NFL injuries were rampant in Week 7. Players went down left and right, and many of these health issues will have effects that last for several weeks. Teams will have to game plan around the absences of their key players, while backups will be asked to take on a heavier burden.
Let’s go around the league and sort through the most impactful NFL injuries of the week. We’ll start in New York, where the Jets lost one of the NFL’s most exciting rookies.
Costliest NFL Injuries of Week 7
Breece Hall, RB, New York Jets
Breece Hall is still waiting for test results, but Jets head coach Robert Saleh indicated the team fears the first-year running back suffered a torn ACL against the Broncos on Sunday. If confirmed, Hall’s injury will be a devastating blow to a New York squad that moved to 5-2 by defeating Denver in Week 7.
The 36th overall pick in April, Hall had quickly established himself as the most explosive playmaker on the Jets’ roster. He started dominating carries in Week 4 and posted his first 100-yard game in Week 6. Hall, who scored on a 62-yard scamper before departing on Sunday, also racked up 33 targets over his first six games.
Michael Carter, who had some nice showings as a rookie in 2021, will re-emerge as Gang Green’s starter, while third-stringer Ty Johnson should also be in line for more work. Additionally, the Jets could work the phones to find another back via trade before next week’s deadline.
Hall wasn’t the only Jet to go down on Sunday. Versatile offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker hurt his elbow, while wide receiver Corey Davis sprained his MCL.
J.C. Jackson, CB, Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers’ horrible injury luck continues. Having already lost Rashawn Slater and Joey Bosa for significant periods of time, Los Angeles is now set to be without J.C. Jackson, whom they signed to a five-year, $82.5 million contract in March.
Jackson dislocated his kneecap against the Seahawks in Week 7, as Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported. It was a non-contact injury for the 26-year-old, who fell to the turf and grabbed at his leg while trying to defend a pass to the end zone. He’ll undergo an MRI on Monday to determine the extent of the damage.
Jackson hadn’t been playing well and had even been benched at times, but he still represents a serious loss for the Chargers. LA has the depth to withstand Jackson’s injury, as Michael Davis can step into the starting lineup. But another health issue in the secondary would test their limits.
Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
Jackson wasn’t the only Charger to go down on Sunday. Mike Williams sprained his right ankle, according to Daniel Popper of The Athletic, who notes the veteran wideout was in a walking boot and could not put any weight on his leg.
At one point, fellow wide receiver Keenan Allen said Williams had suffered a high ankle sprain (before adding that further tests were needed to confirm that diagnosis). High ankle sprains are typically 4-6 week injuries.
The Chargers have a bye in Week 8, which will give Williams time to heal and allow the rest of LA’s wide receivers to rebound. Allen (hamstring) played on Sunday for the first time since Week 1, but he didn’t see any action in the second half as part of a pitch-count strategy. Meanwhile, Joshua Palmer missed Week 7 with a concussion.
DK Metcalf, WR, Seattle Seahawks
Let’s mix in a bit of potentially good news. DK Metcalf was carted off the field in the first quarter on Sunday, and unlike two weeks ago against the Lions, he didn’t just have to use the bathroom.
Head coach Pete Carroll said Metcalf “did something to his knee,” but added that X-rays were negative. The wideout will undergo an MRI on Monday, and Carroll did admit that Metcalf could miss time. However, the injury doesn’t seem as serious as it might have been thought yesterday.
Metcalf and Tyler Lockett have formed a dynamic duo for Geno Smith this season, with both WRs totaling at least 30 receptions, 400 yards, and two touchdowns thus far. If Metcalf is sidelined, Marquise Goodwin (4-67-2 in Week 7) and former second-round pick Dee Eskridge could get more involved in Seattle’s passing attack.
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Tennessee Titans
Ryan Tannehill briefly left Sunday’s game against the Colts after suffering an ankle injury, but he only missed three snaps before returning with a heavily-taped ankle. Sporting a walking boot after the game, Tannehill said he’ll “do everything he can” to be ready for the Texans in Week 8.
