Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

09 Jan 2017

Wild-Card Injury Aftermath

by Andrew Potter

Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons (Saturday, 4:35 p.m. EST)

As is his custom, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll shared injury updates at his press conference after the team's win against Detroit. Fullback Marcel Reece suffered an injured foot, but initial fears of a fracture have since been dispelled. If Reece is able to practice during the week, he should be available on Saturday. Tight end Jimmy Graham left the game temporarily in the first quarter after being winded by a hit from Lions safety Tavon Wilson, but was able to return a short time later. Halfback Alex Collins is also fine after taking a big hit in the fourth quarter, while defensive end Frank Clark was "hammered in" a "little personal area" but is likewise alright. The one lingering doubt from wild-card weekend is defensive lineman Tony McDaniel, who missed the game against Detroit due to a concussion and still has yet to clear the league protocol. His availability will not be known until later in the week. The same is true of halfback C.J. Prosise, who will return to practice on Tuesday after fracturing his scapula in Week 11 and may yet be able to return against Atlanta.

As for the Falcons, their one outstanding major injury concern is the toe injury which hobbled star receiver Julio Jones in the final weeks of the regular season. Though Jones is not considered in danger of missing the game, he may still be impaired by the injury even with an extra week of rest. Otherwise, the Falcons appear to be about as close to full health as is possible at this stage in the season.

Houston Texans at New England Patriots (Saturday, 8:15 p.m. EST)

Texans head coach Bill O'Brien has already stated that Brock Osweiler will start the team's divisional round visit to New England, making the status of Tom Savage considerably less relevant than it was ahead of the wild-card round. Otherwise, the Texans have no new injuries to report following Saturday's victory over the Oakland Raiders.

The same is true of the Patriots, who expect to have Danny Amendola back from his late-season ankle injury to add depth in the receiving and return game. Yes, star tight end Rob Gronkowski is on injured reserve and one-time starting offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer was unable to return from the Physically Unable to Perform list this year, but otherwise the Patriots only have three long-term absentees (Jonathan Freeny, Greg Scruggs, and Tre' Jackson) and no major injury worries on their 53-man roster.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs (Sunday, 1:05 p.m. EST)

The Steelers exited the wild-card round with nothing more than bumps and bruises, despite a late scare suffered by perennial bump-and-bruise magnet Ben Roethlisberger. Though Roethlisberger was in a supportive boot after the game, all indications are that the boot was precautionary and that Roethlisberger is in no danger whatsoever of missing the game in Kansas City. Cornerback Russ Cockrell, injured in a friendly fire collision with Mike Mitchell, was evaluated for a concussion but returned to the game. Robert Golden and Ricardo Mathews, both of whom missed the wild-card win, have a good chance to be available this coming Sunday, while tight end Ladarius Green will have to clear the latter phases of the concussion protocol before he will be able to return. As usual, participation reports will give a clearer picture for this trio later in the week.

The Chiefs have no injured players on their 53-man roster, per head coach Andy Reid. Spencer Ware and Justin Houston are both therefore expected to return to action this weekend after being held out of Week 17 as a precaution. Linebacker Dadi Nicolas, whose season was ended by a patellar tendon tear in that division-clinching Week 17 victory, has been replaced on the 53-man roster by former Jets pass-rusher Victor Ochi.

Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys (Sunday, 4:40 p.m. EST)

The big news for the Packers concerns receiver Jordy Nelson, who left Sunday night's game with a rib injury after a nasty body shot from the helmet of Giants safety Leon Hall. Internet rumors of fractured ribs, spleen lacerations, and pneumothorax all seem to trace back to the same Twitter post by former NFL lineman turned orthopedic surgeon Mark Adickes, which was obviously intended as a list of possibilities rather than an actual attempt at video diagnosis. The actual news, courtesy of Mike McCarthy's press conference earlier today, is that Nelson spent the night in the hospital and will spend the rest of the week rehabilitating the (unspecified) injury. If Nelson is able to practice on Saturday, he may be able to play against Dallas. Otherwise, he will be ruled out later in the week. The team received better news on receiver-turned-halfback Ty Montgomery, who limped off the field in the fourth quarter after his legs were caught in a pile of players. Montgomery was able to return later in the game, and is expected to be available as normal this week.

The Cowboys are possibly the team to have benefited most from their bye week, as they expect both Demarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford to be available for the team's first playoff game when they might not have been if the team had played on wild-card weekend. Likewise, left tackle Tyron Smith is expected to be available after injuring his knee against Detroit in Week 16, while fellow lineman La'el Collins has been designated to return from injured reserve and may be able to do so in time to play against Green Bay. Finally, cornerback Morris Claiborne is also expected to return from his sports hernia this weekend, meaning Dallas should have both their offense and their defense at pretty close to full health against the resurgent Aaron Rodgers and his Packers teammates.

Posted by: Andrew Potter on 09 Jan 2017

6 comments, Last at 19 Jan 2017, 4:38am by Amily


by drobviousso :: Mon, 01/09/2017 - 6:25pm

I'm pretty sure Mike Mitchell has more helmet to helmet collisions with his own teammates than he does forced fumbles. Possibly more than he has passes defensed.

by Anon Ymous :: Mon, 01/09/2017 - 6:38pm

"despite a late scare suffered by perennial bump-and-bruise magnet Ben Roethlisberger."

I initially misread this as "despite a late scare suffered by perennial bump-and-bruise magnate Ben Roethlisberger." Somehow, that seems more fitting.

by Athelas :: Tue, 01/10/2017 - 7:12pm


by Sixknots :: Mon, 01/09/2017 - 8:33pm

Is Desmond Trufant back for the Falcons?

by Andrew Potter :: Tue, 01/10/2017 - 4:06am

Trufant is on injured reserve after having season-ending pectoral surgery in November. The Falcons have not, as far as I can tell, used their return designation yet but Trufant would not be eligible for that until after the Conference Championship games and as I understand things he would not be physically able to return even then.

by Amily :: Thu, 01/19/2017 - 4:38am

Your duke admission to be accouterment for those punch admeasurement which http://www.repliquemontre4u.com you are choosing.