Here are some of the injury situations we'll be monitoring as the NFL enters Week 16 of the 2012 regular season:
The struggling Baltimore Ravens got a little more banged up on Sunday as wide receiver Torrey Smith and backup running back Bernard Pierce exited the game with concussions. Both will have to go through the concussion protocol before being cleared to play in next Sunday's game against the New York Giants.
Speaking of the Giants, right guard Chris Snee suffered a hip injury in the first half, but would return to the game before again taking a seat in the blowout loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Giants defensive tackle Chris Canty suffered a burner, while rookie cornerback Jayron Hosley injured his ankle and may undergo an MRI on Monday.
In the wild Sunday night game, San Francisco 49ers left guard Mike Iupati suffered a right shoulder injury in the second quarter. Playing at a Pro Bowl level this season, Iupati was pulling on a running play when he took on New England Patriots first round linebacker Dont'a Hightower. Iupati was replaced by veteran Leonard Davis for the remainder of the first half, but would return in the third quarter.
49ers All-Pro defensive tackle Justin Smith suffered an elbow injury in the third quarter and underwent x-rays, which were negative, but would not return. Running back Frank Gore also may have been dinged up as rookie LaMichael James, who has been inactive for much of the season, was in the game and getting carries as the 49ers were draining the clock in their 41-34 win.
Patriots rookie cornerback Alfonzo Dennard suffered a right knee injury when he was blocked low by fullback Bruce Miller in the second quarter. Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes limped off the field just before the two-minute warning in the fourth quarter.
San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews suffered a broken left clavicle, the San Diego Union-Tribune reprts, and will miss the remainder of the 2012 season. Mathews broke his right clavicle during the preseason. The No. 12 overall pick of the 2010 NFL Draft will enter his fourth season in the NFL having missed 10 of a possible 48 games during his career.
Dallas Cowboys linebacker Ernie Sims sustained a concussion while covering a kickoff in the first quarter and sat out the remainder of the Cowboys' 27-24 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Indianapolis Colts safety Joe Lefeged suffered a knee injury while defending a 36-yard pass from Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub to DeVier Posey in the second quarter of the Texans' 26-17 win. Adding insult to injury, Lefeged was flagged for a hit on a defenseless player, a questionable penalty that could result in a FedEx envelope landing in Lefeged's locker. The injury also kept Lefeged from participating on the punt coverage unit, with his replacement (Dwayne Allen) blowing a block on Bryan Braman, who blocked the punt and recovered the loose ball for a touchdown.
Minnesota Vikings defensive end Brian Robison suffered a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder in the 38-22 win over the St. Louis Rams and will undergo an MRI on Monday. Robison is second on the Vikings with 6 ½ sacks and has an impressive seven passes defensed on the season. The Rams offensive line lost right guard Harvey Dahl for the remainder of the season to a torn biceps.
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Washington Redskins center Will Montgomery has a sprained medial collateral ligament in his knee and right tackle Tyler Polumbus suffered a concussion during his team's 38-21 win over the Cleveland Browns. Polumbus had not missed a snap during the 2012 season prior to Sunday's game and will need to pass the league's concussion protocol before being cleared to practice. Montgomery will undergo an MRI, but is hopeful to not miss any games, the Washington Post reports.
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