Stephania Bell: Santana Moss

The injury aftermath from Week 7

October, 25, 2011
10/25/11
5:34
PM ET


Anyone who plays fantasy football knows the trauma inflicted across rosters in the mess that was Week 7. There are, oh, a gazillion injury situations in play, so without further ado:

[+] EnlargeTim Hightower
James Lang/US PresswireTim Hightower had seemingly retaken the Redskins' top running back slot last Sunday before suffering his season-ending knee injury.
Two more fantasy running backs were lost for the season Sunday. Washington Redskins running back Tim Hightower was just getting past his shoulder injury, but it was his leg that failed him this time. Hightower suffered a torn ACL in a classic non-contact, deceleration manner, so we won't see him until next season.



It's hard to know whether we'll see Earnest Graham again after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' veteran back, filling in for the injured LeGarrette Blount, suffered a torn Achilles tendon. With surgery and a lengthy recovery ahead of him, Graham may be challenged to return. In the meantime the Bucs, who have said nothing about Blount's specific injury or his progress (other than terming it a sprained knee), may be turning to some outside help to shore up their backfield. However, the Bucs do have a bye this week, but it is too soon to know whether Blount, who has yet to practice, will be ready by Week 9.

Tight end Chris Cooley never really got it going this season as a result of his ongoing knee ailment. He then fractured his index finger, requiring surgery and a lengthy recovery. He will now have plenty of time to recover from both as the Redskins have placed him on injured reserve. Fred Davis has proven to be quite capable in his place so far this year.

Quick Hits


They're all going to be quick hits this week gang given the number of injury items. As details emerge throughout the week, we will expound on them.

[+] EnlargeMatthew Stafford
Gregory Shamus/Getty ImagesOnce again, Matthew Stafford is dealing with an injury.
• For all those who took the under at Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford staying healthy through the first half of the season (officially through this Sunday; the Lions then have a bye in Week 9), don't rush to cash in just yet. Although Stafford was seen limping off the field late in Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons game after a defender fell on his right ankle, head coach Jim Schwartz is simply calling him "day-to-day," leaving open the possibility he is available this week. Schwartz did not go into details regarding the results of Stafford's imaging tests. My interpretation: nothing catastrophic, but some variant of a soft tissue injury. The key, as always, will be whether he can effectively plant and throw and move to protect himself.



• There were a pair of hand injuries suffered Sunday that require surgery. Redskins wide receiver Santana Moss underwent surgery Monday to insert pins in his broken left hand. He is projected to miss five to seven weeks. That timetable could be updated in about a month as the bone healing is evaluated. Denver Broncos running back Willis McGahee fractured his fourth metacarpal (the long bone in the hand that runs from the base of the fourth finger to the wrist) and is scheduled for surgery to repair it on Tuesday. While McGahee acknowledged he would miss Week 8, he expressed confidence he could return by Week 9. That sounds optimistic. Consider Redskins running back Ryan Torain, who underwent surgery for his metacarpal fracture in August but took three and a half weeks to return to practice, and four weeks before he played in a game. While all injuries are unique, it would not be surprising if McGahee's absence extends beyond the two weeks he projects. Even when he returns, he may require protective wear on the hand. OK, Knowshon Moreno, it's time to step up.

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings also suffered a hand injury Sunday, but the results were not so dire. Jennings suffered a bruised right hand, one that caused him to temporarily experience numbness, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. He had enough function in the hand to return to the game and later X-rays revealed no fracture. The Packers have a bye in Week 8, and it sounds like they expect Jennings for their Week 9 matchup with the San Diego Chargers.

Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden had only two carries Sunday before exiting with what coach Hue Jackson told reporters Monday is a midfoot sprain. McFadden was on crutches Monday to offload the foot, but the team seems to not be overly concerned. They have the luxury of a bye week to allow McFadden to rest the foot and plan to re-evaluate him Monday. The midfoot is key for transferring load from the back of the foot to the front during weightbearing and any injury there makes it difficult to walk, much less run, normally. A minor sprain can respond well to unloading (this is where the crutches come into play) along with therapeutic modalities to help ease any pain and inflammation. Keep in mind that McFadden did return to the sidelines, but given his history of toe and ankle injuries, the Raiders were more conservative in guarding him against further injury. Wise move. Hopefully he is able to return in Week 9.

