Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

28 Oct 2013

Week 8 Injury Aftermath

compiled by Andrew Potter

Here's what we know so far about Week 8's major injuries.

Bengals Linebacker Rey Maualuga -- Head/Knee

A combination of a concussion and a reported MCL sprain caused Rey Maualuga to leave Sunday's game against the Jets, and makes him unlikely to play in Week 9. Cincinnati's defense ranks seventh overall by DVOA (-7.6%), tenth against the pass (-2.0%), and eighth against the run (-15.6%), but Maualuga could be a significant loss for a defense that also lost star cornerback Leon Hall last week.

Broncos Tight End Julius Thomas -- Ankle

Broncos Safety Duke Ihenacho -- Ankle

Both Tight End Julius Thomas (second by DYAR, sixth by DVOA) and safety Duke Ihenacho left Sunday's game with ankle injuries. Thomas is scheduled for a MRI scan today; no update is yet available on Ihenacho, who was unable to place weight on his leg and had to be helped from the field. Tight end is a position of great depth for the Broncos, for whom the emergence of Thomas this season was a surprise bonus, and former starter Mike Adams would likely resume starting duties at strong safety if Ihenacho misses time.

Browns Wide Receiver/Kick Returner Travis Benjamin -- Knee (IR)

Wide receiver and star kick returner Travis Benjamin tore his ACL against the Chiefs and is out for the season. Benjamin's major contributions came on special teams, where Cleveland had a 2.5% DVOA (sixth) on kick returns and 3.7% DVOA (fifth) on punt returns entering Week 8.

Buccaneers Wide Receiver Mike Williams -- Hamstring (IR)

Mike Williams has been placed on injured reserve with a torn hamstring, likely making a bad season worse for Tampa Bay's already-struggling pass offense (-6.8%, 26th). Williams had 196 yards on 34 targets heading into week 8, for a DVOA of -3.2% and 26 DYAR. Tiquan Underwood is expected to start in his place.

Cowboys Guard Brian Waters -- Arm/Ribs/Knee

Cowboys guard Brian Waters was a one-man injury report on Sunday, reportedly dealing with injuries to his knee (hyperextension), ribs (bruising), and triceps (some degree of tear). He's due to undergo MRI scans on at least two of those (the knee and triceps) today. The tricep injury is the most worrying, as that is what caused him to leave the game. He was replaced by Mackenzy Bernardeau. Cornerback Morris Claiborne and safety Barry Church both left Sunday's game with hamstring injuries, but are both expected to be available in Week 9.

Dolphins Wide Receiver Brandon Gibson -- Knee (IR)

Reports suggest that Brandon Gibson's season is over after he injured his left knee during Sunday's loss to the New England Patriots. Although listed as Miami's third receiver, Gibson had been Ryan Tannehill's most dependable wide receiver this season -- his 98 DYAR ranked 23rd in the league and his 16.5% DVOA ranked 20th. The Dolphins list second-year professional Rishard Matthews as the only other receiver on their roster, and the team is reportedly holding tryouts tomorrow.

Eagles Quarterback Michael Vick -- Hamstring

Michael Vick re-injured his hamstring against the Giants, again reportedly commenting that he heard it pop. He is likely to miss more time after aggravating the injury than he did after first sustaining it. With Nick Foles also hurt, Matt Barkley (he of the -56.8% DVOA before his one-pick three-fumble 2.7 QBR Week 8 appearance) is currently in line to start for the Eagles in Oakland.

Lion Wide Receiver Ryan Broyles -- Ankle (IR)

Lions wide receiver Ryan Broyles is out for the rest of the year with a ruptured Achilles, the third straight year in which his season has been ended by an injury. Broyles had a -22.1% DVOA and -9 DYAR on 12 targets, but was a significant contributor on special teams and was injured fielding a punt.

Patriots Offensive Tackle Sebastian Vollmer -- Leg (IR)

Sebastian Vollmer will miss the rest of this season after breaking his right leg against Miami. New England's Adjusted Sack Rate ranks eighth despite their relatively high 19 sacks conceded, and their offensive line is consistently one of the strengths of the team. Marcus Cannon replaced Vollmer on Sunday, and will likely assume the starting job.

