Nothing is worse than being hit by a slew of injuries in a Sunday game. Except, of course, having to then play on Thursday. Just ask the Washington Redskins.
Washington listed nearly a dozen players on its injury report heading into the prime-time NFC East matchup with the Giants. Still, Washington, tied for No. 23 in the AP Pro32 with Cleveland, is a 3 1-2 point favorite over the No. 25 Giants.
On defense alone, cornerback DeAngelo Hall went out for the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon suffered in the loss to Philadelphia. While nickel cornerback Tracy Porter (hamstring) could be back after missing the first three games, safety Duke Ihenacho broke his left foot and is done for the year.
End Jason Hatcher has a hamstring injury, and linebacker Brian Orakpo will wear a large cast to protect a torn ligament in his left middle finger.
The offense, of course, is without quarterback Robert Griffin III (dislocated ankle), although Kirk Cousins has stepped in and performed well. Top running back Alfred Morris missed a portion of the Eagles game with a knee issue, but returned and seems OK. Tight end Jordan Reed (hamstring) missed the Philly game, and guard Shawn Lauvao probably will sit out Thursday night, too.
And now, a short week.
“Now it’s a matter of getting plays installed Monday morning and getting players out there and practicing them,” coach Jay Gruden said. “We’re going through the same process, we just have got to do it a lot faster. You have got to watch film a little bit faster, you have got to go through the plays a little bit faster, you have got to write down the plays faster. Yeah, it’s tough. I’m a little jittery right now. I’ve had 17 cups of coffee.”
The caffeine will keep Gruden alert, but the injuries will keep the Redskins from winning.
UPSET SPECIAL: GIANTS, 30-27
No. 26 Miami (minus 4 1-2) vs. No. 30 Oakland at London
At least Raiders collected thousands of frequent flyer miles to get beaten in Foxborough, and now at Wembley.
BEST BET, DOLPHINS 20-10
No. 17 Green Bay (minus 1) at No. 8 Chicago
Packers on brink of becoming irrelevant. Desperation pays off.
No. 16 New Orleans (minus 3) at No. 19 Dallas
Saints, a mediocre road team, nearly won twice away from New Orleans. Third time is a charm …
No. 13 Atlanta (minus 3) at No. 28 Minnesota
Falcons, a mediocre road team, are favorites, showing how far Vikings have tumbled.
No. 18 Buffalo (plus 3) at No. 20 Houston
Hard to believe winner of this will be 3-1.
No. 27 Tennessee (plus 7 1-2) at No. 14 Indianapolis
Time for Colts to reassert they are AFC South’s best team.
No. 32 Jacksonville (plus 13) at No. 6 San Diego
Time to start noticing what’s going on with Bolts.
No. 4 Philadelphia (plus 5 1-2) at No. 15 San Francisco
Two teams headed in opposite directions. That trend ends here.
No. 7 New England (minus 3 1-2) at No. 22 Kansas City, Monday night
Patriots burned us as Best Bet last week. So avoiding such an emphatic pick now.
No. 12 Carolina (plus 3) at No. 9 Baltimore
Steelers exposed Panthers’ run defense, and Ravens also can ground it out when needed.
No. 10 Detroit (minus 1 1-2) at No. 22 New York Jets
Unless Jets find a pass rush, Megatron will destroy them.
No. 31 Tampa Bay (plus 7 1-2) at No. 11 Pittsburgh
No way Tampa coach Lovie Smith allows another poor performance like debacle at Atlanta.
2014 RECORD: Against spread: This week (5-11); Season (18-26-3). Straight up: This week (10-6); Season (28-20)
Best Bet: 1-2 against spread, 2-1 straight up.
Upset special: 3-0 against spread, 2-1 straight up.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL