‘Next man up’ is a popular NFL phrase, and if you check out the league’s weekly injury report you will understand just why.
Every franchise can only put 11 players on the field at any one time, but they need every bit of their 53-man roster over a brutal 17-game season.
Huge men engaging in violent collisions at ridiculous speed on a regular basis means injuries are more prevalent than ever, and some of them can end a team’s season in a split second.
Our injury report is not intended to be totally exhaustive - it is all about giving the intel on new and key injuries which will really impact betting on the NFL and selecting fantasy teams for the week’s upcoming games.
Here are the biggest injury storylines coming out of Week 11, and heading into Week 12:
There is nowhere else to start but the catastrophic news for Cincinnati that Burrow is done for the 2023 season. Joe tore a wrist ligament in the devastating 34-20 Week 11 loss to the Ravens in Baltimore, and he is now out until 2024. The good news for Cincy is that there are no long-term concerns about Burrow, but this is a massive blow to its 2023 playoff hopes. Now those hopes are in the hands of a now 27-year-old undrafted free agent QB in the shape of Jake Browning. Good luck with that…
It was a very bad week for QBs not named Lamar in the AFC North, with Watson joining Burrow on the sidelines for the rest of the 2023 campaign. He underwent season-ending shoulder surgery on Tuesday and it is now hoped he will be ready to return for the 2024 season. Fifth-round rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson now takes over at the controls for a 7-3 team with playoff ambitions, but can he keep those ambitions alive?
The Niners duly dispatched Tampa in Week 11 to make it two straight wins, but that victory did come at a cost. All Pro safety Hufanga tore his ACL during the 27-14 success and he is now done for the 2023 season. Bad news for a 7-3 team which is returning to top form and which has Super Bowl ambitions. Rookie Ji’Ayir Brown will step in to start down the stretch, and it’s worth noting he is a player the Niners have high hopes for. We should find out soon enough if they are right.
The Chargers’ miserable season went from bad to worse as they lost 23-20 to Green Bay to fall to 4-6, and lost superstar pass rusher Bosa in the process. Joey suffered a foot sprain and was in tears as he was taken from the field after just four plays. Post-game updates told us he has a foot sprain, and is now headed to Injured Reserve. That means he will miss at least 4 games, terrible news with those playoff hopes disappearing fast.
The Seahawks saw RB Kenneth Walker III go down with an oblique injury in the loss to the Rams, and he is likely to miss the Thanksgiving night showdown with San Francisco. There is probably more concern in the Pacific Northwest though about the elbow injury which caused Geno to miss part of that game last Sunday. Head coach Pete Carroll confirmed afterwards that Smith has a triceps contusion, and it is hoped he will start against the Niners. It has to be a big worry though for Seattle, heading into a key divisional game it really must win.
Serious injuries to Jets offensive linemen have featured regularly in this column in 2023, and they continue to suffer the worst of luck. Becton is the latest man to go down, suffering what the team fear could have been a high ankle sprain. Some reports suggest he could still suit up against the Miami Dolphins in a must-win Black Friday game, but that would seem a reach if the ankle injury is as advertised. Tough times for a team clinging onto fading post-season hopes.
An update on an existing injury here, and not a good one. Vander Esch - who has a history of neck injuries - suffered another one in the Cowboys’ blowout loss to San Francisco back in Week 5. And after experiencing lingering issues from that, Dallas confirmed heading into Week 11 that he is done for the season. More worryingly, this latest injury could be serious enough to threaten his career. Bad news for LVE, and for a Dallas team which was already very thin at LB.
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