Packers, Redskins hardest hit by injuries
The playoff chase has gotten much more difficult for the Packers after they lost two key defensive players to season-ending injuries.
Cornerback Al Harris and linebacker Aaron Kampman will have knee surgery after suffering major injuries Sunday. Both were hurt on separate plays in the second half of a victory over San Francisco, apparently damaging their left knees. Coach Mike McCarthy would not confirm specific details of either injury.
“They’re both professionals,” McCarthy said. “I think we have a lot of confidence they’ll both respond very well. They’re both in great shape, both take great care of their bodies.”
The Packers have a short turnaround before visiting Detroit on Thanksgiving Day. The Lions also have injury concerns, particularly quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Lions coach Jim Schwartz said Monday that the top overall pick in the draft was “extremely sore” after sustaining a separated left shoulder on the next-to-last play of the win over Cleveland, and he won’t play against Green Bay unless the pain subsides.
Stafford said he is “in a good amount of pain.”
Schwartz was also unsure about receiver Calvin Johnson, who hurt his knee on the same play that Stafford was injured.
The Redskins, already among the league’s most injury-ravaged teams, added running back Ladell Betts (torn left knee ligaments), tackle Chad Rinehart (broken leg) and fullback Eddie Williams (broken leg) to their long injured reserve list. Betts is the backup to Clinton Portis, who likely won’t return from his concussion for at least one more game. Tight end Chris Cooley will be in a walking boot for another 10 days, and DeAngelo Hall has a sprained knee.
“Brutal. Brutal. It’s been brutal,” said Rock Cartwright, now Washington’s starting running back. “We lost a lot of key guys we planned on having for the season.”
The Steelers not only dropped to 6-4 with a stunning loss at Kansas City, they saw their top two quarterbacks go down. After Ben Roethlisberger left with concussion-like symptoms, backup Charlie Batch injured his left wrist during overtime. Batch could undergo surgery later this week and miss about six weeks. Batch sat out last season with a broken collarbone.
Arizona’s Kurt Warner, the other starting QB in last February’s Super Bowl, left in the second quarter against the Rams after banging his head against the turf. Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said he spoke with Warner on the flight home, and the quarterback was “very upbeat and alert.”
Warner will undergo a mandatory “baseline test” of his cognitive functions Tuesday.
“We are obviously optimistic that there won’t be any issues with that whatsoever,” Whisenhunt said.
Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo took a knee to the back early in a victory over Washington. He didn’t miss a snap.
“We’ve already talked to Tony and he says he feels a lot better,” coach Wade Phillips said. “He had a little bit of stiffness. He had quite a bit during the ballgame, but says he feels a lot better.”
Phillips expects Romo to play Thursday against Oakland.
Rams QB Marc Bulger will be sidelined 3-6 weeks with a broken left leg sustained in Sunday’s loss to the Cardinals. The team said it would not place Bulger on injured reserve.
He also underwent an MRI exam on his groin and hamstring Monday and was due for a second MRI on a swollen knee. Plus he’s being tested for concussion-related symptoms.
Linebacker Chris Chamberlain and rookie offensive tackle Jason Smith also will be tested for concussions Tuesday.
Dolphins nose tackle Jason Ferguson will miss the rest of the season with a quadriceps injury. Coach Tony Sparano was unsure if Ferguson, who turns 35 on Saturday, will need surgery.
“We lost a heck of a player and another captain and those types of things,” Sparano said. “It is happening every place you look around the league right now. That is what happens. It is Week 12.”
Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown (foot) and quarterback Chad Pennington (shoulder) have also suffered season-ending injuries this year.
Bills rookie guard Eric Wood had surgery to repair a broken left leg. Bills interim coach Perry Fewell said the operation to repair two broken bones was performed in Jacksonville on Sunday night, hours after Wood was hurt in an 18-15 loss to the Jaguars.
“It was not a pretty sight to see,” Fewell said of the injury that CBS did not replay because it was too gruesome.
Baltimore cornerback Fabian Washington is expected to miss the remainder of the season after hurting his knee during a loss to the Colts.
“It looks like he has an ACL tear. As of right now, we’re proceeding as if he’s done for the season,” coach John Harbaugh said Monday.
On his Twitter account, Washington wrote: “Thanx for all of your support. Yes I do have a torn ACL. But I’ll get through this. Go Ravens.”
Washington has started all 10 games.
Browns coach Eric Mangini questioned whether the Lions faked injuries to slow down Cleveland’s no-huddle offense in Detroit’s 38-37 win. Mangini said the Lions had several players leave the field injured, only to return.
“I’m just saying there were a lot of them,” Mangini said Monday.
Schwartz disputed Mangini’s claims.
“He’s way out of bounds on that,” Detroit’s first-year coach replied. “That couldn’t be further from the truth. Both teams were running no huddle, and the officials did a very good job of standing over the ball, so there was no need to do that.”
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Fueled in part by Tampa Bay’s surprise victory in the Super Bowl, Nevada sports books recorded their fourth-highest win of all time in January.