by Andrew Potter
Buccaneers Linebacker Kwon Alexander -- Knee (IR)
Kwon Alexander's diagnosis of a torn ACL has been confirmed by MRI scan today, and the Buccaneers linebacker will miss the rest of the season. Mid-October is usually the period during which major injuries such as this one begin to affect the player's chances of participating in the full offseason program; Alexander should be healthy for the start of the 2019 regular season, but may not be ready for summer OTAs. Further complicating his status, Alexander is an unrestricted free agent after the current season and was in negotiations with the Buccaneers about a new contract. Though in prior years this might have resulted in a one-year "prove it" deal, Alexander has a strong track record of performance and ACL recovery is much closer to assured now than it was even ten years ago.
Tampa Bay's usual No. 3 linebacker, second-year professional Kendell Beckwith, has still not returned from the ankle injury he suffered in a traffic collision at the start of the summer. Beckwith was eligible to return to practice last week, and he does expect to return soon. Assuming that is the case, he is likely to step quickly into the starting role. In the meantime, fifth-year veteran Adarius Taylor (formerly Adarius Glanton) is likely to replace Alexander in the lineup.
Fellow linebacker Jack Cichy, who plays mainly on special teams, also suffered a knee injury against the Browns.
Jets Safety Doug Middleton -- Pectoral (IR)
Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reports that Doug Middleton will miss the rest of the season with a torn pectoral. Middleton was only starting for the Jets because Marcus Maye is already injured; that leaves Jamal Adams and Terrence Brooks as the team's only healthy safeties. Brooks will almost certainly replace Middleton in the lineup by default until Maye is healthy, and the Jets are likely to sign a free agent early this week.
Halfback Bilal Powell left the game with a neck injury. No update is yet available on Powell.
Dolphins Receiver Albert Wilson -- Hip (IR)
One week after the fifth-year professional recorded a career-high 155 receiving yards against the Bears, Albert Wilson suffered a hip injury that is expected to sideline him for the remainder of the regular season. Wilson reportedly injured the labrum in his hip, which would be consistent with early reports of a posterior subluxation -- a partial dislocation, or dislocation that reduces immediately, in which the femur shifts backward out of its socket. If the damage to the structure of the joint is minimal, Wilson may be able to return before the end of the season. If it is more severe, he will not. The absolute best case will still result in several missed games, most likely a month at the very minimum.
Fellow receiver Kenny Stills suffered a groin strain, and he will have a scan to assess the severity today. The Dolphins play on Thursday night this week, so Stills is very likely to miss at least one game with even a relatively mild strain.
The following players left their respective games with concussion symptoms and enter the league protocol:
- Bills halfback LeSean McCoy
- Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki
- Rams cornerback Troy Hill
49ers halfback Matt Breida has consistently left games in pain since suffering a low-grade high ankle sprain in Week 3, and he did so again in Week 7. Despite the constant pain and risk of aggravating the ligament, Breida has not yet missed a game. That may change this weekend, as the 1-6 49ers appear likely to finally give him the rest he evidently requires. Defensive back Adrian Colbert suffered an undisclosed injury against the Rams and was carted off; no further news is yet available.
Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict left Sunday's loss in Kansas City with a hip injury. Tight end Mason Schrek injured his knee, but his surname makes finding updates on his status rather more awkward than it might be. Receiver John Ross appears to have re-injured his groin, and he should be expected to miss considerable further time. Ross has already missed several weeks with the initial strain.
Bills edge rusher Trent Murphy injured his knee against the Colts. No specifics have been provided, and no update is yet available. Quarterback Derek Anderson was "banged up" after making his first start since 2016, but nothing so far indicates that he is likely to miss time.
Chargers halfback Melvin Gordon was a surprise inactive against the Titans after injuring his hamstring, but he is expected to be available as usual after the team's bye week.
Chiefs linebacker Terrance Smith left Sunday's game with a knee sprain, which usually means a low-grade MCL injury. He is likely to miss a week or two if that diagnosis is confirmed, but no reports have suggested a more severe injury.
Colts defensive lineman Jihad Ward injured his ankle against the Bills, and unfortunately appears likely to miss some time. Reports disagree on the exact location of the injury, whether it was his knee or ankle. This usually means a high ankle mechanism, which can cause either a high ankle sprain or an MCL sprain -- or both, and worse, in more severe cases, but nothing so far has suggested a severe injury.
Cowboys tight end Geoff Swaim injured his MCL against Washington and is expected to miss two to four weeks.
Jaguars nickelback Tyler Patmon left Sunday's home defeat to the Texans with a neck strain. Patmon was starting in place of the injured D.J. Hayden, and his departure left the team with only three active cornerbacks. As a result, the team mostly switched to its "big nickel" package featuring rookie safety Ronnie Harrison as the slot defender. Backup linebacker and special teamer Donald Payne injured his MCL.
Panthers defensive end Mario Addison left Sunday's game after taking a heavy blow to his back. Head coach Ron Rivera indicated that Addison's injury is not severe, but the team will monitor him during the coming week. Receiver Torrey Smith suffered swelling in his knee after a hard impact with the ground. Though the team believes that the knee is structurally sound, Smith will also be monitored by doctors during the week. Both players have a chance to be available for Week 8's game against the Baltimore Ravens.
Ravens guard Bradley Bozeman suffered a calf injury against the Saints and left the game.
Patriots halfback Sony Michel injured his knee against the Bears, but today's reports suggest that the injury may be less severe than initially suspected. An MRI scan will reveal the severity of the injury, but Michel is not expected to be absent for long -- and may even be available for Week 8. Cornerback Eric Rowe injured his groin and left the game.
Redskins cornerback Fabian Moreau and linebacker Preston Smith both took knocks against the Cowboys, but neither is expected to miss time.
Texans receiver Keke Coutee injured his hamstring against the Jaguars, and he will miss at least Thursday night's game against the Miami Dolphins. He does not expect to be out for much longer.
Titans guard Josh Kline was injured on the team's final drive against the Chargers, which cost the Titans their final timeout. Kline's injury has not been specified, and no update is yet available. He was replaced on the field by longtime Titans backup Dennis Kelly.
The Vikings lost linebacker Anthony Barr to a hamstring injury and cornerback Xavier Rhodes to an ankle injury against the Jets, but head coach Mike Zimmer does not expect the injuries to be long-term. Guard Tom Compton left the game with a knee injury, and no update is yet available on Compton.