Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

02 Oct 2017

Injury Aftermath: Week 4

by Andrew Potter

Vikings Halfback Dalvin Cook -- Knee

Initial reports indicated that Dalvin Cook suffered an almost total rupture of his ACL against Detroit. The standard on-field physical examination accurately diagnoses ACL injury in 99 percent of cases, and in fact has a statistically identical accuracy rating to an MRI scan for both ACL and lateral meniscal injuries. Thus, in most cases the MRI scan is usually conducted not to diagnose the ACL tear, but to investigate the knee for associated damage. It is therefore almost certain that Cook's rookie season is over. Free-agent acquisition Latavius Murray and veteran holdover Jerick McKinnon will probably share running back duties, should Cook's diagnosis be confirmed as expected.

Seahawks Halfback Chris Carson -- Ankle

Ian Rapoport reports that the Seahawks believe Chris Carson suffered a broken ankle on Sunday night. Carson is scheduled for an MRI scan today to determine the severity of the injury and any further damage. Carson's injury was initially reported as a possible high ankle sprain, and the two injuries are not mutually exclusive -- it may well be both a fractured ankle and associated ligament injury. In that case, he would be out for the season. If there is a fracture but no ligament damage, it may be possible for Carson to return late in the season.

UPDATE: Unfortunately, it's both. Carson will almost certainly miss the rest of the season. Thomas Rawls and Eddie Lacy are generally considered next in line for Seattle.

Offensive lineman Rees Odhiambo suffered what team doctors believe to be a cardiac contusion against the Colts. Ian Rapoport reports that Odiambo's symptoms are reminiscent of a car accident. Expect the Seahawks to play it very safe with this highly unusual injury.

On defense, cornerback Jeremy Lane reportedly has a groin strain. Given the nature of the position, Lane is likely to miss a couple of games to rest the injury. Cliff Avril suffered a neck injury and did not return to the game, but no update is yet available for Avril.

Raiders Quarterback Derek Carr -- Back

Initially announced as back spasms, Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio announced at his news conference today that Derek Carr actually suffered a transverse process fracture in his back and will be out for 2-6 weeks. The good news is that this is the same injury that both Tony Romo and Cam Newton suffered in 2014, and each only missed one game. The bad news is that, after the coming weekend's game against Baltimore, the Raiders face the Chargers and the Chiefs, two divisional opponents with top-tier pass rushers. There's never a good time to lose your starting quarterback, but this may be the worst time possible for Oakland's chances of winning the division. EJ Manuel looks set to start in Carr's absence.

Bills Receiver Jordan Matthews -- Thumb

Bills receiver Jordan Matthews will have surgery today on an unspecified thumb injury and miss around a month, according to Sal Capaccio of WGR Sports Radio 550. Matthews missed much of a preseason with a chip fracture in his sternum, but returned to lead the team's wide receivers in yards through the first four games.

Linebacker Ramon Humber, meanwhile, suffered a broken hand in the same game and reportedly "will miss time." How much is, as yet, unspecified, and will probably be determined by Humber's ability to play with the injured hand in a cast.

Safety Colt Anderson suffered an arm injury and cornerback E.J. Gaines left with a groin injury, but no update is yet available for either.

Falcons Receiver Mohamed Sanu -- Hamstring

NBC Sports reports that Mohamed Sanu is expected to miss two to three weeks with the hamstring strain he suffered against Buffalo. The team is on a bye in Week 5, which could mean Sanu only misses the Week 6 game against Miami. Hamstring injuries do tend to linger after the player returns, however, so Sanu might be relatively impaired by the injury for a week or two after his return.

News on Julio Jones is better: Jones suffered a relatively minor hip pointer against Buffalo. Due to his team's Week 5 bye, he is not expected to miss any games.

Cardinals Edge Rusher Markus Golden -- Knee

Multiple reports overnight suggest that Cardinals edge rusher Markus Golden suffered a major knee injury against San Francisco, either to his ACL or MCL. An ACL injury would undoubtedly end Golden's season, whereas an MCL tear would give him a chance to return later in the year. An MRI scan is scheduled for today to confirm the exact nature of Golden's injury, and thus whether he might be able to return before 2018. As noted above, if the team physicians believe an ACL injury has occurred, they are almost always correct in that assessment.

Texans Halfback Tyler Ervin -- Knee

Tyler Ervin, Houston's primary kick and punt returner and backup running back, suffered a torn patellar tendon against Tennessee and will require season-ending surgery. The return game of the Texans had been almost exactly league average in our special teams ratings this season, with Ervin averaging 7.5 yards per punt return and 18.6 yards per kick return.

Colts Center Deyshawn Bond -- Quad/Knee

Ian Rapoport reports that Deyshawn Bond tore the quad muscle that connects to his kneecap in last night's blowout loss in Seattle. Bond will have surgery and miss the rest of the season. Fortunately for the Colts, first-string center Ryan Kelly returned to practice last week and may be available for the visit of San Francisco in Week 5.

Panthers Safety Kurt Coleman -- Knee

Kurt Coleman reportedly sprained his MCL against the Patriots, and will miss "some time." The amount of time missed usually depends on the severity of the sprain, with a two- to four-week absence typical for a Grade II sprain.


