NFL Nation: NFL Injury Wire

SAN DIEGO – The Chargers might have finally reached the tipping point in terms of injuries this season in order to realistically have a chance of making the playoffs.

Inside linebacker Donald Butler (dislocated elbow) has been placed on the injured reserve with their respective injuries. Mike Scifres and Keenan Allen have broken collarbones, putting the rest of their seasons in jeopardy.

Ryan Mathews did not practice on Tuesday after missing last week’s game with a severely sprained ankle. And Philip Rivers did not throw during the early portion of practice available to reporters, obviously resting from chest and back issues he has been dealing with.

Tight end Ladarius Green (concussion, ankle) returned to practice after missing last week’s game against Denver. Dwight Freeney and D.J. Fluker also were on the field practicing on Tuesday.
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu returned to practice Monday with a cast on his left thumb, beginning the process of playing this weekend against the Seattle Seahawks.

Mathieu
Mathieu fractured his left thumb in Week 13 in Atlanta and had surgery to insert a pin, which cost him the last two games.

“I wasn’t going to miss this one,” Mathieu said. “I didn’t want to miss the last two, but we’re really excited about this weekend.”

Playing will play the cast, which extends from his thumb to about midway up his forearm, will make it tough for Mathieu to hold on to potential interceptions, he said. It won’t be downsized for Sunday night’s game, leaving Mathieu to cradle the ball with his body if he’s able to make a play.

Mathieu couldn’t put a percentage on his health but said the pain is minimal.

“I think I’m healed up enough to finish out the season,” he said. “So hopefully I don’t have any more setbacks.”

The Honey Badger returns as the defense is finding its rhythm again, recording seven sacks, forcing three fumbles, recovering two fumbles and picking two passes in its last two games, both wins.

“It’s good to get Ty back and he’ll get used to playing with that cast,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said. “So, it obviously builds depth, which we need.”
After being limited in practice Thursday, when a rain storm forced the San Francisco 49ers indoors, and limited again Friday, rookie center Marcus Martin was listed as questionable to play at the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.

Martin
If he is unable to go, either Joe Looney or Dillon Farrell will be the Niners’ third different starting center this season. Daniel Kilgore, who suffered a broken leg at Denver on Oct. 19, has also started at center.

Meanwhile, right tackle Anthony Davis is still suffering symptoms from the concussion he suffered at the New York Giants on Nov. 16 and has been ruled out along with defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey, who has yet to play this season, receiver Stevie Johnson, who injured a knee at Oakland last week, and linebacker NaVorro Bowman, who just came off the PUP list this week and has yet to practice.

“It’s always a concern when you’re talking about the head or about the spine, the heart,” coach Jim Harbaugh said Friday when asked how concerned he was about Davis’ symptoms persisting almost a month after the fact. “Those are always big concerns.

“He’s in communication with the trainers and the doctors and the professionals are handling it.”

Davis was limited in practice all week. Left guard Mike Iupati and defensive ends Ray McDonald and Justin Smith were full participants in Friday's practice and listed as probable to play against Seattle.

Following is the 49ers’ status report for Sunday’s game at the Seattle Seahawks:

OUT: LB NaVorro Bowman (knee), RT Anthony Davis (concussion), DT Glenn Dorsey (forearm), WR Stevie Johnson (knee)

QUESTIONABLE: CB Tramaine Brock (hamstring), CB Chris Culliver (knee), C Marcus Martin (knee), S Ray Ventrone (groin)

PROBABLE: LG Mike Iupati (elbow), DE Ray McDonald (finger), DE Justin Smith (back)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs listed running back Jamaal Charles as probable on their final injury report of the week, indicating he is likely to play in Sunday's game against the Oakland Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium.

Charles
Charles began the week gimpy from a previously sore knee and an ankle that he sprained in last week's game against the Arizona Cardinals. He didn't work out on Wednesday when the Chiefs began their practice week.

But Charles rallied and now appears ready to play against the Raiders. He rushed for 80 yards and caught four passes for 42 yards in last month's game against the Raiders in Oakland.

Outside linebacker Tamba Hali was listed as questionable for Sunday’s game with a knee injury. Hali practiced only on Friday this week and even then he was limited in his participation.

