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Monday, October 20, 2008
Bush, Shockey struggle with injuries


Tony Romo didn't play. Neither did Willie Parker nor Joseph Addai. Their sideline status at least ensures they did not emerge from the Sunday contests any worse for wear. So who did get banged up during another round of NFL matchups?

Here's what we know as of our first look following Week 7:

Reggie Bush
Reggie Bush had finally been heating up before getting hurt Sunday and will miss at least next Sunday's game in London.
Reggie Bush, RB, New Orleans Saints: Bush is trading in a trip to London for a trip to Birmingham, Ala., to pay a visit to Dr. James Andrews and to have his left knee examined. The Saints suspect the meniscus is the culprit, and if indeed Bush has a meniscus tear, it is reasonable to expect he will miss several weeks. According to ESPN news reports, Bush will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery Monday, after which more details will be known as to the extent of his injury.

The injury was to Bush's left knee, the same knee that was giving him trouble with swelling and soreness over the past week. It is also the same knee in which Bush injured his posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) last season. Bush spent the offseason getting healthy and appeared to be off to a great start in 2008, and it is not unusual for a knee with a history of ligament trauma to swell and be sore intermittently. This is especially the case in an athlete who puts continual stress and strain on that joint simply by virtue of doing his job. Is it possible Bush had some minor meniscus damage that was causing some of the swelling in his knee this week? Perhaps. But it is equally possible that this injury is completely new. Either way, Bush was clearly well enough to start Sunday and, up until this injury, was averaging nearly seven yards per carry on the day.

The latest setback occurred during a punt return late in the second quarter. After stepping out of bounds, Bush apparently pulled up a bit and appeared to be favoring his left leg. He did not return to the game after that play. We will await reports from the team to see what Bush's future holds, but expect him to be sidelined for approximately a month.

Jeremy Shockey, TE, New Orleans Saints: More bad news for the Saints in the injury department. Shockey, just four weeks out from sports hernia surgery, returned to play this Sunday but had a setback. According to ESPN news reports, Shockey "did the splits" on the first play of the game against Carolina and felt pain in a spot in his leg "that wasn't there before." He expressed hope he had just affected scar tissue and that it was not more serious.

That setback, however, led Shockey to air some complaints related to his physical health. He expressed concerns that he had been misdiagnosed in camp, and that he may have returned too soon from surgery. "It's not a three-to-six-week recovery time," said Shockey. "It's really a five-to-seven-week." Shockey apparently was referring to Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Kevin Curtis who underwent sports hernia surgery in August but who has not yet returned to the playing field.

Shockey is expected to undergo further examination to determine his status. It is worth noting that according to Pat Yasinskas of ESPN.com, Shockey did make the trip with the team to London. Yasinskas added that Shockey appeared to be in much better spirits and was moving well when spotted at the resort where the Saints are staying. Coach Sean Payton said he spoke with Shockey during the team's trip across the Atlantic and that he understood some of Shockey's frustration. He said Shockey is following the medical protocol laid out for him and they will just have to continue to monitor his activity and make sure there are no steps backwards. Payton sounds entirely reasonable in his description of the Shockey scenario, and it sounds as if Shockey may indeed be suiting up again this Sunday. Nonetheless, it will likely continue to be a controlled amount of time as he continues in his recovery process.

Steven Jackson
Steven Jackson had a big game against the Cowboys, but will he be around to follow it up next week?
Steven Jackson, RB, St. Louis Rams: Jackson had a phenomenal outing Sunday, racking up 160 yards and three touchdowns before leaving in the fourth quarter with a quadriceps injury. Jackson was expected to undergo an MRI on Monday. According to NFL.com, Jackson referred to the injury as "just a little bruise." Little bruises rarely warrant an MRI, though. Meanwhile, coach Jim Haslett was on ESPN's "First Take" on Monday and spoke as if he was making plans in the event Jackson might not be available this week. Stay tuned for updates.

Brodie Croyle, QB, Kansas City Chiefs: Croyle returned after being sidelined for a month with a separated shoulder, only to leave with another injury that put a definitive end to his season. The Kansas City Star is reporting Croyle has a knee injury that will prevent him from returning to the field this year. Naturally, Damon Huard stepped in to replace him. By the fourth quarter, Tyler Thigpen had replaced Huard, who injured his throwing hand. No word yet on who will be starting under center for the Chiefs next week.

Other noteworthy injuries:

In Dallas, Romo remained on the sidelines with his broken pinkie, which was probably for the best. Unfortunately, the return of safety Roy L. Williams following forearm surgery was marred by a season-ending injury to the same area. Following the game, team owner Jerry Jones told reporters Williams broke his right forearm for the second time, ending his season. All is not well in Dallas.

Chicago Bears star kick returner and wide receiver Devin Hester left the game in the third quarter with a strained quadriceps muscle. No word yet on the severity of the injury, but it can only help that the Bears have a bye next week.

Be sure to check back here throughout the week as we update these and other injuries. Also, stop by the injury chat (11 a.m. ET Tuesday and Friday) to discuss the status of your injured players. Hope to see you there!