Robert Griffin, Matt Cassel headline Week 5′s injury roundup

Brian McIntyre
Shutdown Corner

Washington Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin exited Sunday's 24-17 loss to the Atlanta Falcons with a concussion after taking a brutal (but 100 percent clean) hit from linebacker Sean Weatherspoon. Initially, the Redskins said that Griffin had been "shaken up" and was questionable to return, which Mark Maske of the Washington Post reports will prompt an inquiry from the league office as teams are required to disclose "accurate and timely injury information" during the game.

"At that time when he wasn't really sure what the score was, what quarter it was, we knew he had a mild concussion, at least according to the doctors," Redskins head coach Shanahan said. "He feels good right now—a lot better right now. But that was the situation, why he didn't go back into the game."

We hope RG3 is OK, clears the concussion protocol with flying colors and is able to play next week, but it's long overdue for the NFL to permanently remove the term "mild" when describing concussions.

Griffin wasn't the only quarterback to suffer a head injury on Sunday. Matt Cassel left the Kansas City Chiefs' 9-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in the fourth quarter after he was sandwiched by Haloti Ngata and Paul Kruger, prompting cheers from a vocal segment of the crowd at Arrowhead Stadium. Those cheers drew the ire of Chiefs right tackle Eric Winston.

"But when you cheer somebody getting knocked out, I don't care who it is, and just so happened to be Matt Cassel, it's 100 percent sickening," Winston said via the Kansas City Star. "I've been in some rough times on some rough teams, I've never been so embarrassed in my life to play football, than at that moment right there."

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith completed 18 of 24 pass attempts for 303 yards and three touchdowns in his team's 45-3 romp of the Buffalo Bills. According to Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area, Smith sprained the middle finger of his passing hand and underwent X-rays after the game. The 49ers host the New York Giants in a rematch of the 2011 NFC championship game next Sunday.

[Also: Andrew Luck perseveres as Colts stun Packers]

Safety Troy Polamalu exited the Pittsburgh Steelers' 16-14 win over the Philadelphia Eagles after aggravating a calf injury that had sidelined him for the previous two games in the first quarter. Polamalu could miss a few weeks with the injury. The Steelers also lost outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley to a hamstring injury.

The New England Patriots finished their 31-21 win over the Denver Broncos without 40 percent of their starting offensive line. Pro Bowl left guard Logan Mankins, who is coming off surgery to repair a torn ACL in his knee and missed last week's game with a hip injury, had a calf injury and was replaced by Donald Thomas. Right tackle Sebastian Vollmer (knee) also finished the game on the sidelines and was spelled by Marcus Cannon.

Cincinnati Bengals running back Bernard Scott injured his left knee in the first quarter of a 17-13 loss to the Miami Dolphins and could be done for the season. According to Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Scott was overheard telling teammates that they fear a torn ACL. Scott missed three of the first four games of the Bengals' season and had just -5 yards rushing entering Sunday, gaining 40 yards on five carries before his injury. Scott is in the final year of his rookie contract and is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason.

[Also: Redskins QB Robert Griffin III KO'd in loss to Falcons]

Green Bay Packers nose tackle B.J. Raji left Sunday's 30-27 loss to the Indianapolis Colts with an ankle injury. An MRI on Monday will determine the severity. The Packers will also be monitoring a foot injury to running back Cedric Benson and a shoulder injury to tight end Jermichael Finley.

The Colts got outside linebacker Dwight Freeney back from an ankle injury, but lost Robert Mathis to a knee injury during a fourth-quarter sack of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Mathis' availability next Sunday's game against the New York Jets will be something to keep a close eye on this week.

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson says he was "out of whack" after suffering an ankle injury, yet still ran for 88 yards in the 30-7 win over the Tennessee Titans. Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder was not concerned about a sore and swollen right knee that limited him in practice last week.

Chicago Bears second-round wide receiver Alshon Jeffery left Sunday's 41-3 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars with a right hand injury. Jeffery has 14 receptions for 184 yards and two touchdowns on the season, ranking second on the Bears behind Brandon Marshall in all three statistical categories. Fortunately for the Bears, they're off next week.

[Also: Reggie Wayne delivers best game in emotional winning tribute]

Cleveland Browns middle linebacker D'Qwell Jackson suffered a head injury in the first half of a 41-27 loss to the New York Giants. Jackson, who has 31 tackles, a team-high three sacks and a pair of interceptions on the season, did not return and will be further evaluated on Monday. The Browns also lost cornerbacks Dmitri Patterson (hand) and Sheldon Brown (concussion) on Sunday.

In the Sunday night game, New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham played through what appears to be a very painful ankle injury. Graham had just one reception for 4 yards on the night giving him 25 receptions for 252 yards and three touchdowns through the first five weeks of the season.

The San Diego Chargers may have to monitor the health of left tackle Jared Gaither, who clearly wasn't at 100 percent on their final offensive possession of the night. Gaither missed training camp and the first three weeks of the season with a back injury. If Gaither is forced out of the lineup, undrafted rookie Michael Harris would be the logical candidate to step into the lineup.

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