As NFL teams prepare for Week 3, injuries have caused changes to their depth charts.
The San Francisco 49ers will be without Trae Lance for the rest of the season after successful ankle surgery on Monday. He suffered a fractured fibula and sprained ligament in Week 2 against the Seattle Seahawks. Backup Jimmy Garoppolo, who led the team to the NFC Championship game last season, will take over under center.
Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert is nursing a rib cartilage injury suffered late in last week’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Coach Brandon Staley said his signal caller “feels more comfortable” heading into Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The New Orleans Saints have two key offensive players struggling with injuries. Quarterbacks Jameis Winston (back) and Alvin Kamara (ribs) are out. Thursday is practically limited, Kamara missed last week’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers due to illness. Winston said Wednesday that he is preparing to start against the Carolina Panthers.
Our NFL Nation reporters have more updates on key players entering the weekend:
Table | Depth Charts | Piccenter
injury: the knee
Dobbins has participated fully in practice over the past two weeks, but it’s unlikely he’ll make his 2022 debut Sunday at New England. “We’ve got some parameters we’re looking at,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Friday. “It won’t be long.” If Dobbins is out again, it’s uncertain how Baltimore will split the touches in the backfield. Justice Hill, who received a vote of confidence from Harbaugh earlier in the week, will likely see more of a role over Kenyan Drake and Mike Davis.
— Jamison Hensley
Smith injured his groin during the Green Bay game and did not practice in Chicago’s Week 3 game against Houston. The Bears believe Smith can play because his backup, Matt Adams, is out with a hamstring injury. UTFA means enough playing time for Jack Sanborn. “We’re looking at all combinations because if you lose two guys, obviously in pro football, it’s not always good,” coach Matt Eberflus said. “We’re working on that right now, but we’ll have all the combinations.”
— Courtney Cronin
injury: the knee
Gallup looks to make his 2022 season debut against the Giants on Monday after suffering a torn left ACL in January. He took his second practice at bat on Friday, and signs point toward him playing. It won’t be the full quota of snaps, but it will be enough to affect the game. He brings a deeper ball element than the Cowboys have had in their first two games. As for tight end Dalton Schultz (knee), his availability won’t be known until early warmups. If he can’t go, Sean McKean will be called up from the practice squad as rookies Jake Ferguson and Peyton Hendershott get more work.
— Todd Archer
Not only was Watkins, who led Packers receivers in both yards and catches in two games, out Sunday with a hamstring injury. Two other receivers — Christian Watson (hamstring) and Randall Cobb (illness) — are questionable. That should give more work to incoming Romeo Tubbs, who coach Matt LaFleur said Friday “may have to pick up a lot of the load this week.”
— Rob Demowski
Pittman’s injury lingered late last week, prompting the Colts to rule him out in Week 2 just before they left for Jacksonville. This week, Pittman is “ready to go,” according to coach Frank Reich. Pittman is one of the focal points of the Colts’ offense — a fact that was painfully apparent in his absence against the Jaguars.
Leonard will miss his third straight game after Friday’s absence. Although Leonard has been practicing for the past three weeks, Reich said the All-Pro linebacker has not progressed to the point where he can play anywhere near his previous levels. Leonard’s self-evaluation is also heavily considered, and Reich said the player is not yet ready to return.
Pierce took a wild hit during the Colts’ Week 1 game against the Texans and developed concussion symptoms the next day. The signs lingered at a point where the Colts ruled him out for last week’s loss at Jacksonville. But Pierce will clear concussion protocol and return to the lineup on Thursday. Colts under attack could use help.
The Colts’ standout edge rusher is considered questionable this week after developing back pain, but he will play Sunday against the Chiefs. The Colts haven’t been able to consistently pressure the quarterbacks so far this season, but that job will become more important with Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes coming to town.
— Stephen Holder
Griffin was added to the injury report Friday. He was limited in light workouts and was listed as questionable. It’s a late-week injury and there’s still a bit of concern, especially if the Chargers get Keenan Allen back at full strength. If Griffin can’t play, the Jaguars could move Darius Williams out of the slot and line up Trey Herndon inside.
— Michael Drocco
Renfro was hit in the head on consecutive plays Sunday and fumbled on the last play. It led to a 59-yard scoop-and-score walk-off win for the Cardinals and he is coming off concussion protocol. He was discharged on Friday. With Renfrow, a Pro Bowl slot receiver who caught 103 passes last season, unable to play, the Raiders have options. While Keelan Cole is technically Renfrow’s backup, All-Pro Davante Adams has shown he can step inside. Depth, coach Josh McDaniels said, is key throughout the roster, and it should be tested at slot receiver in Nashville.
— Paul Gutierrez
Herbert, who suffered broken ribs in the Week 2 loss to the Chiefs, did not practice Friday and is questionable ahead of Sunday’s game against the Jaguars. Herbert said Friday he felt “fine” and did not train as part of a recovery plan that included his throwing on Thursday. Herbert will be a game-time decision, and if he can’t play, Chase Daniel will start.
— Lindsey Tri
injury: the knee
Number of Rams 3 receiver has yet to practice since undergoing knee surgery during training camp. Rams coach Sean McVay said Jefferson has not dealt with any setbacks and that his rehabilitation is “on track.” McVay said Jefferson will not play Sunday against the Cardinals.
— Sarah Barshop
Smith is one of the NFL’s best and most versatile safeties, and his presence will be sorely missed on Sunday against the Lions. A strong center fielder, a good blitzer and a solid tackler, Smith’s replacement for Josh Metellus and Louis Cini is a combination of the game’s flow, according to coach Kevin O’Connell.
— Kevin Seifert
injury: the knee
The Patriots’ leading receiver is confident he’ll get a chance to suit up this week despite not having a heavy practice workload. He initially injured his knee in the season finale against the Raiders and has since been managing it. He politely declined comment in the locker room when reached Friday. If he can’t go, Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne could see their snaps increase.
— Mike Reiss
injury: the ankle
Winston was on a limited schedule last week after suffering a back injury in Week 1, but appeared in goal to play against the Buccaneers. Winston is listed as doubtful, as is Kamara, who missed last week with a rib injury, but is on track to return as he participated in all three practices. Cornerback Paulson Adebo, who has yet to play this season, looks like he’s coming back with a questionable position, and his return to practice this week is certainly a good sign, but he may not be 100 percent yet.
— Catherine Terrell
Kittle returned to practice last Friday, a sign that his return is nearing. However, he did not play last Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. This week, that twist is about to happen.
Kittle participated in practice all week and was not listed on Sunday night’s injury report against the Broncos. Coach Kyle Shanahan said Kittle is “good to go” without restrictions, making his 2022 regular-season debut.
Armstead’s availability is uncertain after not practicing all week. He was officially listed as questionable Sunday night in Denver, meaning the Niners still hold out hope he can play. For what it’s worth, coach Kyle Shanahan said Wednesday that he’s confident Armstead will be “fine” by Sunday night. But that could be a game-time decision.
— Nick Wagoner