ProFootballDoc: Top 10 Injury Concerns from Sunday Week 9

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A backdoor cover prevented a clean sweep, as the Sunday AM picks are back to 4-1. Our overall season record is now 28-15-2 on the five picks using injury advantages.

The Bears scored 17 late points, but it was still a comfortable cover for the Titans. The Lions/Vikings combined for the over with 54 points. Twenty-one fourth-quarter Broncos points still didn’t matter, as the Falcons covered the -4.5. A late Jaguars TD spoiled the perfect record. The Texans won but did not cover. The early Steelers line at -3.5 would have won, but laying 14.5 was too much as predicted. We would have loved to have gone 5-0, but we will take a fifth 4-1 week.

The Patriots are the marquee team in tonight’s game, but the Jets are the healthier squad by a whole grade and get 9.5 points at home. 

Sam Darnold will not play, but this time Joe Flacco has had some time to practice with the team before his start. Seems like it will be a tightly contested, low scoring game, with injuries on both sides and a total of only 41.5.

Here are the top 10 injury concerns coming out of Sunday with implications for Week 10:

1. Ben Roethlisberger – There was initial social media concern about an ACL tear, but when Big Ben returned to play in the second half, the knee injury was forgotten. The truth is somewhere in the middle. The Steelers QB suffered a MCL sprain, which will have him missing some practice this week. Expect him to suit up versus the Bengals though. Right now, Cincinnati is getting 9.5 or 10, but that number should shrink as Big Ben’s injury news gets out and he posts a “did not participate” in practice on Wednesday. If you like the Bengals, take the points now. If you like the Steelers, wait for a more favorable line. Or if you like to win big, you can potentially set yourself up for a nice middle opportunity to win both sides with market timing.

2. Kyle Allen – The season is over for Kyle Allen. He got his foot trapped and leg whipped to the knee. He suffered a nasty ankle fracture dislocation that will need surgery. With Dwayne Haskins in the dog house, Alex Smith is the starter. No question that Smith is the “Comeback Player of the Year,” but he also no longer has the same mobility he once had, due to residual effects of the horrific infection from his broken leg two years ago. Detroit is only at -3.5 next week, but that number is likely to grow.

3. Matt Stafford – The Lions QB has had a rough week. First the COVID protocol kept his status uncertain, and now the concussion protocol may do the same for him this week. He cleared the high risk designation to play but was sent off late by the official for a head injury check. Stafford did not return to the game, but he has apparently cleared this protocol already. Look for the line to move, so get on the lines early if you can.

4. Christian McCaffrey – The Panthers star made a fantastic return from his high ankle sprain that turned out to be no issue. He had 28 touches for 151 yards and 2 TDs. The 27th touch was costly however, as he landed on his right shoulder and was shaken up. He did return for one more play but then sat. There was some chatter about a rib issue, but I believe it to be more clavicle. According to video, he may have injured the end of his collarbone. In any case, I expect McCaffrey to be limited in practice but will play next week as they host the Buccaneers.

5. David Johnson – The Texans No. 1 ball carrier took a blow to the head and exhibited apparent physical signs of concussion, mandating a rule out. I would be surprised if he cleared the examination to return for Week 10.

6. David Montgomery – The Bears running back left the game with his left arm drooping but was ruled out with concussion. There is no guarantee that he can return next week, but he does have an extra day to clear the concussion protocol because his team doesn’t play until Monday night versus the Vikings.

7. Laviska Shenault – The Jaguars wide receiver ran an out route early and pulled up lame with a left hamstring strain. Despite stretching on the sidelines, he did not return. It seems Shenault is destined to miss a short stint, although he should avoid IR.

8. Preston Williams – The Dolphins wide out had his left foot twisted during a tackle. He still scored anyway, but he began limping after his TD celebration dance. I expect a mild foot sprain, and it remains to be seen if he can practice and play this week.

9. Noah Fant – The Broncos starting tight end seemed to reinjure the same right ankle. He returned and battled through a mild high ankle sprain, but it may swell overnight and cause him to miss some time.

10. Albert Okwuegbunam – The Broncos tight end appears to have torn his ACL, according to video. This would mean knee surgery and the end of his season.

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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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