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Tuesday Injury Report: Week 16
Philip Gentles
December 20, 2011
 

QUARTERBACKS

Mark Sanchez, NYJ - Undisclosed Shoulder Injury

Jets’ head coach Rex Ryan is not concerned about Sanchez’ injured right shoulder and according to reports the team’s medical staff expects him to play in Week 16. Sanchez was hurt in the second half on Sunday against the Eagles and after complaining of numbness in his right hand he was pulled from the game. He apparently could have returned but with the Eagles up big Mark Brunell stayed in and finished the game. The injury was initially believed to be a stinger, but there are now reports that suggest he suffered some kind of minor shoulder sprain or strain. We’ll know more about his status after practice on Wednesday.

RUNNING BACKS

Shonn Greene, NYJ - Torn Pinkie Tendon

Jets’ RB Shonn Greene is expected to be OK after tearing a tendon in his left pinkie finger during Sunday’s game against the Eagles. According to reports Greene’s finger was X-rayed after the game and while the bones in his finger were fine, additional tests revealed that he tore a tendon. As expected his finger was swollen on Monday and he was seen with his hand wrapped. He’ll likely be limited in practice this week but head coach Rex Ryan still expects him to play in Week 16.

Chris Johnson, TEN - Sprained Ankle

According to reports Titans’ RB Chris Johnson suffered a minor ankle sprain during Sunday’s game against the Colts, however team officials believe he will be able to play in Week 16. It isn’t clear when or how Johnson was hurt, but head coach Mike Munchak told reporters that his ankle was sore on Monday and he indicated that he would likely be limited in practice this week. Fortunately the injury isn’t serious and Munchak is confident that Johnson will be able to play against the Jaguars.

Willis McGahee, DEN - Strained Hamstring

Broncos’ RB Willis McGahee, who strained his hamstring during Sunday’s game against the Patriots, will likely miss some practice time this week while he recovers however his status for Week 16 is unknown. McGahee pulled his hamstring at the end of a 29-yard run in the first quarter and he spent the remainder of  the half on the sideline. He was treated and stretched at halftime, but his hamstring remained an issue and he carried the ball just two times in the second half as a result. Head coach John Fox tried downplaying McGahee’s injury telling reporters that he wasn’t used in the second half because the team was “playing catch-up” and that they were
“doing something different.” But according to reports McGahee’s leg was sore on Monday and team officials aren’t sure if he will be able to practice on Wednesday. Check back later in the week for an update.

Ben Tate, HOU - Strained Hamstring

According to reports Texans’ RB Ben Tate suffered a strained hamstring during Sunday’s loss to the Panthers and his status for Week 16 is unknown. Tate apparently suffered the injury in the second half and his playing time was limited as a result. The injury does not appear to be serious, but team officials expect him to be limited in practice today and tomorrow. And with a game this Thursday it isn’t clear if he will be able to recover in time to play a significant role.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Ted Ginn Jr., SF - Sprained Ankle

49ers’ WR Ted Ginn Jr. did not finish Monday night’s game against the Steelers after spraining his ankle and his status for Week 16 is unknown. Ginn limped off the field after turning his ankle on the second half kickoff and he was taken to the locker room where he was examined and treated. He did not return to the game and according to reports the team won’t know what his status for Week 16 will be until after they get the results of an MRI scheduled for today. We’ll keep you posted on his recovery.

