Monday Injury Rounds: Week 7

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.


Ben Roethlisberger | Knee Injury | Week-to-WEek

Roethlisberger said he hyperextended his left knee just before throwing an interception. The mechanism was more rotational, however, and he was seen grasping the outside of his left knee during the game. Though he returned to play, Roethlisberger will have an MRI to better define the injury. Based on the mechanism of injury, his clearance to return yesterday, and where his pain seemed to localize, the most likely injuries would include a lateral meniscus tear or LCL sprain. I think the meniscus injury is somewhat more likely. It's also possible there are no structural injuries to the knee.

Either of those injuries could keep Roethlisberger from playing this week, but he's known to try to play through almost anything. I'll update here tomorrow if the Steelers discuss the MRI result.

Sunday night update: Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporting tonight that Roethlisberger does have a meniscus tear and will have surgery tomorrow. There is currently no timetable for his return. That won't be known until after surgery. If the torn meniscus can be removed, Roethlisberger could return within 2-4 weeks. With the Steelers' bye in Week 8, it's possible Roethlisberger will miss just one game. If the torn meniscus is repaired with stitches, Roethlisberger's injury will be season-ending. Adam Schefter is reporting a source has told him the team expects a clean-up procedure rather than repair. More updates to come here.

Monday update: Roethlisberger reportedly had the torn meniscus fragment removed today. The team wouldn't commit to a timetable but this procedure will give him a chance to return in Week 9.

Odell Beckham | Hip Pointer | Day-to-Day

Beckham left the game briefly after suffering a hip pointer yesterday. He returned and looked healthy while running away from the Ravens' defense after catching a short slant but said he was in pain after the game. That's not surprising. A hip pointer is a bruise overlying the top of the pelvic bone. There's not much soft tissue there and bruising and swelling can compress a nerve in the area. Deeper bone bruises are also possible. It's likely Beckham will be day-to-day but he could be limited in practice until late in the week.

Jordan Reed | Concussion | Week-to-Week

Reed was diagnosed with a concussion last Wednesday and was unable to practice last week. In the past, Washington has given Reed multiple days in each stage of the exercise protocol before clearing him for contact. Reed's Week 7 status is unknown but if he's not cleared for limited work early this week, it's a sign he won't be ready until at least Week 8.

Monday update: Reed was seen by an independent neurologist today. While it's possible the visit was a second opinion for ongoing symptoms, there were reports of improvement through the weekend and Reed may have had his clearance exam today. Watch his practice participation on Wednesday for clues.

Carlos Hyde | Shoulder injury | Day-to-Day

Hyde left the game briefly after a shoulder injury, then was in and out of the huddle after a sideline exam for a few more carries. The Niners didn't update Hyde's condition after the game but it's likely he suffered an AC sprain. It's a painful injury for a running back and one that could limit his practice this week. It's likely Hyde will have an MRI on Monday. Should the team provide an update, I'll have it here.

Dwayne Allen | High ankle sprain | Week-to-Week

Allen's injury looked like a high ankle sprain from the lone television angle and the large ice wrap over his lower leg was also most consistent with a high ankle injury. The Colts ruled Allen out very soon after the injury and he missed multiple weeks with similar injuries in the past. Consider him questionable at best this week. Should this be a significant sprain, we may not see Allen until after the team's Week 10 bye.

Monday update: Allen's MRI confirmed an ankle sprain. He's considered week-to-week according to Ian Rapoport, but is likely to miss multiple weeks.

JAMES STARKS | MENISCUS TEAR | Week-to-Week | Target W9-10+

Starks felt pain during an early week workout and an MRI showed a meniscus tear in his knee. He had surgery this weekend after traveling to his grandmother's funeral earlier in the week. Jay Glazer reported Starks had a cleanup surgery. That implies a meniscus removal procedure than meniscus repair. If rehab goes well, expect to see Starks return sometime in November.

Theo Riddick | Ankle injury | No timetable given | Awaiting Information

The Lions have yet to update Riddick's condition. There was no visible injury in the Lions' Week 5 game against Philadelphia. Riddick looked comfortable cutting on his final full speed play from scrimmage and was on the field for all three victory formation plays. It's possible Riddick's ankle injury occurred between Sunday and Wednesday's practice last week. The Lions rarely discuss injuries in the media so practice participation will be our guide this week.

