NFL Week 14: Latest Injury Updates for Every Marquee Player

Jesse Reed@@JesseReed78Correspondent IDecember 8, 2013

NFL Week 14: Latest Injury Updates for Every Marquee Player

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    Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport

    Snow and freezing conditions made for some interesting action in Week 14, but injuries were an unfortunate major side effect, as well. 

    With the playoffs right around the corner, teams in the hunt for a postseason berth can't afford to lose key starters. Teams that stay healthy heading into January usually have the best chance to succeed, but nobody can control when and where the injury bug will strike. 

    This week, it rocked some big-name stars.   

    With that in mind, here's a look at the marquee NFL players who were banged up in Week 14.   

Sean Lee, LB, Dallas Cowboys

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    After missing the last two games with a hamstring injury, Cowboys' linebacker Sean Lee endured a new injury on Monday Night Football against the Chicago Bears.

    Tim MacMahon of ESPN Chicago provided the news:

    Sean Lee is out for the game with a neck injury.

    — Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) December 10, 2013

    Lee would return briefly after the intial hit to his neck, but would be ruled out later in the third quarter. 

    This is devastating news for a Cowboys team that has been depleted by injuries this season. 

Jonathan Stewart, RB, Carolina Panthers

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    Grant Halverson/Getty Images

    Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart appeared in just his sixth game of the season on Sunday Night Football in Week 14, where he touched the ball just two times for 32 yards before leaving with a knee injury.

    UPDATE: Monday, Dec. 9, at 11:57 p.m. ET by Patrick Clarke

    Panthers officials have announced that Stewart suffered a torn MCL in Sunday's loss to New Orleans, according to The Charlotte Observer's Joe Person:

    Panthers spokesman says Jonathan Stewart did tear his MCL.

    — Joe Person (@josephperson) December 9, 2013

    ---End of update---

    Per the broadcast's Twitter account, Stewart's return was questionable:

    TAFOYA: CAR RB Jonathan Stewart questinable to return with a knee injury

    — SNF on NBC (@SNFonNBC) December 9, 2013

    It is the latest blow in a long line of injury woes for the 26 year old. The Oregon product only appeared in nine games last season. He has played a full 16-game schedule in just three of his six seasons in the NFL since entering the league in 2008.

    If Stewart is expected to miss an extended period of time again, it will be business as usual for the Carolina offense.

Tavon Austin, WR, St. Louis Rams

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    St. Louis Rams rookie receiver Tavon Austin has shown flashes of greatness this year, but he couldn't stay on the field during the final minutes of Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals. 

    UPDATE: Tuesday, Dec. 10, at 12 a.m. ET by Patrick Clarke

    Tavon Austin has been listed as day to day with an ankle injury, according to St. Louis sportscaster Howard Balzer on Twitter:

    Rams WR Tavon Austin day to day with ankle injury.

    — Howard Balzer (@HBalzer721) December 9, 2013

    ---End of update---

    As ESPN's Nick Wagoner noted, Austin appeared to have his ankle rolled up, but the injury didn't appear serious:

    Rams Tavon Austin got ankle rolled up but probable to return. Looks like he'll be OK.

    — Nick Wagoner (@nwagoner) December 8, 2013

    However, the Rams announced on Twitter than the rookie would be held out of the final few minutes of the game after he'd attempted to make a return:

    Tavon Austin will not return to the game. #STLvsAZ

    — St. Louis Rams (@STLouisRams) December 9, 2013

    The Rams are out of playoff contention, but any time Austin misses is a missed opportunity to gain valuable in-game experience. He's expected to be a cornerstone offensive player for St. Louis in the years to come.

Tyrann Mathieu, S, Arizona Cardinals

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    Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

    Arizona Cardinals rookie defensive back Tyrann Mathieu has been among the most impressive of all the first-year players in the NFL this year. 

    Unfortunately, Mathieu was injured in Week 14's contest against the St. Louis Rams.

    UPDATE: Tuesday, Dec. 10, at 12:05 a.m. ET by Patrick Clarke

    NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport reports that tests reveal Mathieu suffered a torn LCL in addition to a torn ACL in his knee:

    Bad news for #Cardinals DB Tyrann Mathieu. Tests confirmed not only a torn ACL but also a torn LCL. More significant than originally thought

    — Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 9, 2013

    ---End of update---

    UPDATE: Sunday, Dec. 8, at 8:04 p.m. ET by Jesse Reed

    Head coach Bruce Arians had some devastating news after Sunday's game, as relayed by Darren Urban of

    Arians says Mathieu appears to have torn his ACL. Very tough blow.

