The Training Room: Week 6 Injury Updates

The Training Room: Week 6 Injury Updates

By Russell Manalastas (Injury Expert), last update Oct 7, 2014

Russ Manalastas's picture

Russ is a Board Certified Sports Physical Therapist and Clinical Director at Lattimore Physical Therapy in Rochester, NY. He has a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University at Buffalo as well as his Bachelors Degree in Exercise Science. His board certification credentials in sports is what is required for PT's that work at the NFL level. Russ provides a unique perspective on NFL injuries as they relate to fantasy football.

Follow Russell Manalastas on Twitter: @RussPT.

As the NFL season progresses, injuries continue to mount, leaving teams both in reality and fantasy scrambling to find a backup plan. More prominent names seem to pop up on the injury report each week, which makes fantasy owners praying they have a high waiver to pluck handcuffs and players next in line for touches. Looking back to last year’s training room columns through Week 6, we’ve covered almost about the same volume as last year, with the big difference being that there have been less head injuries to report compared to last year so far. Let’s look at the injuries that occurred in Week 5 and how that affects your game plan for Week 6.


Jimmy Graham

Shoulder Sprain: Due to the amount of mobility in the shoulder, there are many muscles, tendons, and ligaments that help support it. Direct trauma, or moving the shoulder into an extreme range of motion unexpectedly can cause irritation to those structures which can cause pain. Graham left the game in the 2nd quarter and did not return.

Bottom Line: I’m not worried about a long term issue here, as the Saints have a bye this upcoming week. He’ll get treatment for 2 full weeks which should give him plenty of opportunity to suit up for Week 7.


Calvin Johnson

Ankle Sprain: An inversion sprain is often referred to as "rolling" your ankle. The ligaments/tendons/muscles on the outside of the ankle get overstretched and cause pain/swelling. Megatron was tackled low in the 3rd quarter and did not return.

Bottom Line: Megatron lands in the training room 2 weeks in a row as he re-aggravated his ankle sprain against the Bills. It seems like this time around the Lions are going to try to be more conservative this upcoming week against the Vikings, in hopes that his ankle will feel better for the long haul. Consider him day-to-day for now, but prepare as if he won’t be available this Sunday. If he does sit and is able to rest his ankle, I don't believe he'll have any lingering issues moving forward, but the risk of re-aggravation of his ankle sprain is always a possibility.


Reggie Bush

Ankle Sprain: See Calvin Johnson

Bottom Line: Consider Bush day-to-day for now, but even he stated after the game he thought he’d be able to play this Sunday against the Vikings. Bush isn’t the fastest when it comes to recovering from an injury, but with Joique Bell still trying to get through the concussion protocol, Bush would have another plus matchup if he can suit up. I don't believe this injury will limit him moving forward, and with Joique Bell on the mend, he may actually help keep Bush healthier for the long term. 


Rashad Jennings

MCL Sprain: The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is the main ligament on the inside part of the knee that helps with stabilizing the knee. Ligament sprains occur to this region when an external force is applied from the outside of the knee, which causes the knee to buckle in towards the other knee. 

Bottom Line: Even with a mild MCL sprain, the fact that the Giants have a Week 8 bye will more than likely mean Jennings won’t return until Week 9 to reduce the risk of aggravation. The severity sounds like a grade 1 or 2 sprain, so the bye week should do some good to get him back to full health for the rest of the season. I wouldn't suspect Jennings to have many issues with his knee when he returns, but keep an eye on reports to make sure he doesn't have any setbacks with his recovery. 


Montee Ball

Groin Strain: The adductors are the muscles on the inside of your thigh known as your groin muscles. Sprinting, cutting, and twisting motions can cause the muscle/tendon junction to fail causing pain in that region. Higher grade strains of the adductor muscles can lead to partial tearing of the muscle off the bone, either where the muscle originates or inserts.

Bottom Line: Reports state that Ball will not require surgery to address the injury that he sustained. That is always a good sign, but he should be out for at least 2-3 weeks with the potential to be out longer depending on how his recovery goes. With Ball clearly not establishing the grasp on the lead runner when he was healthy, it’s fair to wonder if the Broncos will use the hot hand approach even when Ball is ready to return. Ronnie Hillman and C.J. Anderson are expected to fill in with Ball on the shelf.


Zac Stacy

Calf Strain: Your calf muscles main responsibility is help left your heel off the ground and propel your body forward when attempting to run or walk. Forceful, repetitive contractions of the calf can cause pain, which leads to irritation to the muscles. Stacy left the game in the 3rd quarter with the calf injury and was ruled out the rest of the game.

Bottom Line: Stacy will have an extra day to rest up as signs point to him being able to suit up for the Monday Night Football game against the 49ers. Although the strain seems to be very mild in nature, calf strains are very delicate and can be aggravated easily when trying to ramp up activity. It’s a tough matchup for Stacy so you might want to look elsewhere if you have any better options. Benny Cunningham would be the handcuff in case you want to wait it out and need a backup plan for MNF.


Malcolm Floyd

Calf Strain: See Zac Stacy. Floyd exited the game against the Jets in the 2nd half after suffering the injury.

Bottom Line: There haven’t been any updates on Floyd’s calf or the severity of his injury. Consider him day-to-day for now until his status is updated to get a better idea of what to expect from him this week.


Andre Caldwell

Knee Sprain: There are many structures in the knee that can be injured either from repetitive overuse or from blunt trauma to the knee.

Bottom Line: Caldwell was headed for more testing on his knee but there have been no updates. Consider him day-to-day for now with rookie Cody Lattimer potentially getting more touches if Caldwell has to miss any time.


Jake Locker

Bruised Hand/Thumb: Direct trauma to the thumb/hand can cause immediate swelling and pain. Depending on how the hand is strained, it can cause tears in the ligaments around the thumb, which makes gripping activities very painful. Locker injured his hand in the 2nd quarter and did not return.  

Bottom Line: Both the X-ray and MRI that was done on Locker’s thumb were both negative, which is an encouraging sign. Swelling around the thumb is not good as it makes it very difficult to do any grasping activities without discomfort. The reports that the Titans are looking to possibly make the switch to rookie Zach Mettenberger will also make it difficult for Locker to possibly get his job back when he returns.


Donald Brown

Concussion: Concussions are an insult to the brain from direct trauma. The brain suffers microtrauma and scarring with a variety of symptoms presenting, depending on where the trauma is located.

Bottom Line: Brown did not look overly impressive in the time he had as the lead back for the Chargers, whereas Branden Oliver was an absolute stud in his place. (I can’t help but give a fellow U at Buffalo alum a shout out) Check back later in the week to make sure Brown is progressing through protocol to see if he’ll be eligible to suit up this Sunday against the Raiders. The fact that Brown was able to walk back to the locker room without assistance to be put through the concussion protocol is good for his short term eligibility, but he’s no guarantee to be the lead back if he does play Sunday. With Ryan Mathews only a week or two away as he recovers from an MCL sprain, Brown will be an afterthought if he isn't able to show any effectiveness when he returns. 


Drew Stanton

Concussion: See Donald Brown

Bottom Line: The Cardinals QB situation is very murky as Carson Palmer is trying to work his way back from a nerve issue in his shoulder, Stanton now has to go through the concussion protocol, and Logan Thomas not contributing too much in Stanton’s place. Consider Stanton day-to-day. He’ll have a good matchup against the Redskins if he’s able to be cleared, but will be back on the bench if Palmer is able to suit up. 

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