NFL Week 12: Latest Injury Updates for Every Marquee Player

Jesse Reed@@JesseReed78Correspondent INovember 24, 2013

NFL Week 12: Latest Injury Updates for Every Marquee Player

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    Injuries are an unavoidable certainty in the NFL, but it's never easy to deal with them when they happen. 

    With just a month and a half remaining on the regular-season schedule, losing a star player for any amount of time can be a death blow to teams with playoff aspirations. This is especially true for teams with shallow rosters outside their marquee talent.

    Case in point: The Green Bay Packers haven't won a game since Aaron Rodgers went down with his collarbone injury.

    Week 12's action claimed a few such players who suffered injuries that could prove costly to their respective teams. Here's a look at the star players who were battered and bruised on the gridiron this weekend.       

Knowshon Moreno, RB, Denver Broncos

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    Knowshon Moreno was far and away the best offensive player for the Broncos on Sunday, registering 224 yards and a touchdown. 

    After the game he was wearing a boot according to Joan Niesen of the Denver Post

    Per @MikeKlis, Knowshon Moreno left in a boot.

    — Joan Niesen (@JoanNiesen) November 25, 2013

    Jenny Vrentas of The MMQB provided an image of Moreno walking out of the locker room on crutches:

    Knowshon Moreno leaving stadium on crutches, with walking boot on right foot. He said he "rolled" it.

    — Jenny Vrentas (@JennyVrentas) November 25, 2013

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, Denver Broncos

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    The Denver Broncos shut out the New England Patriots in the first half of Sunday night's game, but cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was injured on the final play before halftime. 

    Tom Brady heaved a hail-mary pass that ended up coming up well short of his target. Rodgers-Cromartie attempted to intercept the pass but came down hard on his shoulder, and he was later ruled out for the remainder of the game, as noted by Gray Caldwell of

    #Broncos CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has been downgraded to OUT with a shoulder injury.

    — Gray Caldwell (@GrayCaldwell) November 25, 2013

    Denver hasn't been good against the pass this season, even with Rodgers-Cromartie, ranking No. 28 in the league.

    But the impact of his loss was quickly and keenly felt on Sunday, as the Patriots scored 28 points less than 18 minutes to take the lead in the game, 28-24 after being down by 24 points at the half. Three of those four touchdowns were scored through the air. 

Duke Ihenacho, S, Denver Broncos

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    Denver Broncos second-year safety Duke Ihenacho is quickly becoming a top player in this league, but he's also found his way onto the injury reports more often than you'd like to see.

    Ihenacho was forced out of Sunday night's game against the New England Patriots in the third quarter when he was struck hard by teammate Wesley Woodyard as both players attempted to make a play.

    As noted by Mike Klis of the Denver Post, he was listed as questionable to return and was being evaluated by doctors for a concussion, but he was later cleared to play and made his return, as noted by the MileHighReport:

    Duke Ihenacho getting evaluated for concussion. Return questionable.

    — Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) November 25, 2013

    Duke Ihenacho is back out there. Great to see you @NachoLyfe!

    — MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) November 25, 2013

    At the time of Ihenacho's injury, Denver had a 17-0 lead over the Patriots, but went on to lose the game.

Tamba Hali, LB, Kansas City Chiefs

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    Tamba Hali is the heart and soul of Kansas City's defense, but the Chiefs might be without him for the foreseeable future. 

    UPDATE: by Jesse Reed at 8:22 p.m. ET on Sunday, Nov. 24

    Hali and the Chiefs received good news on the initial prognosis for Hali's injured ankle, but they're not out of the woods quite yet. As noted by Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports, an upcoming MRI will tell the entire story: 

    More on the Chiefs: Initial prognosis for Tamba Hali is a mid inside ankle sprain, not the dreaded high one. Like Houston, MRI the key.

    — Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) November 25, 2013

    ---End of Update---

    Early in Sunday's game against San Diego, Hali suffered an ankle injury and had to be helped off the field, as noted by Lindsay Jones of USA Today:

    Bad news for Chiefs: Tamba Hali being helped off field, walking very slowly. Right leg injury.

