ProFootballDoc: Top 5 Actionable Injury Issues for Week 9

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Tis the season when most teams have injury issues as we cross the halfway point. The Field View gets more “colorful” with health issues and the COVID watch gets complicated. 

No question the injury inequities seem to be equalizing. This week seems particularly tight with fewer obvious mismatches but lots of big line movement due to player health changes and thus the advantage is to use the information at to lock in favorable numbers early. However, here we’ll pick our traditional five games using the current lines which has led us to a 24-14-2 record through eight weeks.

Bears offensive line issues

Chicago has struggled offensively and now has three out of five starters out and other depth issues. The Bears have no choice but to stick with Nick Foles at QB as Mitch Trubisky subluxed his throwing shoulder last week and will be out through the team’s Week 11 bye. The Titans have lost two straight after a 5-0 start but their quality defensive line is healthy and should dominate. Titans -6.5 seems to be the right side of this one.

Vikings and Lions defenses short handed

The Vikings will be without six defensive backs. While Kenny Golladay is out, Matthew Stafford will clear the COVID quarantine protocol to travel to Minneapolis to play. The Vikings are very healthy on offense and should also be able to put up points with several Lions defensive injuries. The total is 52 and this should be a high scoring game.

Broncos defensive line out

The Falcons healthy offensive line starters are poised to dominate the line of scrimmage given that the entire Broncos defensive line will consist of backups. Atlanta will miss Calvin Ridley with a midfoot sprain but the rest of the offense is healthy and Todd Gurley should be productive. Even though the Falcons started 0-4 and got their coach fired, they should be able to take advantage and win by more than 4.5 points.

Texans offense healthy

The Texans and Jaguars have only one win each but Houston has a healthy offense and the Jaguars will start a rookie at QB. Houston is favored by 6.5 points but should have the firepower to win easily with health on their side.

Cowboys offensive injuries

Dallas will start its fourth new QB of the season with Garrett Gilbert who was signed off the Browns practice squad less than a month ago. Ezekiel Elliott hurt his hamstring chasing down a turnover last week and seems unlikely to go. The Cowboys O-line is missing both starting tackles and the center. The big advantage would have been to take the Steelers -3.5 as the injury issues were known early week. However, when Andy Dalton was placed on the COVID list the line has skyrocketed to -14.5.

Don’t wait for this weekly Sunday article to act. Outkick readers should take advantage of the info at all week and get down before lines move. Also check out the clear healthier side for the Patriots/Jets Monday Night matchup.

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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