Injuries suck, plain and simple. They derail progression in a season, interrupt team chemistr, and the rehabilitation process is tedious and isolating. There have been over 235 players placed on Injured Reserve, per The Football Database. Unfortunately, more will be added as the season progresses. Some can be attributed to a lack of preseason as players were not able to get the appropriate ramp-up period, resulting in their bodies not being physically prepared for game action. Others, pure bad luck. This leads us into the biggest news of week 11, Joe Burrow’s knee injury. Burrow was high-lowed as one Washington Football Team defensive end momentum carried into his left knee, as another stuck him in his right shoulder pad. Burrow’s leg buckled awkwardly, resulting in an ACL and MCL tear and additional structural issues, per Adam Schefter.
MRI revealed more damage than anticipated: Bengals’ QB Joe Burrow tore his ACL, MCL, and suffered other structural issues in his knee as well, per @Ben_Baby and me.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 23, 2020
Up to that point in the early third quarter, Burrow had a decent stat line going 22-of-34 for 203 yards and a touchdown near the end of the first half to A.J. Green. By the end of the game, Burrow had tweeted that his season was over, optimistic he would be back on the field in 2021.
Thanks for all the love. Can’t get rid of me that easy. See ya next year✊— Joey Burrow (@JoeyB) November 22, 2020
Burrow was in contention for Rookie of the Year consideration based on his play for the season, posting a 65.1 completion percentage, 2,688 passing yards, good for tenth in the league through ten games and thirteen touchdowns. Burrow made the Bengals fun to watch and fans optimistic for the future in Cincinnati. Everyone is hoping for a speedy and fully healthy recovery for the young quarterback.
Damien Lewis-OG (SEA)
Ethan Pocic missed his second game for the Seahawks this past Thursday as they had a quick turnaround from their Sunday afternoon loss to the Rams in week ten. Damien Lewis was tasked with sliding to center from his native right guard position as their second-string center was unable to start the game with an ankle injury. Moving positions on the offensive line can be difficult, even more so for a rookie. Damien had some issue in the first quarter, resulting in a sack. A botched snap that Seattle was able to recover, and a questionable holding penalty as he was bull-rushed by the nose tackle and was pancaked on the play. His play did improve as the game went on, as the Seahawks rushed for 165 yards, and Lewis made some key blocks.
The Seahawks offensive line was ranked 28th per Pro Football Focus heading into the 2020 season. However, with the development of Pocic and addition of Damien Lewis, the Seahawks' offensive line have exceeded these expectations and allowed for Seattle to become a top-four offense, averaging 400 yards per game through ten games.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire-RB (KC)
Edwards-Helaire and the Chiefs were on bye in week ten and returned to play Sunday night in Las Vegas against divisional rivals the Raiders. The Raiders topped the Chiefs 40-32 back in week five at Arrowhead. Edwards-Helaire had 80 yards on thirteen touches as the Chiefs relied on their passing attack to try and keep pace with the Raiders. This rematch was exciting throughout the night with eight lead changes, three within the last six minutes of the game. Edwards-Helaire had 15 touches for 77 yards but was able to hit the jackpot twice in Vegas. The inclusion of Le’Veon Bell to the Chiefs' backfield, who was signed after the week five loss, adds a veteran two-time all-pro who Edwards-Helaire can learn from and is only averaging seven touches per game. I would not expect Edwards-Helaire to lose any backfield time to Bell if he keeps making moves like these.
D.J. Chark-WR (JAX)
After blowing up with Minshew Mania last year, it has been a quiet season so far for the third-year wideout in Jacksonville. Minshew, expected back soon from injury, fractured and strained ligaments in his thumb and has not played since week seven for the Jaguars. Maybe the lack of Minshew’s presence behind center, the emergence of rookie James Robinson running the ball, or only one game over 100 yards receiving has removed the spotlight from Chark. Targets (-19), receptions (-10), yards (-262),and touchdowns (-4) are all down compared to last year through ten games, per ESPN stats. Hopefully getting Minshew back can help Chark make up some of those differences over the last six games of the season.
The Jaguars played the Steelers this past week and nothing was happening on offense. The Jags scored a field goal on their first possession and failed to score for the remainder of the game. The Steelers had seven quarterback hits and two sacks as they made their presence felt again, limiting the Jaguars to 206 total yards of offense. Chark was able to pull in four receptions on eight targets for 41 yards but was the team’s top receiver in terms of yards.
Justin Jefferson-WR (MIN)
Griddy count VS Dallas: 1
My love for Justin Jefferson, griddy expert and the best rookie wide receiver in the NFL, grows daily pic.twitter.com/KlVBPqS3A8— Sully Engels (@SullyKSNT) November 23, 2020
Season total: four
Week 12 has an exciting matchup Thanksgiving night with the Ravens heading to Pittsburg looking to pull off an upset against the undefeated Steelers. Also look forward to more divisional matchups with WAS-DAL, TEN-IND, SF-LAR, MIA-winless NYJ and CHI-GB. Other interesting games include the KC-TB and SEA- the NFC East leading PHI (3-6-1). The season is winding down and playoff implications are more imminent. With the additional playoff team and only one coveted bye week for the top team in each conference, there will be a lot of changes these upcoming weeks.