The second week of the NFL preseason is normally when teams begin to play their starters. How long they play gives teams, and bettors, an edge, but who does and doesn’t play is just as important. Below is a list of some key Week 2 inactives to take note of as you do your preseason betting.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Cameron Heyward, Landry Jones
On Tuesday, Mike Tomlin announced that he would not be playing Roethlisberger, Brown, Heyward, or Jones against the Green Bay Packers on Thursday. Not having Roethlisberger and Brown is big in itself, but Jones not playing is important too. That means Josh Dobbs and Mason Rudolph will be the Steelers’ only two quarterbacks available for the Packers game. Dobbs and Rudolph both flashed against Philadelphia in the first week of the preseason, but Jones has been a consistent performer and is one of the top back-up quarterbacks in the NFL.
Philadelphia Eagles – Carson Wentz, Alshon Jeffery, Timmy Jernigan
The Eagles are not going to have either Wentz or Jeffery for the entirety of the preseason, and there are concerns over whether either player will be able to play in Philadelphia’s season opener against Atlanta. Wentz continues to recover from a torn ACL, while Jeffery is still on the mend after tearing his rotator cuff. Jernigan is a real concern too and the coaching staff has been tight lipped regarding his offseason back injury that required surgery.
Washington Redskins – Derrius Guice
Grice tore his ACL in the first quarter of the Redskins’ preseason opener and will be out for the remainder of the season. The rookie out of LSU was on his way to becoming the starting running back in Jay Gruden’s offense, but instead Washington will have to make due with other options.
New York Giants – Saquon Barkley
Barkley looks set to miss the Giants’ tilt with the Detroit Lions tomorrow night after suffering a hamstring strain in practice on Monday. He was very limited on Tuesday and Wednesday, and it’s highly doubtful Pat Shurmur will have him play in Detroit.
Jacksonville Jaguars – Jalen Ramsey, Dante Fowler
Ramsey and Fowler have each been suspended for one week following their roles in a dust-up between Fowler and teammate Yannick Ngakoue in practice. Fowler bore the brunt of the blame for his altercation with Ngakoue, while Ramsey was suspended for berating and trying to intimidate local media that filmed the incident.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Vernon Hargreaves
The Buccaneers will likely not have cornerback Vernon Hargreaves for the rest of the preseason after he suffered a groin injury in the team’s first preseason game against Miami. Hargreaves is one of the team’s starting cornerbacks, and not having him available is a bit of a worry due to Tampa Bay’s inexperience at that position.
San Francisco 49ers – Jerick McKinnon, Matt Breida
San Francisco will not have either of its top two running backs available this week. Breida is going to be out for the rest of the preseason after separating his shoulder in the 49ers’ first preseason tilt, while McKinnon is out for at least a week with a calf strain. Those injuries will put the onus on Joe Williams and Raheem Mostert to carry the load, and the team signed veteran Alfred Morris for depth too.
Seattle Seahawks – Rashaad Penny
It’s never a good thing when a team’s first round pick gets injured in the preseason. Penny broke his index finger in practice on Monday, and is expected to be out until the start of the regular season. In his stead, Chris Carson, Mike Davis, and C.J. Prosise will split the duties at running back, but Davis and Prosise have both been battling minor injuries.
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