New Orleans Saints QB Jameis Winston misses second straight day of practice
- Winston has been playing with fractured bones in his back and is also dealing with an ankle injury. Veteran Andy Dalton took the first-team reps once again.
- Winston has struggled in his last two starts, completing 50-of-81 passes for 589 yards, two touchdowns and five interceptions. New Orleans lost both games, and Winston earned 46.9 and 67.7 PFF grades.
- The Saints are in London this week for a matchup against the Minnesota Vikings. New Orleans opted not to take a bye after this game despite having the option before the schedule came out. That decision is looking costly considering all their injuries.
- Along with Winston, WR Michael Thomas (foot) also did not practice for a second straight day while WR Jarvis Landry (ankle), G Andrus Peat (concussion), RB Alvin Kamara (rib), CB Paulson Adebo (ankle), WR Deonte Harty (foot), TE/QB Taysom Hill (rib) and S Marcus Maye (rib) were all limited.
Cincinnati Bengals place DT D.J. Reader on injured reserve
- Reader suffered a knee injury during Sunday’s win over the New York Jets. He’ll miss at least four games – but the expectation is he’ll be out a little more than that.
- Reader has been exceptional when healthy, and his 91.0 PFF grade through three games ranks first among all interior defensive linemen.
- Josh Tupou is likely to take his place in the starting lineup. Third-round rookie Zach Carter could also become an option.
Carolina Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey misses second straight day of practice
- McCaffrey is dealing with a thigh injury that he suffered during Sunday’s game against New Orleans.
- McCaffrey has dealt with a plethora of injuries the last two years, playing in just 10 out of a possible 33 games. With that in mind, McCaffrey has a “rest” day every Wednesday of the season, but this is now the first time he’s missed a Thursday practice.
- Through three games, McCaffrey has carried the ball 50 times for 243 yards and a TD. He’s earned an 86.3 grade, second best among running backs.
- Chuba Hubbard and D'Onta Foreman would be in line for a bigger workload if McCaffrey can’t go. There should be further clarity once the final injury report comes out on Friday.
Baltimore Ravens DT Michael Pierce out for season
- Pierce will undergo season-ending biceps surgery, he confirmed on Instagram. He suffered the injury during Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots.
- The Ravens signed the six-year veteran to a three-year, $16.5 million deal this offseason. He had a strong start through three games, earning an 86.9 PFF grade.
- The Ravens have a deep defensive line rotation that includes Calais Campbell, Justin Madubuike, Broderick Washington, Brent Urban and rookie Travis Jones.