This early injury report will provide in-depth injury information on key fantasy players that suffered injuries in the previous weekend's games. All player injuries will be tracked during the week via our Injury & Practice Reports which are published on Fridays. Be sure you check out our Priority News often during the week as all breaking player news will be posted there.
Todd Collins, CHI – Undisclosed Shoulder Injury
According to reports Bears’ backup QB Todd Collins, who replaced injured starter Jay Cutler in third quarter on Sunday, was unable to finish the game after a suffering an undisclosed injury to his throwing shoulder. The exact nature of the injury is currently unknown, but it appears that it is serious and there is speculation that it could end up requiring surgery. He’s scheduled to undergo an MRI on Tuesday, so we should know more about the injury soon.
Jay Cutler, CHI – Partially Torn MCL
Bears’ QB Jay Cutler has faced a lot of criticism for what many assumed was his decision to pull himself from the NFC Championship game. But it turns out that Cutler suffered a fairly serious knee injury and according to reports it was the medical staff’s decision to end his day. Cutler played through an early elbow abrasion, but he appeared to be in a lot of pain after hurting his left knee before halftime. He was examined and diagnosed with an MCL sprain in the locker room, however he wanted to stay in the game. He returned to the field for the start of the third quarter, but his mobility was clearly affected by the injury and the decision was made to replace him with backup Todd Collins. Head coach Lovie Smith told reporters on Monday that Cutler wanted to continue playing, however the team did not want him out there because he was having a hard time “protecting himself.” An MRI on Monday confirmed that Cutler suffered a grade II MCL sprain (partial ligament tear) and the medical will see how his knee responds to rest and treatment before they decide if surgery is necessary.
Aaron Rodgers, GB – Shoulder Soreness / Bloody Lip
Packers’ QB Aaron Rodgers was a little banged up following Sunday’s NFC Championship game, but he assured the media that he would be ready to play in time for the Super Bowl. Rodgers reportedly banged his shoulder on his first-quarter touchdown run. He returned to the field on the next series and he appeared to be fine, but head coach Mike McCarthy said on Monday that Rodgers experienced soreness after the game. He also suffered a bloody lip after a helmet-to-helmet hit in the third quarter, but neither injury is considered serious and team officials expect him to be a full participant in practice next week.
Mark Sanchez, NYJ – Torn Glenoid Labrum
Jets’ QB Mark Sanchez, who has been dealing with a torn glenoid labrum in his right (throwing) shoulder since December, aggravated the injury during Sunday’s game against the Steelers and according to reports he will visit with several specialists to see if off-season shoulder surgery will be necessary. Sanchez was hurt when he was hit from behind as he attempted to throw the ball in the second quarter. He left the field holding his arm and the injury was initially reported as an elbow injury, but it turns out that he re-injured his shoulder. The injury did not appear to affect his play in the second half and he almost brought the team back from a 24-point deficit. However he was seen with an ice bag on his shoulder in the locker room afterwards. Sanchez told reporters that he was “confident” that his shoulder would not need surgery, but he is still scheduled to see at least one orthopedic specialist for a second opinion before the team’s medical staff decides what to do.
Jerricho Cotchery, NYJ – Strained Hamstring
Jets’ WR Jerricho Cotchery strained his hamstring in the second quarter of Sunday’s game against the Steelers and he was in and out of the lineup in the third quarter as a result. But Cotchery seemed to be fine during the fourth quarter and he was a big part of the Jets’ passing attack during their late-game comeback attempt. Cotchery was hurt when Steelers’ LB Stevenson Sylvester rolled into the back of his left leg. He appeared to be in a lot of pain as he left the field and it looked like he may have injured his knee on the play. Members of the medical staff escorted him back to the locker room prior to halftime and according to reports he was examined and diagnosed with a strained hamstring. Cotchery’s playing time was limited in the third quarter because his hamstring was feeling tight, however things loosened up for him in the fourth quarter and he became an important part of the offense. As expected he was sore after the game, but the injury is not considered serious and he has plenty of time to recover before the start of OTAs.
Chad Clifton, LT, GB – Stinger
Packers’ LT Chad Clifton missed two series in the first half of Sunday’s game after suffering a stinger, but he was able to return and he should be fine for the Super Bowl. Clifton was hurt when he was accidentally hit in the head by teammate John Kuhn on a passing play near the goal-line. According to reports he immediately felt pain and numbness run down his arm. He sat out the next two offensive series, but he returned to field after regaining the sensation in his affected shoulder and arm. Clifton admitted after the game that his neck and shoulder were very sore and he will probably won’t practice this week while he recovers. However head coach Mike McCarthy indicated that Clifton would be ready for Super Bowl.
Maurkice Pouncey, C, PIT – High Ankle Sprain
Steelers’ C Maurkice Pouncey is considered questionable for the Super Bowl after the talented rookie left Sunday’s game with a high ankle sprain. Pouncey, who hurt his left ankle when Jets’ LB Bryan Thomas rolled up on his leg in the first quarter, was unable to put pressure on his injured ankle and he was eventually carted to the locker room. According to reports precautionary X-rays were negative, but he was declared out for the remainder of the game after being diagnosed with a high ankle sprain. Pouncey will not practice this week and he probably won’t do much in practice next week, but he told reporters that he plans on playing in the Super Bowl against the Packers. Its one thing to want to play, but it is too early to tell if he actually can. We’ll keep you posted on his recovery.
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Erik Walden, LB, GB – Sprained Ankle
Packers’ LB Erik Walden left Sunday’s NFC Championship Game after suffering a sprained ankle and his status for the Super Bowl is currently unknown. According to reports Walden will spend a lot of time in the training room this week getting treatment. Head coach Mike McCarthy told reporters that the team needs to see how his ankle responds to rest and treatment before they know what his status for next week’s practice will be. There is concern that the injury might be serious, so there is a chance that he might not be ready in time for the big game. Check back next week for an update.