This injury update covers the key player injuries from the previous week’s NFL action.
Matt Cassel, MIN – Fractured Bones in Foot
Vikings’ QB Matt Cassel is out indefinitely after suffering broken bones in his left foot during Sunday’s game against the Saints. Cassel was hurt as he was being tackled at the end of a second-quarter scramble. He was able to limp off the field, but he was eventually carted to the locker room where X-rays revealed what appeared to be a fracture near his toe. Additional testing on Monday showed that he has several fractured bones in his left foot. It isn’t clear if the injury will require surgery, but there are reports that suggest he could be out for up to 2 months. Rookie Teddy Bridgewater will start at QB in his place.
Jake Locker, TEN – Undisclosed Wrist Injury
According to head coach Ken Whisenhunt QB Jake Locker suffered an undisclosed injury to his right (throwing) wrist during Sunday’s loss to the Bengals and his status for Week 4 remains unclear. Whisenhunt said that Locker’s wrist was bent back at some point during the team’s Week 3 game and that he was having a difficult time just gripping the ball. Locker’s wrist was wrapped in ice after the game, however the nature and severity of the injury have not been made public and Whisenhunt has ot said how the injury will affect his preparation for their upcoming game against the Colts. We will keep you posted on his recovery.
James Stewart, CAR – Sprained Knee
The exact nature of James Stewart’s injured right knee has not been made public, but head coach Ron Rivera called it a “severe sprain” during a press conference on Monday and although he hasn’t been ruled out for Week 4 team officials aren’t expecting him to play. Stewart was hurt on a third-quarter carry on Sunday night against the Steelers and he was unable to finish the game. Rivera said that the team will reevaluate Stewart on Friday before they make a decision on his Week 4 availability. There is growing concern that Stewart could be out for at least a month. On a related note Panthers’ FB Mike Tolbert has a hairline fracture in his right leg and he is expected to miss the next 4 to 6 weeks while he recovers.
Danny Woodhead, SD – Fractured Fibula and torn ankle ligaments
Chargers’ RB Danny Woodhead will miss the remainder of the season after severely injuring his right ankle during Sunday’s game against the Bills. Woodhead’s ankle twisted underneath him when he was tackled and hit on his first carry of the game. He was carted off the field and according to reports X-rays in the locker room showed that the fibula near his right ankle was fractured. An MRI on Monday confirmed that fracture and revealed that he suffered additional ligament damage consistent with a grade 3 high ankle sprain. Woodhead is scheduled to undergo ankle surgery this week and he is expected to miss the next 3 – 4 months while he recovers. If all goes well, he should be back to full strength with the Chargers begin their off-season conditioning program.
Eric Decker, NYJ – Strained Hamstring
Jets’ WR Eric Decker, who missed practice time last week because of a strained hamstring, was active on Monday night against the Bears but he aggravated his injury in the first half and he was unable to finish the game. Decker grabbed the back of his leg at the end of a couple of plays in the first and second quarter and he appeared to limp on several occasions as he came off the field. His official status for this upcoming week has not been announced, however don’t expect him to practice and at this point he is a long shot to play against the Lions in Week 4.
T.Y. Hilton, IND – Sprained Ankle
Colts’ WR T.Y. Hilton missed the entire second half of Sunday’s game against the Jaguars with a sprained ankle and his status for Week 4 is currently unknown. Hilton’s sprained ankle is not believed to be serious, but team officials don’t expect him to do much in practice this week while he recovers. Head Coach Chuck Pagano told reporters on Monday that Hilton’s ankle isn’t “too severe” indicating that there was is a chance that he will be available to play this upcoming Sunday.
Brandon Marshall, CHI – Sprained Ankle
Bears’ WR Brandon Marshall aggravated his ankle injury in the first half of Monday night’s game against the Jets and his status for Week 4 appears to be in question. Marshall missed practice last week and he was questionable to play in Week 3 because of a sprained ankle, but he was active on Monday night and he appeared to be OK as he took part in pre-game warmups. Unfortunately he reinjured his ankle while trying to block in the second quarter. He left the game and missed a couple of offensive series while having his ankle examined and retaped. He was cleared to return to the field but he was ineffective and limited to just one catch. Marshall will probably miss more practice time this week while he recovers and he’ll likely be a question mark heading into Week 4.
Rod Streater, OAK – Fractured Foot
Raiders’ WR Rod Streater is expected to miss an extended period of time after being carted off the field on Sunday with a fractured foot. According to reports x-rays on Sunday revealed the break and an MRI on Monday confirmed the initial diagnosis. The severity and nature of the fracture haven’t been made public and it isn’t clear if he will need surgery to repair the damage, but team officials have indicated that Streater will be out for a very long time.
Dennis Pitta, BAL – Dislocated and Fractured Hip
Ravens’ TE Dennis Pitta will miss the remainder of the season after undergoing surgery to repair and stabilize his dislocated and fractured right hip. Pitta’s hip snapped out of place while he caught a swing pass during Sunday’s game and he immediately fell to the ground without contact. He was in a lot of pain as he was being carted off the field and he was immediately transported to a local hospital where he was evaluated and treated. According to reports the dislocation was successfully reduced (put back in place) in the hospital, but X-rays revealed a fracture and he has since undergone surgery to fix the damage. A dislocated hip in sports is a very rare injury because typically it takes a significant amount of force to do. But Pitta dislocated the same hip last summer when he collided with a teammate during a preseason practice and he missed 5 months as a result. Although there was a small bone fragment that needed to be removed the team’s medical staff said that his ligaments and muscles were OK and his recovery went as well as expected. The fact that the same hip dislocated again without contact suggests there was an existing instability that was either unaddressed last year or somehow occurred at some point after returning from his first surgery. Either way this reoccurrence is extremely concerning. We will keep you posted on his recovery.
Kyle Rudolph, MIN – Sports Hernia Surgery
Vikings’ TE Kyle Rudolph will miss the next 6 to 8 weeks after undergoing sports hernia surgery. Rudolph, who had been dealing with an abdominal issue, was forced from Sunday’s game against the Packers after suffering what the team called a groin injury. He was unable to return and he was noticeably upset while on the sideline. According to reports after undergoing tests on Monday he was diagnosed with athletic pubalgia, which is commonly known as a sports hernia. It is essentially an imbalance between the abdominal and groin muscles resulting in a muscle (rectus) pulling away from the pelvis. Surgery to repair the injury is typically simple and uninvasive, but recovery can take up to 2 months.