Has any team had worse injury luck than the Pittsburgh Steelers? They lead my injury report for the third time and it involves Big Ben again. Here's a look at injuries that affect Week 10 NFL odds.
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers
Roethlisberger strained his MCL in a Week 3 win at the Rams and didn't return until Week 8. In that game, the Steelers lost Pro Bowl running back Le'Veon Bell for the season. And then this past Sunday, Roethlisberger went down again, this time with what is being called a mid-foot sprain. That's actually a positive; the team originally feared it might be a Lisfranc injury, which could have ended Roethlisberger's season. He should only miss a few weeks with the strain. While Roethlisberger missed those four weeks with a sprained MCL, the offense never scored more than 24 points in a game and the team was 2-2. Pittsburgh hosts Cleveland this week and is a 4.5-point favorite on NFL odds. Former third-stringer Landry Jones will get the start with backup Michael Vick still hurting. Jones' lone start this season was a 23-13 loss a couple of weeks ago at Kansas City. He was 16-for-29 for 209 yards, a TD and two picks.
Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings are tied for first place in the NFC North -- who saw that coming? But the Vikes might not have the second-year Bridgewater this week at fellow rising team Oakland. Bridgewater suffered a concussion on a 5-yard scramble early in the fourth quarter of Sunday's win over the Rams. Rams cornerback Lamarcus Joyner was flagged for a late hit on the play, as he struck Bridgewater in the head with his forearm while the quarterback was sliding to the ground. Joyner is surely going to get fined by the NFL as well. Vikings coach Mike Zimmer was livid over the play and called it dirty. Zimmer said he thinks Bridgewater would be good to go this week, though, and the QB passed the first test of the NFL's concussion protocol on Monday. The Vikings are +2.5 on NFL picks vs. the Raiders.
Latavius Murray, RB, Raiders
So while the Vikings are confident Bridgewater can play in Oakland, the Raiders aren't so sure on their starting running Murray. He is dealing with a concussion after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit from Redskins safety Mike Mitchell in the third quarter Sunday and was knocked out of the game. Murray had 96 yards on 17 carries before leaving. You may not be aware, but Murray leads all AFC running backs with 630 yards rushing. Marcel Reese would likely be the primary running back if Murray can't play against the Vikings. As noted above, the Raiders are -2.5.
Dion Lewis, RB, Patriots
The Patriots always seem to dig up running backs out of thin air and turn them into success stories. They had done that this year with Lewis, but his season is over after tearing his ACL in Sunday's win over Washington. If you saw the injury, you knew it was bad right away as Lewis went down like he was shot. Lewis has rushed for 234 yards this season and has 388 receiving yards with two scores. His 10.8 yards per catch is third-highest among running backs this year. James White and/or Brandon Bolden are likely to see more touches in New England's "passing back" role. White was the top option when Lewis was sidelined in the team's Oct. 25 win over the New York Jets, playing a season-high 43 snaps in that game. New England is +7 this week at the New York Giants.
LeSean McCoy, RB, Bills
McCoy, who has been plagued by injuries all season, left Sunday's win over Miami with a shoulder injury. He said after the game he should be fine, but it's a quick turnaround this week against the Jets on Thursday night. McCoy didn't participate in Buffalo's walk-through on Monday. McCoy has 94 carries for 416 yards and two touchdowns this season. Buffalo is +3 at the Jets.
Nick Folk, K, Jets
Believe this is the first time I've listed a kicker on this injury report. Folk was active for Sunday’s victory over the Jaguars, but was limited to holding for punter Ryan Quigley due to a quad injury suffered in pregame warm-ups. Folk is expected to miss at least four weeks. On Monday, the Jets worked out free-agent kickers Billy Cundiff, Garrett Hartley, Kyle Brindza and Randy Bullock. New York is -3 on NFL picks against Buffalo on Thursday.
DeMarcus Ware, LB, Broncos
Ware could miss up to a month with a back injury. In Sunday's loss to the Colts, Ware aggravated the back injury that caused him to miss a game earlier in the year and is expected to miss at least two weeks this time. Ware has 6.5 sacks this season. You know the Broncos want him healthy for their big Week 12 showdown against New England. Shaq Barrett likely would start with Ware out. Barrett has 3.5 sacks and four forced fumbles. The Broncos also won't have Pro Bowl cornerback Aqib Talib this week after he was suspended one game for poking a Colts player in the eye. Denver is -6 against visiting Kansas City.