Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. Well some of these injuries this week could greatly affect their teams as we come to the end of a long season and into the playoffs. You never want to see a great player get hurt, even if you may be on the other side of the ball.
Rob Gronkowski, who has been fighting injuries most of his career has once again been bitten. I would never call him fragile or injury prone but this is a big, physical TE that spends his days in the middle of the field. To avoid concussions, the NFL has put in rules so that there is no head hunting and to help protect QBs and ‘defenseless’ receivers. So we do not often see safeties come flying in head first anymore into the upper body. Instead they go for the legs and unfortunately this includes the knees. We are starting to see players get knee injuries more often because of this and Sunday was a clear indication that we will probably see further rule changes by the NFL. Just watch… Baseball has the strike zone. Football will have the hit zone and will be similar… Above the knee and letter or to translate to football understanding… Number high!
Patriots placed TE Rob Gronkowski on injured reserve with a torn right ACL and MCL, ending his season. The injury was suffered on a low hit by Browns safety T.J. Ward in Sunday’s game. He was carted off the field and will be, once again, on the shelf long-term. This comes with a heavy impact to the Patriots outcome this year. They were able to make the comeback win by scoring twice in the last minute of the game but ultimately, losing Gronkowski means that their playoff run will be a lot more difficult than with him. I do not see New England Patriots getting far in playoffs, but they will get in.
Another player to suffer a similar fate on Sunday was Jonathan Stewart of the Carolina Panthers. Stewart was injured when tackled in the lower right leg by Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis in the third quarter at the Superdome. It’s been a rough season for Stewart, who missed the first seven games of the year on the physically unable to perform list with an ankle injury. I would think a torn MCL means out for the rest of the year but according to coach Ron Rivera, Stewart will be out a minimum of 2 weeks but they are optimistic he could return at some point this season or for the playoffs. Stewart’s lack of production or even playtime this year should not heavily affect Carolina.
Minnesota Vikings lost a tough game on Sunday to the Baltimore Ravens in deep snow. To make matters worse, they had a number of key injuries including an ankle/foot injury to Adrian Peterson. It was feared that he may have broken his foot but there is no indication of a break at this time. Further tests are pending. It is tough to see a player like Peterson get hurt but the Vikings were not going anywhere this year so this does not hurt them, if anything it help them because they will most likely have trouble winning without Peterson which will only improve their 2014 NFL Draft position and allow them to maybe pick up a franchise player that will help them.
Other Injuries include that could impact their teams include Wes Welker who sustained a concussion and due to a short week is unlikely to play in the Thursday Night game against the San Diego Chargers. Peyton Manning has so many other weapons on offense, I doubt Welker will be missed for one game.
During warm ups on Sunday, Reggie Bush aggravated his calf injury and though he will probably be ready to play on Sunday, his status is currently unknown. Losing Bush for even one game is hard on the Lions. he does a lot on Defense and though Joique Bell is an adequate replacement for the short-term, they will need Reggie Bush back and healthy to make a run in the playoffs.
Aaron Rodgers (collarbone) has yet to be medically cleared, and will be re-evaluated on Wednesday. Honestly, they should shut him down for the season. They have lost too many games and have no chance of getting to the playoffs. Why risk another injury to your Franchise player in meaningless games.
Redskins coach Mike Shanahan was noncommittal Monday when asked whether Robert Griffin III will start in Week 15 against the Falcons. It’s now possible Kirk Cousins will start after Griffin was benched in Sunday’s blowout loss to Kansas City. Shanahan also refused to answer questions on whether he wants to coach the Redskins in 2014. As we all know, he will most likely be fired at the end of the season