NFL Monday lateral: Five Week 4 storylines to watch in Week 5
With Week 4 winding down, a couple of players are preparing to ramp things up.
Then there is Jalen Ramsey, who still somehow has not landed with another team two weeks after requesting a trade.
Here we look back at the biggest headlines from Week 4 and the impact they will have heading into Week 5.
Winless Broncos dealt toughest blow yet with Chubb injury
Star linebacker Bradley Chubb has a partially torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, which could have been aggravated when he played through the pain against the Jacksonville Jaguars and will miss the rest of the season after having surgery.
"He felt good enough to come back in and actually, he played that last series pretty damn well," Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio told reporters. "He was as surprised as anybody, I think, this morning when he woke up feeling the way he did. It's a huge loss. He's one of our better players, obviously. He's a tempo setter, great player, great person, leader — all that."
Without Chubb, who had his first sack and forced fumble of the season on Sunday, the Broncos will need to consider other options, especially with games against the Los Angeles Chargers, Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs looming. It does not help that Denver's bye is not until Week 10.
Can Jaguars go another week without Ramsey?
The disgruntled Jaguars cornerback dealt with everything from flu-like symptoms, to a back injury, to the birth of his second child last week before also missing Sunday's win over the Broncos, leaving doubt that he will play the Carolina Panthers in Week 5. That could change, however, if Ramsey decides to actually practice this week.
Jacksonville reportedly turned down two first-round picks for Ramsey. Those picks were reportedly from a good team which would be picking late in the first round. But if Ramsey continues to demand a trade, the Jaguars might have no choice but to accept that or a similar offer.
Burfict will appeal season-long suspension
Given his lengthy history of illegal hits, it is unlikely the NFL will overturn its ruling to suspend Oakland Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict for the remainder of the season after he drilled Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle with a helmet-to-helmet hit.
Derrick Brooks or James Thrash will hear Burfict's appeal, and NFL Media noted both former players have a history in that chair as Thrash previously reduced a Burfict suspension from five games to three in 2017 after Brooks upheld a three-game suspension in 2016.
If the latest ban – which happens to be the longest suspension for an on-field act in NFL history – is upheld, Burfict will have been suspended for a total of 22 games in his career, totalling more than $5million in lost salary due to absences and fines.
Gordon ramping up for return
Running back Melvin Gordon was active for Los Angeles for the first time this season after ending his contract holdout last week. However, the Chargers opted not to play him in their 30-10 win over the Miami Dolphins since Gordon only participated in two practices.
He is expected to suit up Sunday against the Broncos, though his workload will depend on his participation in practice this week, especially since Austin Ekeler has done a good job of handling the ground work in Gordon's absence.
Darnold cleared for non-contact drills
The New York Jets quarterback has been out since September 12 with mono and the team had hoped he would be well enough to return after the team's Week 4 bye. But Sam Darnold's availability will not be determined until later this week when he gets back in his throwing routine.
In the meantime, Jets coach Adam Gase said Darnold's status remains "up in the air" and he has yet to rule him out. Darnold has not lifted, run or thrown since being diagnosed with the illness, so he will ramp up workouts this week but will not be able to participate in full practice, hinting his return could be pushed back another week.