Injury Expectations | Wednesday Update | Week 7

A review of the week's first full practice participation report


***Multiple reports today cast doubt on whether Ben Roethlisberger would be able to return as quickly as hoped after this week's meniscus surgery. Roethlisberger said his surgeon noted "some stuff in there" from last season's bone bruise. Chris Mortensen reported an amended return to play expectation of 4-6 weeks. When Roethlisberger implicates last year's bone bruise as a complicating factor, it doesn't mean another bruise is likely. Overlying the surface of the bone bruise last year is a specific type of cartilage protecting the bony surfaces of the joint. That articular cartilage can be cracked and injured. Roethlisberger may be suggesting that cartilage was found to be damaged during this week's scope. Dr. David Chao feels the same and believes it's possible Roethlisberger had some of the damage smoothed out a bit during his surgery. That may complicate and extend his rehab by multiple days.

While it's still possible he could return -- though likely limited -- after Pittsburgh's Week 8 bye, this is now something to watch in the short and long term. If the articular cartilage damage is significant enough, it may require microfracture surgery in the future.

***LeSean McCoy left practice today with a hamstring injury. Teammates and observers didn't see a specific moment of injury and only noted that the team limited his reps. However, Ryan noted the team was still gathering information and a late Wednesday report said McCoy suffered a "mild-to-moderate" strain. Mild-to-moderate isn't a medical definition but it implies the injury is somewhere between a Grade 1 and Grade 2 strain. If that's accurate, expect McCoy to miss this week and possibly next. There is no official timetable yet, however, and we could see McCoy return sooner if he has a mild-to-moderate Grade 1 strain or he could miss 3-4 weeks if mild-to-moderate means Grade 2 injury.

***Odell Beckham did not practice today as he continues to receive treatment for a hip pointer. I defined the injury on Monday, noting that it often involves a large bruise which swells and puts pressure on a nerve that runs along the inside of the top of the pelvis. It's an injury that's usually worse 24-48 hours after the initial trauma. It's difficult to treat that area effectively and not surprising to see Beckham miss today. While it's possible Beckham could miss this week's game or be limited, it's too soon to know his status. Beckham could well be back to a full practice by Friday.

***The Buccaneers told reporters today that Doug Martin had suffered a setback last weekend in practice and ruled him out of this week's game. Aggravated hamstring strains are usually at least as severe as the initial injury. With the Bucs having already ruled Martin out this week, this sounds like more than a minor aggravation. Consider Martin doubtful for next week and it's possible he'll miss as much time as he did before returning to practice.

***It remains unclear exactly what's changed with Eddie Lacy since he played on Sunday night. Whether it's a significant aggravation of the high ankle sprain, a small associated fracture, or another injury, all indications are that Lacy will miss multiple weeks and could be in danger of going on injured reserve. We're still waiting on an update after Lacy's case was evaluated by foot and ankle surgeon Dr. Robert Anderson.

***Jordan Reed was back at practice today. He was wearing a non-contact jersey but in pads. That means Reed has been cleared for sport-specific activity and nearing clearance for contact. But it's no guarantee that clearance is coming. Reed will have to clear these last exercise protocols without symptoms. Reed's admission that he didn't report symptoms during the game will have the team even more hawkish in their observation of Reed. Watch for Reed to return to a full practice this week. If that happens, he's likely to be cleared to play this week.

***Carlos Hyde was ruled out this week with a probable AC injury. That's a painful injury for a running back who's likely to take multiple hits to the shoulder. The Niners have a Week 8 bye and likely decided taking an extra two weeks to heal made the most sense for Hyde.

***Eric Decker surprisingly had hip surgery this week. Most hip rehab protocols require an athlete to use crutches for close to four weeks. Decker cannot have shoulder surgery until he can move without crutches. Rehab from rotator cuff surgery can take between six and nine months depending on how the middle and later stages progress. The math here puts Decker's earliest return in the 7-8 month range, which will make it difficult for him to be ready for training camp. Any difficulties could make it difficult for him to be ready for Week 1 of the 2017 regular season.


Here are the key offensive players listed on the game status report for Thursday Night Football:

Eddie Lacy | Ankle | Declared Out

Practice Participation: Mon - DNP | Tue - DNP | Wed - DNP

Lacy was declared out early this week. As noted above, he is currently being evaluated by a specialist and may be placed on injured reserve.

