Injury Notes: Tate, Jameis, Sanders, Texans

After suffering an AC joint sprain on Sunday, Lions wide receiver Golden Tate is expected to miss a few weeks, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter links). Luckily for Detroit, the club is heading into a bye week before taking on the Steelers in Week 8, so Tate will get a bit of extra time to recover. If he is forced to miss time, Tate will be a large absence for the Lions’ 21st-ranked DVOA offense, as he’s posted 36 receptions for 363 yards and two touchdowns so far this season. Detroit would turn to T.J. Jones, Jared Abbrederis, and — if he’s healthy following a hamstring injury — Kenny Golladay to play more snaps alongside Marvin Jones.

Here’s more from the injury front:

  • Like Tate, Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston is also dealing with an AC joint sprain, and his is all the more serious given that it’s in his throwing shoulder, per Rapoport (Twitter link). Winston attempted only 10 passes before going down with injury in a game Tampa Bay ultimately lost to Arizona. The Buccaneers are set to face the Bills in Week 7, and though Winston has vowed to play through the sprain, it’s not certain that he’ll be available on Sunday. If Winston can’t go, backup Ryan Fitzpatrick will start after throwing for 290 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions yesterday.
  • Broncos wideouts Emmanuel Sanders and Isaiah McKenzie will each miss at least Week 7 with sprained ankles, reports Mike Klis of 9News (Twitter link). While McKenzie, a fifth-round rookie, has barely contributed on offense, the loss of Sanders will undoubtedly hurt the Broncos, as the club has little depth behind its starting wide receivers. Bennie Fowler and Jordan Taylor are candidates to see increased usage alongside Demaryius Thomas, as is Cody Latimer if he can return from a knee injury. Denver is also discussing whether to add more bodies at the wideout position, tweets Troy Renck of Denver7.
  • Cornerback Kevin Johnson is expected to return to action following the Texans‘ Week 7 bye, head coach Bill O’Brien told reporters, including Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Johnson went down with a sprained MCL in mid-September, but Houston’s depth in the secondary has managed to keep its defense afloat, and the team currently ranks 11th in pass defense DVOA. Injuries have ruined each of Johnson’s past two seasons (he managed only six games in 2016), but the former first-round pick has been extremely effective when on the field.
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