NFL Week 3 injury report: Vikings reset at QB, Chargers lose Woodhead
Week 3 dealt season-ending blows to a handful of longtime NFL veterans, but it also opened the door for one of the league's most highly-touted rookies to see the field. Here's what we know about Sunday's most prominent injuries from around the NFL.
Matt Cassel, QB, Minnesota Vikings (foot): Cassel hasn't been very good this season, so even if he wasn't hurt, the Vikings may have turned to first-round pick Teddy Bridgewater as they did against the Saints. But when New Orleans linebacker Curtis Lofton came down hard on Cassel's foot in the second quarter of Sunday's loss, Cassel fractured several bones in his foot and may have suffered a Lisfranc injury, according to the analysis of Footballguys.com's Dr. Jene Bramel. If that's the case, Cassel could be done for the season.
Danny Woodhead, RB, San Diego Chargers (ankle, leg): Woodhead, who has been one of Philip Rivers' better short-area escape hatches in the passing game, suffered a severe high ankle sprain and also (reportedly) a fractured fibula against the Bills on Sunday. Multiple reports indicate that he'll be out for the rest of the season, and with Ryan Mathews already out about a month with a sprained MCL, San Diego's running back situation looks a bit dicey.
Ike Taylor, CB, Pittsburgh Steelers (forearm): Taylor, who signed a one-year, $2.75 million deal with the Steelers this preseason, will be out indefinitely after suffering a gruesome-looking broken forearm in Sunday night's game against the Carolina Panthers. If Taylor is done for the season, it will be up to William Gay and Antwon Blake to fill the void. Taylor had a rough year in 2013, allowing 71 catches for 1,043 yards and six touchdowns with no interceptions on 113 targets. Through the first three games of the 2014 season, he'd allowed seven catches, 77 yards and a touchdown on 12 targets. The bad news for the Steelers? Cortez Allen, Taylor's bookend, has already allowed 11 catches for 126 yards and a touchdown on 18 targets, so as much as Taylor isn't what he used to be, his injury remains a hit to the integrity of Dick LeBeau's defense.
Dennis Pitta, TE, Baltimore Ravens (hip): Devastating news for the talented Pitta, who dislocated his right hip in training camp last season and dislocated the same hip against the Browns on Sunday. Last year, Pitta missed the first 12 games of the season. The team is reportedly concerned that a fracture may also be involved. ESPN's Adam Schefter said Monday morning that it's not only possible that Pitta's season is over, but that his career is in question. We'll know more later in the week, but it doesn't look good for Pitta's future.
DeAngelo Hall, CB, Washington Redskins (Achilles tendon):Hall went down with a non-contact injury in Washington's loss to the Eagles on Sunday, and it's believed that the veteran tore his Achilles tendon, which could put him out for the season. The Redskins re-signed Hall to a four-year, $17 million deal in the offseason, and the 30-year-old defender will need to take his time recovering if the injury turns out to be that severe -- cornerbacks rely on their ability to cut and plant freely, and any relapse of a tear like that might mean the end of Hall's career.
Jonathan Stewart, RB, Carolina Panthers (knee): Stewart hasn't played a full season since 2011, and he popped up on the injury report again when he left Sunday night's game against the Steelers with a knee injury after incurring a hit from free safety Mike Mitchell. Initial indications are that the injury is not serious, but with Mike Tolbert also leaving the Steelers game with a leg injury and DeAngelo Williams still dealing with a quadriceps issue, Carolina's depth at the position is obviously severely tested.