National Football League
NFL Week 14 injury report: What to know about Aaron Rodgers, Adam Thielen, Marlon Humphrey, more
National Football League

NFL Week 14 injury report: What to know about Aaron Rodgers, Adam Thielen, Marlon Humphrey, more

Published Dec. 9, 2021 10:09 a.m. ET

By Dr. Matt Provencher
FOX Sports Injury & Performance Analyst

Heading into the NFL's Week 14, several teams have been hit with impactful injuries to key players.

One week after losing running back Dalvin Cook, the Vikings saw receiver Adam Thielen go down. The Ravens, already battling several injuries, will now have to press forward without Marlon Humphrey. And the Packers hope that a bye week worked wonders for Aaron Rodgers' toe.

All of this is very important, as the health of any NFL team can have a direct impact on the standings. We've worked to quantify player and team health with the BUS, which you can learn about in the video below.


What is the "Banged Up Score"? Dr. Matt Provencher explains

Dr. Matt Provencher explains what the "BUS" or "Banged Up Score" is and how it affects NFL teams.

For more analysis of the NFL from Dr. Matt, follow him on Twitter or go to

As far as this week goes, here is the lowdown on eight key injuries, with players' expected time missed and impact on production when they return.

Adam Thielen, WR, Vikings

Injury: High ankle sprain

Impact: Affects route running, jumping, burst off the line

Surgery: No

Potential time missed: 1-3 games

Production upon return: Most athletes who sustain high ankle injuries miss an average of two-to-three games. When they return, their snaps are limited to 25-30% on average in the first two-to-three games back. Since Thielen is such an important part of Minnesota's offense, though, expect him to beat that average if the Vikings remain in the playoff hunt.

Notes: An MRI revealed good news for Thielen and the Vikings, as he will not need surgery. This means he will likely be able to return this season. That said, if the Vikings lose playoff hope as the season continues and the ankle takes a while to heal, the team might opt to avoid risking reinjury.

Dr. Matt Provencher breaks down Adam Thielen's ankle injury

Dr. Matt Provencher shares his prognosis for Adam Thielen's ankle injury suffered in Week 13 against the Detroit Lions.

Marlon Humphrey, CB, Ravens

Injury: Pectoral tear

Impact: Affects ability to pass defend, tackling, shoulder mobility

Surgery: Yes

Potential time missed: Remainder of season

Production upon return: Humphrey will have the entire offseason to recover from surgery. When he returns, assuming he has successful surgery and regains full range of motion, expect him to be back to his normal production on the field. 

Notes: This is a huge hit for the Ravens. Coach John Harbaugh even said that his decision to go for two points at the end of Sunday's game against Pittsburgh — which led to a Ravens loss — had to do with the injuries at cornerback. Humphrey is considered a top-five corner by many around the NFL, so losing him is a big hit to an already banged-up Ravens team. The Ravens will be hoping Chris Westry and Kevon Seymour are ready to go Sunday. 

Logan Thomas, TE, WFT

Injury: Internal knee damage — suspect cartilage and/or meniscus damage

Impact: Affects knee stability, strength, change of direction

Surgery: No

Potential time missed: Remainder of season — placed on IR

Production upon return: We can expect a decline in performance upon return until Thomas has tested the knee and feels comfortable with it in game situations.

Notes: Coach Ron Rivera revealed that an MRI showed Thomas did not tear his ACL, but the team did place Thomas on Injured Reserve. Since this is his second time on IR, he is automatically done for the season. There is damage in the knee and further tests will determine its extent and severity. Additional impacted structures could include the meniscus, the MCL and possibly partial cartilage damage. If Thomas did tear the MCL or meniscus, and/or sustain some cartilage damage — it's possible it still requires surgery. With that said, the absence of an ACL tear is a major win for Thomas and the team, and makes his rehabilitation and timeline for return much quicker than if he had an ACL tear.  In addition, regarding next season, our data shows that his overall productivity will be solid, with little to no decline in the 2022-23 season.

