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NFL Week 2 injury update: Tough times for running backs

Five superstar running backs were injured this week, including Ray Rice and Reggie Bush. Will any of this week's wounded starters be ready for Week 3?

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday's NFL contests were notable for a number of injuries to key players, including several star running backs whose statuses are very much in question for Week 3. Here's a rundown of Sunday's notable injuries and their impact.

Running Backs

Reggie Bush, Detroit Lions (knee)

Bush injured his left knee in the second quarter of Sunday's loss at Arizona when it was struck by the helmet of Cardinals safety Tony Jefferson. Although he returned to action briefly, the Lions running back admitted it significantly hurt his play.

Bush is headed for an MRI today to determine whether there has been any structural damage, although after the game he doubted there was any serious cause for concern. Joique Bell has played well at running back for the Lions the first two weeks of the season and is poised to take over as starter if Bush misses or is limited for next week's game at Washington.

Steven Jackson, Atlanta Falcons (thigh)

The oft-injured running back suffered a contusion of the thigh on a scoring play in the first quarter of Atlanta's 31-24 victory over St. Louis yesterday and did not return to action. With a contusion, which is a deep bruise of the muscle, the greatest concern would be managing the pain associated with contact to the affected area. Jacquizz Rogers and Jason Snelling filled in at RB yesterday and would stand to take his place in Week 3 against the Dolphins if Jackson is unable to suit up.

Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars (ankle)

Jacksonville's top offensive playmaker, Jones-Drew missed significant time in Sunday's loss to Oakland with an ankle injury that ultimately kept him out most of the second half. While the extent of the injury won't be certain until he undergoes an MRI on Monday, head coach Gus Bradley said after the game that the running back was experiencing a sensation of looseness in the joint. That could point to some degree of structural damage. Backup Jordan Todman received the majority of the carries for Jacksonville yesterday and would be likely to start next week at Seattle if Jones-Drew is unavailable.

Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers (concussion)

Lacy left yesterday's 38-20 rout of Washington after suffering a concussion on his first carry following a helmet-to-helmet hit by Brandon Meriweather. Lacy appeared dazed following the blow and failed concussion testing on the sideline while yielding to James Starks.

Starks put up the Packers' first 100-yard rushing performance in 44 games. Lacy will require neurological testing later this week to determine whether he will suit up for next week's contest at Cincinnati.

Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens (hip)

Rice strained his left hip flexor in the fourth quarter of the Ravens' 14-6 win over Cleveland on Sunday and, although the prognosis appears good for a speedy return to the playing field, the initial injury looked far worse. The hip flexors are a series of muscles that line the front side of the thigh and hip. As their name implies, they are critical in ensuring adequate flexion of the leg at the joint. Injuries to these muscles can result in significant pain and loss of range of motion. Depending on the severity, an athlete may be able to return to action the next week with a Grade 1 strain, which includes stretching of the muscles involved. However, Grade 2 or Grade 3 strains, which involve partial or complete tears, can take weeks or months for a complete recovery.

Rice continued to limp noticeably on the sideline and was pulled from the game, but he will not undergo an MRI which would appear to bode well for his status next week as Baltimore hosts the Houston Texans.

Wide Receivers

Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals (hamstring)

Fitzgerald, who was questionable entering yesterday's contest with the Lions with a strained hamstring, missed the second half of Arizona's 25-21 win after aggravating the injury. The All-Pro receiver stated after the game that he anticipates playing next week against the Saints, but this is a worrisome sign for Cardinals' fans given the high likelihood of re-injury with hamstring strains -- especially if not completely healed.

Malcom Floyd, San Diego Chargers (neck)

Perhaps the scariest injury on Sunday occurred in the Chargers' 33-30 win over Philadelphia when Floyd was struck in the head by Eagles DeMeco Ryans and remained motionless on the field for several minutes before being carted off. Floyd suffered a neck injury on the play, but thankfully had full sensation shortly after taking the hit and was cleared to return on the team's flight home.

Floyd's status for next week's contest at Tennessee will depend on any residual soreness or stiffness of the neck over the course of the week, but the best news is that Floyd avoided any more serious damage.

Andre Johnson, Houston Texans (concussion)

The Texans' top receiver suffered a concussion during his team's comeback victory over Tennessee after suffering a blow to the head near the end of regulation from Titans safety Bernard Pollard. Johnson was somehow able to hold onto the ball for a critical reception, he immediately left the game for concussion testing and did not return for the remainder of regulation or overtime. Johnson will undergo further evaluation this week to determine his status for Houston's Week 3 matchup with Baltimore.

Tight Ends

Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers (hamstring)

Davis left in the second half of the 49ers blowout loss at Seattle last night with a hamstring strain, placing added pressure on a San Francisco passing attack that is already without top target Michael Crabtree. Davis will be re-evaluated early this week to determine the extent of the injury and his status for the 49ers' upcoming contest with Indianapolis is unlikely to be clear for several days.

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