Fans of the Dallas Cowboys didn't get too long to celebrate after their team's thrilling 27-24 overtime win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. The victory was tempered by news of injuries to three key players - QB Tony Romo, RB Felix Jones, and WR Miles Austin - that may affect the team's depth chart at least through their Week 5 bye.
Here are the key injuries from the week so far, and their potential impact:
Although details are still limited, Vick injured his neck and suffered a concussion in the second half of the Eagles' 35-31 loss to Atlanta when he was hit by Falcons' safety William Moore and subsequently struck teammate Todd Herremans head-on. Vick initially appeared woozy on the sideline, spitting blood from a lacerated tongue, and Head Coach Andy Reid confirmed the concussion in his post-game presser. There should be news forthcoming on the extent of Vick's injuries and his status for next Sunday, when the Eagles play at home against the New York Giants. (Read more about Michael Vick's injury.)
Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys (ribs)
Romo suffered a fractured rib on the third play of the Cowboys' 27-24 overtime win over the 49ers, leaving the game briefly at the start of the second half before returning to rally his team to victory. Although Romo was able to play through the injury, the key issue with rib injuries is how the player tolerates the pain associated with contact and movement, which may worsen over the week if swelling and inflammation worsens. It is reasonable to believe Romo will need to wear a protective vest in practice this week and potentially in games until the injury fully heals. In most cases, a plastic vest, which holds an absorbent material to cushion the affected area, is used to prevent reinjury. While it is unlikely Romo will lose time due to the injury, it bears watching in advance of the team's Week 3 matchup with Washington next Monday night. (Read more on Tony Romo's injury.)
Roethlisberger suffered a right knee injury during the Steelers' win over Seattle after a hit by Seahawks DT Raheem Brock in the second quarter. Although Roethlisberger left the field favoring the right leg and missed two plays, he returned to action and showed no ill effects of the injury the rest of the game. The Pittsburgh QB is scheduled for a precautionary MRI on Monday, but all indications after the game were that he would be ready to go next Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.
The cornerstone of the Chiefs' offense and a consensus top-5 fantasy player this season, Charles injured his left knee in the first quarter of Kansas City's 48-3 loss at Detroit, with initial reports calling it a torn ACL. Charles' knee buckled awkwardly when he planted his left foot while being pushed out of bounds, and he was unable to bear weight on the leg while being loaded onto the medical cart. Assuming the diagnosis is confirmed, Charles will require reconstructive surgery, ending his season. Charles will be replaced in the lineup by Thomas Jones and Dexter McCluster. (Read more about Jamaal Charles' injury.)
What would an injury report be without an update on Foster, who missed Week 1 with a hamstring injury and was limited to 10 carries in the Texans' 23-13 win over Miami. After the game, Foster and Texans' Head Coach Gary Kubiak offered dueling opinions as to why the Houston RB didn't see more action. According to Kubiak, the Texans held Foster out of the second half to avoid reaggravating the injury. Foster, however, said he pulled himself out because the hamstring "was getting a little tight." Ben Tate fantasy owners: don't give up on the Houston backup just yet. Foster owners: keep your fingers crossed for another week at least.
Felix Jones, Dallas Cowboys (shoulder)
Early indications are that Jones, the newly-anointed Cowboys starting RB after sharing carries with Marion Jones the past two seasons, suffered a separated shoulder in the first quarter of the win over the 49ers. In a shoulder separation, the junction of the clavicle (collarbone) and scapula (shoulder blade) are disjointed, and an imaging study such as an MRI will almost certainly be performed to determine the degree of the separation. A mild separation (Type I, without ligament tearing) can be treated conservatively, with a recovery time of less than four weeks. However, more severe separations (Type II or greater), which involve tearing of one or more ligaments, can require 6-12 weeks of recovery, and in the rare cases requiring surgery, even longer. DeMarco Murray and Tashard Choice will share carries for Dallas in Jones's absence. (Read more about Felix Jones' injury.)
Miles Austin, Dallas Cowboys (hamstring)
The Cowboys' top receiver, who had been plagued by a hamstring injury for several weeks already, aggravated the injury in the fourth quarter of the Cowboys' win over San Francisco while scoring his third touchdown of the game. While Austin was able to play - and quite well - the first two weeks of the season, early reports indicate Sunday's injury is serious enough for team officials to fear he will miss the next game against the Redskins, if not more. With Dez Bryant already having missed time with a quadriceps injury, the Cowboys will need more surprising performances from backups such as Jesse Holley provided yesterday.
Jets center Mangold, who has started every game in his six-year career, suffered a right ankle injury in the first quarter of the team's victory over Jacksonville. Mangold, whose ankle turned awkwardly in a collision with Jaguars LB Daryl Smith, left the game and was using crutches and in a protective boot afterwards. Initial x-rays were negative, but an MRI today will determine the extent of the injury, which has been initially described as a high ankle sprain. The prognosis will depend on the degree of pain and swelling in the coming days, as well as whether the MRI shows any ligament damage. In a best-case scenario, Mangold could return for next Sunday's game at Oakland; in a worst-case scenario, he could miss weeks of action. Rookie Colin Baxter, who subbed for Mangold yesterday, would get the start if the Jets All-Pro center can't go.