Early Injury Report: Week 11
Philip Gentles
November 13, 2012


Jay Cutler, CHI - Concussion

Bears’ QB Jay Cutler was knocked out of Sunday night’s game against the Texans with a concussion, but the injury is not serious and the team hopes he will be cleared in time to play in Week 11 against the 49ers. Cutler took a helmet-to-helmet hit in second quarter and although it appeared to shake him up he passed a concussion test on the sideline and he was allowed to finish the half. A secondary assessment in the locker room at halftime revealed that he was exhibiting concussion-like symptoms and as a result he was declared out for the remainder of the game. According to reports the NFL investigated the Bears for their handling of the situation and have since determined that the team correctly followed all its concussion protocols. Head coach Lovie Smith told reporters on Monday that Cutler began to feel better while on the sideline during the second half and that he continued to show signs of improvement a day later. However he wasn’t prepared to say that he would be ready in time for their game against the 49ers next Monday night. He’ll be reevaluated throughout the week

Ben Roethlisberger, PIT - Sprained AC Joint in Shoulder

Steelers’ QB Ben Roethlisberger left Monday night’s game against the Chiefs with a sprained acromioclavicular joint in his right (throwing) shoulder and according to early reports he could be out for at least a couple of weeks. Roethlisberger was hurt when his shoulder was driven into the ground on a third quarter sack. He left the field favoring his right arm and he was eventually taken to the locker room where he was x-rayed and examined. He was then taken to a local hospital where he underwent additional testing. Head coach Mike Tomlin didn’t have much to say about Roethlisberger’s status, but there are concerns that his AC joint sprain (commonly called a shoulder separation) will keep him sidelined until at least Week 13. 

Alex Smith, SF - Concussion

49ers’ QB Alex Smith, who left Sunday’s game against the Rams with a concussion, is almost symptom-free and team officials are optimistic about his chances of playing against the Bears in Week 11. Smith took a shot to the head at the end of a second-quarter scramble, but he stayed in the game and completed the drive throwing a touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree (which he later admitted he did while having blurred vision). Smith underwent a concussion test on the sideline and not only did he have vision problems but he complained of a minor headache and had some short-term memory loss. The symptoms quickly began clearing up but as per the NFL’s concussion policy he was held out for the remainder of the game. Head coach Jim Harbaugh told reporters that Smith slept well on Sunday night and that he felt a lot better on Monday morning. He met with a neurologist and he’s scheduled to be reevaluated again today. But Smith has made a quick recovery and since he doesn’t have a history of concussions there is a good chance that he will be cleared to play on Monday night against the Bears.

Michael Vick, PHI - Serious Concussion

Eagles’ QB Michael Vick suffered what now appears to be a serious concussion on Sunday against the Cowboys and not only is his status for Week 11 in doubt but there are reports that suggest he won’t play again this season. Vick was hurt when he was hit hard in the second quarter resulting in his head hitting the ground. According to reports he was immediately diagnosed with a concussion in the sideline and with his history of head trauma the team’s medical staff considers the injury serious. Head coach Andy Reid called Vick’s concussion “significant” on Monday and said that he was still dealing with a headache and felt tired despite a long-night’s rest. Vick will not practice this week and there is a good chance that he will not play in Week 11 against the Redskins. This obviously opens the door for Nick Foles and if he plays well Vick will remain on the sideline for the remainder of the season regardless of health.


Ahmad Bradshaw, NYG - Herniated Cervical Disk

Giants’ RB Ahmad Bradshaw, who missed Week 3 because of a problematic herniated cervical disc, aggravated the injury on Sunday against the Bengals and his status for the team’s next game in Week 12 is unknown. Bradshaw has been dealing with a herniated disc in his neck all season and the associated inflammation, stiffness and soreness has caused a tremendous amount of discomfort. Bradshaw appeared to aggravate the injury on a helmet-to-helmet hit in the third quarter and he was unable to finish the game as a result. According to reports he underwent precautionary X-rays after the game and head coach Tom Coughlin confirmed that he was scheduled to undergo an MRI and additional testing this week. The Giants have their bye this week which means Bradshaw has an extra week to recovery, but Bradshaw is dealing with a potentially serious problem and there is no way of knowing if he will be ready to play next week. We’ll keep you posted on his progress.

Frank Gore, SF - Bruised Ribs

49ers’ RB Frank Gore reportedly underwent x-rays on his chest and ribs following Sunday’s overtime tie with the Rams, but he isn’t seriously hurt and team officials expect him to be ready for their Week 11 game. Gore originally bruised his ribs back in Week 8 and he complained of soreness in the same area after Sunday’s game so he was x-rayed as a precaution. According to reports X-rays were negative and Gore told reporters that he was going to be OK. He’ll likely be held out of contact drills this week but he should be ready to go when the 49ers face the Bears next Monday night.

Fred Jackson, BUF - Concussion

Bills’ RB Fred Jackson, who left Sunday’s game against the Patriots with a concussion, has already been ruled out of Thursday night’s game against the Dolphins. Jackson was injured on a hit in the fourth quarter and he stayed down for several minutes before being escorted off the field and into the locker room. Head coach Chan Gailey told reporters that Jackson felt nauseous on the plane ride back to Buffalo on Sunday night and that he still exhibited concussion-like symptoms on Monday morning. He’s scheduled to meet with a neurologist today, but he’s already been ruled out of the game on Thursday because the medical staff feels he doesn’t have enough time to adequately recover. He should be back when the Bills play in Week 12.


Julio Jones, ATL - Sprained Ankle

Falcons’ WR Julio Jones left the field early on Sunday against the Saints with a sprained ankle and although he was able to return and finish the game his status for Week 11 remains unknown. Jones headed to the locker room after twisting his ankle in the first quarter. According to reports he was examined and his ankle taped, but he was held out for the remainder of the first half because he was having trouble moving around. His ankle began to feel a little better at the start of the second half and he was cleared to return on the team’s second offensive series. He wasn’t running at full speed but he still made several big plays. As expected he was feeling sore on Monday morning and while his status for Week 11 is unknown he will likely miss some practice time this week while he recovers.


Brandon Myers, OAK - Concussion

Raiders’ TE Brandon Myers left Sunday’s game against the Ravens with a concussion and because of his history of head injuries his status for Week 11 appears to be in doubt. Myers, who also suffered a concussion in Week 3, was injured in the second half and according to reports he complained of dizziness and a headache after the game. He met with a neurological specialist today and was officially diagnosed with the fourth concussion of his career. With that in mind the Raiders don’t expect him to be cleared in time for their game against the Saints.

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