Another week of NFL action means another week of injuries. Plenty of players got banged up in Week 4, while others suffered injuries that could knock them out for several weeks or more. Let’s round up the most notable injury updates from Sunday.
NFL Injury Updates for Week 4
Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Pickett has a bone bruise in his left knee and muscle strain, as NFL Network reported on Monday. He could theoretically play against the Baltimore Ravens this week, but it might make more sense for the Steelers to hold out the second-year passer through their Week 6 bye.
#Steelers QB Kenny Pickett suffered a bone bruise in his knee that could lead to a short-term absence, per me and @MikeGarafolo. The door is open for Pickett, who also has a muscle strain, to play this week, but the team may be smart with a bye in Week 6. pic.twitter.com/SlbY7FaIa8
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 2, 2023
If Pickett can’t play on Sunday, Mitchell Trubisky will start for Pittsburgh, with Mason Rudolph as the club’s QB2.
Justin Herbert, QB, Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers wouldn’t scare anyone without Justin Herbert under center, but thankfully, that’s not a scenario that Brandon Staley and Co. will have to entertain any time soon.
Herbert injured his left, non-throwing hand after throwing an interception against the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday. He suffered a fractured finger and has a “gruesome” nail injury, but he’s not expected to miss any games. Los Angeles has a bye in Week 5, giving Herbert time to recover.
Matthew Stafford, QB, Los Angeles Rams
While Matthew Stafford didn’t miss a snap in the Rams’ win over the Indianapolis Colts, he sustained a “good deep bruise” on his hip, as Sean McVay told reporters on Monday. Stafford had his hip examined on Monday and is “nice and sore,” but Los Angeles doesn’t expect him to miss any time.
“We’ll be smart with him, but it should be good to go,” McVay said. “He is a stud, and obviously, we saw him gut through that yesterday, but definitely took a good shot there. We feel like he should be good to go.”
Brett Rypien is the Rams’ QB2 and would take over if Stafford is sidelined. Fourth-round rookie quarterback Stetson Bennett is on the non-football injury list.
Javonte Williams, RB, Denver Broncos
Javonte Williams left the Broncos’ Week 4 win with a hip injury and did not return, typically an ominous sign. Denver head coach Sean Payton refused to comment on Williams’ injury at his Monday news conference, but Williams is believed to have suffered a hip flexor and is “not expected to miss much if any time,” per ESPN.
Tee Higgins, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals rank dead last in yards per play through four games, and losing Tee Higgins won’t help matters. Higgins has a rib fracture and is expected to be sidelined, although it’s unclear how long he’ll be out.
On Monday, Higgins said he fractured one rib when he “landed on something” while trying to make a diving catch. He doesn’t think he’ll be sidelined for “multiple weeks.”
Tee: It’s not a crazy injury where I’ll be out multiple weeks.
Said he thinks it will be up to him how much pain he can manage.
— Jay Morrison (@ByJayMorrison) October 2, 2023
The Bengals will face the Arizona Cardinals in Week 5 before taking their bye in Week 6. Cincinnati could conceivably allow Higgins to recover by keeping him off the field until Week 7.
Tyler Boyd could see the field in more two-WR sets, while Trenton Irwin or sixth-round rookie Andrei Iosivas could also see increased usage outside.
Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Mike Evans looked revitalized through three weeks — he scored a touchdown in the Buccaneers’ first three games and looked to have developed a solid connection with Baker Mayfield.
Unfortunately, Evans suffered a hamstring injury in Week 4 and couldn’t return. His issue is believed to be minor, but he has dealt with hamstring problems in the past. Tampa Bay is entering its bye week, so Evans will have until Week 6 to get healthy.
Davante Adams, WR, Las Vegas Raiders
Adams said he “definitely does not feel good right now” and indicated he had to “nut it up” to re-enter Sunday’s game.
Davante Adams has been forced out of the game and @SeanWalshPT reviews the injury video.
— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) October 1, 2023
If Adams were to miss time, the Raiders would have to rely heavily on fellow wide receivers Jakobi Meyers and Hunter Renfrow while potentially leaning into their Josh Jacobs-led rushing attack.
Pat Freiermuth, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers
Pickett wasn’t the only Steelers offensive contributor to go down on Sunday. Tight end Pat Freiermuth injured his hamstring in Week 4 and did not return.
On Monday, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Freiermuth is expected to miss two to three weeks with a hamstring issue. The Steelers have a Week 6 bye, so the third-year TE might only be sidelined for one game.
Juwan Johnson, TE, New Orleans Saints
Juwan Johnson’s calf injury might have been the strangest of Week 4. The veteran tight end didn’t play a single snap after getting injured during warmups. The Saints haven’t offered an update on Johnson’s status.
Terron Armstead, OT, Miami Dolphins
When they signed Terron Armstead in 2022, the Dolphins knew he would likely miss time with injuries. Armstead, who couldn’t play in Miami’s first two games and has consistently been listed on the club’s injury report, left Sunday’s contest with a knee issue.
Mike McDaniel: Terron Armstead will return this year — just not this week pic.twitter.com/6apu7beOaa
— Adam Beasley (@AdamHBeasley) October 2, 2023
On Monday, Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel said Armstead’s return timetable will be measured in “weeks, not days.” The veteran left tackle will not suit up when Miami faces the New York Giants in Week 5.
Matthew Judon, EDGE, New England Patriots
The Patriots are going nowhere fast after a brutal loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, and they’re likely to be without one of their best defensive players for an extended period.
Edge rusher Matthew Judon suffered a lower bicep tendon tear and will be sidelined indefinitely. Judon has posted 32 sacks since joining New England in 2021, fourth most in the NFL, behind only Myles Garrett, Nick Bosa, and T.J. Watt.
Tre’Davious White, CB, Buffalo Bills
Tre’Davious White already spent a good chunk of the 2021 and 2022 campaigns recovering from a torn ACL. Now, he’ll have to work his way back from another severe injury.
As the Bills feared, White tore his Achilles on Sunday. The veteran corner will miss the rest of the season, and his availability for the start of the 2024 campaign might also be in question.
Dane Jackson will likely become a starting CB opposite Christian Benford, while 2022 first-round pick Kaiir Elam could now be active after being a healthy scratch to begin the season. PFN’s Adam Caplan examined several external cornerback options Buffalo could consider in the coming days and weeks.
Christian Gonzalez, CB, New England Patriots
Judon wasn’t the only Patriot to go down on Sunday — first-round rookie cornerback Christian Gonzalez left New England’s Week 4 game with a shoulder injury and did not return.
Gonzalez dislocated his shoulder and is expected to miss time, per The Athletic. ESPN reported he is out indefinitely. The Patriots already have two corners — Jack Jones and Marcus Jones — on injured reserve, while Jonathan Jones (ankle) was inactive yesterday.