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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Early Injury Report - Week 8
Philip Gentles
October 21, 2008
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This in-depth early week injury report runs down the key fantasy injuries from the past weekend's games. A more complete list of key injured players can be found in our Mid-Week Injury Tracker Report on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Be sure you check out our Priority News often during the week as all breaking news will be posted there.

QUARTERBACKS

Brodie Croyle, KC - Surgery to Repair Torn MCL

Chiefs' head coach Herman Edwards told reporters after Sunday's game that QB Brodie Croyle suffered significant damage to the medical collateral ligament in his knee and he will likely need surgery to repair the problem. Team officials have already said that Croyle will miss the remainder of the season and there was speculation that he injured his ACL. But Edwards did not mention the ACL in his press conference. He did indicate that there was additional damage in Croyle's knee that would probably need to be fixed. Croyle was hurt when he was hit in the leg by a Titans' defender in the first half of Sunday's game. He will reportedly be placed on Injured Reserve at some time this week.

Jay Cutler, DEN - Bruised Index Finger

Broncos' QB Jay Cutler injured the index finger on his throwing hand early in Monday night's game and it clearly affected his effectiveness. Cutler was hurt when his hand hit the helmet of a Patriots' defender on the follow through of a pass in the first quarter. He appeared to be in pain and he was examined on the sideline when the series was over. The TV announcers speculated that his index finger appeared to be swollen, but he continued to play. He reinjured the finger when he was hit hard in the second quarter on a play that resulted in an interception. Cutler was replaced by backup Patrick Ramsey and he missed the final offensive series of the first half. However he returned to the field in the third quarter and he finished the game. The exact nature of Cutler's injury is currently unknown but there are reports that the team is initially calling it a bruise. He is scheduled to undergo further testing today and we should know more about his status soon.

Damon Huard, KC - Sprained Thumb

Chiefs' QB Damon Huard, who was in for the injured Brodie Croyle, left in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game with an injury of his own. Huard was hit a lot while on the field and he reportedly sprained his thumb after getting hammered on a pass play. He left the game and was examined and treated on the sideline. He appeared to be in a lot of pain and discomfort while the medical staff heavily wrapped and secured his thumb. He underwent an MRI on Monday and while the results have not been made public we should get an update on his injury after Wednesday's practice. Tyler Thigpen, who replaced Huard at the end of Sunday's game, will get the start in Week 8 if Huard is unable to play.

RUNNING BACKS

Reggie Bush, NO - Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

Saints' RB Reggie Bush will miss the next 2 - 6 weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery to repair and remove damaged cartilage in his left knee on Monday. Bush, who had been bothered by knee pain and inflammation since training camp, aggravated the problem during a punt return in the first half of Sunday's game and according to reports he was officially diagnosed with a torn medical meniscus. Bush was already ruled out for the team's Week 8 game against the Chargers in London and after the corrective surgery orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews said that Bush would be out anywhere from 2 - 4 weeks. There is speculation that the Saints will keep Bush out a lot longer however that depends on how the recovery goes. If all goes well Bush could be back as early as Week 10, after the team's bye. Deuce McAllister and Pierre Thomas will share the carries while Bush is out.

Steven Jackson, STL - Strained Quadriceps

The Rams received some good news on Monday afternoon regarding RB Steven Jackson's injured quadriceps. The team's medical staff initially believed that Jackson's injury could keep him out up to three weeks. But an MRI revealed what head coach Jim Haslett classified as a "slight strain" and there is a chance that he will be available for the team's Week 8 game against the Patriots. Jackson appeared to pull his quad during a run in the fourth quarter and he was eventually escorted to the locker room for treatment. Haslett told reporters after the game that he hoped the injury wasn't severe, and it appears he got his wish. According to reports Jackson will likely miss practice on Wednesday and be limited on Thursday and Friday. Haslett believes that Jackson will be able to play, but he won't know for sure until the team sees how his leg responds to treatment.

Laurence Maroney, NE - Undisclosed Shoulder Injury

In a surprising move the New England Patriots announced on Monday that they have placed RB Laurence Maroney on Injured Reserve because of a lingering shoulder injury. Maroney, who has missed games and practice time because of an undisclosed shoulder injury, has a history of shoulder problems and there is speculation that his current injury is related to the one that required corrective surgery in the off-season earlier this year. The team has not announced the exact nature of his injury but it has to be severe or it wouldn't have ended his season. As soon as we know more we will let you know.

Sammy Morris, NE - Undisclosed Knee Injury

Patriots' RB Sammy Morris had a spectacular first half on Monday night racking up 138 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. But the team announced at the start of the third quarter that Morris suffered an undisclosed knee injury and he did not play in the second half. The exact nature and severity of the injury is currently unknown and it is unclear when or how he was hurt and as expected team officials aren't saying a thing about it. With Maroney out for the year and LaMont Jordan inactive because of a lingering calf injury undrafted rookie Benjarvus Green-Ellis got a bulk of carries in Morris' place and if Morris doesn't play in Week 8 look for Green-Ellis and Kevin Faulk to split carries against the Rams.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Anquan Boldin, ARI - Severe Head Trauma / Concussion

As reported here first on The Huddle Cardinals' WR Anquan Boldin revealed in an interview on Monday that he actually suffered a concussion as well as other serious injuries when he was hurt back in Week 4. Boldin, who was on the wrong end of a vicious helmet-to-helmet during as game against the Jets three weeks ago, said that on top of his concussion and sinus membrane fracture he had 8 plates surgically inserted into his face to repair additional fractures and two wires secured to his lower jaw to correct his bite. Boldin actually lost 10 pounds shortly after getting hurt, but he has since regained the weight. According to reports Boldin passed a concussion test last week and he has resumed non-contact drills, but he still hasn't been cleared for contact and it is currently unknown if he will be able to play in Week 8. Based on Boldin's description of his injuries and treatment I would be surprised if he is allowed to play this upcoming week.