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 28 Oct 2013

30 comments, Last at 01 Nov 2013, 3:34pm by Andrew Potter


by dmstorm22 :: Mon, 10/28/2013 - 3:38pm

Is there a source for Vollmer being placed IR? PFT didn't mention how serious the break was and didn't mention IR. I wouldn't be surprised, given his screaming in horror when it happened, but I haven't seen any report that he's been definitely placed on IR.

by Bobman :: Mon, 10/28/2013 - 3:46pm

Can't recall ever hearing an NFL player screaming like that on the field. Even before the action ceased and there was a disorganized pile of bodies on the field, I thought, "holy crap, somebody's hurt like hell."

by Andrew Potter :: Tue, 10/29/2013 - 7:03pm

He isn't officially there yet, but everybody I've read says his season is over.

For example:


I'm not a doctor, but my understanding is that surgery typically means at least a displaced fracture, and therefore a significant increase in the healing time.

Edit: He was finally placed on IR today.

by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Mon, 10/28/2013 - 3:45pm

I vaguely remember there being some discussion regarding whether Chip Kelly's system would result in QBs getting injured. Anyone else remember that?

by rageon :: Mon, 10/28/2013 - 5:51pm

If only there was an insanely-large-for-a-QB who could run as needed and be able to stand up to all those hits. And who is lefthanded too. It's not like guys like that are just sitting at home or something.

by rageon :: Mon, 10/28/2013 - 5:58pm

I should probably note that I am by no means arguing that the-other-he-who-shall-not-be-named would work under Chip Kelly. I honestly don't know.

My point was more that in an absurdly competative billion-doller industry, someone who is probably in the range of 30th to 50th best QB on earth cannot find one of about 80 available jobs in the NFL (assuming some teams carry 3 QBs and various others have currently injured quarterbacks).

by Mr Shush :: Mon, 10/28/2013 - 7:31pm

You really think Tebow's one of the 50 best professional quarterbacks on Earth?

Granted, you don't have to be one of the 50 best quarterbacks on Earth to be better than Matt Barkley, but I'd go to Vince Young first, and I'm not a big fan of Mr Young. The Rams, supposedly, bypassed both in favour of sounding out he-who-has-been-not-to-be-named-for-longer-to-the-point-where-I-had-almost-thought-it-might-be-safe-to-name-him-again.

by justanothersteve :: Mon, 10/28/2013 - 9:52pm

The Rams are coached by Jeff Fisher who already has experienced one VY meltdown. I'd guess that was a factor in the decision.

by rageon :: Tue, 10/29/2013 - 9:45am

Top 50? Easily. This is a league giving starts to Gabbert, Henne, Kellen Clemons, Tad Lewis, Weeden, Ponder, etc. It's fair that some of the clearly worse starters are playing because their teams apparently think they have some potential to be good, but still -- Kellen Clemons? Matt Flynn?

I'd say that a team could scheme around Tebow enough to turn him into a top 20ish QB in terms of production (although that would require a completly dedicated offense). In a just-walk-in-and-play situation, I think top 50 is very realistic.

by tuluse :: Tue, 10/29/2013 - 11:43am

Tebow ran an offense perfectly suited to his skills in Denver and he produced like the 40th best QB*. The same year Matt Flynn's advanced stats were significantly better. I find it odd you specify Flynn since he's played so little, it's hard to believe one could have an opinion about how good he is.

Also, producing like the 40th best QB, doesn't mean you are one of the top 40 QBs as there could be backups who didn't get playing time who could have produced better than him.

*In a surprising turn of events, Tebow had not only negative rushing value, but actually had the lowest amount of rushing DYAR of any quarterback.

by rageon :: Tue, 10/29/2013 - 1:31pm

Obviously I give a lot of weight to DVOA/DYAR or I wouldn't be on this site, but I think Tebow was a player that they "miss" on. For one, regardless of what DYAR says, does any reasonable observer actually believe he is a below replacement level runner among QBs? Also, wasn't there something on FO in 2011 describing the positive effect the threat of a running QB has on the overall running game? I won't go into !!!Tebow-Time!!!, but I we've got to admit that there is something inherent in him with respect to the ability to rise to the occassion that does not exist in most players. (Yes, that went into sports-talk cliche territory, for which I apologize.)

by tuluse :: Tue, 10/29/2013 - 1:37pm

Tebow fumbled 14(!) times in 2011. That's why is rushing value is low.

by rageon :: Tue, 10/29/2013 - 5:40pm

Wow, that's a crazy amount of fumbles. I had no idea.

by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Tue, 10/29/2013 - 12:03pm

With Tebow, it's not all about the production. It's about whether or not the production outweighs the sideshow. The NFL as a whole seems to have concluded that he's not worth it. If I can get similar production from Kellen Clemens (which I probably can), I'll take Clemens.

