Key Injuries to Affect Week 7 NFL Picks & Odds

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, October 14, 2014 5:12 PM UTC

Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014 5:12 PM UTC

Week 6 of the NFL season was unusual from an injury perspective because it doesn't appear that a starting QB suffered an injury that would cost him a Week 7 start. There are still some big ones that will affect NFL odds.

Calvin Johnson, WR, and Reggie Bush, RB, Lions
Detroit was able to beat Minnesota on Sunday despite missing its two most important offensive players not named Matthew Stafford. However, that game was won with defense. Detroit managed just 255 total yards and was 1-for-13 on third-down conversions without Megatron and Bush. The Lions were 1-for-11 on third downs the previous week in struggling offensively against Buffalo when Johnson barely played. It's highly unlikely that Johnson returns this week and in fact could miss two more games. Bush says he will play at home against New Orleans. Detroit opened at -2.5 on BetOnline's NFL odds. The Saints are coming off their bye week.


Stevan Ridley, RB, and Jerod Mayo, LB, Patriots
Probably no team had a worse Week 6 than the Patriots. New England beat Buffalo but it was very costly. Ridley tore both his ACL and MCL against the Bills and is done for the season. He has 94 carries for 340 yards and two touchdowns this season and does not have a fumble. Some combination of Shane Vereen, Brandon Bolden and James White will make up for Ridley. Mayo is the heart and soul of that Patriots defense and he's out for the season with a knee injury. He's the defensive play-caller, although New England is used to playing without out him as Mayo suffered a season-ending injury last October as well. Mayo has 53 tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery this season. The Patriots are still the biggest Week 7 favorites at -10 on NFL odds for Thursday's home game against the sinking Jets.


Dee Milliner, CB, Jets
And speaking of those Jets, they lost starting cornerback Miliner for the year to a torn Achilles' tendon. Milliner was the No. 9 overall pick in the 2013 draft out of Alabama. He was considered the team's top cornerback entering the season -- but played only three games due to injury -- and that already was the weakest position on the defense. He will be replaced by Oday Aboushi, who has no career starts and has played 33 regular-season snaps in his career.


Victor Cruz, WR, Giants
No team looked worse in Week 6 than the Giants as they were beaten 27-0 in Philadelphia and managed 253 yards of offense (2-for-14 on third down). Cruz was lost to a torn patellar tendon during the third quarter, and he's done for the year. Cruz could be seen sobbing as he was taken off the field. Cruz had 23 catches for 337 yards and a touchdown this year. His 19 TD catches since 2011 are the most by any slot receiver in the NFL. His primary backup at the slot receiver position, Jerrel Jernigan, is already out for the year with an injury. New York is +5.5 this week at sportsbooks for their matchup against the Dallas Cowboys, which might be due a letdown game after Sunday's huge win in Seattle.


Alex Mack, C, Browns
I won't be including too many centers on this list, but the Pro Bowler Mack is one of the best and he's done for the year with a broken left leg. In the offseason, Mack signed a five-year, $42 million deal, making him the highest-paid center in the NFL. He hadn't missed a snap for Cleveland in his entire career before going down vs. Pittsburgh, an amazing 5,279 snaps in a row played. This is important because Cleveland relies heavily on the run, ranking  No. 3 in the NFL, to help set up short-yardage throws for Brian Hoyer. The Browns are -5.5 on NFL odds this week at winless Jacksonville.


A.J. Green, WR, Bengals
Green missed Sunday's tie against Carolina with a toe injury and he's not expected to play this week at Indianapolis. Cincinnati didn't miss him all that much against the Panthers as the Bengals had 513 yards of offense. Mohamed Sanu really stepped up with 10 catches for 120 yards and a touchdown. It's on defense where the Bengals have been having major issues the past two weeks. They are +3 on Sunday at Indianapolis.


Knowshon Moreno, RB, Dolphins
Miami said goodbye to Moreno on Tuesday as he was put on season-ending injured reserve. He has been bothered by injuries all season and played in just three games. He was second on the team in carries (31) and rushing yards (148). Moreno also averaged 4.8 yards per carry. Moreno was on a one-year deal so he's probably done as a Dolphin. Lamar Miller (63 carries, 330 yards, three TDs) is now the clear-cut featured back. The Dolphins, off losing in the final seconds at home to Green Bay, are 3-point underdogs on NFL odds Sunday at Chicago.

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