Among the two players with concussions, defensive lineman Allen Bailey will not play while cornerback Phillip Gaines is listed as doubtful.

The other players listed on the injury report, including Charles, are all probable for Sunday’s game: tight end Anthony Fasano (knee), linebacker Joe Mays (knee), wide receiver Donnie Avery (groin), safety Husain Abdullah (foot), wide receiver Junior Hemingway (concussion), cornerback Sean Smith (groin), cornerback Chris Owens (knee) and linebacker James-Michael Johnson (back/knee).
SAN DIEGO – Running back Ryan Mathews did not practice for a third day in a row on Friday, but is listed as questionable on the injury report for the San Diego Chargers as they prepare for the team’s last regular-season home game, against the Denver Broncos.

Mathews suffered a right ankle injury late in the first half against the New England Patriots last week, carrying the ball just two times in the second half. Backups Donald Brown, Branden Oliver and Ronnie Brown have taken the bulk of the reps in practice with Mathews unavailable.

Mathews
However, even though Mathews has not practiced this week, Chargers coach Mike McCoy says the Fresno State product still could be part of his team’s game plan against the Broncos.

“He’ll be fine,” McCoy said. “He’s played plenty of football in his career, and he knows what to do. He’s been here. He’s been in the system for the two years we’ve been here together, so he’ll be fine.”

One player who has intently watched Mathews perform on the field since his return from an MCL knee sprain in Week 10 is Oliver. The rookie out of Buffalo handled the bulk of the running load for the Chargers when Mathews missed seven games. Oliver ran for more than 100 yards in back-to-back games against the New York Jets and the Oakland Raiders in October. But since then, Oliver has totaled just 144 rushing yards in six games, averaging 2.8 yards per carry.

“When Ryan came back, it actually helped my game to see how he runs, to see how patient he is at the point of attack when he gets the ball,” Oliver said.

Defensive lineman Corey Liuget (ankle) and tight end Ladarius Green (concussion, ankle) practiced on Friday for the first time this week. Both were limited participants, and also are questionable for Sunday.

Defensive tackle Ryan Carrethers (elbow) was a limited participant on Friday and is listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game. Punter Mike Scifres (shoulder) did not practice all week and has been ruled out. Quarterback Philip Rivers (chest) was a full participant in practice and has been listed as probable.
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- If the Green Bay Packers want to keep riding out this 1-2 punch at running back on Sunday at the Buffalo Bills, there should not be anything that would prevent them from doing so.

That's because the Packers don't anticipate Eddie Lacy will have any trouble playing this week even though he could not finish Monday night's win over the Atlanta Falcons. The Packers shut down Lacy late in the fourth quarter because of a hip bruise.

Lacy
After the game, Lacy said he tried to go back in, but Dr. Pat McKenzie held him out.

"I don't have high concern based off the information talking with Doc McKenzie last night," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Tuesday. "Coming off a Monday night game, tomorrow will be a lot like a Tuesday. We'll see how these guys go through their examinations."

Lacy accounted for 106 yards of total offense (73 rushing on 12 carries plus five catches for 33 yards) and scored a touchdown rushing and receiving before giving way to James Starks, who helped seal the game with a 41-yard run with 1:37 remaining.

Even before Lacy dropped out, the Packers were splitting the workload. That was a change in philosophy from the previous two games, when Lacy combined for 46 carries against the Minnesota Vikings and New England Patriots, while Starks totaled just two in those two games.

"I just love the way James responds with his opportunities," McCarthy said. "Obviously, Eddie was the feature back two weeks ago, and we went into this with a 1-2 punch mentality and James was excellent. James Starks has played a lot of excellent football for us over the years, and I thought last night was one of his best nights."
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith expressed hope about getting wide receiver Julio Jones and safety William Moore back this week after they suffered game-ending injuries at Green Bay.

Jones
Jones suffered a hip injury in the team's 43-37 loss to the Packers and missed the last offensive series. He paced the sideline in pain trying to walk it off and even grabbed his helmet to go back in one point, but the medical staff kept him from doing so. Jones was noticeably hobbled after the game but said he did not undergo any type of immediate examination. It is unclear whether Jones had an MRI on Tuesday morning, but the initial word is he suffered a bruised hip.

