It’s the fourth week of the NFL season, and teams continue to assess their players’ injuries before the game.

The San Francisco 49ers have taken another hit on offense as left tackle star Trent Williams is expected to miss four to six weeks with an ankle injury. Linebacker Aziz Al-Shaire will miss time after dislocating his MCL against the Denver Broncos. The New York Giants also lost a key hitter after wide receiver Sterling Shepard tore his ACL against the Dallas Cowboys on Monday, ending his season.

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The New England Patriots will no longer have quarterback Mack Jones, who sprained his ankle against the Baltimore Ravens last week. Veteran Brian Hoyer will start Sunday against the Green Bay Packers. He lost 11 starts in a row.

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In more positive news, New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson is expected to make his 2022 debut against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. Wilson was out of the first game of the preseason with a torn meniscus and bruised bone in his right knee.

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Our NFL Nation reporters have more news on key players heading into the weekend:

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Schedule | Depth charts | PeakCenter

Cordarrell Patterson, guard, Atlanta Falcons

Wound: Knee

Patterson is officially listed as questionable on the team’s injury report, but he told Sportzshala on Friday that he plans to play against the Cleveland Browns.

“I feel like I’m going to play every Sunday, no matter the situation,” Patterson said. “I’m planning to play on Sunday and we all know that’s the plan.”

Patterson, the NFL’s third-highest scoring player, did not practice either Wednesday or Thursday and was listed as a “resting player/knee.” He returned to practice on Friday, did some work and then was put on the dodgy list with a knee injury.

Coach Arthur Smith said on Friday that Patterson “looked good” but that he would assess Patterson’s status on Saturday.

— Michael Rothstein


Ronnie Stanley, OT, Baltimore Ravens

Wound: Ankle

Stanley, who is officially a questionable player, said he is “very close” to a comeback after missing 31 of his last 32 games. On Friday, he was given a day of rest after a full workout the previous two days. The Ravens can use the 2019 All-Pro’s left tackle to protect Lamar Jackson’s blind side. If Stanley is unable to play, Baltimore will turn to fourth-round rookie Daniel Faalele to block Von Miller.

— Jamison Hensley


Christian McCaffrey, quarterback, Carolina Panthers

Wound: quad-core

Barring bad luck, McCaffrey should be able to go on Sunday after skipping practice on Wednesday and Thursday. McCaffrey returned to training on Friday in a limited role and coach Matt Rule said he was “hopeful” his star would be ready. McCaffrey gave no indication that he would not be ready. “I feel great,” he said.

— David Newton


Michael Gallup, WR, Dallas Cowboys

Wound: Knee

Let’s call it double two. It looked like Gallup would make his debut last Monday against the New York Giants, but he wanted some more time to feel good before returning. He had another full week of training, even though the Cowboys weren’t in the pads at all this week. Gallup said he needed to overcome a psychological hurdle before returning from surgery. He appears to be leaning towards playing against Washington, but he will work his way into the lineup in a quick count. They won’t give him the whole playset at once, so Noah Brown will continue as No. 2 receiver and Gallup will see something of a situational role. Tight end Dalton Schultz is also moving in the right direction after missing the game against the Giants with a sprained knee. He wore a bandage in training and, like Gallup, he may be limited in the number of snaps he plays until he is fully back.

— Todd Archer


Jare Alexander, CB, Green Bay Packers

Wound: groin

Patriots backup guard Brian Hoyer might have a little easier time if the Packers’ top defenseman doesn’t play. Alexander was out last week at Tampa Bay, looks like he didn’t do much in practice all week, and he’s in question on Sunday. Rasool Douglas moved from the slot to the outside following Alexander’s injury, while Casein Nixon took over the slot.

— Rob Demowski


Shaquille Leonard, LB, Indianapolis Colts

Wound: Back

Leonard made the Dubious Player List for the first time this season after being eliminated in the previous three games. Leonard’s recovery from off-season back surgery has been delayed, but that’s changed this week.

“He had three pretty good days and continued to improve,” said trainer Frank Reich. So let’s see how he reacts.

If Leonard plays, the Colts might consider limiting his snaps. “The original thought was that it would probably start by counting fields, but you don’t want to limit yourself. You just take it day by day and on a case by case basis and you sort of adapt as you go,” Reich said.

DeForest Buckner, DT

Wound: Elbow

Buckner is considered questionable and is heavily limited this week. But his history of playing with injuries suggests he’ll find a way to show himself on Sunday. Buckner missed just one game with an injury in seven seasons.

Julian Blackmon, S

Wound: Ankle

The Colts’ starting freeback will miss Sunday’s game with a sprained ankle that will likely force a seventh-round pick, Rodney Thomas II. Thomas played well in the game last week after Blackmon left the competition and impressed the coaches.

— Steven Holder


Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers

Wound: Hamstring

Allen suffered a hamstring injury in week one, was inactive in weeks two and three, and will be sidelined Sunday when the Chargers play the Texans. Earlier this week, trainer Brandon Staley expressed growing confidence that Allen would return in week four, but said on Friday that the veteran wide receiver “felt something” during individual training, which is why he was ruled out.

— Lindsey Thiry