It was a remarkably safe week to be an NFL player. That may be the sentence I least expected to write in my life, but it’s true. Compared to the first four weeks of the season, Week 5 was extremely kind on the health of NFL players. There were, as always, some injuries, but they were generally minor and much less prevalent than we’re used to. Here’s a look:
Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals
Eifert hasn’t even played this season, but that didn’t stop him from acquiring a brand new injury. He had ankle surgery in the offseason that kept him out of the team’s first four games, but just as he was looking close to returning to the field, he suffered a new back injury that may keep him out for a few more games.
The Doc’s Take: Tweaked the ankle he was recovering from plus added a new back injury. Expect another 2-4 weeks before he returns to full practice.
Cody Kessler, Cleveland Browns
Browns rookie quarterback Cody Kessler’s Week 4 injury contributed to the Browns-est timeline, thrusting one-millionth string quarterback Charlie Whitehurst into action and potentially into a starting role. Whitehurst himself got hurt, but played through his minor injury. Kessler suffered a rib injury and was reportedly in significant pain while breathing, but X-rays were negative and the Browns have said he has a “good chance” to play in Week 6.
The Doc’s Take: With imaging showing no structural injuries, expect him to return to practice right away.
Steve Smith, Baltimore Ravens
Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith, who began his career in Ancient Rome, left Week 4’s matchup with an ankle injury and was unable to return. The Ravens haven’t made an announcement about Smith’s injury yet, but he was unable to put weight on his foot while making his way off the field. He’s likely to miss a few weeks.
The Doc’s Take: Still waiting for MRI results, but it’s likely a high ankle sprain which would knock him out for 2-4 weeks.
Tyler Lockett- Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks had their bye week, so Lockett was not injured in a game, but reports came out that he had been playing on a partially torn posterior cruciate ligament, or PCL. It could explain why the fantasy darling rife with preseason hype has done almost nothing so far this season. His injury is not a long term one nor one that requires surgery however, so the Seahawks bye week may have been perfectly timed.
The Doc’s Take: Expect him to be around 90% given the rest from the bye week.
Josh Doctson- Washington Redskins
Redskins rookie wide receiver Josh Doctson has yet to make an impact this season, catching only two passes in two games played. He’s suffering from an injured Achilles tendon and hasn’t been able to recover quite yet. Redskins coaches have already announced that it may take a few more weeks for Doctson to be ready to go, but they are not yet considering placing the young receiver on IR.
The Doc’s Take: He’s already missed multiple weeks with Achilles tendinitis. It can take several weeks to calm down, so expect him to miss another 2-4 weeks.