Philadelphia Eagles ER Brandon Graham

Week 2 Injuries: Brandon Graham Done for the Year

The NFL retained last season's relaxed injured reserve rules for 2021, meaning that any player who is placed on injured reserve after the final roster cutdown day is eligible to return to practice after missing three weeks. As a result, we will continue to distinguish between players who will be placed on injured reserve (IR) and players who will likely miss the entire remainder of the season (Season).

Eagles Defensive End Brandon Graham—Achilles (Season)
Eagles Guard Brandon Brooks—Pectoral

Star Eagles defensive lineman Brandon Graham ruptured his Achilles against the 49ers. The injury will require surgery and will end his season. Graham had previously been one of the most durable players in the league, missing just a single game between the start of 2012 and this past Sunday. He recorded 56 sacks and 116 quarterback hits over that period and was selected to his first Pro Bowl last year. With the injury occurring this early in the season, the 33-year-old has a strong chance to be fully recovered by opening day 2022.

Guard Brandon Brooks injured his pectoral and will have MRI scans on that today to determine its severity. Those results could go one of two ways. Around 55% of pectoral injuries to offensive linemen result in absences of three weeks or shorter. Alas, the other 45% are all season-ending. There is almost no middle ground. If history is any indication, either Brooks will be back by mid-October, or he will miss the rest of the year.

Broncos Linebacker Josey Jewell—Pectoral (Season)

MRI scans have determined that Broncos linebacker Josey Jewell injured his pectoral against the Jaguars, an injury that is season-ending in over 75% of cases for linebackers. The 2018 fourth-round pick started all 16 games in 2021 and at 26 years old was considered one of the rising stars of Vic Fangio's emerging Broncos defense. He should be fully healthy well in time for the 2022 season, but he is very unlikely to play again this year.

Edge rusher Bradley Chubb aggravated the ankle injury that kept him out of Week 1, and he is likely to miss further time as a result.

Steelers Defensive Tackle Tyson Alualu—Ankle (IR)

Steelers nose tackle Tyson Alualu fractured his ankle against the Raiders and has already been placed on injured reserve. The team is still assessing the injury, but it will probably end his season: only around 15% of players who fracture an ankle are able to return later in the year.

Edge rusher T.J. Watt injured his groin against the Raiders, but he has a strong chance to be available in Week 3. Receiver Diontae Johnson injured his knee, but the injury is not considered major. He may miss Week 3, but he should return soon after that.

Browns Receiver Jarvis Landry—Knee (IR?)

Browns receiver Jarvis Landry reportedly has a sprained MCL, an injury for which we surprisingly have little data specific to wide receivers. League-wide, around 50% of players with MCL sprains miss four or more weeks, which seems closest to the likely timetable for Landry. That would make him a candidate for injured reserve.

Quarterback Baker Mayfield left the game temporarily with an injury, which he described in a manner that suggests a shoulder subluxation. Though painful, as it was to his non-throwing shoulder, he should be able to play through the injury assuming there is no further damage.

49ers Defensive Lineman Kevin Givens—Ankle (IR)

49ers defensive lineman Kevin Givens suffered a high-ankle sprain against the Eagles, and he is likely to miss around a month. Around 50% of high-ankle sprains to defensive linemen result in at least a four-game absence, and about 25% keep the player out for six weeks or longer.

One week after his outstanding performance against the Lions, halfback Elijah Mitchell injured his shoulder against the Eagles and did not return to the game. Fellow halfback JaMycal Hasty injured his ankle and did not return either. No news is yet available on either player.


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

  • 49ers halfback Trey Sermon
  • Falcons cornerback A.J. Terrell
  • Ravens safety DeShon Elliott
  • Texans safety Eric Murray

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

Bears quarterback Andy Dalton injured his knee against the Bengals, but scans and tests showed no injury to the ACL or MCL. Instead, Dalton reportedly has a bone bruise, an injury for which we have no discrete data. It seems likely that he will miss time—50% of unspecified knee injuries to quarterbacks cause missed time—but the duration of his absence may simply be a matter of pain tolerance and stability. First-round quarterback Justin Fields should start during Dalton's absence, and he may well retain the starting job beyond that.

Bills linebacker Tremaine Edmunds did not return after being listed as questionable due to cramps; however, this was likely a result of the game situation as Buffalo led by at least three touchdowns for most of the second half. Edmunds should be fine to play in Week 3.

Buccaneers return specialist Jayon Mickens injured his hip against the Falcons and did not return, but head coach Bruce Arians stated after the game that he doesn't think the team suffered any major injuries.

Colts quarterback Carson Wentz sprained both of his ankles against the Rams, with scans scheduled for today to determine the severity of each injury. Normally, a low-ankle sprain would not result in missed time for a quarterback, but that is complicated if both ankles are sprained. Assuming neither individual sprain is severe, Wentz should not be absent for long, but it seems likely that he will miss at least Week 3 while one ankle or the other heals sufficiently. Jacob Eason seems the most likely starter, assuming Wentz does miss time.

Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa injured his ribs against the Bills, but scans showed no fractures or other significant issues. Pain tolerance and comfort while throwing are likely to determine his availability for Week 3 and beyond.

Falcons receiver Russell Gage injured his ankle against the Buccaneers and did not return. No further information is yet available.

Jaguars tight end James O'Shaughnessy suffered a high-ankle sprain against the Broncos and is likely to miss around a month. Cornerback CJ Henderson injured his groin. Around half of groin injuries to defensive backs cause at least one missed game, but 75% of players return within two weeks. Guard A.J. Cann and receiver Laviska Shenault were also hurt against Denver, but both are expected to be fine for Week 3.

Panthers guard Pat Elflein injured his hamstring against the Saints and did not return. Around half of hamstring injuries to offensive linemen do not cause missed time. Only around 25% of linemen miss two or more weeks with a hamstring injury.

Raiders offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood suffered an oblique injury against the Steelers. Fewer than 50% of abdominal injuries to offensive linemen cause missed time, and 75% of players who suffer them are back within two weeks.

Rams halfback Darrell Henderson injured his ribs against the Colts, but most rib injuries to halfbacks do not result in missed games. However, backup linebacker Justin Lawler broke his hand, an injury that has a 50% chance to end his season and is likely at least to keep him out for four or more weeks.

Texans quarterback Tyrod Taylor injured his hamstring against the Browns, which likely makes him questionable at best to play against the Panthers in Week 3. Around 60% of hamstring injuries to quarterbacks cause at least a one-game absence, though 75% of players who suffer them return within three weeks. Receiver Danny Amendola also injured his hamstring and is also slightly more likely to miss the Panthers game than to play in it. Fellow receiver Nico Collins injured his shoulder, but most unspecified shoulder injuries to receivers do not cause missed time. Tight end Antony Auclair suffered an eye injury, and we do not have enough data on eye injuries to project any potential absence.

Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan missed the team's victory in Seattle after aggravating a knee injury during pregame warmups. Guard Rodger Saffold left the game with a shoulder injury. Neither injury appears to be major, but head coach Mike Vrabel expects to have more news on both later in the week.

Vikings halfback Dalvin Cook sprained his ankle against the Cardinals, but it appears to be a standard low-ankle sprain that is unlikely to result in missed games.


5 comments, Last at 24 Sep 2021, 9:37am

1 Is there anyway we can lobby the NFL to keep the IR rules

I always disliked NFL IR rules and the changes put in place last season and continued this season just make so much more sense to me. I'm serious is there a way we can contact the NFL and let them know that fans prefer it this way too? Being able to replace a player instead of just having to carry them for weeks while they can't contribute makes for a better product on the field. It doesn't really lead to any annoying roster shenanigans that I can see either. It actually keeps the active player pool larger so you are even less likely to see some guy who hasn't been anywhere near a professional football team for months get put on the field in December because of some injury. It is just a better way to do things even without extenuating circumstances like a pandemic. I guess since it goes along with the larger practice squads (again something I'm all for) it takes money out of owners pockets and puts more of it into players pockets so maybe that's the big issue with it.

I just like it that I can see a great player go on IR and know that there is still a chance I'll get to see them play again later in the year. Injuries happen and the old system just magnified the impact of everyone and made teams rush players back because getting nothing out of a roster spot for 4 weeks sucks (now you can at least still use that roster spot, so let the player heal).

It'll probably turn out I'm in the minority or I'm missing something glaringly bad, but to me it just confirms my priors. The old system was bad and after seeing this cobbled together system be better for a season and a couple of additional weeks I'm happier.

2 Same here

The idea that a month long injury almost always led to the player missing the rest of the season has always seemed odd to me. The new IR rules where players with less severe injuries are able to return later in the year makes much more sense. 

I also like the increased practice squad as it gives more opportunity to players who are late developers. I’ve always thought the opportunity to develop players who come out of college either with some fixable flaws or needing experience against better opposition is something the NFL has never quite gotten right.  

3 I concur

In reply to by StuffedWhiteRabbit

On practice squads though, they need to let them just be fully part of the roster! And get rid of active/inactive designations and just let everyone be there!

4 Agreed

It would be better if the NFL had just expanded the # of roster slots when they added the 17th game. The practice squad changes are just a cheap way around that. OTOH, it's not like the owners are actually making money with this football thing so I guess they have tight margins to consider.

5 It's not the owners solely…

In reply to by The Sisko

It's not the owners solely. If you expand rosters without expanding the cap proportionately (which is a CBA thing, and would require bunches for the owners to give up) players don't want that, because it's the same amount of money spread over more people.

Kinda surprised there wasn't more player backlash on the IR changes, because it's the same effect.