NFL Week 9 Injuries: Who Is Starting At QB For Titans at Chiefs?

Written By Will Carroll on November 4, 2022
nfl week 9 injuries

The worst thing in football is the complete unknown. A team always thinks they have a finger on the pulse, an idea of what play is coming next, and even in the worst moment, they know they practiced that crazy trick play. The Tennessee Titans find themselves in a trickier position with their starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill this week, preparing to face the Chiefs. That’s the biggest potential betting market mover when it comes to NFL Week 9 injuries.

Let’s dive into the injury report and analyze what’s going on with some key players. Use our Prop Finder Tool below in order to bet the best available odds on markets related to these injuries. Just search by team or player name.

RYAN TANNEHILL, QB TITANS (sprained ankle/illness)

Ryan Tannehill got the flu. The team can prepare and drop rookie Malik Willis into the mix. However, from outside, none of us had any real idea what Willis could do, aside from hand the ball to Derrick Henry. Admittedly, that was a pretty good plan against Houston. Kansas City is not Houston.

Tannehill is reportedly over all effects from the illness. Underneath that was an ankle injury that kept him out of practice Thursday, a downgrade from Wednesday’s practice activity. The assumption was it was a one-week injury, but until we see him out on the field and as mobile as he needs to be, there’s still a bit of an unknown.

With a key game against the Chiefs upcoming, Tannehill is not only an improvement over Willis right now, he’s a must if they’re going to have any chance. Among NFL Week 9 injuries, this one might move the number most, with the spread at Chiefs -12 Friday afternoon. However, focus more on how he’s moving this week than merely if he’s playing. Right now, the Titans are around the same moneyline as the Jets are against the Bills in Sunday Night Football odds!

Whether Tannehill is active or not against the Chiefs will be announced 90 minutes before kickoff on Sunday.

Other Notable NFL Week 9 Injuries

  • Will Carroll has covered injuries in sports for more than 20 years. He’s written four books, including his latest entitled “The Science of Football”. He also consults with several pro teams. He is currently the Director of Bioanalytics for Northstarr, a sports science startup company.

EZEKIEL ELLIOTT, RB COWBOYS (sprained knee)

Among NFL Week 9 injuries, it’s the one Cowboys fans and backers might want to actually cost the player another week.

It is Jerry Jones’ money in that big contract that Ezekiel Elliott signed. Maybe it shouldn’t surprise us that he’s the only one that doesn’t see Tony Pollard is the better back in the now. Elliott is expected to return in Week 9, just a couple weeks after a Grade II MCL sprain. The knee is said to be stable, no surprise with his musculature as a secondary stabilizer. The test now will be to see if he can make hard cuts under load, which will come early this week in practice. It’s unclear if he’ll wear a brace, though that wasn’t seen at practice. 

Even if he doesn’t have full mobility, Elliott could still be a north/south back. The MCL sprain shouldn’t really affect power, though there’s some lateral stress at the point where a pile goes static and there’s push on both sides. There’s some recurrence risk, as there’s no way a sprain like this has fully healed in just weeks. That’s going to remain the case for several weeks, assuming there’s no further damage, even minor that will set  things back as the ligament heals. 

If Elliott is functional, as he appears to be, he should be back to his normal split with Pollard, which has been around 35/25 on snap count. Pollard didn’t even go up much (30) last week, so the Cowboys offense seems reluctant to extend him for some reason. I think it will go back to the normal split, meaning yardage is dependent on big plays and touchdowns are simply random. It shouldn’t affect anything in terms of points or game script for the Cowboys, as was shown in Week 8, with the bye giving him more time to heal.

MARK INGRAM, RB SAINTS (sprained knee)

With Elliott ready to return in just a couple weeks, there’s questions as to why Mark Ingram will be out for a month with a similarly graded injury, a Grade II MCL sprain. There’s no good answer here, as there may be more instability or history with Ingram’s knee. There’s also Alvin Kamara, which makes it easier, and Dwayne Washington who could see an increase in playing time. Of course, Taysom Hill has been effective in his package role and with 10 touches last week, could get the Ingram looks. 

