NFL Week 12 Injury Report: Who's Hurting the Most After Week 11?
Concussions have become an unfortunate part of the modern NFL narrative. Increased awareness in combination with mass lawsuits have brought the NFL's concussion conundrum into every sport fan's living room.
Week 11 was no different than the previous week, as the league was once again concussion-stricken. Per usual, other non-concussion injuries occurred, creating issues for many NFL teams.
So which teams were stung the worst by the injury bug in Week 11?
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The Steelers have combated injuries all season long. Going into their prime-time matchup with the despised Baltimore Ravens, Troy Polamalu, Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown were all on the injury report and inactive.
After the game, Jerricho Cotchery, Issac Redman and Byron Leftwich were added to that list.
While Byron Leftwich gutted through Sunday night's loss, two fractured ribs will sideline him this week against the Cleveland Browns. Veteran third-stringer Charlie Batch will get the nod at QB1, and former Patriot Brian Hoyer was signed to provide depth at the injury-addled quarterback position.
Jerricho Cotchery also sustained a rib injury and will miss the upcoming game. The Steelers signed Plaxico Burress Wednesday.
As if that wasn't enough, Isaac Redman suffered a concussion against the Ravens. Luckily for the Steelers, both Rashard Mendenhal and Jonathan Dwyer are back in good health.
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Attempting to replace his production will be a combination of Ronnie Hillman and Lance Ball. Former first-round draft selection Knowshon Moreno could be in the mix as well; however, the Georgia standout has not been active since Week 2.
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A West Coast thumping at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers exposed the 7-3 Chicago Bears.
Jay Cutler, who missed the game with a concussion, was missed dearly, as the Jason Campbell-led offense was shockingly inept.
His status for Sunday's division matchup with Minnesota is questionable.
Rookie wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, who had just returned from previous injury, left Monday's loss with a knee injury, according to the Chicago Tribune. His status is also unknown.
New England Patriots
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The injury sustained by Rob Gronkowski has garnered more attention about when the injury occurred than about the strategical impact it will have on the Patriots, which, by all means, is significant.
Gronkowski broke his forearm late in Sunday's thrashing of the Indianapolis Colts. The star tight end underwent surgery Monday; however, no timetable has been announced for when he will return.
Gronkowski's value to the Patriots does not require much attention. It's obvious, however, that the return of oft-injured Aaron Hernandez is noteworthy.
NFL Network's Albert Breer is reporting that Hernandez will be active for the Patriots' Thanksgiving matchup against their division rival New York Jets.
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As if enough had not gone wrong for the Philadelphia Eagles this season.
In Sunday's embarrassing loss to the Redskins, star running back LeSean McCoy suffered a concussion late in the game. The head injury was severe enough to require a cart to assist his leaving of the field.
It's unclear as of now if McCoy will be able to play this week.
Also unclear at this early junction of the week is the status of starting quarterback Michael Vick, who suffered a concussion in a loss 10 days ago.
The Eagles season is currently circling the drain, and yet another injury does not help their attempt to salvage portions of it.
Kansas City Chiefs
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Kansas City had plenty of issues before Dwayne Bowe got injured in Sunday's loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Kansas City Star is reporting that Bowe is questionable for next week's matchup against Denver.
This is troubling for the Chiefs, as their other starting receiver, Jonathan Baldwin, is out for next week's game.
It's difficult to imagine the Chiefs offense getting any more stagnant, but without Dwayne Bowe stretching the defense vertically, their passing attack could reach further levels of ineptitude.
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Wide receiver Donnie Avery left Sunday's game early due to a concussion.
As of now, he is listed as questionable on the Indianapolis Colts injury report.
Avery has been very productive for the Colts this season, but the performance T.Y. Hilton had in replacement of Avery must leave the Colts optimistic.
Next on the schedule for the Colts are the Buffalo Bills, who have struggled to defend the pass all season. If Avery is held out of the game, don't expect much of a drop-off from the Colts receiving corps.
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The Jaguars suffered an injury Sunday at the quarterback position. Typically, this would signal dark days ahead. However, when the quarterback is Blaine Gabbert and the replacement Chad Henne performs the way he did, the days look much less dark.
In relief of the injured Gabbert, Henne led the otherwise despicable Jaguars to an inspiring overtime loss against the division-leading Houston Texans.
His performance was so good that the Jaguars are giving him the starting spot this week, regardless of the health of Blaine Gabbert, who as of now is listed as questionable.
Blaine Gabbert's future as the franchise's quarterback hangs in the balance, which is deserving based upon his poor play thus far this season.