by Andrew Potter and Zach Binney
Thanks to staff writer Zach Binney's analysis of NFL injury data, we are now able to provide more detailed injury return (number of games missed) and recovery (number of weeks limited in practices or games) estimates based on historical data for select injuries. These estimates also consider the position of the injured player. Details of our methodology are available here.
Ravens Cornerback Jimmy Smith -- Achilles (IR)
At the time of this writing, the sole major injury of Week 13 was the torn Achilles suffered by Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith. Smith will, of course, miss the rest of the regular season, and with this injury coming so late in the year, he is likely to miss much of the team's offseason program too. There is a chance that he begins the 2018 season on the Physically Unable to Perform list as he rehabilitates the tendon following surgery. In his absence, first-round pick Marlon Humphrey and second-year professional Maurice Canady are likely to see more playing time.
Smith was also suspended four games for violating the league policy on performance-enhancing substances. He had intended to appeal, but will no longer do so due to this injury.
Linebacker C.J. Mosley left the game temporarily with a stinger.
Falcons Guard Andy Levitre -- Triceps
Falcons guard Andy Levitre left Sunday's game with a triceps injury, and was replaced by Ben Garland. While triceps injuries in general are not very common in the NFL, they are often quite severe -- around 70 percent of these injuries knock guys out for the rest of their season. If Levitre avoided this fate, he may not miss any time at all. Historically there has been very little in-between with these kinds of injuries. Levitre's fate should become clearer in the next couple of days.
UPDATE: Ian Rapoport reports that Levitre does, in fact, have the rare 'in-between' triceps injury: a partial tear that the team expects to sideline him for approximately two weeks.
Buffalo Bills -- Various
Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson left Sunday's game with an ankle injury, and was spotted with his foot in a protective boot after the game. Though these are becoming more common as a precautionary measure, they do often still indicate high-ankle injuries rather than the more common low-ankle variant. If this indeed a high-ankle sprain, it could be pretty bad news for Lawson and the Bills. Ninety percent of defensive linemen with this injury miss at least one game, and with only four games left in the regular season, there's about a 50-50 chance Lawson can even return this year. Typical recovery times are three to eight weeks.
Quarterback Tyrod Taylor left Sunday's game on a cart due to a knee injury, but the injury was not as severe as initially feared. He has a contusion (deep bruise) in his patellar tendon, and is considered "day-to-day." Cornerback Leonard Johnson left the game with a knee injury, but was able to return.
Detroit Lions -- Various
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford injured his hand against the Ravens, but X-rays were negative and the injury is being treated as a bruise. He hopes to be available for Week 14. Offensive tackle Rick Wagner suffered both a back injury and an ankle sprain, with MRI scans scheduled to determine the severity of each.
Defensive end Ezekiel Ansah again left the team's game with an ankle injury. Ansah has battled injury all year, including ongoing ankle problems. As long as he keeps trying to play through the injury, he is likely to miss time during games.
Guard T.J. Lang injured his foot and left the game. As we have said before here, foot injuries are a mixed bag. Assuming this isn't something major like a fracture or Lisfranc sprain, there's only about a one-third chance that Lang misses time. Around 25 percent of foot injuries to offensive linemen cause them to miss more than two weeks, so there's a decent chance Lang is around for a (difficult) playoff push for the Lions. Typical recovery times are one to four weeks.
The following players were removed from their respective games with concussion symptoms and enter the league protocol:
- Bills cornerback Tre'Davious White
- Bills halfback Travaris Cadet
- Eagles tight end Zach Ertz
- Giants offensive lineman Chad Wheeler
- Packers cornerback Damarious Randall
- Texans receiver Braxton Miller
- Texans tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz
- Texans linebacker Jelani Jenkins
- Titans cornerback Logan Ryan
- Vikings tight end David Morgan
Tre'Davious White's injury was particularly notable, as it occurred on a flagrant illegal hit by Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. Gronkowski has been suspended due to the egregious foul.
C.J. Fiedorowicz suffered his third diagnosed concussion of the season.
Bears guard Kyle Long left Sunday's game with a shoulder injury, possibly an aggravation of an existing injury. It was reported during the offseason that Long considered labrum surgery, but decided against it after complications with his knee injury. He has battled injury quite frequently over the past few seasons. Defensive end Mitch Unrein left the game with a knee injury, which again may be a flare-up of an existing ailment as he has been playing through knee trouble recently. Linebacker Pernell McPhee injured his shoulder, with no update yet public on the exact injury.
Browns defensive tackle Danny Shelton left Sunday's game with a rib injury. Rib injuries are rarely an extended issue for defensive linemen. Indeed, only about 20 percent of such injuries cause them to miss any games at all. Typical recovery times are one to three weeks. Safety Jabrill Peppers injured his knee, but the exact injury was not disclosed.
Chiefs center Mitch Morse left the game because his foot was "acting up," in the words of head coach Andy Reid. Morse missed five games earlier in the year with a foot injury, though it is unclear whether this is a continuation of the previous ailment. Defensive end Allen Bailey suffered a knee injury, but no further news is available on that.
Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott hurt his hand against Washington, but returned to the game. He has since been diagnosed with a bruise, and is not expected to miss further time.
Dolphins cornerback Cordrea Tankersley hurt his shoulder and left the game, was able to return, but left again with ankle injury. No update is yet available on Tankersley.
Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy left Sunday's game with a leg injury, but no further specifics were forthcoming.
Rams linebacker Alec Ogletree believes that he simply hyperextended his elbow, and hopes to be available for the team's next game. Only about 20 percent of elbow injuries to linebackers cause them to miss any games. Typical recovery times are one to three weeks, so there's a very good chance this won't be hindering Ogletree in the postseason.
Redskins offensive tackle Morgan Moses suffered an ankle injury during Thursday night's loss in Dallas. Though the exact injury was not disclosed, the mechanism of injury -- having his leg rolled onto from the side -- often results in a high-ankle sprain. As with Shaq Lawson, if this turns out to be a high-ankle issue, there's about a 50-50 chance Moses will miss the rest of the regular season. There's about an 80 percent chance he'll miss at least one game based on historical data. Typical recovery times are two to eight weeks.
Texans receiver Bruce Ellington left Sunday's game with a hamstring injury. Though the duration of these injuries varies widely depending on severity, historically wide receivers have missed at least one game about half the time. Only around 25 percent miss more than two weeks. Typical recovery times are one to four weeks.