As foggy and sluggish as Michael Vick appeared to be during his time on the field Sunday – and with as many hits as he was taking from the Giants defense – it seemed almost inevitable that one of those hits would knock him out of the game with a recurrence of his concussion symptoms.
However, it turned out that what ultimately finished Vick’s afternoon wasn’t head-related, but hand-related: a broken bone in his right (non-throwing) hand, sustained on a hit from Chris Canty.
After the game, Vick told reporters that he’s not sure if he’ll be able to play in Week 4, and Peter King called Vick “questionable at best” for the matchup with the 49ers. With that said, there are a couple of reasons that fantasy owners may not need to run around in sheer, uncontrollable panic. For one, beat writer Jeff McLane reports that it’s a non-displaced fracture, which gives hope that surgery might not be necessary. Secondly, the injury is to Vick’s non-throwing hand, and I’m just speculating here, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he could play through it while wearing a cast or a splint.
Another angle to consider is that missing a game or three might not be the worst thing for Vick’s long-term outlook given the aforementioned mental fog that seemed to be following him around Sunday. (Vick, for his part, told McLane that his head was fine, but as I wrote earlier, visual evidence suggests otherwise.)
Meanwhile, Jay Glazer of FOX Sports reports that Vick’s hand is likely headed for a CT scan on Monday. If Vick does miss time – and we should have a better idea after Monday’s tests – odds are overwhelming that Vince Young would get a chance to start after Mike Kafka looked quite wretched in relief (4-for-7, 35 yds, 2 INTs). Just keep in mind that with Philly’s pass protection issues, there are no guarantees that Vince stays upright either.
In other injury headlines from Sunday:
Only two-plus weeks into what was developing into a monster campaign, the unstoppable force known as Kenny Britt was carted off with a knee injury. The Titans’ WR1 is headed for an MRI on Monday, with ESPN’s Adam Schefter reporting that the team fears he tore his ACL and MCL. If Britt is done, it would cut into the value of the resurgent Matt Hasselback, while potentially helping Nate Washington (8 rec, 92 yds, TD) and Jared Cook (2 rec, 12 yds), who would both likely see more targets. At this point, fantasy owners have to cling to the faint (and seemingly unrealistic) hope that Britt only has an MCL injury. Either way, we should have a definitive answer after Monday’s MRI.
In another unhappy WR development, Jeremy Maclin left with a hamstring injury in the fourth quarter and didn’t return. Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer considers Maclin “unlikely” to play in Week 4, and it goes without saying that any hamstring injury has the potential to be a multi-week issue. If Maclin is indeed out, Jason Avant (4 rec, 33 yds) and Steve Smith (2 rec, 27 yds) both stand to benefit, with Smith potentially replacing Maclin in the starting lineup.
Meanwhile, in the process of shredding the Jets’ run defense senseless, Darren McFadden (19 rush, 171 yds, 2 TDs) came down with a groin injury, according to beat writer Steve Corkran. The good news is that McFadden downplayed the issue, saying that “I’m good. I don’t have any [injury].” The bad news is that players very often downplay the severity of their injuries. It’s obviously a positive sign that McFadden isn’t worried, but we probably won’t have a definitive outlook until the Raiders practice this week. Michael Bush, though nowhere close to Run DMC in terms of speed and explosiveness, is the unquestioned beneficiary of any McFadden missed games.
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In addition to having no room to run again, Frank Gore (17 rush, 42 yds) was limited by a sprained ankle during the second half of Sunday’s game. When asked if he’d be able to play in Week 4, Gore (per CSN Bay Area) said that “I can't tell until [Monday]. See how I'm feeling.” If Gore does miss game action, Kendall Hunter (9 rush, 26 yds, TD; 2 rec, 12 yds) would be the 49ers RB to benefit.
Antonio Gates (foot) didn’t play Sunday, and his situation became even more disconcerting when ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported that Gates has a tear in his oft-troublesome plantar fascia, marking a swift downturn for a foot that has gone from seemingly peachy to once again chronically troubled in just over a week. No word yet on Gates’ status for Week 4, but this certainly has the look of an injury that could sideline him for multiple games. Randy McMichael (4 rec, 51 yds) got the start Sunday, but Gates owners should look elsewhere for a replacement before settling on his low-upside backup.
