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Injury Aftermath: Week 6

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.

Vikings Cornerback Mike Hughes -- Knee (IR)

Rookie cornerback Mike Hughes tore his ACL on a coverage play against the Cardinals and will miss the rest of the season. Leading into Week 6, Hughes had played 71.3 percent of Minnesota's defensive snaps, second only to Xavier Rhodes among the team's cornerbacks. Fortunately for the team, Trae Waynes returned from his concussion against the Cardinals and will step back into the lineup in Hughes' place, but Hughes will be a significant loss to the Vikings secondary. Now that we are into October, ACL recovery times begin to bleed into the team's offseason program, but Hughes should at least be healthy in time for the 2019 preseason.

Broncos Guard Ronald Leary -- Achilles (IR)

The Broncos reportedly believe that Ronald Leary tore his Achilles against the Rams. Like with ACL tears, the physical exam for a torn Achilles is usually reliable and definitive; it would be a major surprise for the MRI to contradict the physical exam. Leary will require surgery, and his season is over. Max Garcia, who started all 16 games for the Broncos in each of the 2016 and 2017 seasons, is expected to return to the starting lineup in Leary's absence.

Falcons Kicker Matt Bryant -- Hamstring

One of the league's leading scorers over the past few seasons, Falcons kicker Matt Bryant injured his hamstring on Atlanta's final field goal and is very likely to miss time. Unfortunately, hamstring injuries that cause missed time for kickers are usually quite severe; a majority are season-enders. Though the Falcons have given no indication that Bryant is likely to be placed on injured reserve, they will at least assuredly sign a stand-in kicker early this week.

Receiver Calvin Ridley injured his ankle against the Buccaneers but was seen walking comfortably after the game. About 40 percent of ankle injuries to wide receivers cause them to miss at least one game, but this injury is not expected to keep Ridley out. Typical recovery times are one to four weeks.

Mohamed Sanu injured his hip, but no details are yet available. Only about a quarter of hip injuries to wide receivers cause them to miss any time, but those that do tend to be severe; about 10 percent result in long-term absences of four or more weeks. Typical recovery times are one to three weeks.

Dolphins Quarterback Ryan Tannehill -- Shoulder

Ryan Tannehill was a surprise inactive against Chicago due to a shoulder injury. It sounds like this was a result of the mild acromioclavicular joint sprain Tannehill suffered against the Raiders in Week 3, which he then aggravated against the Bengals in Week 5. Tannehill was a full participant in games and practices from Week 3 through to last Friday's session, in which he was limited. He was then listed as questionable for the game, which Brock Osweiler started. Quarterbacks sometimes play through relatively mild shoulder sprains -- about half cause them to miss at least one game -- but they tend to linger. Typical recovery times are two to five weeks. Tannehill struggled with his downfield accuracy in Weeks 4 and 5, which playing through this injury could certainly explain.

This week's practice participation reports will probably be the clearest indication of Tannehill's status for the visit of Detroit in Week 7, as Adam Gase did not have any news on the injury after Sunday's victory over the Bears. If Tannehill cannot play, Osweiler is again likely to start in his stead. And even if Tanehill can play, Osweiler might still be a better (or at least not worse) option until Tannehill is fully healed.

Bills Quarterback Josh Allen -- Elbow

Josh Allen's longest pass of the day was also his most costly, as he suffered an elbow injury that took him out of the game after one further play. Nathan Peterman took over for the Bills, and you probably know the rest. Reports indicate that Allen had trouble even dressing himself after the game due to the injury, though no specifics are yet available. Just over half of elbow injuries to quarterbacks cause them to miss at least one game, while 35 percent cause long-term absences of four or more weeks. Recovery times are highly variable, with typical injuries lasting anywhere from a single week to a full season. We have already seen Marcus Mariota play through an elbow injury that involved nerves and numbness this year to mixed results, but Allen's injury appears different. If Allen misses the visit to Indianapolis, the Bills might have little option but to give Peterman another start; the only alternative is recently signed veteran Derek Anderson, who has 47 NFL starts to his name (though only four in the past seven seasons), but who only joined the Bills last week.

Guard Vladimir Ducasse injured his knee, but no update is yet available.

