During the 2020 season, injured reserve only requires that a player miss a minimum of three weeks, so teams will use that list more freely than in previous seasons. We will therefore distinguish between players placed on injured reserve (IR) and players who we expect to miss the rest of the season (Season).
Giants Halfback Saquon Barkley — Knee (Season)
Saquon Barkley was injured twice on consecutive plays against the Bears, but the second was the more devastating: he tore the ACL in his right knee, which will require surgery and end his season. Barkley is scheduled for MRI scans today, which will determine whether there is other damage to his knee. Dion Lewis took the majority of snaps in Barkley’s absence, but reports today suggest that the team will also sign a replacement, widely reported to be former Falcons starter Devonta Freeman. Barkley should have fully rehabilitated his knee in time for the start of the 2021 preseason, but he will not play another snap in 2020.
Receiver Sterling Shepard left the game due to a “turf toe” injury, a soft-tissue sprain of the big toe joint that sounds more innocuous than it is. We do not have specific data for receivers, but more than 50% of NFL players miss at least three weeks on suffering this injury, and it tends to impair performance well beyond that initial return period. Shepard is a candidate for the injured reserve list under this season’s rules, though we would expect him to return quickly following the mandatory three-week absence.
Broncos Receiver Courtland Sutton — Knee (Season)
Broncos Quarterback Drew Lock — Shoulder (IR?)
Initial reports that Courtland Sutton left the game with cramps and a knee ailment gave cause for optimism, but that optimism has been crushed by the news that Sutton tore his ACL and MCL, and he will miss the rest of the season. As with Barkley, Sutton will require surgery, but the good news is that even with the additional ligament damage, he should also be ready for the start of the 2021 preseason.
Quarterback Drew Lock strained his rotator cuff, which will keep him out for at least two weeks. The team will re-evaluate him at that time, but they may be better served placing him on injured reserve in the meantime. We have no data on recovery times for rotator cuff strains, because most recorded rotator cuff injuries to quarterbacks are more severe than Lock’s. Jeff Driskel will start in Lock’s absence.
Defensive end Dre’Mont Jones will reportedly miss around four to six weeks with a PCL sprain and a bone bruise in his knee. The team will probably place Jones on injured reserve and elevate DeShawn Williams to the active roster in his stead.
San Francisco 49ers — Various
Two of the stars of San Francisco’s outstanding front seven, Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas, both suffered ACL injuries against the Jets. As with Barkley, both injuries will require surgery, and both players will miss the rest of the season.
The 49ers also lost quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to a high-ankle sprain that will probably keep him out for around a month — though we do not have enough specific data to draw conclusions for high-ankle sprains specifically to quarterbacks, 50% of all players miss at least four weeks to such sprains, and 25% miss eight weeks or longer. Former spot starter Nick Mullens will replace Garoppolo during the latter’s absence.
Halfback Raheem Mostert sprained his MCL and will have further scans today. The team believes that he suffered a mild MCL sprain, which will almost certainly mean an absence of two weeks or longer: 75% of halfbacks who suffer MCL injuries miss at least two weeks, though 50% return after three games. Fellow halfback Tevin Coleman also injured his knee, though no specifics are yet available. Both players will undergo MRI scans of the injuries today.
Ravens Cornerback Tavon Young — Knee (Season)
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh has confirmed that Tavon Young suffered a major knee injury and will miss the rest of the season. This is likely another ACL tear, carrying the same prognosis as the injuries to Saquon Barkley, et al.
Seahawks Linebacker Bruce Irvin — Knee (Season)
Adam Schefter reports this afternoon that Seahawks outside linebacker Bruce Irvin also tore his ACL, and he will miss the rest of the season.
Colts Safety Malik Hooker — Achilles (Season)
Colts Receiver Parris Campbell — Knee (IR)
Former first-round safety Malik Hooker will miss the rest of the season after rupturing his Achilles tendon against the Vikings. The injury will require surgery and a lengthy rehabilitation process, but Hooker should be ready for opening day, 2021.
