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ProFootballDoc: Top 10 NFL Injury Questions and Line Movers Heading Into Week 16

Sunday’s five picks against the gameday spread went 3-1-1, but could have gone undefeated. The underdog Cowboys won outright (but we will not count extra for the +160 money line,) and the Titans and Cardinals covered. Even though we made the early call on the Seahawks at -3, the line jumped to -6.5. So using the Sunday morning line, we lose. Same thing for the Colts, who were at -6.5 but went up to -7, resulting in a push. The overall record climbs to 45-25-5 with a +20 differential.

The Steelers are the healthier side tonight versus the Bengals, but the line has climbed to PIT -14.5. So make your own call using the Field View and Injury Index below.

Be sure to check out the multiple line mover videos at www.profootballdoc.com for free to get the best numbers and maybe even a chance at a middle or two. The 49ers have a host of injuries, and the FanDuel line versus the Cardinals opened in the afternoon at -3. By Sunday night, it had already moved to -4 and may continue to climb as injury news is revealed.

Here are the top 10 new injury concerns heading into Week 16:

1. Nick Mullens – The 49ers QB injured his elbow late in the game. By video, it is likely to be a strain of the medial elbow, including the ulnar collateral ligament. I fully anticipate that C.J. Beathard will start Week 16 and probably 17 as well. This and the next two injuries on this list are the reasons that the Cardinals line has already jumped higher.

2. Raheem Mostert – By video, the 49ers running back reaggravated his left high ankle sprain and did not return. I could easily see him being shut down, especially since San Francisco has been eliminated.

3. Jeff Wilson Jr – Mostert’s replacement injured his hamstring late and says he is fine. With nothing to play for, it remains to be seen if he will suit up. Certainly being out of contention changes the backdrop of any return for George Kittle or Deebo Samuel as well, which suggests that the line will continue climbing.

4. Clyde Edwards-Helaire – The Chiefs rookie running back was forced into the awkward splits and injured his hip and leg. He did not return to the game. By video, the injury is probably not serious or long-term. More of a muscle strain. CEH may miss some time but should be back by or before the playoffs.

5. James Robinson – The Jaguars running back appeared to suffer a high ankle sprain and did not return. He has had a nice season but with only two games to go, it may be over. No surgery is needed, and Robinson will have a healthy offseason to get ready for 2021.

6. D.K. Metcalf – The Seahawks wideout had a scary looking knee and ankle injury. He slipped in the end zone, hyperextending his knee and rolling his ankle. Both injuries looked worse than they were, and he returned to finish the game.

7. Stefon Diggs – From Saturday, the Bills star wide receiver did not finish the game because of a foot injury. He scared viewers when he hopped around without putting weight on it after getting off the cart, but I think he just didn’t want to get his sock wet on the shoeless foot. The video did not reveal anything significant, and his exit was more about the blowout score than any injury.

8. Stephon Gilmore – The former defensive player of the year injured his right knee/leg on an awkward non-contact play. The good news is that, by video, I do not believe he tore his ACL, as many on social media thought. I think his season is over, but I’m hoping for a milder injury. The way he was twisted may have caused a tib-fib joint subluxation. In any case, the Patriots and his season are done, as there are only two meaningless games left.

9. Leighton Vander Esch – By video, there is worry for a high ankle sprain, and if so, he is unlikely to play next week, despite the Cowboys still being in the playoff hunt.

10. Sheldon Richardson – The Browns key defensive lineman left the Sunday night game with a neck issue. There was no good corresponding video, so we will have to wait for a prognosis.

For longer-term injury prognosis and returns — including Christian McCaffrey, Daniel Jones, Alex Smith, Michael Thomas and dozens more — visit injury central at 
www.profootballdoc.com.

Written by Pro Football Doc

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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