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Injury Aftermath: Week 8

J.J. Watt
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

by Andrew Potter

Texans Defensive End J.J. Watt -- Pectoral (IR)

Various outlets have reported that J.J. Watt will miss the rest of the season after tearing a pectoral muscle against the Raiders. The injury will require surgery, offering no prospect of even a postseason return. The most dominant defender in the league during his 2012-to-2015 heyday, this will be the third time in four years that Watt has missed at least half of the season due to major injury. By the end of the 2019 season, Watt will have missed exactly 32 of his past 64 possible appearances. Watt had 16 sacks a year ago, but the growing list of major injuries is an obvious concern for a player who turns 31 during the coming offseason.

Left tackle Laremy Tunsil injured his shoulder, but he is not expected to miss time.

Seahawks Center Justin Britt -- Knee (IR)

The Seahawks believe that Justin Britt tore his ACL against the Falcons, which would require season-ending surgery to repair. As we pass the midpoint of the season, ACL injuries become more likely to cause absences that extend into next season. As a result, Britt is already a candidate to begin at least the preseason on the Reserve (PUP) list, though he should be able to return during the 2020 season. The team currently expects Joey Hunt to replace Britt in the starting lineup.

Broncos Quarterback Joe Flacco -- Neck

Today's surprising news out of Denver is that Joe Flacco injured his neck against the Colts, and he will miss at least Week 9's matchup against the Cleveland Browns. With Drew Lock still on injured reserve, Brandon Allen will start against the Browns. The Broncos are still assessing Flacco, and Ian Rapoport reports that he could miss significant time.

Expect further news on that injury later in the week.

Cardinals Halfback Chase Edmonds -- Hamstring

The hamstring injury that Chase Edmonds suffered on Sunday is less interesting than the move they made to replace him: with starter David Johnson also ailing, the Cardinals have traded for Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake. Drake is a talented back who was widely considered misused in Miami. He will likely eat into game time for both Johnson and Edmonds even when all three are healthy. For Edmonds at least, that is likely to be fairly soon: over 50 percent of halfbacks return from hamstring injuries within one game, and 75 percent return within three. Edmonds is expected to fall toward the later end of that timetable, and he is almost guaranteed to miss Week 8 as the Cardinals play on Thursday night, but he may be able to return in some capacity as soon as Week 9.

Concussions

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

  • Cardinals edge rusher Cassius Marsh
  • Rams receiver Brandin Cooks
  • Texans cornerback Lonnie Johnson
  • Titans guard Rodger Saffold

Other Injuries

49ers halfback Matt Breida once again sprained the same ankle that consistently plagued him last season. Breida is confident that he will play against Arizona on Thursday despite the shortened week of recovery, but last year he seemed to aggravate the injury during every game. The 49ers have a much deeper pool of halfbacks this year, so expect Breida's workload to be carefully managed if the injury lingers as it did last term. Fellow halfback Jeff Wilson was evaluated for concussion symptoms, but he cleared the protocol and was instead diagnosed with a stinger.

Bears linebacker Isaiah Irving injured his quadriceps against the Chargers. Only around a third of quadriceps injuries to linebackers cause missed time, and over 80 percent of players return within two weeks.

Bills offensive tackle Cody Ford injured his elbow against the Eagles. Ninety percent of elbow injuries to offensive linemen result in absences of two weeks or less, but the other 10 percent are usually season-enders. There is no indication that Ford's is in the latter group, so he is unlikely to miss much time.

Broncos tackle Ja'Wuan James aggravated his existing knee injury, but the Broncos do not believe that the aggravation is major. He may miss time but is not expected to be absent for long. Tight end Jeff Heuerman also might miss Week 8, but his injury is likewise not considered major.

Chargers offensive tackle Russell Okung injured his calf against the Bears, but he is unlikely to miss much time: over 55 percent of calf injuries to offensive lineman do not cause any missed games, and around 75 percent return within two weeks.

Chiefs cornerback Bashaud Breeland injured his shoulder against the Packers but was able to return to the game. Defensive end Alex Okafor and guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif both suffered ankle injuries, but no update is yet available for either.

Colts defensive lineman Denico Autry suffered a stinger against the Broncos, which may impair him in practice this week. Any potential game absence will depend on how the injury progresses during the week; we do not have specific numbers for stingers.

Eagles halfback Miles Sanders left Sunday's game with a shoulder injury, but head coach Doug Pederson stated at his Monday media conference that Sanders will be fine.

Falcons defensive end John Cominsky sprained his ankle against Seattle, but with the team on a bye next week Dan Quinn expects Cominsky to be available for their next game against New Orleans in Week 10.

Jaguars receivers Marqise Lee and Dede Westbrook, cornerback D.J. Hayden, and safety Ronnie Harrison all left Sunday's game with injuries, but head coach Doug Marrone does not believe that any of the injuries will result in long-term absences.

Jets quarterback Sam Darnold sprained his left thumb against the Jaguars, but as a right-handed passer that is unlikely to affect him much. Cornerback Trumaine Johnson aggravated his ankle injury, but as Trumaine Johnson that is unlikely to affect him much. Center Ryan Kalil injured his knee and is considered week-to-week. Kalil will probably be replaced by Jonotthan Harrison.

Packers offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga injured his finger against the Chiefs, but he is not expected to miss time.

Panthers receiver Jarius Wright was carted into the locker room with a leg injury, but Wright was later able to return to the game.

Raiders center Rodney Hudson injured his ankle against the Texans, and head coach Jon Gruden is concerned that the injury is significant. Though X-rays showed no fracture, that does not clear Hudson entirely: a high ankle sprain, which commonly results from a similar injury mechanism to a leg fracture, would probably rule Hudson out for at least two weeks. Results from an MRI scan will tell the team more; expect more news later today. Defensive end Josh Mauro's groin injury is still being evaluated, but linebacker Justin Phillips will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury. Special teamer Dwayne Harris aggravated his ankle injury.

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