Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

18 Sep 2017

Injury Aftermath: Week 2

by Andrew Potter

Panthers Tight End Greg Olsen -- Foot

Greg Olsen has already undergone surgery on the foot he fractured against Buffalo, and is expected to be out until November. The Panthers are reportedly debating whether to place him on injured reserve, with the intention of using the return designation on him in at least eight weeks' time. This seems the most likely course of action at present, given how unlikely Olsen is to return at full strength with only the minimum six weeks' recovery. The Panthers' leading receiver in each of the past four seasons, Olsen had only 28 yards on three receptions this year prior to his injury. Longtime backup Ed Dickson, who has just under 400 yards receiving in three-and-a-bit seasons with the Panthers, will be elevated to the starting role in Olsen's absence.

Browns Receiver Corey Coleman -- Hand

Cleveland.com's Mary Kay Kabot reports that the team fears receiver Corey Coleman suffered another fractured hand during Sunday's defeat in Baltimore -- the second time Coleman has suffered a hand fracture in his two seasons with the Browns. Last time, he missed six weeks with the injury; a repeat of that would see Coleman make his return after the team's Week 9 bye, exactly halfway through the season. Alternatively, Coleman could be placed on injured reserve with the intention of using the team's return designation on him, as with Olsen above. Coleman led the Browns in receiving against Pittsburgh in Week 1, but only caught one of seven targets for 9 yards against Baltimore before his injury.

Vikings Quarterback Sam Bradford -- Knee

Sam Bradford's absence in Week 2 was a surprise, given that there was no sign of trauma to his knee either during or following last week's victory over the New Orleans Saints. Few people were even aware of any injury until practice participation reports were released in the middle of last week. Most sports injury writers hypothesize that the injury is recurrent residual swelling or stiffness, stemming from Bradford's two ACL repairs during his time with the Rams. This is certainly plausible, but Bradford would be the first NFL player I can recall who missed a game for that reason. Mike Zimmer cryptically posited after Minnesota's loss to Pittsburgh that Bradford was both fine and potentially out for another six weeks. Most likely, Bradford returns to action next weekend after careful management by the team doctors and physiotherapists during the week -- but there is no way to be remotely certain without clarification of what the actual problem even is.

UPDATE: Tom Pelissero reports that the Vikings suspect a bone bruise. That would explain Mike Zimmer's "could be next week, could be six weeks" comment from Sunday. If it's a bone bruise, six weeks is not remotely out of the question. Absent remarkably fast healing, Bradford is now more likely than not to miss Week 3 against the Buccaneers.

Ravens Guard Marshal Yanda -- Ankle (IR)

The latest in a long, long line of Ravens injuries. Coach John Harbaugh announced during Sunday's post-game press conference that two-time All-Pro guard Marshal Yanda will miss the rest of the year with a fractured ankle. Yanda's six consecutive Pro Bowl selections rank second behind Joe Thomas for the league's longest active streak among offensive linemen, but an offense that has struggled over the past two seasons (average DVOA rank: 22nd) and has already seen injuries deplete it of talent (six offensive players on injured reserve, not counting Yanda or Dennis Pitta) will now have to make do without arguably its best player. Former Raiders third-round pick Tony Bergstrom, for whom the Ravens traded a conditional pick to the Cardinals only 17 days ago, is expected to start in Yanda's stead.

Falcons Linebacker Vic Beasley -- Hamstring

Reigning NFL sack champion Vic Beasley suffered a hamstring tear against Green Bay, and is expected to miss at least a month. The diagnosis was confirmed by an MRI scan this morning. As is often stated, hamstring injuries are notoriously difficult to overcome without prolonged rest, so expect the division-leading Falcons to be conservative with their top pass-rusher in hopes of having him fully healthy for a late-season playoff push.

Defensive lineman Courtney Upshaw suffered an ankle injury against Green Bay, but no update is yet available on his condition.

Redskins Halfback Rob Kelley -- Rib

Rob Kelley may have suffered a fractured rib against the Los Angeles Rams, which should rule the running back out for at least a couple of weeks. Chris Thompson and Samaje Perine filled in after Kelley left the game, and combined for 144 yards on 24 carries. A similar performance next week would allow the team to be cautious with Kelley's return.

