Early Injury Report: Week 16
Philip Gentles
December 18, 2012


Jay Cutler, CHI - Undisclosed Neck Injury / Sprained MCL

Bears’ QB Jay Cutler had his neck examined on the sideline during Sunday’s game against the Packers and while he didn’t miss any playing time he’s clearly not 100% and he probably won’t be back to full strength until after the season is over. Cutler has been dealing with a neck problem for several weeks now and it was revealed late last week that he was dealing with a mild MCL sprain in his knee as well. At some point during Sunday’s game Cutler began to experience pain and stiffness in his neck and it got so bad that he told backup Jason Campbell to start warming up. As it turned out Campbell wasn’t needed, but Cutler admitted after the game that he wasn’t 100% and that he was going to have to take things day-to-day. He’ll likely be limited in practice this week, but he should be back in the starting lineup against the Cardinals.


Ryan Mathews, SD - Fractured Collarbone

Chargers’ RB Ryan Mathews will miss the remainder of the season after breaking his left clavicle (collarbone) during Sunday’s game against the Panthers. Mathews, who broke his right clavicle during the preseason, injured his left shoulder on a 9-yard reception. He was able to leave the game on his own but he appeared to be in some discomfort and he reportedly told team officials on the sideline that he thought it was broken. X-rays in the locker room confirmed that his collarbone is broken and with only two games left his season is definitely over. Mathews has been anything but durable during his brief NFL career. He missed 4 games as a rookie because of a high ankle sprain, he was held out of two games last season due to hamstring and calf strains and this season he has missed action because of fractures to both clavicles and a lingering ankle issue. Mathews has plenty of time to recover before the start of the team’s off-season conditioning program, but he’s the only Chargers’ back under contract for 2013 so don’t be surprised if the team signs or drafts a big name running back in the off-season. Ronnie Brown was inactive on Sunday because of a hamstring injury so if he can’t play next week look for Jackie Battle and Curtis Brinkley to split carries in Week 16.

Isaac Redman, PIT - Undisclosed Foot/Ankle Injury

Steelers’ RB Isaac Redman appeared to twist his ankle on Sunday against the Cowboys and he was unable to finish the game. Redman was hurt at the end of a 22-yard run in the third quarter. He was back on the field a few plays later but he clearly wasn’t 100% and he did not have another carry for the remainder of the half. He’s dealt with ankle issues throughout the season and while it isn’t clear if he suffered a new injury or aggravated and old one it appears that his status for Week 16 is in question. We should know more about his injury on Wednesday.


Emmanuel Sanders, PIT - Fractured Rib

Steelers’ WR Emmanuel Sanders told reporters after Sunday’s game that he suffered a “cracked rib” in the first quarter against the Cowboys but he still hopes to play in Week 16. Sanders, who has been limited recently because of a shoulder sprain, was hurt when he took a shot to the chest while trying to make a catch over the middle. He dropped the ball after the hit and the play was initially ruled a fumble on the field but it was overturned and called an incomplete pass after an official review. Sanders has remained upbeat and he still thinks he will play against the Bengals, but with all that he is dealing with his status is definitely in doubt. 

Torrey Smith, BAL - Concussion

Ravens’ WR Torrey Smith left Sunday’s game against the Broncos with a mild concussion and his status for Week 16 is currently uncertain. Smith was injured when he came down hard on his hip and then the back of his head after trying to catch a high pass in the third quarter. He did not lose consciousness, but he was clearly shaken up and stayed down on one knee for a few moments before leaving the field on his own. He reportedly tested positive for a concussion and was subsequently ruled out for the remainder of the game, however according to reports he tried to convince the coaching staff that he was fine. They didn’t buy it and he was not allowed back onto the field. Although the concussion does not appear to be serious is still too early to tell if he will be ready in time for the Ravens’ Week 16 game against the Giants. We’ll keep you posted on his recovery.

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