The following players were removed from their respective games with concussion symptoms and enter the league protocol:

  • 49ers receiver Marquise Goodwin
  • Giants center Weston Richburg
  • Packers receiver Davante Adams
  • Raiders cornerback David Amerson
  • Saints tight end Josh Hill

Other Injuries

49ers linebacker Dekoda Watson left Sunday's game with a groin injury and did not return. Safety Adrian Colbert likewise did not return after suffering a hamstring injury. No update is yet available for either.

Browns linebacker Dominique Alexander left Sunday's game with a knee injury and did not return.

Chargers guard Matt Slauson suffered a triceps injury against the Eagles. No update is yet available.

Dolphins linebacker Mike Hull suffered a shoulder injury in London. No update is yet available.

Giants receiver Odell Beckham dislocated a finger against Tampa Bay, but was able to return to the game. Beckham also suffered a minor ankle injury. He is not expected to miss any time with either ailment. Defensive end Olivier Vernon again left Sunday's game with an aggravation of his existing ankle injury -- Vernon is trying to play through the injury, but may continue to finish games early until it is given a chance to properly heal. Halfback Paul Perkins suffered a rib injury, and no update is yet available for that.

Jaguars guard A.J. Cann injured his thumb and left Sunday's game temporarily, but returned with the thumb taped up. He reportedly stated afterward that the thumb was not broken.

Jets cornerback Darryl Roberts left Sunday's win against Jacksonville with a hamstring injury, while linebacker Dylan Donahue suffered an elbow injury. An MRI scan will determine the severity of both.

Lions halfback Ameer Abdullah left Sunday's game with an ankle injury, but the injury is not considered serious. The Lions are less encouraged about linebacker Paul Worrilow, who suffered a knee injury, but no diagnosis is yet public.

Packers halfback Ty Montgomery suffered a rib injury against the Bears, but is expected to be available for Week 5.

Patriots cornerback Eric Rowe suffered a groin injury, while linebacker Elandon Roberts hurt his ankle. With the Patriots due to play this Thursday night, today's injury report will probably provide the first update on either.

Saints linebacker Alex Anzalone, who has a history of shoulder injuries, left Sunday's game with another injuryto the same shoulder he had repeatedly injured in college. Right tackle Zach Strief, who already missed time this season with a knee injury, suffered another knee injury in the fourth quarter against Miami and was carted off. No update is yet available on the severity of this latest injury.

Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota suffered what is believed to be a mild hamstring strain, but will have an MRI scan on the injury today as a precaution.

Posted by: Andrew Potter on 02 Oct 2017

9 comments, Last at 06 Oct 2017, 3:39pm by Tomlin_Is_Infallible


by TomC :: Mon, 10/02/2017 - 2:38pm

"cardiac contusion"?!!! Good Lord. It doesn't sound like he broke any ribs, so I'm not sure how he could have gotten it. Can you get one from a major impact causing the heart to slam against the ribcage, like a brain bruise? If so, that must have been a hell of a collision.

I wonder if there's a future for contact football that replaces the 300-pound men slamming into each other every play with something that is less destructive to the human body.

by Andrew Potter :: Mon, 10/02/2017 - 2:55pm

That's possible, though very unlikely. That said, this is a very uncommon injury in any circumstance. It can, however, be caused by a blow to the sternum, which would not necessarily have an associated rib fracture.

by SandyRiver :: Tue, 10/03/2017 - 10:56am

Reminds me of Bledsoe in 2001 - different injury, but no broken bones and essentially the same cause.

by DavidL :: Mon, 10/02/2017 - 6:16pm

So much for "back spasms." Carr has a "transverse process fracture" in his back, which I've never heard of before but sounds like it sucks.

by Andrew Potter :: Mon, 10/02/2017 - 6:41pm

Updated as soon as I saw the news, but apparently not quickly enough! I hesitate to describe any spinal injury as mild, but this is at least relatively mild as spinal injuries go. Also, this injury can present with muscle spasms, which would explain the initial misdiagnosis.

by BroncosGuyAgain :: Mon, 10/02/2017 - 8:36pm

Sorry to see Carr's diagnosis, and I hope he returns on the shorter end of the estimated down time. I thought Manuel (or Emanuel as Jim Nantz insisted on calling him Sunday) performed well in relief, particularly in context (down two scores late, needing to throw against a very good pass-rush, man-cover defense). The Raiders might navigate this challenge successfully. Clearly, I hope they don't, but I don't see this as a season-killer.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Mon, 10/02/2017 - 11:00pm

It's not really a spinal injury. It doesn't involve the cord, or the area around it. It's a fracture of the area where two vertebral bodies connect (limited motion joint). Probably hurts like hell, but it won't kill you.

by Tomlin_Is_Infallible :: Fri, 10/06/2017 - 3:39pm

I called it in the slack chat when it happened. Nobody believed me. To be fair, I also speculated he would miss the end of the year assuming he would have a 6-8 week recovery and thus just sit out. Looks like I was wrong on that part; supposedly coming back after 1 game missed next week? With that injury? If he doesn't aggravate it, he'll be playing in a ton of pain all season.

The standard is the standard!

by RickD :: Tue, 10/03/2017 - 10:00am

Tuesday update:
Josh Norman has a fractured rib and will miss a few weeks.