The Saints have been absolutely crushed by injuries this year and adding Ingram to that makes it tougher on the medical staff. There’s only so many hours in the day, only so much staff to do all the tasks, so something gets lost in the man-hours calculation, usually prevention. Add in that they have a tough defensive matchup this week and three of the next four, so whoever is running will have a tougher go. 

Heading into this week, last week’s crush job on the Raiders have the Saints only at home against the Ravens. The addition of Roquan Smith factors in, but we’ll see if Andy Dalton and the receivers are forced to do more without a real inside run game. I think Kamara goes under his yardage, and the game is an under as well. 

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RASHOD BATEMAN, WR RAVENS (sprained foot)

This was the big blow for the rest of season among NFL Week 9 injuries.

Grass isn’t the quick fix to all foot and ankle problems, even if it’s largely safer over large numbers. It’d be nice if the NFL took some of it’s Scrooge McDuck pool of gold and put it into better turf, better grass, and more research as to how to improve on the sheer number of lower leg injuries we’ve seen over the past decade. (I’ll go full Mars Blackmon and say it’s gotta be the shoes.)

Rashod Bateman was expected to be WR1 for the Ravens, but a recurrent foot injury – largely believed to be a mid-grade mid-foot sprain – has kept him off the field and clearly hobbled when he has been. As a speed receiver, Bateman just hasn’t been able to make downfield cuts with any conviction. He was pulled quickly from a game where he was very needed, adding to Mark Andrews’ workload as he deals with his own issues. It’s a big issue and one that won’t resolve quickly.

Devin Duvernay has stepped into the WR1 role, while DeMarcus Robinson is seeing more targets than James Proche. That should continue if Bateman is out again this week, while Lamar Jackson continues to be the linchpin of the offense and can take over both running and passing. My guess is Bateman ends up missing at least a couple games, though they seem reluctant to place him on the IR, so the four week mark might be long. In the interim, the Ravens might not make the big plays Bateman threatens.

COOPER KUPP, WR RAMS (sprained ankle)

Kupp has given us reason for optimism, despite being on the NFL Week 9 injuries list.

“Tissue swelling in the right ankle.” That’s a new verbiage and one more reason that Reggie Scott or any of the medical staff should be the ones giving injury updates rather than hearing bad translations from even the best coaching staffs. It’s basically a minor ankle sprain for Cooper Kupp, one that came late in the game in questionable circumstances. Sean McVay knows that one was a misfire, but the team’s lucky that Kupp came away with only the minor issue.

Kupp will have a light practice load this week, but a source tells me that given where he was on Monday and where he is Wednesday, there’s little expectation that he won’t be near 100 percent by gametime. He’s expected to have a normal game plan, which usually means a heavy target load and big production. 

I’m a bit surprised that the Rams, even with their struggles, are giving three points to the Bucs. The Rams are going to have to pass more and its been nearly impossible over the last couple seasons to stop Kupp entirely. If the Rams get any sort of running game – see Quick Hits below for more on this – I feel like this could be a turn around game for them and a sneaky winning opportunity for bettors, especially if Kupp’s props are on the low side.

DARREN WALLER, TE RAIDERS (strained hamstring)

Not having Darren Waller can’t completely explain how the Raiders got whomped by the patched-up Saints last week, but it didn’t help. Waller missed another game with his hamstring, but the short-term loss appears to have been the smart play. Waller is back at practice and is expected to play. He should go right back to the primary receiver overall. Foster Moreau stepped in and got nine targets last week, so David Carr is looking for the TE regardless, but needs the quality and power.

Waller’s hamstring strain does come with the standard recurrence risk. A source tells me that the team feels confident in him given his progression and how close he was last week. His numbers have been down this year, with only 16 catches, but part of that is coverage and the new offense. The hope is getting him back gives a bit of a reset to Carr.

Waller is often grouped with Davante Adams and makes it difficult to match up on routes. His physical presence should keep any residual lack of burst from being a major issue, though I wouldn’t expect he’ll be sent deep often. The lower seasonal target and production numbers keep me from suggesting he’ll suddenly have a breakout, but the potential is there. 