[+] EnlargeBeanie Wells
AP Photo/Paul ConnorsBeanie Wells rushed for 42 yards before leaving with another injury.
Arizona Cardinals oft-injured running back Beanie Wells suffered a knee injury in Sunday's game that has left him with significant swelling but no particular diagnosis, at least not one the team is revealing. According to Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic, Wells denied a bone bruise and head coach Ken Whisenhunt did not elaborate on the nature of the injury, only saying there was no major structural damage. There are plenty of means by which a joint can become irritated and the response to that irritation is swelling. This is the same knee Wells had surgery on last year for a torn meniscus. The bottom line is that there is no plan for surgery (since there is no "structure" to address) at this time but there is also no running on a swollen knee. The goal is to address the swelling first, then try to bring the athlete back toward full activity and hope the swelling does not return. How long will it take? No one knows for sure. So stay tuned and keep an eye on when Wells is able to return to practice. Start by preparing for a backup in Week 8.

• New Orleans had all their running backs healthy when they came into Week 7 (not counting Chris Ivory, on the Physically Unable to Perform list since the start of the season). But Mark Ingram left Sunday's game with a limp, suffering what the team has called a bruised heel. No further word from the Saints on what they expect, and there is no indication as to whether the bruise is on the back of his heel, near the Achilles attachment, or on the undersurface of the heel, making it hard to prognosticate. If Ingram is limited, Pierre Thomas could be setting up for a nice matchup against the St. Louis Rams. Meanwhile, Ivory could be nearing a return to practice but that has not yet been made official.

• Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan had a nasty looking ankle roll in Sunday's game. The awkward spill appeared to stress both his ankle and his knee, but after exiting for a brief period, Ryan was able to return and finish out the game. Ryan is no doubt pleased to have a bye week to allow the soreness to subside but is expected to start in Week 9. Teammate Julio Jones has missed two games with a strained hamstring, but if all goes well he could be back in Week 9.

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin has been battling sore ribs since the preseason. Again he had issues with the ribs, which forced him to exit the game in the third quarter. Harvin is going to be further evaluated, but consider the Vikings had already agreed to scale back his playing time when his condition worsened. It's entirely possible he misses some time.

• Even the durable Hines Ward of the Pittsburgh Steelers is on the injury report this week after sustaining an ankle sprain Sunday. Ward often gets a day off from practice during the week (veteran, history of knee issues in the past) so it may be difficult to get a feel for his playing status until Friday.



• The San Diego running backs have to be thankful for one extra day before returning to competition. Ryan Mathews injured his thumb during the game against the New York Jets but was able to return to play. Mike Tolbert was seen grabbing his hamstring late in the game and was indeed listed on the postgame injury report, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune, but neither player's injuries seemed to be a major cause for concern.

Raise your hand if you were one of the fantasy owners whose Sunday was ruined when Marshawn Lynch, declared active, was suddenly not playing because of back spasms that flared up during his pregame warmup. To make matters worse, it appears Lynch has been dealing with the issue for a while. According to the Seattle Seahawks' official website, coach Pete Carroll said Lynch's back is "not a new issue" but has been managed effectively to this point. As for Lynch's status this week Carroll said, "We'll have to be careful with him through the week and make sure that we do the right things. He is determined to play for sure in his mind, but we're really not going to know until we get to the end of the week." Or maybe not until Sunday after your rosters lock. Have a backup at the ready so you can pull the trigger if there's any shadow of a doubt heading into gametime.



And then there were a number of players who never took the field in Week 7 but whose status is of interest for Week 8:

[+] EnlargeSam Bradford
Ray Carlin/Icon SMISam Bradford sat out Sunday's game against the Cowboys and may be back on the bench this week.
• St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford is still in a walking boot and is no lock to play in Week 8. The team plans to reassess his status Wednesday.

Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis was not able to play Sunday because of his strained hamstring, but he did get some running in Monday, according to the Akron Beacon Journal. There have been enough hamstring injuries around the league that everyone should know this is only one of many steps before returning to play. If Hillis is able to get back to full practice this week, then he should play Sunday.

• The Houston Texans could have wide receiver Andre Johnson back in the lineup Sunday if all goes well. Coach Gary Kubiak added clarity to the situation calling the return of Johnson "definitely a possibility" when speaking to reporters Monday. Johnson, who underwent a procedure on his torn hamstring tendon in early October, has been running but has not yet returned to practice. If he is able to do so early this week, it would bode well for his chances.

