David Chao, MD: Early Look At NFL Injuries For Week 4 Action

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Thankfully injuries did not dominate the NFL news in Week 3 but they still played a major role in the outcome of games. We were thrilled to help Outkick readers to some wins with four out five of our actionable injury issues piece playing out true to form on Sunday.

Here is an early look at the top ten key injuries from Sunday to get a jump on Week 4 and take advantage of early lines before they move.

1) Tarik Cohen – The Bears running back and special teams player’s season is over with a likely ACL and MCL tear that will need surgery. The ACL part has been confirmed making the rest unimportant as Cohen will have surgery and look to 2021 season. This makes 20 ACL tears league-wide, which is still better than most previous years

2) Chris Godwin – The Buccaneer wide receiver just returned from a concussion and left in the fourth quarter with a hamstring injury. The hope is he left more for the score being up by 18 than for the severity of a hamstring strain. Currently we are not expecting a long term injury.

3) Chris Carson – The Seahawks running back left with a knee sprain. The internet was critical of the Cowboys Trysten Hill for latching on and twisting Carson’s ankle. Fortunately, this typically does not cause serious knee injury.  Early reports confirm my optimism

4) Joe Burrow – The Bengals quarterback and first overall pick took the hit of the day as he hung in on a pass. No question his ribs and entire body will be sore this week but he missed only one play and returned to finish the game avoiding more serious injury.

5) Chase Young – Washingtion’s second overall pick came into the game with a groin issue and on a pass rush re-injured it making a lateral rush move and did not finish. Would expect that Young may miss a couple of weeks and injured reserve may be in play with it only being a three game absence.

6) Jordan Reed – Filling in for George Kittle, Reed survived an early left ankle inversion sprain and returned but later left after a knee issue. The combination is what knocked him out. Even if he is not ready to return, Kittle may be and San Francisco will be solid at tight end.

7) Dallas Goedert – By video, the Eagles number two tight end suffered a mild left high ankle sprain early in the game. He returned to play but was unable to finish. The amount of overnight swelling will determine how much time he misses. I am not expecting injured reserve but next week is in doubt.

8) Jamal Adams – The new Seattle safety took himself out of the game late with a groin issue. Given his sideline to sideline range, this injury may cost him a short term absence.

9) Dontrelle Inman – The Washington wide receiver fell on an outstretched hand. The worry is for a scaphoid fracture. Let’s hope the X-rays are negative and that only a wrist sprain is revealed so he can return for Week 4.

9) WR concussions – Dionte Johnson of the Steelers and Russell Gage of the Falcons both left with head injury. No two concussions are the same and return is unpredictable. Each with have to progress thru the five steps of return to play for the concussion protocol. Statistically it is about a 50/50 chance to play next week.

10) Left tackle injuries – Three key blindside protectors were injured Sunday. Titans Taylor Lewan (shoulder), Jets Mekhi Becton (shoulder) and Saints Andrus Peat (ankle) all were unable to finish. The hope is none are season ending as their respective quarterbacks eagerly await good news.

Extra: Both starting guards for the Seahawks Mike Iupati (knee) and Damien Lewis (ankle) both were knocked out of the game before victory over the Cowboys was cemented. Packers linebacker Christian Kirksey left with a shoulder injury and fingers crossed he did not re-tear last year’s pectoral tendon rupture.

Listen to the ProFootballDoc podcast on Outkick for the latest injury updates, follow at @ProFootballDoc or use this link to access the special Outkick offer

Written by Dr. David Chao

David Chao, MD -- known digitally as Pro Football Doc -- is an expert contributor for Outkick. Chao spent 17 seasons as the team doctor for the San Diego Chargers (1997-2013) and is part of the medical team at OASIS in San Diego where he treats and specializes in orthopedic sports injuries, working with high-profile professional athletes from the NFL, NBA, and MLB.


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  1. Glad the injuries were not catastrophic this week, but I’m beginning to see ‘full’ speed injuries becoming a thing.

    If they stick to this NFL No preseason type plan in the future, they should consider multiple bye weeks for teams. Maybe the first one is staggered depending on when the season starts.

    This and expanded rosters and plenty of performance enhancing drugs should help 🎤

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