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Injury Aftermath: Week 14

Miami Dolphins TE Mike Gesicki
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

During the 2020 season, injured reserve only requires that a player miss a minimum of three weeks, so teams will use that list more freely than in previous seasons. We will therefore distinguish between players placed on injured reserve (IR) and players who we expect to miss the rest of the season (Season).

As teams are eliminated from postseason contention, it becomes more likely that they will place their players on injured reserve with even relatively short-term injuries. Injuries to those teams will therefore be filed at the bottom of the article, unless they are likely to have ramifications beyond this season.

Eagles Safety Rodney McLeod -- Knee (Season)

Eagles safety Rodney McLeod tore his ACL and will miss the rest of the season, the second time in three years that McLeod will finish the season on injured reserve with a major knee ligament injury. This late in the year, even an uncomplicated recovery will likely impact next season: a nine-month typical recovery gives McLeod a chance to recover by September, but he is very likely to begin 2021 on Reserve (PUP). McLeod had started every game for Philadelphia in each of the past two seasons, including playing every snap this season. He ranked second on the team in tackles, also contributing one interception and two fumble recoveries.

Cornerback Avonte Maddox will miss a few weeks with a knee injury of his own, though he has a chance to return for the playoffs if the Eagles can win the NFC East. Darius Slay, as noted below, is in the concussion protocol.

Broncos Cornerback Duke Dawson -- Knee (Season)

The second Broncos cornerback to tear his ACL in the past two games, Duke Dawson suffered a multi-ligament injury that will almost certainly keep him out not only of the remainder of this season, but a significant portion of next season too. Dawson ruptured the ACL and PCL in his knee and sprained his MCL. Usually, in this case, surgery will be delayed to allow the MCL to heal. This can take around a month, preventing Dawson from starting his ACL recovery until mid-January. A typical nine-month recovery period would mean a potential October return, assuming no further complications. He is likely to begin 2021 on the Reserve (PUP) list; depending on his surgery and recovery timetable, he may even miss the entire campaign.

Dolphins Tight End Mike Gesicki -- Shoulder (IR?)

Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports that the Dolphins expect tight end Mike Gesicki to miss at least one game with a shoulder injury that could be season-ending, pending scan results later today. Gesicki appears to have suffered either a dislocation or subluxation (partial dislocation that reduces itself without further intervention) of his shoulder. If there is significant ligament damage or a fracture, Gesicki could require surgery and a lengthy rehabilitation. He would be fine for 2021, but that would end his 2020 season.

Receiver Jakeem Grant injured his hamstring and is unlikely to play against the Patriots in Week 15, but the team is optimistic that DeVante Parker will recover from the leg injury he suffered against the Chiefs in time to play against the Patriots.


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

  • Bills defensive back Taron Johnson
  • Chargers guard Trai Turner
  • Eagles cornerback Darius Slay
  • Eagles defensive tackle Malik Jackson
  • Raiders safety Johnathan Abram
  • Raiders safety Nicholas Morrow

Based on our current data, a growing majority of players now miss at least one game following a diagnosed concussion, but around 80% return within two weeks.

Other Injuries

49ers receiver Deebo Samuel injured his hamstring against Washington and did not return. A shade over half of hamstring injuries to receivers cause missed time, but 75% of those players return within three weeks. However, this late in the season, with Samuel having already missed so much time, a Grade II or higher strain may be enough that the team simply places him on injured reserve. Linebacker Fred Warner cleared the concussion protocol after being evaluated for a head injury, but he instead was diagnosed with a stinger and did not return to the game. Raheem Mostert was evaluated for a head injury and cleared to return.

Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson injured his shoulder in Week 14, but the team is optimistic that he will be able to play in Week 15.

Bengals quarterback Brandon Allen suffered a bone bruise in his knee, per NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, but the team expects him to be fine.

Cardinals defensive end Jordan Phillips injured his hamstring against the Giants. Around half of such injuries cause missed time, but 75% of players who suffer them return within three weeks. Guard Justin Pugh injured his calf, which carries a slightly lower risk of missed time, but a similar recovery timetable if he does have to miss a game.

Chiefs guard Mike Remmers hurt his back and was replaced by Yasir Durant. Cornerback Charvarius Ward was evaluated for a head injury but cleared the protocol. Receiver Tyreek Hill appeared to injure his hamstring, but reports indicate that it was just a cramp and he is not expected to miss time.

Cowboys cornerback Saivion Smith broke his hand against the Bengals, but he was able to return to the game and he expects to play again in Week 15.

Falcons defensive tackle Marlon Davidson injured his knee, but Raheem Morris said that the team doctors do not expect him to miss time.

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford suffered an unspecified rib injury against the Packers. The team hopes to have him available in Week 15, but with the Lions well out of playoff contention, early indications are that Chase Daniel may start that game unless Stafford recovers sufficiently to be unimpeded by his injury. Cornerback Darryl Roberts injured his hip, but there is no update yet on his status.

Washington quarterback Alex Smith left Sunday's game with a calf strain, but the team is optimistic that the strain is mild and hopes to have him available in Week 15. Around half of calf injuries keep quarterbacks out for at least one week, but only 25% for two or more, and only 10% cause an absence of three or more games.


11 comments, Last at 17 Dec 2020, 10:17am

1 Boy, is that receiving corps…

Boy, is that receiving corps in Miami in a sorry state right now. Even the Eagles are starting to look good compared to them, unless Parker can go.

2 yup

Miami likely will be without 5 of their top 6 pass catchers and their top 3 running backs. The one receiver that might go also seems to have very little in synch with Tua. They might simply not have enough gas to get to that playoff spot at this point.  

5 5 of their top 6, and that's…

In reply to by johonny

5 of their top 6, and that's without counting Albert Wilson and Allen Hurns, who opted out before the season.

7 McSorley

I guess we'll know more if they start "bringing in" QBs to throw for them via Zoom.  Can't go into a game with NO backups.

8 Miami

Despite not having any RB's or Wr's, kind of a big thing, they are still favored by 2- over NE. Go figure.

11 It was described as a larynx…

It was described as a larynx fracture. A hyoid fracture would have been more serious (as in life-threatening).

I would presume it was a shot to the neck; that's the most obvious way to do it, unless he slipped and fell into the bench when the defense was on the field.