Concussions

The following players left their respective games with concussion symptoms and enter the league protocol:

  • Bengals safety Shawn Williams
  • Chiefs center Mitch Morse
  • Dolphins defensive end Jonathan Woodard
  • Patriots offensive tackle Marcus Cannon
  • Raiders receivers Amari Cooper and Seth Roberts

Other Injuries

Bengals linebacker Nick Vigil suffered a sprained MCL against the Steelers, and he is expected to miss around a month. Cornerback Darqueze Dennard suffered a similar sprain to his shoulder, most likely to the AC joint. Approximately half of shoulder sprains to defensive backs cause them to miss at least one game, while just over a quarter cause long-term absences of four or more weeks. Typical recovery times are two to eight weeks.

Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield twisted his ankle against the Chargers, but the injury is not expected to result in missed time. Only about 30 percent of ankle injuries to quarterbacks cause them to miss any games, and typical recovery times are one to three weeks. Receiver Rod Streater suffered a neck fracture and will miss the rest of the season.

Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy suffered a calf injury, most likely a calf strain. He did not return to the game, and he was spotted in a protective boot afterward. Seventy percent of calf injuries to defensive linemen cause them to miss at least one game, while 30 percent cause long-term absences of four or more weeks. Typical recovery times are one to six weeks.

Cardinals right guard Justin Pugh broke his hand against the Vikings. It is not yet clear how much time Pugh will miss. Across all positions, approximately 80 percent of hand fractures cause at least one missed game, while half cause absences of three or more weeks. Typical recovery times are three to eight weeks. Left guard Mike Iupati injured his back and did not return to the game. About one-third of back injuries to offensive linemen cause them to miss at least one game; typical recovery times are one to four weeks. Iupati's replacement, Jeremy Vujnovich, then injured his hamstring and was replaced by John Wetzel.

Colts halfback Robert Turbin injured his shoulder against the Jets. His prognosis depends upon the type and severity of injury, but overall approximately 25 percent of shoulder injuries to running backs cause them to miss at least one game. Typical recovery times are one to three weeks. Receiver Marcus Johnson and Ryan Grant both suffered ankle injuries, and no update is yet public for either. About 40 percent of ankle injuries to wide receivers cause them to miss at least one game, with about 20 percent causing long-term absences of four or more weeks. Typical recovery times are one to four weeks.

Cowboys receiver Tavon Austin suffered a groin strain against the Jaguars. He will have an MRI scan on the injury. About 40 percent of groin injuries to wide receivers cause them to miss at least one game, and typical recovery times are one to four weeks.

Eagles left tackle Jason Peters has a bicep injury that is expected to keep him on the sideline for a couple of weeks. While a torn biceps tendon can be a season-ending injury, the location is a key determinant: whether the tear is proximal (shoulder, can return) or distal (elbow, season-ending). Peters appears to have torn the proximal tendon, meaning he can likely return in a shoulder harness after a couple of weeks.

Giants receiver Cody Latimer hurt his hamstring against the Eagles. Approximately half of hamstring injuries to wide receivers cause them to miss at least one game, while 20 percent cause long-term absences of four or more weeks. Typical recovery times are one to four weeks.

Jaguars tight end Niles Paul suffered a low- to mid-grade MCL sprain against the Cowboys and is expected to miss time. Virtually all (90 percent) of MCL injuries across all positions result in at least one missed game, with just over 50 percent causing long-term absences of four or more weeks. Typical recovery times are four to nine weeks. Backup receiver and special teams returner Jaydon Mickens fractured his ankle, and is expected to miss four to six weeks. That is an unusually low return time for an ankle fracture -- less than a quarter of players even return in the same season -- which implies a simple fracture and no additional damage.

Jets receiver Quincy Enunwa suffered an apparent mild high-ankle sprain against the Colts. Virtually all (95 percent) of high ankle sprains to wide receivers cause them to miss at least one game, and 70 percent cause long-term absences of four or more weeks. Typical recovery times are four-plus weeks.

In addition to the concussions listed above, the Raiders lost left guard Jon Feliciano to a rib injury. Only about a quarter of rib injuries to offensive linemen cause them to miss any games, and typical recovery times are one to two weeks. Quarterback Derek Carr hurt his shoulder late in the game, but he did not technically miss a play: Oakland kicked a field goal immediately after the sack and Seattle kept the ball for the rest of the game. The Raiders have a bye this week, as is usual for teams who play in London, and Carr expects to be fine for the visit of Indianapolis in Week 8. Carr's prognosis depends on the details of the injury, but as with Tannehill above, the Raiders may want to consider the wisdom of making him play through it.

