Week 6 NFL Injury Update


Dr. Beth Sullivan | October 13th, 2019 

I have some good news, it’s not a quarterback heavy report this week. Unfortunately, it is a running back heavy one instead. And there is actually some good news on the quarterback front finally. Let’s take a look at some of the injury issues teams are facing on Sunday.

Sam Darnold  QB  New York Jets

We will get the obligatory quarterback update out of the way first thing. The New York Jets got some good news this week, Darnold has been cleared to return after dealing with splenic enlargement from his bout of mononucleosis. He will be under center for the Jets on Sunday. Maybe that will be the catalyst they need to start to play better. One can only hope, right?


Todd Gurley  RB  Los Angeles Rams

Gurley has been ruled out for Sunday by the Rams. There has been a lot of debate whether it is his knee that is really the issue or if he truly has a mild quadriceps strain as was listed on the team’s injury report. The quadriceps are made up of four muscles and are responsible for extending and contracting the knee. Since this muscle is integral to the function of the knee, it is easy to see why people are questioning the validity of the reported injury given Gurley’s past history of knee issues. 

Players recover from a first-degree strain by avoiding exercise for two to three weeks, whereas for a second-degree strain four to six weeks of rest is required. For more serious third-degree strains, surgery may be necessary to repair the rupture. Three months of rehabilitation usually follows the surgery, during which players will do gentle resistance exercises, which gradually restore the thigh muscle to its full strength. Since it is being reported as being a mild strain, I am assuming it is a first-degree strain and he may be out of commission next week as well. This will require monitoring as time goes on. 


Alvin Kamara  RB  New Orleans Saints

Kamara tweaked his ankle in practice and was held out of practice on Friday as a precaution to prevent further injury. A mild low ankle sprain is a simple case of pain control and swelling resolution for him to be able to play. If you are interested you can review my article on low and high ankle sprains here. I suspect that the Saints were being cautious with him when they held him out of practice and I suspect that he will be a go on Sunday.

David Johnson  RB Arizona Cardinals

Johnson was dealing with back tightness that first occurred during their week five game against the Cincinnati Bengals. He sat out of practice for two days to give the muscles a chance to recover from the mild strain. He reports that he is good to go, but the Cardinals have him listed as questionable and have said he will be a game-time decision. This is not that unusual since a back strain is an injury that is truly dictated by the player’s perception of it. Since Johnson is saying he is now pain-free, I would assume if he remains that way on Sunday morning he will be a go for their game. At this point, I would say he has a better than 90% chance of playing.

Sammy Watkins  WR  Kansas City Chiefs

Watkins is listed as doubtful on the Chiefs’ injury report.  A mild first-degree hamstring strain usually takes two to three weeks to recover and return to the field while a moderate second-degree one can sideline a player for four to six weeks. If you want to read about hamstring injuries I discussed why they are the second most common football injury here

Since Watkins was injured early in the Chiefs week five game and was ruled out of their week six game against the Houston Texans I really wouldn’t expect him back until week eight at the earliest. Hamstring injuries can be made worse by trying to rush back to the field before the body has had sufficient time to heal.


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