Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

06 Jan 2014

Wild Card Weekend Injury Aftermath

compiled by Andrew Potter

In the absence of long-term injuries to the exiting teams, we focus on those teams who advanced in the playoffs.

Chargers Running Back Ryan Mathews -- Ankle
Chargers Center Nick Hardwick -- Stinger

Starting running back Ryan Mathews (3.5% DVOA, 19th) aggravated an existing ankle injury and missed the second half of Sunday's game against the Bengals. He expects to play next weekend but, as the injury is unlikely to have fully cleared up by then, he is likely to be limited by it. Direct backup Danny Woodhead has been effective all season (13.6% DVOA, seventh) for the Chargers, but a Mathews absence would likely mean more playing time for the less effective Ronnie Brown (-11.3% DVOA on 45 attempts). Center Nick Hardwick aggravated a stinger injury he first sustained a month ago, and was replaced by Rich Ohrnberger. He likewise expects to be available against the Broncos.

Colts Cornerback Greg Toler -- Groin

Greg Toler, clearly toiling early in the game, left with an aggravation of his existing injury and did not return. No update is yet public on his status for next weekend, but given the tendency for groin injuries to linger his availability is in serious doubt.

Saints Linebacker Parys Haralson -- Chest
Saints Cornerback Keenan Lewis -- Concussion

Multiple reports are strongly suggesting that Parys Haralson has a torn pectoral muscle, which would undoubtedly end his season. MRI scan results will either confirm or refute that later today. Keenan Lewis left the game with concussion symptoms and enters the league protocol.

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 06 Jan 2014

17 comments, Last at 09 Jan 2014, 5:53pm by Bobman


by Purds :: Mon, 01/06/2014 - 3:36pm

Colts better not try to have Toler play! We saw enough of that Saturday.

by Bobman :: Mon, 01/06/2014 - 4:42pm

Josh Gordy made a decent play for the win on Smith's final pass to Bowe. Hand on the ball, nudging Bowe OB. Game saved. Plenty of people blaming Bowe/Smith and rightfully so, but Gordy played his part well.

With the Indy D backfield in its current shape, I expect a shootout. I am concerned that NE's revived run game will slow down our pass rush. If not, Mathis might force some passes and protect the vulnerable secondary.

by bernie (not verified) :: Mon, 01/06/2014 - 5:25pm

I think Gordy's action on that play has been vastly under-rated. He is stuck to Bowe the entire way through the route, and has him glued to the edge of that sideline with nowhere to move. Smith makes an excellent pass, Bowe makes a fantastic catch, and Gordy still manages to nudge him just enough without interfering with him, out of bounds. I don't think Gordy is a great Corner by any means, but he really did make a fantastic play there, that is being overlooked as a Bowe miscue.

by Andrew Potter :: Mon, 01/06/2014 - 5:18pm

No danger of that now. He was placed on IR today.

by bernie (not verified) :: Mon, 01/06/2014 - 4:14pm

I don't think Toler being out will hurt the Colts too badly...he wasn't much of an upgrade over the guys backing him up anyway.
Corner is a position of great need for the Colts during the offseason.

by Purds :: Mon, 01/06/2014 - 5:18pm

Yes and no. When heathy, Toler was good and the secondary sound. With the NFL now, I think secondary and OL is a need for just about every team out there.

by bernie (not verified) :: Mon, 01/06/2014 - 6:18pm

Colts just signed Deion Branch. Why? The Pats have been desperate for WR help all year, and they didn't sign him...how much could he possibly offer? I can't see him being a special teams demon.

by turbohappy :: Mon, 01/06/2014 - 6:24pm

Seems weird to me, I agree. Who would they have lost yesterday...DHB maybe? They also moved up Lenz (WR) from the practice squad, definitely seems odd.

by MJK :: Mon, 01/06/2014 - 8:24pm

He'll draw a little attention as a 4th WR in the occasional 4-wide sets.

Maybe also they see some benefit of him providing insight into the Patriots game planning this week...he was with New England (and Josh McDaniels) for a while.

by Bobman :: Tue, 01/07/2014 - 1:53am

He and Reggie Wayne can play gin rummy while the kids work out, so long as the kids keep off their lawns.

My initial thought was "Pats insights," but that seems pretty silly given how much their O has changed from last year. Unless maybe it's "tendency insights" such as when he feels blindside pressure, where does Tom look first? I'm not convinced.

Next then is an elder statesman voice from a SB MVP to a bunch of 1st and 2nd year players (Hilton, Brazill, Fleener, and Whalen all 2nd year, Rogers 1st year), but as noted in my first line, there IS ALREADY that voice from an elder statesman with a more impressive career and also a SB ring on the sideline.

So we're back to why? I guess he's cheap insurance with some moderate upside potential and maybe some insights into the opponent. I wouldn't make too much of it.

by dryheat :: Tue, 01/07/2014 - 10:27am

Head games. I'd be shocked if Deion steps on the field Saturday night. Last year he could be covered by pasties and a g-string. I don't think the time away has made him any faster or more elusive.

I want to know why Deion wants to potentially risk post-career opportunities in New England for some relative chump change.

by Mxpx (not verified) :: Tue, 01/07/2014 - 11:39am

Post-career opportunities in New England? Like what, used car commercials? Deion Branch lives in Indianapolis now, so that possibility seems unlikely.

by Bobman :: Thu, 01/09/2014 - 5:53pm

"Last year he could be covered by pasties and a G-string."

Is that new? Old? Original? Whatever it is, it's awesome. I pray I hear it on TV someday. Maybe said by Terry Bradshaw.... (which is ironic because I pray each night that I NEVER have to hear him speak again) It just wouldn't sound right coming out of the mouths of, Troy Aikman, Joe Buck, Chris Collinsworth, Al Michaels.... mmmmaybe the retiring Dan Dierdorf could pull it off. Funny as hell.

Colts have some fast kids, so if there are WR injuries and they need Branch on the field, the kids go deep and he goes out 10 yards then curls back a few as the dump-off guy. No great speed required, no great separation skills, just decent hands and a willingness to be hit from behind.

Or maybe they signed him for the pasties and G-string thing. Yo know, diversity in the locker room and all that....

by turbohappy :: Mon, 01/06/2014 - 6:22pm

Fili Moala placed on IR for the Colts. This is more important than it sounds, he's been a significant part of the tackle rotation.

by MJK :: Mon, 01/06/2014 - 8:25pm

Even though they didn't play this week, the Pats have an injury update as well. Brandon Spikes placed on IR.

The Patriots will now be forced to start Hole-In-The-Zone in the middle of their run defense. Donald Brown will be happy.

by RickD :: Mon, 01/06/2014 - 10:50pm

Donald Brown is going to be low on the list of priorities for the Patriots.

by Bobman :: Tue, 01/07/2014 - 1:55am

And, thank heavens, low on the list of priorities for Pep Hamilton. Most likely. He's had a fine year and all, but if Pep sees what you just wrote and starts thinking "power rushing team" again, the Colts are toast. They'll tip their hand early if five FBs are activated and Hilton is inactive.