Monday Injury Rounds: Week 15

Making rounds on this weekend's injuries, focusing on Andy Dalton and Thomas Rawls, with updates on Andrew Luck, Marshawn Lynch, and many 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

andy dalton | thumb fracture | week-to-week

Dalton fractured the thumb on his throwing hand while making a tackle following a tremendous play by Stephon Tuitt on a shovel pass. After returning to the sideline with his thumb immobilized in a splint, Dalton would tell reporters after the game his thumb was fractured. Dalton also said he'd be evaluated by a hand specialist on Monday.

Bob Holtzmann (ESPN) and Geoff Hobson (Bengals.com) -- two of the few media members with solid sources in Cincinnati -- have not been optimistic on Dalton's future. Holtzmann reported that the expectation in the locker room was that Dalton would be out for the season. Hobson's early sense was Dalton would miss 4-6 weeks. These reports and the immediate decision to immobilize Dalton's thumb after an x-ray mean this injury isn't a minor, non-displaced fracture that can be recovered from quickly.

Expect to hear that Dalton will need surgery shortly after his specialist evaluation. While the team may hold out hope for Dalton to return during the playoffs, he's almost certainly going to be ruled out for the season after tomorrow's evaluation.

thomas rawls | ankle fracture | out for season

Rawls had his leg awkwardly twisted underneath him on Sunday, went to the locker room for x-rays, and was quickly ruled out for the rest of the game. After the game, Pete Carroll told reporters Rawls had a broken ankle and probable ligament damage. Though the team will likely wait for the MRI to decide whether Rawls will need surgery, they've already ruled him out for the season. The mechanism wasn't clear from the television replays, but what we've seen and heard thus far sounds like a high grade high ankle injury. If Rawls has surgery tomorrow, he's likely looking at an 8-12 week rehab period. Barring any complications during his rehab, Rawls should be ready for Seattle's offseason training activities next spring.

t.j. yeldon | knee sprain | week-to-week

Yeldon was injured on a play action fake in the third quarter. There were no replays of the injury, but the live shot caught Yeldon stumbling as he approached the line with his knee bent then hopping once before going to the ground. That non-contact mechanism is very similar to the mechanism of Andre Ellington's PCL injury in Week 1. After the game, the official Jaguars' team Twitter account called Yeldon's injury a sprain that would be further evaluated on Monday. If Yeldon's injury is a PCL sprain, expect him to miss at least one week. A higher grade injury could keep him out 3-4 weeks or more.

tyler eifert | concussion | week-to-week

Eifert was diagnosed with a concussion yesterday after a helmet-to-helmet hit. The Bengals have cleared players within seven days in the past, but are one of the most likely medical staffs to hold players with concussion out multiple weeks. Eifert's practice participation on Wednesday will provide a strong indication of how the team plans to handle Eifert's concussion.

vincent jackson | knee | week-to-week

Like so many recently, Jackson's injury occurred to the far side of the field and no replays were shown during the television broadcast. The mechanism of his knee injury wasn't clear enough to speculate precisely on a diagnosis or timetable for return. It appeared Jackson took a hit to the front and outside of his right knee, which make a bone bruise, MCL sprain, or PCL sprain the most likely diagnoses. Any of those injuries would be tough to recover from with a full week to recover. The Bucs play Thursday night. With limited treatment time this week, Jackson isn't likely to return until Week 16.


Jonathan Stewart (foot) and Greg Olsen (knee) were both held out of Carolina's blowout win on Sunday. Early reports suggest neither injury is severe, but watch Monday's reports and Wednesday's practice participation closely. Olsen's injury could be a bone bruise or low grade MCL and either injury could keep him out this week.

Legarrette Blount left Sunday night's game with a hip injury and did not return. Todd Gurley suffered what the team has called a "banged knee" and could miss practice time this week. Austin Seferian-Jenkins was reportedly "very frustrated" after taking a hit to the shoulder that cost him over two months of playing time this year. Brian Hartline will miss the rest of the season with a broken collarbone. Charles Clay left Sunday's game early with a back injury. Matt Hasselbeck likely suffered a low grade AC sprain of his non-throwing shoulder and could struggle to play this week.

I'll have more on Olsen, Blount, Gurley and others as news breaks on Monday.


followup appointments

andrew luck | kidney laceration / rib / abdominal strain | week-to-week

Last Sunday, Jim Irsay said Luck had a chance to play in Week 15. With Matt Hasselbeck struggling with a shoulder injury and a huge divisional matchup with playoff implications against Houston this week, there will be pressure for Luck to return. While it may not be specifically reported, expect Luck to have a CT scan early this week to determine whether his kidney laceration has fully healed. If it is, he'll be cleared for contact and play. Now five weeks after his injury, there's no guarantee Luck will have healed enough for clearance. Luck's status should be known by Wednesday at the latest.

marshawn lynch | core abdominal surgery | week-to-week

With Thomas Rawls out for the season with a broken ankle, you can expect to hear discussion about Lynch returning sooner than expected. But there are limits to recovery from surgery to re-anchor an abdominal muscle to the pelvis. Lynch is only three weeks into his recovery process and only returned to Seattle last week to continue his rehab and conditioning. Most players take between 4-6 weeks to recover from this procedure and Lynch isn't likely to beat those estimates. While there's an outside chance Lynch could recondition quickly this week and see limited duty in Week 15, I believe his most optimistic return date remains Week 16.

julian edelman | metatarsal fracture | week-to-week

Improvements in the repair of Jones' fractures and the rise (and seeming effectiveness) of stem cell and bone graft procedures have shaved some time off the recovery from these injuries. But there's only so much that can be done. For many years, the average recovery from this injury was 8-10 weeks. When an outlier occurred, it was much more likely to be on the far end (10-12 weeks) than the short end (6-8 weeks). Edelman returned to practice on Friday to do some light conditioning -- less than four weeks after his surgery. While Edelman may continue to condition in "limited' practice time this week, it's not realistic to expect him to return this week. I'll still be surprised if we see him before Week 17.

andre ellington | turf toe | week-to-week

Many running backs try to play through turf toe injuries and are ineffective. Ellington hasn't practiced in two weeks. Whether that's a smart recovery plan or evidence of a higher grade injury remains to be seen. Bruce Arians said early last week he felt Ellington could have played with a full week to receive treatment and prepare. By the end of the week, Arians backed off that assessment and sounded less certain Ellington would be able to play through pain. Wednesday practice participation will tell us how close Ellington is to returning.

c.j. anderson | ankle | day-to-day

Anderson was active on Sunday but didn't have a realistic chance to play. Gary Kubiak said Anderson's ankle remained very sore throughout the week and Anderson didn't take a single practice rep. The mechanism of injury wasn't obvious, but it looked more like a bruise than a sprain. If the swelling and pain settle with additional treatment, Anderson will have a chance to practice and get back into the Denver running back rotation this week.

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

Manning's foot hasn't been immobilized in over a week, but his rehab process continues to proceed with caution. Yet to practice, local beat writers do not expect Manning to return this week either. With the Broncos' offense still struggling, we may see Manning work to return sooner than later. Arm strength and footwork will probably remain issues when he comes back.

carlos hyde | metatarsal stress fracture | injured reserve

Not shockingly, the 49ers finally put Hyde on injured reserve this week. When the diagnosis of a stress fracture was reported, it never made sense that Hyde would be able to play effectively through the pain and it's still surprising he's not had surgery to fix the fracture. That may happen now that he's out for the season.

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.