Let’s take a look at some of the more notable injury news from yesterday’s playoff games. We will update this post as necessary throughout the day as Wild Card Weekend rolls on:
- Although it’s likely Roethlisberger attempts to play in the Steelers’ first divisional playoff contest since 2010, the Steelers expect him to be “severely limited” next weekend against the Broncos, Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole reports (video link). Using the 12th-year quarterback’s pain level before he re-entered in time for Pittsburgh’s last-ditch drive as a gauge, sources told Cole that Roethlisberger won’t have his usual array of physical tools available to him by the time the Steelers take the field in Denver.
- The Chiefs got some great news, as receiver Jeremy Maclin avoided a torn ACL during last night’s win over the Texans, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN (Twitter link). Although Maclin did suffer a high ankle sprain, there’s a chance he plays against the Patriots next week.
- Roethlisberger will undergo an MRI today, and though he does not have a broken collarbone, the belief is that he has a sprained AC joint (or, in layman’s terms, a separated shoulder). The MRI will provide more details (all Twitter links via Albert Breer of the NFL Network).
Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown was diagnosed with a concussion following the much-discussed blow to the head he absorbed from Vontaze Burfict and will enter the league’s concussion protocol, per head coach Mike Tomlin (article via Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com). Brown’s availability for next week’s matchup with the Broncos is now very much in doubt.
- The Steelers may have wound up on the winning side of last night’s bizarre tilt with the Bengals, but in addition to the potential loss of Brown, Pittsburgh could be without its starting quarterback next week. Ben Roethlisberger sustained an injury to his throwing shoulder following a (legal) hit from Burfict, and the fact that Landry Jones came onto the field in Roethlisberger’s place for what everyone believed would be Pittsburgh’s final drive of the game speaks volumes about the severity of the injury. Although Roethlisberger ultimately did return for what proved to be the game-winning, penalty-aided drive, he told the coaches that he was in a great deal of pain and would not be able to take any deep shots to the end zone (article via ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler). As for his availability for his team’s clash with Denver next week, Roethlisberger said, “I’m going to give everything I can.”
- With his team now eliminated from the playoffs, Texans star DE J.J. Watt says that he will undergo groin surgery on Tuesday (Twitter link via ESPN’s Adam Schefter). Watt, who was in obvious pain in yesterday’s loss to the Chiefs, said he has been dealing with the groin injury for the past six or seven weeks. As yet, there is no indication whether the surgery will impact Watt’s availability for offseason workouts, training camp, etc.