Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

25 Sep 2017

Injury Aftermath: Week 3

by Andrew Potter

Eagles Halfback Darren Sproles -- Arm, ACL (IR)

Darren Sproles is done for the year, and this may also be the end of his excellent career. Already expected to miss significant time due to a broken arm as reported last night, news out of Philadelphia today indicates that Sproles also suffered a torn ACL on the same play. Both of the injuries will require surgical repair. In his stead, Wendell Smallwood will probably take over passing-down responsibilities for Philadelphia.

Sproles had already stated his intention to retire after this season but, like Steve Smith in 2015, this is not how he planned for that to happen. It remains possible that, like Smith, Sproles could be tempted back for one last shot, but he faces a long and arduous rehabilitation if he is to attempt a final comeback. Otherwise, he will retire with a strong case to be considered the best receiving back of his generation. During his time with the Chargers and Saints, Sproles had six straight seasons in the top six running backs by receiving DYAR (2008-2013), and ranked No. 1 in three of four seasons between 2009 and 2012. Only Brian Westbrook has ranked No. 1 even twice since Marshall Faulk did so four straight years from 1998-2001 (though Westbrook did manage four straight seasons in the top two, from 2004-2007). Sproles' time in Philadelphia has been less productive, but even at age 34 he was still leading the Eagles in touches this season at the time of his injury.

Linebacker Jordan Hicks suffered an ankle injury against the Giants while defensive lineman Fletcher Cox suffered a calf injury. Philadelphia Inquirer beat reporter Jeff McLane reports that both are "OK" and considered "day to day."

Buccaneers Linebacker Lavonte David -- Ankle

The Buccaneers arrived in Minneapolis already missing starting defensive tackle Chris Baker, linebacker Kwon Alexander, and top cornerback Brent Grimes, as well as long-term absentee defensive end Jacquies Smith. During the game, they added defensive ends Robert Ayers and Noah Spence, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, linebacker Lavonte David, cornerbacks Ryan Smith and Vernon Hargreaves, and safety T.J. Ward to their list of hurt or absent players.

Of those injuries, David's is probably the most headline-worthy. He suffered a mid-grade high ankle sprain, which will probably keep him out for at least a month -- a major loss for a defense already missing fellow starter Kwon Alexander, who injured his hamstring last week. If Alexander remains out for Week 4, David's absence would push primary backup Adarius Glanton into a starting role alongside rookie Kendell Beckwith -- who took over Alexander's role against the Vikings -- with Devante Bond as the third linebacker on running downs.

McCoy's injury is a regular ankle sprain, and will probably be taped for him to play through the pain over the next few weeks. Spence suffered a dislocation of his shoulder, after playing all of last season with a harness and having offseason surgery to repair a torn labrum. He will likely play on with the harness again. Smith and Hargreaves left the game hurt at various points, but were able to return. T.J. Ward left with a lower body injury in the fourth quarter, and no update is yet available.

Bears Safety Quintin Demps -- Arm

Bears Center Hroniss Grasu -- Hand

Quintin Demps is out indefinitely after suffering a fractured arm in the fourth quarter of Sunday's upset win over Pittsburgh. Voted a defensive captain at the start of the month, Demps is likely to be placed on injured reserve by the end of it. John Fox confirmed the injury during his Monday press conference.

Following his first start of the season at center, Hroniss Grasu left Sunday's game with a cast on his snapping hand, prompting fears that it is broken. When asked about the injury during his news conference Monday, John Fox simply replied, "He has a hand ... I'm not going to give you every detail." Grasu is likely to miss at least a month if the break is confirmed, with Cody Whitehair the most likely replacement. Whitehair started the first two games of the year at center, but was moved to left guard against the Steelers.

49ers Defensive Lineman Tank Carradine -- Ankle (IR)

Tank Carradine suffered what the team fears could be a season-ending high-ankle sprain against the L.A. Rams on Thursday night. Carradine has been placed on injured reserve, which (as I understand the rule) rules him out until Week 11 at the earliest.

Ravens Defensive End Brent Urban -- Foot

Ravens defensive lineman Brent Urban suffered a Lisfranc sprain against Jacksonville. Urban will see a specialist today to determine the likely duration of his absence -- a 2016 study by the American Journal of Sports Medicine times the median return for NFL players with Lisfranc sprains at between 8 and 9 games, meaning Urban is likely to be placed on injured reserve following his consultation.

Receiver Jeremy Maclin was tested for concussion symptoms, but cleared the protocol and returned in the second half.


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

  • 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk
  • Colts receiver Kamar Aiken
  • Rams receiver Tavon Austin
  • Rams receiver Sammy Watkins

Other Injuries

Bengals safety George Iloka suffered a hamstring injury, and his return was initially announced as questionable by the team. He did not return, and no update is yet available. The Bengals play the Browns in Week 4, and Iloka's status may not be clear until game time.

