What was a great NFL Week 10 with compelling matchups will now be remembered for the injuries that occurred over the weekend, as several playoff contenders lost key components.
The emerging Houston Texans appear to be snake bit as the only thing that could completely ruin a 37-9 blowout victory at Tampa Bay would be another major injury. With defensive end Mario Williams already lost for the season and Pro Bowl wide receiver Andre Johnson missing the last six games, one would figure that the team couldn’t have any worse injury luck.
Unfortunately that wouldn’t be the case.
Quarterback Matt Schaub injured his right foot in a second period quarterback sneak and he continued to play into the fourth quarter.
“Somebody fell on the back of his foot, and his foot got caught in the pile,” Texans head coach Gary Kubiak said. “He played the rest of the game. He was sore. We asked him; he said ‘I’m fine’ and they taped it up at halftime and he played. He was complaining about it in the fourth quarter. We took him out of the game. After the game, the doctor still felt like he was going to be fine, so this all took place here today.”
ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that the injury is of the lis franc variety and will cost Schaub the entire season, but Texans head coach Gary Kubiak was a little more optimistic.
“It was described to me as a significant injury that they’re trying to evaluate,” Kubiak said. “I know it’s been reported a couple places exactly what’s going on, but as of right now, they haven’t given me any conclusions. They’re just trying to give me their opinions on what we should do and how we should handle it as of today.”
Houston will turn to former first-round pick Matt Leinart who has started just one game since 2007 to keep their title aspirations alive. What seemed like a legitimate Super Bowl contender just 24 hours ago, is now far from a lock to make the postseason.
Our take: This absolutely buries a promising 2011 season as the team will be lucky to hold on and win the AFC South, much less make any kind of playoff run.
The Kansas City Chiefs will make a switch at quarterback as starter Matt Cassel suffered what is being termed a “significant hand injury” and he could miss the rest of the season.
“(Injured reserve) a possibility, but it’s not an absolute,” Chiefs head coach Todd Haley said.
Backup Tyler Palko will start next Monday night when the Chiefs take on the New England Patriots. The 28-year old backup has played in just four career games and is yet to throw a touchdown pass.
“We feel good about Tyler or he wouldn’t be here as our number two quarterback,” Haley said. “I have belief in Tyler. In his case there is not a lot of regular season action to go on, but I feel like he’s done a great job while he’s been here of developing and getting better. He has a great understanding of how our offense works and what his role within it is.”
Our take: Kansas City was going nowhere with Cassel, so this could be a blessing in disguise to see what they might have in the journeyman Tyler Palko or rookie Ricky Stanzi.
The stingy Jacksonville Jaguars defense lost it’s best cover man when veteran cornerback Rashean Mathis went down with a torn ACL in Sunday’s 17-3 victory over the Colts. Mathis was placed on injured reserve, as well as offensive tackle Eben Britton and linebacker Kyle Bosworth.
“He planted to come back and the knee kept going,” Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio said. “It’s unfortunate. He’s a good football player and was having a good year for us.”
Our take: It’s an especially tough injury for Mathis as this was his contract year and it will likely end his time in Jacksonville. The Duval County native was one of the best players in team history and was their best player in the secondary after being selected in the second round of the 2003 draft.
The Denver Broncos lost former first-round pick Knowshon Moreno for the season with a torn ACL. Moreno hasn’t been the stud running back that the team thought when they selected him as the 12th overall selection in 2009 as he’s yet to go over 1,000 yards in a season.
Our take: Although the Broncos are thin at running back, the loss of Moreno isn’t a killer. He’s simply a mediocre back who likely wouldn’t start for any other team in the NFL. Another poor Josh McDaniels draft pick.
Buffalo’s Eric Wood is hardly a household name, but the Bills will be without their starting center for the rest of the season as he suffered a torn knee ligament in Sunday’s 44-7 pounding by Dallas.
Our take: Eric Wood is the best player on the Bills offensive line and this is yet another blow to a team that really seems to be sinking.
Charlie Bernstein is the NFL Insider for ESPNFlorida.com and ESPN 1080 and 1040 in Orlando/Tampa and Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie covers the Jacksonville Jaguars for FoxSports and has been featured on the NFL Network and Sirius NFL Radio. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. You can follow Charlie on Twitter @nflcharlie