Monday Injury Rounds: Week 4

Full review of injuries around the league with expanded thoughts on Doug Baldwin and Kelvin Benjamin and updates on Andrew Luck, Sam Bradford, and Jordan Reed.

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.


INJURY ROUNDS

Doug Baldwin | Groin strain | Awaiting information

I did not see clear video evidence of a serious groin strain for Baldwin. Pete Carroll said the team did not yet know the severity of the strain but Baldwin was cleared to speak to the media after the game and implied his injury wasn't serious. News of an early-week MRI or a lack of mid-week practice would elevate concern but the early expectation is that Baldwin's injury is low grade.

***Monday Update: The Seahawks have yet to discuss the severity of Baldwin's injury but there remains no indication of a higher grade strain. Expect Baldwin to miss some practice this week. We should have a better sense of Baldwin's Week 4 availability by Friday.

Kelvin Benjamin | Left knee injury | Week-to-Week

Benjamin had his previously surgically-repaired left knee twisted awkwardly underneath his body while tackled. The mechanism was not consistent with an ACL injury and Ian Rapoport tweeted after the game that Benjamin's injury is believed to be minor. Benjamin will have further testing Monday. The mechanism raised concern for meniscus injury and/or an MCL sprain. Though initial reports are reassuring against a longer-term absence, it's possible Benjamin may miss this week's game.

Julio Jones | Lower back injury | Day-to-Day

***Monday Update: Dan Quinn told reporters Jones would be day-to-day and limited in practice this week with a lower back injury. There's no indication of a structural condition but I'll continue to watch Jones' status closely this week. For now, it's reasonable to expect him to play without limitation this week.

Melvin Gordon III | Knee contusion | Day-to-Day

***Monday Update: It's not clear how severe Gordon's bone bruise is but it's something he tried to play through on Sunday despite injuring mid-week. Assuming no additional significant aggravations, Gordon may miss practice and again try to play this week. More in Wednesday's practice participation review.

Jordan Howard | Left AC sprain | Day-to-Day

Howard was committed to playing through a painful AC sprain this week, shedding his sling when talking to the media on Monday and returning to practice this week. Injuries around the shoulder are difficult for running backs to play through, however, and Howard left for treatment multiple times despite a busy and productive game on Sunday. Howard may continue to play through his injury but it's likely to be a lingering situation as the multiple times he'll face contact every week will prevent the injury from fully healing. The Bears don't have a bye until Week 9. Expect limited practice this week.

Darren Sproles | Left ACL tear / Right arm fracture | out for season

Ian Rapoport tweeted late Sunday night that Sproles has an arm fracture and will be out indefinitely. Depending on the location of the fracture and whether Sproles requires surgical fixation, we may hear an initial timetable of anywhere between 6-8 weeks and 10+ weeks. Sproles is expected to have an MRI on Monday to further define the injury.

***Monday Update: Adam Schefter reported and Doug Pederson confirmed Sproles suffered a torn ACL in addition to the arm fracture yesterday. He will have surgery to fix both injuries at different times and is out for the season.

Others of note: Derrick Henry returned to the game in the second half after a quad contusion earlier in the game but could be limited in practice this week. Matt Forte suffered a toe injury and didn't return yesterday. Marlon Mack missed yesterday's game with a shoulder injury. Fletcher Cox was seen limping significantly after a calf injury yesterday. Gerald McCoy aggravated an ankle sprain but says he'll return soon. Lavonte David suffered a high ankle sprain and is likely to miss multiple weeks.


FOLLOWUP APPOINTMENTS

Andrew Luck | Right shoulder labrum repair | Week-to-Week | w6+ Return

Early yesterday morning, Ian Rapoport reported Luck could return as early as Week 6 against Tennessee. Chris Mortensen followed the unexpectedly specific return timetable with the real news behind Rapoport's report -- Luck is likely to begin practicing this week. The team won't confirm Luck's practice status until Monday but it's now likely we'll see him do some light throwing to his receivers soon.

