NFL Nation: 2014 NFL injury wire

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings were without linebacker Chad Greenway -- because of a broken hand and a rib injury -- at practice on Wednesday, as well as right tackle Phil Loadholt (ankle) and defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (shoulder).

Tight end Kyle Rudolph and cornerback Xavier Rhodes joined those three players on a list of Vikings starters who missed practice time on Wednesday. Rudolph was limited with an abdominal injury, which showed up on the Vikings' injury report for the first time, while Rhodes was limited because of the groin injury he played with last Sunday. Coach Mike Zimmer said Rhodes will be "fine" to play on Sunday, after he played last week's game against the New England Patriots.

Linebacker Brandon Watts, who missed the Vikings' first two games with a knee injury, also practiced in a limited capacity for the first time this season. Wide receiver Rodney Smith (hamstring) was limited, and linebacker Michael Mauti (foot) was a full participant.
CINCINNATI -- It started as just another run-of-the-mill catch.

Late in the first quarter of last week's game at Baltimore, Tyler Eifert, the Cincinnati Bengals' second-year tight end was adding a third reception to his season total when he turned toward the end zone, trying to elude defenders.

When he did, he awkwardly contorted his body as he slipped in and out of Ravens tackle attempts. As he stretched for more yards, Eifert subconsciously extended his right arm to brace his fall. That's when he heard the pop.

[+] EnlargeTyler Eifert
AP Photo/Nick WassTyler Eifert's dislocated elbow suffered in the opener against the Ravens will force him out of action until at least Week 10.
Immediately he clutched his elbow in agony, screaming as teammates furiously waved members of the training staff onto the field.

"I could feel that it wasn't right," Eifert said.

Cameras caught exactly what trainers saw when they reached the injured player. He had dislocated his elbow and needed it set back in place. Once it was, Eifert's pain calmed considerably, giving him a measure of relief.

As he made his first comments since last Sunday's injury on Friday, Eifert told reporters that to his knowledge he didn't suffer any other structural damage around his elbow, and that he and doctors continue to believe that he'll be fully healed by Nov. 6, when the Bengals host the Browns in a Thursday night showdown.

"That's what they say. I'm not a doctor," Eifert said. "I know it hurts right now, but I'm sure it'll get better and I'll be ready to go."

Like it has been since the injury happened, Eifert's arm was wrapped in a bandage and placed in a sling Friday. He said the arm has mostly been immobilized this week, and added that he has tried to extend it at times as he begins his rehab.

Placed Wednesday on short-term injured reserve, Eifert won't be allowed to practice until six weeks after the injury -- in other words, Week 7. Per rules of the IR with a designation to return, he also isn't allowed to play until Week 10.

Eifert said the injury occurred when he was trying to brace himself on the turf as he stretched for more yards on his 14-yard reception. He was told that had he landed with his arm straighter, he would have probably come out of the play injury-free. Instead, he landed with his arm open at a particular angle. It appears that's what caused the dislocation.

Cincinnati was expected to make Eifert a bigger part of its offense this season. His three catches for 37 yards through barely a quarter of play last week was a strong indication of that.

"With some of those plays, just the design of them puts the defense in a bind," Eifert said of how open he was getting. "You know how to cover it. It's just defense dictates where the ball's going. I happened to get the ball early. So it was good."

This injury also comes after Eifert battled shoulder issues all offseason and training camp. They became so bad in the preseason that he missed numerous practices and didn't play in the final three preseason games.

"Every time I feel like I'm getting back into it, something happens," Eifert said. "It is what it is. It happened. It's hard to make the most of an injury, but it's the situation I'm in right now. So just be positive and keep going."
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The prospect of cornerback Xavier Rhodes and defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd playing in the Minnesota Vikings' home opener on Sunday appears to be improving.

Coach Mike Zimmer said on Thursday afternoon that there is a "good chance" that Rhodes (who is nursing a groin injury) and Floyd (who has a shoulder injury) could be ready for Sunday's game against the New England Patriots. Rhodes said on Thursday that he is feeling better than he did early in the week, and he was on the field with his helmet during the portion of Vikings practice open to reporters on Thursday.

"He was alright," Zimmer said. "We're just getting him in some (drills)."

Floyd did not practice on Thursday, but Zimmer said there was a possibility he would be able to do at least some work in the game on Sunday. If Floyd isn't available, Tom Johnson would likely start at tackle for the Vikings.

"We'll know more tomorrow and the next day," Zimmer said.

Also, Adrian Peterson did not participate in practice after going through warm-ups with the team during the open portion, but the Vikings say his absence was not injury-related.
BALTIMORE -- When the Cincinnati Bengals waived Christo Bilukidi and moved Onterio McCalebb off the practice squad Saturday, it seemed a clear sign that cornerback Darqueze Dennard would end up missing the first regular-season game he could play.

Dennard indeed will miss that contest, shelved Sunday with a hip injury.

The rookie was among the seven Bengals inactives. He was joined by a group of other injured players who didn't take part in many of this week's practices. Like Dennard, rookie receiver James Wright was limited much of the week with a concussion he suffered in the Bengals' Week 3 preseason win at Arizona. Dennard's injury goes back a week prior, when he hurt his hip on the only play he participated in during the Bengals' Week 2 preseason loss to the Jets.

