Injuries: Gronkowski OutMonday, November 19, 2012
In addition to some downright silly performances (Matt Schaub and Justin Blackmon, anyone?), Sunday saw a number of big names exit due to injury. Here's the early word from the Week 12 infirmary:
In the process of breaking out his second-most monstrous game of the season (7-137-2 against the Colts), Rob Gronkowski sustained a broken forearm, an injury that appears likely to cost him 4-6 weeks. Obviously there's really no replacing Gronkowski's production, but his absence should mean more targets for Aaron Hernandez (slated to return on Thanksgiving), Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd. Fantasy owners face a tough decision whether or not to drop Gronkowski, but for now patience is probably the best option given that he could return before the fantasy playoffs are over.
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In other injury news...
LeSean McCoy left with concussion after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit late in Sunday's game. He will now have to get cleared to play next Monday night against Carolina. Backup Bryce Brown is the name to add off the waiver wire.
Julio Jones played through his ankle injury on Sunday, but was forced to leave in the second half. Unfortunately, this appeared to be more of an aggravation than a precautionary exit, as Jones was spotted saying "I'm done" on his way off the field. Harry Douglas (5-48) would likely start if Jones is out for Week 11, but isn't worth consideration outside of deeper leagues.
Willis McGahee got off to a fast start (7 rush, 55 yds), but is now headed for a Monday MRI after leaving with a knee injury. With McGahee out, Denver went to a Ronnie Hillman-Lance Ball platoon. And though neither looks ready to replicate McGahee's workload or production, Hillman (12 rush, 43 yds; 2 rec, 16 yds) looks like the higher upside option for Week 12.
Dwayne Bowe left in the first half with a neck injury. With Jon Baldwin (concussion) already out on Sunday, Terrance Copper took Bowe's spot, finishing with three catches for 33 yards. There was no word on Bowe's Week 12 availability as of Sunday night, but the return of Brady Quinn doesn't bode well for his outlook even when healthy.
Felix Jones injured his knee in the first half, and in a stunning development given his injury history, he played through it. This is a situation to watch with the Cowboys facing a short turnaround before Thanksgiving, but it's a positive sign for Jones' availability that he was able to finish Sunday's game. On a related note, when asked if DeMarco Murray could play on Thursday, Jerry Jones offered the words, "I don't know."
Blaine Gabbert left Sunday's game with an injured right elbow. Enter Chad Henne, who surprisingly lit up one of the league's best defenses (16-of-33, 354 yds, 4 TDs, awakening the aforementioned Justin Blackmon – 7-236-1 – in the process). Even if the injury isn't serious, Henne obviously may have earned another start in Week 12. And he's certainly on the QB2 radar with an appetizing matchup against the Titans up next.
Other Injury Notes: After a rotten performance from Nick Foles on Sunday, ProFootballTalk reports that Michael Vick (concussion) could be back next week. … The Steelers are reportedly "hopeful, though hardly optimistic" that Ben Roethlisberger (ribs, shoulder) can make it back for Week 13. … Donnie Avery was knocked out of Sunday's game with a concussion. … Steve Smith was able to return after a finger injury. … Demaryius Thomas appeared to come up limping in the first half on the same right knee he injured last week, but was able to play through it. … Danny Amendola left in the first half with a right foot injury, but was able to return in the second half. … Byron Leftwich injure his right rib and shoulder while diving into the end zone on his improbable touchdown run, but played through it. … Dennis Pitta sustained a concussion in the first quarter. … Isaac Redman left with a head injury. … Kevin Ogletree sustained a head injury in the fourth quarter. … Despite some encouraging signs earlier in the week, Darren Sproles (hand) was inactive for Sunday's game. … Texans CB Johnathan Joseph (hamstring) is iffy for a Thanksgiving matchup with Calvin Johnson and the Lions.