Non-contact injuries are terrifying for NFL teams and fantasy owners alike, and when Texans coach Gary Kubiak saw Andre Johnson fall to the ground on Sunday, it sounds like he initially feared a worst-case injury scenario.
“The way he went down was deflating because it was like he just got shot so that scares the heck out of you,” Kubiak said (per the Texans’ official website).
The positive news here (relatively speaking) is that Johnson avoided a knee injury. The Texans are referring to his ailment as a hamstring pull, and the Houston WR1 is headed for an MRI on Monday. We’ll know more after that MRI comes back, but it doesn’t bode well for Johnson’s Week 5 availability that he was unable to finish Sunday’s game.
In theory, Jacoby Jones and Kevin Walter should benefit if Johnson misses time, but neither had a catch on Sunday as the Texans went very run-heavy, an approach they’re likely to duplicate against the Raiders in Week 5. If Johnson is out, Owen Daniels (5 rec, 69 yds, TD) looks like the only viable consideration in the Texans’ passing game.
In other injury news from Sunday…
Rashard Mendenhall (9 rush, 25 yds, TD) left in the third quarter with a hamstring injury and didn’t return. As is the case with Andre Johnson, Mendenhall’s inability to finish Sunday’s game makes him decidedly iffy for Week 5. And if he can’t play, Isaac Redman (6 rush, 40 yds; 1 rec, 12 yds) will be well worth consideration in most formats.
Ben Roethlisberger (foot) was spotted in a walking boot and crutches following Sunday’s game, and is headed for an MRI on Monday, according to Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer. Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the injury is to Roethlisberger’s left foot, not the right foot he broke last season, with the notoriously gritty Roethlisberger telling the paper that if his foot is broken, he’ll attempt to play through it like he did last year.
Considering Big Ben’s history of gutting out injuries, I wouldn’t be remotely shocked to see him suit up in Week 5, but we’ll have a more definitive sense of his chances following Monday’s MRI. Either way, it’s hard to feel optimistic about his fantasy prospects in the near future given the holes in the Pittsburgh offensive line.
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Vincent Jackson shredded the Miami secondary early (3 rec, 108 yds, TD), but only appeared sparingly after a second quarter injury. Chargers beat writer Michael Gehlken reports that the injury is being called a leg strain, and the positive news here is that Jackson was on the field for San Diego’s last offensive snap of the game. With that in mind, there’s plenty of reason to hope that he’ll be active for Week 5.
Danny Amendola re-injured his elbow in his return to practice last week, and may now need surgery, according to CBS Sports. If you’ve kept him stashed this long you might as well wait until official word comes down, but it sounds like fantasy owners may soon have the impetus to send Amendola to waivers for good.
Danny Woodhead limped to the sideline with an apparent leg injury in the second quarter. There was no update on Woodhead’s status as of late Sunday evening, but he didn’t get another touch the rest of the day. Even if healthy, Woodhead’s value is plummeting with the emergence of Stevan Ridley (10 rush, 97 yds, TD).
Chad Henne left Sunday’s game in the first quarter with an injury to his left (non-throwing) shoulder and didn’t return. Beat writer Benjamin Volin reports that Henne wants to play through the injury, and it’s certainly possible that he’ll be able to do so when the Dolphins come out of their Week 5 bye. Matt Moore (17-for-26, 167 yds, INT) was not inspiring in relief.
Ben Tate (2 rush, 20 yds) left in the first quarter due to a groin injury. No word yet on the severity of said groin injury, but even when healthy, Tate has swiftly and decisively returned to backup status after Arian Foster (30 rush, 155 yds, TD) returned to being Arian Foster on Sunday.
Mike Williams (Seattle edition) caught his first touchdown of the season, but also sustained a concussion during Sunday’s loss to the Falcons. There shouldn’t be a significant fantasy impact here given that Williams (3 rec, 36 yds, TD on Sunday) now has just 79 yards receiving through four games.
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Other injury notes: Per beat writer Michael Gehlken, Malcom Floyd is dealing with a shoulder injury in addition to his troublesome groin … Hue Jackson told the Oakland Tribune that backup RB Michael Bush sustained an ankle injury late in Sunday’s game … The Boston Herald reports that Patriots LB Jerod Mayo could miss up to six weeks with a sprained left MCL … Browns shutdown CB Joe Haden (sprained knee) is slated for an MRI on Monday … NFL Network’s Mike Lombardi speculates that Nick Mangold (ankle) is still “two to three weeks away” from returning (though the Jets may still attempt to bring him back in Week 5) … Falcons C Todd McClure left with a knee injury … Michael Hoomanawanui left with a head injury … Titans SS Chris Hope sustained a season-threatening broken arm … Jets LB Bryan Thomas left with an ankle injury … Eagles DT Antonio Dixon suffered a torn left triceps, and DE Trent Cole was carted off with a calf injury … Steelers LB James Harrison left Sunday’s game after a helmet-to-helmet hit, and DE Aaron Smith was carted off with a foot injury … Lions SS Amari Spievey left with a hamstring injury … Cowboys SS Gerald Sensabaugh suffered a concussion heading into Dallas’ Week 5 bye.
Reminder: For a complete wrap-up of all the key happenings from Sunday, check out Chris Wesseling’s The Morning After column on Monday.