Key Injuries to Affect Week 5 NFL Picks & Odds

Matthew Jordan

Monday, September 29, 2014 8:46 PM GMT

Monday, Sep. 29, 2014 8:46 PM GMT

For the most part it appears there was no truly earth-shattering injury in  Week 4 of the NFL season but there are still plenty of important guys who are wounded and whose absence may affect NFL odds at sportsbooks. Here's your M*A*S*H report.

Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Vikings
For the second straight week a Vikings quarterback tops this list, but the news appears good for the rookie Bridgewater. He was carted off the field in the fourth quarter of Minnesota's win over the Falcons with a left ankle injury on Sunday. X-rays and an MRI were negative and Bridgewater should be able to go Thursday night at Green Bay. Bridgewater didn't look like a rookie making his first career start as he completed 19 of 30 passes for 317 yards with no turnovers or touchdowns in the upset of Atlanta. He rushed for his first NFL score. If for some reason Bridgewater can't go vs. Green Bay, fellow former first-round pick Christian Ponder would get the call. The Vikings opened as 9-point underdogs at sportsbooks, but be sure to keep an eye on this QB situation, as a decision might open up some value for our NFL picks.

 

Derek Carr, QB, Raiders
The Raiders are on a bye this week off their loss Sunday to Miami in London, but it appears that Carr is likely to miss at least a game or two. Carr left the game with a high ankle sprain and MCL sprain in the third quarter. His replacement was Matt McGloin. On his second play, a bad snap flew by McGloin and Miami's Cortland Finnegan returned the fumble 50 yards for a touchdown. The Raiders are just comically bad and there was one report the team already had fired Coach Dennis Allen. That was then retracted by the Associated Press writer, but it wouldn't surprise anyone. The Raiders next play San Diego on Oct. 12.

 

Carson Palmer, QB, Cardinals
The Cardinals were on a bye in Week 4 and Palmer missed the team's previous two games with a nerve problem in his right shoulder. Palmer has said he expects to play this week in Denver but Coach Bruce Arians hasn't said as much yet. It apparently may be decided by Wednesday if Palmer can fully practice by then. The Cardinals are the NFC's lone remaining unbeaten but are +7.5 vs. the Broncos. Drew Stanton would start again if Palmer can't. Drew Stanton isn't beating the Broncos in Denver.

 

Mike Evans, WR, Buccaneers
Evans was a preseason NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year favorite, but the former Texas A&M star will miss the next 2-4 weeks with a groin injury. He was injured in Tampa Bay's surprising 27-24 win at Pittsburgh. Evans leads the team in receptions (17) and receiving yards (203), which both rank third among NFL rookie wide receivers. Evans caught his first TD against the Steelers. The Bucs are pretty thin at receiver outside of Evans and Vincent Jackson. Louis Murphy figures to be the main beneficiary in terms of playing time. He was just signed off the street. Tampa is the biggest opening underdog of Week 5 at +10.5 at New Orleans.

 

Cecil Shorts, WR, Jaguars
Jacksonville looks nearly as bad as Oakland, but at least the Jaguars appear to have found their franchise QB in Blake Bortles as he looked good in his first start. Naturally it was still a double-digit loss, to San Diego, as all four Jags games have  been thus far. Bortles likely won't have top receiver Cecil Shorts for a while as he aggravated a  hamstring injury in the loss to the Chargers. That injury originally cost him the first two games of the season. Shorts is easily the team's most experienced receiver. He has seven catches for 60 yards and a score.

 

Calvin Johnson, WR, Lions
Megatron played through an ankle injury in Sunday's win over the Jets, but he was clearly not 100 percent. He was essentially only a decoy in the game with two catches for 12 yards. Yet the Lions won on the road regardless, 24-17. Johnson will play this week against Buffalo, which will start Kyle Orton at quarterback over E.J. Manuel. Not because Manuel is hurt but regressing. The Lions are 7-point favorites at sportsbooks.

 

DeAngelo Williams, RB, Panthers
Carolina is in desperate straits at running back as Williams is doubtful for Week 5 vs. Chicago with a sprained ankle. Already sidelined are fellow running backs Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert, meaning some dude named Darrin Reaves, an undrafted free agent, may be forced to start this week against Chicago. It's possible Fozzy Whittaker will return this week for Carolina, not that Whittaker would get Cats fans all excited. The Bears stink against the run so they couldn't ask for a better time to face the Panthers. Carolina is a 2.5-point home favorite at most online sportsbooks. Coach Ron Rivera said Monday that the team will look at a couple of free-agent running backs.

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