NFL Week 4 injury updates on Jaire Alexander, Keenan Allen and more

NFL Week 4 injury updates on Jaire Alexander, Keenan Allen and more

Week 4 of the NFL season has arrived and teams continue to assess their players’ injuries before the game.

The San Francisco 49ers have suffered another blow to their offense, as star left tackle Trent Williams is expected to be out four to six weeks with an ankle injury. Linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair will run out of time after spraining an MCL against the Denver Broncos. The New York Giants also lost a key offensive player after wide receiver Sterling Shepard tore an ACL against the Dallas Cowboys on Monday, ending his season.

The New England Patriots will be without quarterback Mac Jones, who sprained his ankle last week against the Baltimore Ravens. Veteran Brian Hoyer will start Sunday against the Green Bay Packers. He lost 11 consecutive starts.

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

Our NFL Nation reporters have more updates on key players entering the weekend:

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Wound: Knee

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

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

Patterson, the NFL’s third leading runner, did not practice Wednesday or Thursday and was listed as “player/knee at rest.” He returned to training on Friday, worked limited, then was listed as questionable with a knee injury.

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

–Michael Rothstein

Wound: Ankle

Stanley, who is officially listed as doubtful, said he was “really close” to returning after missing 31 of the last 32 games. He was given a day off on Friday after fully training the previous two days. The Ravens could use the 2019 All-Pro left tackle to protect Lamar Jackson’s blindside. If Stanley can’t play, Baltimore will look to fourth-round rookie pick Daniel Faalele to block Von Miller.

— Jamison Hensley

Wound: Quad

Barring a setback, McCaffrey should be able to play Sunday after missing practices Wednesday and Thursday. McCaffrey returned to training on Friday in a limited role, and coach Matt Rhule said he was “hopeful” his star was ready. McCaffrey gave no indication that he wouldn’t be ready. “I feel good,” he said.

–David Newton

Wound: Knee

Call it taking two. It looked like Gallup would make his debut last Monday against the New York Giants, but he wanted more time to feel good before returning. He had another week of full practices, even though the Cowboys weren’t in the pads at all this week. Gallup said he had to clear a mental hurdle coming back from surgery. It looks like he tends to play against Washington, but he’ll make his way through the lineup in a heartbeat. They won’t give him the full assortment of plays right away, so Noah Brown will continue as the No. 2 receiver with Gallup seeing something of a situational role. Tight end Dalton Schultz is also trending in the right direction after missing the Giants game with a sprained knee. He wore a brace in training and, like Gallup, he might be limited in the number of snaps he plays until he is fully back.

-Todd Archer

Wound: Elder

Patriots backup quarterback Brian Hoyer might have it a little easier if the Packers’ top defensive back doesn’t play. Alexander dropped out of last week’s game at Tampa Bay, didn’t seem to do much in practice all week and is questionable for Sunday. Rasul Douglas moved from the slot on the outside after Alexander’s injury, and Keisean Nixon filled in the slot.

— Rob Demovski

Wound: Return

Leonard is listed as questionable for the first time this season after being ruled out in the previous three games. Recovery from Leonard’s back surgery in the offseason has lingered, but the tide has turned this week.

“He had three very good days, he continued to improve,” coach Frank Reich said. “So let’s see how he responds.”

If Leonard plays, the Colts might consider limiting his snaps. “The initial thought was that he would probably start with counting throws, but you don’t want to limit yourself. You take it day by day and case by case and adapt as you go,” Reich said.

Wound: Elbow

Buckner is considered questionable and was severely limited this week. But his playing history while injured suggests he will find a way to show up on Sunday. Buckner has only missed one game through injury in his seven seasons.

Wound: Ankle

The Colts starting safety will miss Sunday’s game with a sprained ankle, a development that will likely push seventh-round pick Rodney Thomas II into action. Thomas performed well in last week’s game after Blackmon left the contest and impressed the coaches.

-Stephen Holder

Wound: Hamstrings

Allen suffered a hamstring injury in Week 1, was out of action in Weeks 2 and 3 and will be sidelined on Sunday when the Chargers face the Texans. Earlier in the week, coach Brandon Staley expressed growing confidence in Allen’s return in Week 4, but said on Friday the veteran receiver “felt something” during individual practices, so he has been excluded.

–Lindsey Thiry

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