NFL Injury News: Initial Reports on Stars Heading into Week 5

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIOctober 2, 2012

HOUSTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 30:  Jake Locker #10 of the Tennessee Titans is helped up by Tennessee Titans medical staff after he took a hard hit from Glover Quin #29 of the Houston Texans at Reliant Arena at Reliant Park on September 30, 2012 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

NFL Week 5 is approaching, and in yet another series of twists and turns in the NFL, a few key injuries to certain stars could make or break the season for some prominent teams.

A couple of All-Pro-caliber receivers and a quarterback of the future are the subjects in these initial reports on crucial NFL injury developments.


Tennessee Titans QB Jake Locker

A brutal blindside hit by Houston Texans safety Glover Quin knocked the new Titans starter out of the team's first AFC South contest. Veteran Matt Hasselbeck came into the game, but was largely ineffective against the stonewall Texans defense coordinated by Wade Phillips.

It's a shame for the 2011 No. 8 overall pick, because he was unable to build on a dramatic overtime victory over the Detroit Lions in which he threw for 378 yards and two scores. Despite the absence of stud receiver Kenny Britt, Locker has managed to play extremely well even without a viable running game.

Locker returned to the sideline on Sunday with his left arm in a sling, and was slated to undergo an MRI at some point on Monday, according to CBS Sports (h/t Yahoo! Sports).

Without Locker's ability to keep plays alive—and make them—with his legs, the Titans look to be in serious trouble thanks to what looks to be another down year from running back Chris Johnson and a very leaky defense.

More on Locker's status will be known once the results of the MRI are revealed.


Green Bay Packers WR Greg Jennings

His only catch against the New Orleans Saints went for a nine-yard touchdown, but Jennings didn't play the second half due to re-aggravating a groin injury.

Through three games, the No. 1 receiver for the Pack has only managed 12 catches for 78 yards and Sunday's TD was his only trip to the endzone thus far.

Fantasy owners are certainly up in arms, but Jennings' health is a legitimate concern in Green Bay. Tom Silverstein of Sporting News notes in his injury update that it's unclear whether Jennings was pulled to avoid another flare-up or because the groin significantly worsened.

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers can't be terribly worried, since he has the likes of Jordy Nelson, James Jones, and the extremely versatile Randall Cobb to still throw to. Still, the absence of Jennings is a pretty big blow, and it will be interesting to see how his health impacts Green Bay's season.


New York Jets WR Santonio Holmes

One team that doesn't have a plethora of skill players on the outside is the Jets. That's why the news about Holmes is all the more devastating.

After losing their best defensive player in Darrelle Revis to a season-ending ACL injury, the team's best offensive skills player may be missing significant time as well. On one of the strangest plays of the season thus far, Holmes crumbled to the ground and tossed the ball aside after injuring his foot in the fourth quarter of the Jets' 37-0 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

Since Holmes wasn't down by contact, Niners cornerback Carlos Rogers scooped the ball up and returned it 51 yards for a touchdown. It may be that kind of year for the Jets, especially with the low level of talent surrounding shaky signal-caller Mark Sanchez.

X-rays are negative for Holmes, according to a report by Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. If the Jets are to be competitive in 2012, they can't be without Holmes for much longer.