Sunday was more a day of minor mishaps than full-on ligament explosions, but as always, there’s still plenty of injury-related fallout to examine. Here’s the early word from the Week 8 infirmary:
Dez Bryant nearly made a spectacular game-winning touchdown catch, but in the process of landing on the turf (and barely putting one hand out of bounds), he appeared to injure himself. There was no official word of an injury as of Sunday night, but it looked like he could have hurt something in the hip or tailbone region (or possibly aggravated his groin injury, though this is all pure speculation). Bryant did eventually come back in for the Cowboys’ last play of the game, but he appeared to be moving gingerly. This may prove to be nothing, but it’s a situation to watch heading into Week 9.
(Check out all the Week 8 box scores right here)
In other injury news…
Jonathan Dwyer was impressive again on Sunday (17 rush, 107 yds), but surfaced on the injury report with a quad issue. Dwyer says that he’s “fine,” but players, as we all know, have a tendency to downplay their own injuries. Assuming that Dwyer can play in Week 9, the Pittsburgh backfield has suddenly become interesting, as Dwyer has some observers convinced that he should keep the starting job even after Rashard Mendenhall returns.
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Meanwhile, Calvin Johnson’s knee hurts. He made it through Sunday’s game in tact (finishing with just three catches for 46 yards), and said afterward: "It's tough to stick my foot in the ground with my knee hurting, but that's no excuse.” The good news is that this doesn’t sound like it will cost him time, and the quiet Sunday was partially due to a brutal matchup against Seattle. And with Matthew Stafford breaking out of his slump (352 yds, 3 TDs, 1 INT), there’s reason to think that things can finally start clicking for Stafford-to-Calvin in the weeks ahead.
In overseas injury news, Wes Welker left in the fourth quarter after getting his ankle caught in the turf at Wembley Stadium. This would potentially be problematic if the Patriots were playing next week, but Welker has two weeks to get the issue fixed heading into a Week 9 bye.
Also injuring an ankle: DeSean Jackson, who went to the locker room for X-rays, but was able to return. DJax (5 rec, 59 yds) went without a score for the sixth time in seven games, but has the welcome sight of the Saints’ secondary on the horizon in Week 9.
Meanwhile, Mikel Leshoure sat out the final quarter and a half with what may or may not be an injury. According to Jim Schwartz it’s not an injury, and Leshoure was simply out of the game due to the continued involvement of Joique Bell (7 rush, 25 yds; 4 rec, 33 yds). It should be noted that Schwartz and the Lions don’t exactly employ a full-disclosure policy when it comes to injuries, but it’s possible that Leshoure was simply dealing with cramps. Either way, Bell continues to take significant snaps from Leshoure, which is starting to become a frustrating drain on the latter’s value.
New Chiefs’ starting QB Brady Quinn left in the second quarter with a head injury (read: possible concussion). And just like that, Matt Cassel is back! Not surprisingly Cassel wasn’t very good, but his return is good news for Dwayne Bowe, who finished with three catches for 65 yards. Meanwhile, on a non-injury note, the Chiefs inexplicably gave a healthy Jamaal Charles just eight touches, which can be filed under bad coaching.
Chris Givens (3-63-1) caught an early 50-yard TD, but sustained a foot injury on the play. He was able to play through it, however, so he should be fine coming out of the Rams’ Week 9 bye.
Editor’s note: For a complete look at all the key happenings from Sunday, check out Chet Gresham’s The Morning After column on Monday. And on Tuesday, don’t miss Chris Wesseling’s Waiver Wired column, plus Evan Silva’s Season Pass Live Chat.
Other Injury Notes: Peyton Manning cracked his thumbnail while following through on a pass in the second quarter, but was able to play through it … Brandon Marshall appeared to tweak his ankle in the fourth quarter, but was able to return … Jerry Jones says that DeMarco Murray (foot) has “a chance” to play in Week 9 … Ryan Tannehill sustained a knee and quad contusion, but it doesn't sound like he'll miss any time ... Golden Tate tweaked an ankle, but was in the game (and did record a catch) on the Seahawks’ final play … The Rams reportedly expect Danny Amendola (clavicle) to return after their Week 9 bye … Braylon Edwards was a late scratch for Week 8 due to unexpected knee tightness, in case anyone cares.