Monday Injury Rounds: Week 6

Making rounds on this week's injuries with thoughts on Tyler Eifert, Dez Bryant, Eric Decker, Steve Smith, Cam Newton, 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.

Scroll to the bottom of this article for a quick look table of the week's most pressing injury situations and a review of the skill position players on injured reserve / PUP / NFI.


INJURY ROUNDS

Tyler Eifert | Back injury | Week-to-Week

Eifert was on track to return in a limited role in Week 5 until a Monday back injury derailed him. Eifert was seen limping in the locker room early in the week and reportedly needed to see a specialist. Marvin Lewis tried to minimize Eifert's injury last Friday, but used terminology like "hard region to figure out" and "scans" and "specialists" and "degeneration." It's easy to speculate that the team has concern for a degenerative issue with Eifert, whether that be a new or chronic disc herniation or similar issue, rather than back spasms alone.

While worrisome, a degenerative condition doesn't mean Eifert's season is at risk. Many players deal with similar conditions during the season and successfully rehab. Cortisone injections can treat inflammation successfully and allow players to return quickly. But this is a situation worth monitoring closely. Eifert may not be ready to return to practice this week.

Eddie Lacy | High ankle sprain | Day-to-Day

Lacy suffered a mild high ankle sprain on Sunday night. He'll have a chance to rehab and play this week but the Packers would not commit to him playing in Week 6 on Monday.

Steve Smith | High ankle sprain | Week-to-Week

Television replays were suspicious for a low-grade high ankle sprain after Smith was tackled from the side early in yesterday's game. Smith tried to return to the game multiple times before finally leaving in the second quarter. Smith told reporters he was in pain after the game but would play this week if he could. The next 48 hours are critical for Smith. Though many players return to play within seven days of a low-grade high ankle sprain, the amount of swelling and stiffness Smith has tomorrow will determine whether or not he's likely to respond to treatment in time to play. Consider him questionable for Week 6.

Others of note: Cody Kessler (chest/rib) couldn't return to yesterday's game and will have an MRI to better define his status on Monday.


FOLLOWUP APPOINTMENTS

Cam Newton | Concussion | week-to-Week | Target Week 6

Newton wasn't cleared to practice through Saturday this week. Either the Panthers are exercising caution with Newton or his symptoms didn't clear until at least mid-week. With Jay Glazer saying that Newton would likely clear the final exercise stages of the protocol by Wednesday this week, it's most likely the Panthers were cautious. Ron Rivera may update Newton's status in his Monday press conference but Wednesday's practice participation report will show how much progress Newton has made.

Carson Palmer | Concussion | Week-to-Week | Target Week 6

Palmer had little chance to be cleared on a short turnaround for last Thursday's game. Bruce Arians remained hopeful the Cardinals would get Palmer back this week and there were multiple denials that Palmer was briefly hospitalized to further evaluate his head injury last week. Like Newton, the Wednesday practice participation report will clarify Palmer's status this week.

Dez Bryant | Tibia contusion | Week-to-Week | Target Week 6+

There was more optimism from Bryant last week, but it's been two weeks after his leg injury and he's yet to be cleared for individual drills. Though it's clear Bryant does not have the more concerning non-weight bearing tibial injury, his progress early this week is critical. The Cowboys have a Week 7 bye. If Bryant isn't ready to be an integral part of this week's game plan, it's possible the Cowboys choose to give him another two weeks to recover and recondition.

ERIC DECKER | ROTATOR CUFF STRAIN | WEEK-TO-WEEK

Decker continues to rehab a rotator cuff strain, hoping that he'll be able to regain enough strength and range of motion to avoid surgery. There have been no specific updates on his progress, but it's a positive sign that he's not failed rehab through two weeks and remains on the active roster. Decker has yet to return to practice, which makes a Week 6 return unlikely.

Arian Foster | Hamstring strain | Day-to-Day | Target Week 6

Foster's injury designation was changed from groin to hamstring on last week's practice participation report. Reportedly moving well through three consecutive limited practices last week, Foster is expected to return this week.

Jonathan Stewart | Hamstring strain | Day-to-Day | Target Week 6

Ron Rivera told reporters Stewart would likely return in Week 6. However, Stewart has yet to practice and it usually takes at least one week of reconditioning before a running back or wide receiver is ready to return. With the Panthers traveling to New Orleans on a short week following a Monday night game and a bye in Week 7, it won't be a surprise to see Stewart take the extra two weeks to rehab.

Doug martin | Hamstring strain | Week-to-Week | Target Week 7 

The Buccaneers have a Week 6 bye. Martin has reportedly made progress in his rehab and the team hopes to have him back after the bye in Week 7.

THOMAS RAWLS | FIBULA FRACTURE | WEEK-TO-WEEK | TARGET WEEK 8+

The Seahawks haven't been specific with Rawls' timetable to return, saying only that they expect him to miss another month. Six weeks would be the more optimistic end of a recovery from a broken fibula, so it may well be after Week 8 before we see Rawls ready to play -- especially if Christine Michael continues to play effectively.

