As we enter Week 10, teams around the league are jockeying for position as we approach the home stretch of the season. While there is still plenty of football to be played, teams are starting to hit the make-or-break point as to whether they can contend in their division or not.
For instance, the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams enter play just 3-5, 2.5 games behind the Seattle Seahawks (6-3) in the NFC West.
While most of the focus is on the action on the field, let’s take a look at some of the biggest stories of the week.
Busy Week In Raiders’ Camp
Undoubtedly, the Las Vegas Raiders (2-6) have made the most headlines this week. On Thursday, veteran linebacker Blake Martinez announced that he was retiring. The 28-year-old linebacker has played in just four games, amassing 20 tackles.
On Thursday, the Raiders also announced that they were putting wide receivers Hunter Renfrow and tight end Darren Waller on injured reserve. Renfrow has been hampered by an oblique injury, while Waller has been hampered by a hamstring injury since Week 5.
On the year, Renfrow has 21 receptions for 192 yards in six games. Waller has been limited to just five games and has 16 receptions for 175 yards and a touchdown.
These continued injuries to the offense have been part of the reason that the Raiders rank just 27th in scoring, averaging 25.1 points per game this season.
Lastly, on Wednesday of this week, the Raiders announced that former first-round pick Jonathan Abram had been waived. Originally drafted under Jon Gruden, Abram had struggled to produce. This season, in eight games, the 26-year-old had 48 tackles for the Raiders.
While he was released by Las Vegas, it did not take long for another team to scoop Abram up. Initially reported by NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero, the Green Bay Packers have claimed the safety.
49ers Get Tough News On Defensive Side
It hasn’t been a great week for the 49ers’ defense. First, it was announced on Thursday that cornerback Jason Verrett has suffered an Achilles tear during practice. This is especially sad, knowing that he was almost back from an ACL tear that he had suffered last year.
This continues a string of injury-filled seasons for Verrett. In fact, he has only played more than four games once since 2015. In 2020, he played in 13 games, amassing 60 tackles and two interceptions.
The team also appears to still be without defensive lineman Arik Armstead. Out since Week 4, Armstead continues to deal with a hairline fracture in his left fibula.
Even without these two, the 49ers rank sixth in the NFL, allowing an average of just 18.4 points per game to opponents. While they will be without Verrett for the remainder of the season, the team is hopeful Armstead will still be able to return this year.
Colts Look To New Head Coach To Right The Ship
After five years as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, Frank Reich was let go this week. The Colts sit second in the AFC South, but at just 3-5-1, it has been a disappointing start to the year, and they have now lost three games in a row entering Week 10.
Even though they have the second-best record in the division, they have the third-best odds of winning it. Currently, they sit behind both the Titans and Jaguars at just +900 to win the AFC South.
Of particular concern for the Colts has been the offense. The team ranks dead last in scoring, averaging just 14.7 points per game.
In his place, the team has named Jeff Saturday to be the interim coach. The longtime Colts’ center has worked as a consultant for the team, but he has never had a coaching position at either a professional or college level.