Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

20 Nov 2017

Injury Aftermath: Week 11

by Andrew Potter and Zach Binney

Thanks to staff writer Zach Binney's analysis of NFL injury data, we are now able to provide more detailed injury return (number of games missed) and recovery (number of weeks limited in practices or games) estimates based on historical data for select injuries. These estimates also consider the position of the injured player. Details of our methodology are available here.

Texans Halfback D'Onta Foreman -- Achilles (IR)

Texans third-round rookie runner D'Onta Foreman will miss the rest of the season after tearing his Achilles while scoring his second rushing touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals. Foreman had a poor rushing DVOA of -13.5% and -14 DYAR entering Week 11, with only two starts to his name as Lamar Miller's primary backup, but had tallied a career-high 65 yards and two touchdowns on ten attempts prior to his injury. Following surgery, Foreman should be healthy for the start of the 2018 season but may miss the beginning of the team's offseason program. Alfred Blue, who was inactive against the Cardinals, is expected to be Miller's main backup for the rest of the season.

Redskins Halfback Chris Thompson -- Leg (IR)

During the second half of Sunday's defeat in New Orleans, running back Chris Thompson had his leg rolled onto by another player while blocking for quarterback Kirk Cousins on a failed third-down scramble. Though the injury mechanism was commonly that of a high ankle sprain, in Thompson's case his fibula was also fractured. The injury will therefore require surgical repair, which will force him to miss the rest of the season. With Rob Kelley also out for the year due to a mechanically similar injury -- in his case, the knee and ankle ligaments were injured but the bone was spared -- Samaje Perine carried the load throughout Sunday's contest; backup and special teamer Byron Marshall claimed his first carry of the regular season in relief. Keith Marshall, a 2016 seventh-round draft pick who has yet to appear in a professional game, is the team's only other rostered halfback; Washington is likely to either add a free agent at the position or promote practice squad player LeShun Daniels early this week.

Cousins was also shaken up on the same play, but returned two plays later after a fake punt gained a fresh set of downs for his offense. Guard Shawn Lauvao left the game with a recurrence of symptoms from the stinger he first suffered a couple of weeks ago.

Saints Defensive End Alex Okafor -- Achilles (IR)

The surprising Saints defense lost a starting player for the year against Washington, with defensive end Alex Okafor carted off after tearing his Achilles. An offseason free agent acquisition at a position of dire need, Okafor had made the other defensive end spot (opposite Cameron Jordan) his own, registering 4.5 sacks on the year. He will probably be replaced by a rotation of third-year veteran Hau'oli Kikaha and third-round rookie Trey Hendrickson, with the latter more likely to start on early downs.

Cornerback Marshon Lattimore, meanwhile, sprained his ankle on the opening defensive series, attempted to return after halftime, then was ultimately ruled out for the rest of the game. Though the injury appears to be a typical low-ankle sprain, he will be subject to an MRI scan today and no confirmation of severity is yet available. Garden-variety ankle sprains usually aren't too bad for defensive backs. About 40 percent miss at least one game, but only a quarter miss more than two weeks. Typical recovery times are one to four weeks, so it's likely Lattimore will be fully recovered for the Saints' playoff run-in.

Browns Defensive End Emmanuel Ogbah -- Foot (IR)

Emmanuel Ogbah will miss the rest of the season after fracturing his foot against the Jaguars. Ogbah, who was tied with Myles Garrett for the team lead in sacks, will require surgery. He should suffer no lasting effects, and without complications will be available for the team's offseason program.

Receiver Sammie Coates injured his knee, and defensive tackle Jamie Meder injured his ankle. Both will have MRI scans today to determine the severity of their injuries.

Bears Edge Rusher Leonard Floyd -- Knee

Though no official confirmation is yet available, the Bears fear that Leonard Floyd will miss significant time due to a knee injury he suffered against the Lions. Floyd collided with teammate Kyle Fuller while trying to make a tackle on a fourth-quarter run play, and was carted off the field. After the game, head coach John Fox described the injury as "fairly serious," a grim update which suggests that Floyd may miss the rest of the season. A first-round pick (ninth overall) in 2016, Floyd has 12.5 sacks in his first two seasons, and his 5.5 sacks ranked second on the Bears behind only Akiem Hicks this season. With him out of the lineup, veterans Pernell McPhee and Sam Acho will likely see more time as edge rushers, with rookie Isaiah Irving adding depth behind those two.

Fuller, who was also hurt in the collision, returned to the game but required further medical attention after the final gun. No further update is yet available. Defensive linemen Eddie Goldman and Akiem Hicks also left the game briefly, but both returned.


