As we start gearing-up for this weekend’s divisional round of football, it’s time to run through the top five injuries that were sustained during last weekend’s wild card games. Some of these are going to play a big role in the league’s upcoming match-ups, while others won’t really matter until next season. Sorry ‘bout your luck if your team falls into the latter category. At least you made the playoffs?
1. Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger sustained a shoulder injury that left him sidelined for part of last week’s win over the Cincinnati Bengals. Big Ben did, however, return to the field to finish what he started, despite the pain he was in. As far as this week’s contest against the Denver Broncos goes, Roethlisberger is expected to try to play, but may require pain-killing injections to get through the game. I almost feel bad for him. Almost. I’m still busy holding that grudge over 2005…
2. Kansas City Chiefs WR Jeremy Maclin suffered a leg injury in last Saturday’s blowout win over the Houston Texans. While there were initial concerns that Maclin had sustained a torn ACL, he was eventually diagnosed with a high ankle sprain. The odds of him being able to play in this weekend’s game against the New England Patriots are pretty slim at this point, which isn’t great news for Chiefs Nation.
3. Kansas City Chiefs LB Justin Houston exited last week’s game due to the knee injury that caused him to miss the final five games of the regular season. Fans and trainers alike first feared that Houston had re-injured himself, but it turns out he was primarily struggling to cope with the bulky brace he’s required to wear right now. All signs point to Houston being good-to-go this weekend at Foxboro.
4. Houston Texans DE JJ Watt sustained a groin injury during last weekend’s aforementioned rout by the Kansas City Chiefs. Watt, who apologized to his fans for the loss on all of his social media platforms (class act, #99), underwent surgery for the issue last Tuesday. Watt, as you might expect, will be back in fighting form by Week 1.
5. Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch did not even travel with the team to last Sunday’s game in Minnesota, but was a full participant in yesterday’s practice. Lynch is currently listed as day-to-day, but fans should certainly be hoping he’s able to go this weekend against the Arizona Cardinals. Third-stringer Christine Michael gave it his all last week, but even Beast Mode past his glory days is still Beast Mode.