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Injury Roundup: Steelers Antonio Brown a High Risk | Vikings Dalvin Cook Also a Concern

Injury Roundup: Steelers Antonio Brown a High Risk | Vikings Dalvin Cook Also a Concern
Inside Injuries September 19, 2018 12:37PM EDT

The latest injury updates from insideinjuries.com

Dalvin Cook RB, Vikings: hamstring strain

Dalvin Cook wasn’t able to finish the game on Sunday after leaving with a hamstring strain in OT. While it doesn’t sound too serious, the Optimal Recovery Time for a mild strain is still two weeks. He said it was just cramps, but oftentimes when players say this, it is actually a strain; they just don’t want to admit it.

Entering the season it was Cook’s knee that was the concern, but it has held up well so far. Players often suffer these soft tissue muscular injuries when coming back from serious surgeries like an ACL tear, so this slight setback isn’t a surprise. Cook is now an Elevated Injury Risk. The injury has also dropped him to a Below Average HPF (Health Performance Factor), so if the Vikings do clear him to play Week Three, we don’t expect him to play well.

LeSean McCoy RB, Bills: bruised ribs

While LeSean McCoy escaped without a rib fracture, scans did show cracked rib cartilage. While it’s not as serious as a fracture, it can still be incredibly painful. The Bills don’t expect him to miss more than a week, but if he suits up Week Three it will be very painful. He would likely need to wear extra padding to protect the location of the cracked cartilage. Inside Injuries is showing an Optimal Recovery Time of at least two weeks, so this could affect his play over the next few games, if he is active. Any blow to the midsection could force him out of the game, and it can also lead to pain while breathing, which is of course difficult to play through. He has had this injury before, so he knows what it’s like to play through it and believes he can handle it.

Melvin Gordon RB, Chargers: neck strain

Gordon missed most of the fourth quarter due to an upper body injury. Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn described Gordon as sore and fatigued but doesn’t believe he is dealing with anything serious. Another report suggested a mild neck strain. Either way, this isn’t something to be overly concerned about, but we do need to watch his practice status throughout the week. The bigger concern here is Gordon’s overall injury risk. We warned before the season that he has a long list of past injuries and that he was a risky RB to own. This injury may be minor, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if he gets hurt again in the near future.

Antonio Brown WR, Steelers: calf strain

Last year, Antonio Brown suffered a partial calf tear, forcing him to miss the end of the regular season. During training camp this year, he suffered a quad strain. Then on Sunday, Brown was again hobbled by a calf strain. Ahead of the season, we warned that the soft tissue muscular injuries were piling up for Brown and that he was an injury concern. Now, just two games into the season, his calf is already acting up again. While it’s minor (he was able to play through it), the concern remains. Brown is a High Injury Risk with a Below Average HPF. This is likely to linger and affect his performance.

Mike Wallace WR, Eagles: fibula fracture

Wallace has been placed on the IR following a fibula fracture on Sunday. The move was made in order to make room on the roster for returning former Eagle Jordan Matthews. The Eagles are very thin at WR, but Alshon Jeffery is going to return to practice this week for the first time since undergoing surgery on his shoulder after the Super Bowl. Wallace had to be carted off in the first quarter, and it was immediately clear that he suffered a serious injury. Inside Injuries is showing a minimum recovery time of seven weeks, so it makes sense to open up another roster spot while he recovers. If Wallace is eventually cleared to return, he will be at a higher risk of suffering another ankle injury throughout the rest of the season.

Greg Zuerlein K, Ram: groin strain

The Rams were forced to play most of Sunday’s game without their kicker, but it didn’t affect them in their blowout win over the Cardinals. He is expected to miss a few weeks, so they signed Sam Ficken to fill in for now. Zuerlein scored the second-most points in the NFL last season despite missing the final two games with a back injury. Groin strains are always difficult injuries to shake, but they can be especially troublesome injuries for a kicker. Don’t be surprised if this sidelines him for over a month.

Larry Fitzgerald WR, Cardinals: hamstring strain

Fitzgerald wasn’t able to finish Sunday’s game due to a “minor” hamstring strain, but it could still force him to miss Week Three, though head coach Steve Wilks said he thinks he will play. Fitzgerald is as durable as they come, missing just three games over the last 10 seasons. He has now jumped to a High Injury Risk, as hamstring strains are difficult injuries for a wide receiver. It comes with a minimum Optimal Recovery Time of two weeks. The Cardinals should sit him for a week to allow his hamstring to fully heal. The team is struggling, and they don’t need a lingering injury to one of their best players. They should take care of it now so it isn’t a problem the rest of the season.

Joe Mixon RB, Bengals: knee surgery

Mixon underwent surgery on Saturday and is expected to miss two to four weeks. During the Thursday night game, a small particle in his knee was dislodged. It was removed during surgery, which is a relatively simple procedure. Inside Injuries is showing a four-week Optimal Recovery Time, so it’s best to hold him out until Week Six. For now, he is a High Injury Risk with a Poor HPF (Health Performance Factor), but that should improve quickly as he approaches that four-week mark.

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