As if their three-game slide isn’t adversity enough, the defending NFC champions find themselves in a whole world of hurt. For the first five weeks, Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley looked nothing like the do-it-all back he was in the first three months of last season. Then Gurley sat out last week, and the Rams put up 157 yards of total offense in a 20-7 loss to San Francisco. Gurley is expected to be back this Sunday, but backup Malcolm Brown is now doubtful. And then there’s the struggling defense.
But the Rams aren’t the only team with multiple players among Week 7’s 10 most critical injuries.
- Giants RB Saquon Barkley; Bills RB Devin Singletary; Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky
Status: Questionable (Trubisky, shoulder); Full go (Barkley, ankle; Singletary, hamstring)
Concern Level: None
Replacement: Let’s start with the good news. None of these three players has seen a single snap of action in October, with Barkley out since spraining an ankle in Week 3 and Singletary logging only 10 carries until a hamstring slowed him in Week 2. Trubisky sustained an injury to his non-throwing shoulder in Week 4 that initially looked like he could be out for some time. Instead, after one game missed and a bye week, Trubisky, like Barkley and Singletary, is expected to be ready to go Sunday.
- Rams CB Aqib Talib, S John Johnson
Status: Out (injured reserve — Talib, rib; Johnson, shoulder)
Concern Level: High
Replacement: The absence of Talib and Johnson isn’t news, as both were on injured reserve by Wednesday morning. The high Concern Level comes in the fact that playing in Atlanta against Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Calvin Riley & Co. is a bad time to be missing half your starting secondary. Adding All-Pro Jalen Ramsey via trade this week will certainly help, but he can’t cover everyone and is new to the system. Corner Troy Hill has 15 starts in four seasons with the Rams, so if Ramsey is on the field, L.A. may be OK on the edges. At safety, fourth-year player Marqui Christian is expected to make his first career start — and could spend time covering Austin Hooper, one of the NFL’s top receiving tight ends.
- Cowboys WRs Amari Cooper & Randall Cobb
Status: Questionable (Cooper, quad; Cobb, back)
Concern Level: Cooling
Replacement: Cooper left early in the Cowboys’ road loss to the Jets last week, while Cobb didn’t even suit up. And neither practiced until Friday, when both reportedly had surprisingly good practices. Now both are questionable but expected to play in Sunday night’s game against Philadelphia, and could give QB Dak Prescott the weapons he needs to pull Dallas out of its three-game slide.
- Rams RBs Todd Gurley, Malcolm Brown
Status: Full go (Gurley); Doubtful (Brown)
Concern Level: Medium
Replacement: One could say that based on the way the Rams’ running game has produced (or hasn’t produced), perhaps the return of Gurley isn’t the offensive boon Los Angeles may be hoping for. But with the Rams’ offensive line struggling (G Joseph Noteboom is out for the season) and QB Jared Goff impacted by breakdowns in protection, the Rams have to figure out a way to move the ball on the ground. Rookie Darrell Henderson provided a spark last week with 22 yards on his first carry, but his fumbled pitch to open the second half was a killer.
- Cowboys OTs Tyron Smith, La’el Collins
Status: Questionable (Smith, ankle; Collins, knee)
Concern Level: Cooling
Replacement: While the Status remains the same for both Collins and Smith, the anticipation is far different relative to last weekend. Both were questionable and game-time decisions against the Jets, and neither suited up in East Rutherford, N.J. While both are questionable to face the Eagles, both are expected to play, according to multiple reports. Their returns — along with guard Zack Martin expected to keep playing despite back and ankle injuries — could help the Cowboys’ offense get back to the pace it was playing in Weeks 1-3, when the team went 3-0 and QB Dak Prescott looked like an MVP candidate.
- Eagles WR DeSean Jackson
Status: Out (abdomen)
Concern Level: High
Replacement: While Jackson has been out since Week 3 and hasn’t caught a pass since Week 1, there was legitimate hope in the Eagles’ circles that the speedy wideout would be able to play this week. Instead, Philadelphia will once again look to Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor to carry the load for the receivers, with TE Zach Ertz playing his usual pivotal role. The Cowboys likely won’t mind; Jackson’s 1,147 yards against Dallas are his most against any opponent.
