Key Injuries That Can Affect Week Your Week 4 NFL Picks

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, September 29, 2015 11:35 PM GMT

Tuesday, Sep. 29, 2015 11:35 PM GMT

Another week, another major QB injury in the NFL. When was the last time we saw such an epidemic of the league's biggest stars going down? I can't remember anything like it. Here are injuries that could affect the NFL odds for Week 4 around the league.

Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers
I'm not going to touch too much on this because I previewed Thursday night's Ravens-Steelers game in Pittsburgh here at SBR and recommended Baltimore and giving the 2.5 points on NFL picks because Michael Vick will be under center for the Steelers. Roethlisberger will miss 4-6 weeks with a sprained MCL and bone bruise suffered on a low hit on a sack in St. Louis in Week 3. Big Ben said Mark Barron's hit wasn't dirty but that he thought it deserved a penalty. Former NFL vice president of officiating Mike Pereira agreed with Roethlisberger's assessment while serving as an analyst on the Fox broadcast. The Steelers would have opened around 7-point favorites vs. the Ravens if not for this injury.

 

Drew Brees, QB, Saints
Brees missed Sunday's loss in Carolina, his first missed start since Week 17 of his final season in San Diego. We should know more on Wednesday whether Brees can play this week at home against Dallas on Sunday night. Drew Brees is going to take some practice reps on Wednesday to test his bruised throwing shoulder. Apparently his throwing session went well on Tuesday. Brees has stressed that the decision will be based on how much strength and "functionality" he feels he has in his arm. If he can't go, it's veteran journeyman Luke McCown again. So instead of a marquee Brees-Tony Romo matchup, we may have McCown vs. Brandon Weeden. The Saints are currently 4-point favorites on NFL odds.

 

LeSean McCoy, RB, & Sammy Watkins, WR, Bills
LeSean McCoy is not expected to play Sunday at home against the New York Giants due to a nagging hamstring injury. He was limited to only 16 yards on 11 carries in the Week 3 win over Miami. Rookie Karlos Williams has been playing so well, leading all NFL qualifying runners with a 7.75-yard-per-carry average, that the Bills would just rather sit McCoy down and get him 100 percent. Watkins is day-to-day with a calf strain but his prognosis was better already on Tuesday than Monday. I previewed the Giants-Bills game here at SBR and took Buffalo on NFL odds. It is -5.5.

 

DeMarco Murray, RB, & Kiko Alonso, LB, Eagles
Murray sat out Week 3's win over the Jets with a hamstring injury but should be in there Sunday at Washington. Murray has been a major bust thus far with 11 yards on 21 carries. Washington has the No. 3 run defense in the NFL, allowing 75.0 yards per game. Alonso, whom the Eagles acquired for McCoy from the Bills this offseason, was supposed to be a key defensive piece for Chip Kelly but sprained his knee in Week 2 vs. Dallas and sat out Week 3. Alonso is awaiting a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews to see if Alonso needs season-ending surgery. Of course he missed all last season due to knee surgery. The Eagles are 3-point favorites at Washington.

 

Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seahawks
"Beast Mode" was to undergo an MRI on a hamstring injury suffered early in Week 3's win over Chicago. Lynch felt his hamstring after catching a 9-yard pass to convert a fourth-and-1 on the final drive of the first half. He did not play the rest of the game. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll didn't sound too worried and Seattle has an extra day of rest this week as it hosts Detroit on Monday. Lynch hasn't missed a game since 2011 for the Seahawks. Seattle is -9.5 vs. Detroit.

 

Luke Kuechly, LB, Panthers
Carolina is hoping that the former NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year will be out of the NFL's concussion protocol by Wednesday. Kuechly has missed consecutive games after he sustained a concussion in a Week 1 win at Jacksonville. Outside linebacker Thomas Davis suffered a pectoral injury in Week 3 vs. the Saints but the Panthers think he's OK. But defensive end Charles Johnson will miss multiple weeks after aggravating a right hamstring injury in the second half Sunday against New Orleans. Johnson was placed on IR boomerang, meaning he can't return until at least Thanksgiving. That's partly why the Panthers trade for the Bears' Jared Allen on Monday. The Panthers are 3-point favorites at Tampa Bay on Sunday.

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