Also, in the Rams case, Clemens makes much more sense because it's the middle of the season and he's already familiar with Schottenheimer's offense from his time with the Jets.

by rageon :: Tue, 10/29/2013 - 1:36pm

I agree that teams that decided the production does not outweigh the sideshow. But that's probably my biggest question about the whole thing -- why does the sideshow matter? Are there really players out there not named Mark Sanchez that fold at the very mention of Tebow playing? One of my biggest complaints about the Denver situation was that Elway just wanted him gone -- even if it meant going into the season with a very questionable Manning and only Brock Ostweiller at backup. I strongly think Denver would have been a better team if Tebow were pressed into service than they would have been with Ostweiller. But Tebow just had to go for some reason. Do we really think that Manning would be affected by chants for Tebow? He'd be laughing at them, right? It's only distraction is teams/players let it be.

by NRG :: Tue, 10/29/2013 - 4:00pm

I'm pretty sure Daunte Culpepper is retired. . .

by dryheat :: Tue, 10/29/2013 - 4:13pm

I wonder if a late-career position switch might be in the cards for Michael Robinson.

by Shattenjager :: Mon, 10/28/2013 - 5:59pm

I think it's far more substantiated that having Michael Vick as your QB results in QBs getting injured.

However, yes, there was a lot of discussion of that before the season and in-season. Bill Barnwell mentioned it just recently, and Scott Kacsmar has mentioned it numerous times.

by Coaldale Joe :: Tue, 10/29/2013 - 10:59am

Yes, Chip Kelly's system caused Vick to hurt his hamstring twice while running untouched by defenders. His system is THAT dangerous. It really ought to be outlawed if the NFL is serious about protecting player's health.

by theslothook :: Mon, 10/28/2013 - 3:51pm

I wonder how NE will handle this. I get the sense that cannon is good reserve player and shouldn't derail the pats all that much. Granted he's no vollmer, but its not like they're inserting linkenbach back there.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Mon, 10/28/2013 - 5:00pm

Very dissappointing about Broyles, before his 2nd ACL tear last year , he showed flashes of brilliance (+38.7% DVOA), but all these injuries are sure to be sapping his speed/quickness. Another 2nd round pick that the Lions will get nothing out of.

by LionInAZ :: Mon, 10/28/2013 - 9:23pm

Plus a lot of yapping about how Lions wasted a pick on a player with known injury problems, when they could have drafted Randall Cobb.

by justanothersteve :: Mon, 10/28/2013 - 9:54pm

Could be worse. The Jags drafted a punter when Russell Wilson was available.

by dryheat :: Tue, 10/29/2013 - 8:49am

Why would they want Russell Wilson with Gabbart already on the roster? That's madness. The hidden field position gained by the perceived difference in punting skill between Anger and their second choice of punter is what wins games in this League.

by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Tue, 10/29/2013 - 11:50am

Acknowledging the obvious sarcasm, but it's even worse than that. 137 picks went by between the Jags selecting Anger and the next (and only other) punter coming off the board. In all likelihood, they could have taken Anger in the 4th round, maybe even the 5th. So it's not even the difference between Anger and the next guy; it's the difference of whatever extra motivation Anger gets from being a punter drafted a couple rounds too high.

The sad thing is, Anger is not a bad punter. But until the Jags get their QB situation figured out, he'll always just be "not Russell Wilson".

by johonny (not verified) :: Mon, 10/28/2013 - 6:28pm

I think the Dolphins used a combination of TE and their RB/KR as 5th wr. That was the justification as to why only 4 WR were on the roster. One will note the Dolphins offense looked er... bad after losing Gibson who had been a pleasant surprise so far this year. No doubt Jeff Ireland will figure this all out before Thursday.

by Andrew Potter :: Tue, 10/29/2013 - 2:19pm

Quick update on one of the players mentioned: Jerry Jones announced that Brian Waters is done for the year because of the triceps injury. I'd guess that'll be it for his career too.

by Shattenjager :: Tue, 10/29/2013 - 7:40pm

Too bad to see him go out. He had a hell of a career and didn't even get as much attention as most of his line-mates on those Chiefs Roaf-Waters-Wiegmann-Shields lines.

by Moridin :: Wed, 10/30/2013 - 4:13am

Sidney Rice is gone now too (ACL gets another one: http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000273457/article/sidney-rice-tears...

by Andrew Potter :: Fri, 11/01/2013 - 3:34pm

Geno Atkins apparently tore his ACL and is out for the year too. This is already a horrible year for ACL injuries in particular.