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.
Dan Orlovsky, DET - Sprained Thumb
According to reports Lions' QB Dan Orlovsky will miss at least two weeks after spraining the thumb on his throwing hand during Sunday's game against the Bears. Orlovsky injured his thumb on the first play of the game but he was able to stay on the field and finish the half. He told reporters that he was given a painkiller at halftime and he returned for the start of the third quarter. It was obvious that his thumb was bothering him as he had trouble with his accuracy in the second half but he stayed in the lineup and completed the game. Orlovsky, who has been fitted for a removable cast, said that he was positive that he would be available for next weekend's game against the Jags. But several media outlets are reporting that he will be out for several weeks. Daunte Culpepper will probably get a large portion of the first-team reps regardless of Orlovsky's status and he will likely be the team's starting QB in Week 10.
Kyle Orton, CHI - High Ankle Sprain
Bears' QB Kyle Orton, who injured his ankle during the team's Week 9 game, will reportedly miss the next 3 - 4 weeks while he recovers. Orton was carted off the field after his ankle was bent back awkwardly as he was tackled at the end of a scramble in the second quarter. X-rays in the locker room were negative but he could not put any weight on his leg so he did not return. An MRI performed on his ankle showed that his ligaments weren't torn, but the local media is reporting that he has been diagnosed with a high ankle sprain and that he will miss at least three weeks. Head coach Lovie Smith has not confirmed these reports and he has said that the team has yet to determine the exact nature and severity of the injury. But Smith said that he will have an update on Orton's status after Wednesday's practice.
Ben Roethlisberger, PIT - Dislocated Shoulder
Steelers' QB Ben Roethlisberger, who has been dealing with soreness and inflammation in his right (throwing) shoulder all season, apparently dislocated the joint during the first half of Monday night's game and his status for Week 10 appears to be in question. According to reports Roethlisberger told the medical staff at halftime that it felt like his shoulder "popped out" and during an examination he was unable to raise his arm. X-rays were negative but he did not return to the game. Team officials have not confirmed the nature of his injury, but by his own description it sounds like he dislocated his shoulder. He is scheduled to undergo an MRI at some point today and we should know more about his Week 10 status later on this week. Byron Leftwich, who replaced Roethlisberger for the start of the third quarter, but get the start if Roethlisberger can't play.
Matt Schaub, HOU - Partially Torn MCL
Texans' QB Matt Schaub will miss the next 2 - 4 weeks after tearing the medial collateral ligament in his knee during Sunday's game. According to reports Schaub was hurt when he took a shot to the knee in the first quarter and although he stayed in the game he limped around the field for the remainder of the half. His knee began to swell at halftime and he felt very uncomfortable as he warmed up for the start of the second half so he was replaced by Sage Rosenfels. An MRI on Monday revealed a partially torn MCL. The injury will not require surgery, but he will need at least two weeks of rehab and treatment. Rosenfels will start while Schaub is out.
Antonio Pittman, STL - Aggravated Leg Fracture / Strained Hamstring
Rams' head coach Jim Haslett told reporters during his post-game press conference that RB Antonio Pittman, who missed several weeks earlier in the season because of a fractured fibula, aggravated the injury during Sunday's game and his status for Week 10 and remainder of the season has still not be determined. According to reports Pittman also pulled his hamstring and he has since undergone an MRI an additional testing on both problems. Haslett will likely update Pittman's status after practice on Wednesday but if he did aggravate his previously broken leg then he could be out for an extended period of time.
Michael Pittman, DEN - Neck Stinger
The Broncos' have placed RB Michael Pittman on Injured Reserve ending his 2008 season with what the team is calling a neck stinger. Pittman, who suffered a stinger earlier in the season, told reporters that he aggravated the injury on his third carry and he experienced pain in his neck and numbness running down his shoulder and arm for the remainder of the game. Team officials said that Pittman's neck was stiff and sore following the game, but not much else has been reported about his injury. Football players aren't usually placed on IR because of stingers so there is chance that he suffered additional damage to his neck or shoulder. We exact nature of his injury is currently unknown, but we do know that his season is over. RB Andre Hall was also placed on IR with an undisclosed hand injury that occurred during Sunday's game. That leaves rookie Ryan Torrain and Selvin Young as the team's top two running backs.
Kolby Smith, KC - Severe Knee Injury
Chiefs' RB Kolby Smith with miss the remainder of the season after suffering what the team is calling a severely sprained right knee during Sunday's game. Smith was injured when he was tackled on a carry in the second quarter and he was carted off the field and into the locker room. Head coach Herman Edwards told reporters after the game that Smith would be out for the year with a sprained knee but he did not specify what ligaments were involved. There are unconfirmed reports that Smith will need surgery to repair the damage in his knee. Jamaal Charles will now be Larry Johnson's immediate backup and as long as Johnson remains out Charles will get a majority of the carries.
Dante Hall, STL - Severe High Ankle Sprain
The Rams' have placed WR/KR Dante Hall on Injured Reserve after severely spraining his ankle during Sunday's game against the Cardinals. Hall, who was hurt when he was tackled in the second half, has been diagnosed with a high ankle sprain and the medical staff believes that he will miss the next 6 - 8 weeks while he recovers. That would mean he would return during Week 15 at the earliest and with the Rams likely missing the playoffs there would be no reason to rush him back. Drew Bennett, who has been out since Week 1 because of a broken foot, has also been placed on IR because the injury hasn't healed as quickly as the team had hoped.
Heath Miller, PIT - Undisclosed Ankle Injury
Steelers' TE Heath Miller did not play in the second half of Monday night's game because of an undisclosed ankle injury and his status for Week 10 is currently unknown. X-rays on Miller's ankle at halftime were negative and he had it heavily wrapped but he remained on the sideline. According to reports his ankle was sore after the game, however the nature and severity of the injury has not yet been determined. We should know more about his status in the next couple of days.
Jason Witten, DAL - Broken Rib
Cowboys' TE Jason Witten, who suffered a broken rib during the team's Week 8 game, was active for Sunday's game however he did not make a single catch. According to reports Witten was given painkilling injections and fitted for a protective jacket prior to the game but he didn't feel comfortable on the field and he ended up splitting playing time with Martellus Bennett. The team has a bye this upcoming week so Witten has additional time to recover so team officials expect him to be fine for their next game in Week 11.