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Injury Aftermath: Week 13

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.

Other Injuries

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.


13 comments, Last at 08 Dec 2017, 12:46pm

1 Re: Injury Aftermath: Week 13

by Mash Wilson // Dec 04, 2017 - 10:09pm

I feel like two diagnosed concussions in the same season should be enough to invoke forced IR. Three is definitely enough for one year.

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2 Re: Injury Aftermath: Week 13

by MurphyZero // Dec 05, 2017 - 1:36am

Any word from the MASH unit at the MNF game?

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3 Re: Injury Aftermath: Week 13

by Andrew Potter // Dec 05, 2017 - 2:28am

Ed Bouchette (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) has good news on Ryan Shazier:

Hopefully they're right, and Shazier will be alright.

I don't have any update yet on the other players, and I'm about to head to bed since it's 6.30am here. I'll update tomorrow if there's anything major.

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5 Re: Injury Aftermath: Week 13

by jtr // Dec 05, 2017 - 10:34am

From what I'm seeing online, spinal cord concussion symptoms usually resolve themselves in one or two days with no lasting damage. However, like head injuries, repeated injuries CAN add up to lingering effects. It's something Shazier will have to watch out for the rest of his career.

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6 Re: Injury Aftermath: Week 13

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Dec 05, 2017 - 11:30am

More the reverse. It's usually the sort of injury you get because you have an existing chronic condition -- usually a herniated disk or stenosis.

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12 Re: Injury Aftermath: Week 13

by deus01 // Dec 05, 2017 - 5:40pm

It's good if he can make a solid recovery.

However, this is a reason why players should avoid tackling with their head, I seem to recall Shazier doing this before in a game against Cincy, except that he injured the other player in that case.

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13 Re: Injury Aftermath: Week 13

by starzero // Dec 08, 2017 - 12:46pm


It appears the news may not be as good as first thought.

hail damage

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4 Re: Injury Aftermath: Week 13

by billprudden // Dec 05, 2017 - 9:49am

Morning all -

The block on Burfict: Can one of you guys more familiar with the rule book explain to me how it was uncool? It seems like JuJu was coming from the front, the ball carrier was still ball-carrying, etc.



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7 Re: Injury Aftermath: Week 13

by ChrisS // Dec 05, 2017 - 11:55am

I believe Burfict was deemed a defenseless player by this rule "A player who receives a “blindside” block when the path of the offensive blocker is toward or parallel to his own end line." so by launching and/or making contact to the head JuJu's block was illegal. He also received a taunting penalty.

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9 Re: Injury Aftermath: Week 13

by billprudden // Dec 05, 2017 - 12:32pm

Oh, both moving along the yardline, not up and down the field? Gotcha, thanks.

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10 Re: Injury Aftermath: Week 13

by LyleNM // Dec 05, 2017 - 12:35pm

Also there was a helmet-to-helmet aspect of the hit.

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8 Re: Injury Aftermath: Week 13

by Tom Gower // Dec 05, 2017 - 12:05pm

Titans defensive lineman DaQuan Jones left Sunday's game with a biceps injury. Mike Mularkey announced Monday it was torn, and he was placed on injured reserve. This was the final year of his rookie deal, so he's set to be a free agent unless the Titans re-sign him (which at this point I don't expect).

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11 Re: Injury Aftermath: Week 13

by Steve in WI // Dec 05, 2017 - 2:21pm

I don't know why Kyle Long was on the field Sunday. He should have been shut down for the season a couple weeks ago. He hasn't been right all year and there was nothing to be gained from putting him out there at less than 100% to risk further injuries in a lost season.

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