• The San Francisco 49ers could have wide receiver Braylon Edwards in the mix this Sunday. Edwards has been out recovering from meniscus surgery on his right knee. Head coach Jim Harbaugh said he expected Edwards to return to practice Tuesday.



• The New York Giants could get running back Brandon Jacobs alongside Ahmad Bradshaw this week. Jacobs, sporting a brace for protection, was able to practice Monday, indicating the swelling in his knee had subsided to the point he could participate. Now the challenge will be to see if the swelling remains down before he can be cleared to play.

We will continue to update these injuries and others as the week progresses.

Witten trying to play Sunday

October, 29, 2008
10/29/08
8:59
PM ET


How are teams holding up at the halfway mark of the season? Here's how some of the injury news is shaping up in Week 9.

Jason Witten, TE, Cowboys: The results are in. ESPN's Ed Werder reports that Witten's MRI confirmed that he indeed suffered a fractured rib. Witten, however, has already informed the Cowboys' coaching staff that he intends to try to play through the injury. Can he do it? There is no arguing with Witten's ability to play through pain. He has already played this season with a separated shoulder, and has played while recovering from a broken jaw in the past. It is possible to help alleviate some of the pain through an injection of painkiller into the rib, and protective padding can be placed over the affected rib to help protect against contact. Neither mechanism is likely to eliminate pain, however. The question will become whether Witten can run (think: breathe deeply), twist (making a reception), absorb contact and protect the football adequately despite the injury. Last Sunday after the injury, Witten attempted to return to the game, but pain eventually forced him out. A week of rest should help to some degree, but rib fractures are nothing to sneeze at (sneezing really hurts!) and Witten is a target for contact while on the field, which means his pain will increase as the game goes on. Even Witten, according to Werder, said his prognosis was "not great." Fantasy owners should have a backup plan in case the rib gets the better of Witten this week.

Clinton Portis, RB, and Santana Moss, WR, Redskins: Portis has been the workhorse of the Redskins without a doubt, and his body is paying the price. Prior to Week 7 Portis was dealing with a hip flexor strain that forced him to miss most of practice that week and resulted in a questionable designation. Not only did Portis play in Week 7, he racked up 175 yards. Portis was again limited in practice to some degree heading into Week 8, then turned in another solid performance but emerged from that contest with a sprained ankle. The Washington Post reports that coach Jim Zorn acknowledges that Portis is tired and beat up, but that he expects him to play Monday night. The extra day heading into the game undoubtedly helps, but the bye week the Redskins have in Week 10 will help even more for the second half of the season.

Meanwhile teammate Santana Moss is dealing with a hamstring injury, unfortunately nothing new for the spry receiver. The Post reports that Moss has some swelling in the hamstring but the team is hopeful that the extra day this week will allow Moss to be available Monday. The concern here, as it is for any running back or receiver, is whether the athlete risks making the injury worse by playing. When the athlete is one who has a history of soft tissue injuries, the risk dial does get turned up. Moss battled hamstring injuries in 2004 and 2006, and in 2007 he dealt with hamstring and groin injuries that cost him a couple of early regular-season games. Moss has amazing quickness and is probably the Redskins' most potent receiving threat. But those skills are dependent on healthy hamstrings. Even though Zorn has told the Post that he does not think the hamstring will keep him out Monday, Moss may end up as a game-time decision.

Some other players to keep an eye on as the week progresses

&#8226 Colts running back Joseph Addai could return this week. He returned to practice Wednesday and, if he responds well, is expected to take the field this Sunday according to coach Tony Dungy. The day after is often critical in revealing how healing tissue responds to the stress of increased work, so we should know more Thursday afternoon. Interestingly, fellow running back Dominic Rhodes, who has been starting while Addai has been sidelined, did not practice Wednesday because of an ankle injury. Receiver Reggie Wayne did not participate either because of a knee issue. The team has not issued any specifics related to their injuries.

&#8226 Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck continues to struggle with weakness in his leg related to his sciatic nerve problems. He will be out again in Week 9, which does not come as a great surprise. Teammate Deion Branch is also struggling with his heel and he has been declared out for Sunday as well.

