Concussion Watch: Week 13 Roundup

December 13, 2012
by Jason M. Breslow Digital Editor

Chicago Bears wide receiver Earl Bennett scores on a 12-yard pass reception on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012. Bennett appeared to land on the back of his head, and was later removed from the game due to a concussion. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Call it an unlucky coincidence, but in Week 13 of the NFL season at least 13 players were tested for or confirmed with a head injury. Nearly half of the injuries fell on just two teams, as the Jaguars and Raiders each had three players go down with a concussion. And while 11 of those injured players had yet to suffer a concussion this season, two appeared to sustain their second head injuries of the year.

Here are the players we were watching for last week on the Week 14 NFL injury report:

Phillip Adams, CB, Oakland Raiders

Raiders cornerback Phillip Adams was one of three Raiders players to exit Sunday’s loss to the Browns with a head injury. It’s unclear when Adams was hurt, but the team tweeted during the game that Adams had a concussion and would not return. Entering Week 13, seven Raiders players had been listed on the league’s injury report with either a concussion or a head injury, more than any other team except the Kansas City Chiefs.

Week 14 injury report status: Concussion, questionable to play

Earl Bennett, WR, Chicago Bears

Earl Bennett started Week 13 on a promising note by hauling in a 12-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter. But the Bears receiver was knocked upside down on the play, and according to ESPN, appeared to land on the back of his head. Bennett stayed in the game for another quarter, before the Bears announced in a tweet that he had been removed due to a concussion.

Week 14 injury report status: Concussion, will not play

Matt Giordano, S, Oakland Raiders

Matt Giordano was injured on the final play of the first quarter Sunday while tackling Browns tight end Ben Watson. The Raiders later tweeted that he was leaving the game to be evaluated “for a possible head injury.” Giordano, who did not return, sustained his first concussion of the season less than a month ago, during a 55-20 loss to the Ravens.

Week 14 injury report status: Concussion, probable to play

Garrett Graham, TE, Houston Texans

Texans tight end Garrett Graham caught a pass in the middle of the field near the end of the first half on Sunday, and then crashed head-on into a Titans defender. “He got a little woozy and headed to the locker room,” NBC Sports reported. Graham left the game and was placed in the league’s concussion protocol, a checklist of benchmarks players must pass before they can return to action. “He’s doing much better,” coach Gary Kupiak said after the game. “He was doing much better on the plane ride home. He has a four-, five-step phase as far as making it back from the concussion protocol. He’s through step one today and doing much better.”

Week 14 injury report status: Concussion, questionable to play

Rashad Jennings, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

Running back Rashad Jennings was one of three Jaguars to enter the team’s concussion program this week after a loss to the Bills on Sunday. Jennings was hurt when Bills linebacker Nick Barnett landed on him at on the end of a 12-yard run, the Associated Press reported.

Week 14 injury report status: Concussion, will not play

Will Johnson, FB, Pittsburgh Steelers

It is unclear when Will Johnson was hurt on Sunday, but after the team’s win over the Ravens coach Mike Tomlin said that the Steelers fullback “probably has a concussion. … We’ll evaluate him and see where that leads us.”

Week 14 injury report status: Concussion, probable to play

Winston Justice, OT, Indianapolis Colts

The Indianapolis Star reported that Winston Justice appeared to suffer his second concussion of the season on Sunday after a hard hit from Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh — a hit that forced him to exit with less than seven minutes to go in the game. Colts players complained that Suh stood over Justice and mocked him after the hit — a charge Suh denied — but there was no penalty called on the play. “They’re good players, but there’s no room for that. It’s disgusting, really,” said the Colts’ Mike McGlynn. Justice’s first concussion of the year came during Week 1 in a loss to the Bears.

Week 14 injury report status: Head, questionable to play

Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Cincinnati Bengals

Rookie cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick sustained a concussion in the fourth quarter of the Bengals’ Week 13 win over the Chargers, the AP reported. Kirkpatrick appeared to be injured during a punt return early in the fourth quarter, and had to be escorted off of the field by team trainers.

Week 14 injury report status: Head, will not play

Mike Mitchell, S, Oakland Raiders

Mike Mitchell was the third Raiders player, and the team’s second safety, to be evaluated for a possible head injury Sunday. Mitchell was filling in for Matt Giordano, who left with his own head injury earlier in the game. Entering Week 13, 15 safeties have appeared on the NFL injury report with either a concussion or head injury, more than any other position except for wide receiver.

Week 14 injury report status: Concussion, probable to play

Joe Reitz, G, Indianapolis Colts

Joe Reitz left Sunday’s win over the Lions for a concussion test. Reitz, who was one of two  Colts players knocked out of the game with a head injury, exited in the first quarter and did not return. Prior to Sunday, only one player, Sean Considine of the Ravens, had suffered a concussion against the Lions this season.

Week 14 injury report status: Head, will not play

Sidney Rice, WR, Seattle Seahawks

Sidney Rice, who suffered two concussions last season, took a bruising hit on his game-winning touchdown catch against the Bears on Sunday. Rice hauled in an overtime pass from Russell Wilson, and then took a shoulder-to-helmet hit on his way into the endzone that knocked the ball loose, and according to the AP, “appeared to knock the receiver unconscious.” (Watch the play here). Rice was evaluated on the field by the team’s medical staff. “I had a couple of concussions before, so they just wanted to make sure everything was fine,” Rice said after the game. Coach Pete Carroll stopped short of labeling Rice’s injury a concussion, but said the team would be putting him through the league’s concussion protocol.

Week 14 injury report status: Head, probable to play

George Selvie, DE, Jacksonville Jaguars

George Selvie, along with Rashad Jennings and Cecil Shorts, was placed in the Jaguars’ concussion program this week for a head injury he received Sunday against the Bills. All three are “in the concussion program and will be tested [Tuesday],” Coach Mike Mularkey told reporters.

Week 14 injury report status: Concussion, will not play

Cecil Shorts, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

Cecil Shorts was the third Jaguars player, and one of at least three wide receivers across the league, to sustain a head injury in Week 13. The Jaguars said that Shorts suffered a concussion in the fourth quarter. He left the game and did not return. Entering last week’s games, 24 wide receivers have been listed on the injury report with a concussion or head injury, more than any other position in the league.

Week 14 injury report status: Concussion, will not play

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