Monday Injury Rounds: Week 15

Making rounds on this week's injuries with followup on long term injury concerns

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.


Melvin Gordon III | Hip injury / MCL Sprain | Week-to-Week

Gordon's injury occurred when his leg was flexed and driven back into his body while diving to recover a fumble. He immediately reached for his hip and was immediately carted off the field. The mechanism is concerning for a labral contusion, labral tear, or small fracture around the hip joint. Chargers' beat writer Michael Gehlken tweeted before the game ended that Gordon's locker room exam was reassuring. That likely meant that an x-ray showed no fracture. Gordon won't be cleared to return until an MRI better defines any soft tissue injuries and specifically whether there's enough labral damage to prolong his recovery. His MRI is scheduled for Monday and we should have a better sense of his timetable -- which could be anything from day-to-day to season-ending -- then.

Monday Update: Mike McCoy told reporters Gordon suffered a knee sprain and hip sprain. The knee sprain is likely a low grade MCL sprain and all reports on Gordon's hip injury are reassuring. There have been reports that Gordon is either day-to-day or week-to-week. Even a mild MCL sprain would be a tough recovery for this week. Expect limited practice this week with an outside chance at a return before Week 16.

Randall Cobb | High ankle sprain | Week-to-Week

Cobb returned after what looked to be a mild high ankle sprain. He missed only a few snaps but often looked hobbled after his return. As with all high ankle injuries, the amount of pain and swelling Cobb has over the next 48 hours will determine whether he can successfully rehab in time to be effective this week. Expect limited practice time and uncertainty until later this week.

Aaron Rodgers | Calf strain | Day-to-Day

Rodgers was limping during the second half and seemed to be favoring his right leg. His recent hamstring strain was on the left side. Soon after the game, the sideline reporter in Green Bay said Rodgers had suffered a calf strain. It's an injury Rodgers has played through last season and expects to again this week.

Donte Moncrief | Hamstring strain | Day-to-Day

Moncrief left with a hamstring injury in the second half of a close game and didn't return. If it's an aggravation of the recent hamstring strain that limited him soon after he returned from his shoulder injury, it's concerning. For now, I'll list Moncrief day-to-day but watch this one carefully.

Matt Forte | Knee injury | Awaiting information

I could not see a clear mechanism of injury from the main television feed on Forte. He was tackled from behind on his second carry of the day and was stretching his right knee in the huddle afterward. Forte called the injury a hyperextension after the game but told reporters he didn't believe he had ligament damage. Without a mechanism, there's not much to go on here and Forte's comments probably aren't definitive. He's scheduled for an MRI on Monday. If the hyperextension comment is accurate, a bone bruise may be the most likely diagnosis but a ligament sprain shouldn't be ruled out.

Sunday Night Update: An article tweeted into Dr. David Chao's timeline broadened Forte's post-game comments. Forte said, "It's something to do with the clicking and popping in there." As Chao tweeted, that's specifically concerning for a meniscus injury. The MRI will officially rule out ligament damage and determine whether the meniscus issue is something Forte can play through until the offseason or requires surgical intervention immediately. With the Jets out of playoff contention, Forte will have to be absolutely reassured he's at no risk of causing further damage to play this week.

Matthew Stafford | Finger injury | Day-to-Day

Reports after the game on Stafford's injury were very specific and defined the injury as a PIP dislocation with ligament damage. Essentially that means Stafford injured the middle knuckle of the finger and has torn a ligament stabilizing the joint. That sounds worse than it is -- small joint dislocations without fractures are not major issues and no joint can be dislocated without ligament damage. But Stafford also said he had no control over the tip of his finger and there were suggestions that the injury would keep most players out. Those details would seem to suggest more of a tendon injury -- which would be a tougher injury to play through. There may be more to come on this on Monday.

Monday Update: Further updates today are reassuring that Stafford's injury is minor. The description of Stafford without control over the tip of his finger was likely misleading. It's good news for Stafford, who should be able to return effectively this week.

