ProFootballDoc: Key NFL QB And RB Injury Issues And Big AFC East Showdown

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The big QB injury question marks this week are sorting themselves out. Aaron Rodgers is likely to play thru his rib issues but Justin Fields is destined to sit another week with his grade 2 AC joint sprain.

Matthew Stafford is still out and this may be a prolonged absence. Meanwhile, Lamar Jackson left practice early with a quad issue but this seems to be a non-issue.

Big RB injury issues include Christian McCaffrey, Najee Harris and Travis Etienne. CMC appears to have patella tendonitis which he can play thru but the issue will linger the rest of the season. Harris seems poised to miss time with his oblique injury. Meanwhile, Etienne seems to be cleared to play through his foot issue.

Tonight matches two AFC East teams both needing a win as they chase the division-leading Dolphins.

Using injury advantages has us at 37-19-4 (+18) against the spread for our five weekly picks on the season. / There is no clear better side tonight but there are some match up advantages to be had.

BUF -3.5 @ NE

Buffalo returns some key defensive players. The Bills run defense should be shored up considerably with the return of Tremaine Edmunds and Greg Rousseau. Von Miller is definitely out tonight and may not be back or effective anytime soon with his lateral meniscus tear. Buffalo has returned #1 CB Tre’Davious White but he is still limited coming off his ACL and the secondary continues to miss Micah Hyde with neck surgery. The offense will miss LT Dion Dawkins but center Mitch Morse should return. Josh Allen and his partial UCL tear should be less of a concern now and he should be able to throw downfield better.

The Patriots are healthy defensively except CB Jalen Mills with a groin issue may be hampered. The big concern for New England is the offensive line with a minimum of two starters missing. RB Damien Harris is also out so it will be Rhamondre Stevenson shouldering the load.

The health analysis had New England struggling to run the ball against the Bills. The Patriots will need to pass to take advantage of the Buffalo defensive weakness. Jakobi Meyers is likely to get an AC joint injection to play thru effectively but can Mac Jones get him the ball? If he can’t, it will be a long night for the Patriot faithful in the cold.

For all the latest injury info, go to Sports Injury Central. This includes updates on the health of the USA World Cup squad and the likelihood of Christian Pulisic playing Saturday.

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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