ProFootballDoc: How Does Health Stack Up For Thursday Night Football?

After a 5-0 Sunday against the spread and the healthier Raiders prevailed Monday night, let’s see how Thursday Night Football stacks up using injury analysis as the key to try and post a seventh straight win.

An early season divisional game kicks off NFL Week 2 with the New York Giants visiting the nation’s capital. A key offensive star on each team has health issues and both teams have just a short week to prepare, so this could get interesting.

NYG +3.5 @ WAS (40.5) 

Use the interactive #FieldView to flip to the other side of the ball to see the issues with both offenses.

Saquon Barkley will play for the Giants, but there is no way for him to be 100% as reflected by our low SIC score. Last week, our analysis had his health grade at 49 (out of 100), meaning we expect a significantly reduced performance. He had 10 carries for 26 yards and 1 catch for 1 yard (which would have cashed on all prop bets). Expect more of the same Thursday. Barkley hasn’t suffered a setback, but with a short week, he will have to deal with some soreness and swelling, which is reflected in his even lower SIC score of 46 at

Offensively, New York will be without TE Evan Engram (calf) with his backup Kyle Rudolph still working his way back from foot surgery. They will also miss their left guard Shane Lemieux, who tried to play through a partially torn patella tendon Week 1, although we knew he couldn’t.

Ryan Fitzpatrick is out with a hip subluxation. During the game, we described the injury as a more minor version of Tua’s injury when he was still at Alabama. Taylor Heinicke will be the starter into October and only has a short week to prepare.

By our video review of Sunday’s game, star RB Antonio Gibson is dealing with an AC joint sprain. He was limited in practice initially, but there is no question he will play and is poised to do well. He may need an injection though. WR Curtis Samuel (groin) is the other big loss.

Both teams have healthy defenses, which is reflected in the team SIC scores above. The Washington run defense is 22.4 points healthier than the Giants’ run offense. Meanwhile in the passing game, the Giants’ defense is 22.7 points healthier than the Washington passing offense. 

Overall, both teams are about equal in terms of health, and it sets up to be a defensive game. There is not an actionable health difference here but if forced to pick, I would take the Giants and the 3.5 points, expecting a close game. The health score indicates a low scoring game, but the total is already a depressed 40.5. Perhaps it is time to find some FanDuel prop bets if you want action. The most enticing one based on health might be Barkley total rushing yards under 48.5, given that he has a lower SIC score for Week 2 than he had for Week 1 when he gained only 26 yards. 

Use the above info and other information at as a tool to augment your decision making in wagering/DFS/fantasy.

It’s never too early to start looking ahead to your Sunday NFL wagers. The new FanDuel offer is 30-1 odds on Chiefs-Ravens for new users. Bet $5, win $150.

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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