Jeremy Langford | High ankle sprain | week-to-Week | Target Week 10 

Langford was given a 4-6 week return timetable with a mid-high grade high ankle sprain. Don't bet on him hitting the more optimistic end of that estimate with the Bears having a Week 9 bye. His rehab will have to go very well to convince the team he's ready in Week 8.

Stefon Diggs | Groin strain | Week-to-Week | Target Week 7

I think the short week coming off Monday night football and the Vikings' Week 6 bye convinced the team to allow Diggs to aggressively rehab his groin strain rather than push to play in Week 5 and risk an aggravation. I expect he'll return in Week 7.

Donte Moncrief | Scapula fracture | Week-to-Week | Target Week 7+

Moncrief has yet to be cleared for contact. It's possible Moncrief will be cleared in time to fully practice this week and return to play, but prepare for Moncrief to miss one more week with an eye on a Week 7 return. Chuck Pagano would only say that Moncrief continues to be week-to-week.

Corey Coleman | Hand fracture | Week-to-Week | Target Week 7+

Coleman continues to make progress in his rehab from a hand fracture suffered in practice prior to Week 3. Some initial reports put Coleman's return nearer to six weeks but he's been able to work with a smaller than expected splint recently. His earliest return would be Week 7.

Charles Sims | Knee injury | Week-to-Week

The Buccaneers haven't provided details on Sims' knee injury and his status remains unknown for tonight's game. I'll update here when more is reported.

Monday Update: Sims was placed on injured reserve on Monday. There were no immediate details provided on his injury.

Rashad Jennings | Thumb sprain | Week-to-Week

It's been three weeks since Jennings' injury and he continues to be limited in practice while rehabbing. Reports of ongoing swelling and tenderness are worrisome. The Giants have been clear that Jennings will not return to the active roster until he recovers strength in his thumb and the risk of a setback is acceptably low.

Tyler Lockett | PCL sprain | Day-to-Day | Target Week 6

Doug Baldwin revealed that Lockett had been playing through a sprained PCL in a post-game interview last week. Lockett wasn't on the game status report in Week 4, but had seen his snap count drop from 62 snaps in Week 1 to just 14 snaps in Week 4. PCL rehab can be tricky -- as Breshad Perriman showed last year -- but the Seahawks were confident last week that Locket would emerge from the bye week fully recovered. Practice participation and snap count this week will tell us whether the Seahawks trust Lockett.

Julius Thomas | Elbow injury | Week-to-Week

Thomas continues to rehab an elbow injury through the bye. Specifics and severity of Thomas's injury are unknown. I'll update after Jacksonville's early week press conference.

TREVOR SIEMIAN | SHOULDER SPRAIN | DAY-TO-DAY

Siemian was able to throw in practice late in the week but not cleared to return in Week 5. Sunday morning, Jay Glazer reported Siemian's non-throwing shoulder sprain was high grade. If accurate, that means Siemian has multiple torn ligaments and an unstable joint where the collarbone and shoulder blade come together at the top of the shoulder. Though controversial, sprains of this severity are sometimes repaired surgically. It's highly unlikely Siemian will be able to play through a high-grade sprain this week. Glazer doesn't report with the same volume of other national writers, but he's usually accurate. Watch Siemian's practice participation closely.

JOSH DOCTSON | ACHILLES TENDINITIS | WEEK-TO-WEEK | TARGET WEEK 8+

Washington acknowledged that Doctson would need another few weeks to rehab his chronic Achilles tendinitis. In two separate instances since May, Doctson has taken at least four weeks off football-related activity. It's likely Washington will do the same here. The most hopeful estimate is likely Week 8 but the Week 10 bye looms large here.