Moore left the game in the first half with what was called a right foot injury. He also tried to walk it off and grabbed his helmet but was unable to return. Moore was nowhere to be found after the game.

"That was a very physical football game that was played last night, and both Julio and William are guys that are sore this morning," Smith said. "Julio has a hip injury, and William Moore has a foot injury. And we're hoping that both of these guys will be ready to go at the end of the week.

"How much practice time they're going to get, we don't know that at this point in time. But it's our intention to do everything in our power to have these guys ready to go against Pittsburgh."

Smith said cornerback Robert Alford, who missed the last few games with a broken wrist, is making progress.

"We're hoping to have a better idea of where he is at in regards to his injury in the next 48 hours or so," Smith said.

Two other players that got banged up during Monday night's game -- cornerback Desmond Trufant and right guard Jon Asamoah -- said they expect to play against the Steelers. Trufant suffered some type of right hand injury that he said wasn't a break, while Asamoah did not finish the game due to a back injury.

Smith commended Roddy White for playing the most snaps of any receiver while coming off a left ankle sprain. White played 63 of 67 offensive snaps.
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said there’s a chance Antonio Cromartie could play Thursday with “some kind of tear” in his left ankle.

The injury is believed to be a peroneal injury, according to general manager Steve Keim.

Cromartie
“It’s a sprained ankle of sorts,” Arians said.

If Cromartie can’t play against the Rams, Justin Bethel or Jerraud Powers will take his place in the starting lineup. When Cromartie left Sunday’s game against Kansas City in the fourth quarter, Bethel filled in at outside corner while Powers remained as Arizona’s nickel corner.

“Yeah, I’m fine with Jerraud Powers and Justin Bethel,” Arians said. “They’ll be fine. Obviously, we’d be struggling if we got another injury.”
  • Arians said he believed Andre Ellington's surgery on his hernia is scheduled for Tuesday. The running back flew to Philadelphia on Monday. Ellington will just have surgery on his hernia, not on the torn tendon in his left foot that’s hampered him since September. “That should heal in time,” Arians said.
  • In his first career start, guard Jonathan Cooper was “OK,” according to Arians. “He got better,” Arians added. But as a unit, the offensive line had its best blocking game this season, Arians said. “Both tackles had outstanding days.”
  • Left tackle Jared Veldheer finished Sunday’s game “sore,” Arians said, after playing on a sprained left ankle. “He was solid,” Arians said. “No big setback.”
  • Arians said “it’s a possibility” that Paul Fanaika can play Thursday. The right guard sat out practice Monday as he continued to recover from a low left ankle sprain suffered in Week 13 in Atlanta.
  • When asked what he would do to the offensive line, which was reshuffled when Fanaika missed Sunday’s game, should he return, Arians was non-committal: “We’ll see,” he said. On Sunday, Ted Larsen moved from left guard to right and Cooper took over at left guard.
  • The Cardinals can only wear pads one more time before the end of the regular season, “which is a really dumb rule,” Arians said.
  • Cromartie and Fanaika did not practice Monday.
  • LB Lorenzo Alexander (knee), WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee), LB Larry Foote (foot), LB Matt Shaughnessy (shoulder), QB Drew Stanton (ankle/knee), DT Ed Stinson (toe) and Veldheer were all limited.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas said his ankle injury shouldn’t keep him out of the lineup for Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills.

Thomas, who had his ankle stepped on by a teammate in Wednesday’s practice, did not practice on Thursday. Thomas took part on a limited basis on Friday and was formally listed as probable by the Broncos for Sunday’s game.

“It feels way better, way better,’’ Thomas said following practice.

Thomas
Thomas
Asked if he would be ready to go against the Bills, Thomas said; “Let’s go.’’

Thomas was limping slight in the end zone at one point during this past Sunday’s win against the Kansas City Chiefs but said the current injury was in a different spot.

“I tweaked it in the end zone a little bit … but I actually got stepped on this time,’’ Thomas said.

And on how much he did in Friday’s practice, he hadded; “I did enough, I was able to get out and run, felt OK.’’

Julius Thomas, who has missed the last two games since injuring his left ankle against the St. Louis Rams, took part in Friday’s practice on a limited basis and was formally listed as questionable for Sunday’s game. Thomas has consistently said this week that he’s “close’’ to a return, but he has also not taken part fully in a practice since his injury.