Expect at least two weeks of practice before Luck is cleared to return. More likely, it'll be three weeks before Indianapolis is comfortable with Luck seeing live game action. That corresponds nicely with Rapoport's report of a Week 6 return. Remember, Luck isn't likely to be in full form in his first weeks back. He'll need to continue to work on arm strength, stamina, and accuracy as he readjusts to game speed.

It's also possible, and probably likely, that Luck discusses his status with the media after he returns to practice. There continues to be no report of a setback or long-term concerns but it'll be helpful to hear Luck given his own context on his recovery to date.

Jordan Reed | SC sprain | Week-to-Week

Reed never sounded positive about his status and recovery last week, saying his injury was painful and he had no frame of reference with his current injury. Reed was said to be moving well in practice and didn't appear to be limited when reaching away from his body to catch passes. Still, pain management and the inability to prevent aggravating hits to the area injured were important factors and the team chose to rest Reed. Washington next plays on Monday night, giving Reed an extra day to recover.

Sam Bradford | Left knee bone bruise | Week-to-Week | W5+ Return

I had extended thoughts on Sunday morning after the Friday report of Bradford's visit to Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion:

Bradford was allowed to practice on Wednesday and Thursday, leading to hope he would be able to return to play this week. Although he appeared to be able to hop and change directions on light throwing drills on Thursday and wasn't nearly as stiff as he looked during last Sunday's pre-game warmup, the limited practice video I saw showed no indication he was comfortable enough to protect himself in the pocket. Even if he hadn't missed practice Friday to visit Dr. James Andrews, I think the Vikings would have limited his practice and ruled him out.

The Vikings and Bradford have yet to confirm details on the injury. Tom Pelissero -- a long time Vikings' beat writer before going national -- reported the injury as a bone bruise. Ian Rapoport suggested the concern was cartilage related in a television interview. Bradford responded to a reporter's question vaguely but interestingly this week by intimating he's been given a specific diagnosis but can't yet be sure if the injury will become a lingering concern.

I think Bradford likely has a bone bruise and it's in an area where there's concern about the cartilage overlying that part of the bone and protecting the joint. Pelissero has said the injury isn't structural. That's probably partially accurate in the sense that Bradford's ligaments are intact and no bones are injured to the point of requiring surgery. But a bone bruise to an area that involved cartilage almost always means there's a concern for arthritis in the longer term. A trip to the surgeon who has seen the inside of Bradford's knee twice, examined him many times, and knows the subtleties of his imaging studies makes sense.

Depending on Andrews' opinion, we could see one of two approaches this week. If Andrews reassured Bradford, we're likely to see him continue to rehab while practicing. If there are concerns, expect to see the Vikings choose treatment over practice this week and aggressively rehab Bradford. Either way, while there was interval improvement last week, it looks likely that Week 5 is the earliest we'll see Bradford return. That'll be one month after his injury and in line with an optimistic timetable for a bone bruise around the knee joint.

Randall Cobb | Shoulder injury | Week-to-Week

Cobb has played through painful shoulder injuries before and struggled. He told reporters he was in significant pain on Wednesday and didn't return to practice all week. I expect to get an update in tomorrow's team press conference but Cobb could miss at least another week with his injury.

Tyler Eifert | Back injury | Week-to-Week

There's not much to like with Eifert right now. Adam Schefter's report last Monday calling Eifert's status unknown due to worries about a back injury was a major red flag. Eifert didn't practice last week and it's easy to speculate he's dealing with recurrent issues after last December's back surgery. If Eifert is dealing with another symptomatic disc herniation -- to the same level he previously had surgery or a nearby level -- rehab and treatment could keep him out another 1-3 weeks. It's possible the Bengals' Week 6 bye will play into Eifert's rehab.

***Monday Update: Adam Schefter tweeted this evening Eifert is expected to miss multiple weeks as he recovers from his back injury. The nature of the injury remains unknown but don't expect to see Eifert until after Cincinnati's Week 6 bye.

