Dr. Beth Sullivan | October 27th, 2019
Another week and at least the bad quarterback news is balanced with a little good. At least I think it is good news. Players all over the league have been dropping like the fall leaves that have started to fall. Let’s take a look at some significant injury news for week 8 of the NFL season.
Drew Brees QB New Orleans Saints
Brees is set to play this week for the first time since suffering his thumb injury in week two against the Rams. He had surgery on September 18th and while he is right on track in his recovery timeline, with the Saints on their bye next week, I would have preferred him continuing to rehab and returning in week ten after their bye. Brees, 40, had completed 72.9 percent of his passes for 408 yards and two touchdowns before he was injured which is great stats, but Teddy Bridgewater has been tearing it up too while starting in relief of Brees.
Bridgewater has completed 67.7% of his passes and has nine touchdowns to two interceptions this season. He has posted a respectable QBR of 98.9 and passed for 1370 yards so far. The most impressive stat he has amassed is a 5-0 record since replacing Brees. Yes, he wasn’t great when he came into the Rams game but since then he has been tearing things up. Brees is the starter in New Orleans, and if he is ready to play then he should play. I just think they might have been better off letting him rehab a little longer. We will know how this decision plays out for the Saints later today.
Matt Ryan QB Atlanta Falcons
Just like every other week this season, the injury report is dominated by bad news about starting quarterbacks. Ryan suffered an ankle sprain in the Falcons week seven loss to the Rams. His backup, Matt Schaub will be making his first start since 2015.
Ryan’s injury will cause him to miss his first start since 2009. Ryan’s consecutive start mark ranks him fifth on the all-time NFL consecutive start list right behind the names of Brett Farve, Philip Rivers, Eli Manning, and Peyton Manning. Not bad company to keep. The Falcons’ have just called the injury an ankle sprain and haven’t designated it a high or low sprain. Based on the video of the injury and the walking boot post-game last week, I am assuming at least a grade 1 high ankle sprain. If this is the case he should be able to return after their bye. However, if the injury is a more significant ankle sprain, he could be sidelined much longer. For more information on the grading and recovery of the various types of high ankle sprain check out my article on the subject here.
Sam Darnold QB New York Jets
I promise this is the last quarterback this week. Darnold’s return to the field last week wasn’t exactly pretty. It was reported earlier this week that he had a toenail removed on Wednesday. He is expected to start and play Sunday when the Jets matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Maybe a sore toe is an explanation for the dud he had on Monday night football. From personal experience, I can tell you having a toenail removed is a painful experience. Who knows maybe with it gone, Darnold can have better footwork and a better game this week. I will reserve judgment at this point.
Delanie Walker TE Tennessee Titans
Walker missed most of the 2018 season after dislocating his ankle. He suffered a new injury to the surgically repaired ankle during the Titans game against the Chargers last week. He has already been ruled out of the game today and I suspect he has at least sprained the ligaments responsible for providing support to the surgically repaired ankle. He only managed to play five snaps last week before leaving the game. I hope the Titans are careful and allow him to rehab two or three weeks at a minimum before returning to the field. The surgically repaired ligaments are not as stretchy as natural ones. Unfortunately, there is a chance that laxity in the ankle following the injury he suffered and had repaired last season, could make him more prone to ankle problems in the future. Hopefully, he is able to get fully healed and return to the field soon.
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