Cornerback Aqib Talib (left hamstring) practiced fully this week, including Friday, and is expected to start against the Bills.

Tight end Jacob Tamme (ribs), defensive tackle Terrance Knighton (elbow), safety Quinton Carter (knee) all took part in Friday’s practice on a limited basis and were listed as questionable.

Wide receiver Cody Latimer, who was having concussion symptoms in Thursday’s practice, did not practice Friday and is under the league’s concussion protocol. He will miss Sunday’s game.

And cornerback Kayvon Webster (right shoulder), running back Ronnie Hillman (left foot) and Montee Ball (right groin) all worked with one of the team’s strength coaches during practice Friday. All three will miss Sunday’s game.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Anthony Davis has not played since taking what he called a “spinning elbow” late in the San Francisco 49ers' victory at the New York Giants on Nov. 16.

And while the right tackle took a step forward Wednesday by doing conditioning and weightlifting work, he again missed practice on Thursday, putting his availability for Sunday’s game at the Oakland Raiders in doubt.

Davis
Davis, who has played in only five games this season due to injury after starting the first 64 games of his career, spoke slowly and deliberately to reporters before Thursday’s practice, saying he was still not completely symptom free.

“It was a concussion,” Davis said. “It’s not fun. It’s scary when your brain’s not working the way it’s supposed to. And the culture of this league is, You’re a big, tough guy.”

Saying he felt “loopy” at the time, Davis also went into detail.

“It was like a white fog,” he said, lifting his hand in front of his face. “When you look out, it’s a white fog. Or just having a simple conversation (is hard). You just feel slowed down.

“It’s scary, but that’s only like the first three, four days you feel the intensity of it. Each day it gets better.”

The only change in the 49ers’ injury report was left tackle Joe Staley being a full participant a day after missing due to illness.

Following is the 49ers’ injury report for Thursday:

Did not participate: CB Tramaine Brock (hamstring), RT Anthony Davis (concussion), TE Vance McDonald (back), DE Justin Smith (back), S Ray Ventrone (groin)

Limited participation: WR Michael Crabtree (knee), CB Chris Culliver (shoulder), DT Glenn Dorsey (forearm), RB Carlos Hyde (shoulder), DE Ray McDonald (finger)

Full participation: WR Bruce Ellington (ankle), WR Stevie Johnson (ankle), WR Brandon Lloyd (quadricep), LT Joe Staley (illness)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Kendall Wright has a cracked bone in his right hand, but it won’t necessarily keep him from playing Sunday against the Giants and LP Field.

Wright
Wright suffered the injury when he slipped in practice Wednesday.

The team considers him day to day and will monitor the swelling and pain in the hand, which is something he can potentially play with.

The team’s top wide receiver is coming of his best game of the season, in which he caught seven passes for 132 yards and a touchdown. He leads the Titans with five touchdown catches.

Justin Hunter was lost for the remainder of the season when he suffered a lacerated spleen in that loss to Houston, so even if Wright plays the Titans will be calling on reserves.

Behind Wright and Nate Washington are veterans Derek Hagan and Kris Durham, who was claimed off waivers from Detroit after final cuts. Durham has been inactive for 10 games and has not played at all in the two games when he’s dressed.

Undrafted rookie Josh Stewart from Oklahoma State is on the team's practice squad and could be a call up if they determine Wright won't be able to play.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – With Jamaal Charles and the Kansas City Chiefs’ No. 4 ranked rushing attack waiting in Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday, the Denver Broncos’ injury issues on defense will require some attention.

Linebacker Brandon Marshall, who is the team’s leading tackler and has played 95.5 percent of the team’s defensive snaps this season, did not practice Wednesday as he goes through the NFL’s concussion protocol. Marshall plays in every defensive personnel grouping, so his absence would require the Broncos to use multiple players to replace him.

Rookies Lamin Barrow and Corey Nelson would be in that mix as will Steven Johnson, who is already filling in at middle linebacker in the base defense for Nate Irving, who is on injured reserve. Todd Davis, a linebacker the Broncos claimed off waivers just before they played in St. Louis, even worked some on defense in Wednesday's practice.