Ryan Tannehill | ACL sprain / MCL sprains | out for season

The Dolphins suspect Tannehill tore his ACL. Locker room exams suggesting torn ACLs are rarely wrong. Tannehill has an MRI scheduled for tomorrow but it's primarily to search for other ligament and cartilage damage. Expect to hear that Tannehill will have surgery and moved to injured reserve.

Monday Update: The Dolphins told reporters that Tannehill has both MCL and ACL sprains today and did not rule him out for the season. However, partial ACL sprains are multiple week injuries and the additional MCL involvement means there are multiple loose ligaments and it's unlikely Tannehill's knee can be considered stable soon. He'll return in 2017.

Darren Sproles | Concussion | Day-to-Day

I haven't seen a formal concussion diagnosis on Sproles but he looked to briefly lose consciousness and exhibited muscle movements suggestive of a concussion after a helmet-to-helmet hit while attempting to field a punt. I expect to hear Sproles is in the return to play protocol soon.

Monday Update: Doug Pederson confirmed Sproles suffered a concussion.

Others of note: Shane Vereen was diagnosed with a concussion and did not return. Wendell Smallwood suffered a possible MCL sprain and should be considered week-to-week was placed on injured reserve on Monday. Jared Cook left with a chest injury and did not return. Torrey Smith and C.J. Fiedorowicz have concussions and could miss time. Vance McDonald left with a shoulder injury and did not return and was placed on injured reserve on Monday.


Julio Jones | Toe sprain | Day-to-Day

Jones couldn't practice last week. He tried to convince Atlanta's medical staff he was healthy enough to play on Sunday morning but could do very little in pregame warmups. I'll take his hopeful pregame warmup as a positive sign but Jones wasn't close to recovering seven days after the injury and toe sprains are slow to heal. Hopefully, Jones will be ready for limited midweek practices and be able to play this week. I'll have more after Wednesday's practice report.


Green has continued to rehab to the side over the past two weeks and there was a tweet from local writer Geoff Hobson that suggested Green might get back on the field this week. Generally, the Bengals prefer to return players to game action slowly. For Green to play this week, he'll need to be back on the practice field in some capacity by Wednesday. Green wants to play when healthy and the Bengals Week 14 win keeps them in division contention with a critical matchup against the Steelers this week. Both are motivating factors for Green.

Michael Thomas | Foot injury | Day-to-Day

Still nothing of note on Thomas. The Saints declared him inactive after he managed only a limited Friday practice with a foot injury of unknown specifics and severity. There was no discussion of the injury in the post-game press conference -- which keeps with the usual silent treatment from New Orleans on all injuries. If the Saints do not update Thomas' condition on Monday, we'll again be left to guess at what this week's practice participation means.

Theo Riddick | Wrist injury | Day-to-Day

Riddick was limited in practice on both Thursday and Friday with an unknown wrist injury. But there was no concern from the best local beat writers and nothing from the national media on Sunday morning before his surprising appearance on the inactive list. The team did not update his condition after the game.

Others of note: Adrian Peterson (meniscus repair) and Ameer Abdullah (foot surgery) continue to rehab injuries but have yet to be officially designated to return. Julius Thomas (back) was moved to injured reserve last week.

