Injury report (cont ...)
Again? That's what Matthew Stafford and the Lions, not to mention their fans, have to be thinking. After being driven into the turf by Julius Peppers, Stafford stayed down. His shoulder was once again separated by the impact, much like last year. This was a clean hit by Peppers and one thing that all QBs fear. The separation created a sprain in his throwing shoulder. Remember, a sprain is a stretching or tearing of the fibers of a ligament, so while you'll hear both terms -- separation and sprain -- they're essentially the same thing in this case. Cause and effect.
Stafford is likely to be out around six weeks, with a two-to-eight-week range on the injury. That leaves Shaun Hill with the keys to the offense now, though it seems like handing the ball to Jahvid Best might be the Lions' plan in the short term. Stafford should be able to come back and be effective, but, as Sam Bradford learned last year, there's a high recurrence risk for this injury.
As bad as concussions like Kolb and Bradley's are, repeat concussions might be worse. Ignoring for now the long-term implications of concussive and sub-concussive impacts on players (which we're only beginning to learn about) repeat concussions are a known danger.
Kevin Boss left Sunday's game with a concussion, and in the aftermath, Tom Coughlin admitted the Giants had hidden a concussion last season. (They did it within the NFL's reporting rules, due to a long post-Thanksgiving week.) Boss, like any player, is going to see a couple things. First, concussions have a cumulative effect; the second is usually worse than the first and the third is worse than the second. This is a general rule, but as the concussions add up, things get dicier for a player. Second, a concussion comes with an impact. Just as Kolb was diagnosed with a jaw injury, Boss also had his neck bent awkwardly under trauma. These hits not only impact the brain, but you'll see the direct effects of the trauma as well. Boss has been ruled out for Week 2 against the Colts, giving the Giants a week to figure out how to replace him. Travis Beckum is the best fantasy option, though whether Eli Manning will build confidence in him this week remains to be seen.
Kevin Kolb might be getting all the attention for his concussion, but Matt Moore got knocked out of his first game as well. Jimmy Clausen didn't get much time at the QB1 slot and it looks like Moore will be back this week. He was cleared on Tuesday and was expected to practice Wednesday. If all goes well and he remains symptom-free, Moore will get the start against Tampa, which should be a better matchup. The Giants rank No. 1 against the pass after Week 1, but how much of that was their defense and how much was Moore? That's a tough fantasy question to answer right now. Knowing that, on top of the risk of a second concussion, Moore's a tough fantasy play this weekend unless you just have no other options.
Things looked mostly positive for Steven Jackson in his first game back after back surgery last season. He ran pretty well, put up solid, if not spectacular, numbers and, in the clips I saw of him, appeared to be the same Steven Jackson we saw before the injury. The downside was he had significant inflammation in his knee after the game, enough so the Rams sent him for an MRI. The inflammation is most likely related to minor meniscus damage, but this could be the start of something like what we have seen with Maurice Jones-Drew and the rumors of his knee problem. Function is the key here and Jackson didn't show that he's anything but a must start heading into his Week 2 matchup with Oakland. If you have Jackson, you should have already had a solid backup cadre of RBs anyway, but double-check if you're not as comfortable now.
I was surprised Bob Sanders was able to come back at all, but less than a quarter into his first game of the season, Sanders tore his biceps tendon and saw his season end just that fast. The Colts brought Sanders back out of one part stubbornness and one part salary cap, but there's little chance they'll bring him back in 2011. Sanders tore the biceps tendon on the other arm from last year, implying that those big muscled arms simply can't handle the forces of the NFL game. How it happened remains a question. The play in which he went over Owen Daniels and landed oddly appears to be the cause, but some sources say it happened even earlier. Either way, Sanders pulled himself up using both arms after that play as a teammate assisted him. If you get a chance, watch the video, though I can't find a link to it. Sanders continued to play after the injury and practiced lightly on Monday. It's a confusing series of events with a sad ending. The Colts were prepared for this and Melvin Bullitt doesn't hurt the Colts defense significantly.
Is Knowshon Moreno's hamstring injury serious enough that the Broncos brought in Laurence Maroney? There are many who think the two facts go together ... Fred Taylor was limited on Wednesday with a toe issue. Watch this one ... The Bears listed both Matt Forte and Devin Aromashadu as limited Wednesday with knee issues. Neither is thought to be serious ... There's a rash of ankle dislocations in the league this year. Many are questioning the impact of some shoes in combination with new turf. Having two "stickier" substances could be a part of the reason we're seeing more of this devastating injury ... Michael Hoomanawanui will miss a month or more with a high ankle sprain ... Anthony Gonzalez will miss Week 2 and likely more after leaving early with a high ankle sprain ... Michael Bush is practicing this week, but he's still not close to 100 percent after thumb surgery. The Raiders would be taking some risks if they put him in as much more than a decoy, though it appears they're at least considering it in practice this week.
I'll be back Saturday with the weekly Med Check and on Sunday with constant updates both here on SI.com and on Twitter, where you can follow me @injuryexpert.
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