&#8226 After his initial declaration that he thought Steven Jackson would be ready for Sunday's contest, Rams coach Jim Haslett said Wednesday that Jackson's status would be a "day-to-day thing" according to the Bellevue News-Democrat. Jackson was able to participate in only about one-third of the team's offensive drills Wednesday, making his Sunday status a bit more dubious. These muscle strains are never a sure thing. The hope would be that as the week goes on Jackson is able to do more, but it could be another game-time decision.

&#8226 Bears receiver Brandon Lloyd, who has missed three games with a sprained knee, was listed as a limited participant in Wednesday's practice, suggesting he is not yet back to full strength. The Lake County News-Sun reports that Lloyd does see progress and hints that there's "a possibility" that he could be 100 percent by Sunday. The good news for the Bears is that wide receiver/kick returner Devin Hester was not on the practice injury report Wednesday so his strained quad must have benefited from the week of rest.

&#8226 Eagles receiver Reggie Brown was able to participate fully in practice Wednesday as he attempts to return to the lineup from a groin strain. Teammate Kevin Curtis, who returned in Week 8 from sports hernia surgery, remains a starter so Brown would likely come in at the No. 3 spot if he returns Sunday. Although Curtis had only three catches, he played almost every snap, so he appears fully healthy. Curtis' stamina is still recovering from the time off but he is not being limited by his recent surgery.

&#8226 Two bum toes? Apparently so for the Raiders' Darren McFadden. He first injured his right big toe in mid-September and that injury has nagged him since. Two weeks ago, however, McFadden injured his left big toe, which ultimately is what forced him (somewhat surprisingly) out of last Sunday's contest according to news reports. McFadden was unable to practice Wednesday and is now sporting a protective boot on the left foot. An injury to both big toes is death to a running back's productivity. We have seen how much San Diego Chargers ace running back LaDainian Tomlinson has struggled in the first half of the season with pushing off one ailing toe (which by the way is much improved as evidenced by the resurgence of his trademark spin move in London). McFadden's performance has dropped off since Week 2, which not coincidentally is when he first injured himself. With both feet giving him trouble, do not be surprised if McFadden is unable to play this Sunday.

&#8226 Bucs coach Jon Gruden told the Tampa Tribune that in retrospect the team should not have allowed running back Warrick Dunn to suit up Sunday. Apparently the pinched nerve in his neck/back was bothering him more than anyone let on and Dunn, although tough enough to willingly take the field, could not perform at his usual level. Dunn did not practice Wednesday and Gruden's tone did not imply great confidence for the upcoming week. If Dunn does not go Sunday, then teammate Earnest Graham's fantasy stock rises.

As usual, practice throughout the week will give us a better hint as to what the final status of these players will be heading into Week 9. Remember there are bye weeks for New Orleans, San Francisco, San Diego and Carolina so we will not get much information on player injury updates for those teams until next week. See you Friday at the injury chat and we'll have the latest injury updates affecting Week 9 in the Saturday blog!

Key Seahawks options hurting

November, 24, 2007
11/24/07
2:29
PM ET
This has been an unusual week because of the Thursday games and the Thanksgiving holiday. I posted plenty of updates in my late Friday blog, so today I'll keep the conversation brief, looking only at those players who did not appear in Friday's report.

OUT


The following players have been added to the list as officially out for Week 12.

<a href="javascript:newWin('http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/players/fantasy?statsId=5048')">Shaun Alexander, RB, Seahawks: We already knew he wouldn't play; now it's official.

<a href="javascript:newWin('http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/players/fantasy?statsId=3569')">Zach Thomas, LB, Dolphins: The lingering migraines continue.

<a href="javascript:newWin('http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/players/fantasy?statsId=7774')">Santonio Holmes, WR, Steelers: It wasn't looking good anyway. Now you know that <a href="javascript:newWin('http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/players/fantasy?statsId=7492')">Nate Washington is starting in his place. In fact, you might want to go and get him.

<a href="javascript:newWin('http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/players/fantasy?statsId=6352')">Troy Polamalu, S, Steelers: The Steelers' defense takes a hit because of Polamalu's knee injury.

<a href="javascript:newWin('http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/players/fantasy?statsId=4065')">James Thrash, WR, Redskins: He'll miss because of an ankle injury. Moss and Randle El will handle the load.

Whether the following players suit up for Week 12 is still unknown.

Running Backs


<a href="javascript:newWin('http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/players/fantasy?statsId=4259')">Fred Taylor, Jaguars: Taylor is listed as probable, meaning he is virtually certain to play. He is on the injury report because of a thigh injury that kept him limited in practice early in the week, but he was able to practice fully on Friday.