- Eagles OT Jason Peters
Status: Out (Knee)
Concern Level: Extremely high
Replacement: While the absence of WR DeSean Jackson hurts, it’s an absence the Eagles are used to dealing with, and one they have the personnel to offset to some degree. But replacing one of the best — perhaps THE best — offensive tackles in the league is a different story. One byproduct of the injury will be coach Doug Pederson getting about as true a look as he can at rookie Andre Dillard. The first-round pick’s assignment in his first career start? Blocking Cowboys edge rusher Robert Quinn, who has 5.0 sacks in four games this season.
- Packers WRs: Davante Adams, Geronimo Allison, Marquez Valdes-Scantling
Status: Out (Adams, toe); Doubtful (Allison, concussion/chest); Questionable (Valdes-Scantling, ankle/knee)
Concern Level: High
Replacement: Having a healthy Aaron Rodgers means Green Bay is seemingly never out of any game (as evidenced by the Packers’ comeback from a 13-point deficit to win at home against Detroit last Monday night). But at what point do injuries to his favorite targets become too much for Rodgers to overcome? While TE Jimmy Graham (ankle) is expected to play, he has clearly lost a step or two and isn’t a major factor outside of the red zone. Second-year WR Allen Lazard broke out in the fourth quarter against the Lions (four catches, 65 yards, TD), and could be in line for more action this weekend.
- Colts secondary: S Malik Hooker, CB Pierre Desir, CB Kenny Moore
Status: Out (Moore, knee); Doubtful (Hooker, knee); Questionable (Desir, hamstring)
Concern Level: Very high
Replacement: Indianapolis will definitely be without one starter in the secondary and could be down three when Houston comes to town for the biggest game in the AFC South so far this season. While Hooker has not played since Week 3, the injuries to Moore and Desir create the biggest red flags against Deshaun Watson, DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller. Rock Ya-Sin — officially with three starts as the nickel corner — should start on one side, while Quincy Wilson, Shakial Taylor and Marvell Tell (a combined eight games and no starts this season) will help fill the rest of the void.
- Saints RB Alvin Kamara
Status: Out (knee/ankle)
Concern Level: Off the charts
Replacement: While New Orleans has gone 4-0 with Drew Brees out of the lineup, winning this Sunday without both Brees and their dynamic running back will be a tall order for the Saints. What’s more, they’ll be up against a Chicago Bears defense that 1) has Khalil Mack, and 2) had last week off and thus two weeks to prepare. As it did last Sunday, New Orleans will look to veteran Latavius Murray to pick up some of the load. With Kamara slowed last week (18 touches, 66 yards), Murray did have 79 yards on only 11 touches in a 13-6 win over Jacksonville.
All NFL Injuries Week 7
San Francisco 49ers at Washington Redskins
49ers – Out: DT D.J. Jones (hamstring), RB Kyle Juszczyk (knee), T Mike McGlinchey (knee), WR Deebo Samuel (groin), T Joe Staley (fibula), CB Ahkello Witherspoon (foot); QUESTIONABLE: RB Raheem Mostert (knee)
Redskins – Out: TE Vernon Davis (concussion), S Deshazor Everett (ankle), LB Josh Harvey-Clemons (hamstring), G Wes Martin (chest), RB Chris Thompson (toe); QUESTIONABLE: CB Josh Norman (thigh, hand).
