Monday Injury Rounds: Week 11

Making rounds on this weekend's injuries, focusing on Ben Roethlisberger and Dion Lewis, with updates on Julian Edelman, Andrew Luck, Matt Forte, 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.


In comparison to recent weeks, yesterday was relatively light on the injury front. Julian Edelman was the only critical injury, but there continue to be nagging concerns that require close observation. Somehow, Ben Roethlisberger is now off the observation list after returning more quickly than expected. Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning, Marshawn Lynch, Matt Forte, Alshon Jeffery, and others are in varying stages of recovery from limiting injuries. I'll have more on these situations throughout the week on Twitter.

Julian edelman | metatarsal fracture | 6-8+ weeks

Edelman broke the fifth metatarsal in his left foot on Sunday. Multiple media members confirmed the injury Sunday night, with Adam Schefter tweeting Edelman will have surgery to fix the broken bone on Monday.

Expect to hear the same 6-8 week recovery timeframe quoted after Dez Bryant's metatarsal fracture earlier this season. As I wrote then, however, consider six weeks a very optimistic expectation. Studies on NFL athletes report an average recovery time of nearly nine weeks. Bryant made it back in seven weeks with the aid of a bone grafting procedure and a customized shoe orthotic. Bone grafts and orthobiologics seem to be standard of care in the NFL now, but it's not yet certain players will routinely shave 2-3 weeks off the standard return to play estimate.

A best case scenario for Edelman may be a return to a limited role in Week 17 in the hopes of getting into football condition in advance of any New England playoff games. But don't expect to see Edelman in a contributing role as a fantasy option this year.

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

Bradford's AC sprain is to his non-throwing shoulder. Although there are reports it's a mid-grade injury, it should not be a limiting factor and is unlikely to keep him out of the Eagles' Week 11 game. The concussion is a bigger threat to Bradford's availability. As always, don't expect any news until Wednesday's practice report.


andrew luck | kidney laceration / abdominal strain / broken ribs | week-to-week

News of Luck's injuries broke early last week after I tucked this feature in for the week, with my thoughts on Luck's status posted to my Twitter feed.'

Multiple reports list Luck's injuries as including a kidney laceration, abdominal muscle tear, and rib injuries. Most included a 2-6 week timeframe, which likely came from the Colts. That timeframe naturally led to questions about how Luck's situation differed from that of Keenan Allen, who was quickly moved to injured reserve with a kidney injury last week.

The most important difference between the two is that Allen's injury required a procedure to stop ongoing bleeding. It's highly unlikely he would have been cleared for contact for at least six weeks and possibly longer. With the Chargers struggling to win games, there was no reason to risk Allen's return. Luck didn't require a procedure. However, I think the two week side of this estimate is impossible for Luck to meet. If Luck has a laceration -- and not a less worrisome contusion -- he won't be cleared for contact after 14 days. Add in the abdominal tear and rib injuries and I wouldn't expect Luck to return any sooner than four weeks, with 6-8 weeks well within the range of possible outcomes.

matt forte | mcl sprain | week-to-week

Forte was able to get through some limited practices last week, but they were likely conditioning work only. Forte confirmed his injury was an MCL sprain on Friday and told reporters he'd been experiencing continued inflammation and swelling. That's not unexpected. PRP injections are not done for injuries with short timetables and the healing factors included in the injection take time to work. Week 11 was likely the most optimistic goal for the Chicago med staff, but Forte still has a fair amount of rehab and recovery ahead of him. If the swelling resolves and Forte feels his knee is stable as he cuts this week, he'll have a chance to return. But his Friday comments didn't sound like a player confident that a full recovery was coming 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.