Wednesday, October 6, 2010
AFC South injury index
By Paul Kuharsky
Through four games, let’s check in with our four teams on the health front. We’ll go in order from the team in best shape to the team in worst shape …
1) Houston Texans
Rookie running back Ben Tate was lost for the year in the preseason. Andre Johnson’s dealt with an ankle sprain that’s meant he missed a game, and Owen Daniels doesn’t seem to be back to himself after ACL surgery. He had a hamstring injury on top of that. Jacoby Jones now has a calf issue. Eugene Wilson’s hamstring injury opened the door for Troy Nolan, who shined in Oakland. Overall, health hasn’t been a huge issue for the division-leaders.
2) Tennessee Titans
The Titans have the depth to handle missed games by ends William Hayes and Jacob Ford, but a season-ending ACL injury for Derrick Morgan means they are down to four-deep at the spot. Cornerback Alterraun Verner will get at least a few more starts with Jason McCourty (arm) out. Receiver Justin Gage (hamstring) could be out a bit going forward, which could open a door for Damian Williams or Lavelle Hawkins. They can’t complain at this point.
3) Jacksonville Jaguars
Second-round defensive tackle D’Anthony Smith was lost for the year in the preseason with an Achilles injury, and backup quarterback Luke McCown is out for the year after tearing an ACL in relief work. Receiver Jarret Dillard and kick returner Scotty McGee are also out for the year, while punt returner Deji Karim (thumb) has yet to play. Linebacker Justin Durant’s been out of action the past two weeks with an ankle injury. Not ideal, but nothing killer.
4) Indianapolis Colts
Bob Sanders (biceps) is out until at least November and Melvin Bullitt will soon have season-ending shoulder surgery. That puts a huge strain on the team at strong safety. Anthony Gonzalez hurt an ankle in Week 1 and hasn’t been back, and Pierrre Garcon’s got a hamstring injury that’s cost him games. The Colts have been thinned out at receiver. Clint Session missed a couple games with a hamstring, and one backup, Ramon Humber, is done for the year, as is return man Devin Moore (brachial injury). Charlie Johnson’s played with a bad foot and missed one game. Depth is being tested in a big way, again.