Others of note: Rob Kelley was close to returning this week but elected to rest and avoid a hit that could aggravate his rib cartilage injury. Mike Williams continues to recondition in practice but has not been cleared for contact. His earliest return was said to be the first week in October and we'll see if his practice participation reflects that this week. Corey Davis was ruled out early last week after aggravating a hamstring strain. John Brown continues to rehab from quad soreness complicated by his sickle cell trait. John Ross may have reaggravated his preseason knee sprain and didn't practice last week. Will Fuller V has returned to practice but is likely another 2-3 weeks from being cleared for contact.


INJURED PLAYERS ON ACTIVE ROSTER

Quarterbacks Injured But on the Active Roster
Quarterback Team Injury Date Player/Team Says FBGs Expects Notes
Sam Bradford Min Left knee bone bruise W2 Week-to-Week Week-to-Week  
Andrew Luck Ind Right shoulder labrum repair Mid January Week-to-Week Week-to-Week | W5+ Return Minimum 2wks practice needed
Paxton Lynch Den Shoulder contusion PS W4 4-5 Weeks Week-to-Week | W4+ Return  
Running Backs Injured But on the Active Roster
Running Back Team Injury Date Player/Team Says FBGs Expects Notes
Melvin Gordon III LAC Knee contusion W2 Day-to-Day Day-to-Day  
Jordan Howard Chi Left AC sprain | Aggravation W2 Day-to-Day Day-to-Day  
Ty Montgomery GB Wrist injury W3 Day-to-Day Day-to-Day  
Darren Sproles Phi Left ACL tear | Right arm fracture W3 Out for Season IR | 2018 Return  
Rob Kelley Was Rib cartilage injury W2 Day-to-Day Day-to-Day  
Derrick Henry Ten Quad contusion W3 Day-to-Day Day-to-Day  
Matt Forte NYJ Toe injury W3 Awaiting Information Awaiting Information  
Samaje Perine Was Hand contusion W3 Day-to-Day Day-to-Day  
Rex Burkhead NE Rib injury W2 Week-to-Week Week-to-Week  
Marlon Mack Ind Shoulder injury W2 Awaiting Information Awaiting Information  
Dewayne Washington Det Quad injury W2 Week-to-Week Week-to-Week  
Wide Receivers Injured But on the Active Roster
Wide Receiver Team Injury Date Player/Team Says FBGs Expects Notes
Julio Jones Atl Lower back injury W3 Day-to-Day Day-to-Day  
Doug Baldwin Sea Groin strain W3 Awaiting Information Day-to-Day  
Michael Crabtree Oak Chest injury W3 Day-to-Day Day-to-Day  
Kelvin Benjamin Car Left knee injury W3 Awaiting Information Week-to-Week  
Randall Cobb GB Shoulder injury W2 Week-to-Week Week-to-Week  
Corey Davis Ten Hamstring strain W2 Week-to-Week Week-to-Week  
John Brown Ari Quad soreness W2 Week-to-Week Week-to-Week   
John Ross Cin Knee injury W2 Week-to-Week Week-to-Week  
Will Fuller V Hou Clavicle fracture PS W1 Month-to-Month W6+ Return  
Mike Williams LAC Disc herniation | Multiple steroid injections May | July Week-to-Week W4+ Return  
Tight Ends Injured But on the Active Roster
Tight End Team Injury Date Player/Team Says FBGs Expects Notes
Jordan Reed Was Sternoclavicular sprain W2 Week-to-Week Week-to-Week  
Tyler Eifert Cin Back injury W2 Multiple Weeks 4+ Weeks | W7+ Return  
Offensive Line Injured But on the Active Roster
Offensive Line Team Injury Date Player/Team Says FBGs Expects Notes
Cordy Glenn Buf Ankle / foot injury W2 Week-to-Week Week-to-Week  
Mike Iupati Ari Triceps injury PS Week-to-Week Week-to-Week  
David Bakhtiari GB Hamstring strain W1 Week-to-Week Week-to-Week  
Ryan Kalil Car Neck injury W2 Week-to-Week Week-to-Week  
Ryan Schraeder Atl Concussion W2 Day-to-Day Day-to-Day  