<a href="javascript:newWin('http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/players/fantasy?statsId=6994')">Derrick Ward, Giants: I discussed his injuries Friday, but that was when he appeared to be a game-time decision. Since then, Ward has been downgraded to doubtful, meaning he has less than a 25 percent chance of playing. Go Reuben, go.

<a href="javascript:newWin('http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/players/fantasy?statsId=5920')">DeShaun Foster, Panthers: Not a big source of worry here. Foster has been bothered by a toe injury for several weeks. He did not practice Wednesday to give the toe a rest but was back in practice Thursday and Friday to finish the week strong. He is listed as probable and is expected to start.

<a href="javascript:newWin('http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/players/fantasy?statsId=7241')">Frank Gore, 49ers: The biggest worry when it comes to Gore right now is the offense he plays in, not any injury. Sure, Gore's ankle has not been 100 percent since he sprained it several weeks ago, but that is not the main reason for his lack of production. Nonetheless, the ankle is the reason he appears in this report. He was limited in practice early in the week to avoid aggravating the ankle, but he did practice fully Friday and is listed as probable. He will start again for the 49ers on Sunday.

Quarterbacks


<a href="javascript:newWin('http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/players/fantasy?statsId=7247')">Alex Smith, 49ers: He is listed as questionable, but we shouldn't expect him to do much. Smith is still resting his shoulder and forearm and will be re-evaluated in the coming week.

<a href="javascript:newWin('http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/players/fantasy?statsId=4416')">Matt Hasselbeck, Seahawks: Hasselbeck has bruised ribs, reportedly from the Week 11 game. He was held out of practice Wednesday and Thursday but was able to participate fully on Friday, taking most of the first-team snaps. According to the Tacoma News Tribune, Hasselbeck said he feels "as close to 100 percent as [he has] felt in a long time." Although he is listed as questionable, he is expected to start against the Rams, and it does not appear that he will be limited.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends


D.J. Hackett, Seahawks: Hackett, who missed several weeks because of a high ankle sprain but managed to return looking fantastic, now has a new injury issue: He is listed as questionable because of swelling in his knee. After resting the knee Wednesday and Thursday, Hackett was able to participate fully on Friday and reportedly looked sharp while running, although he was wearing a wrap, according to the Tacoma News Tribune. All signs point to his playing against the Rams, but be sure to check the inactive reports Sunday.

<a href="javascript:newWin('http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/players/fantasy?statsId=6837')">Bernard Berrian, Bears: Berrian has a toe that is bothering him, but it does not appear that it will keep him from playing Sunday. Berrian is listed as probable after being able to practice fully on Friday, and he should start Sunday.

<a href="javascript:newWin('http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/players/fantasy?statsId=5037')">Plaxico Burress, Giants: Burress' ankle has bothered him more of late, and it is possible that it is affecting his overall productivity. The Giants continue to do their best to manage his condition by keeping him out of practice all week to save him for Sunday. His designation is questionable, so it is always important to check his status before game time. But he is expected to start. Although the past few weeks have been unremarkable for Burress, he remains one of Eli Manning's top receiving targets and always has the potential to have a big day. He also has the potential to aggravate the ankle and leave early. Risk, meet reward.

<a href="javascript:newWin('http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/players/fantasy?statsId=5463')">Santana Moss and <a href="javascript:newWin('http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/players/fantasy?statsId=5948')">Antwaan Randle El, Redskins: Moss (probable) still has a bruised heel, but the modified shoe with a heel cup insert seemed to help Moss in Week 11. He was allowed to rest the foot early in the week but was a full participant in practice Friday and will be ready to go Sunday. Randle El (also probable) is on this week's report because of a chest injury (no specifics given), but he practiced fully on Thursday and Friday and is expected to play.

Defensive players


<a href="javascript:newWin('http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/players/fantasy?statsId=6773')">Tommie Harris, DT, and <a href="javascript:newWin('http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/players/fantasy?statsId=6869')">Nathan Vasher, CB, Bears: Harris did not practice Wednesday or Friday (he did only limited work Thursday) because he continues to battle a sore knee, but according to the Bears' official Web site, coach Lovie Smith said Harris "should be able to go." The news is not so good for Vasher, who has been hampered by a groin injury for weeks now. Vasher, officially listed as doubtful, is likely to miss his eighth straight game. We saw with <a href="javascript:newWin('http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/players/fantasy?statsId=6783')">Steven Jackson how nagging these groin injuries can be, and when your position requires significant speed and directional running, a groin injury can be particularly challenging. Vasher admits that the injury is frustrating and hopes he can return relatively soon.

