- Stephania Bell, Fantasy Sports
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There may have been as many big injuries on Monday night as there were in the rest of the Week 7 contests. Without further ado, we take a look at some of the bumps, bruises and breaks that will be impacting fantasy owners in Week 8.
Brian Westbrook, RB, Philadelphia Eagles: It wasn't his ankle and it wasn't his knee. Actually, it was far scarier. Westbrook took a London Fletcher knee to the head Monday night and lay motionless on the field for a few moments. Eventually he was able to walk off the field, which led everyone to breathe a sigh of relief, including his brother Byron, a player for the Washington Redskins, who was standing close by while the medical staff tended to Brian. The early word on Brian Westbrook, according to the Philadelphia Daily News, is that he could very well miss Week 8. Although there is no official status listing for the team, fantasy owners should prepare for LeSean McCoy to start.
DeSean Jackson, WR, Philadelphia Eagles: Jackson suffered a foot injury in the first half of Monday night's game and underwent X-rays at halftime. The good news is that Jackson was obviously cleared to play in the second half and did return, although he was limited. It remains to be seen whether the injury will limit him in practice this week. Coach Andy Reid indicated after the game that Jackson suffered a foot sprain. Keep an eye on Jackson's status, but for now the early news is good.
Andre Johnson, WR, Houston Texans: Johnson suffered a lung contusion, according to coach Gary Kubiak, who referred to Johnson's status as day-to-day. It's no secret that Johnson is a tough player who does everything he can to stay on the field. On Sunday, he remained in the game after taking a knee to the back that made it difficult for him to catch his breath, according to the Houston Chronicle. In fact, it wasn't until Johnson was spitting up blood when it became obvious there was something more serious going on. The medical staff removed him ... but still had to hide his helmet to keep him from trying to get back on the playing field. Now Johnson will be forced to rest to allow the lung to heal itself. Kubiak has said that Johnson does not need to practice this week in order to play Sunday. He does, however, need to be fully healed so as not to risk more serious injury. There will no doubt be ongoing tests throughout the week, including blood tests to ensure that Johnson is not continuing to bleed internally. Stay tuned for late-week updates. This may come down to the wire.
Reggie Wayne, WR, Indianapolis Colts: Wayne injured his groin last week and the question, naturally, is how severe is the strain and will Wayne be able to play Sunday? At this point it's unclear how serious the injury is, and the Colts are calling Wayne day-to-day. According to the Indianapolis Star, the team plans to see how Wayne responds to treatment this week and will gauge his status accordingly. Muscle strains are always tricky when trying to predict how long the healing time will be, and by now everyone knows the risks of trying to return too soon. With Anthony Gonzalez just (maybe) returning to practice this week, the Colts' receiving corps could be featuring more of Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie.
Bernard Berrian, WR, Minnesota Vikings: Berrian has struggled to be a significant member of the receiving corps for the Vikings this season. Early in the season he was dealing with a hamstring strain, which prevented him from practicing and developing a rapport with new quarterback Brett Favre. Just when it appeared that Berrian was regaining his speed, he suffered another hamstring strain, this time to his opposite (left) leg. With Sidney Rice seemingly the favorite target for Favre, this has to be a disappointment for fantasy owners. Berrian says that he expects to play this week, but fantasy owners may want to go ahead and plan for a replacement anyway.
Chris Cooley, TE, Washington Redskins: Cooley suffered a break in his ankle Monday night, which may well signal the end of his season. Coach Jim Zorn indicated that the fracture is on the inner side of the tibia (the large shinbone whose endpoint forms the inside of the ankle joint). Although Zorn would only say that Cooley would be out for a while, the Washington Post's Jason Reid reports that a source indicated Cooley's season is done. Meanwhile, ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting that Cooley will undergo surgery later this week. With that fracture and surgery, followed by a period of immobilization for healing and rehab to regain range of motion and strength of the ankle, the timeframe for recovery is lengthier than the season allows. Time for fantasy owners to start searching the wires.
Other quick hits:
• Indianapolis Colts running back Donald Brown suffered what the team is calling a painful shoulder contusion. His status for Sunday could be in jeopardy.
• Buffalo Bills quarterback Trent Edwards has already been ruled out for Week 8 as he continues to recover from his concussion. It's not clear that his job is secure even when he does recover well enough to return, so fantasy owners should move to clear him from their bench.
• New York Giants tight end Kevin Boss says he has soreness in his neck and shoulder but maintains that he did not suffer a concussion following a big hit on Sunday. According to the New York Times, Boss said that "anytime you get hit that hard, definitely the lights turn off for a second ... but I came to pretty quick." Interesting. His remarks make his injury sound suspiciously concussion-like. The good news? His ankle (which caused him to miss a week earlier in the season) is fine.
• New York Jets running back Leon Washington has been placed on injured reserve after undergoing surgery to repair his compound leg fracture (Washington fractured both lower leg bones -- the tibia and fibula -- and compound means the bone pierced the skin). This is a tough injury with a lengthy rehab to follow. According to the Newark Star-Ledger, the Jets are encouraged that Washington is in good spirits post-surgery and they hope to have him back for mini-camps.
See you at the injury chats (Tuesday 11 a.m.-noon, Friday 11 a.m.-noon and Sunday pregame 10-10:30 a.m.) and we'll have the latest injury updates affecting Week 5 in the Saturday morning blog!