Others of note: Eddie Royal (toe), Emmanuel Sanders (hip), Melvin Gordon III (ankle)



Bryant was cleared for football-related activity last week but was not deemed ready for contact. The Cowboys listed him questionable but it's likely they planned all week to rest him through their Week 7 bye. We may find it out in hindsight that this was a rare type of tibial plateau fracture -- in an area that allowed Bryant to weight bear but wasn't likely to heal as quickly as most bone bruises in the area. Regardless, Bryant has had no setbacks in his rehab thus far and should be cleared for contact in time to play in Week 8. The extra two weeks of reconditioning and healing should allow Bryant to return to full strength and a typical workload immediately.


We'll find out early this week whether Eifert's back injury has responded to medical treatment and rehabilitation. If the Bengals feel Eifert has any chance to play in Week 7, he'll need to show he's healthy enough to get back to a limited Thursday practice. There are a few possible injury scenarios for Eifert, but I believe Marvin Lewis' comments just prior to Week 5 -- he discussed imaging, specialists, and degeneration -- suggest Eifert is dealing with an inflamed disc. Players often have steroid injections in hopes of calming inflammation and pain quickly. If successful, players can return within 1-4 weeks. That's just my speculation, however. Ultimately, Eifert's practice participation will be our guide this week.

Sammy Watkins | Fifth Metatarsal Fracture | Injured Reserve | Week 12+ possible

Watkins visited Dr. Robert Anderson early last week and continued rehab without surgery was recommended. Though it was surprising to see the decision after months of chronic pain and limitation, it may Watkins best chance to return later this season. Expect Watkins to check in with Anderson in 3-4 weeks. With luck, we'll get progress reports from Watkins or the media next month.

Dion Lewis | ACL tear / Arthroscopic Knee Surgery | PUP - Eligible to return Week 7

I'm still trying to parse last week's reports on Lewis.

Tom Curran reported/speculated Lewis' rehab was derailed by a stress fracture -- which he wrote was common after ACL injuries. Aside from additional confirmation that Lewis' surgery wasn't ligament related, that report confuses me. I don't think stress fractures are common after ACL injuries and I'm not certain Lewis would be cleared to run two months after a procedure to address a stress fracture. I'm wondering if something got lost in translation (e.g. Lewis had a meniscus injury that carries with it a small risk of stress fracture if not treated) or if Curran was just freely speculating without a sourced report.

Mike Reiss didn't report specifics, but echoed the sentiment that Lewis' injury was not related to his ACL repair. Reiss also said Lewis' setback occurred in the spring. That would imply Lewis tried to continue rehab for multiple weeks before having his late August procedure.

While focusing on the minute details of injury diagnosis and procedure can be maddening at times -- see also Dez Bryant this month -- it's helpful to narrow down return to play timetables. Like Bryant, this is another situation where we'll not get clarity until after the player returns. Lewis is eligible to come off the PUP list this week, but the Patriots have a multiple week buffer period before they have to decide whether he's ready for the active roster. Reiss, the most trustworthy of Patriots' beat reporters, says he's been told only that it's "possible" Lewis return to practice this week. There's no rush here. While it's very promising Lewis is nearly ready to practice, the Patriots will likely recondition him slowly and cautiously while deciding how best to fit him into the current offense.


The Buccaneers have been consistently saying Martin will return to practice and be available this week.


We'll find out early this week if the Vikings were being extra cautious with Diggs on a short week of practice leading into a Week 5 game and Week 6 bye to follow or if Diggs suffered a longer-term aggravation of his groin strain in Week 4. Mike Zimmer has been straightforward with the media and we can expect to get good information early this week.

Will Fuller V | Hamstring strain | Week-to-Week 

Fuller was active and dressed Sunday night but played zero first half snaps. It's hard to know how close Fuller was to playing. Adam Schefter reported early Sunday morning Fuller was unlikely to play. Jay Glazer followed with a mid-morning tweet that Fuller would go if he felt no tightness throughout the day. The Texans didn't have any healthy scratches on the inactive list, so it's possible Fuller was the healthiest of the possible inactives and okay to go in case of emergency. It's also possible, though not reported, that Fuller didn't feel right after the inactive list was finalized. The Texans struggled greatly to move the ball early and managed just a field goal through halftime. If Fuller was close, you'd have expected to see him on the field. I'll update if the Texans discuss Fuller's status after the game or on Monday.


