Week 9 NFL Season Schedule
Thursday, Oct. 30
Saints at Panthers, 8:25 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 2
Buccaneers at Browns, 1:00 p.m.
Cardinals at Cowboys, 1:00 p.m.
Eagles at Texans, 1:00 p.m.
Jets at Chiefs, 1:00 p.m.
Jaguars at Bengals, 1:00 p.m.
Chargers at Dolphins, 1:00 p.m.
Redskins at Vikings, 1:00 p.m.
Rams at 49ers, 4:05 p.m.
Broncos at Patriots, 4:25 p.m.
Raiders at Seahawks, 4:25 p.m.
Ravens at Steelers, 8:30 p.m.
Monday, Nov. 3
Colts at Giants, 8:30 p.m.
Bye-Week: Bears, Bills, Falcons, Lions, Packers, Titans
Week 9 Key Injuries (Heading Into Gameday)
Tony Romo, back contusion: Romo left Monday night’s loss to the Redskins after taking a knee to the low back, leading many to fear he suffered an aggravation of his surgically-repaired back. However, Romo was able to come back onto the field to finish the game after receiving an injected painkiller. Although he didn’t look good when he returned, he was able to finish and it appears at first glance that he truly did just suffer a bruised back. X-rays did come back negative, and Romo underwent further imaging on Tuesday, the results of which have not yet been made available. Romo and the staff are pretty optimistic about him possibly being available this Sunday, but his pain levels, spinal mobility, and level of inflammation will determine how much practice he gets this week and whether it’s enough to play Sunday. We’ll have to check back in later this week to know for sure, but it appears that he’s avoided serious injury.
Robert Griffin III, dislocated ankle: Redskins coach Jay Gruden came out and said that RGIII is “very close”, indicating that there’s a chance RGIII is back on the field this Sunday. RGIII will have to physically show he’s able to move around in the pocket, scramble when necessary, and perform all cutting/acceleration movements without limitation, pain, or hesitation. The anticipation is that he’ll be on the practice field more this week to test the ankle and see how he does both during practice and the next day, making sure he doesn’t have any negative responses to a ramping up of activity levels. The key will be how he looks when scrambling outside the pocket, which is a big issue for guys coming back from this type of injury. Keep one thing in mind: The Redskins have a bye in Week 10, meaning if RGIII looks at all hesitant or not fully ready, I doubt the staff will balk at holding him out one more week. Don’t drop Colt McCoy quite yet, but it appears RGIII will be back sooner rather than later.
Aaron Rodgers, hamstring strain: Although the Packers have a bye this week, finicky Rodgers-owners would probably appreciate an update on their star QB. It appears the mild hamstring strain that Rodgers suffered on Sunday night is just that, mild. The bye week should be more than enough time for rest and rehab in order to have him ready by Week 10. Don’t fret Rodgers owners, it looks like Discount Double check will be just fine.
Alex Smith, sprained shoulder: Smith suffered a mild shoulder injury during Sunday’s win against the Rams. Smith is expected to get some rest early in the week due to some lingering soreness and inflammation, but all signs point to him being ready to go on Sunday. As always, we’ll monitor his participation in practice to see if there’s a gradual progression to full practice participation by Friday, which would likely indicate that he will be ready to go on Sunday. It’s a bit concerning considering it’s his throwing shoulder, but it appears to be nothing more than a bruise, not necessarily an injury to any ligamentous structures around the shoulder complex.
Giovani Bernard, hip injury: Bernard left Sunday’s win after injuring his hip, leading many speculate on the severity of his injury. The Bengals don’t seem to think it’s serious and it appears that Bernard should be ready to go come Sunday. It’s believed that Bernard could be dealing with a “hip pointer”, which is basically a contusion to the most prominent aspect of the pelvis (the iliac crest). Essentially, it’s a bruise to a very vulnerable region of the hip that serves as an attachment site for a variety of muscles surrounding the low back/hip. The main issue with a hip pointer is pain, as it can make many very common movements very uncomfortable and has a tendency to linger if not treated properly. Bernard’s doesn’t appear to be severe, and to be honest, we have no confirmation that is the injury that he’s dealing with, so it’s all speculation at this point. If we get to Friday and Bernard hasn’t practice, I’d start to worry. If he’s limited early and he starts trending closer to a full practice by Friday, he should be good to go. We’ll wait and see.
