Monday Injury Rounds: Week 12

Making rounds on this weekend's injuries, focusing on Marshawn Lynch and Devonta Freeman, with updates on Matt Forte, Charcandrick West, and others

NOTE: This column is a living document. I'll be updating as needed after team press conferences, imaging reports, Monday Night Football injuries, etc. Major changes to the content will be noted in red. I'll also be retweeting any key pieces of news and my own reaction and analysis, so make sure you're following @JeneBramel and checking my timeline on Twitter throughout the week.

INJURY ROUNDS

Football is an unhealthy endeavor.

Add Justin Forsett and Joe Flacco to the list of season-ending injuries. Not surprisingly, Andrew Luck's recovery expectation was extended to 4-6 weeks this weekend. And there's now reason to worry Marshawn Lynch could be out for multiple weeks, as he'll be evaluated by Dr. William Meyers for a probable sports hernia on Monday.

MARSHAWN LYNCH | ABDOMINAL STRAIN | WEEK-TO-WEEK

Lynch didn't practice this week, but Pete Carroll told reporters Lynch was on the probable side of questionable. Carroll lied. Lynch was declared inactive, and Carroll told reporters immediately after the game Lynch had already been scheduled to travel to Philadelphia for an evaluation by sports hernia specialist Dr. William Meyers. 

Jay Glazer reported last Sunday the team was reassured after imaging studies Lynch's injury wasn't a sports hernia. That didn't match a report from Ian Rapoport saying Lynch's injury was in the lower abdomen / groin area, and I've been skeptical on our podcasts this week about the report from the normally reliable Glazer. Carroll left the door open for a sports hernia concern on Sunday night and there's little reason for Lynch to be traveling to Philadelphia otherwise.

Although Adrian Peterson played very effectively through a sports hernia during the final five weeks of 2012, this is a very limiting injury. And Lynch has already fought through multiple cascade injuries this year, from the groin to hamstring to back spasms. Lynch may ultimately elect otherwise, but I think there's a very strong chance Meyers recommends surgery and Lynch stays in Philadelphia to have the procedure this week.

If that's the case, most athletes recover from surgery in 4-6 weeks. The Seahawks saw Thomas Rawls run very effectively behind a beat up offensive line on Sunday and would likely rather have a healthy Lynch in the playoffs -- which are seven weeks away -- than a Lynch fighting through a chronic abdominal strain.

devonta freeman | concussion | week-to-week

Freeman was one of a number of players ruled out with concussion on Sunday after a violent helmet-to-helmet collision early in the game. As with all players recovering from a head injury, the first 24 hours are critical. If Freeman's symptoms completely resolve overnight, he'll have a chance to progress through the return to play protocol in time to play this week. We may not know Freeman's status until Wednesday, when the Falcons release their first injury report.

CHARCANDRICK WEST | HAMSTRING STRAIN | WEEK-TO-WEEK

Andy Reid told reporters West was day to day after the game, but we've heard that before from Reid and watched players miss the next week's game. Much will depend on much tightness and swelling West has overnight. Expect him to get aggressive treatment early in the week and be limited in practice. We'll know more about how ready he'll be for Week 12 later in the week.

JUstin forsett | arm fracture | out for season

joe flacco | torn acl / mcl | out for season

The Ravens have now lost their quarterback, primary running back, primary wide receiver, first round draft pick, and best pass rusher for the season.

Flacco was caught in the wrong place after releasing a pass and injured when his own lineman fell into his leg. The mechanism was worrisome for an ACL/MCL tear and the Ravens immediately confirmed the injury in the post-game press conference. While unusual for the team to announce a torn ACL so quickly, it's not at all unusual to know the diagnosis with certainty that soon. Teams and players often know about torn knee ligaments during the sideline exam. The MRI -- which Flacco will have on Monday -- confirms the diagnosis and evaluates for any additional cartilage or meniscus injuries. Flacco will miss all of the Baltimore offseason activities, but he'll have a chance to return sometime in training camp.

