Sunday's NFL contests included a number of injuries to key players, including a trio of players - Sam Bradford, Brian Cushing, and Leon Hall - whose seasons may have been lost as a result. Here's a rundown of yesterday's notable injuries, and their impact:
Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams (knee)
According to multiple sources, Bradford suffered a torn ACL after being pushed out of bounds late in the Rams' 30-15 loss at Carolina. Although Rams officials have not officially commented on the diagnosis, a torn ACL would end Bradford's season and require 6-9 months of recovery following surgery. QB Kellen Clemens would be in line to get the start next Monday night against Seattle, with Bradford expected to make a full recovery for the start of the 2014 season. Check out video of the injury on our YouTube channel.
Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears (groin)
The Bears QB left in the second quarter of yesterday's 45-41 loss at Washington after suffering a groin injury when sacked by Redskins DE Chris Baker. Cutler's lower body twisted under Baker as he was taken to the ground, and he remained on the ground for several minutes before walking very gingerly to the training room. There has been no official word out of Chicago regarding Cutler's prognosis, and the Bears have a bye week upcoming to figure out whether backup Josh McCown - who played very well yesterday in relief - will be pressed into action in Week 9. Watch the play that took out Cutler here.
Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles (head)
Foles sustained a head injury on the last play of the third quarter in yesterday's loss to Dallas when he was thrown to the ground by Cowboys defensive linemen George Selvie and Jarius Wynn. The back of Foles' head struck the turf violently, and after being assessed on the sideline by the team's training staff, he was replaced by rookie Matt Barkley. With Michael Vick already sidelined with a hamstring injury, if Foles does not clear neurological testing this week, Barkley would be pressed into action next Sunday against the New York Giants.
Arian Foster, Houston Texans (hamstring)
Foster left the Texans' 17-16 loss at Kansas City after suffering a hamstring injury after just four carries. Foster has a history of hamstring injuries - he missed two games in the 2011 season with one - and was held out of practice this past Thursday due to a similar issue. Hamstring injuries are particularly prone to reinjury if not completely healed prior to participating in athletic activities, and so the Texans' upcoming bye week comes at a good time for Foster.
Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (shoulder)
The Bucs' second-year RB was removed from yesterday's loss to Atlanta with a left shoulder injury, but initial x-rays indicated that Martin did not suffer a separation. There was initial fear that the shoulder may have been separated: as Martin fell on the play in question, his elbow struck the ground first, a common mechanism for this type of injury. Martin was wearing a shoulder sling after the game, and with Tampa Bay facing their next game this Thursday against Carolina, pain control may be the biggest issue keeping him from playing just three days from now. Watch Martin's injury here.
Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts (knee)
While attempting to haul in a low throw from Andrew Luck in the fourth quarter of the Colts' contest with Denver last night, Wayne twisted his right leg and immediately went down to the turf clutching the knee. Wayne was able to walk off the field with a noticeable limp and did not return to the game. There has been no word out of Colts' camp as of yet regarding the severity of the injury, which was preliminarily diagnosed as a sprain, and the team has a bye before returning to the field in Week 9 against Houston.
Jermichael Finley, Green Bay Packers (head/neck)
Finley was sent off the field by stretcher after sustaining a blow to his neck on a hit by the Browns' Tashaun Gipson in the fourth quarter of Green Bay's 31-13 win yesterday. According to reports, Finley was unable to move immediately following the collision, but thankfully by the time the training staff had placed him on the stretcher he had regained motion in all four extremities. Finley will undergo further testing today to determine the extent of his injuries. You can see Finley's injury here.
Brian Cushing, Houston Texans, (knee/leg)
The Texans' star LB suffered a torn lateral collateral ligament (LCL) and fractured fibula when his left leg was struck by a blocking Jamaal Charles in yesterday's loss to Kansas City and will almost certainly miss the remainder of the season. Cushing had torn the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the same knee last year, although early reports indicate that the reconstructed ACL was not damaged with this injury. Recovery from LCL surgery requires three months or more for a return to action, but with the fibula fracture in addition, Cushing's recovery time will be longer. He should be back well in time for the 2014 season opener.
Leon Hall, Cincinnati Bengals (Achilles)
Hall left the Bengals' win over Detroit yesterday after suffering a right Achilles tendon injury. The injury is believed to be a complete rupture of the Achilles, which would almost certainly end Hall's season. If ruptured, treatment can be conservative (casting, rest, and rehabilitation) or surgical. Some studies show the long-term outcome is similar to surgery with regard to strength and function. However, compared with conservative management, surgery has a lower incidence of re-rupture than nonsurgical treatment and allows return to pre-injury activities sooner (at approximately 6 months) and at a higher level of functioning with less shrinkage of muscle, making it the option of choice for competitive athletes.