    — Darren Urban (@Cardschatter) December 9, 2013

     ---End of Update---

    The injury occurred on a kick return, as pointed out by's Chris Burke, and he attempted to get up and walk it off before collapsing to the turf. NFL: AroundTheLeague also noted he needed a cart to get off the field:

    Tyrann Mathieu carted to the locker room. Leg bent awkwardly on a kick return, then it just gave out while he was trying to run it off.

    — Chris Burke (@ChrisBurke_SI) December 8, 2013

    Wow. Mathieu attempted to jog off the field and collapsed on field. Now carted off.

    — NFL: AroundTheLeague (@NFL_ATL) December 8, 2013

    The Cardinals later announced Mathieu wouldn't return with a left knee injury:

    INJURY UPDATE: #AZCardinals S Tyrann Mathieu has a left knee injury and will not return. #STLvsAZ

    — Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) December 8, 2013

    Arizona's defense is one of the league's best, and Mathieu's strong secondary play is a huge reason it has thrived in 2013. Rashad Johnson is the immediate backup, but he's not nearly as dynamic a player.

Wes Welker, WR, Denver Broncos

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    Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

    Denver Broncos receiver Wes Welker didn't make it out of halftime on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans. 

    Welker was rocked by a hit in the first half and looked "very shaken up," as noted by Ian Rapoport of, and the Broncos later ruled him out for the remainder of the contest with a concussion:

    Wes Welker very shaken up with what appears to be a head or neck injury. If it's a concussion, they have a game Thursday. Would be longshot

    — Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 8, 2013

    #Broncos injury update: WR Wes Welker is out with a concussion. #TENvsDEN

    — Denver Broncos (@Broncos) December 8, 2013

    As Rapoport pointed out, Denver plays on Thursday night in Week 15, meaning it's not likely Welker will suit up after sustaining a concussion four days prior to kickoff.

    San Diego shouldn't be able to take down Denver at home, even without Welker in the lineup, but the Broncos need their star slot receiver for the postseason. 

Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots

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    Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

    When healthy, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is one of the best players at any position in the NFL. 

    Unfortunately, the talented player can't stay on the field, and he suffered another big injury in Week 14 against the Cleveland Browns.

    UPDATE: Tuesday, Dec. 10, at 12:05 a.m. ET by Patrick Clarke

    ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter has confirmed that Gronkowski will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL and MCL in his knee:

    MRI on Rob Gronkowski confirmed torn ACL, torn MCL. Season done.

    — Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 9, 2013

    ---End of update---

    UPDATE: Sunday, Dec. 8, at 5:26 p.m. ET by Jesse Reed

    Albert Breer of reports Gronkowski is believed to have suffered a torn ACL:

    Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski is believed to have a torn ACL, per source. MRI to confirm tomorrow.

    — Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) December 8, 2013

     ---End of Update---

    He was taken out on a low hit, as described by NFL on ESPN, and was carted off the field, as Bleacher Report showed:

    DEVELOPING: Rob Gronkowski took a nasty hit to the lower leg and is being carted off the field in New England.

    — NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) December 8, 2013

    Rob Gronkowski being carted off after taking a hit to the leg.

    — Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 8, 2013

    ESPN's Tony Grossi suspected Gronk suffered a broken leg after the cart came out:

    Gronkowski leaving on motorized cart. Could be a broken leg.

    — Tony Grossi (@TonyGrossi) December 8, 2013

    New England's offense had started clicking with Gronkowski back in the lineup. He's one of the league's most dynamic offensive playmakers and a touchdown machine. If his injury is severe and he's forced to miss significant time, then the Patriots could suffer an early exit in the playoffs.    

Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings

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    Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

    Adrian Peterson had a rough day in Baltimore.

    The All-Pro running back of the Minnesota Vikings was shut down by the Ravens (13 yards on seven carries) before leaving the game with what appeared to be a painful ankle injury.

    UPDATE: Tuesday, Dec. 10, at 12:05 a.m. ET by Patrick Clarke

    ESPN NFL Nation reporter Ben Goessling reports that Peterson will not need surgery on his injured foot but will likely miss Minnesota's Week 15 matchup against Philadelphia:

    Per source with knowledge of situation, Adrian Peterson won't need surgery. Unlikely he plays this week, though.

