Dr. Beth Sullivan | November 28th, 2019
Week 13 of the NFL season kicks off Thursday afternoon while most of us are sitting down with the family to enjoy a Thanksgiving feast. While the food, I am sure will be great wherever you are planning to enjoy the holiday, the football games scheduled should be a tasty addition to whatever else is on your holiday plate. Unfortunately, there are a few notable injuries that could affect the outcomes of the games.
The Falcons have some good news and some bad. I’ll start with the good first. Devonta Freeman was a limited participant in Tuesday and Wednesday’s practice as he recovers from a foot sprain suffered during the Falcons’ first game against the Saints. While he was limited, signs are good that he is trending in the right direction to be able to play on Thursday.
Freeman being able to play maybe a good thing because the bad news is really bad. Julio Jones has not participated in practice this week since suffering an AC joint sprain in the Falcons’ Week 12 game. Since a grade one strain is generally a minimum of seven to ten days for recovery, I am very skeptical that he will be able to suit up on Thursday. Since the turn around time is short with the Falcons playing only four days after sustaining the injury, I doubt he will be available and even if he were to play, I doubt he would be very effective.
The Lions are going through quarterbacks faster than Thanksgiving leftovers disappear. With Stafford out because of the vertebral fracture, the starting duties fell to backup Jeff Driskel last week. One of the things that made Driskel effective was his ability to use his legs when the play broke down. However, Driskel appeared on the injury report Monday as a limited participant with a tight hamstring. He was picked up by the Lions after being released by the Bengals in September with an injury settlement for a hamstring injury.
With this being the second hamstring injury for Driskel this year, I would be very surprised if he is able to play and given the hamstring injury history, I wouldn’t recommend he play either. Even a Grade one strain has a one to three week recovery period and since we are only three or four days since he sustained his new injury I suspect he will be on the sidelines and the Lions will start their only healthy quarterback David Blough.
The Bills have a fairly simple injury report ahead of the Bills matchup against the Dallas Cowboys. The big issues are the injuries to the offensive line. Starting Center Mitch Morse sustained a thumb injury late in the first quarter of the Bills game against the Broncos in week twelve. He is listed as questionable, but I suspect he will be a game-time decision at best.
The only other player listed as questionable is wide receiver, Robert Foster, who had one catch in the week twelve game. He hasn’t had the success he enjoyed last year and is buried on the depth chart. I suspect he will be out come tomorrow.
New Orleans Saints
Cornerback Marshon Lattimore suffered his latest injury during the second quarter of the Saints’ first game against the Falcons a few weeks ago. He has been a limited participant in practice and will be a game-time decision at best. As I explained earlier in this piece, even a grade one strain takes one to three weeks to recover and a more significant injury can take six to eight weeks or even longer to fully recover and the risk of further injury is significant if an athlete attempts to play before fully healed.
The Bears are facing a number of players out on Thursday. Tight End Ben Braunecker and Wide Receiver Taylor Gabriel are both out and in the NFL concussion protocol. Since no other information is available, they are both still working their way back. If you want to read more about the concussion protocol you can do that here.
Linebacker Danny Trevathan is also out and will be for probably the remainder of the season. He suffered a significant elbow injury as seen in this video.
The elbow is not designed to bend like that and he has most likely suffered significant ligament damage to the elbow. Recovery from this type of injury is measured in weeks and months.
Linebacker Leighton Vander Esch will be missing from the Cowboys defense as he continues to deal with a neck injury suffered during the Cowboys game against the Vikings three weeks ago. The injury was initially called a stinger, but given his continued absence, I suspect the injury may be more than a simple stinger. His status will bear watching as the season moves into the home stretch.
This at least gives you the highlights for each team playing on turkey day. There are other players on the team’s injury reports but they represent situational or backup players for the most part. I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving and be sure to check back Sunday morning for the second part of the week thirteen injury update.
Questions and comments?
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Main Image Credit Embed from Getty Images