Tyrod Taylor QB, Bills: concussion
As Tyrod Taylor scrambled late in the game, trying to lead the Bills to a game-tying touchdown, he was brought down from behind. Taylor’s head slammed to the turf, appearing to knock him out cold for a few seconds as his body tensed up. He was evaluated on the field for several minutes before being helped to the locker room. A few hours after the game Taylor was reportedly still struggling, clearly dazed with his eyes glossed over. The Bills season is over, but this concussion could take weeks or months to recover from. Taylor’s time as a Buffalo Bill is likely over.
Travis Kelce TE, Chiefs: concussion
Kelce took a big hit to the head late in the first half and was visibly shaken up. He stumbled around as he tried to get off of the field and had to be steadied by his teammates. Kelce then jogged off of the field and was taken to the locker room. He is now in concussion protocol. Kelce does not have a history of concussions.
Cam Newton QB, Panthers: eye/head injury?
Once again, the NFL’s concussion protocol is being questioned. Cam Newton took a big hit with eight minutes left and was slow to get up. He then headed toward the sideline but stopped, pointing to his eye. It was a strange situation because he didn’t appear to get poked in the eye on the play. Newton was then evaluated for a concussion but quickly cleared. He was briefly in the medical tent and should have been taken to the locker room but instead returned to the game. Following the game, Newton also said the injury was to his eye, but again he appeared to demonstrate some symptoms of a concussion. Newton insisted that the hit caused his helmet/visor to press against his eye, saying it wasn’t a hit to the head. The league will take a closer look at this situation.
Devin Funchess WR, Panthers: low ankle sprain
Funchess entered the Wild Card Round with a lingering shoulder injury that he continues to play through, but during the game he rolled his ankle. The mechanism was consistent with a mild low ankle sprain, so he was able to return to the game after getting his ankle taped up. He didn’t have a huge game but made a few big plays in the fourth quarter as the Panthers were fighting back.
Andrus Peat LG, Saints: fibula fracture
Peat’s season is over after suffering a fibula fracture with possible ligament damage. Peat had his left leg rolled up on as he was pinned under a tackler. His leg was placed in an air cast, and he had to be carted off of the field. Peat could need to undergo surgery to stabilize the break or repair any torn ligaments.
Other injuries we are watching this week:
Antonio Brown– Brown suffered a partial calf tear in Week 15 and did not play the remainder of the regular season. He should be good to go in the Divisional Round, but we need to see him practice without a setback to be confident in his progress. Brown remains at an Elevated Injury Risk due to the highly recurrent nature of calf injuries.
Rex Burkhead– A knee sprain sidelined Burkhead late in the season, but he was cleared to return to practice last week and should be good to go. Our algorithm calculated a four-week Optimal Recovery Time for Burkhead, which he has now hit. That’s an indication that he can return to the field and should be able to perform well against the Titans.
DeMarco Murray– A Week 15 knee injury sidelined Murray in the Wild Card Round, but he hopes to return against the Patriots. An MRI showed a grade 3 MCL injury, indicating a partial tear. The Optimal Recovery Time is six weeks, so he isn’t going to be healthy enough to face the Patriots. Derrick Henry also proved (once again) that he deserves to get the start. If Murray is able to return to practice this week and ends up being active, he could see a diminished role in the offense and will remain a High Injury Risk.
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