    — Ben Goessling (@GoesslingESPN) December 10, 2013

    ---End of update---

    UPDATE: Sunday, Dec. 8, at 6:05 p.m. ET by Jesse Reed

    It appears Peterson and the Vikings dodged a bullet. After Sunday's game, Josina Anderson of ESPN reported the running back had a "mid-foot sprain," but noted nothing was yet official:

    Source with knowledge of Peterson's situation is hearing an initial diagnosis of "mild-foot sprain." No official word yet though.

    — Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) December 8, 2013

    Yes. Auto correct on tweet. Sent it in to the desk as "mid." -->“@SJ_Simons: @JosinaAnderson thought it was a "mid" foot sprain, not mild.”

    — Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) December 8, 2013

     ---End of Update---

    Ian Rapoport of noted Peterson appeared to be in extreme pain after getting hit:

    Adrian Peterson in major pain on the sidelines with what looks like a foot or ankle injury

    — Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 8, 2013

    He needed to be carted off, according Jim Souhan of the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

    Peterson will be carted off. Bad sign.

    — Jim Souhan (@SouhanStrib) December 8, 2013

    The Vikings reported on Twitter shortly thereafter that Peterson was in the locker room undergoing X-rays to determine the extent of the injury, and it wasn't much longer afterward that he was ruled out of the rest of the game:

    Adrian Peterson is in the #Vikings locker room for x-rays.

    — Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) December 8, 2013

    .@AdrianPeterson is now ruled as out for the remainder of today's game. #BeatTheRavens

    — Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) December 8, 2013

    After breaking the 2,000-yard threshold last year and helping the Vikings reach the playoffs, the 2013 season hasn't been as kind to Peterson. Still, he's the undisputed MVP to this team, and if he were to miss any extended time, it would be a huge blow to an already struggling offense.

Reggie Bush, RB, Detroit Lions

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    Jeffrey G. Pittenger-USA TODAY S

    Sunday's big matchup against Philadelphia was one Reggie Bush didn't want to miss, but the talented Detroit Lions running back never even made it into the game.

    While warming up, Bush re-injured his calf, as described by Tim Twentyman of the Lions:

    97.1 sideline reporter @ajortiz3 said Bush may have re-aggravated calf injury. Slipped, slammed helmet down and was surrounded by trainers.

    — Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) December 8, 2013

    Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reported Bush was going to try to get into the game, and later he noted the running back was on the sideline during the first quarter:

    Reggie Bush did in fact aggravate his calf but hoping to give it a shot still

    — Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) December 8, 2013

    Btw, Bush still on sideline. Team still insists he may or may not give it a go but Bell has only been in there

    — Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) December 8, 2013

    However, Bush never did make it onto the field, and head coach Jim Schwartz told reporters he was "essentially" ruled out after halftime, per Justin Rogers of, per the Fox broadcast:

    Bush has essentially been ruled out, according to FOX broadcast after talking to Schwartz at the half.

    — Justin Rogers (@Justin_Rogers) December 8, 2013

    With Bush out of action, the Lions turned to Joique Bell, who's been a phenomenal player for Detroit this season.   

Lamar Miller, RB, Miami Dolphins

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    Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

    The Miami Dolphins have struggled to run the ball all year long, and it'll be even harder without Lamar Miller in the lineup. 

    Miller exited Sunday's contest against the Pittsburgh Steelers after he suffered a concussion, and he would not return. Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald had the news:

    Lamar Miller has a concussion. He will not return. On DT now.

    — Adam Beasley (@AdamHBeasley) December 8, 2013

    The talented second-year back out of Miami had only rushed for 547 yards and two touchdowns before Week 14, but he's still the most productive running back on the Dolphins' roster. If he misses any time, then Miami will struggle even more than it already has on offense. 

    Daniel Thomas is his immediate backup.

Thomas DeCoud, S, Atlanta Falcons

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    Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    The 2013 season has been brutal to the Atlanta Falcons, and the injury bug didn't let up in Week 14. Safety Thomas DeCoud was injured during Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers.

    The talented cover man was hit hard on an Eddie Lacy touchdown run, per D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, who also reported he'd be out for the rest of the game:

    #Falcons FS Thomas DeCoud was injured on Eddie Lacy's TD run. #Packers take early lead.

    — D. Orlando Ledbetter (@AJCFalcons) December 8, 2013

    #Falcons free safety Thomas DeCoud out with concussion. Will not return to the game.

    — D. Orlando Ledbetter (@AJCFalcons) December 8, 2013

    Injuries are one of the main reasons Atlanta had only won three games heading into Week 14. On the plus side, the Falcons will land a top draft pick this year and could be a huge playoff contender next year if the roster can avoid another plague of injuries.