CINCINNATI, OH - NOVEMBER 13: A.J. Green #18 of the Cincinnati Bengals walks off the field after being injured while scoring a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium on November 13, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Steelers won 24-17. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
With Week 10 of the NFL schedule almost in the books, SBNation Medical Expert Dr. Ali Mohamadi discusses some of the most significant injuries from this weekend’s games so far, and their potential impact:
Cassel was removed in the fourth quarter of his team's 17-10 loss to Denver after sustaining a right (throwing) hand injury and left Arrowhead stadium in a cast. The Chiefs have not disclosed any specifics about the injury, but Cassel's right index and middle fingers were immobilized in the cast. Backup Tyler Palko took over at quarterback for Kansas City and would be in line for the start next Monday night against New England if Cassel is unable to go.
Stafford revealed after the Lions' 37-13 loss at Chicago - a game in which he threw 4 interceptions - that he has been dealing with a fractured right (throwing) index finger. Stafford, who wore a glove on the right hand on Sunday in part to help with the injury, suffered the injury in Week 8 against the Denver Broncos and has been dealing with it since. Stafford himself downplayed the injury's impact on his performance Sunday, but it is an injury that bears watching over the coming weeks as the Lions make a playoff push.
Gore, who had already been hampered by a left ankle sprain entering Sunday's game, but saw limited action after the second quarter of the 49ers 27-20 win over the Giants with a knee injury. Gore was not concerned after the game, citing his lack of activity as a precautionary measure, and rookie backup RB Kendall Hunter filled in ably. It does not appear the knee injury will keep Gore out of next week's game with Arizona, but the injuries certainly are piling up for the 49ers' star back.
Willis McGahee, Denver Broncos (hamstring)
The Broncos starting RB, already suffering from a broken hand, suffered a hamstring injury in the first quarter of Denver's 17-10 win over Kansas City and did not return to action. McGahee's absence, coupled with Knowshon Moreno's knee sprain - also in the first quarter - opened the door for third-string RB Lance Ball to have a nice game, finishing with 96 yards on the ground. McGahee will be re-evaluated early this week to determine whether he will be able to play Thursday night against the New York Jets.
AJ Green, Cincinnati Bengals (knee)
Green, who has been stellar in his rookie season, suffered a hyperextended left knee when landing awkwardly on a 36-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter of the Bengals' 24-17 loss to Pittsburgh. He returned and finished out the first half, but after the knee stiffened during halftime, Green was removed from the game. Green and Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis both downplayed the injury afterwards, saying they are confident the Cincinnati WR will be able to play next week at Baltimore. Further testing early this week should help guide Green's timetable for a return to the practice field.
Jones aggravated a previous right hamstring injury in the second quarter of Atlanta's loss to the New Orleans Saints and did not return to action. The rookie WR missed time earlier in the season due to this injury, and given the overall slow time to recovery and high likelihood of further aggravation, it would not be a surprise if Jones is unable to take the field next week against Tennessee.
The Eagles, who were already without WR DeSean Jackson after skipping a team meeting, lost Maclin during their loss to Arizona Sunday due to injuries to the shoulder and hamstring. Maclin suffered the shoulder injury in the first quarter, briefly missing time before returning to the field. However, he left the game in the fourth quarter after injuring his hamstring. With the reeling Eagles facing the Giants next week, Maclin's status will be of particular interest this week.
Leon Hall, Cincinnati Bengals (Achilles)
Early reports out of Cincinnati indicate that the Bengals' CB suffered a torn left Achilles' tendon in the second quarter of yesterday's loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and if so, Hall's season would be over. The Achilles tendon is a large band of fibrous tissue in the back of the ankle that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone (calcaneus). When the calf muscles contract, the Achilles tendon is tightened, pulling the heel. Treatment of a ruptured Achilles tendon can be conservative (casting, rest, and rehabilitation) or surgical. If surgery is chosen, weight bearing commonly begins 6 weeks later with a heel support. A return to running or athletics typically requires 6 months of rehabilitation after the surgery.