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Early Injury Report - Week 5
Philip Gentles
September 30, 2008
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QUARTERBACKS

Gus Frerotte, MIN - Hand Laceration

Vikings' QB Gus Frerotte suffered a laceration on his left (non-throwing) hand during Sunday's game, however the injury isn't serious and the team expects him to play in Week 5. Frerotte was hurt when his hand was caught in the facemask of another player's helmet at the end of a pass play in the second half. There was a significant amount of blood coming from the laceration, but according to reports it only required two stitches to close. Frerotte said that his hand was fine and that he expected to practice on Thursday and start next Monday night.

Carson Palmer, CIN - Elbow Inflammation

Bengals' QB Carson Palmer was inactive for Sunday's game because of inflammation in his throwing elbow and there are unconfirmed reports that he may need to undergo Tommy John surgery to fix the problem. Palmer, who was limited throughout practice last week because of pain in his elbow, underwent an MRI and according to team officials it revealed inflammation but no damage to the ligaments and surrounding tendons. There is speculation that the injury is more serious than just swelling and several media outlets are reporting that he may need Tommy John surgery to repair it. If this is true he is dealing with a partially torn or completely torn ligament. But Palmer had denied these reports and he says that he will do everything he can to play in Week 5. Head coach Marvin Lewis told reporters that Palmer would be limited in practice this week and that he will prepare Ryan Fitzpatrick to start in Week 5 in case Palmer does not recover in time. Palmer owners should be concerned. It appears that there is more to the injury than what the Bengals are telling the public. Hopefully it isn't as bad as a torn elbow ligament. We'll keep you posted on his recovery.

Aaron Rodgers, GB - Sprained Shoulder

According to reports Packers' QB Aaron Rodgers has been diagnosed with a sprained shoulder and there is a chance that he will be able to play in the team's Week 5 game against the Falcons. Rodgers was hurt when he fell on his shoulder on a scramble in the third quarter. He stayed in the game long enough to throw a touchdown pass but he eventually left in the fourth quarter. Rodgers told reporters after the game that he might have separated his shoulder, however head coach Mike McCarthy told reporters on Monday that an MRI revealed no major structural damage and that he had been officially diagnosed with a shoulder sprain. He did not say if the glenohumeral joint or acromioclavicular joint was involved (a moderate sprain at the acromioclavicular or AC joint is also known as a separated shoulder). McCarthy wasn't sure if Rodgers would active next Sunday but he said that the team would know more about his status after practice on Wednesday.

RUNNING BACKS

Correll Buckhalter, PHI - Mild Lower Back Contusion

Eagles' RB Correll Buckhalter was feeling sore on Monday but he was doing OK after suffering what the team is calling a mild lower back contusion on Sunday night against the Bears. Buckhalter, who was filling in for injured starting RB Brian Westbrook, was hurt when he tried to make a tackle following an interception by Donovan McNabb. He was taken back to the locker room where he was examined and X-rayed. According to reports X-rays were negative and he was allowed to return to the game. Buckhalter admitted that he was feeling sore and stiff on Monday morning, however team officials believe that he will be able to practice by Thursday.

Darren McFadden, OAK - Turf Toe

Raiders' head coach Lane Kiffin told reporters during his Monday press conference that rookie RB Darren McFadden's toe "wasn't right" and he indicated that he would have been inactive had Justin Fargas been healthy enough to play. McFadden has been dealing with turf toe for several weeks and he appeared to aggravate the injury in the second quarter of Sunday's game. According to reports McFadden took his shoe off and had his toe examined and retaped in the first half and he was in and out of the lineup for the remainder of the game. The bye week couldn't have come at a better time for the Raiders, as it will give McFadden an extra week to rest and recover. Kiffin is optimistic that McFadden will be close to full speed when they take the field for their next game in Week 6.

Willis McGahee, BAL - Bruised Chest

Ravens' RB Willis McGahee left Monday night's game with a chest injury and he appeared to be in a tremendous amount of pain and discomfort as he was taken to the locker room. However he was able to return to the field in the second half and he had only a few carries the remainder of the game. McGahee was slow to get up after a carry in the second quarter but he was back on the field on the next offensive series. Unfortunately he took a shot to the chest area a few minutes later and he had to be helped off the field by the medical staff. According to reports he underwent X-rays in the locker room and while the results have not been released they must have been negative since he was cleared to return. He did not play late in the fourth quarter and overtime. The severity of the injury and his status for Week 5 is currently unknown but we should know more later today or tomorrow.