Receiver Parris Campbell avoided the dreaded ACL tear, but he did injure both his posterior cruciate ligament and his MCL. The additional injury likely places him on the higher end of the MCL recovery timetable, which probably means a four- to six-week absence. The Colts are likely to place him on injured reserve.
Backup linebacker and special teamer Matthew Adams injured his ankle and did not return.
Vikings Linebacker Anthony Barr — Pectoral (Season)
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer confirmed at his Monday press conference that linebacker Anthony Barr tore his pectoral muscle against the Colts and Barr will be placed on injured reserve. It is not completely impossible for Barr to return later in the season — Ray Lewis famously did so in his final season for the Ravens — but three times as many players have their season ended by pectoral injuries as return to play. That number includes players who suffer less severe tears; Barr’s injury being identified as a tear makes him very unlikely to return by the end of 2020.
Panthers Halfback Christian McCaffrey — Ankle (IR)
Ian Rapoport reports this afternoon that Christian McCaffrey is likely to miss four to six weeks with the high-ankle sprain he suffered against the Buccaneers. That meshes with our data — around 50% of high-ankle sprains to running backs cause at least a four-week absence — and probably means that the team will place him on injured reserve. Backup Mike Davis was productive in McCaffrey’s absence against the Buccaneers and looks likely to assume starting duties for the next month or so.
The following players left their respective games with concussion symptoms and enter the league protocol:
- Bills tight end Dawson Knox
- Jets cornerback Quincy Wilson
- Texans fullback Cullen Gillaspia
- Vikings halfback Mike Boone
Based on our current data, a growing majority of players now miss at least one game following a diagnosed concussion, but around 80% return within two weeks.
Bengals tight end C.J. Uzomah tore his Achilles against the Browns on Thursday night and he will miss the rest of the season.
Chargers quarterback Tyrod Taylor is considered “week to week” with the chest injury he reportedly sustained during pre-game warmups. Safety Rayshawn Jenkins injured his groin, and defensive tackle Justin Jones injured his shoulder.
Chiefs edge rusher Frank Clark left Sunday’s game with an illness, but he is expected to recover in time for Week 3. Halfback Darrel Williams injured his ankle and cornerback Antonio Hamilton injured his groin.
Dolphins cornerback Byron Jones injured his groin against the Bills. Most groin injuries to defensive backs do not cause missed games, and half of those who do miss games return within two weeks.
Eagles head coach Doug Pederson has confirmed that guard Isaac Seumalo will “miss some time” and is headed to injured reserve with the knee injury he suffered against the Rams, another hefty blow to an already-depleted offensive line.
Falcons right tackle Kaleb McGary suffered a minor (Grade I) sprain of his MCL and is expected to miss one week. Defensive end Takk McKinley injured his groin, but most groin injuries to defensive linemen do not lead to missed games. Linebacker Foye Oluokun and safety Ricardo Allen were also injured.
Jaguars center Brandon Linder injured his knee against the Titans, but the team received good news about his injury today. He will not be placed on injured reserve, but he is unlikely to play in Week 3 as the Jaguars play the Dolphins on Thursday night.
Jets receiver Breshad Perriman reportedly sprained his ankle and is considered week-to-week. Offensive lineman Connor McGovern injured his hamstring and is likewise considered week-to-week. Cornerback Arthur Maulet injured his groin.
Packers receiver Davante Adams left Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury, an injury type that usually causes at least a one-week layoff for wide receivers; 75% of receivers return within two weeks. Center Corey Linsley sprained the thumb on his snapping hand, but he is not expected to miss games.
Rams halfback Cam Akers injured his ribs, but he is not expected to miss games. Guard Joe Noteboom injured his calf. Around 60% of calf injuries to linemen do not cause missed games, and 75% of linemen return within two weeks.
Washington guard Brandon Scherff will miss a couple of weeks with an unspecified knee injury, probably a mild MCL sprain, that he suffered against the Cardinals.