Brian Winters NYJ Groin injury W2 Week-to-Week Week-to-Week  
Marcus Cannon NE Concussion W2 Week-to-Week Week-to-Week  
Josh Sitton Chi Rib injury W2 Week-to-Week Week-to-Week  
Joe Barksdale LAC Foot injury W2 Week-to-Week Week-to-Week  
Jeff Allen Hou Ankle injury W2 Week-to-Week Week-to-Week  
Travis Swanson Det Ankle / knee injury W2 Week-to-Week Week-to-Week  
Trey Hopkins Cin Knee injury PS Week-to-Week Week-to-Week  
Bobby Hart NYG Ankle injury W2 Week-to-Week Week-to-Week  
Mitch Morse KC Midfoot sprain W2 Week-to-Week 4+ Weeks Could be season-ending
D.J. Humphries Ari Right MCL sprain W1 Week-to-Week Week-to-Week  
Zach Strief NO MCL sprain W1 Week-to-Week Week-to-Week  
Terron Armstead NO Shoulder labrum repair June Week-to-Week Week-to-Week | W4+ Return  
Ryan Kelly C Foot injury / surgery PS W3 Week-to-Week Week-to-Week | W4+ Return  
Defensive Players Injured But on the Active Roster
Edge Players Team Injury Date Player/Team Says FBGs Expects Notes
Vic Beasley Jr Atl Hamstring injury W2 4+ Weeks 4-6 Weeks  
Myles Garrett Cle High ankle sprain PS W4 4-6 Weeks 4+ Weeks | W4+ Return  
Dee Ford KC Hip injury W3 Awaiting Information Awaiting Information  
Nick Perry GB Hand fracture fixation W2 Week-to-Week Week-to-Week  
T.J. Watt Pit Groin injury W2 Week-to-Week Week-to-Week  
Defensive Line Team Injury Date Player/Team Says FBGs Expects Notes
Fletcher Cox Phi Calf injury W3 Day-to-Day Day-to-Day  
Gerald McCoy TB Ankle sprain W3 Day-to-Day Day-to-Day  
Mike Daniels GB Hamstring injury W2 Day-to-Day Week-to-Week  
Stephon Tuitt Pit Left biceps injury W1 Week-to-Week Week-to-Week  
Marcell Dareus Buf Ankle injury W2 Week-to-Week Week-to-Week  
Brandon Williams Bal Foot injury W2 Week-to-Week Week-to-Week  
Vernon Butler Car Knee sprain PS W2 Day-to-Day Day-to-Day  
Linebackers Team Injury Date Player/Team Says FBGs Expects Notes
Kwon Alexander TB Hamstring strain W2 Week-to-Week Week-to-Week  
Reuben Foster SF Right high ankle sprain W1 Week-to-Week 3-4+ Weeks | W5+ Return  
Jarrad Davis Det Concussion W2 Day-to-Day Day-to-Day  
Dont'a Hightower NE MCL sprain W1 Week-to-Week Week-to-Week  
Jamie Collins Sr Cle Concussion W2 Day-to-Day Day-to-Day   
Deone Bucannon Ari Ankle injury | Aggravation PS W4 Day-to-Day Day-to-Day | W4 Return  
Lavonte David TB High ankle sprain W3 Awaiting Information 3-4+ Weeks  
B.J. Goodson NYG Shin injury W2 Awaiting Information Week-to-Week  
Jordan Hicks Phi Left ankle injury W3 Day-to-Day Day-to-Day  
Nick Kwiatkoski Chi Pectoral injury W2 Week-to-Week Week-to-Week  
Mason Foster Was Shoulder dislocation W2 Day-to-Day Day-to-Day  
Anthony Hitchens Dal Tibial plateau fracture PS W4 Week-to-Week W4+ Return  
Defensive Backs Team Injury Date Player/Team Says FBGs Expects Notes
Vontae Davis Ind Groin strain PS W4 Day-to-Day Day-to-Day | W4+ Return  
Ronald Darby Phi Subtalar dislocation W1 Week-to-Week 6-8+ Weeks | W9+ Return  
Kevin Johnson Hou MCL sprain W2 4-6 Weeks 4-6 Weeks  
Eric Reid SF Left PCL sprain W2 Week-to-Week 1-2+ Weeks  
Tavon Wilson Det Shoulder injury W2 Week-to-Week Week-to-Week  
Marshon Lattimore NO Concussion W2 Day-to-Day Day-to-Day  
Sterling Moore NO Chest injury W2 Week-to-Week Week-to-Week  
Eric Rowe NE Groin injury W2 Week-to-Week Week-to-Week  
Johnathan Cyprien Ten Hamstring strain W1 Week-to-Week 3-4+ Weeks  
Brent Grimes TB Shoulder injury W2 Week-to-Week Week-to-Week  
Quintin Demps Chi Fractured arm W3 Multiple Weeks 6-10+ Weeks  
Kayvon Webster LAR Shoulder injury W1 Day-to-Day Day-to-Day  

