After seven of the most injury-marred weeks in recent NFL history, the football Gods were kinder in Week 8, with fewer major injuries to report than in the past. Perhaps most notable is the hamstring strain suffered by New York Giants' wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, who will undergo an MRI on Monday to determine the extent of the injury.
Here are the key injuries from the week so far, and their potential impact:
Montario Hardesty, Cleveland Browns (calf)
Hardesty, filling in as the Browns' feature back in Peyton Hillis's absence, suffered a calf injury in the second quarter of Cleveland's 20-10 loss to San Francisco. Hardesty only took two carries before leaving the game, with Chris Ogbonnaya taking over duties at running back. With little having come from Cleveland regarding the severity of Hardesty's injury, Browns fans will hope Hillis, sidelined the past two weeks with a hamstring strain, is able to return next week against Houston.
Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants (hamstring)
The Giants' top receiving threat pulled his right hamstring late in the team's 20-17 come-from-behind win over the Miami Dolphins. Nicks had previously admitted that since suffering a mild right knee injury in Week 1, he had been compensating by placing additional stress on the hamstring, and it is possible this may have contributed to Sunday's injury. Nicks will undergo an MRI of the leg Monday to determine the extent of the injury, with Mario Manningham and Victor Cruz - each of whom caught a touchdown Sunday - ready to pick up the pace if he misses time.
Mike Pouncey, Miami Dolphins (neck)
Pouncey left in the third quarter of the Dolphins' 20-17 loss to the New York Giants with a neck injury, and the team was not the same thereafter. With Pouncey out, the Dolphins ran 13 offensive plays for a combined 4 yards, including three sacks against QB Matt Moore. With no further report on the extent of Pouncey's injury to this point, the 0-7 Dolphins will have to wait upon further testing to determine whether he is able to play next week against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Sean Lee, Dallas Cowboys (wrist)
The Cowboys' leading tackler suffered what was preliminarily diagnosed as a dislocated left wrist in the first quarter of Dallas' 34-7 loss at Philadelphia on Sunday night and did not return to action. Lee, whose wrist bent back awkwardly while trying to make a tackle on Eagles' QB Michael Vick, will have an MRI today to further characterize the injury. With his status for Week 9 against Seattle in jeopardy, veterans Keith Brooking and Bradie James would be called upon to help fill Lee's sizeable shoes on the Dallas defense.
LaMarr Woodley, Pittsburgh Steelers (hamstring)
The only bad news coming out of Pittsburgh following its 25-17 win over New England is the state of its linebacker corps, further decimated with a hamstring injury to Woodley. The Steelers' star left in the third quarter after pulling up and clutching the back of his leg while rushing Patriots' QB Tom Brady. This increases the number of Steelers' LBs on the injury list to four, with James Harrison, James Farrior, and Jason Worilds having missed Sunday's game already.