N.F.L.: Top Injuries and Story Lines in Week 5

N.F.L.: Top Injuries and Story Lines in Week 5


Stay here for live N.F.L. scores, updates and analysis from Week 5:

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Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson faces the undefeated Chiefs tonight.

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George Bridges/Associated Press

Are the Kansas City Chiefs the best team in the N.F.L.? Should the Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Rams really have the same records as the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers? No real pecking order has been established this season, so perhaps Week 5 can quiet down some of the noise and establish the real contenders.

Here are some of the things to watch out for this week:

Anthem protests

The protests and demonstrations did not die out last week, with some teams kneeling before the national anthem was playing, some locking arms during the song, etc. A few players continued to kneel (including several 49ers), some raised fists, and Cam Newton went as far as raising a fist following a touchdown. With President Trump having moved on to tweeting about other things, there is little reason to believe that the demonstrations will ramp up this week.

Three quarterbacks to watch

No position affects an N.F.L. game as directly as quarterback, and there is plenty of uncertainty at that position this week.

■ Marcus Mariota of the Tennessee Titans, who is technically a game time decision with a hamstring injury, is not expected to play against Miami, forcing the team to start Matt Cassel.

■ Derek Carr of the Oakland Raiders broke a bone in his back last week, and while he returned to practice far ahead of schedule, the team is likely to start E.J. Manuel against Baltimore.

■ Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers, who spent the week dealing with the distraction of his sexist remarks at a news conference, is also on his team’s injury report in his continuing recovery from off-season shoulder surgery. He is expected to play, but his inability to participate fully in practices keeps his health in question.



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