The NFL truly epitomizes the phrase “Any Given Sunday" with teams that are decimated by injury still finding ways to win each and every week. The never-say-die attitude of teams continues to affect betting lines and outcomes despite injuries having a clear impact on the game by routinely sidelining the game’s best players.
With game-changing players battling a variety of injuries, having a licensed physical therapist to interpret the NFL Week 8 injury reports will help you gain an advantage.
Below are the top NFL Week 8 injuries to consider when placing your Week 8 NFL betting picks. Please note that all NFL Week 8 odds and lines are current as of Thursday, October 28 at 10 AM EST.
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NFL Week 8 Injuries & Betting Tips
Baker Mayfield, QB, Cleveland Browns (Torn Labrum/Upper Humeral Fracture)
Cleveland Browns vs Pittsburgh Steelers
Baker Mayfield’s non-throwing left shoulder continues to go from bad to worse. If you’ve been following along at The Game Day, I noted that Mayfield could suffer recurrent shoulder dislocations back in Week 3.
He has since publicly stated that his labrum is completely torn. In addition, it’s reported that he has an upper humeral fracture.
Mayfield is likely dealing with a Hill-Sachs lesion where a portion of the humeral head becomes depressed due to impaction, making it a stable fracture. This is the result of recurrent instability when the humeral head hits against the glenoid rim as it dislocates.
- Read our full Week 8 Browns vs Steelers betting picks & tips.
The Browns are fighting to stay competitive in the AFC North and have a Week 8 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Mayfield will want to play and possibly could after sitting out last week, but my concern is whether he suffers yet another dislocation and is knocked out of the game.
With that uncertainty, my NFL bet of the day is 1 unit on the Steelers Moneyline (+160) at Caesars.
Von Miller, DE, Denver Broncos (Left Ankle Injury)
Denver Broncos vs Washington Football Team
Von Miller suffered a left ankle injury in last week’s loss to the Browns after being stepped on by a teammate. He sustained what looked to be a high-ankle sprain with Miller later confirming that the injury affected the inside portion of his ankle.
In addition to the ankle, it’s possible that his MCL was also injured. If Miller does suit up, he may play more on the right side of the line to avoid pushing off the injured side.
- Read our full Week 8 Denver vs Washington betting picks & tips.
Miller may still struggle not having a strong anchor point to push off of, decreasing his power to win his matchups. Fortunately, this may be negated as Washington’s offensive line is dealing with injuries and inconsistency.
With both offenses struggling, my betting pick is 1 unit on the Under 44 (-110) at Caesars.
Zack Wilson, QB, New York Jets (Right PCL Sprain)
New York Jets vs Cincinnati Bengals
Zack Wilson suffered a right knee injury early in Sunday’s blowout loss to the New England Patriots that knocked him out for the remainder of the game. After being tackled by Patriots linebacker Matt Judon, Wilson was determined to have suffered a PCL sprain.
The posterior cruciate ligament is a ligament that crosses in the opposite direction of its more famous cousin, the ACL. The PCL is responsible for preventing the tibia from shifting backward under the femur, hence the loose feeling Wilson reported. He was tackled with a flexed knee driven into the ground which is the typical mechanism of injury.
- Read our full Week 8 Jets vs Bengals betting picks & tips.
Fortunately, the PCL is much stronger than the ACL and heals without surgery, often in 2-to-4 weeks. Wilson is expected to miss at least two games and could potentially go on injured reserve. When he returns, he will likely have a hinged brace and his mobility may be limited.
Backup quarterback Mike White will step in under center while Wilson rehabs, with Joe Flacco potentially getting some reps as well. Wilson’s absence makes the 1-5 Jets even worse, which is why I’m betting 1.5 units on the Bengals to cover the spread at -10.5 (-110) at Caesars.
Jonnu Smith, TE, New England Patriots (Right Shoulder AC Joint Sprain)
New England Patriots @ Los Angeles Chargers
Jonnu Smith suffered a right shoulder injury early in last week’s game against the Jets and did not return. It was reported that he fell directly onto his right shoulder and was later favoring that side. The mechanism of injury would indicate that this is an AC joint sprain, a fairly typical injury seen in football.
The AC joint is where the acromion of the scapula and clavicle meet to provide stability for the shoulder during movement. When this is injured, it becomes painful to elevate and move the arm across the chest. There may be some difficulty with blocking, catching the football, and getting tackled, but this can be played through with an injection and shoulder harness.
- Read our full Week 8 Patriots vs Chargers betting picks & tips.
Despite not being a favorite target of Mac Jones, Smith will still be needed as the Patriots head out west to face the high-powered Los Angeles Chargers. With New England coming off a 54-point performance and LA coming off a bye, my betting pick is 0.5 units for the Over 49 (-110) at Caesars.
Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys (Right Calf Strain)
Dallas Cowboys @ Minnesota Vikings
Dak Prescott suffered a right calf strain on his game-winning touchdown pass to beat the Patriots in Week 6. He appears to be trending in the right direction, however, after logging a limited practice on Wednesday following the Cowboys’ Week 7 bye.
Prescott may have difficulty with scrambling if he gets flushed out of the pocket, however, and could suffer further injury. He may also have difficulty pushing the ball down the field as he requires his right leg to generate force for his throws. Calf injuries can linger and Dallas does not want to risk losing him down the road.
- Read our full Week 8 Cowboys vs Vikings betting picks & tips.
With updates of Prescott’s status potentially changing the NFL gameday odds for Sunday Night Football against the Minnesota Vikings, this will be a close line to watch. If Prescott can’t play or exits early, Cooper Rush will be asked to step in and lead the offense.
I believe Prescott will play, which makes my betting pick 1 unit on the Cowboys to cover the spread -1.5 (-110) at Caesars.
Other Week 8 Notable Injuries
- Las Vegas Raiders TE Darren Waller was a late scratch Sunday with an ankle injury sustained in practice but should be ready to go when the team returns from its bye week.
- Philadelphia Eagles RB Miles Sanders suffered a low-ankle sprain and did not return last Sunday. He has been deemed week-to-week and is in danger of missing Sunday’s contest vs. the Detroit Lions.
- Arizona Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins is questionable with a hamstring for Thursday’s matchup against the Green Bay Packers and DE JJ Watt is facing the possibility of season-ending shoulder surgery following the injury in Week 7.
- Chicago Bears DE Khalil Mack is not expected to play against the San Francisco 49ers with a foot injury originally suffered in Week 3. There is a possibility that he is placed on injured reserve.
- Buffalo Bills TE Dawson Knox has been ruled out of Sunday’s matchup against the Miami Dolphins following surgery to repair several metacarpal fractures in his right hand sustained in Week 6.