Week 6 of the 2023 NFL season has not been pretty. In addition to some brutally timed mistakes and generally sloppy football, offenses have converted just 43.4% of their red zone trips into touchdowns this week. That's the worst mark for any single week since the 2014 season, and red zone woes helped swing frustrating losses by the Saints, Giants and Seahawks on Sunday.
Sunday was also particularly ugly for injuries. For a stretch, it felt like you couldn't watch 20 minutes without another critical player going down. Even after certified fun players such as Colts quarterback Anthony Richardson and Vikings wideout Justin Jefferson suffered injuries a week ago, this felt like a particularly brutal slate of knocks.
Four starting quarterbacks left their games with injuries and have uncertain statuses for Week 7, while two of the best players in the game at their respective positions were forced out of theirs in what turned out to be frustrating losses for their previously undefeated teams. None of this even includes 49ers left tackle Trent Williams, Bills quarterback Josh Allen and Patriots running back Rhamondre Stevenson, who left their games before returning.
Let's break down nine of the most notable injuries from Week 6 and discuss what went wrong as a result and the impact it would have if each of those players were unavailable for Week 7 and beyond. We'll know more about the severity of these injuries Monday afternoon, but these are nine critical players.
I'll rank them roughly in order of how hard it would be for their teams to replace them, although none of these nine starters really has a like-for-like replacement on the roster. There are four quarterbacks here, but I'll start instead with an offensive lineman whose injuries have sunk an offense on more than one occasion:
1. Lane Johnson, OT, Eagles
Three things are perpetually true about Johnson. No. 1 is that he's consistently the best right tackle in football when healthy. No. 2 is that he's almost always going to battle injuries at some point during the season. No. 3, unfortunately for the Eagles, is that they acutely feel the impact of losing him for any length of time.
Sunday was no different, as they suffered their first loss of the season after Johnson was sidelined by an ankle injury in the first quarter. He left the game on the opening drive, with Philadelphia in the middle of what would eventually become a 19-play, 91-yard touchdown drive. Jalen Hurts & Co. scored seven points on that drive and then seven across the remaining nine possessions, as the Eagles turned the ball over four times in what would eventually become a 20-14 defeat.