NFL 2018 Season - Week 16
 

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GAME REPORTS

 
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Injury Concerns
by Dennis Ranahan

The mid-September playing date for the National Football League has brought summer like weather at all dozen outdoor venues. From a high temperature of 96 degrees in Jacksonville, were the Jaguars entertain the New England Patriots, to 93 degrees in Denver and 90 degrees in Tampa Bay. The only game site where the thermometer will read less than 80 degrees is Santa Clara, where the San Francisco 49ers host the Detroit Lions at Levi's Stadium in confortable 74 degree conditions.

The injury situation is not so sunny for many teams. In Atlanta, the Falcons will host the Carolina Panthers and while they are missing two key defensive players, Keanu Neal and Deion Jones, Carolina has a number of their offensive players sidelined. Included on that list is tight end Greg Olsen and a pair of their best offensive lineman, Trai Turner and Daryl Williams.

The Philadelphia Eagles are missing a trio of key offensive players too. Carson Wentz is still not ready to go from the injury suffered last December, with Darren Sproles and Alshon Jeffrey sidelined for today's game against the Buccaneers in Tampa.

The Tennessee Titans have a key AFC South Division battle with the Houston Texans and will be without starting quarterback Marcus Mariota, tight end Delanie Walker and tackle Jack Conklin. Both Tennessee and Houston are looking for their initial win of the season after losing road games last Sunday.

If you know what you are looking for, a point spread move can be the best method to determine if a player is available or not. All week, Titans first-year head coach Mike Vrabel has said he thought both his quarterbacks would see action this week. But, following the point spread, it could determined by the two-point jump in the line on Thursday afternoon that Mariota will be missing today and that was confirmed by people in the know three days ago.

Vrabel will continue to claim Mariota is a game time decision to force the Texans to prepare for two quarterbacks, Mariota and Blaine Gabbert. What the Texans are going to face today is Gabbert exclusively.

The availability of Green Bay Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been in question all week, and he really is a gametime decision. But, last word from Lambeau Field, has Rodgers scheduled to start against the Minnesota Vikings while nursing his strained knee.

The highly touted Los Angeles Chargers are looking to win one game before they lose a second when they meet the Buffalo Bills today at New Era Field. They are still without their best defensive player, Joey Bosa, who continues to battle a foot injury that has him sidelined indefinitely.

The public has checked in with their three favorite plays of the week based on the volume of action on the game. They are in order of preference the Houston Texans (-3) over Tennessee Titans, New York Jets (-2½) over the Miami Dolphins and the Washington Redskins (-6) over the Indianapolis Colts.

As for our money rated plays, those games are now listed on this site and if a Bullet Play develops in the final hour leading up to the 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time kickoffs, that contest will be added to the list of recommendations at 9:45 a.m.