Arizona Cardinals at New York Giants
Cardinals – Out: DE Zach Allen (neck), RB D.J. Foster (hamstring), T Brett Toth (illness); QUESTIONABLE: LB Dennis Gardeck (ankle), RB David Johnson (ankle), DE Zach Kerr (ankle), WR Christian Kirk (ankle), P Andy Lee (right hip), T Joshua Miles (illness), LB Ezekiel Turner (hamstring), S Charles Washington (shoulder), TE Maxx Williams (ankle)
Giants – Out: CB Corey Ballentine (concussion), WR Sterling Shepard (concussion)
Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts
Texans – Out: T Tytus Howard (knee), C Greg Mancz (concussion); QUESTIONABLE: S Tashaun Gipson (hip, wrist), CB Johnathan Joseph (hamstring), CB Bradley Roby (hamstring)
Colts – Out: WR Parris Campbell (abdomen), DT Tyquan Lewis (ankle), CB Kenny Moore (knee); DOUBTFUL: S Malik Hooker (knee); QUESTIONABLE: CB Pierre Desir (hamstring), DE Justin Houston (calf), G Quenton Nelson (hip)
Oakland Raiders at Green Bay Packers
Raiders – Out: DE Arden Key (knee), WR Tyrell Williams (foot); DOUBTFUL: T Trenton Brown (calf); QUESTIONABLE: WR Dwayne Harris (ankle), G Gabe Jackson (knee)
Packers – Out: WR Davante Adams (toe), S Darnell Savage (ankle); DOUBTFUL: WR Geronimo Allison (concussion, chest), TE Robert Tonyan (hip); QUESTIONABLE: CB Tony Brown (hamstring), DT Kenny Clark (calf, back), WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling (ankle, knee)
Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions
Vikings – Out: LB Ben Gedeon (concussion); QUESTIONABLE: LB Kentrell Brothers (hamstring)
Lions – Out: DT Mike Daniels (foot), CB Amani Oruwariye (knee); QUESTIONABLE: RB Nick Bawden (back), S Quandre Diggs (hamstring), DE Da’Shawn Hand (elbow), CB Darius Slay (hamstring), T Rick Wagner (knee)
Jacksonville Jaguars at Cincinnati Bengals
Jaguars – Out: WR Marqise Lee (ankle), TE Geoff Swaim (concussion, ankle); QUESTIONABLE: WR Dede Westbrook (shoulder)
Bengals – Out: T Cordy Glenn (not injury related), WR A.J. Green (ankle), CB William Jackson (shoulder), CB Dre Kirkpatrick (knee), DE Carl Lawson (hamstring), G John Miller (groin), T Andre Smith (ankle); DOUBTFUL: DE Carlos Dunlap (knee)
Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills
Dolphins – Out: S Reshad Jones (chest), C Daniel Kilgore (knee), DE Avery Moss (ankle); QUESTIONABLE: WR Jakeem grant (hamstring), CB Xavien Howard (knee)
Bills – Questionable: CB Taron Johnson (hamstring), LB Matt Milano (hamstring), LB Corey Thompson (ankle)
Los Angeles Rams at Atlanta Falcons
Rams – Out: LB Clay Matthews (jaw); DOUBTFUL: RB Malcolm Brown (ankle)
Falcons – Out: CB Desmond Trufant (toe)
Los Angeles Chargers at Tennessee Titans
Chargers – Out: S Nasir Adderley (hamstring), RB Justin Jackson (calf), DT Justin Jones (shoulder), DT Brandon Mebane (knee);
Doubtful: DE Melvin Ingram (hamstring); QUESTIONABLE: K Michael Badgley (right groin)
Titans – Out: LB Sharif Finch (shoulder), CB Chris Milton (calf); DOUBTFUL: LB Jayon Brown (groin); QUESTIONABLE: DE Reggie Gilbert (knee), LB Cameron Wake (hamstring), TE Delanie Walker (ankle)
Baltimore Ravens at Seattle Seahawks
Ravens: – Doubtful: CB Jimmy Smith (knee); QUESTIONABLE: CB Anthony Averett (ankle), WR Marquise Brown (ankle), CB Maurice Canady (thigh), LB Patrick Onwuasor (ankle), T Ronnie Stanley (knee)
Seahawks – Out: TE Will Dissly (achilles); DOUBTFUL: S Delano Hill (elbow); QUESTIONABLE: DE Ezekiel Ansah (ankle), T Duane Brown (biceps), G D.J. Fluker (hamstring), DT Quinton Jefferson (oblique), S Bradley McDougald (back)
New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears
Saints – Out: QB Drew Brees (right thumb), TE Jared Cook (ankle), DE Trey Hendrickson (neck), RB Alvin Kamara (ankle, knee), WR Tre’Quan Smith (ankle)
Bears – Questionable: G Ted Larsen (knee), DT Bilal Nichols (hand, knee), QB Mitchell Trubisky (left shoulder)
Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys
Eagles – Out: LB Nigel Bradham (ankle), WR DeSean Jackson (abdomen), DT Timmy Jernigan (foot), CB Avonte Maddox (concussion, neck), T Jason Peters (knee), RB Darren Sproles (quadricep); QUESTIONABLE: CB Ronald Darby (hamstring)
Cowboys – Out: CB Anthony Brown (hamstring); QUESTIONABLE: DE Dorance Armstrong (neck), WR Randall Cobb (back), T La’el Collins (knee), WR Amari Cooper (ankle, quadricep), CB Byron Jones (hamstring), C Joe Looney (back), G Zack Martin (back, ankle), T Tyron Smith (ankle)