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Injury Analysis: Week 6 Injury Updates

Jeff Stotts

Jeff Stotts

Jeff Stotts works as a Certified Athletic Trainer (MAT, ATC, PES, CES). He won the 2011 Best Fantasy Football Article in Print from the Fantasy Sports Trade Association.

Jason Campbell
The Raiders will be without their starting quarterback for the foreseeable future as Campbell suffered a fractured clavicle (collarbone) in his team's win over the Browns. Campbell suffered the injury as he was tackled following a scramble in the second quarter. His right shoulder was driven into the ground and Cleveland linebacker Scott Fujita fell directly on the shoulder, forcing his weight through Campbell's shoulder, a classic mechanism of injury for a broken clavicle. The bone itself is poorly projected and as result is the most commonly fractured bone in the body. Surgery was required to fix the fracture and Campbell isn't expected back for at least four weeks.

Campbell hopes to be back in six weeks, but that seems optimistic given that the injury occurred to his throwing shoulder. The range of motion in his arm will be limited as the bone heals and the muscles surrounding the joint will experience some atrophy due to lack of use. As result Campbell will need extra time to strengthen the joint even once the bone completely mends. Keep in mind Dallas' quarterback Tony Romo suffered a broken collarbone in his non-throwing shoulder in Week 7 of last season. Romo missed the remainder of the season despite not needing surgery. The Raiders are preparing to be without Campbell for the remainder of the year, trading two first-round picks to Cincinnati for Caron Palmer. Kyle Boller and rookie Terrelle Pryor are the only other quarterbacks on the Oakland roster.

Jahvid Best
Not only were the Lions knocked from the ranks of the undefeated, they had their starting running back knocked out of the game with a concussion. Best experienced concussion-related symptoms and further evaluation according to NFL protocol has begun. Best has a long history of concussion, dating all the way back to his college days. His junior year at Cal he suffered a particularly scary concussion as he dove into the endzone. He landed on his neck and back and instantly began exhibiting what is known as the fencing response. In the response the arms are rigidly held in flexion or extension following a sizeable force applied to the brain, particularly the brainstem. It is an easily recognized indicator of a significant head injury. More recently, Best missed time in this year's preseason after suffering a concussion.

For Best his inherent injury risk increases with each concussion. The effects of multiple concussions are cumulative, meaning the effects from each incident build on one another and must be analyzed as a whole. Given his history, it would not be surprising to see the current symptoms linger and limit his availability throughout the week. His status for Week 8 when the Lions host the Falcons remains a question mark. Maurice Morris would assume the starting role if Best is inactive.

Felix Jones and Sam Bradford
Already nursing a partially dislocated shoulder, Jones will miss this week's game against the Rams, and possibly more time, with a high left ankle sprain suffered in Dallas' loss to New England. A high ankle sprain or syndesmotic sprain is not the same as what most people know as an ankle sprain. In a "normal" ankle sprain, the ligaments located on the outside of the ankle are sprained usually after the foot is forced into inversion. However, a high ankle sprain occurs in a different location, the distal tibiofibular joint. The distal tib-fib joint is located where the the lower leg bones, the tibia and fibula, form the ankle mortise. Here, a strong ligament known as the interosseous ligament spans across the two bones, connecting and stabilizing them. Two additional ligaments, the anterior and posterior tibiofibular ligaments, assist the interossesous ligament in stabilizing the joint. A high ankle sprain involves excessive stretching and spraining of these particular ligaments. Typically high ankle sprains take longer to heal than normal medial or lateral ankles sprains and often are associated with more instability. Surgery is occasionally needed if the sprain is serious enough to cause the ankle mortise to widen. It doesn't sound like Jones will require surgical intervention but he should miss between two to four weeks with the injury. Rookie DeMarco Murray and Tashard Choice will split the carries with Jones sidelined. After Jones exited Sunday's game, Murray received 10 carries to Choice's five.

The Cowboys' opponent in Week 7 could also feel the wrath of the high ankle sprain as the Rams starting quarterback also suffered the injury. Bradford sprained his left ankle and is currently wearing a protective boot on the injured foot. It's hard to imagine Bradford would improve enough in the next few days to be ready for Dallas, particularly since he will be unable or extremely limited in practice. AJ Feeley would start in place of an injured Bradford.

Turf Burns

Chris Cooley - Cooley is out indefinitely after needing surgery on his fractured left index finger. He will also have his troublesome knee once again evaluated.

David Garrard - The free agent veteran isn't an option for any of the teams seeking quarterbacks this season as he will undergo surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back. The back was impinging on a nerve causing radiating pain into his lower extremity.

Antonio Gates - Gates benefited from San Diego's bye week and hopes to return Sunday against the Jets. He practiced for the first time in nearly a month after re-tearing scar tissue in his troublesome foot. Gates' status is definitely worth monitoring throughout the week before completely committing to the tight end.

Devin Hester - A chest injury that forced Hester from a Week 6 win over the Vikings is not considered serious. He is expected to play against the Buccaneers.

Peyton Hillis - Hillis' struggles this season continue and now he's nursing a strained left hamstring. A MRI performed Monday confirmed the diagnosis and should limit Hillis in practice. More information surrounding his availability for Week 7 should emerge later in the week.

Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert - Both Mathews (calf strain) and Tolbert (concussion) were back at practice Monday and should be ready to go against the Jets.

Jeff Stotts is a Certified Athletic Trainer, MAT, PES and the Injury Analyst for Rotowire.com. You can follow him on twitter @RotoWireATC.