First off, sappy stuff out of the way this morning. For all of you who celebrate Christmas, have a merry, merry one with your loved ones! Seriously. Now, onto the fun. It’s hard to believe that this is our penultimate injury report of the regular season, but the sad fact remains that it really is. At this point of the season, injuries are a massive deal for teams headed to the post-season and a minor headache for clubs that are sitting January out. You’ll see some of each in today’s top ten.
1. TE Dwayne Allen left during the Colts slaughtering at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday after dropping two critical balls. Allen is said to be suffering from a knee injury. Hopefully he’s back in fighting form for the play-offs. I shudder at the thought of Coby Fleener handling the TE duties more or less alone.
2. Aaron Rodgers, QB for the Green Bay Packers, injured a calf muscle during Sunday’s win over the Bucs. While Rodgers didn’t exit the game, head coach Mike McCarthy stated that his play calling was altered slightly to keep No. 12 in the pocket. Pack fans should be hoping this strain doesn’t become an issue during Week 17’s huge game against the Lions.
3. The Houston Texans, who are still alive in the postseason race, lost G Brandon Brooks to an ankle injury early in Sunday’s win over the Baltimore Ravens. Brooks was able to limp to the locker room under his own power, which is good news for the Texans faithful.
4. Jermaine Kearse, the Seattle Seahawks No. 2 wideout, injured his hamstring during Sunday’s blowout win over the Arizona Cardinals. According to Pete Carroll, Kearse is likely to miss some time, which isn’t great news with the Seahawks poised to make their second deep playoff run in as many years.
5. Atlanta Falcons RB Steven Jackson missed the second half of the team’s win over the Saints with a quad injury. Jackson and Co. are still very much in the postseason race in the dismal NFC South, so hopefully he doesn’t miss much time. The odds are good that Jackson won’t go this Sunday, though.
6. Just a week after benching Jay Cutler, the Chicago Bears are being forced to start him again during their final game of the season. Back-up Jimmy Clausen ended up in the hospital with a concussion and has already been ruled out for Week 17’s contest.
7. In other benched QB news, Brian Hoyer will be back under center for the Cleveland Browns come Sunday. Johnny Manziel wound-up nursing a hamstring injury during the course of Sunday’s loss to the Carolina Panthers. I just want to point out that they lost to a team led by a guy with a broken back. Ouch.
8. Buffalo Bills DT Marcell Dareus left before the half of the team’s loss to Oakland on Sunday with a knee injury. Dareus went to the Pro Bowl in 2013, has 10 sacks this season, and has never missed a start in his four year career. Hopefully Dareus isn’t dealing with anything too severe, even though Buffalo is already out of the playoff picture.
9. Percy Harvin, currently playing for the New York Jets, left Sunday’s narrow loss to the Patriots with a rib injury. Harvin was seemingly suffering from an ankle problem last week, so this just adds to his laundry list of injuries. Bright side of not playing for the Seahawks? Longer recovery time. Sorry, Harvin.
10. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, clearly, aren’t going to be playing football in January this season. However, that doesn’t make it less unfortunate that LB Mason Foster left during the first half of Sunday’s big loss to the Pack. Foster has been injury riddled this year, so he’s probably glad to have the offseason to recover.