NFC Injury Updates: Zavala, Jefferson, Jones

The Panthers experienced a scare when starting left guard Chandler Zavala collapsed on the field and remained facedown after experiencing a neck injury in today’s loss to the Lions. The team’s medical staff placed him on a backboard, and as he was carted off the field, Zavala gave the stadium a thumbs-up.

The rookie fourth-round starter was taken immediately to a hospital where he was alert, responsive, and had movement in all his extremities. He underwent several tests, all of which came back well, was released from the hospital, and rejoined his teammates at the airport to return to Charlotte with the team, according to Panthers staff writer Darin Gantt.

In Zavala’s absence, second-year guard Cade Mays finished out the game at left guard. If Zavala’s neck injury forces him to miss any additional time, Mays will likely have an opportunity to prove his worth as a consistent starter after only starting two games his rookie year.

Here are a few other injury updates from today:

  • Early in the fourth quarter of today’s loss to the Dolphins, Giants quarterback Daniel Jones was knocked out of the game with a neck injury. This was cause for concern in New York, knowing that Jones missed the final six weeks of the 2021 season with a neck injury. While not an official diagnosis, head coach Brian Daboll relayed that Jones had told him after the game that he would be okay, per Dan Duggan of The Athletic. ESPN’s Jordan Raanan informed that Jones had negative X-rays at the stadium and would undergo an MRI tomorrow for an accurate diagnosis.
  • Late in the Vikings loss to the Chiefs, star wide receiver Justin Jefferson exited the game with a hamstring injury after slipping on the field. After what appeared to be a pep talk with his young wideout, head coach Kevin O’Connell told the media that it’s “still very early” to establish a timeline for Jefferson’s return, according to Kevin Seifert of ESPN, seemingly putting some doubt on the All-Pro’s status moving forward.
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