Week 3 Injuries: Hamler, Martinez, Horn Suffer Major Injuries
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).
Broncos Receiver KJ Hamler—Knee (Season)
Adam Schefter reports that KJ Hamler tore his ACL against the Jets and the Broncos receiver will miss the rest of the season. A 2020 second-round pick, Hamler recorded 381 yards and three touchdowns in his debut season. He should be healthy in time for training camp in 2022.
Guards Dalton Risner (foot) and Graham Glasgow (knee) both suffered injuries against the Jets, though no further specifics are yet public for either player. Head coach Vic Fangio does not believe either injury is season-ending, which is good news, but it does suggest that both injuries are significant and will result in missed time.
Special teamer and backup linebacker Jonas Griffith injured his hamstring. Most hamstring injuries to linebackers cause at least a one-game absence, but 75% of players who suffer them return within three weeks.
Giants Linebacker Blake Martinez—Knee (Season)
Giants linebacker Blake Martinez tore his ACL against the Falcons and will miss the rest of the season. Martinez had started every game since 2017 first for the Packers and then for the Giants after joining them as a free agent in 2020. He had over 140 tackles in each of his past four seasons, also contributing a few sacks as an occasional blitzer. Martinez has a strong chance to return for the start of training camp in 2022, but he will not play again this season. Former Chiefs (and, technically, Bills) linebacker Reggie Ragland appears to be Martinez's most likely replacement in the starting lineup.
Receivers Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton both left the game with hamstring injuries. Around half of hamstring injuries to receivers cause missed time, but 75% of players who suffer them return within two weeks.
Rams Linebacker Justin Hollins—Pectoral (Season?)
Rams linebacker Justin Hollins left Sunday's game with a pectoral injury, a descriptor that is usually very bad news for a linebacker. Over 75% of linebackers who suffer pectoral injuries end up missing the rest of the season. A 2019 fifth-round pick, Hollins started two of the team's first three games, contributing 12 tackles, 2.0 sacks, and a forced fumble.
Panthers Halfback Christian McCaffrey—Hamstring (IR)
Panthers Cornerback Jaycee Horn—Foot (Season)
Coming off an injury-plagued 2020 season, Christian McCaffrey injured his hamstring on Thursday night and is expected to miss time. The good news is that the Panthers did not place him on injured reserve, giving him a strong chance to return in around two weeks. However, the Panthers have shown in the past that they will be cautious with McCaffrey, so they may be patient again.
Cornerback Jaycee Horn has been placed on injured reserve with a foot fracture, which will require surgical repair. Horn still has not been ruled out for the rest of the season, but he will probably miss at least half of it: almost 80% of foot fractures result in absences of eight weeks or longer, and over 60% are season-ending. His chances are improved if the 3-0 Panthers can sustain their level of play in his absence and reach the postseason. One possible replacement for Horn is 2020 Jaguars first-round pick CJ Henderson, for whom the Panthers traded Dan Arnold and a third-round pick this morning.
Saints Offensive Tackle Terron Armstead—Elbow (IR?)
Saints left tackle Terron Armstead injured his elbow against the Patriots and reports today suggest that he will miss around a month with the injury. That may make him a candidate for injured reserve, though no such roster move has been announced. Armstead has never played a full 16-game season, but he did manage at least 14 games in each of the past two campaigns. Former Ravens tackle James Hurst replaced Armstead against the Patriots and is likely to start in his absence.
The following players left their respective games with concussion symptoms and enter the league protocol:
- Chiefs cornerback Rashad Fenton
- Jets receiver Elijah Moore
- Packers linebacker Krys Barnes
- Seahawks defensive end Kerry Hyder
- Steelers offensive tackle Chukwuma Okorafor
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.
49ers cornerback Josh Norman left Sunday's defeat to Green Bay with bruised lungs and spent the night in hospital as a precaution after spitting up blood. Somehow, it remains possible that he could play next week. Fellow cornerback K'Waun Williams injured his calf. Williams is likely to miss at least a week or two. The 49ers are already depleted at cornerback, so they may have to sign a replacement if Norman also misses time.
Bears linebacker Joel Iyegbuniwe injured his hamstring against the Browns. Though most hamstring injuries to linebackers result in short absences, Iyegbuniwe plays primarily on special teams and is thus more likely to miss a few games. Quarterback Justin Fields hurt his hand, but he is not expected to miss time.
Buccaneers cornerback Jamel Dean injured his knee against the Rams, but head coach Bruce Arians had no update on that at his news conference today. Receiver Scotty Miller has "pretty severe" turf toe, a painful and debilitating ligament injury that is likely to keep him out for several weeks. Rob Gronkowski and Giovani Bernard were hurt against the Rams, but neither player is expected to miss time.
Cardinals offensive linemen Justin Pugh and Justin Murray both left Sunday's victory against the Jaguars with back injuries, but no further specifics are yet public.
Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert hurt his throwing hand against the Chiefs and left the stadium with it bandaged, but the team does not expect him to miss any time.
Colts guard Quenton Nelson injured his ankle against the Titans and did not return. Though initial reports suggested a high-ankle sprain, which would have resulted in a significant absence, reports today suggest that it was actually a low-ankle sprain, and Nelson has a chance to play in Week 4. Edge rusher Kwity Paye injured his hamstring and may miss a game or two, as may safety Khari Willis with a groin injury, but neither injury is likely to result in a lengthy absence. Cornerback Rock Ya-Sin injured his ankle, and he will be monitored during the week.
Falcons defensive end Marlon Davidson injured his ankle against the Giants and was ruled out of the game, but no further details are yet available.
Jaguars tackle Cam Robinson suffered a stinger against the Cardinals, but he hopes to be available for Week 4.
Jets tight end Tyler Kroft injured his chest against the Broncos and is considered day-to-day.
Patriots halfback James White was carted off the field with a hip injury during Sunday's defeat against the Saints. Though no further news is yet public, the fact that White was immediately ruled out of the game and the way his teammates spoke about him after the game suggests a significant injury. We will update this post if those fears are confirmed later today.
Steelers receiver Juju Smith-Schuster suffered bruised ribs against the Bengals, but he is not expected to miss time.
Titans receiver A.J. Brown injured his hamstring against the Colts and eventually left the game. As noted above, around half of hamstring injuries to receivers cause missed time, but most players who suffer them return in two or three weeks. Fellow receiver Julio Jones missed some plays due to muscle tightness, but he is likely to be available in Week 4.