Injuries: McGahee's MaladyMonday, December 19, 2011
Week 15 appears to have passed without any major injuries to top-tier fantasy players, but Willis McGahee, A.J. Green and Stevie Johnson were among the notable names who checked into the infirmary. Here’s a breakdown of Sunday’s key injuries:
Willis McGahee (7 rush, 70 yds) got off to a fast start, but got just two carries in the second half while dealing with a leg injury. CBSSports.com reports that the injury is to McGahee’s hamstring, and as of Sunday night the severity of said injury was unclear (though we should get an update at John Fox’s press conference on Monday). In the meantime, Lance Ball (13 touches, 105 yds, TD, lost fumble) is positioned as a must-add off waivers if McGahee begins to look like he could be iffy against the Bills. (Monday update: John Fox suggested -- per beat writer Andrew Mason -- that McGahee's absence was more because the Broncos were trailing the Patriots rather than being the result of a significant injury. It sounds like McGahee should be okay for Week 16.)
A.J. Green (6 rec, 115 yds) has been diagnosed with a Grade 3 sprain of his right shoulder, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. However, despite clearly being affected by the injury on Sunday, the rookie called it “nothing serious,” and said “I’m definitely not going to miss these last two games for nothing.” That attitude has to sound pretty encouraging to fantasy owners, and hopefully Green’s lack of concern will be validated when practices resume this week.
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Stevie Johnson (5 rec, 82 yds) left in the fourth quarter with what’s being called an aggravation of a minor groin injury, and an update on his status won’t be available until Tuesday (per the Associated Press). Johnson has been fairly gritty in terms of playing through injuries this season, so hopefully this one won’t be any different and he’ll be ready to go against the Broncos in Week 16.
News from one Jay on the topic of another Jay: FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer reported on Sunday that Jay Cutler (thumb) could return in Week 17, with an “outside chance” that the Bears QB will return for a Week 16 matchup with the Packers. The Bears are obviously eager to get Cutler back ASAP after another wretched performance from Caleb Hanie, but at this point it sounds like a Week 16 return is far from guaranteed.
Meanwhile, the Bears lost Johnny Knox to a scary back injury, with beat writer Sean Jensen reporting that the WR is headed for surgery to stabilize a vertebra on Monday. Knox’s season is over, but the injury is reportedly not career-threatening. Earl Bennett and Roy Williams figure to see an increase in targets, but neither one should be anywhere close to your lineup in Week 16.
Roy Helu (23 rush, 53 yds) was seen getting his left leg worked on, but was able to play through it. At this point there isn’t any indication that this is anything significant, but it’s worth watching for updates with a tough Vikings run defense looming in Week 16.
Michael Vick took a number of big hits against the Jets, but Andy Reid (per beat writer Geoff Mosher) confirmed that Vick’s absence in the fourth quarter of the blowout win was simply for rest. There’s a solid chance that Vick will miss some practice time this week, but it’s hard to envision benching him coming off his most explosive statistical performance since Week 8.
Other Injury Notes: Ben Roethlisberger (ankle) is expected to start against the 49ers on Monday, according to beat writer Gerry Dulac … (DeSean Jackson (2 rec, 28 yds) sustained an elbow injury, but returned after missing part of the third quarter ... Mark Sanchez suffered a neck/upper body injury in the second half, but was able to play through it … Seattle WR Mike Williams (fractured ankle) is done for the season ... Giants TE Jake Ballard is headed for tests on his injured knee, according to beat writer Mike Garafolo ... Delone Carter left with a forearm injury ... Browns WR Jordan Norwood suffered a head injury ... Colts president Bill Polian confirmed that Peyton Manning (neck) won't play in either of the Colts' final two games.
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Defense/Offensive Line Injuries: Protection problems for Aaron Rodgers: Adam Schefter reports that Packers RT Brian Bulaga (knee) is headed for a Monday MRI, and Bulaga’s backup, Derek Sherrod, broke his leg on Sunday ... The Panthers' secondary lost Captain Munnerlyn (leg), SS Charles Godfrey (shoulder) and safety Jordan Pugh (head) ... An already decimated Vikings secondary lost Asher Allen to a concussion ... Eagles CB Asante Samuel left with a hamstring injury ... ESPN's Josina Anderson reports that Patriots DE Andre Carter is likely headed for surgery on his injured quad.