by Andrew Potter and Zach Binney
Thanks to staff writer Zach Binney's analysis of NFL injury data, we are able to provide 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.
49ers Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo -- Knee (IR)
Jimmy Garoppolo's season was ended on an innocuous-looking fourth-quarter scramble during the 49ers' failed comeback attempt against the Chiefs. This injury was similar to that of Carson Wentz last year in that, although Garoppolo was hit by a defender at the end of the play, his knee buckled the step before the tackle and his ACL had given way before any contact. The good news is that, unlike Wentz, Garoppolo's injury occurred early enough in the season that he should be able to recover in time to participate in the team's offseason program. The bad news is that he will obviously not play another down this season.
Cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Jimmie Ward also left the game with injuries. Sherman suffered a calf strain; about 30 percent of calf injuries to defensive backs result in multi-week absences, and unfortunately this is what's expected for Sherman. Sherman's recovery is also complicated by the fact that he is coming off a torn Achilles, which may have contributed to his calf injury. Typical recovery times are one to four weeks. Ward's injury was not disclosed by the team. Matt Breida also left the game with what at first glance looked a worrying injury, but he returned after a spell on the sidelines.
Falcons Safety Ricardo Allen -- Achilles (IR)
Already down fellow starter Keanu Neal, the Falcons lost Ricardo Allen for the season during Sunday's home defeat against the Saints. Allen suffered a ruptured Achilles -- the same injury that took out Eric Berry on opening night last season -- which will require surgery. His season is over. With youngster Damontae Kazee already in the lineup in place of Neal, the next man up for the Falcons appears to be either former Patriots safety Jordan Richards or former Buccaneers backup Keith Tandy. The team is expected to add depth at the position this week.
Packers Defensive Tackle Muhammad Wilkerson -- Ankle (IR)
Muhammad Wilkerson suffered the most gruesome injury of the season so far in a "friendly fire" collision with Kentrell Brice against Washington. The resultant ankle fracture and dislocation required an overnight stay at a nearby hospital, where Wilkerson had surgery to repair the injury. He is expected to return home during the week, but his season is over.
Offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga injured his back and did not return. Only around one-third of back injuries to offensive lineman cause them to miss future games, but the fact that Bulaga did not return is concerning. Typical recovery times are one to four weeks.
Dolphins Defensive End William Hayes -- Knee (IR)
As our resident epidemiologist speculated in this week's Audibles conversation, William Hayes did indeed suffer a major knee injury while trying to avoid incurring a bodyweight personal foul as he sacked Raiders quarterback Derek Carr. Hayes did avoid the personal foul, but instead tore his ACL and will miss the rest of the season: a direct though unintended consequence of perhaps the league's most contentious recent rule amendment.
Fellow defensive end Andre Branch, tight end A.J. Derby, and linebacker Chase Allen are still being evaluated by the medical staff, but they are not expected to miss extended time.
Saints Cornerback Patrick Robinson -- Ankle (IR)
Patrick Robinson suffered a major ankle injury against the Falcons, which is expected to put him on injured reserve for at least the next eight weeks. Trying to evade a low block by Falcons right tackle Jake Matthews, Robinson instead caught his leg under Matthews as the lineman rolled over. At the very least, the result will be a severe high-ankle sprain: a probable Grade III tear of the syndesmotic ligament. A fracture of either bone is also a distinct possibility. Either of those in isolation will probably keep Robinson out until at least November; both together would probably be enough to end his season.
Rams Cornerback Aqib Talib -- Ankle
UPDATED: Rams head coach Sean McVay confirmed yesterday that Aqib Talib has a high-ankle sprain for which he is seeking a second opinion. He may need surgery and will miss significant time. As with Patrick Robinson, Talib has a solid chance to return later in the year assuming an isolated sprain, but even if he avoids surgery he will miss a month at the very minimum and probably closer to two months.
A big offseason acquisition from the Kansas City Chiefs, Marcus Peters suffered a reported calf strain against the Chargers. Approximately 40 percent of calf injuries to defensive backs cause them to miss time, with around 30 percent causing multi-week absences. Unfortunately it appears Peters falls into this latter group. Typical recovery times are one to four weeks, but Peters likely falls at or beyond the upper end of this range. At the very least, Peters will miss Thursday night's contest against the Vikings.
Kick returner JoJo Natson hurt his hand, while linebacker Dominique Easley hurt his knee. No update was available for either player.