Tannehill typically fights through injuries, so it will be surprising if he’s not on the field next Sunday. Rookie backup Malik Willis hasn’t exactly looked ready for prime time, either in the preseason or when he saw action in Tennessee’s Week 2 blowout loss to Buffalo.
Whoever is under center, expect a heavy dose of Derrick Henry against Houston. Henry handled 30 carries in Week 7, his highest total of the season.
David Njoku, TE, Cleveland Browns
David Njoku is on pace to post the best season of his career, but he’ll likely have to take a bit of a detour after suffering an injury against the Ravens on Sunday.
The 26-year-old tight end sprained his ankle in Week 7, and he was using a walking boot and crutches after yesterday’s game. There’s a “good chance” Njoku doesn’t play when the Browns face the Bengals on Monday night, according to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com.
Cleveland has a bye in Week 9, so if Njoku sits out against Cincinnati, he’ll get a full three weeks to recover. Harrison Bryant will take over as the Browns’ starting tight end, but it will be hard to replace Njoku’s production. Through seven weeks, he’s third among TEs in yards and fourth in receptions.
Evan Neal, OT, New York Giants
The Giants are 6-1 and a near lock for the playoffs, but it’s not all good news in New York. First-round offensive tackle Evan Neal suffered what is believed to be an MCL injury on Sunday, per Tom Pelissero of NFL Media. If confirmed, Neal will likely miss several weeks.
Neal, the seventh overall pick in the 2022 draft, had some growing pains early in the season but seemed to turn a corner in recent weeks. His development will likely be put on pause for a bit. Tyre Phillips, who started 13 games for the Ravens from 2020-21, stepped in at right tackle in Week 7.
Neal wasn’t the only Giants lineman to get hurt on Sunday. Left guard Ben Bredeson also suffered a knee injury against the Jaguars. Rookie Joshua Ezeudu replaced Bredeson in Week 7 and will continue to start if the veteran is sidelined for a while.
Allen Lazard, WR, Green Bay Packers
The Packers can’t afford to lose any more wide receivers. With Randall Cobb and Christian Watson already dealing with health question marks, Allen Lazard suffered a shoulder injury against the Commanders and did not return to the game.
Lazard was hurt in the fourth quarter, so it’s possible Green Bay simply didn’t want to rush him back. He’s become Aaron Rodgers’ top receiver this season, so his absence would be a significant loss for the Packers’ offense.
Lazard received at least eight targets per game from Weeks 4-6 and had seven targets before exiting Week 7.
Romeo Doubs led Green Bay’s receivers in snaps on Sunday, while Sammy Watkins registered 52% playing time in his return to action. Watson could potentially return from his hamstring injury next week to round out the Packers’ receiving corps.
Jourdan Lewis, CB, Dallas Cowboys
Jourdan Lewis will miss the remainder of the 2022 season after suffering a Lisfranc injury against the Lions in Week 7. He underwent surgery on Sunday night.
Lewis, 27, has played more than 3,500 defensive snaps for the Cowboys since entering the league as a third-round pick in 2017. Through seven weeks, he’d allowed a 74.2 passer rating in coverage, his best mark since 2018.
Fifth-round rookie DaRon Bland will step in as Dallas’ starting nickel corner, just as he did when Lewis was banged up earlier this season. The Cowboys could conceivably target a slot CB before the NFL trade deadline.
A.J. Terrell, CB, Atlanta, Falcons
We’ll wrap up with A.J. Terrell, who was ruled out against the Bengals after suffering a first-quarter hamstring injury. Head coach Arthur Smith said the Falcons are waiting on MRI results.
Terrell injured the same leg against the 49ers in Week 6, but that was later determined to be a thigh issue. He was not listed on Atlanta’s injury report heading into the Cincinnati game.
The Falcons already have cornerback Casey Hayward on injured reserve, and their defensive backfield is extremely thin. Darren Hall and practice squad elevation Cornell Armstrong saw the most snaps among Atlanta corners on Sunday.