Darren Sproles, MCL sprain: A gameday scratch heading into Sunday’s Week 8 loss to the Cardinals, Sproles appears to be on pace to play this coming Sunday against the Texans. Sproles has one full practice under his belt and his response to a full week of practice will go a long way in determining whether he’s back out there on Sunday or not. The MCL is the primary restraint to any outside-in forces on the knee (knee valgus), which are very common with planting-then-pushing-off motions in addition to any change of direction moves, which we all know are Sproles’ strongsuits. Expect Sproles to head into the weekend expecting to play so long as he doesn’t suffer any setbacks this week.
Rashad Jennings, MCL sprain: It appears that Jennings is not a given to play this Monday against the Colts, as he is a bit behind schedule in regards to returning to practice this week. He himself stated that the expectation was that he’d run during the bye week and begin practicing with the team Monday of this week. However, he told Dan Graziano that he didn’t start jogging until Monday and wasn’t able to participate in practice with the team. It looks like he’s not bouncing back quite as fast as he’d hope, with the exact reason for this delayed response being unclear (swelling, decreased confidence, mobility deficits, etc). Expect more clarity by Thursday or Friday of this week, but it’s trending towards another week of Andre Williams in the Giants’ backfield.
Pierre Thomas/Khiry Robinson, shoulder/forearm injuries: Both were listed as DNP in practice to begin the week as both appear to be on track to miss at least one more week. Thomas was initially expected to miss at least 2-3 weeks while Robinson’s injury has bit more mystery surrounding it. We’ll update these later in the week, but expect Thomas to miss this week with Robinson having a slim chance of playing this Thursday, as the short week make it more than likely that both will be out. It’ll be another week of Mark Ingram for the Saints.
DeAngelo Williams, sprained ankle: Williams is expecting to be on the field this Thursday against the New Orleans Saints coming off a sprained ankle. Williams also had a strained hamstring that cost him two weeks earlier in the season. Ho-hum, more injuries for Williams, which essentially characterizes his entire career thus far. With guys who are “injury prone” (I hate that term, but it seems to fit in this case), always err on the side of caution before committing them back to your lineup. If Williams looks great on Thursday, consider him for Week 10. But until he shows the burst and quickness that he’s had in the past, avoid him for the time being.
A.J. Green, sprained toe: Green himself came out yesterday and declared that he will play this week against the Jaguars. He said that he’s currently 80 percent, which is a move in the right direction after he said he was only 40 percent last week. Green has been dealing with the sprained big toe for weeks and appears to be making progress. However, he needs to get through a week of practice setback-free before anyone can declare him fully ready to go. I have no doubt that he’ll get himself close to playing, but even Green can’t predict how his toe will response to a ramping up of activity level this week, especially with the amount of strain that is placed on the big toe with every movement a WR makes. This one will be updated later in the week, but this is about as optimistic as we’ve been about Green’s chances of playing in a while.
Jimmy Graham, sprained shoulder: Graham looked more comfortable on the field Sunday night and appears to have escaped the Saints’ big win without suffering a setback. It looks like Graham should be ready to go this Thursday night against the Panthers. Expect him to be limited all week by design in order to allow as much rest as possible on the short week, but so long as he can reach overhead, withstand the forces during run/pass blocking, and absorb contact without increases in pain, he should be good to go for Week 9.
Jordan Cameron, concussion: Cameron left Sunday’s contest after suffering his third concussion in the last 12 months. While there is no scientific evidence that definitively proves that the number of concussions lead to longer recovery times, the common sense says that three concussions in such a short period of time is just not a good thing. Keep this in mind: Cameron missed three weeks last season after suffering a concussion, and the Browns play on Thursday night Week 10, which makes it highly likely that Cameron misses at least two weeks, with the possibility of more depending on his symptoms. Like with any other concussion, Cameron will go through the league-mandated concussion protocol and must remain symptom-free after full, vigorous practice participation in order to return to the field. Stay tuned, but this one doesn’t look good for Week 9 or 10 in my estimation.
Players We’ll Update Later in the Week
Robert Woods, back contusion
Reggie Wayne, elbow injury
Charles Sims, ankle injury
Week 9 Severe Weather Conditions
No information at this time.
Week 9 Team Management Advice
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