The following players left their respective games with concussion symptoms and enter the league protocol:
- Browns quarterback Tyrod Taylor
- Raiders offensive tackle Donald Penn
- Redskins offensive tackle Morgan Moses
- Titans quarterback Blaine Gabbert
- Titans cornerback/punt returner Adoree Jackson
Bears receiver Anthony Miller dislocated his left shoulder against the Cardinals and did not return to the game. He may attempt to play through the injury with a shoulder harness, as receivers quite commonly do, but the Bears have only one more game before their bye week so the team is likely to be cautious. The same is true of cornerback Prince Amukamara, who hurt his hamstring on Sunday. Amukamara will have an MRI scan on the injury today, but does not believe it to be a major injury. That said, nearly two-thirds of hamstring injuries to defensive backs cause them to miss at least one game, while 20 percent cause major absences of four weeks or longer. Typical recovery times are one to four weeks.
Bengals receiver A.J. Green hurt his groin against the Panthers, but he expects to be available for Week 4. Around 60 percent of groin injuries to wide receivers do not cause them to miss any games, but typical recovery times range up to five weeks. Rotational defensive tackle Ryan Glasgow was less fortunate; Glasgow tore his ACL and will miss the rest of the season.
Broncos cornerback Tramaine Brock suffered a groin strain against the Ravens and is expected to miss some time. His status will be updated following an MRI scan, which was scheduled for Monday morning. Approximately half of groin injuries to defensive backs cause them to miss at least one week, with 20 percent causing major absences of four or more weeks. Typical recovery times are one to four weeks.
Chiefs edge rusher Dee Ford will have an MRI today on the groin strain he suffered against the 49ers. About 45 percent of groin injuries to defensive linemen cause them to miss at least one game, and typical recovery times are one to four weeks.
Colts right tackle Joe Haeg injured his ankle against the Eagles. He attempted to return to the game, but he was ruled out for good shortly thereafter. This left the Colts without their top two offensive tackles. No update is yet available on Haeg's status for Week 4. Approximately 40 percent of ankle injuries to offensive linemen cause them to miss at least one game, while 15 percent cause major absences of four or more weeks. Typical recovery times are one to four weeks.
Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee suffered the latest in a string of persistent hamstring injuries that have blighted his recent career. Forty percent of hamstring injuries to linebackers cause them to miss multiple games, and this unfortunately appears to be the case for Lee. His lengthy history of hamstring injuries makes recovery more difficult, so expect at least a two- to five-week recovery time.
Eagles safety Rodney McLeod left Sunday's win with a knee injury. Head coach Doug Pederson said today that McLeod is still being evaluated, and more news should be available on Wednesday. Receiver Alshon Jeffery, who has missed the opening three weeks of the season following offseason surgery on a rotator cuff injury, has still not been cleared for contact.
Giants tight end Evan Engram suffered an MCL sprain against the Texans. His status is officially "week-to-week," which usually means he won't play this week but has a chance to be available next. Ninety percent of announced MCL injuries to tight ends cause them to miss at least one week, while nearly half cause long-term absences of four or more weeks. Typical recovery times are four to nine weeks.
Jaguars defensive end Calais Campbell injured his right ankle against the Titans. Though the injury is not considered serious, Campbell was already playing through a knee ailment, making it slightly more likely that he could miss time. Overall about 40 percent of ankle injuries to defensive linemen cause them to miss at least one game. Given his importance to the team, it is more likely that he misses some practice time but remains active for Week 4's visit to the New York Jets. Typical recovery times are one to four weeks, however.
Patriots halfback Rex Burkhead hurt his neck against the Lions; the latest in a string of injuries for Burkhead since moving to New England. The Patriots provided no further update on Burkhead.
Raiders safety Karl Joseph injured his leg against the Dolphins and did not return to the game. No update is yet available.
Texans receiver Bruce Ellington left Sunday's game with a hamstring injury, which will probably be subject to an MRI scan. Approximately 50 percent of hamstring injuries to wide receivers cause them to miss at least one game, while about 25 percent cause them to miss three or more weeks. Typical recovery times are one to five weeks. Guard Senio Kelemete injured his knee during the warmup and did not play; head coach Bill O'Brien expects to have an update on his status later in the week. Cornerback Aaron Colvin hurt his chest, but was able to return to the game. Only about a quarter of chest injuries to defensive backs cause them to miss any games, with typical recovery times of one to three weeks.
Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes hurt his ankle against the Bills and will have an MRI scan today. Forty percent of ankle injuries to defensive backs cause them to miss at least one week, and the Vikings play the Rams on Thursday night, meaning Waynes will need very positive news to be available for that game. It is more likely that he misses at least that game, even if the injury turns out to be relatively minor.