The following players were removed from their respective games with concussion symptoms and enter the league protocol:

  • Bears receiver Josh Bellamy
  • Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler
  • Eagles kicker Jake Elliott
  • Raiders receiver Johnny Holton
  • Rams cornerback Kayvon Webster
  • Redskins safety Montae Nicholson
  • Texans cornerback Kevin Johnson

Other Injuries

Bills receiver Kelvin Benjamin left Sunday's game with a knee injury, but head coach Sean McDermott has confirmed that his ligaments were not damaged. He should not miss much, if any, game time. Defensive back Micah Hyde also suffered a knee injury, but no news is yet available for Hyde.

Bengals tight end Tyler Kroft suffered a hand injury during Sunday's win in Denver, but was able to return to the game after having the hand bound protectively. No update is yet available for Kroft, who has taken over starting duties in the absence of also-injured Tyler Eifert. Linebacker Vincent Rey left the game with an injured hamstring. As we have stated before here, the recovery profiles for hamstring injuries are severity-dependent. About two-thirds of hamstring injuries to linebackers cause them to miss at least one game, but less than 25 percent cause three or more missed games. Typical recovery times are one to four weeks.

Chargers receiver Travis Benjamin suffered an abdominal strain against the Bills. Abdominal strains are fairly rare in the NFL, but what we data we do have suggests they're usually not too severe. Less than a third cause wide receivers to miss any games, and typical recovery times are one to two weeks. Unless it's an especially severe case, this injury shouldn't stop Benjamin from contributing to the rest of the Chargers' season. In fact, it seems likely that he was held out against the Bills due to the score more than the severity of the injury.

Cowboys linebacker Anthony Hitchens left Sunday's game with a groin injury. Though we do not know the exact nature of the injury -- which could range anywhere from a mild groin strain to a sports hernia (athletic pubalgia) or worse -- we do know that groin injuries can be tricky. About 40 percent of such injuries to linebackers cause them to miss a game, but only around a quarter cause guys to miss three or more weeks. Typical recovery times are one to four weeks.

Eagles defensive lineman Beau Allen suffered a knee injury in Dallas. No update is yet available for Allen.

Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon injured his shoulder against the Chiefs, with no update yet on the specific injury. Shoulder injuries are a bit of a grab bag, so we're limited in what we can project without further information. Assuming it's not too severe, only around a quarter of shoulder injuries to defensive linemen cause them to miss games, with only 10 percent causing 3 or more weeks out. Typical recovery times are one to four weeks.

Jaguars linebacker Donald Payne left the team's win in Cleveland due to a hamstring injury. As noted above, about two-thirds of hamstring injuries to linebackers cause them to miss at least one game, but less than 25 percent cause three or more missed games. Typical recovery times are one to four weeks. He should be healthy for a Jaguars playoff push (!).

Lions punt returner Jamal Agnew left Sunday's game with a knee injury, but the injury is not believed to be serious. With the team on a short week, Agnew may sit out of the Thanksgiving divisional tilt against the Vikings, but he should not miss further time beyond that game.

Packers linebacker Clay Matthews also suffered a groin injury against the Ravens. As stated above, about 40 percent of such injuries to linebackers cause them to miss a game, and only around a quarter cause guys to miss three or more weeks. Typical recovery times are one to four weeks. Defensive lineman Kenny Clark suffered a high-ankle sprain on a play that riled his defensive teammates, but appears to have avoided major injury. He will probably miss a few weeks, but should return in early December. Reports disagree on the reason for the second-half absence of cornerback Damarious Randall, but it seems likely that he was ruled out at least in part due to a head injury he sustained in the first half.

Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore and receiver Danny Amendola both left Sunday's game in Mexico City suffering from dehydration, probably due to the altitude, but both returned in the fourth quarter.

Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman suffered a thigh injury on Sunday, which usually means a contusion. Thigh injuries usually aren't severe for defensive backs. Only about a quarter cause guys to miss any time, and just 10 percent cause four or more games out. Typical recovery times are one to two weeks. Robey-Coleman should be fine as the Rams push towards the playoffs. Receiver Robert Woods suffered a shoulder injury, and this could have more serious implications. It is possible that Woods sprained his acriomioclavicular joint, or he may have fractured his clavicle. Which of these, if either, is accurate makes a big difference. Assuming it's just a sprain, only about a third of those injuries to wide receivers cause them to miss a game, and only a few cause three or more weeks out. Typical recovery times are one to three weeks. If his clavicle is fractured Woods could be looking at a longer absence -- around four weeks, possibly longer -- but there's still a good chance he'll return for a Rams playoff run.

Titans linebacker Brian Orakpo temporarily left Thursday night's defeat in Pittsburgh, but is not expected to miss any further action.

Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes suffered a calf injury against the Rams. About half of calf injuries to defensive backs cause them to miss time, but only around 15 percent cause three or more weeks out. Typical recovery times are one to three weeks, so Rhodes should be should be free and clear of this injury for the Vikings in the playoffs.

Posted by: Andrew Potter on 20 Nov 2017