Tight end Jordan Reed suffered a sternoclavicular joint sprain, an injury at the opposite end of the clavicle to the more common AC (acromioclavicular) joint sprain. It may be possible for Reed to play through the injury, with pain tolerance the determining factor, but Reed's effectiveness could yet again be impaired by his health. Even if Reed is limited in practice, he is likely to be a game-time decision for Week 3.

UPDATE: Ian Rapoport reports that Kelley has a rib cartilage injury and Reed a contusion, and that both are "day to day".

Defenders Deshazor Everett and Mason Foster were also hurt against the Rams, but neither injury is currently believed to be serious.

Broncos Offensive Tackle Garett Bolles -- Ankle

Despite a very worrying initial signs, Broncos offensive tackle Garett Bolles did not suffer the major injury many suspected against the Dallas Cowboys. Mike Klis of 9News.com reports that Bolles suffered a bone bruise and high ankle sprain, and may miss "a couple weeks." Given that the Broncos have their bye in Week 5, a Week 6 return against the New York Giants seems the most likely target date. Donald Stephenson is expected to deputize in the meantime.

UPDATE: Bolles' injury is a bone bruise, and he is "week-to-week", per Adam Schefter.

Chiefs Center Mitch Morse -- Foot

Chiefs center Mitch Morse, who has played and started 33 of a possible 34 games for Kansas City since being drafted in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft, suffered a foot sprain against the Eagles and is expected to miss a portion of the season. What size of portion will be determined by an MRI scan today. 2014 sixth-round pick Zach Fulton replaced Morse against Philadelphia, and is expected to start in his absence.

Patriots Receiving Corps -- Various

In a sequence right out of a parody comic, Rob Gronkowski caught the 69th touchdown of his career against New Orleans, hauled in 6-of-9 targets, then left the game in the second half with a groin injury. It is entirely possible that Gronk was held out as a precaution, given the score, the situation at the time of his injury, and the perilous state of the Patriots receiving corps -- New England's injury rumor mill is quiet at best -- but the tight end is not expected to miss any time. Receivers Phillip Dorsett and Chris Hogan also appeared to suffer injuries in New Orleans, but both returned to the game and are expected to be available for Week 3. Halfback Rex Burkhead suffered a rib injury, and his status for Week 3 is less clear. Linebacker Dont'a Hightower, who missed the New Orleans trip with a knee injury, has been diagnosed with a sprained MCL and may remain out of the lineup for another week or two.


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

  • Broncos receiver Bennie Fowler
  • Browns linebacker Jamie Collins
  • Cowboys cornerback Nolan Carroll
  • Falcons tackle Ryan Schraeder

Other Injuries

49ers safety Eric Reid repeatedly left and re-entered the game against Seattle with a knee injury, and is set for an MRI scan today. As the 49ers are a west coast team, news about the scan's results is not likely to be available until later this afternoon.

Bears guard Josh Sitton and linebacker Nick Kwatkoski both left Sunday's game with injuries, and were still being evaluated at the time of John Fox's press conference this afternoon.

Bills offensive tackle Cordy Glenn suffered yet another injury on Sunday, this time to his ankle. Glenn had already missed chunks of Week 1 due to an injured foot. Even if Glenn's most recent injury is not serious, the Bills may look to get him healthy before re-inserting him into the lineup. Defensive tackle Marcell Dareus also suffered an ankle injury, with no news yet available on that.

Buccaneers linebacker Kwon Alexander was one of the many players to fall victim to a hamstring injury in Week 2, but expects to be available for practice as usual on Wednesday.

Cowboys cornerback Chidobe Awuzie missed much of training camp with a hamstring injury, and left Sunday's defeat in Denver with the same complaint. No word is yet available on the severity of the injury, but if it is an aggravation of the previous injury expect the cornerback to miss at least a couple of weeks given the athletic requirements of his position.

Eagles defensive backs Rodney McLeod and Jaylen Watkins both left Sunday's game with hamstring injuries, but neither injury is currently believed to be serious.

