The Houston Texans have seen star players go down in consecutive weeks. This time, it was on the other side of the ball, and it was season-ending. Linebacker Mario Williams tore a pectoral muscle and is done for the year. He is expected to undergo season-ending surgery this week, according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.
Meanwhile, wide receiver Andre Johnson is making progress after a surgical procedure on his injured hamstring tendon. Although the Texans are not locking in a return date, coach Gary Kubiak said of Johnson, "As of right now, the soreness has gone away, and his rehab has picked up." The Chronicle notes that Johnson is not expected to return this week against Baltimore. But take comfort, fantasy owners. Based on Johnson's injury and subsequent procedure, there is every reason to be confident he'll return -- and return strong -- within the month.
The San Francisco 49ers have to take some bitter with the sweet. Although the team racked up its biggest margin of victory in nearly a quarter century, the 49ers also lost wide receiver Josh Morgan indefinitely to a broken bone in his right lower leg. According to The Sacramento Bee, Morgan underwent surgery Monday and could be placed on injured reserve. Meanwhile, Braylon Edwards remains sidelined after meniscus surgery, although the team hopes to have him back after its Week 7 bye.
And now we turn to the rest of the injury happenings in Week 5.
• Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back LeGarrette Blount took a helmet to his left knee Sunday and exited the game early. It is not clear whether he remained out because the Buccaneers were losing big to the 49ers at the time or whether he was truly unable to return. According to the St. Petersburg Times, coach Raheem Morris is calling Blount "day-to-day" at this point, adding, "[I'd] like to get more detailed information on him." So would his fantasy owners. More should be forthcoming when the team publishes first injury reports after Wednesday practice. In the meantime, it would be wise to secure a backup.
• Another player fantasy owners will have to take a wait-and-see approach on is Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, who looked to be quite uncomfortable when he exited Sunday night's game in the fourth quarter with a left hamstring injury. According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, coach Mike Smith said Jones will not practice Wednesday and will be evaluated later in the week. By now, fantasy owners are familiar enough with these injuries to know that many players miss the week after the injury and sometimes more. It's best to be prepared to have someone step in for Jones should he sit. The Falcons likely would bump up Harry Douglas opposite Roddy White. Remember how good Douglas looked in the preseason? He is owned in less than 1 percent of leagues. If you're in a deep league and the pickings are slim, you might want to consider picking him up in the event Jones is out.
• And the hamstring injuries keep a comin'. Indianapolis Colts running back Joseph Addai left Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs in the second quarter with a right hamstring injury. Addai was scheduled to undergo further evaluation Monday, but it is looking as if the Colts might be without him in Week 6. The Colts are getting all too familiar with the injury carousel, and Addai is just the latest addition.
• The San Diego Chargers are getting a bye week at about as good a time as ever. In Sunday's game, the Chargers found themselves down to one available running back (Jacob Hester) when Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert went out with injuries. Tolbert suffered a concussion in the second quarter, and Mathews injured his calf and wrist. According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, Mathews likely would not be able to go this week if the team were playing but could be ready by Week 7. One thing is for sure; going forward, the team plans to dress four running backs so as to have more insurance on game day.
• Seattle Seahawks quarterback Tarvaris Jackson is dealing with a pectoral strain suffered in Sunday's win over the New York Giants. The Seahawks surely are thankful to be catching a bye this week, as well. The Seattle Times notes that Charlie Whitehurst will lead the team in practice in the meantime.
• On a more encouraging note, the bye week rest seems to have helped Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Miles Austin. Austin, who has been dealing with an ailing hamstring since the preseason, was back at practice and is expected to play Sunday against the New England Patriots.
• The Steelers activated Rashard Mendenhall but reserved him for an emergency. That is a good indicator that they hope to have him back this week, especially given that backup Isaac Redman was forced out of the game with a left leg issue. Reports suggest that it was cramping as opposed to a more serious injury, but the Steelers would be happy to have a healthy Mendenhall regardless.
We will continue to update these injuries and others as the week progresses.