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Early Injury Report - Week 15
Philip Gentles
December 9, 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

Daunte Culpepper, DET – Undisclosed Shoulder Injury

Lions’ QB Daunte Culpepper injured his shoulder at the end of Sunday’s game against the Vikings and his status for Week 15 is still unknown. Culpepper was hurt when he was hit while trying to throw a deep pass in the final seconds of the fourth quarter. He walked off the field and he appeared to be in pain while on the sideline. Head coach Rod Marinelli told reporters on Monday that the team was still waiting for the results of an MRI. There is speculation that he separated his shoulder, but that has not been confirmed by team officials. We should know more about his injury status later on in the week.

Gus Frerotte, MIN – Lower Back Contusion

Vikings’ head coach Brad Childress told reporters on Monday morning that QB Gus Frerotte’s injured lower back was “very sore” and that he wasn’t sure if he would be active against the Cardinals in Week 15. Frerotte hurt his lower back while making a tackle after throwing an interception in the second quarter. He was examined and stretched on the sideline but he was eventually carted to the locker room where he underwent X-rays and additional testing. His back became increasingly stiffer and he was unable to return to the game. According to a local newspaper there is concern that Frerotte cracked a bone in his lower back, but at this point that is nothing more than speculation. We should know more about his Week 15 availability on Wednesday.  

Matt Hasselbeck, SEA – Bulging Lower Back Disc

According to reports Seahawks’ QB Matt Hasselbeck aggravated his lower back injury in Week 13 and he said on Monday that the team is considering keeping him on the sideline for the remainder of the season. Hasselbeck missed 5 games earlier in the season after a bulging disc in his lower back compressed a nerve that resulted in weakness and instability in his knee. He was finally cleared to return but he apparently reinjured his back two weeks ago against the Cowboys and after missing all of last week’s practice he was inactive for Sunday’s game. Hasselbeck told reporters that his back just hasn’t had enough time to heal and with nothing left to play for the Seahawks are considering placing him on Injured Reserve. Seneca Wallace will continue to start while Hasselbeck is out.

RUNNING BACKS

Joseph Addai, IND – Shoulder Soreness

Colts’ RB Joseph Addai aggravated a lingering shoulder problem on Sunday against the Bengals, however head coach Tony Dungy said that he could have returned to the game had the team needed him and that he should be ready to play in Week 15. Addai, who was injured on a carry in the third quarter, was examined on the sideline and although he seemed to be OK he did not go back into the game. Team officials acknowledge that Addai has been dealing with a shoulder injury for sometime now and that he aggravated it on Sunday. The exact nature of the injury has not been made public, but it could keep him limited in practice this week. Dominic Rhodes has played fairly well since rejoining the Colts and with Addai at less than 100% expect him to remain involved in the offense for the remainder of the season.

Frank Gore, SF – Ankle Sprain / Contusion

The good news is that the injury to 49ers’ RB Frank Gore does not appear to be serious and he told a reporter on Monday that he plans on playing against the Dolphins in his hometown of Miami in Week 15. The bad news is that the injury is serious enough that it will keep him out of practice this week and head coach Mike Singletary isn’t sure if he will be healthy enough to play. Gore was hurt when he was tackled on a carry in the third quarter. He tried to walk off the field on his own but he couldn’t and he had to be helped off. He was eventually carted to the locker room where he was X-rayed and treated. The X-rays were reportedly negative but he did not return to the game. According to reports Gore was seen limping around the locker room afterwards and he was feeling sore on Monday morning. He has been diagnosed with an ankle sprain and bone contusion and Singletary indicated that he would be held out of practice until at least Friday. If Gore isn’t ruled out of Week 15 before the weekend, he will likely end up a game-time decision. He really wants to play in front of his family and friends next weekend so he will do everything he can to get ready. But the team is preparing to play without him. We’ll keep you posted.