<a href="javascript:newWin('http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/players/fantasy?statsId=4658')">Chris McAlister, and <a href="javascript:newWin('http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/players/fantasy?statsId=4305')">Samari Rolle, CBs, Ravens: Rolle has been on the Ravens' injury report for weeks now with a previously undisclosed illness, but Rolle announced this week that he has epilepsy. Rolle decided to speak publicly about it now that he has the condition under control, according to a report in the Baltimore Sun. Rolle has had three significant seizures since the start of the season, and the medications he was prescribed took their toll in side effects. Now Rolle seems to have struck a balance with the proper medication and has been gradually resuming his practice activity. His teammates, meanwhile, are reportedly thrilled to have him healthy and back on the field with them. Rolle is listed as probable and could see action Sunday. His teammate, McAlister, is not faring as well for Week 12, though. After returning to action in Week 11, McAlister's knee has been sore, and he has not practiced all week. He is listed as questionable and could play, but it will come down to a game-time decision.

<a href="javascript:newWin('http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/players/fantasy?statsId=5897')">Dwight Freeney, Colts: I put Freeney last on the list so that those of you who are not interested in reading about a player who has already been placed on injured reserve can stop reading now. However, for those of you who are curious about these "Lisfranc" injuries, read on.

Freeney underwent surgery on his foot after suffering a Lisfranc injury during Week 10. The term has become familiar enough that many now call it the "dreaded" Lisfranc injury, as it can be quite serious, even career-ending, if not managed well.

So what is this thing they call a Lisfranc injury? There is a region in the middle of the foot where the long bones of the forefoot (metatarsals) articulate with the small tarsal bones in the middle of the foot. This joint, for obvious reasons, is thus called the tarsometatarsal joint. It is also referred to as the Lisfranc joint. Why? Frenchman Jacques Lisfranc, a field surgeon in Napoleon's army, described an amputation technique through this region to address forefoot gangrene following frostbite. There is also the story that soldiers wounded in battle would fall from their horses, but a foot would often remain caught in the stirrup, right at that tarsometatarsal joint. Such an injury often resulted in amputation of part of the foot, from the injured joint forward. In fact, amputation to that region still bears the same name (although NFL players don't need part of their foot amputated when they suffer Lisfranc injuries).

Since NFL players aren't riding horses, how does this injury happen to them? There are several mechanisms for this type of injury, but in sports, especially football, the primary scenario is that the player is running forward, with his weight on the ball of his foot, and he gets hit or stepped on from behind against his heel. The resultant force through the portion of the foot in between the ball and the heel (midfoot) causes it to buckle, and the midfoot is injured.

Are all Lisfranc injuries the same? No. In fact, the name Lisfranc refers to the region of the foot, not necessarily the severity of the injury. By virtue of its important location (the midfoot essentially forms the arch), any injury to this region needs to be taken seriously. That said, not all Lisfranc injuries are created equal. When the midfoot buckles, the ligaments that connect the various bones can become damaged. Ligament injury without any bony impact would be the mildest version of a Lisfranc injury. The problem is that damage to the ligaments can affect the relative position of the bones in the area, and they can shift or dislocate, which is often accompanied by a fracture. Now it's getting more serious. In the worst-case scenario, an artery passing over that area can also be damaged, affecting blood supply to the foot. A shift of the bony alignment typically requires surgery to realign the joint and provide stability. Failure to do so can result in chronic instability and pain, eventually leading to major arthritis in the area. Even with surgery, it appears that people who have suffered a significant Lisfranc injury are more at risk for arthritis down the road, simply because of the trauma to the joint. The bottom line is that players who suffer these injuries must have their treatment managed carefully, not only with surgery, but in the postsurgical rehabilitation process as well. We have seen evidence of this with Lions running back <a href="javascript:newWin('http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/players/fantasy?statsId=6789')">Kevin Jones, whose activity has been carefully monitored across the season, based on how his foot is feeling.

Good luck to everyone this week! Be sure to check our inactive reports leading up to game time here at ESPN.com.

SPONSORED HEADLINES