Rams receiver Cooper Kupp suffered a knee injury on an illegal horse-collar tackle against the Broncos, but initial fears were allayed when Kupp returned briefly at the start of the second half. Though he was quickly withdrawn for good, the injury is evidently less severe than it initially appeared. Kupp will have an MRI scan on the knee today, with a sprained MCL the most likely outcome. As noted above, virtually all (90 percent) of MCL injuries across all positions result in at least one missed game, with just over 50 percent causing long-term absences of four or more weeks. Typical recovery times are four to nine weeks. Linebacker Matt Longacre injured his back. Approximately 30 percent of back injuries to linebackers cause them to miss at least one game, while about 15 percent cause three or more missed games. Typical recovery times are one to three weeks. Guard Roger Saffold hurt his knee.

Ravens guard Alex Lewis injured his neck and was taken to hospital during Baltimore's victory in Tennessee. He was later released and flew back to Baltimore with the team, who are optimistic that the injury is minor. About 40 percent of neck injuries to offensive linemen cause them to miss at least one game, and typical recovery times are one to four weeks.

Titans outside linebacker Derrick Morgan injured his shoulder against the Ravens and did not return. Head coach Mike Vrabel updated Morgan's status today, and the player is expected to miss "a few weeks." His prognosis depends upon the type and severity of injury, but overall approximately 25 percent of shoulder injuries to defensive linemen cause them to miss at least one game. Typical recovery times are one to four weeks. Guard Quinton Spain injured his shoulder and is considered "day to day."

Comments

5 comments, Last at 16 Oct 2018, 3:02pm

1 Re: Injury Aftermath: Week 6

by Joe Pancake // Oct 15, 2018 - 5:19pm

I wonder if this is the end for Matt Bryant. He is 43, after all. Then again, he's still one of the best in the league, and he nailed a clutch 57-yarder yesterday* -- not inconceivable he could rehab and play a few more years.

Another new kicker for a team this year. Is it just me or has kicking been especially bad this year? It seems as if we've seen a lot of missed FGs so far, particularly in critical spots like Cody Parkey yesterday. But I don't know if that's selective memory on my part or not.

*Weird decision to try that on 4th-and-2, but, hey, it worked. That's the advantage of having a guy like Bryant on your roster, I guess.

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2 Re: Injury Aftermath: Week 6

by johonny // Oct 15, 2018 - 6:39pm

The Tannehill injury seems less surprising given how he looked in week 4 and 5. I think Miami fans biggest fear of the offseason is they'd be reduce to Gore runs up the middle and Brock passing. They're now 1-0 with that offense so?

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3 Re: Injury Aftermath: Week 6

by jtr // Oct 16, 2018 - 1:34pm

Josh Allen: Questionable
Nathan Peterman: Doubtful

And that's before we even take injuries into account.

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5 Re: Injury Aftermath: Week 6

by Bobman // Oct 16, 2018 - 3:02pm

Well said.
Maybe NFL adds a new category: Dubious. It need not relate to any specific injury, but point out that it's just a coin toss whether that guy should be out there at all.

During the 1987 replacement games, whole rosters could have been designated as such. And just like "Questionable: Ankle." the teams could elucidate a bit more without being too transparent, like "Dubious: Talent," or "Dubious: Inexperience." Then there's the dreaded "Dubious: Should have signed that minor league baseball contract instead."

That one would hurt.

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4 Re: Injury Aftermath: Week 6

by Bobman // Oct 16, 2018 - 2:59pm

Colts WR Marcus Johnson (who?) to IR.
I am too lazy to research where he came from, when, and why, but I assume he was an injury replacement player himself. They had a thin WR corps all along, rookie Dion Cain went on IR in the preseason and Hilton is out for a while. I can only name three WRs left standing, Ryan Grant, Chester Rogers, and Zach Pascal. Jack Doyle is out for a bit at TE and Eric Ebron is battling multiple dings. Converted hoopster Eric Swoope is still in there at TE #3.

Maybe Luck cans pass to himself. I know what Gisele said about Tom years ago, but Luck's faster than Brady, and less likely to drop passes than his receivers (and RBs), who have tallied 15+ drops in the past three weeks IIRC, several of those ending up as picks, and one a pick-six.

Sigh.

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