So it wasn't as rough as Week 2, but Sunday's NFL action featured a number of key injuries that will change the depth charts on a number of teams. For the second consecutive week, a Vikings quarterback leads off the injury update. This time it's rookie Teddy Bridgewater, who injured his ankle while attempting to score from the 1-yard line late in Minnesota's 41-28 win over Atlanta.
Bridgewater, who had an excellent all-around outing in his first career start, had X-rays that were reportedly negative. He vowed to be ready for this Thursday's matchup with Green Bay. Early indications are that Bridgewater has suffered a relatively minor sprain, but his status will depend largely upon how much swelling, pain and decrease in range of motion he experiences over the next 24-48 hours. With the short turnaround time between games, Christian Ponder will have to be at the ready to start against the Packers if Bridgewater's ankle doesn't heal quickly enough.
Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders (ankle/knee)
Bridgewater wasn't the only rookie QB to suffer an injury Sunday. Carr, the Raiders' first-year signal caller, suffered a high ankle sprain and MCL sprain during yesterday's blowout loss to Miami, and is likely to miss significant time as a result.
The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is a structure located on the inside of the knee that helps hold the thigh and shin bones together and stabilize the knee joint. Injuries to the MCL most commonly occur when the knee is directly hit on its outer side and bent inward. An MCL sprain describes tearing to the fibers of the ligament.
When you add a high ankle sprain to the mix, the timetable for recovery is further complicated.
Carr's return will depend on which of the two injuries improves first. Either way, either Matt McGloin or Matt Schaub will likely take the reins when the Raiders return from their bye week to face San Diego.
Joique Bell, Detroit Lions (concussion)
Bell left Sunday's win over the New York Jets with a concussion, and following a neurological examination by the team's medical staff, he was removed from the contest. Bell will undergo further testing as per the league's concussion protocol this week before determining whether he is able to suit up next week against the Bills. If not, Reggie Bush is likely to get the start in Week 5.
DeAngelo Williams, Carolina Panthers (ankle)
Williams, who had missed the previous two weeks with a hamstring injury, was forced to exit early during the loss to Baltimore due to an ankle injury. Early indications are that it is an ankle sprain. The extent of the injury won't be fully known until further testing is performed.
If Williams is forced to miss additional time, the Panthers will be searching for answers at running back; backups Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert were also unable to play due to injuries of their own.
Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (groin)
The Bucs rookie exited Sunday's surprise win over Pittsburgh in the third quarter after suffering a groin injury when sprinting down the sideline. Given that groin injuries are prone to aggravation if tested before having healed 100 percent, Evans will likely be eased back into action slowly, making his status for next week's game at New Orleans a legitimate concern.
Cecil Shorts, Jacksonville Jaguars (hamstring)
The Jaguars' top receiver, who has been hampered all season with a hamstring strain, aggravated the injury during Jacksonville's loss at San Diego and did not return. Shorts already missed the first two games of the year with the same injury, and given that hamstrings are notoriously slow to heal, his status for next week's contest with Pittsburgh is likely in serious jeopardy.
Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers (back)
It's been an injury-riddled 2014 campaign for Davis, whose status for Sunday's game with Philadelphia was already in question due to an ankle injury. He suffered a back injury in the third quarter that caused him to miss the remainder of the game. There has been no news thus far out of the 49ers regarding the severity of the injury, although Davis was walking very gingerly as he left the field on Sunday.