This early injury report covers the key player injuries from the previous week's NFL action.
Drew Brees, NO – Bruised Hand
Saints’ QB Drew Brees, who was roughed up and sacked 4 times on Sunday against the Rams, was seen with an ice bag on his right (throwing) hand after the game. However he insisted he was fine and according to reports the injury is not believed to be serious. It isn’t clear when he was hurt and he seemed to play the entire game without a problem, but his hand was sore enough afterwards that he required medical attention. There is speculation that he bruised his hand when he banged it against the turf on one of the sacks, but the team has not confirmed this. Brees spoke with reporters and he said that the injury isn’t a concern and team officials expect him to be fine for the Week 16 game.
Case Keenum, HOU – Sprained Thumb
According to reports Texans’ QB Case Keenum has been diagnosed with a sprained thumb on his right (throwing) hand and his status for Week 16 appears to be in question. It isn’t clear how Keenum was hurt, but interim head coach Wade Phillips told reporters that he underwent an MRI on Monday and that the team will wait and see how he is doing on Wednesday before updating his status. Despite his awful performance against the Colts, if Keenum is medically cleared the team still expects him to start in Week 16.
Donald Brown, IND – Stinger
Colts’ RB Donald Brown is being called “day-to-day” after leaving Sunday’s game against the Texans with a stinger. Brown was hurt in the first quarter and according to reports he complained of pain and numbness running down his arm and he had very little grip strength. Things did improve while he was in the locker room, but not enough for him to return to the game. He has been diagnosed with a stinger (which is a neurological injury resulting from over-stretching of nerve bundles in the shoulder and neck) and team officials expect him to miss practice time this week while he recovers. His status for Week 16 is currently unknown, but check back later in the week for an update.
Ben Tate, HOU – Fractured Ribs
Texans’ RB Ben Tate, who has been dealing with and playing through multiple fractured ribs, aggravated the injuries during Sunday’s game against the Colts and his status for Week 16 appears to be in question. It isn’t clear when Tate was hurt, but interim head coach Wade Phillips told reporters on Monday that he was being evaluated and tested. The Texans have absolutely nothing to play for at this point and even though Tate has already played several games through the pain and discomfort don’t be surprised if the medical staff shuts him down for the remainder of the season. If he doesn’t play in Week 16 look for Dennis Johnson to get the start in his place.
Peyton Hillis, NYG – Concussion
Giants’ RB Peyton Hillis left Sunday’s game against the Seahawks with a concussion and his status for Week 16 is considered questionable. Hillis was hurt at the end of a 14-yard reception in the fourth quarter and after failing a concussion test on the sideline he was declared out for the remainder of the game. According to reports he has already shown signs of improvement, but he is scheduled to undergo neurological testing today and tomorrow and a decision on his availability for Week 16 won’t be made until Thursday at the earliest.
Victor Cruz, NYG – Concussion / Minor Knee Sprain
Giants’ WR Victor Cruz is in danger of missing the final two weeks of the regular season after he left Sunday’s game against the Seahawks with a concussion and minor knee sprain. Cruz was injured when he landed on the side of his head after trying to make a catch in the third quarter. He stayed down for about a minute before walking gingerly off the field. He was then escorted to the locker room where he unfortunately tested positive for a concussion and he was subsequently ruled out for the remainder of the game. According to reports he also suffered a minor knee sprain, but it isn’t clear when it happened or what ligament in his knee has been damaged. Neither injury is considered particularly serious, however with the Giants out of playoff contention the team could decide to treat his injuries conservatively and keep him out for the remainder of the season as a precaution. We’ll definitely keep you posted on his recovery and status.
Larry Fitzgerald, ARI – Concussion
There are conflicting reports regarding the status of Cardinals’ WR Larry Fitzgerald who left Sunday’s game against the Titans with a concussion. Fitzgerald banged his head during the overtime period and he was quickly ruled out for the remainder of the game. He was reportedly feeling very ill in the locker room afterwards and according to some media outlets there were concerns that he suffered a serious concussion. However Fitzgerald’s father tweeted on Monday that his son was not only feeling better but that he passed concussion tests.” Fitzgerald’s father may have jumped the gun a little bit as Larry is still scheduled to undergo baseline testing today and tomorrow to determine the severity of his injury. It is encouraging news that he is showing signs of improvement, but we won’t know something concrete about his status until later in the week.
Jermaine Gresham, CIN – Undisclosed Hip Injury
Bengals’ TE Jermaine Gresham left Sunday night’s game against the Steelers with an undisclosed hip injury and he did not return. The exact nature and severity of Gresham’s injury has not been made public, but according to reports he was seen with an ice bag on his hip and he appeared to be walking gingerly in the locker room after the game. His status for Week 16 has yet to be determined, but we should know more about his injury after practice on Wednesday.