Monday Injury Rounds: Week 9

Updated discussion on David Johnson, Andrew Luck, Aaron Rodgers, Teddy Bridgewater and Leonard Fournette, with thoughts on new injuries to Jordan Reed, Zach Miller, and others

NOTE: This column is a living document through Tuesday morning. 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. 

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


Footballguys will have close and detailed coverage of all injuries this season. Here's a look at my expected schedule. I will do my best to stick to this. Work and family responsibilities may sometimes cause brief delays.

Monday Injury Rounds: Posted Sunday night, updated through Tuesday AM. Detailed analysis of the week's injuries with table for quick review. Offensive injuries will be live Sunday night. Critical defensive and offensive line injuries will be added throughout the day on Monday. I'll be updating with news and analysis through Tuesday.

Wednesday and Thursday Injury Expectations: Posted late Wednesday and Thursday evening. Analysis of the practice participation report with a table including my projection of each injured player's likely game status. Will include discussion of any major breaking injury news.

Sunday Gameday Expectations: Posted by Saturday afternoon, updated through Sunday morning inactives. Will include individual player blurbs with detailed thoughts on the week's injury news and my speculation on player availability and limitations. Will include table highlighting each day's practice participation, official game status, and my availability expectation.

I'll also be contributing to our waiver wire podcast (Tuesday release), our live Sunday morning pregame show (10 ET Sunday on YouTube), and plan at least one weekly Periscope Q&A (shortly before Monday Night Football) with additional shows if/when possible. As always, I will be retweeting 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

Jordan Reed | Right hamstring strain | Week-to-Week

Reed grabbed his lower right hamstring after a pattern and did not return to the game. Earlier in the week, he revealed he'd been dealing with hip inflammation as he compensated for ongoing toe soreness. Unfortunately, he can now add the hamstring strain to his ever-lengthening list of injuries this year. Expect Reed to have an MRI on Monday. It's always worrisome when a player immediately reaches for the muscle strained. A multiple-week absence is possible.

***Monday Update: Jay Gruden told reporters Reed is likely to miss Week 9. Players ruled out of the following week's game less than 24 hours after a muscle strain are often out 2-4+ weeks. Prepare for a multiple week absence.

Leonard Fournette | Right ankle sprain | day-to-Day

Fournette had the benefit of the bye week to continue recovering from a low ankle sprain. He was hopeful to play last week despite not practicing and is expected to return this week. Early week practice participation will be critical. If he is cleared to practice on Wednesday, it's a good sign he can resume his pre-injury workload this week.

***Monday Update: Fournette returned to practice on Monday and should be ready to return.

Jameis Winston | Right AC sprain / Right deltoid contusion | Day-to-Day

Late Friday night, Dirk Koetter told a Sirius XM radio host Winston had aggravated his shoulder injury last week and was also dealing with a bruise to the deltoid muscle. It's not clear whether Winston's injuries limited him on Sunday but there were more high throws than usual. The Buccaneers limited Winston from throwing until Friday again last week and can be expected to continue to do so until he's near full recovery.

Zach Miller | Left knee dislocation | Out for Season | 12+ Months

Miller was taken to the hospital after a gruesome knee dislocation. At minimum, the mechanism of injury suggests Miller tore his ACL and PCL. While those injuries would be severe enough, it's possible Miller has injuries to the ligaments on either side of his knee. And the trip to the hospital highlights the most worrisome complications of a knee dislocation -- vessel and nerve injuries.

This is a similar injury to Teddy Bridgewater and Marshon Lattimore, among others. A very difficult recovery, Miller's status will be clearer after results of his imaging studies are known. If there are vessel injuries, this is likely a career-ending injury. If there are nerve injuries, Miller faces a combination of what Bridgewater and Jaylon Smith faced -- also a career-threatening injury.

The best case scenario will involve reconstruction of multiple ligaments and a 12+ month recovery and rehab.

***Monday Update: There are multiple reports this morning Miller required emergent vascular surgery to repair an artery in his knee. Popliteal artery injury is the primary concern with a knee dislocation, even one that spontaneously reduced on the field. It's why the Vikings called 9-1-1 for Teddy Bridgewater, who thankfully did not suffer a vessel injury. Both Napoleon McCallum and Robert Edwards suffered similar career-ending injuries.

This is a limb-threatening situation for Miller. Even if the blood supply to Miller's leg recovers, this is almost certainly a career-ending injury. Surgeons must deal with the injured vessel, manage swelling around the joint, and very closely monitor Miller's pulses below the knee. Amputation, sadly, remains a possibility. Best thoughts to Miller for a full recovery.

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