Extra Points
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Week 10 Injury Aftermath

by Andrew Potter

Vikings Offensive Tackle Jake Long -- Achilles (IR)

This has not been a good year for Vikings offensive linemen, and the recently signed injury replacement Jake Long became the latest victim of the team's season-long misfortune at the position. Long suffered a torn Achilles against Washington, and will be placed on injured reserve this week. Only three games after signing, his season is already over -- that may be it for his career as well, at this point.

On defense, linebacker Eric Kendricks suffered a hip injury and did not return, while cornerback Xavier Rhodes left the game with concussion symptoms and enters the league protocol.

Chargers Defensive Lineman Brandon Mebane -- Biceps (IR)

Late news as we were publishing the article: Ian Rapoport reports that Chargers defensive lineman Brandon Mebane has a torn biceps and is done for the season -- another major loss on a roster that has been all but gutted by injuries this year.

Bears Guard Kyle Long -- Ankle

The Bears lost two major starters on offense against Tampa Bay, with both starting running back Jordan Howard and starting guard Kyle Long hurt. Long suffered a severe high ankle sprain with a possible associated fracture, and he is expected to be out for at least a month if not longer. With the Bears the only team out of the playoff hunt in a crowded NFC North, there appears little incentive to rush Long back this season.

Howard's injury was initially reported alarmingly as an Achilles injury, which would have ended the rookie back's season, but that has since been tempered somewhat to "possibly an ankle, possibly an Achilles injury," according to head coach John Fox. More news is likely when a diagnosis has been confirmed, but for now Howard's injury is not believed to be as serious as first reported.

Meanwhile on defense, lineman Will Sutton suffered an ankle injury and did not return. He was able to walk off the field, but no update is yet available on the injury's severity.

Dolphins Left Tackle Branden Albert -- Wrist

In yet another piece of evidence that NFL players are not normal human beings, Dolphins left tackle Branden Albert dislocated his wrist against San Diego but returned to the game after having a cast placed over the injury. His status for Week 11 is unknown, because wrist dislocations usually involve fairly severe ligament injury and often require surgical repair. The Dolphins are staying out west ahead of their game against the Los Angeles Rams, so unless Albert flies back to Miami during the week, his status for next week is quite simply anybody's guess.

On defense, Mario Williams suffered an ankle injury and is considered "day-to-day" according to head coach Adam Gase.

Buccaneers Center Evan Smith -- Knee

With starting center Joe Hawley inactive due to a knee injury he suffered against the Falcons, former Packers center Evan Smith (known in his Green Bay days as Evan Dietrich-Smith) started for Tampa Bay against Chicago. Smith didn't make it to halftime, though, before leaving with a knee injury of his own. Several outlets are reporting that the injury is a sprained MCL, and Smith is expected to miss approximately three weeks -- which is the usual recovery time for a Grade II MCL sprain. Third-year player Ben Gottschalk replaced Smith against the Bears after being activated from the practice squad on Saturday, but the Buccaneers hope to have Hawley back in the starting lineup for Week 11's game in Kansas City.

At left guard, Kevin Pamphile missed the game after failing to clear the NFL concussion protocol. The Buccaneers also hope to have Pamphile back against Kansas City.

Other Injuries

Chargers cornerback Brandon Flowers left San Diego's game against the Dolphins with concussion symptoms and did not return.

Chiefs cornerback Phillip Gaines left Sunday's win in Carolina with a neck injury, on which no update is yet available.

Eagles cornerback Nolan Carroll left Sunday's game with concussion symptoms and enters the league protocol.

Falcons punter Matt Bosher suffered a hamstring injury against the Eagles and did not return. Oddly, the same was true of Panthers punter Andy Lee against the Chiefs.

Jaguars wide receiver Marqise Lee suffered an ankle injury against Houston and did not return, but no update has yet been provided on Lee's injury.

Packers linemen David Bakhtiari and T.J. Lang both left Sunday's game with ankle injuries, but head coach Mike McCarthy did not provide any update after the game except to say that he was told Lang's injury "didn't look good." The general suspicion is that Lang suffered a high ankle sprain, which could mean anything from two to eight weeks out depending on the sprain's severity. Linebacker Jake Ryan also suffered an ankle injury, and again no update was provided by the team.

Rams defensive end Eugene Sims left Sunday's game to be evaluated for a possible concussion and did not return, but no official word has been given on whether or not he is in the league concussion protocol.