A.J. Green, CIN - AC Joint Sprain

Despite being diagnosed with acromioclavicular joint sprain (shoulder separation) Bengals’ rookie WR A.J. Green might still be able to play in Week 16 against the Cardinals, at least according to head coach Marvin Lewis. Green landed on his arm and shoulder after getting his feet tangled up with a defender at the end of the first half of Sunday’s game against the Rams. He was able to finish the game but had just two catches in the second half and he was used primarily as a decoy. He left the stadium with his arm in a sling and there were reports that he suffered a grade 3 shoulder sprain. Typically sprains and strains are given 3 grades, with grade 3 being the most severe. However AC Joint sprains/separations are the exception to the rule. These types of injuries have 6 grades, with grades 4 and higher typically requiring surgery. So what does a grade 3 AC Joint separation actually mean? Well it still means Green suffered a fairly significant injury as he has likely torn both ligaments ( acromioclavicular and coracoclavicular ligaments) in the joint and damaged the capsule surrounding the ligaments causing his collarbone to be displaced slightly upward. Surgery isn’t necessary, but it can take anywhere from 3 - 6 weeks for this type of injury to heal. So if the reports that Green’s injury is a grade 3, I find it strange that Lewis believes he might be able to play in Week 16. There are things the medical staff can do to reduce the pain and discomfort, but he’s still going to have difficulty lifting his arm above shoulder height and I’m not sure how effective he can be with that type of a restriction. We’ll know more about his status later in the week.

Stevie Johnson, BUF - Strained Groin

Bills’ WR Stevie Johnson aggravated a lingering groin problem during Sunday’s loss to the Dolphins and although he said he could have played through the injury he was held out as a precaution. Johnson appeared to pull his groin in the fourth quarter running a route. He limped off the field and tried stretching it out on the sideline. He later told reporters that could have returned but head coach Chan Gailey didn’t like the way he was moving and decided to keep him on the sideline. Johnson admitted that the groin has bothered him all season, however  he believes he will be ready to play in Week 16. Gailey said that he will have an update on Johnson’s status sometime today.

Johnny Knox, CHI - Lumbar Spine Surgery

As expected Bears’ WR Johnny Knox will miss the remainder of the season after undergoing lumbar spine surgery on Monday, however if all goes well with his recovery he should be ready to return in time for mini-camps in May. Knox was hurt when his tackled at the end of a first-quarter reception. He collided with Seahawks DT Anthony Hargrove resulting in his back bending awkwardly. After being secured to a spine board he was carted off the field and immediately taken to the hospital. According to reports Knox was able to move his arms and legs, but tests at the hospital revealed damage to a lumbar vertebrae that needed to be repaired. It isn’t exactly clear what the damage was, however he did have surgery on his back to stabilize the vertebra in question. By all accounts the surgery was a success and the team’s medical staff believes he will make a full recovery in 3 - 4 months.

Mike Williams, SEA - Fractured Ankle

Seahawks’ WR Mike Williams will miss the remainder of the season after fracturing a bone in his ankle during Sunday’s game against the Bears. Williams was hurt when he was tackled at the end of a 10-yard reception in the third quarter. He was eventually taken to the locker room where X-rays showed a break in his fibula near his ankle. It isn’t clear if he will require surgery, but the injury will keep him sidelines for at least 4 weeks which means his 2011 season is over.

TIGHT ENDS

Jake Ballard, NYG - Sprained PCL

Giants’ TE Jake Ballard will likely miss the team’s next game against the Jets after spraining the posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during Sunday’s game against the Redskins. Ballard was hurt when he landed awkwardly on his in the second quarter. He limped off the field and he was escorted to the locker room where he was examined and treated. Ballard returned to the field in the third quarter, however he was having a hard time running and cutting and he was pulled from the game for good. According to reports and MRI on his injured knee revealed a sprain to his PCL. Head coach Tom Coughlin told reporters on Monday that he’s injured that ligament before and the team’s medical staff believes he will have to miss at least a game while he recovers. He hasn’t been ruled out yet, but unless something unexpected happens look for Ballard to be inactive in Week 16.

Owen Daniels, HOU - Bruised Knee

Texans’ TE Owen Daniels, who took a shot to the knee during Sunday’s game against the Panthers, did not practice on Monday but team officials expect him to play this Thursday against the Colts. Daniels remained in the game after getting hurt, however he was seen limping a couple of times in between plays and according to reports he spent time getting treatment after the game. He likely be limited in practice this week while he recovers, but if the injury is just a contusion he should be able to play in Week 16.


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