Sunday's NFL contests included a number of significant injuries to NFL stars, including Vikings RB Adrian Peterson (foot) and Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (ACL), who, pending results of an MRI today, appears likely lost for the season. Here's a rundown of yesterday's notable injuries, and their impact.
Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings (foot)
Peterson left in the second quarter of the Vikings' heartbreaking 29-26 loss to the Ravens yesterday with what has been described as a mid-foot sprain. The results of today's MRI will help determine the reigning NFL MVP's recovery timetable. Peterson suffered the injury when tackled along the sidelines by Baltimore LB Arthur Brown, after which he stayed down on the ground in obvious pain. Anytime the mid-foot is involved, a Lisfranc injury is always on the list of possibilities, which would end Peterson's season and potentially require surgery. However, based on messages posted from his twitter account following the game, Peterson seems to have dodged a serious injury, and we'll know more Monday afternoon about his status for next week's contest against the Eagles.
Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins (concussion)
Miller missed the second half of Miami's 34-28 win over Pittsburgh after sustaining a concussion. The Dolphins running back will have to pass neurological testing this week if he is to suit up for the team's pivotal Week 15 matchup with New England. If he is unable to play, Daniel Thomas, who fared well in relief yesterday, would get the nod for Miami.
Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots (knee)
The Patriots' star left in the third quarter of New England's thrilling 27-26 win over Cleveland yesterday with a knee injury that is believed to be a season-ending ACL tear. The injury took place when Gronkowski was hit directly on the knee by Browns safety T.J. Ward after hauling in the pass. He was clearly in pain before being carted off the field. Gronkowski will have an MRI today to confirm the team's suspicions. Assuming he will miss the remainder of the regular season and playoffs, it will cap off a frustrating season in which he had already missed significant time after recovering from offseason surgeries to his forearm and back.
Tavon Austin, St. Louis Rams (ankle)
Austin, the Rams' electrifying receiver and return man, left in the waning moments of his team's loss to Arizona on Sunday with an ankle injury, with the extent of the damage to be further evaluated today. The injury appeared to take place at the end of a 56-yard run late in the third quarter. Although Austin attempted to play through it, he was pulled with just over five minutes to play in the game. His status for next week's contest against the Saints will depend on the location of the injury and the degree of pain and swelling over the next several days.
Wes Welker, Denver Broncos (concussion)
Welker suffered a concussion on a second-quarter hit by Tennessee safety George Wilson during the Broncos' 51-28 win over the Titans yesterday, his second of the season. The league's concussion protocol states that even if a player is cleared by the team's medical staff the day after the game, he cannot participate in full contact activities until 4 days following clearance, in this case on Friday. For this reason, Welker will not be allowed to play in the Broncos' next contest, which takes place this Thursday against the Chargers.
Tyrann Mathieu, Arizona Cardinals (knee)
Mathieu, who has been one of the great rookie success stories in the NFL this season, was lost for the season after suffering a torn ACL on a kick return in the third quarter of the Cardinals' win over St. Louis on Sunday. Mathieu's leg bent awkwardly as it was hit, and although he attempted to leave the field under his own power, he collapsed and was carted to the locker room. Mathieu's loss is a tough one for a Cardinals squad that is fighting for a wild card playoff berth and that has been stingy on defense.