INJURED PLAYERS NOT ON ACTIVE ROSTER

Notable Quarterbacks on PUP/NFI/IR
Quarterback Team Injury Date Player/Team Says FBGs Expects Notes
Ryan Tannehill Mia Left ACL reconstruction Mid August IR 2018 Return  
Teddy Bridgewater Min Left knee dislocation / Multi-ligament repair August 2016 PUP Eligible W7 | Week-to-Week Progressing but unclear whether can play this year
Chad Kelly Den Wrist surgery April 2017 NFI 2018 Return  
Notable Running Backs on PUP/NFI/IR
Running Back Team Injury Date Player/Team Says FBGs Expects Notes
David Johnson Ari Wrist dislocation W1 IR - Return Eligible Eligible W10 | 8-10+ Weeks  
Danny Woodhead Bal Hamstring strain W1 IR - Return Eligible Eligible W10 | 6-8+ Weeks  
Donnel Pumphrey Phi Hamstring strain W2 IR - Return Eligible Eligible W10 | 2018 Return  
Spencer Ware KC PCL / LCL sprain PS W4 IR 2018 Return  
Kenneth Dixon Bal Meniscus repair Late July IR 2018 Return  
Joe Williams SF Ankle injury PS W5 IR 2018 Return  
Lance Dunbar LAR Complications Oct 2015 knee injury   PUP Eligible W7 | Awaiting information Seems unlikely to return in 2017
Notable Wide Receivers on PUP/NFI/IR
Wide Receiver Team Injury Date Player/Team Says FBGs Expects Notes
Corey Coleman Cle Hand fracture fixation W2 IR - Return Eligible Eligible W11 | 6+ Weeks  
Malcolm Mitchell NE Knee injury PS IR - Return Eligible Eligible W9 | Week-to-Week  
Kevin White Chi Left scapula fracture W1 IR - Return Eligible Eligbile W10 | 8+ Wks  
Dede Westbrook Jac Core abdominal surgery W1 IR - Return Eligible Eligible W10 | 4-6 Weeks  
Allen Robinson Jac Left ACL tear W1 IR - Return Eligible 2018 Return  
Julian Edelman NE ACL tear PS W4 IR 2018 Return  
Cameron Meredith Chi ACL/MCL tear PS W4 IR 2018 Return  
Quincy Enunwa NYJ Cervical discectomy and fusion Late August 2017 IR 6-9 Months | 2018 Return  
Carlos Henderson Den Left thumb ligament repair Mid-August 2017 IR 2018 Return  
Tajae Sharpe Ten Foot injury Chronic IR 2018 Return  
Notable Tight Ends on PUP/NFI/IR
Tight End Team Injury Date Player/Team Says FBGs Expects Notes
Greg Olsen Car Foot fracture fixation W2 IR - Return Eligible Eligible W11 | 8-12 Weeks  
C.J. Fiedorowicz Hou Concussion W1 IR - Return Eligible Eligible W10 | Week-to-Week  
Erik Swoope Ind Arthroscopic knee surgery PS W3 IR - Return Eligible Eligible W9 | Week-to-Week  
Rico Gathers Dal Concussion PS W3 IR - Return Eligible Eligible W9 | Week-to-Week  
Crockett Gillmore Bal MCL reconstruction Early August IR 2018 Return  
Jake Butt Den ACL reconstruction December 2016 NFI 2018 Return  
Notable Offensive Line on PUP/NFI/IR
Offensive Line Team Injury Date Player/Team Says FBGs Expects Notes
Taylor Decker Det Shoulder labrum repair Early June PUP - Return Eligible Eligible W7 | Week-to-Week  