Kenyan Drake, RB, Raiders

Injury: Fractured ankle

Impact: Affects future ankle stability, cutting/pivoting, power

Surgery: Yes

Potential time missed: Remainder of season

Production upon return: After surgery and rehabilitation, strength will be the key to Drake’s successful return. We have seen him come back from this and be productive before, but because this is his second ankle fracture, the trust he has to feel and the mental barriers he must hurdle will be challenging. If he can do that, he can come back and be a playmaker next season.

Notes: Drake injured his ankle getting tackled and spoke out about his injury after it occurred, calling for a "rule change." He has been injured by tackles pulling him backward, with his leg getting caught underneath his body weight. It will be an interesting storyline to watch this offseason, especially if Drake gets other offensive players on board. This is his second ankle fracture; the first was on his left leg in college, and the new one is on his right. As we know, previous injuries can lead to future injuries, and with both ankles having gone through this, Drake is at a higher risk moving forward. 

Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers

Injury: Left foot pinky toe fracture

Impact: Affects push off, mobility

Surgery: Unlikely

Potential time missed: 0-2 games

Production upon return: Rodgers should be near his best, playing all the offensive snaps he normally would, unless he does decide to have surgery or reinjures the foot during a game.

Notes: As mentioned last week, the toe hasn’t stopped Rodgers from playing or, frankly, playing well. There is still some talk about Rodgers weighing his options, but it looks as though he is going to forego surgery following the Packers' bye week. He knows the Green Bay system so well that he can limit his practice time to rest and still come out and perform on game day. Hopefully, the bye week allowed him to heal and feel better.

Joe Burrow, QB, Bengals

Injury: Pinky finger dislocation

Impact: Affects grip, throwing power, accuracy 

Surgery: No

Potential time missed: 0-1 games

Production upon return: Quarterbacks with finger injuries can experience a 10-15% decrease in production in their next game, then return to preinjury production as swelling and pain decrease.

Notes: Burrow suffered a pinkie finger dislocation on a sack in the beginning of Sunday's loss to the Chargers. He played through the injury, but you could see the effect it had on him from his facial expressions alone. He was in serious discomfort, but the fact that he was able to play through it and make some different throws leads me to think he won't miss any time unless this gets worse or reinjured during the week. 

David Bakhtiari, OT, Packers

Injury: ACL reconstruction

Impact: Affects strength, stability, trust in knee

Potential time missed: 0-2 games for return

Production upon return: Bakhtiari is going to have to test the knee in game situations before he fully trusts it. We anticipate a decline in snap percentage, but it will be small — around 5-10%. 

Notes: Coach Matt LaFleur said Bakhtiari might practice this week. It would be great news for the team to get its two-time All-Pro left tackle back on the field. Practicing isn't a guarantee that Bakhtiari will play this weekend, though, and he will have to go through a practice regimen and game preparation protocol that the medical staff has in place before he is cleared. Bakhtiari had a second surgery on his knee in November that most likely was a clean-out to get him back to full strength. The team will see how he progresses and get him back as soon as they can for their playoff run. 

Jalen Hurts, QB, Eagles

Injury: Left ankle sprain

Impact: Affects ability to escape pressure, power, pocket mobility

Surgery: No

Potential time missed: 0-2 games

Production upon return: With an ankle sprain, players miss an average of one-to-two games and experience a 20-30% decrease in performance in their first game back. Because Hurts is a QB and has the ability to pass from the pocket, I would expect that to be on the low end, and it will improve over the next two-to-four games back. We will have to watch his mobility and ability to escape pressure when he returns.

Notes: Hurts wasn’t able to play this past weekend against the Jets, and Gardner Minshew came in and played well in a Philadelphia a victory. Coach Nick Sirianni has already said the starting job belongs to Hurts when he is healthy. Hurts is a very mobile QB, and his ability to run and escape pressure makes him difficult to stop. This would be less of an injury for a true pocket-passer, but it is more important to allow Hurts to heal so that he can play at his full potential. 

Renowned orthopedist Dr. Matt Provencher and his company, Proven Performance Technology (PPT), deliver data-driven injury insights to football fans. In this first-of-a-kind role as Athlete Injury and Performance Analyst for FOX Sports’ digital platforms, Provencher provides important predictive player health and recovery information about post-injury performance, the impact of weather, field conditions and more.


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