Injuries: Running Backs Go Down in Week 3

Detroit Lions running back D'Andre Swift
Detroit Lions running back D'Andre Swift
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

Lions RB D’Andre Swift – Shoulder Sprain, Ankle

NFL Week 3 - Lions running back D’Andre Swift walked away from Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Lions a battered man. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, Swift suffered a shoulder sprain during Sunday’s game that does not require surgery. In addition, MLive beat reporter Kyle Meinke, reported that Swift reaggravated an ankle injury sustained in Week 1.

Swift could potentially miss some time, which would open up opportunities for Lions running back Jamaal Williams. Through three games, Williams has out-carried Swift 43 to 27. However, Swift has out-performed Williams with those touches, ranking fifth in DYAR (71) and first in DVOA (64.3%) among all running backs with minimum 24 carries. He has also seen more action in the passing game, drawing 12 targets to Williams’ five.

Lions S Tracy Walker – Torn Achilles [Season]

Tracy Walker announced via his personal Twitter that his season is over after tearing his Achilles. Walker started all three games at safety for the Lions, where he had not allowed a completion when targeted in his first two games. Walker is expected to be replaced by third-round rookie safety Kerby Joseph.

Packers CB Jaire Alexander – Groin

Green Bay Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander exited early from Sunday’s match against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a groin injury. Alexander is expected to undergo further tests on his groin today, but according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, there is optimism that this is not a long-term injury. La Fleur mentioned Alexander was “all smiles” after the game, per Pelissero.

According to our data, more than half of defensive backs diagnosed with a groin injury return to play without missing any time, and more than 75% of players return after two weeks.

Chargers LB Joey Bosa – Groin

In addition to losing Chargers tackle Rashawn Slater for the year to a torn bicep, the Chargers also saw edge rusher Joey Bosa go down during Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars to a groin injury. According to Los Angeles Times’ Jeff Miller, Bosa’s injury is not as serious as Slater’s, but he is still likely to miss time this season.

Vikings RB Dalvin Cook - Shoulder

Dalvin Cook exited the game after running into his own blocker during Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions and did not return. According to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, Cook re-dislocated his shoulder and is expected to be okay. Cook was not wearing a harness despite having an unrepaired labral tear in his shoulder. There is hope Cook will play in a harness next week against the New Orleans Saints. 

Saints WR Michael Thomas – Toe

Thomas exited Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers with an apparent toe injury. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Thomas is expected to undergo more tests. The toe injury is not the same foot as the one from Thomas’ previous ankle injury, which forced him to miss most of the 2020 season and the entirety of 2021.

Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa – Ankle/Back

Tagovailoa went down early during Miami’s game against the Buffalo Bills, slamming his head on the back of the turf and looking wobbly upon getting to his feet. He immediately was examined by a doctor on the sideline and evaluated for a concussion. While his apparent state should have been enough to rule Tua out of the game, Tagovailoa insisted that the wobbling was due to back pain, not a head injury.

Tua re-entered the game and finished the contest, but this morning head coach Mike McDaniel threw his status for Miami’s game on Thursday night into question. According to ESPN’s Marcel Louis-Jacques, Tagovailoa is nursing a sore ankle and was not placed in concussion protocol. According to Louis-Jacques, McDaniels said “I don’t assume anything” when referring to whether Tua will be able to take the field on Thursday.

Jets LB Quincy Williams – Ankle

The Jets avoid a long-term injury to linebacker Quincy Williams, who was carted off during Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals. ESPN’s Rich Cimini reported that Williams’ X-rays were negative and has appeared to sprain his ankle. While he is still slated to miss some time, Williams will still have a chance to play this season.

Seahawks RB Travis Homer - Ribs During their press conference following Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll announced that running back Travis Homer bruised his ribs, per’s John Boyle. While there is no further update beyond that, Homer should be ready to go for next week. Just under 75% of running backs diagnosed with chest/rib injuries do not miss time, according to data from Football Outsiders.

Bengals DT D.J. Reader - Knee

D.J. Reader was officially ruled out during the Bengals’ game against the New York Jets on Sunday after trainers went to look at his knee. While Reader went to the locker room and did not return, The Athletic’s Jay Morrison reported that Reader was very encouraged following the game that the knee injury isn’t more severe. Reader did not return to the sideline because the training staff told him to stay off it.

Bears RB David Montgomery – Knee/Ankle

David Montgomery went down while pass blocking in the first quarter of the Chicago Bears’ 23-20 win over the Houston Texans, failing to return. Head coach Matt Eberflus said that Montgomery is currently “day-to-day,” per ESPN’s Courtney Cronin. In Montgomery's absence, Khalil Herbert played one of the best stat lines of his young career. Herbert finished the afternoon with 20 carries for 157 rushing yards and two touchdowns, with an additional two catches on two targets for 12 yards. 

Bills CB Christian Benford - Hand

Bills cornerback Christian Benford fractured his hand during Buffalo's contest against the Miami Dolphins, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Benford had his hand wrapped in a club to finish the rest of the contest, but don't expect that to last going forward. According to Football Outsiders injury data, half of all players with fractured hands return after a four-week absence, while the other half miss significant time.


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

  • Saints WR Tre'Quan Smith
  • Broncos DT D.J. Jones
  • Saints G Andrus Peat
  • Raiders CB Nate Hobbs
  • Rams CB Derion Kendrick

Based on our current data, more than half of players miss at least one game once diagnosed with a concussion. However, just under 75% of players return from concussion protocol after one week. 

Other Injuries

A number of Buffalo Bills players left Sunday's game against Miami early due to heat-related ailments. Stefon Diggs exited the game with cramps while Spencer Brown left with heat illness.

Bills wide receiver Jake Kumerow was ruled out for the rest of the game Sunday with an ankle injury. 

Bears wide receiver Byron Pringle was questionable to return Sunday with a calf injury. 

Colts safety Julian Blackmon was ruled out of the rest of Sunday's game with an ankle injury. 

Colts cornerback Stephon Gilmore exited Sunday's game and was questionable to return with a hamstring injury. 

Seahawks running back Travis Homer bruised his ribs during the Seahawks' matchup against the Atlanta Falcons

49ers linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair sustained an MCL sprain during Sunday's game. According to our data, 50% of MCL-related injuries return within four weeks, while nearly 75% return in seven weeks. 

Cardinals wide receiver A.J. Green exited Sunday's game against the Rams with a knee injury. 

Cardinals linebacker Zaven Collins exited Sunday's game and was questionable to return with a shoulder injury. 

Patriots cornerback Jalen Mills suffered a hamstring injury during the team's game against the Ravens on Sunday.

Dolphins linebacker Elandon Roberts injured his quad during Miami's win over Buffalo. 



1 comment, Last at 27 Sep 2022, 2:45am

#1 by fyo // Sep 27, 2022 - 2:45am

Are we really supposed to believe Tua wasn't concussed?

Points: 0

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