Plaxico Burress, NYG - Bruised Pinkie Finger

There are reports that Giants' WR Plaxico Burress reinjured the same pinkie finger that bothered him throughout the 2007 season, but it appears that he actually bruised the other pinkie finger and he should be OK for the team's Week 8 game. Several media outlets, siting an unnamed source close to Burress, are reporting that the Giants' WR aggravated the torn tendon in his pinkie finger and that he was scheduled to undergo X-rays and additional testing on it on Monday. Burress tore a tendon in his pinkie last season and he decided not to have it surgically repaired in the off-season. The injury prevents him from completely extending the digit, but it doesn't affect his ability to catch and carry the ball. But it appears that this latest injury is to the pinkie on his other hand and X-rays on the finger have reportedly come back negative. Burress is currently wearing a splint to protect his finger and head coach Tom Coughlin is expected to clarify the situation during his Wednesday press conference.

Jerrico Cotchery, NYJ - Undisclosed Leg Injury

Jets' WR Jerrico Cotchery was limited to just one catch and zero yards after suffering an undisclosed leg injury during Sunday's loss to the Raiders. Cotchery, who was apparently hurt in the first half, had a tough time getting open while he was on the field and he was in and out of the lineup as a result. The exact nature and severity of the injury is currently unknown and his status for Week 8 remains a mystery. There are reports that he was seen limping on Monday but that's not nearly enough to know what will happen this week. Hopefully the team releases information regarding Cotchery's injury soon.

Andre Davis, HOU - Finger Surgery

Texans' head coach Gary Kubiak told reporters on Monday that WR /KR Andre Davis was scheduled to undergo surgery on his left ring finger to repair a problem that "has been giving him fits" for several weeks and his status for Week 8 is in question. Davis apparently dislocated and broke his finger while catching a ball a few weeks ago and it has given him trouble ever since. He tried playing through the discomfort but he has reportedly had trouble holding onto passes and fielding kickoffs. Kubiak said that if the medical staff surgically inserts a pin into finger that he would probably miss at least one game while he recovers. We should know more about his Week 8 status sometime today or tomorrow.

Devin Hester, CHI - Quadriceps Contusion

According to reports Bears' WR/KR Devin Hester left Sunday's game with a bruised quadriceps muscle and although he was unable to return it looks like he will OK when the team returns from it's Week 8 bye. Maurice Hicks hit Hester in thigh on the opening kickoff in the third quarter and he limped off the field and taken to the locker room where was examined and treated. He was diagnosed with a quad contusion and he was unable to return. Hester spoke with reporters on Monday morning and he said that his leg, while sore and stiff, was feeling a lot better. The Bears have a bye this upcoming weekend so he has plenty of time to rest and recover. Team officials expect him to play in Week 9 against the Lions.

Ike Hilliard, TB - Concussion

Bucs' WR Ike Hilliard, who was carted off the field on Sunday night after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit in the first half, has been diagnosed with a concussion and his status for Week 8 is in question. Hilliard was hurt when he was hit in the head following a reception in the second quarter. He reportedly lost consciousness immediately after the hit and he fell to the ground. He was motionless for several moments and his arms remained extended until the medical staff got to him. He quickly regained consciousness and he was able to get up with the help of team trainers, but he was carted off the field and into the locker room. Hilliard was eventually taken to a local hospital where he spent most of the night as a precaution. He was released prior to Monday morning and head coach Jon Gruden told reporters that "all indications are good." Gruden went on to say that Hilliard could practice this week and indicated that he could be cleared to play in time for Week 8, but I have a hard time believing that the medical staff will clear him for contact that quickly. We will keep you posted.

TIGHT ENDS

Jeremy Shockey, NO - Sports Hernia

Saints' WR Jeremy Shockey made the trip with the Saints to London on Monday but it is unclear if he will be able to play against the Chargers in Week 8. Shockey told reporters after Sunday's game that he aggravated his sports hernia in the first quarter and that it bothered him the remainder of the day. He went on to say that he was unhappy with the team's medical staff and he accused them of misdiagnosing the injury that he said happened during training camp and rushing him back too quickly from his recent sports' hernia surgery. Shockey did say he hoped that the pain and discomfort he felt on Sunday was as a result of torn scar tissue. He was scheduled to undergo additional testing in London on Monday evening and we should know more about his Week 8 status later on this week.

Kellen Winslow, CLE - Staph Infection

Browns' TE Kellen Winslow revealed following Sunday's loss that he missed practice and the team's Week 6 game because of a staph infection. The Browns, who have had several players come down with the contagious infection over the last couple of years, were apparently trying to keep this latest problem private and with good reason. The team has been investigated by OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) on several occasions as a result of these infections and although the medical staff has been cleared of any wrong doing this latest case doesn't make them look good. Winslow was reportedly upset with GM Phil Savage for not calling him while he was in the hospital. Winslow played in Sunday's game and while he didn't have a big day he looked healthy.

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