Fox
Fox
“We’ve got a long list,’’ Broncos coach John Fox said. “We’ve got some young guys … We’ll lean on Corey Nelson, Lamin Barrow, Steven Johnson. We got Todd Davis out there [Wednesday] a guy we acquired last week … He got a pretty good look. It will be from that crew.’’

Cornerback Aqib Talib (left hamstring) also did not practice Wednesday, and cornerback Kayvon Webster, who plays in some of the team’s specialty packages, did not practice because of a right shoulder injury. Talib was on the field during practice, dressed in sweats, but Marshall and Webster were not.

Also Wednesday, tight end Julius Thomas (left ankle) was once again dressed for practice, as he did last week, but did not participate. Thomas did do some work with the team’s strength and conditioning coaches off to the side.

Thomas dressed for practice each day last week, but did not practice and was a gameday inactive for the Broncos’ 39-36 victory over the Miami Dolphins.
Running backs Montee Ball (groin) and Ronnie Hillman (foot) did not practice last week and were not on the field Wednesday. Hillman, who has been wearing a walking boot on his left foot, is expected to miss several weeks. The Broncos continue to hope Ball can return to the practice field within the next two weeks.

Defensive end Quanterus Smith (ankle) and safety Quinton Carter (knee) were limited in Wednesday’s practice. Both are expected to play Sunday.

Safety David Bruton, who had X-rays for a finger injury following Sunday’s game against the Dolphins, took part fully in practice.
Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson underwent an MRI exam Tuesday for a toe injury that could cause him to miss a game for the first time in his career.

Wilkerson
Results of the MRI weren't immediately available. The New York Jets didn't provide an update on Wilkerson, who started receiving treatment, but Rex Ryan sounded concerned.

"He doesn’t look great," Ryan said. "But, hopefully, in a couple of days he’ll bounce back from it."

Wilkerson, the team's sack leader, suffered the injury in the second quarter of the 38-3 loss to the Buffalo Bills and never returned to the game. He was replaced by Leger Douzable. After Monday night's game, Wilkerson provided no details, refusing to say how it happened. The fact that he wasn't able to return is significant. Wilkerson is one of the most durable players on the team, having played in all 59 games in his career.

The Jets don't play until Monday night against the Dolphins, so Wilkerson will have the benefit of an extra day. The Jets (2-9) have a light practice Wednesday and an off day for Thanksgiving before stepping up the game prep Friday and Saturday.

Rookie tight end Jace Amaro also is a question mark. He suffered a head injury in the game and is being evaluated as part of the NFL's concussion protocol.

49ers walkthrough injury report

November, 24, 2014
Nov 24
10:25
PM ET
With a short week before Thursday night’s home game against the Seattle Seahawks, the San Francisco 49ers held a walkthrough on Monday. And, as the team announced, had it actually held a practice, following is what the Niners’ injury report would have looked like less than 72 hours before kickoff:

Did not participate: CB Tramaine Brock (hamstring), TE Derek Carrier (foot), RT Anthony Davis (concussion), DT Glenn Dorsey (forearm), WR Bruce Ellington (ankle), DE Justin Smith (back)

Limited participation: RB Frank Gore (knee), TE Vance McDonald (back)

Full participation: WR Brandon Lloyd (quadricep), FB Bruce Miller (shoulder), S Eric Reid (ankle), S Raymond Ventrone (groin)
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Sam Acho was added Thursday to this week’s injury report with a neck injury. He was listed as limited.

Other than that, the Cards’ report was status quo.

Receiver Larry Fitzgerald (knee) and defensive tackle Ed Stinson (toe) didn’t practice for the second straight day.

Linebacker Lorenzo Alexander (knee), running back Andre Ellington (hip/foot), running back Robert Hughes (hamstring) and safety Rashad Johnson (back) were all limited at Thursday’s practice.

Linebacker Larry Foote (hip) and nose tackle Dan Williams (elbow) practiced in full.

For the Seattle Seahawks, four players didn’t practice for a second straight day, including running back Marshawn Lynch (back).

Defensive end Michael Bennett (not-injury related) returned to practice in full, as did right cornerback Byran Maxwell (calf), guard James Carpenter (ankle), guards JR Sweezy (thigh) and linebacker Bobby Wagner (toe).

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