    — Lindsay Jones (@bylindsayhjones) November 24, 2013

    Once he got to the sideline, Hali needed to be carted into the locker room, as Dave Skretta of the Associated Press reported:

    Tamba Hali headed for a cart and the locker room. #Chiefes

    — Dave Skretta (@APdaveskretta) November 24, 2013

    Justin Houston was also injured in this contest, and neither player would return, as Reid Ferrin of revealed:

    Houston (elbow) and Hali (ankle) are both out for the remainder of today's game. #SDvsKC

    — Reid Ferrin (@KCChiefs_Reid) November 24, 2013

    Making matters worse, the injury occurred without contact, indicating something serious might be wrong, per Doug Gottlieb of CBS Sports:

    #chiefs Tamba Hali went down untouched... Not good

    — Doug Gottlieb (@GottliebShow) November 24, 2013

    Hali has tallied nine sacks already this year, forcing four fumbles along the way. His production won't be easily replaced, and the Chiefs defense won't be the same without him.    

Justin Houston, LB, Kansas City Chiefs

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    John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

    After losing Tamba Hali in the first quarter, the Kansas City Chiefs suffered another heavy blow when Justin Houston went down with an elbow injury in the second quarter. 

    UPDATE: by Jesse Reed at 8:25 p.m. ET on Sunday, Nov. 24

    After leaving Sunday's game with an elbow injury, Houston was diagnosed with a "subluxed elbow," which means it popped out and then back in again, as noted by Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports, who added this will likely be a "multi-week injury." An MRI will determine the damage done and the length of recovery:

    Chiefs' Justin Houston suffered a subluxed elbow, which means it popped out then in. MRI Mon will tell ligament damage, length of recovery.

    — Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) November 25, 2013

    Would figure it'll be tough for Justin Houston to play next week, but we'll see. Subluxation is often a multi-week injury.

    — Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) November 25, 2013

    ---End of Update---

    Houston appeared to hyper-extend his elbow while defending a Danny Woodhead run, and he was immediately ruled as questionable to return, per Michael Gehlken of the Union-Times:

    Chiefs OLB Justin Houston (elbow) questionable to return.

    — Michael Gehlken (@UTgehlken) November 24, 2013

    Not long after, the Chiefs ruled Houston out for the remainder of the contest, as Reid Ferrin of reported:

    Houston (elbow) and Hali (ankle) are both out for the remainder of today's game. #SDvsKC

    — Reid Ferrin (@KCChiefs_Reid) November 24, 2013

    Houston had already registered a sack on Philip Rivers before exiting the game, which boosted his season total up to 12 sacks. Losing him and Hali on the same day significantly diminishes Kansas City's ability to defend against the pass, as the two of them have combined for 21 sacks this year. 

    The Chiefs will be hard pressed to slow down Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in Week 13 if these players are out.

Antonio Cromartie, CB, New York Jets

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    Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

    The New York Jets got pummeled on Sunday by the Baltimore Ravens, 19-3.

    Adding insult to injury, Antonio Cromartie was forced from the game with a hip injury and was immediately ruled doubtful to return, as noted by Jane McManus of ESPN New York:

    Antonio Cromartie was just announced as having a hip injury, his return is doubtful.

    — Jane McManus (@janesports) November 24, 2013

    This isn't a new injury, however. He's dealt with hip issues since 2008, and after the game, Cromartie revealed his hip "gave out" on him a little bit and that the injury wasn't caused by contact, as noted by McManus.

    New York's secondary has already been shredded this season, and it's hard to imagine things getting any better with Cromartie on the sideline instead of guarding the opposition's top receiver.

    If his injury turns out to be serious, then the Jets will struggle. His replacement is Darrin Walls, who was an undrafted rookie out of Notre Dame in 2011 and who hasn't gotten many chances in the NFL outside of special teams.  

Morris Claiborne, CB, Dallas Cowboys

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    Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY

    The Dallas Cowboys already had enough trouble defending against the pass before losing cornerback Morris Claiborne on Sunday's game against the New York Giants. 

    Claiborne suffered a hamstring injury during the contest and was ruled out the rest of the way, as noted by Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News:

    Cowboys CB Morris Claiborne has a hamstring injury and is out for the remainder of the game.

    — Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoNYDN) November 24, 2013

    Coming into Sunday's game, Dallas featured the league's worst pass defense, and it won't get any easier to fix what ails this team with Claiborne on the sideline. If he ends up missing significant time, then the Cowboys will be even more exploitable in this regard.

Darrelle Revis, CB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Just when things have started looking promising for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the injury bug struck one of their biggest stars. 

    Darrelle Revis was forced from Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions in the second quarter with a groin injury and was listed as questionable to return, as noted by the Lions on Twitter:

    CB Darrelle Revis with a groin injury, questionable to return. #TBvsDET

    — Detroit Lions (@DetroitLionsNFL) November 24, 2013

    He was tasked with covering Calvin Johnson in the contest, and he had been doing a fantastic job. Before getting injured, Revis had held Megatron to four catches for 61 yards. 

