This injury update covers the key player injuries from the previous week’s NFL action.
Zack Mettenberger, TEN – Minor AC Joint Sprain
Titans’ QB Zack Mettenberger has been diagnosed with a grade 1 (minor) acromioclavicular joint sprain in his right (throwing) shoulder and although his status is being considered questionable team officials are reasonably optimistic about his chances of playing in Week 14. Mettenberger left Sunday’s game against the Texans in the third quarter after hurting his shoulder and did not return. Precautionary x-rays in the locker room were reportedly negative and despite having difficulty lifting his arm above his shoulder and across his chest Mettenberger told reporters after the game that he planned on playing in the team’s next game. Fortunately the MRI on his shoulder confirmed that his shoulder injury isn’t serious and according to reports his shoulder was feeling better on Monday. He’ll likely miss practice time this week while he recovers but if all goes well he could be back in the starting lineup on Sunday against the Giants.
Ben Roethlisberger, PIT – Bruised Right Hand
Steelers’ QB Ben Roethlisberger appears to be OK after hurting his right (throwing) hand during Sunday’s game against the Saints. Roethlisberger banged his hand on a defender’s helmet in the first quarter and while he didn’t miss any playing time he was seen shaking his hand throughout the game. The injury bothered him early in the game but he seemed to be OK in the second half and he finished with over 400 yards passing. Team officials aren’t concerned about his status and they expect him to be fine for their Week 14 game against the Bengals.
Andre Ellington, ARI – Hip Pointer
Cardinals’ RB Andre Ellington, who left injured in the first half of Sunday’s game against the Falcons, has been diagnosed with a pelvic contusion (aka hip pointer) and team officials are concerned about his status for Week 14. In the second quarter Ellington tried picking up a blitz on a pass play and he took a knee to his hip in the process. He was in a lot of pain as he left the field and he was eventually taken to the locker room where he was x-rayed and then treated. According to reports the x-rays were negative but he was having difficulty just walking so he was declared out for the remainder of the game. Ellington spoke with reporters afterwards and he confirmed that this hip injury is not related to the hip problem that has bothered him recently and he indicated that it wasn’t serious. However team officials don’t expect him to do much in practice this week and his availability for the game against the Chiefs will depend on how his hip responds to treatment.
Rashad Jennings, NYG – Sprained Ankle
Giants’ RB Rashad Jennings left Sunday’s game against the Jaguars after rolling his ankle, however the injury does not appear to be serious and he should be available to play in Week 14. Jennings was hurt in the fourth quarter and missed the team’s final two offensive possessions because he was unable to put weight on his leg. According to reports his ankle was beginning to feel a little better afterwards and although he was sore on Monday team officials were optimistic about his chances of playing in their next game. Jennings said he isn’t concerned about the injury, but keep an eye on this situation just in case his ankle is more serious than the team is currently reporting.
Miles Austin, CLE – Undisclosed Kidney Injury
Browns’ veteran WR Miles Austin has spent the last two nights in a Buffalo hospital because of an undisclosed kidney issue and his status for Week 14 and the remainder of the regular season appears to be in doubt. Austin complained of increasing discomfort in his stomach and side after Sunday’s game against the Bills and after an examination the medical staff sent him to the hospital where he was evaluated and treated. It isn’t clear what his kidney problem is or how it came about, however team officials are concerned about his status and the fact that he is still in the hospital indicates that he is dealing with something serious. We should know more about his status tomorrow so check back then for an update.
Jason Hunter, TEN – Lacerated Spleen
Titans’ WR Jason Hunter will probably miss the remainder of the season after leaving Sunday’s game with a lacerated spleen. Hunter got hit hard in the stomach while trying to make a catch in the first quarter. After missing a brief period of time he returned to the game, however he began spitting up blood and the pain in his stomach got worse so he was transported to a local hospital where tests revealed that he had a lacerated spleen. According to reports Hunter will not require surgery and the medical staff is confident the injury will heal on its own. He’s scheduled to be released from the hospital either today or tomorrow, but it doesn’t look like he will be able to play again this season.
DeSean Jackson, WAS – Fibula Contusion
Redskins’ WR DeSean Jackson, who left Sunday’s game twice with the same leg injury, has been diagnosed with a fibula bone contusion and while he will miss a lot of practice time this week while he recovers it looks like he might be able to play in Week 14. Jackson banged his leg early in the game against the Colts and he missed a few plays as a result. He returned and he seemed to be OK when he made a 42-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter. However he aggravated the injury when he banged legs with a Colts’ defender later in the third and he appeared to be in a lot of pain as he left the field. X-rays in the locker room were reportedly negative but he did not play in the fourth quarter. Additional testing on Monday confirmed that Jackson suffered a deep bone bruise. Jackson should be OK with rest, but it isn’t clear if he will need a few days or a few weeks. There are some reports out of Washington that suggest he might be back for Sunday’s game against the Rams but check back on Wednesday for an update.
Torrey Smith, BAL – Undisclosed Knee Injury
Ravens’ WR Torrey Smith left Sunday’s game against the Chargers with an undisclosed right knee injury and although he didn’t return head coach John Harbaugh told reporters that it wasn’t “too serious” and he expects him to play in Week 14. Smith banged his knee on the turf while trying to catch a pass in the end zone in the second half and after limping off the field he was evaluated and held out the remainder of the game. He was also spotted limping around the locker room afterwards and while the nature and severity of the injury has not been made public Harbaugh’s comments to the media suggest that it isn’t serious. We’ll keep you posted on his recovery.