The standout topic from Week 6 was the incidence of head injuries. There certainly has been much discussion around the injuries, the hits that led to those injuries and the position the league is taking as far as enforcing penalties on flagrant hits.
Fantasy owners saw a number of their players leave the game Sunday (and Monday!) with head injuries. It is important to remember that concussions are like snowflakes; no two are alike and they are therefore unpredictable in terms of recovery. What we can say is that each player will be carefully evaluated and will be subject to the league guidelines before he is permitted to return to play.
The following key players suffered a head injury in Week 6:
DeSean Jackson, WR, Philadelphia Eagles: In what may have been one of the biggest hits of the weekend, Jackson's head snapped back upon impact with the Atlanta Falcons' Dunta Robinson before he hit the ground in a heap. Robinson suffered a head injury of his own from the hit he delivered. A clearly dazed Jackson was ultimately escorted off the field by medical personnel. NFL.com reports that Jackson suffered memory loss, and head coach Andy Reid told reporters Monday that Jackson also has a sore shoulder. Expect him to be out for Week 7.
Josh Cribbs, WR, Cleveland Browns: Cribbs took a hit on the side of his helmet Sunday (also from Harrison) and crumpled to the ground. Cribbs was eventually able to walk off the field and even seemed to be making a case for a return to the game, but the medical staff stood firm.
Chris Cooley, TE, Washington Redskins: Cooley apparently suffered his concussive hit in the second quarter but did not develop symptoms until later, which is not altogether unusual. According to The Associated Press, Cooley began to develop a headache and felt that he was "a little bit slow." He then came out of the game. Cooley, who has had several concussions in the past, was scheduled to undergo a CT scan Tuesday.
David Garrard, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars: The Monday night game yielded another concussion, this time from the Jaguars' signal-caller, who left the contest early and was replaced by former Buffalo Bills quarterback Trent Edwards.
In the non-concussion injury department, here's what we're talking about after Week 6.
• In what many have agreed was the most egregious hit of the weekend, Baltimore Ravens tight end Todd Heap was the recipient of a helmet-to-helmet hit by the New England Patriots' Brandon Meriweather. The safety clearly led with his head on the hit to Heap, prompting an angry reaction from his own coach, Bill Belichick. Heap returned to the game after sitting out briefly, but don't be surprised if he shows up on the injury report this week.
• Indianapolis Colts running back Joseph Addai made another early exit after taking a hard hit to his shoulder in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game against the Redskins. According to Tom James of the Terre Haute Star-Tribune, Addai was seen in the locker room Monday with his left arm in a sling. The extent of Addai's shoulder injury has not been diagnosed. "It did not appear to be a separated shoulder or anything like that," team president Bill Polian said during his weekly radio show. "That's kind of the good news. We'll know more later in the week." The Colts are on a bye this week, but there is no indication yet as to whether Addai will be available for his next game, which isn't until Nov. 1.
• The San Diego Chargers' reliable tight end Antonio Gates has been having an amazing start to his season. In Week 6, his numbers dropped as he was forced out of the game in the first half due to injury. Initially, it appeared as if Gates had injured his ankle and he was spotted in a walking boot after the game. But the news got better by Monday. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that coach Norv Turner said Gates had sprained his left toe but remained optimistic he could play this week. Despite the fact this injury is to the same foot on which Gates underwent surgery two years ago, Turner told the Union-Tribune that the two injuries are unrelated (no word on whether the injury specifically is to the same toe or not). Gates' teammate, wide receiver Malcom Floyd, may not fare as well this week. He strained his hamstring in the third quarter of Sunday's game and early indications are that he will be out this week.
• Oakland Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell started in Week 6 in place of the injured Bruce Gradkowski but injured his own knee in the process. Campbell underwent an MRI on Monday on his sore left knee. According to the San Jose Mercury News, the diagnosis is a "sprained knee" and it remains to be seen who will be under center for the Raiders this week. ESPN's Bill Williamson thinks it could be Kyle Boller. Meanwhile, teammate Darren McFadden yielded the running back duties to Michael Bush in Week 6 while he rested his injured hamstring. McFadden plans to test the hamstring in practice this week. He told the Mercury News, "That's my goal for Wednesday, to go out there and try to see what I can do, see if I can burst." As the weekend approaches, fantasy owners will find out whether they will need to agonize over whether McFadden or Bush is in line to get the work.
• Denver Broncos wide receiver Eddie Royal suffered a groin injury in Sunday's game against the New York Jets, but the extent of the injury is unclear. The Denver Post reports that coach Josh McDaniels is uncertain whether Royal will be able to practice this week.
• Washington Redskins running back Ryan Torain made fantasy owners happy Sunday night. And then he disappeared early in the fourth quarter, leading many to wonder if he was hurt. The Washington Post reported that Torain was spotted in the locker room after the game with his knee heavily wrapped but responded to questions about it by smiling and saying, "I'm great." We will have to wait and see what he does in practice this week, but don't be surprised if he appears on the Wednesday injury report, even if only for taking limited reps to rest his knee. Tight end Chris Cooley, who suffered a concussion, will undoubtedly land on the injury report. Concussions always require ongoing evaluation, so it is too soon to tell what his status for Week 7 will be.
• Detroit Lions quarterback Shaun Hill fractured his left (nonthrowing) forearm Sunday and underwent surgery Monday to repair it. Hill will be unavailable for at least several weeks. The good news for the Lions is that Matthew Stafford was already on track to return after the Week 7 bye. If all continues well, Stafford will be ready to return from his AC sprain when the Lions resume play in Week 8.
• San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis contributed to his team's first win with a score on Sunday but injured his knee in the process. Davis underwent an MRI on Monday, but according to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com, the 49ers do not expect him to miss any significant time. He is being called day-to-day.
• Monday night saw both quarterbacks exit early due to injury. The Jacksonville Jaguars saw David Garrard added to the concussion roster from Week 6. The Tennessee Titans lost Vince Young after his leg got bent awkwardly during a pileup. Young was seen in a brace on the sideline with what was later called a sprained knee. After the game Young told reporters he will take it "day by day."
• Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick is not expected to play in Week 7. Although he is making some progress, Vick acknowledged on his weekly radio appearance on ESPN 94.1 FM in Virginia Beach, Va., that it made no sense to rush back. He hopes to be ready by Week 9 (the Eagles have a bye in Week 8).
We will continue to update these injuries and others as the week progresses.
See you at the injury chats (Tuesday and Friday 3-4 p.m.) and we'll have the latest injury updates in the blogs on Thursday and Saturday.