Eddie Royal | Toe | Declared Out

Practice Participation: Mon - DNP | Tue - DNP | Wed - DNP

Royal has been declared out with a toe injury. It remains to be seen whether Royal has a multiple week injury or is out because of short-week considerations.

Jay Cutler | Thumb | Doubtful | Inactive

Practice Participation: Mon - DNP | Tue - DNP | Wed - DNP

Cutler is listed doubtful, but is likely inactive.

Jeremy Langford | Ankle | Doubtful | Inactive

Practice Participation: Mon - DNP | Tue - DNP | Wed - DNP

Langford is still over a week away from returning to play.

Zach Miller | Ribs | Questionable | Expected to Play

Practice Participation: Mon - Limited | Tue - Limited | Wed - Limited

Miller is expected to play. He continues to be limited in practice but see his usual game workload.

Jared Cook | Ankle | Declared Out

Practice Participation: Mon - DNP | Tue - DNP | Wed - DNP

Cook is now out of his walking boot but has yet to return to practice.


The Wednesday and Thursday practice participation reports are our first chance to see which players each NFL team are limiting in practice after the previous week's games. Players limited in mid-week practice aren't necessarily in danger of missing that week's game. But they all need to be watched closely.

*Note: Monday night players with asterisk practice Thursday/Friday/Saturday

Player Injury Practice Participation Game Status FBGs Expects
Wednesday Thursday Friday
Andrew Luck Ankle Full       Expected to Play
Russell Wilson Ankle/Knee Full       Expected to Play
Carson Palmer Hamstring DNP       Expected to Play
Ben Roethlisberger Knee DNP       Inactive
Joe Flacco Shoulder DNP       Expected to Play
Josh McCown Shoulder Limited       Likely Inactive

Running Backs
Player Injury Practice Participation Game Status FBGs Expects
Wednesday Thursday Friday
LeSean McCoy Hamstring Limited       Likely Inactive
Doug Martin Hamstring DNP       Inactive
Carlos Hyde Shoulder DNP       Inactive
Matt Forte Knee Limited       Expected to Play
Thomas Rawls Fibula DNP       Inactive
Frank Gore Not Injury Related DNP       Expected to Play
Latavius Murray Toe Limited       Awaiting Information
Theo Riddick Ankle DNP       Awaiting Information
Rashad Jennings Thumb Full       Expected to Play
Arian Foster Hamstring Full       Expected to Play
DeAngelo Williams Knee DNP       Expected to Play
Dwayne Washington Ankle Limited       Awaiting Information
C.J. Prosise Wrist Full       Expected to Play

Wide Receivers
Player Injury Practice Participation Game Status FBGs Expects
Wednesday Thursday Friday
Odell Beckham Hip DNP       Likely Active 
T.Y. Hilton Hip Limited       Expected to Play
Emmanuel Sanders Hip MNF       Expected to Play
Stefon Diggs Groin Limited       Likely Active
Terrelle Pryor Hamstring DNP       Likely Inactive
Julian Edelman Foot Limited       Expected to Play
Jordan Matthews Knee Limited       Expected to Play
Will Fuller V Hamstring MNF       Likely Active
Travis Benjamin Knee DNP       Likely Inactive
John Brown Hamstring DNP       Awaiting Information
DeSean Jackson Shoulder DNP       Awaiting Information 
Steve Smith Ankle DNP       Likely Inactive
Robert Woods Foot DNP       Likely Active
Allen Hurns Shoulder Limited       Likely Active
Jeremy Kerley Ankle Full       Expected to Play
Donte Moncrief Shoulder DNP       Inactive
Corey Coleman Hand DNP       Inactive
Jaron Brown Knee DNP       Awaiting Information
Phillip Dorsett Foot/Ankle DNP       Awaiting Information
Josh Doctson Achilles DNP       Inactive
Markus Wheaton Shoulder DNP       Inactive

Tight Ends
Player Injury Practice Participation Game Status FBGs Expects
Wednesday Thursday Friday
Jordan Reed Concussion Limited       Likely Active
Tyler Eifert Back/Ankle Limited       Likely Inactive
Jimmy Graham Knee Full       Expected to Play
Martellus Bennett Ankle Limited       Expected to Play
Dwayne Allen Ankle DNP       Inactive
Eric Ebron Ankle/Knee DNP       Likely Active
Charles Clay Ankle DNP       Expected to Play
Jordan Cameron Concussion DNP       Inactive

*Note: Monday night players with asterisk practice Thursday/Friday/Saturday

Follow me on Twitter @JeneBramel for breaking injury news and analysis throughout the week.