Four weeks of the 2023 NFL season are in the books, which means the time has come for the inevitable bye weeks to hit the schedule. As we head into Week 5, four separate teams will all be sidelined, which means more than a few notable names will be absent in the coming slate.
Here is a look at which teams will be off the field this week, as well as the status of each franchise this far into the season.
The Browns head into the bye week 2-2, having dropped their last game in a 28-3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Cleveland’s first-ranked scoring defense (10.7 PPG allowed) has carried them through the first quarter of the season. Injuries have dealt a blow to their 12th-ranked scoring offense, as running back Nick Chubb was lost for the season, while quarterback Deshaun Watson was a late scratch in Week 4 with a shoulder injury.
Los Angeles Chargers
After dropping their first two games of the season, the Chargers have climbed back to .500 with two straight wins over the Minnesota Vikings and the Las Vegas Raiders. Their latest win over their AFC West rival came off the heels of a dominant defensive display, as linebacker Khalil Mack totaled five-plus sacks on Aidan O’Connell.
The Chargers’ fifth-ranked scoring offense (28.7 PPG) has been humming, despite losing Mike Williams for the season, as well as having played without Austin Ekeler, who has been nursing an ankle injury. With the bye-week offering rest, the hope is that Ekeler will return in Week 6.
The Seahawks enter the bye week following their Monday Night Football bout with the New York Giants. After falling to their divisional rival Los Angeles Rams in Week 1, Seattle has bounced back thanks to back-to-back wins in Weeks 2 and 3, in which their offense scored at a clip of 37.0 PPG. The Seahawks rank fourth in the league in scoring (29.0 PPG), but their leaky defense has regulated them to win each week by a shootout.
Seattle is allowing 29.3 PPG to their opponents, which ranks 29th in the league. Their secondary will get a much-needed jolt as safety Earl Thomas made his season debut in Week 4.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Baker Mayfield era in Tampa Bay continues its hot start, as the Buccaneers stand at 3-1 and lead the NFC South heading into the bye week. While Mayfield has managed the offense admirably, it’s been Tampa Bay’s ninth-ranked scoring defense (19.7 PPG allowed) that has sparked their strong to the season. In their Week 4 win against New Orleans, Tampa Bay limited the Saints to just 3.2 yards per play, while rendering Derek Carr an ineffective 23/37 for 127 passing yards.
The Bucs will keep a watchful eye on the status of wide receiver Mike Evans, who left their Week 4 win over the Saints with a hamstring injury. Tampa Bay next plays on Sunday, Oct. 15 at home against the Detroit Lions.