Forsett was ragdolled by stud defensive tackle Aaron Donald and suffered an obvious fracture to both forearm bones. It's an injury that will require surgical fixation and end his season. Assuming no infectious setbacks after the surgery, Forsett should be ready well in advance of training camp next season.

zach ertz | concussion | week-to-week

case keenum | concussion | week-to-week

Players are sometimes cleared to play on Thursday after a Sunday concussion, but it's rare. With a road game early on Thursday afternoon, it will be nearly impossible for Ertz to progress through the return to play protocol in time to be cleared by an independent neurologist.

Keenum has a full week to recover and a better chance to be cleared. Unfortunately, Keenum is the latest example of the failings of the NFL concussion spotting mechanism. Replays clearly showed Keenum's head bouncing off the turf, followed by Keenum grabbing his head with both hands and getting to his feet unsteadily. This is exactly what the spotter in the press box is there to recognize and alert sideline medical personnel to evaluate. While the Rams had an athletic trainer evaluate Keenum briefly during a timeout, the spotter should be alerting the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant on the sideline. It's an ongoing disappointment to see the league's players continue to play through head injuries.


FOLLOW-UP APPOINTMENTS

matt forte | mcl sprain | day-to-day

alshon jeffery | groin strain | week-to-week

Forte was seen running before yesterday's game without much discomfort and he was able to get in multiple limited practices last week. I think it's very likely Forte returns on Thursday. He'll have ten days to recover from that game before Week 13.

Jeffery's situation is less clear. I think the Bears realized very early last week Jeffery wasn't going to be effective this week. Rather than use him as a decoy to occupy defenders again and hope he'd come through this week's game healthy enough to play on Thursday night, the team felt better about shutting him down. But keeping him out of practice on Friday limits his conditioning work and is suspicious Jeffery may have aggravated his injury. Tuesday's practice participation is key. If Jeffery isn't at least attempting to practice then, consider him doubtful to play this week.

ANDREW LUCK | KIDNEY LACERATION / ABDOMINAL STRAIN / BROKEN RIBS | WEEK-TO-WEEK

Ian Rapoport tweeted Sunday morning Luck was likely to be out until mid-December. If you've read anything I've -- or any of my colleagues in the injury analysis business -- written or tweeted since Luck's injuries were reported, this shouldn't be news. Kidney lacerations are more severe than contusions and often take 6-8 weeks to recover. With the additional rib and abdominal muscle injuries, there was never any chance Luck would return to play within the optimistic 2-4 week timeframe. Consider mid-December a more realistic, but arguably still optimistic, expectation.

peyton manning | torn plantar fascia | week-to-week

Manning was reportedly fighting through plantar fasciitis for weeks before tearing through the fascia last week. In contrast to many soft tissue injuries, tearing through the plantar fascia is usually seen as a good thing, as it relieves the inflammation and chronic pain from the fasciitis. There's more to Manning's struggles than plantar fasciitis, however, as his arm strength has been weak for many weeks. If the time off allows Manning's arm to recover, we may see him return in the next 1-2 weeks.

emmanuel sanders | ankle sprain | day-to-day

michael floyd | hamstring strain | day-to-day

sam bradford | concussion / ac sprain | week-to-week

carlos hyde | metatarsal stress fracture | week-to-week

Sanders and Floyd were inactive on Sunday, but both will have a chance to play this week. Sanders was reportedly looking better during the week but struggled to get loose in pregame. Floyd didn't practice at all last week, but looked more comfortable than most beat writers expected in pregame. Bradford is still in the light exercise phase of the return to play protocol and will need to advance quickly to be cleared to play by Thursday. I'm still expecting to hear Hyde will be shut down and have his foot injury fixed surgically soon.

I'll have more on these and other injuries as news breaks on Monday. I'll also keep my Twitter feed updated throughout the week.

I'll be updating this feature throughout the day. Footballguys Insiders will get a full update with additional fantasy perspectives on Wednesday, with analysis of the week's game-time decisions early Sunday morning. Follow me on Twitter @JeneBramel for breaking injury news and analysis throughout the week.