekeler all are dealing with injuries. I would rate it as Ekeler>Keenan>Williams in terms of their health tonight.

The overall Injury Index grades between the two teams are close, but pay attention to the delta change in the Chargers, where over half of the starting offense picked up new injuries in Week 14. With the Thursday game today, only four days between contests hurts the Bolts, and they may lose three key offensive starters for tonight.

The Raiders are on the outside looking in for the playoffs right now and need this win to stay alive. The motivation and the injuries are on the side of the Silver and Black, so laying the 3 points should be simple.

I can’t locate a Santa for my kids, but hopefully I can help find you a fantasy or sportsbook winner so you can upgrade your gifts as Christmas is only one week away.

Written by Dr. David Chao

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.

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