    Needless to say, the Bucs won't be nearly as formidable on defense without their star cornerback locking down one side of the field. 

Jason Campbell, QB, Cleveland Browns

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    Just when Cleveland Browns fans thought they'd seen the last of Brandon Weeden, he was thrust back into action in Week 12 against the Baltimore Ravens after starting quarterback Jason Campbell was forced to exit with a head injury. 

    The Browns on Twitter quickly reported he was ruled out for the rest of the contest:

    #Browns QB Jason Campbell is being evaluated for a head injury. He is out for the remainder of the game.

    — Cleveland Browns (@Browns) November 24, 2013

    ProFootballTalk noted that the blow to Campbell's head that forced him from the game wasn't even flagged:

    Browns lose Jason Campbell on uncalled blow to head

    — ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) November 24, 2013

    Concussions are tricky, and it's no guarantee the veteran quarterback will be recovered in time for Cleveland's Week 13 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Until then, Weeden once again is the man behind center for the Browns. 

Zac Stacy, RB, St. Louis Rams

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    Rookie running back Zac Stacy has been one of the most impressive young players at any position in the league this year. Unfortunately, the St. Louis Rams lost Stacy on Sunday in their game against the Chicago Bears.

    As noted by John Clayton of, Stacy suffered a concussion and was ruled out for the remainder of the game:

    The Rams rule out Zac Stacy with a concussion. Chris Williams also out with a concussion.

    — John Clayton (@ClaytonESPN) November 24, 2013

    Stacy was having a huge game before leaving. He rushed for 87 yards and a touchdown and caught one pass for 10 yards. He's carried St. Louis' offense at times with his consistent production the past couple of months. 

Ryan Mathews, RB, San Diego Chargers

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    Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

    Injuries were the norm at Arrowhead Stadium when the San Diego Chargers took on the Kansas City Chiefs.

    Ryan Mathews hurt his hamstring in the second half and was ruled questionable to return, per Eric Williams of

    #Chargers RB Ryan Mathews has a hamstring injury. His return is questionable.

    — Eric Williams (@eric_d_williams) November 24, 2013

    The talented running back has had difficulty staying on the field since being drafted by San Diego in the first round back in 2010, and this is hardly the first time he's struggled with a hamstring injury, as alluded to by Bleacher Report's Will Carroll:

    Ryan Mathews with a hamstring strain. Again.

    — Will Carroll (@injuryexpert) November 24, 2013

    His injury puts Danny Woodhead and Ronnie Brown in the spotlight. Both players have performed well for the Chargers this year, but neither is worthy of the starting role.  

Daniel Thomas, RB, Miami Dolphins

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    The Miami Dolphins have relied on Daniel Thomas to spell Lamar Miller all season long, and he's done a nice job with that role. 

    He, along with Miller, struggled to gain any ground against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, however, before he was forced from the game with what a lower-leg injury.

    The Dolphins on Twitter noted he was questionable to return with an ankle injury, but NFL: AroundTheLeague reported he was carted into the locker room, which is never a good sign:

    Daniel Thomas has an ankle injury and his status is questionable. #CARvsMIA

    — Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) November 24, 2013

    Dolphins RB Daniel Thomas was taken to the locker room on a cart with a lower leg injury.

    — NFL: AroundTheLeague (@NFL_ATL) November 24, 2013

    With Thomas out of the lineup, the Dolphins will turn to Marcus Thigpen and Mike Gillislee.

Johnathan Franklin, RB, Green Bay Packers

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    The Green Bay Packers can't afford any more injuries to skill-position players, but the Pack lost another one against the Minnesota Vikings when Johnathan Franklin left the game early.

    Franklin returned the opening kickoff but suffered a head injury on that play.

    He was taken back into the locker room immediately following the return, as noted by the Packers on Twitter, and Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported shortly thereafter that the rookie was ruled out for the rest of the game:

    #Packers RB Johnathan Franklin, who returned the opening kickoff, has been taken to locker room for concussion evaluation. #MINvsGB

    — Green Bay Packers (@packers) November 24, 2013

    Meanwhile, Johnathan Franklin (concussion) is out for the game.

    — Tyler Dunne (@TyDunne) November 24, 2013

    Eddie Lacy is the unquestioned featured back for the Packers, but Franklin has been working himself into games on special teams and as a backup running back.