After adamantly saying that he would play through a hamstring injury, Beanie Wells was a surprise inactive on Sunday, delivering a painful gutshot to fantasy owners who counted on him in a 4 p.m. ET game. I would guess that the Cardinals were simply being cautious with their injury-prone RB, but if he is slowed in practice this week, Alfonso Smith (17 rush, 54 yds) looks like the preferred deeper-league waiver consideration over Chester Taylor (8 rush, 20 yds).
In our first puke-related update of the young season, Percy Harvin (3 rec, 47 yds; 2 rush, 41 yds) vomited into a trash can Sunday after dealing with an illness this week, but was on the field for the coin toss prior to overtime. This shouldn’t be a concern heading into Week 4.
Meanwhile, Ravens rookie Torrey Smith went positively berserk (5 rec, 152 yds, 3 TDs – including touchdowns on each of his first three catches), but left the blowout win late with a hamstring injury, albeit one that “doesn’t appear to be serious,” according to beat writer Aaron Wilson. The explosive rookie will likely warrant an immediate add in all formats, but we’ll be watching closely to see if the hamstring injury is something that could linger.
Knowshon Moreno (hamstring) was held out on Sunday, but subsequently described by John Fox to the Denver Post as “almost completely” healthy. Moreno seems to have a solid chance to return in Week 4, but his value and upside will be capped by what figures to be a committee with Willis McGahee.
Kerry Collins (13-for-29, 93 yds) left Sunday’s game with a possible concussion, clearing the way for Curtis Painter and his Pert Plus-infused blonde locks to take over. Painter started out by missing his first three passes and surrendering a crucial fumble for a TD, but then made some good throws while engineering a game-tying scoring drive. There’s no sense in getting carried away based on such a small sample size, but Painter could represent a mild upgrade for the Colts’ skill players if Collins is sidelined. (It's also possible that an extended look would prove him to be even more inept than Collins.) As for Painter himself, he would only be a consideration for desperate owners in two-QB leagues.
Other Injury Notes: Jahvid Best bruised his thigh, but beat writer Dave Birkett paraphrases Best describing the injury as “not [a] huge deal.” … Ben Tate (19 rush, 82 yds) tweaked his ankle in the third quarter, but returned to the game … LeSean McCoy came up slightly gimpy after a couple of plays on Sunday, but re-entered afterward and appeared to be fine … Jason Snelling left Sunday’s game with a head injury … Eagles backup WR Riley Cooper suffered a concussion ... Per beat writer Manish Mehta, the Jets fear that backup TE Jeff Cumberland tore his Achilles.
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Defense/Offensive Line Injury Notes: Chiefs CB Brandon Flowers (ankle) is slated for X-rays, according to the Kansas City Star … Dolphins RG Vernon Carey (shoulder) will reportedly have tests done on Monday … Justin Tuck (neck stinger) told ESPNNewYork.com that the injury is “something I can play through and I will play through.” … Panthers CB Chris Gamble left with a concussion and didn’t return … Antonio Cromartie sustained bruised lungs, according to Manish Mehta … Eagles LG Evan Mathis was carted to the locker room and didn’t return … Steelers offensive line woes: Pittsburgh lost RG Doug Legursky and RT Marcus Gilbert to shoulder injuries, and LT Jonathan Scott was carted off in the fourth quarter with a leg injury (Gilbert, it should be noted, returned to replace Scott after Scott left) … An already vulnerable Raiders secondary lost Michael Huff (concussion) and Chris Johnson (groin) … Bills CB Aaron Williams was carted off with a chest injury … Packers RT Bryan Bulaga injured his knee, but Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette reports that it’s only a bruise … Bucs FS Cody Grimm (knee) was reportedly in a leg brace and on crutches after Sunday’s game … Per San Diego beat writer Kevin Acee, Quentin Jammer (hamstring) “virtually guaranteed” that he’d be ready for Week 4.