Ravens offensive guard Alex Lewis left Thursday's game with his ankle in an air cast, but subsequent X-rays showed no fracture. The severity of his injury is not yet public. Fellow lineman Jeremy Zuttah also hurt his ankle, but his injury is not believed to be serious.

Steelers safety Shamarko Thomas left Sunday's game due to the groin injury he has been battling for a few weeks now. Reserve linebacker and special teams player Steven Johnson suffered a broken ankle and will be placed on injured reserve.


11 comments, Last at 17 Nov 2016, 1:37pm

4 Re: Week 10 Injury Aftermath

It was a pretty brutal hit. Earl Thomas plays like a missile. I actually wondered why the hit wasn't flagged, as Gronk had just landed after leaping up to try to make the catch (he dropped it) and Thomas launched himself at Gronk.

The hit was clean (shoulder to chest), but I thought you weren't supposed to launch yourself at defenseless receivers...

This is the kind of thing that the NFL would crack down on if they were really concerned about player safety.

6 Re: Week 10 Injury Aftermath


Prohibited contact against a player who is in a defenseless posture is:

1. Forcibly hitting the defenseless player’s head or neck area with the helmet, facemask, forearm, or shoulder, even if the initial contact is lower than the player’s neck, and regardless of whether the defensive player also uses his arms to tackle the defenseless player by encircling or grasping him.
2. Lowering the head and making forcible contact with the crown or ”hairline” parts of the helmet against any part of the defenseless player’s body.
3. Illegally launching into a defenseless opponent. It is an illegal launch if a player (i) leaves both feet prior to contact to spring forward and upward into his opponent, and (ii) uses any part of his helmet to initiate forcible contact against any part of his opponent’s body. (This does not apply to contact against a runner, unless the runner is still considered to be a defenseless player, as defined in Article 7.)

Launching only applies if the defender hits the receiver with his helmet.

7 Re: Week 10 Injury Aftermath

Ah. Thanks for the clarification. So it was a clean, legal hit. Just a brutal one.

I wonder if we really care about player safety, if the NFL should try to change the rules to discourage even that kind of play...

9 Re: Week 10 Injury Aftermath

Leaving your feet to hit a player, so-called launching, should be prohibited, at all levels of football. Sure it will change the game, but in this area the game needs changing. Also, allow defenders to go back to using their hands on receivers before the football is thrown. Not that this is happening, well until someone is killed on the field from internal injuries. Any Physicians here who can speak to how a player with punctured lung is allowed to return to the field? And how this injury compares to the Drew Bledsoe injury in 2000?

10 Re: Week 10 Injury Aftermath


"Punctured lung" may be an overstatement/colloquialism. It appears it's a pneumothorax, where some air gets into the space between the lung and internal chest wall due to trauma to the chest/lung.

It is problematic because it reduces effective lung capacity. This is also why Gronk is on a flight restriction -- with lower pressure the air pocket will expand, further reducing lung capacity.

As for Bledsoe, that was completely different. Besides the concussion, he sustained damage to a major artery and had severe internal bleeding. According to some 15th anniversary articles earlier this year, he almost died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

5 Re: Week 10 Injury Aftermath

San Diego has placed 19 players on IR right now, by far the highest in the league (Baltimore has 14, Cleveland 13, Chicago and Houston have 12). Of course not all of those were starters.. Looking at the numbers, around half of those are near the minimum. Between Allen, Woodhead, Te'o, et al, a lot of big names are on that list.

In terms of cap space eaten up (not always a good indicator of how important the player is, but better than nothing), the VIkings have more cap sitting on IR right now, with their starting RB, LT, RT and QB (a smaller cap hit there) all on IR. The top 5 in cap space are:

MIN 8 $26,596,605
SD 19 $23,868,070
HOU 12 $20,363,795
CHI 12 $19,365,019
CLE 13 $17,276,682

I suppose its not a competition so you can ruminate on what might have been. Its just a sucky place to be...

8 Re: Week 10 Injury Aftermath

Steelers just reported that DE Cam Heyward is going on IR with a torn pectoral. Big blow to a struggling Steelers defense; IMO he's been the best player on that defense for a couple years now.

11 Re: Week 10 Injury Aftermath

Reason #574 not to be a pro football player:

"That wasn’t compartment syndrome, but it just a very big blood clot in my leg, which turned into a hole — a big, cavernous, three-inch hole in my leg. And they had to pack it. Every day, they had to pack it with gauze, and I had to wear this thing over it, and I had to take antibiotics, and I still have a blood clot in my leg right now. So I hope that it doesn’t travel."