Monday Injury Rounds: Week 15

Thoughts on Week 14 injuries to Carson Wentz, Kelvin Benjamin, and others, with updates on Aaron Rodgers, Zach Ertz, Robert Woods, and more

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.


Carson Wentz | Left ACL tear (suspected) | Awaiting information

Wentz suffered a left knee injury and was quickly ruled out. Not long after, Adam Schefter reported the team had concern for a torn ACL. Though the timeline was simple and straightforward, the video was decidedly not. Almost always, we see clear evidence of a non-contact injury with a planted foot and the toes pointed outward and a rotational mechanism stressing the knee. It's rare to see an airborne injury to the ACL.

Unfortunately, the physical exam is rarely misleading with ACL injuries. Wentz will have an MRI on Monday to look for associated injuries. Also, unfortunately, Wentz may not have an isolated ACL injury. While the video replays didn't show a clear ACL mechanism, video of Wentz walking off the field seems to show some laxity on the outside of his left knee. That could mean an associated LCL injury. If that's severe enough to require reconstruction, it's a concern. While an isolated ACL injury could be rehabbed quickly enough to give Wentz a chance to return by Week 1 in 2018, concurrent LCL reconstruction and rehab will require a longer rehab -- possibly 9-12 months -- and definitely put the start of 2018 in doubt. It would also raise the possibility of other injuries to the back outside part of the knee and those complicate rehab.

I'll update with more after the results of Wentz's MRI are reported.

Sunday Night Update: Ian Rapoport tweeted the "Eagles believe Wentz injured his ACL but initial tests don't definitively show a complete tear." I sincerely hope we learn that Wentz has a stable knee and can return much more quickly than expected. But Rapoport's tweet doesn't make much sense. The Eagles wouldn't be suspicious of an ACL injury on exam if Wentz's knee was stable. So, whether Wentz has a partial tear or not -- and I'm not aware of any manual exam that can reliably tell the difference -- an unstable knee with an ACL injury requires surgery.


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