Rashard Mendenhall, PIT - Fractured Shoulder

Steelers' rookie RB Rashard Mendenhall left Monday night's game after suffering an undisclosed injury to his left shoulder. He was examined on the sideline after getting hurt and he was eventually carted back to the locker room. He later returned to the sideline in the fourth quarter but he did not reenter the game. Further examination after the game revealed that Mendenhall had fractured his shoulder. The team is expected to place him on Injured Reserve, ending his season.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Anquan Boldin, ARI - Concussion

Cardinals' WR Anquan Boldin avoided major injury after taking a hard helmet-to-helmet hit in the second half of Sunday's game against the Jets, however his status for Week 5 is in doubt. Boldin was knocked unconscious when he was hit from behind by a Jets defender and at the same time hit in the front of the head by DB Eric Smith (who has been fined and suspended a game for the hit) while trying to make a catch in the endzone. Boldin was motionless on the ground for several minutes and he was eventually strapped to spine board and taken off the field in an ambulance. He regained consciousness while on the stretcher and he had full use and feeling in his extremities but he was transported to the hospital as a precaution. According to reports he passed all neurological tests and he was eventually released from the hospital that night and allowed to travel back home. Head coach Ken Whisenhunt told reporters that Boldin was not seriously hurt and said that the team wasn't prepared to call his injury a concussion. But anytime a player is knocked out cold the way Boldin the injury is definitely going to be classified as a concussion. Now Whisenhunt said that Boldin's status for Week 5 is "up in the air" indicating that he may still be cleared to play. This is the kind of injury that should keep him out at least a couple of weeks. But NFL team's have been accused of rushing concussed players back too soon so it wouldn't surprise me if the Cardinals tried to get him on the field as early as next weekend. We'll keep you posted.

Brandon Lloyd, CHI - Undisclosed Knee Injury

Brandon Lloyd's status for Week 5 is currently unknown after the Bears' WR injured his left knee during Sunday night's game against the Eagles. Lloyd, who was hurt when he was pushed out of bounds following a 24-yard reception in the second quarter, was seen wearing a large knee brace as he left the stadium following the game. He was scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday however the results have not been made public. According to reports team officials are concerned that the injury could keep him out of the lineup for a significant amount of time. Lloyd has not commented on his injury, but we should get an update on the severity and his status either today or tomorrow.

Cliff Russell, DEN - Sprained Neck

Broncos' WR/KR Cliff Russell suffered a sprained neck during Sunday's game against the Chiefs, but the good news is that he was not seriously hurt and it looks like he is going to make a full recovery. Russell was taken off the field on a stretcher after being hit while covering a kick in the fourth quarter. He was able to waive to the crowd as he left the field, but he was taken to the hospital as a precaution. According to reports he complained of pain in his neck and the medical staff was initially concerned. But he was later released from the hospital and it appears that he is going to be OK. His status for Week 5 is currently unknown but the team is preparing to play without him.

TIGHT ENDS

Randy McMichael, STL - Sprained Ankle

Rams' TE Randy McMichael suffered what appears to be a sprained ankle during Sunday's loss to the Bills and his status for the team's next game in Week 6 is currently unknown. McMichael initially turned his ankle in the first quarter and he had it taped on the sideline. He was able to return to the field but he later aggravated the injury in the fourth quarter and he had to be helped off the field. According to reports the team believed that his injury was serious and he has since undergone an MRI an additional testing. The results of the MRI have not been revealed however McMichael was seen with crutches and a protective boot on his injured foot. The Rams have a bye in Week 5 so he has an extra week to recover. But at this point the team isn't sure if he will be ready to play when they play in two weeks.

Kellen Winslow Jr., CLE - Undisclosed Knee Injury

Browns' TE Kellen Winslow reportedly injured his knee during Sunday's game against the Bengals. However the team does not believe that the injury is serious and they expect him to play in their next game following their Week 5 bye. Winslow was taken back to the locker room after hurting his knee in the second half but he later returned to the field and he finished the game. Winslow told reporters that his knee was sore, but said that the soreness was nothing out of the ordinary and that he expected to play against the Giants in two weeks. The exact nature and severity of the injury is currently unknown, but we will let you know as soon as information becomes available.

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