Peyton Hillis, DEN – Torn Hamstring

Broncos’ RB Peyton Hillis has been placed on Injured Reserve and he will miss the remainder of the season after an MRI revealed a significant tear in his hamstring. Hillis, who was hurt when his leg appeared to bend awkwardly after making a great catch in the second quarter, was in a lot of pain in the locker room and he was later seen moving around on crutches. Head coach Mike Shanahan told reporters after the game that Hillis was likely lost for the regular season. An MRI done on Hillis’ leg on Monday revealed what Shanahan described as a “two to three inch” tear in his hamstring and he said that Hillis will visit a specialist this week to see if surgery is needed to repair the damage. Needless to say there was no chance that he would be ready at any point during the playoffs (assuming the Broncos made it) and so he was placed on IR. Selvin Young is still not 100% so look for Tatum Bell to take over as the team’s primary running back.

Brandon Jacobs, NYG – Sprained MCL

Giants’ RB Brandon Jacobs was held out of the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game after aggravating his sprained knee on a carry in the third quarter. Jacobs, who sprained his medial collateral ligament in Week 11 and missed the team’s Week 12 game, has been dealing with soreness in his knee since getting hurt 3 weeks ago and head coach Tom Coughlin confirmed that he aggravated the injury against the Eagles and that he was again sore on Monday. Jacobs spoke with a reporter after the game on Sunday and he said that the injury was “nothing serious” and that “it didn’t cause any more damage” to his knee. An MRI on his knee showed no additional ligament damage but there was swelling within the joint and it was very sore after testing. Jacobs will likely miss practice time this week and his status for Week 15 will be determined later on in the week. The Giants have already qualified for the playoffs so don’t be surprised if the team decides to limit Jacobs’ playing time so that he is healthy for the post-season. 

Willis McGahee, BAL – Stinger

Ravens’ RB Willis McGahee left Sunday’s game with yet another injury. This time he took a big hit and was sidelined with what team officials are calling a stinger. According to reports McGahee complained of pain and tingling in his neck and shoulder and weakness in his hand while being examined on the sideline. He began to show sings of improvement, but not enough for him to return to the game. According to reports McGahee has also been dealing with migraines since early last week and he missed practice last Thursday as a result. Head coach John Harbaugh said that McGahee is “day-to-day” and although he is expected to be limited in practice this week he should be healthy enough to play against the Steelers. Rookie RB Ray Rice suffered a leg contusion that kept him out of the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game, however Harbaugh expects him to be active in Week 15.

WIDE RECEIVERS / TIGHT ENDS

Marty Booker, WR, CHI – Cracked Rib

Bears’ WR Marty Booker will likely miss at least one game after X-rays on his injured chest revealed a cracked rib. Booker was hurt when he was hit by two Jags’ defenders after making at catch in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game. He was helped off the field and according to reports he was having trouble breathing while on the sideline. X-rays in the locker room showed that he had a crack in one of his ribs and he was unable to finish the game. There are reports that suggest that Booker could play in Week 15 if he can deal with the pain and discomfort. However there is a better chance that he will miss the team’s next game while he recovers.

Kevin Curtis, WR, PHI – Concussion

WR Kevin Curtis’ status for Week 15 is questionable after he was knocked out of Sunday’s game against the Giants with a concussion. Curtis was hurt when he was hit while trying to make a catch in the second quarter. Curtis was escorted to the locker room where he was examined and diagnosed by the medical staff with a concussion. The severity of the concussion is currently unknown, however head coach Andy Reid indicated that Curtis would likely miss practice this week while he recovers. Reid did not say if Curtis would be able to play this upcoming Monday night against the Browns but concussions are supposed to keep players on the sideline for at least a week. That’s not always the case in the NFL, but we should know more about his injury status later on in the week.

Jason Witten, TE, DAL – Minor Ankle Sprain and Sore Chest

Jason Witten, who suffered a minor ankle sprain and aggravated his chest during Sunday’s game, was feeling sore on Monday however team officials are optimistic that he will be back in the starting lineup in Week 15. Witten injured his ankle early in the first half and he was examined and treated on the sideline before returning to the game. He apparently felt pain in his chest after getting hit towards the end of the first half and he was taken back to the locker room for X-rays. Team officials have not said if they were looking at his previously broken ribs or if this was something new, but he was cleared to return and he was back on the field in the third quarter. There is a good chance that he will be held out of practice on Wednesday but at this point it looks like he will be healthy enough to play next weekend against the Giants.

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