Quarterbacks Injured But on the Active Roster
Player Injury Date Player/Team Says FBGs Expects Notes
Cam Newton Concussion W4 No timetable given Day-to-Day  
Carson Palmer Concussion W4 No timetable given Day-to-Day  
Trevor Siemian Left shoulder sprain W4 Day-to-Day Day-to-Day Glazer says high-grade sprain
Jay Cutler Right thumb sprain W2 Day-to-Day Week-to-Week  
Josh McCown Left AC sprain / Clavicle fracture W2 Week-to-Week 3-4 Wk (Target W6+) High-grade AC sprain
Cody Kessler Chest / Rib W5 Day-to-Day Week-to-Week  
Tony Romo L1 compression fracture PS W3 6-10 WK 8-10 Wk (Target W8+)  
Running Backs Injured But on the Active Roster
Player Injury Date Player/Team Says FBGs Expects Notes
Eddie Lacy High ankle sprain W5 Day-to-Day Day-to-Day  
Jeremy Langford Left ankle injury W3 No timetable given 4-6 Weeks (Target W10) Bears have W9 bye 
Doug Martin Right hamstring strain W2 3 Weeks 3-4+ Weeks (Target W7) Bucs have W6 bye
Thomas Rawls Fibula fracture W2 "Few Weeks" 6 Weeks (Target W8+)  
Arian Foster Groin strain W2 Week-to-Week Week-to-Week (Target W6)  
Jonathan Stewart Hamstring strain W2 2-4 Weeks 3-4+ Weeks (Target W6)  
Latavius Murray Toe sprain W4 Day-to-Day Day-to-Day (Target W6+)  
Rashad Jennings Right thumb sprain W2 Week-to-Week Week-to-Week  
Dewayne Washington Ankle injury W4 No timetable given Week-to-Week  
C.J. Prosise Hand injury PS Day-to-Day Day-to-Day (Target W6)  
Lance Dunbar Knee injury W4 Week-to-Week 3-4 Weeks (Target W8) Cowboys have W7 bye
Charcandrick West Ankle injury W3 No timetable given Week-to-Week  
Wide Receivers Injured But on the Active Roster
Player Injury Date Player/Team Says FBGs Expects Notes
Dez Bryant Tibia bruise W3 Day-to-Day Week-to-Week  
Eric Decker Rotator cuff strain W3 Week-to-Week 2-4+ Weeks  
Stefon Diggs Groin strain W4 Week-to-Week 1-2 Weeks (Target W7)  Vikings have W6 bye
Donte Moncrief Fractured scapula W2 4-6 Weeks 4-6 Weeks (Target W7+) Not yet cleared for contact
Steve Smith High ankle sprain W5 Week-to-Week Week-to-Week  
Corey Coleman Fractured hand W3 4-6 Weeks 4-6 Weeks (Target W7+)  
Tyler Lockett PCL sprain W2 Day-to-Day Day-to-Day (Target W6)  
Josh Doctson Achilles tendinitis Ongoing / W3 aggr Week-to-Week Week-to-Week (Target W8+) Likely to rest at least 4 weeks
Tight Ends Injured But on the Active Roster
Player Injury Date Player/Team Says FBGs Expects Notes
Tyler Eifert Deltoid ligament repair / Back injury W4 Day-to-Day Week-to-Week  
Julius Thomas Elbow injury W3 No timetable given Day-to-Day  
Jared Cook High ankle sprain W4 Week-to-Week 3-4 Weeks (Target W8)  
Virgil Green Calf strain W2 Day-to-Day Day-to-Day (Target W6)  
Clive Walford Knee injury W4 Day-to-Day Day-to-Day  
Jordan Cameron Concussion W3 Week-to-Week Week-to-Week  
Larry Donnell Concussion W4 Week-to-Week  Week-to-Week  
Notable Quarterbacks on PUP/NFI/IR
Player Injury Date Player/Team Says FBGs Expects Notes
Teddy Bridgewater Left knee dislocation/ACL tear/+ Late August IR / 2017 9-12 Mo + (2017) Associated damage key
Robert Griffin III Left AC sprain / Coracoid fracture W1 IR / 10-12 Weeks 2017 Return  
Notable Running Backs on PUP/NFI/IR
Player Injury Date Player/Team Says FBGs Expects Notes
Adrian Peterson Right knee meniscus tear W2 IR / 3-4 Months 2017 Return  
Dion Lewis Left ACL tear / Arthroscope during rehab PS W4 PUP / Undetermined Undetermined Still no details reported
Ameer Abdullah Left foot sprain W2 IR / 8-10 Weeks 2017 Return Torn ligament is early report
Danny Woodhead Right ACL tear W2 IR / 2017 2017 Return  
Charles Sims Knee injury W4 IR 2017 Return  
Chris Johnson Core abdominal strain / surgery W4 IR W12+ possible  
Shane Vereen Triceps tear W3 IR / 2 Months 2017 Return  
Darren McFadden Right elbow fracture Early Jun 2015 NFI / 2-3 Months W6+  
Keith Marshall Left UCL sprain PS W3 IR / 3-4 Weeks W6+  
Notable Wide Receivers on PUP/NFI/IR
Player Injury Date Player/Team Says FBGs Expects Notes
Keenan Allen Right ACL tear W1 IR / 2017 2017 Return  
Sammy Watkins Fifth metatarsal fracture Surg Apr 2016 IR 2017 Return Likely to have revision surgery soon
Kevin White High ankle sprain / fibula fracture W4 IR 2017 Return Slim chance of 2016 return
Bruce Ellington Hamstring strain PS W3 IR / 2+ Months 2017 Return  
Notable Tight Ends on PUP/NFI/IR
Player Injury Date Player/Team Says FBGs Expects Notes
Ladarius Green Ankle surgery / ? Headaches January PUP / Undetermined W6+ Steelers say ankle not ready

I'll be updating this feature throughout the day. Footballguys Insiders will get a full update from Craig Zumsteg with additional fantasy perspectives on Wednesday and 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.