Quarterbacks Injured But on the Active Roster
Player Injury Date Player/Team Says FBGs Expects Notes
Aaron Rodgers Calf strain W14 Day-to-Day Day-to-Day  
Matthew Stafford Finger injury W14 Day-to-Day Day-to-Day  
Ryan Tannehill ACL sprain / MCL sprain W14 Week-to-Week 2017 Return  
Running Backs Injured But on the Active Roster
Player Injury Date Player/Team Says FBGs Expects Notes
Melvin Gordon III Hip injury / MCL sprain W14 Day-to-Day Week-to-Week  
Matt Forte Knee injury W14 MRI pending Awaiting Information  
Darren Sproles Concussion W14 No timetable given Day-to-Day  
Theo Riddick Wrist injury W13 Day-to-Day Day-to-Day  
Shane Vereen Concussion W14 No timetable given Day-to-Day  
C.J. Prosise Scapula injury W11 Multiple weeks 4-6+ Weeks  
Chris Ivory Hamstring strain W12 No timetable given Week-to-Week  
Wendell Smallwood Knee sprain W14 Injured Reserve IR | 2017 Return  
DeAngelo Williams Knee surgery W9 2-4 Weeks Week-to-Week  
Wide Receivers Injured But on the Active Roster
Player Injury Date Player/Team Says FBGs Expects Notes
Julio Jones Toe sprain W13 Day-to-Day Day-to-Day  
A.J. Green Hamstring strain W11 Week-to-Week 4+ Weeks (Target W15+)  
Randall Cobb High ankle sprain W14 No timetable given Day-to-Day  
Donte Moncrief Hamstring strain W14 Day-to-Day Day-to-Day  
Michael Thomas Foot injury W13 No timetable given Day-to-Day  
Mohamed Sanu Groin strain W13 No timetable given Week-to-Week  
Danny Amendola High ankle sprain W13 No timetable given Week-to-Week  
Eddie Royal Toe sprain W12 aggravation No timetable given Week-to-Week  
Marquess Wilson Groin strain W13 No timetable given Day-to-Day  
Torrey Smith Concussion W14 No timetable given Week-to-Week  
Tight Ends Injured But on the Active Roster
Player Injury Date Player/Team Says FBGs Expects Notes
Jared Cook Lung contusion W14 No timetable given  Week-to-Week  
Vance McDonald Shoulder injury W14 Injured Reserve IR | 2017 Return  
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
Jay Cutler Shoulder injury W11 IR / 2017 2017 Return  
Brian Hoyer Forearm fracture W7 IR / 8+ Weeks 2017 Return  
Geno Smith ACL tear W7 IR 2017 Return  
Notable Running Backs on PUP/NFI/IR
Player Injury Date Player/Team Says FBGs Expects Notes
Adrian Peterson Right knee meniscus tear / surgery W2 IR / 3-4 Months 2017 Return Eligible to return W10
C.J. Anderson Meniscus tear / surgery W7 IR / Month-to-Month 2017 Return Chance at NFL playoff return
Eddie Lacy Ankle sprain / surgery W6 IR 2017 Return Ineligible to return in 2017
Jamaal Charles Arthroscopic knee surgery W9 IR 2017 Return Eligible to return W17
Gio Bernard ACL tear W11 IR 2017 Return  
Ameer Abdullah Left foot sprain W2 IR / 8-10 Weeks 2017 Return Eligible to return W10
Danny Woodhead Right ACL tear W2 IR / 2017 2017 Return  
Chris Johnson Core abdominal strain / surgery W4 IR 2017 Return Ineligible to return in 2017
Darren McFadden Right elbow fracture Early Jun 2015 NFI / 2-3 Months 2017 Return Likely to active roster in W15
Keith Marshall Left UCL sprain PS W3 IR / 3-4 Weeks 2017 Return Eligible to return
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  
Eric Decker Rotator cuff strain / Labral tear W3 IR / 2017 2017 Return  
Kevin White High ankle sprain / fibula fracture W4 IR 2017 Return  
Vincent Jackson ACL sprain W7 IR 2017 Return  
Josh Doctson Achilles tendinitis W7 IR 2017 Return Eligible to return W15
Bruce Ellington Hamstring strain PS W3 IR / 2+ Months 2017 Return  
Markus Wheaton Shoulder injury Preseason IR 2017 Return  
Notable Tight Ends on PUP/NFI/IR
Player Injury Date Player/Team Says FBGs Expects Notes
Rob Gronkowski Back injury W12 IR 2017 Return  
Zach Miller Foot fracture W11 IR 2017 Return  
Julius Thomas Back injury W11 IR 2017 Return 2017 Return
Jacob Tamme Shoulder injury W8 IR 2017 Return  
Jordan Cameron Concussion W3 IR 2017 Return vs Retire  

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.