Injuries that Could Impact the NFL Divisional Round

January 11, 2019 | insideinjuries | No Comments

Todd Gurley

IRC: Low – 11%
HPF: Peak – 84%

After missing the final two weeks of the regular season to rest his ailing knee, Gurley should be good to go with for the Rams first playoff game. The team never admitted to anything more than inflammation, although he was likely dealing with something a bit more serious such as tendinitis that was the cause of the inflammation. The good news here is that he is likely not dealing with any ligament damage, which takes longer to heal and comes with much more long-term risk.

Now a week past his Optimal Recovery Time, Gurley’s numbers have improved significantly according to our algorithm. After practice this week Coach Sean McVay said “He looks like the explosive, great back that we’re used to seeing.” Expect Gurley to put up great numbers against the Cowboys.

Spencer Ware

IRC: Elevated – 20%
HPF: Peak – 83%

We have seen time and time again this season how tough it can be to overcome hamstring injuries. The good news for Ware is that he missed the final two regular season games, so he should be well rested for the playoffs with a lower injury risk. Now, it still sits at 20%, which is Elevated, but it’s much better than it was a few weeks ago. As long as Ware can stay on the field and avoid an aggravation, expect him to play well. He is back in the Peak HPF category, an indication that his hamstring strain shouldn’t slow him down.

Sammy Watkins

IRC: Elevated – 23%
HPF: Peak – 82%

Watkins started to have foot problems in week 9, missed a game, then aggravated it again in week 11. He went on to miss the final five weeks of the regular season. Now Watkins is officially questionable for the Chiefs first playoff game. Foot injuries are incredibly difficult to fully recover from, especially for a wide receiver, but with nearly two months off he should be ready to play.

Because he has missed a lot of time, the Chiefs will need to limit Watkins’ snaps as he won’t be in great shape. It’s also important to slowly ease him back in to ensure he doesn’t aggravate the injury again. His Injury Risk is also right on the border of Elevated and High as it won’t take much to suffer a setback. Almost every movement puts added stress on the foot – that includes everything from cutting to jumping to pushing off the line to start running a route.

Melvin Gordon

IRC: High – 34%
HPF: Below Average – 43%

Gordon is incredibly banged up heading into the Divisional Round. Late in the season Gordon missed a month with a right MCL sprain, then he injured his ankle in week 17, and now he is also dealing with a left knee sprain. Gordon played through the injury in the Wild Card round but didn’t look like himself after returning with a brace on both knees. It’s no surprise that his Injury Risk is incredibly High. The chargers need to be very careful about how much they play him. If they over do it he could end up with a season-ender. It’s a delicate balance between having him out there when they need him and making sure he doesn’t suffer a more severe injury.

Here’s  more on his latest knee injury. 

Dak Prescott

IRC: Low – 8%
HPF: Above Average – 73%

Prescott popped up on the injury report this week due to his knee, but it isn’t something to worry about heading into the next round of the playoffs. He hasn’t missed a practice and all reports out of Cowboys camp have been that he has looked normal going through drills. P

rescott was injured on a near touchdown run when he was hit in his right leg, causing it to hyperextend. The good news is that his leg wasn’t planted firmly on the ground when he took the hit, lessening the impact. It’s likely a mild sprain he is dealing with. Expect another solid game from Prescott as the Cowboys take on the Rams.

Cole Beasley

IRC: Elevated – 20%
HPF: Below Average – 54%

Beasley played through an ankle injury in the Wild Card round. Despite making it through the game, there is still some concern that he won’t be able to play against the Rams. Often times a player can receive pain meds to make it through the game with the help of adrenaline, but after the game the ankle swells up and gets worse. If he is active on Saturday night, don’t expect much from him. It’s hard to be effective while playing on a bum ankle.

Hunter Henry 

IRC: Elevated – 16%
HPF: Peak – 87%

A torn ACL in the offseason forced Henry to miss the entire regular season, but he was just activated from the PUP list and will make his season debut this weekend. Henry is around 7 months removed from surgery. It’s a quick turnaround, but his rehab has gone as planned so far.

It isn’t realistic to expect Hunter to step on the field and have an immediate impact. He isn’t going to be in great football shape, and there is still quite a bit of risk there. Even if the repaired ligament is close to fully healed, the rest of his body many not be ready for the grind of a football game. It’s a different level of intensity than going through rehab or a practice. Henry should see some playing time, but don’t expect him to be a difference maker right away. It takes time.