Along with Dennard and Wright, the Bengals also declared inactive injured running back Rex Burkhead (knee) and hurt receiver Marvin Jones (foot). Linebacker Sean Porter, a special-teams addition to the 53-man roster, has been dealing with a hamstring issue the last two weeks. He was limited in practice this week and also was declared inactive as a result.

Offensive lineman T.J. Johnson and defensive end Will Clarke's inactive listings aren't injury related. They fell victim to being down on the depth chart at their respective positions.

Perhaps the most intriguing inactive listing of the late morning was the Ravens' inclusion of cornerback Lardarius Webb. The defensive back has a lower-back injury. With Webb out, Bengals receiver A.J. Green could have a big day Sunday. The Ravens could adjust their secondary by moving rookie safety Terrence Brooks into Webb's position or to some other cornerback spot while shifting around the remaining cornerback group.

Cincinnati won't have to do that with Dennard out. Veterans Leon Hall, Adam Jones and Terence Newman and third-year player Dre Kirkpatrick will be playing. McCalebb isn't expected to play at corner. Instead, he will take Dennard's place on various special-teams coverage units.

Here is the complete list of Bengals inactives:

CB Darqueze Dennard
RB Rex Burkhead
LB Sean Porter
OL T.J. Johnson
WR Marvin Jones
WR James Wright
DE Will Clarke
CINCINNATI -- When the Cincinnati Bengals returned to practice Wednesday after a day off Tuesday, they were once again without cornerback Darqueze Dennard and running back Rex Burkhead, among others.

Both were hurt in Saturday's 25-17 preseason loss to the Jets.

Dennard was sidelined after appearing on just one play in the game. He jogged on the field to assist on a punt return. After the play was over, he hobbled back to the bench, favoring his hip.

"I was just running and pretty much felt something coming off the field and talked to the trainers and basically, it was just a smart thing to stop [playing]," Dennard said.

He added that he didn't believe the injury was serious. Dennard is hopeful to play Sunday when the Bengals travel to Arizona. Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said he wasn't sure if Dennard would be healthy in time.

"Hopefully, we'd like to see him playing there early," Guenther said. "But if he can't, then we've got next week to look at him, too."

While the Bengals might be without Dennard this weekend, they still anticipate seeing defensive tackle Geno Atkins for the first time. Guenther said Wednesday afternoon that the Pro Bowl lineman would be making his return to the rotation as his rehab from an ACL tear last season concludes.

It doesn't appear Burkhead will be part of the Bengals' game plan as he continues recovering from an injury that head coach Marvin Lewis on Wednesday called a "sore knee."

Still, Burkhead has made some progress. After sporting both a long leg brace and a pair of crutches Monday, Burkhead was only wearing the compression style brace that covered his right leg on Wednesday. He was walking around the locker room with it, without any assistance.

"He'll be out of that in a couple of days and be running in the pool soon," Lewis said. "I don't think much is going to hold Rex back very long, but he's going to have to go through the process of getting it right. He obviously plays a position at running back where he's going to have to be able to do what a running back does."

Burkhead was knocked out of last Saturday's game after taking a hard hit when tackled at the end of an early fourth-quarter run.

As the Bengals continue preparations for Sunday's game -- one backup quarterback Jason Campbell and offensive tackle Andre Smith anticipate playing -- the following are injury updates from Wednesday's practice. Cincinnati isn't required this preseason to file a daily injury report like it will in the regular season, so it's tough to determine which players were limited or in full participation. Media are only permitted to view the first 30 minutes of the closed practices. Wednesday's workout was in shells; shoulder pads, helmets and shorts.

Returned to practice
WR Dane Sanzenbacher (undisclosed)
WR James Wright (hip)
DE Dontay Moch (undisclosed)
DE Wallace Gilberry (undisclosed)
OL Mike Pollak (knee)
TE Tyler Eifert (shoulder)
LB Sean Porter (knee)
LB Marquis Flowers (ankle)

Not practicing
LB Vontaze Burfict (stomach bug)
DE David King (undisclosed)
CB Darqueze Dennard (hip)
RB Rex Burkhead (knee)
QB AJ McCarron (shoulder)
QB Tyler Wilson (head)
LB J.K. Schaffer (head)
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars will be without three starters when training camp begins Friday.

The team announced Tuesday that it had placed receiver Ace Sanders on the non-football injury list and that it had also placed cornerback Alan Ball (ankle) and linebacker Dekoda Watson (groin) on the physically unable to perform list.

As expected, the team also placed rookie cornerback Aaron Colvin on the PUP list. Colvin, whom the Jaguars drafted in the fourth round in May, suffered a torn ACL during Senior Bowl practices in January.

Sanders, who caught 51 passes as a rookie in 2013, was one of seven receivers to miss time during OTAs and minicamps because of injuries.

Watson, whom the team signed as a free agent in March, missed nearly all of OTAs and minicamp with the groin injury. He is the starter at the team's new OTTO linebacker position, which replaces the strongside linebacker. LaRoy Reynolds took the bulk of the snaps at that spot in Watson's place and likely will continue to do so when camp begins.

Ball started 15 games last season and led the Jaguars with 14 pass breakups. His absence probably means more work for second-year corners Demetrius McCray and Jeremy Harris.