Jaguars defensive lineman Malik Jackson suffered a groin injury against Tennessee and did not return. Backup linebacker and special teamer Lerentee McCray suffered a knee injury. Defensive tackle Michael Bennett suffered a pectoral injury and also did not return.

Jets guard Brian Winters suffered a groin injury in Oakland, which is not believed to be serious. Linebacker Freddie Bishop suffered an ankle injury and did not return.

Packers receivers Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb both left Sunday night's defeat in Atlanta with injuries, Nelson to his quad and Cobb to his shoulder. Neither is expected to miss much, if any time, but both will have MRI scans taken today as a precaution. The same is likely true for starting guard Jahri Evans (groin), defensive lineman Mike Daniels (hamstring), and defensive back Kentrell Brice (quad). Practice participation reports will likely provide the first significant update on any of those five players.

Saints backup defensive linemen Mitchell Loewen and Trey Hendrickson both left Sunday's defeat to the Patriots with leg injuries. Loewen's injury occurred on a low block which caused his knee to buckle awkwardly, while Hendrickson was injured making a tackle on Patriots halfback Mike Gillislee. No update is yet available for either player.

Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt left Sunday's game with a groin injury, but is reportedly not worried about it.

Titans receiver Corey Davis left Sunday's game with a hamstring injury, but was able to return.

Posted by: Andrew Potter on 18 Sep 2017

11 comments, Last at 01 Oct 2017, 8:48pm by jtr


by dank067 :: Mon, 09/18/2017 - 4:31pm

Looks like it's being reported that Bradford has a bone bruise. If there aren't any sprained ligaments associated with it, I think should just be a matter of needing time for it to heal and for his knee to feel strong/stable.

Kevin Durant returned to the lineup after I believe 4-5 weeks with a bone bruise + MCL sprain this past season. Obviously he had the luxury of working back in slowly, but he got back to full speed in time for the playoffs. I had that same injury playing football in high school (I have something in common with Kevin Durant!! ...weak, I know). The bruise itself was the bigger issue, but once it healed I never had any long term effects.

by Andrew Potter :: Mon, 09/18/2017 - 4:39pm

It depends how severe the bruise is, and where exactly it is on the knee. Tom Pelissero's report says they'll try an injection and see how it goes, which suggests it's not too severe, but there's no way for us to be sure.

As always, I am reminded that these guys have much higher pain tolerance than I do, and they'll play through things that would have me bedridden for a fortnight.

by dank067 :: Mon, 09/18/2017 - 5:02pm

For sure. Main thing I took away was that Zimmer's comment that Bradford would be "fine" without giving a specific timetable makes more sense if it is in fact a bone bruise, and not related to his previous ACL injuries

by Richie :: Mon, 09/18/2017 - 6:51pm

"Absent remarkably fast healing, Bradford is now more likely than not to miss Week 3 against the Buccaneers."

This statement confuses me.

by Andrew Potter :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 5:48am

Sorry, I'll try again.

Bradford will probably miss week 3 against the Buccaneers unless he heals remarkably quickly.

by BroncosGuyAgain :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 9:16pm

That seems sufficiently clear, generous, and unnecessary. Thank you for your accommodation.

by BroncosGuyAgain :: Mon, 09/18/2017 - 11:40pm

Allen Barbre finished up at LT in place of Bolles Sunday, and looks likely to get the start ahead of Stephenson.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 11:17am

Chicago and Cleveland aren't that far away. Wondering if Kevin White and Corey Coleman should maybe get together and hang out.

by LionInAZ :: Wed, 09/20/2017 - 12:19am

The Panthers offense has been anemic this year with Olsen. They may have to hold opponents to 3 pts every week for the next month to hang out till he returns.

by JoeyHarringtonReigns :: Fri, 09/22/2017 - 6:33pm

Newton drops back-throws over his 6'5 receivers seems like a recurring commentary.

by jtr :: Sun, 10/01/2017 - 8:48pm

>Newton overthrows receivers
>Panthers front office drafts bigger receivers
>Newton overthrows bigger receivers
>Panthers front office drafts even bigger receivers
>Newton overthrows even bigger receivers