Chargers halfback Melvin Gordon suffered a "very minor" bone bruise on Sunday, per Ian Rapoport.

Chiefs linebacker Dee Ford left Sunday's game with a hip injury, but is not expected to miss further time -- especially as the Chiefs do not play until Monday night in Week 4. The same is true for receiver and returner De'Anthony Thomas, who suffered a shoulder injury.

Dolphins halfback Jay Ajayi left Sunday's game with an arm injury, but was able to return. Cornerback Byron Maxwell and safety Nate Allen also suffered injuries, but no update is yet available on those.

Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon left the field in the fourth quarter due to an existing ankle injury, and will have an MRI scan today on the injury. He initially hopes to "patch it up and keep going." Halfback Orleans Darkwa suffered a back injury, but was on the field for the team's final punt.

Jets halfback Matt Forte suffered a toe injury, which is not believed to be serious. Linebacker Josh Martin and receiver Charone Peake joined Forte in the X-ray room after the game, but no update is yet public.

Lions defensive tackle Anthony Zettel suffered a knee injury in the third quarter and was helped off the field. Zettel returned later in the game, but had his knee wrapped when leaving the stadium.

Packers offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga aggravated his existing ankle injury against Cincinnati and did not return to the game. No update is yet available on Bulaga, who will most likely have an MRI scan on the injury.

Panthers receiver Kelvin Benjamin left Sunday's game with a knee injury, but is reportedly fine.

Raiders receiver Michael Crabtree left Sunday's game with a chest injury and did not return. No update is yet available.

Redskins halfback Samaje Perine suffered a hand injury when Raiders linebacker Cory James' helmet hit Perine's hand. Perine also fumbled on the play. Offensive lineman Ty Nsekhe suffered a groin injury, and also did not return.

Saints backup defensive tackle David Parry suffered a leg injury in Carolina and did not return to the game.

Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin suffered a groin injury on Sunday, but the injury is not believed to be serious. Special teamer Dewey McDonald suffered a torn ACL and will miss the rest of the season.

Steelers offensive lineman Ramon Foster suffered a hand injury while attempting to recover a Ben Roethlisberger fumble. Foster left the game and did not return, but no update is yet available on the injury. Safety Sean Davis left with an ankle injury. Tight end Jesse James suffered a shoulder injury, but was able to return to the game.

Posted by: Andrew Potter on 25 Sep 2017

9 comments, Last at 28 Sep 2017, 3:09pm by Raiderjoe


by MilkmanDanimal :: Mon, 09/25/2017 - 4:48pm

I think you mis-stated an injury; based on his performance yesterday, I'm pretty sure Bucs CB Vernon Hargreaves III is suffering from third-degree burns from being repeatedly torched by Case @#$!! Keenum.

by Andrew Potter :: Mon, 09/25/2017 - 4:55pm

Sorry, Milkman. I should maybe have mentioned somewhere that the Bucs secondary's pretty shallow, and any injury to Brent Grimes spells trouble.


by MilkmanDanimal :: Mon, 09/25/2017 - 10:22pm

Did the Bucs sign a pair of ducks to replace Vernon Hargreaves and Chris Conte?

Seems like a reasonable idea at this point.

by Chuckc :: Mon, 09/25/2017 - 6:54pm

49ers Safety Jaquiski Tartt is also in the concussion protocol

by JustAnotherFalc... :: Mon, 09/25/2017 - 8:58pm

Falcons safety Ricardo Allen also in concussion protocol.

by Bright Blue Shorts :: Tue, 09/26/2017 - 11:08am

Saw Sproles play at Wembley in 2008. Think he was still with the Chargers and backing up Tomlinson. He was a very exciting player to watch and seemed not to be getting used enough.

There is something underrated about receiving backs in general. They don't seem to get the acclaim that being the best rusher or best wide receiver (or tight end) gets.

by bubqr :: Tue, 09/26/2017 - 2:45pm

Sproles: what is really sad to me is that he is/was:
- 36 yards away of the 6th place on the all-time All Purpose yards leaderboard (M.Faulk)
- 528 yards away from the 5th place(Tim Brown)
He would have been top5 by season end save for injury. What a shame. Maybe that is going to motivate him to come back?

by Raiderjoe :: Thu, 09/28/2017 - 3:09pm

sproles didn't strike me a s type fo platyer motivated by stats like that. he still could come back for one more serason though

by andrew :: Wed, 09/27/2017 - 12:53am

As a long term follow up from last year, one of the many players the Vikings lost on their offensive line last year was projected starting guard Mike Harris, who was placed on the non football injury list but without any further details...

Well, we now know that Mike harris has a " brain arteriovenous malformation," a congenital brain condition and is undergoing surgery at the Mayo Clinic for this.

His football career is over, and hopefully the surgery will go well and he will be able to get on with his life normally, reportedly the prognosis for that is pretty good...

anyway, good luck, Mike Harris.

( http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2017/09/26/ex-nfl-player-mike-harri... )