The Colts haven't yet cleared Moncrief to return to practice or contact. Chuck Pagano has been consistently calling Moncrief week-to-week. There a good chance Moncrief will return to play the same week he's cleared to return to practice. Week 7 was the optimistic end of Moncrief's return to play timetable. 

Monday update: Chuck Pagano told reporters today that Moncrief was "getting closer." I think we could see Moncrief back to limited practice soon, but it doesn't sound like a Week 7 return is likely.


Smith was not able to practice last week, which often portends a multiple-week absence for offensive players with high ankle sprains. Hopefully, Smith returns to practice on Wednesday.


Coleman's earliest return to play would be at four weeks. That would be this week. More likely, Coleman will return closer to six weeks after the injury. I'll update after Cleveland updates Coleman's condition this week.

Monday update: Coleman hasn't been cleared to practice this week.

Ladarius Green | Ankle Surgery / Possible post-concussion symptoms | PUP - Eligible to return Week 7

Green is eligible to return to practice this week. The Steelers allowed him to talk to the media last week, a very positive sign, and the focus was entirely on what Green would do in the Pittsburgh offense rather than concern over whether his slow return was related to his offseason ankle surgery or post-concussion headaches. Green could be on the active roster as soon as this week.


No change this week: 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.

Monday update: Jay Gruden told reporters today that Doctson would sit out through the team's Week 9 bye.

Quarterbacks Injured But on the Active Roster
Player Injury Date Player/Team Says FBGs Expects Notes
Ben Roethlisberger Left knee torn meniscus / Right knee contusion W6 No timetable given Likely 2-4 Weeks (Target W9) Steelers have W8 bye
Jay Cutler Right thumb sprain W2 Week-to-Week Week-to-Week  
Josh McCown Left AC sprain / Clavicle fracture W2 Week-to-Week 6-8 Wk (Target W8-10) High-grade AC sprain
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
Carlos Hyde Shoulder injury W6 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+)  
Latavius Murray Toe sprain W4 Week-to-Week Week-to-Week  
James Starks Meniscus tear / surgery W5 No timetable given Minimum 3-4 Weeks Awaiting information on surgery
Theo Riddick Knee injury W5 No timetable given No timetable given Detroit yet to update condition
Dwayne Washington Ankle injury W4 Day-to-Day Day-to-Day  
C.J. Prosise Hand injury PS Day-to-Day Day-to-Day (Target W7)  
Lance Dunbar Knee injury W4 Week-to-Week 3-4 Weeks (Target W8) Cowboys have W7 bye
Wide Receivers Injured But on the Active Roster
Player Injury Date Player/Team Says FBGs Expects Notes
Odell Beckham Hip pointer W6 Day-to-Day Day-to-Day  
Dez Bryant Tibia bruise W3 Day-to-Day W8 return Cowboys have W7 bye
Stefon Diggs Groin strain W4 Week-to-Week 1-2 Weeks (Target W7)   
Will Fuller V Hamstring strain W5 Day-to-Day Day-to-Day  
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  
Terrelle Pryor Hamstring strain W6 Day-to-Day Day-to-Day  
Corey Coleman Fractured hand W3 4-6 Weeks 4-6 Weeks (Target W7+)  
Davante Adams Concussion W6 Day-to-Day Week-to-Week Unlikely to be cleared for TNF this week
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
Jordan Reed Concussion W5 Week-to-Week Week-to-Week  
Tyler Eifert Deltoid ligament repair / Back injury W4 Day-to-Day Week-to-Week  
Dwayne Allen High ankle sprain W6 Week-to-Week Week-to-Week  
Eric Ebron Ankle / Knee injury W4 Week-to-Week Week-to-Week  
Jared Cook High ankle sprain W4 Week-to-Week 3-4 Weeks (Target W8)  
Jordan Cameron Concussion W3 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 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 / W7 possible Target W7+ Return  
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+ / Unlikely  
Keith Marshall Left UCL sprain PS W3 IR / 3-4 Weeks W6+ / Unlikely  
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 / Possible Return W12+ 2017 Return Chose not to have surgery
Eric Decker Rotator cuff strain / Labral tear W3 IR / 2017 2017 Return  
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 / W7 Return W7 Return  

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.