Ted Larsen Mia Biceps injury PS W1 IR - Return Eligible Eligible W9 | Month-to-Month  
Denzelle Good Ind Wrist ligament repair W2 IR - Return Eligible Eligible W10 | Week-to-Week  
Marshal Yanda Bal Ankle fracture W2 Out for Season Eligible W11 | 2018 Return  
Josh Garnett SF Arthroscopic knee surgery Early August IR 2018 Return  
George Fant Sea ACL tear / likely multi-ligament injury PS W3 IR 2018 Return  
Alex Lewis Bal Shoulder labral tear PS W2 IR 2018 Return  
Forrest Lamp LAC ACL tear Early August IR 2018 Return  
Nico Siragusa Bal Knee dislocation | ACL/MCL/PCL tear Early August IR 2018 Return  
Notable Defensive Players on PUP/NFI/IR
Edge Players Team Injury Date Player/Team Says FBGs Expects Notes
Shane Ray Den Wrist ligament repair Late July IR - Return Eligible Eligible W9 | Week-to-Week Expected to return W9
Kerry Hyder Jr Det Left Achilles tear PS W2 IR 2018 Return  
Trent Murphy Was ACL reconstruction / MCL sprain PS W2 IR 2018 Return  
Derek Rivers NE ACL / LCL tear PS W3 IR  9-12 Months | 2018 Return  
Tamba Hali KC Undisclosed   IR Awaiting information  
Defensive Line Team Injury Date Player/Team Says FBGs Expects Notes
Jared Crick Den Back injury W1 IR - Return Eligible  Eligible W10 | 10-12 Weeks  
Malik McDowell Sea Concussion / Facial injuries Late July NFI ? 2017 Return  
Dominique Easley LAR ACL reconstruction Early August IR 2018 Return  
Linebackers Team Injury Date Player/Team Says FBGs Expects Notes
Jerrell Freeman Chi Concussion / Pectoral strain W1 IR - Return Eligible Eligible W10 | Month-to-Month  
Denzel Perryman LAC Ankle ligament reconstruction PS W2 IR - Return Eligible Eligible W10 | Month-to-Month Hopeful for return
Raekwon McMillan Mia ACL reconstruction PS W2 IR 2018 Return  
Edwin Jackson Ind Undisclosed   IR 2018 Return  
Tank Carder Cle ACL reconstruction PS W4 IR 2018 Return  
Malcolm Smith SF Pectoral tendon tear PS W1 IR 2018 Return  
Defensive Backs Team Injury Date Player/Team Says FBGs Expects Notes
Clayton Geathers Ind Cervical discectomy / fusion Mid May PUP - Return Eligible Eligible W7 | Month-to-Month Chance for return
DeAngelo Hall Was ACL reconstruction September 2016 PUP - Return Eligible Eligible W7 | Week-to-Week Chance for return
Eric Berry KC Left Achilles tear W1 IR - Return Eligible Eligible W9 | 2018 Return  
Jason Verrett LAC Knee soreness W1 IR - Return Eligible Eligible W11 | 2018 Return  
Sidney Jones Phi Achilles repair March 2017 NFI 2018 Return Could return after W8

Check back for more injury analysis throughout training camp and follow on Twitter @JeneBramel for breaking injury news, commentary, and analysis of injury news around the NFL.