Adrian Peterson ‘s knee injury in the second half of Sunday Night Football wasn’t gruesome. It didn’t involve a crushing hit or an ugly leg bend. In the moment, it hardly looked like anything at all.
Yet it ended with Peterson basically getting carried to the locker room.
Regardless of the extent of Peterson’s injury, it’s sad to see one of the game’s greatest runners go down with a potentially serious injury. It was also a fitting — albeit, a sad one — ending to Sunday, a day that featured seven notable running backs going down with injuries.
Those seven running backs:
- Jonathan Stewart
- Thomas Rawls
- Danny Woodhead
- Doug Martin
- Ameer Abdullah
- Arian Foster
- Adrian Peterson
Those are some notable names, so let’s run through each of their injuries.
1. Jonathan Stewart
The Carolina Panthers running back suffered a hamstring injury early on during the Panthers’ win over the 49ers. In Stewart’s place, Fozzy Whittaker thrived, carrying the ball 16 times for 100 yards.
The Panthers can take comfort in the fact they feature a quarterback ( Cam Newton ) who can handle some of the running duties as well, but with a date against an exacting Minnesota Vikings defense next up on the schedule, they’ll be hoping Stewart’s hamstring injury doesn’t turn into a lingering issue.
Last year, Stewart rushed for close to 1,000 yards.
2. Thomas Rawls
According to Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, Rawls, whose 2015 season ended with a broken ankle, injured his lower leg. He left after gaining negative-7 yards on seven carries. Yes, you read that right.
“He got kicked in kind of the lower leg,” Carroll said, per 247 Sports. “It’s above his ankle but he’s got a contusion. The X-rays are fine; so he’s just going to be sore.”
If Rawls misses any time — and it doesn’t look like he will — expect Christine Michael to carry the load. Michael actually earned the starting job in Week 1 due to a phenomenal preseason (six yards per attempt), but that success didn’t translate over last weekend, when Michael carried the ball for 66 yards on 15 carries. He fared better against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, averaging six yards per attempt.
The Seahawks offense could use Rawls, though. So far this season, they’ve managed to score just 15 points.
Next up? The 49ers.
3. Danny Woodhead
The San Diego Chargers ‘ gritty running back was carted off the field Sunday with an apparent knee injury. Woodhead will reportedly undergo an MRI on Monday.
If he’s unable to suit up next week against the Indianapolis Colts , the team will need to find a new compliment for Melvin Gordon , who has cemented himself as the primary ball carrier with two much-improved outings after a lackluster rookie season.
But Woodhead has been a contributor in both the passing and running games.
4. Doug Martin
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers ‘ running back suffered a hamstring injury in the team’s blowout loss to the Arizona Cardinals . He was replaced by Charles Sims , who carried the ball nine times for 24 yards.
Jacquizz Rodgers , a recent acquisition, could also get involved if Martin — who finished second in the league in rushing last year — can’t go against the Rams next week.
5. Ameer Abdullah
The Detroit Lions running back suffered a foot injury and didn’t return to the game after his initial exit. Abdullah shined in the first game of the season with 120 yards from scrimmage. He was averaging 6.3 yards per carry when he left Sunday’s game.
If the Lions are without Abdullah against the Green Bay Packers next week, look for Theo Riddick to get more action. Riddick gained 65 yards from scrimmage against the Tennessee Titans .
6. Arian Foster
Foster, who’s dealt with plenty of injury issues during his Houston Texans career, suffered a groin injury in his second game with the Miami Dolphins . The severity is unknown.
“Right when he did it, [the medical staff] said he is out for the game,” said Dolphins coach Adam Gase, per the Miami Herald. “That’s the extent that I know about it. I don’t have time to get a medical briefing.”
The Dolphins play the Cleveland Browns next week, so if Foster is out, they should be able to survive with Jay Ajayi . He carried the ball five times and gained only 14 yards on Sunday but added 31 yards through the air.
7. Adrian Peterson
Even though Peterson’s struggled through the first two games of the season, he’s coming off a season in which he led the league in rushing. If he’s out for the long-term, it’ll be a big blow to an offense that already lost its starting quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater , on the eve of the season.
Based on Peterson’s initial reaction — he couldn’t really walk — and Mike Zimmer’s postgame comments, it appears to be serious.
Adrian Peterson is on crutches in the locker room with a big black brace/sleeve on his right leg. Doesn’t look good
— Jon Krawczynski (@APkrawczynski) September 19, 2016
Zimmer doesn’t doubt Peterson injury could be serious but won’t know until MRI
— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) September 19, 2016
In the meantime, look for Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata to receive more carries.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Injury update: Adrian Peterson, six other key running backs hurt in brutal Week 2