TJ WATT, EDGE STEELERS (strained pectoral)

The Steelers are on bye this week, but a source tells me TJ Watt will be there when the team returns. His pectoral strain is not healed, but its enough that holding Watt back – always an issue – isn’t going to happen. There’s a recurrence risk here, even if he wears a harness, plus a risk he makes it worse and needs surgery. Watt, I’m told, is aware of this and is willing to take the risk.

The harness could affect Watt’s rushing skills. He’s a speed rusher to be sure, but part of his effectiveness is keeping the blockers’ hands off him. That’s tougher with one restrained even a bit. We’ve seen Watt come back well from injuries, so there’s reason for optimism, but this isn’t the same Steelers team and if they’re eliminated, would they run Watt out there with the risk? I’m not sure. 

The Steelers without Watt aren’t good. Getting him back has to be an improvement, but it’s very hard to say by just how much. I think there might be a bit too much movement, even with playing some really banged up teams in their first few weeks after his return. I’m very curious to see how much Watt moves the line on his own.

JORDAN DAVIS, DT EAGLES (high ankle sprain)

Everything seems to be going right for the Eagles this season, but injuries are one of those things that can chip away at a team over a long season and keep those ’72 Dolphins drinking. The first key injury the Eagles have had comes this deep into the season and only costs them depth, with Jordan Davis out several weeks with a high ankle sprain. He’s been part of a dominating D-line rotation, so this will affect what they do. 

While this is normally a four-to-six week injury, Davis isn’t on the IR yet. That might be a positive sign, or a sign that the Eagles aren’t desperate to fill the roster slot. They have depth at the position, with Marlon Tuipalotu the likely fill-in. If the rotation doesn’t force Fletcher Cox into more plays, there shouldn’t be significant consequences, but this defense is strong because it keeps everyone in the best positions for success. Injuries can shift those. 

The Eagles had a Thursday game, giving them the long week, though Davis was unlikely to be back by Week 10, regardless.

Quick Hits: NFL Week 9 Injuries

The XFL featured PJ Walker in a lot of their material this week. However, as well as he’s played, he’s likely to be pushed aside once Sam Darnold is ready, which could come soon … The deal to move Jeff Wilson tells us that Elijah Mitchell is closer for the 49ers. His MCL rehab is coming along and he could be back as RB2 as soon as Week 10 … Chuba Hubbard is expected to play this week, coming off his sprained ankle. At best, he’s a timeshare with D’Onta Foreman, but there’s some upside as well … As I alerted you, Kyren Williams was activated by the Rams and could play as soon as this weekend. With the Rams struggles and potential, Williams could translate his exciting pre-season into a real role quickly … We’re still waiting on a Cordarelle Patterson return, but he’s back at practice after his knee injury. He’d indicated a couple weeks ago in an Instagram video that he was targeting Week 9, when first eligible. He was seen doing warmups before the Falcons played last weekend, watched by coaches and the team doc … Keenan Allen essentially pulled himself last week, saying he couldn’t accelerate. That’s key for him and with no early week practice, the hamstring strain is still holding him back … It’s a severe high ankle sprain for Irv Smith. He’s on IR and could miss the rest of the season – 8 to 10 weeks – making the TJ Hochenson deal more pressing… Adam Thielen has a bruised knee. There was some confusion during the game as to why Thielen was sent to the medical tent. It wasn’t a concussion test, just the standard in-game practice to block the view, even for something that simple … Colts edge Tyquan Lewis – who was in for the injured Kwity Paye – tore his patellar tendon and is done for the year. He missed much of last year when he tore the other patellar tendon. Someday, we’ll know these kind of innate, likely genetic deficiencies. Today is not that day and watching Lewis writhe in pain on the Lucas Oil turf was a reminder there’s so much more to do, starting with that turf.

Best of luck handicapping NFL Week 9 injuries.

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Will Carroll

Will Carroll has covered injuries in sports for more than 20 years, working at places like ESPN, Baseball Prospectus, Football Outsiders, and FanDuel. He’s written four books, including the upcoming “The Science of Football” and consults with several pro teams. He is currently the Director of Bioanalytics for Northstarr, a sports science startup company.

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