This early injury report covers the key player injuries from the previous week's NFL action.
Tony Romo, DAL – Herniated Disc
Cowboys’ QB Tony Romo could miss the remainder of the season after an MRI on his injured back on Monday morning revealed a herniated disc in his lower back. Romo, who has a history of back problems, appeared to hurt himself when he spun away from pressure during a fourth quarter passing play. He stayed in the game but was clearly in some discomfort. According to reports tests have indicated that Romo suffered a herniated disc in his lower back that will at some point require surgery to repair. Cowboy’s head coach Jason Garrett told reporters on Monday that Romo will undergo treatment before a decision on his availability for Week 17 is determined. Unfortunately it does appear that he suffered an injury that will likely end his season. We’ll keep you posted, but look for Kyle Orton to get the start for the team against the Eagles.
Ryan Tannehill, MIA – Undisclosed Knee Injury
Dolphins’ QB Ryan Tannehill briefly left Sunday’s game against the Bills after hurting his knee in the fourth quarter. However the injury is considered minor and the team expects him to be available for their crucial Week 17 game against the Jets. Tannehill appeared to twist his leg when he was sacked by Kyle Williams in the fourth quarter. He limped off the field and missed 1 series but after being examined by the medical staff he was cleared to return and finish the game. According to reports Tannehill underwent a precautionary MRI on his injured knee on Monday. The results have not been made public, but team officials have indicated that they expect him to be in the starting lineup this upcoming weekend.
Andre Brown, NYG - Concussion
Giants’ RB Andre Brown suffered a concussion on Sunday against the Lions and had to be carted off the field. Fortunately the injury does not appear to be serious and there is a chance that he will be cleared in time to play in Week 17. Brown took a shot to the head on a carry in overtime that resulted in a fumble and he was so dizzy that he needed to be taken off the field on a cart. He was evaluated for a concussion in the locker room and did not return to the game. According to reports his condition rapidly improved and he was later seen interacting with teammates as they changed after the game. He’s scheduled to undergo baseline testing today and tomorrow and while the concussion doesn’t seem serious he is still being considered questionable for Week 17. A decision on his availability won’t be made before Thursday.
Eddie Lacy, GB – Sprained Ankle
Packers’ RB Eddie Lacy aggravated his sprained ankle on Sunday against the Steelers and his status for Week 17 appears to be in question. Lacy, who had been dealing with a sprained ankle since December 8, appeared to twist the same leg at the end of a third-quarter run. He limped to the sideline and sat on the bench where he was briefly examined by the medical staff. Lacy never returned to the game and team officials later confirmed that he re-injured the same ankle that had been bothering him for the last 2 weeks. Head coach Mike McCarthy told reporters on Monday that Lacy was sore and he indicated that he wouldn’t see the practice field until Thursday at the earliest. McCarthy wasn’t sure if Lacy would be ready in time to play in their regular season finale, so check back later in the week for an update.
Ryan Mathews, SD – Undisclosed Ankle Injury
Chargers’ RB Ryan Mathews, who suffered an undisclosed injury to his left ankle during Sunday’s game against the Raiders, was seen wearing a walking boot after the game and his status for Week 17 remains uncertain. Mathews briefly left the game after twisting his foot but after having his foot and ankle taped he was able to return. Mathews told reporters after the game that the injury wasn’t serious and that he was fitted for a protective boot as a precaution however the team did not have update on his status on Monday. Mathews is optimistic, but team officials are currently non-committal about his availability. He’ll likely miss practice this week while he recovers and hopefully we’ll know more about the injury and its severity before the weekend.
Shane Vereen, NE – Strained Groin
Patriots’ RB Shane Vereen reportedly strained his groin during Sunday’s game against the Ravens and his status for Week 17 is in question. Vereen was hurt while running a deep route in the first quarter. He pulled up halfway through the route and limped off the field. He tried to stretch it out on the sideline, but he was eventually taken back to the locker room where he was evaluated and treated. He later returned to the sideline, but he never returned to the game. As expected the Patriots have had very little to say about the injury and we probably won’t get much information about his status for Week 17 until gameday, but don’t be surprised if he misses practice time this week while he recovers.
Calvin Johnson, DET – Lingering Knee and Ankle Soreness
Lions’ WR Calvin Johnson, who has been battling soreness in his knee and ankle all season, was limited on Sunday against the Giants and with the Lions out of the playoff hunt the medical staff could decide to sit him out of the team’s Week 17 game. It isn’t clear what Johnson is dealing with, but he’s had an ankle problem nearly all season and has dealt with soreness in his right knee for several years. Both chronic injuries have kept him out of many practices this year and head coach Jim Schwartz admitted that Megatron has been playing at less than 100% for sometime now. When asked if Johnson would need surgery to address his issues in the off-season Schwartz said that he didn’t think so, but since these injuries have lingered for so long don’t be surprised if one or both require some kind of surgical intervention. We should know more about his Week 17 status after practice on Wednesday.
Steve Smith, CAR – Sprained PCL
According to reports Panthers’ veteran WR Steve Smith will miss the final week of the regular season after an MRI on his injured left knee revealed a partial tear to the posterior cruciate ligament. Smith was hurt when he tried to jump for a pass in the first quarter. He apparently “heard something pop” as he planted to jump and he immediately fell to the ground and grabbed his knee. He was able to limp off the field and he even returned for a play, but he couldn’t continue and he was escorted to the locker room where he was examined and treated. The injury, while not as serious as it could have been, does put his status for the playoffs in question. He’s officially being listed as “week-to-week,” but this is the kind of injury that requires several weeks of rest, rehab and treatment to recover from so don’t expect Smith to be 100% anytime soon.