Has there ever been a season as dramatically altered by injuries as this one?
When it became clear before the season even began that future Hall of Fame QB Peyton Manning's injured neck was going to make him a virtual nonfactor for a Colts team that had become a perennial powerhouse with him under center, the stage was set for what already might be a record number of costly injuries to impact players in one season.
Emphatically proving that nobody in the game is offered a free pass when it comes to avoiding its vicious sting, the dreaded injury bug took down arguably the most durable superstar in league history in Manning — a player who, before this season, had missed only one snap in his illustrious 14-year career.
Fast-forward to the Browns-Steelers game that began Week 14 with a very scary bang indeed when Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger suffered a second-quarter blow that, he said after the game, made it "feel like my ankle is about to explode."
Although Big Ben proved too big for the injury bug, substantiating his status as one of the league's tougher hombres by giving a dramatic second-half performance virtually on one leg, potentially serious injuries to C Maurkice Pouncey (ankle) and DE Ziggy Hood (groin) now make the road to the playoffs increasingly perilous for Pittsburgh.
In the NFC North, the Bears know the feeling, struggling to make it into the postseason despite possibly season-ending injuries to their top two offensive players, QB Jay Cutler (thumb) and RB Matt Forté (knee).
But the Colts, Steelers and Bears couldn't hold a candle to the Bills in the category of crushing battle scars so far this season. Based on a specially devised formula that takes into account numerous factors regarding all of this season's serious injury victims (injured starters, quantity and quality of players injured, age of injured players, etc.), as well as feedback by the PFW editorial staff, Buffalo receives top billing in PFW's annual ranking of all the teams from those most affected by injuries to the least affected, right up through Week 14's action.
"Based on what has happened to Buffalo, there's no doubt about it," one NFL executive told PFW. "They have been hit as hard as anyone."
Added another league observer: "(The Bills) have lost as many starters and key cogs as anyone, including their best player on both lines (C Eric Wood and DT Kyle Williams)."
It stands to reason in most seasons that the teams that normally rank near the top in PFW's annual injury rankings are also suffering in the standings, while the teams that rank near the bottom are probably on their way to the playoffs.
But that trend certainly didn't apply last season, when the top-ranked Packers, with 15 players ending up on injured reserve, including seven Week One starters, still managed to win the Super Bowl.
The team that comes closest this season to defying the norm is the Texans (ranked No. 8), who entered Week 14 as the AFC's No. 1 seed despite season-ending injuries to QBs Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart and star OLB Mario Williams.
"If you don't have a quarterback, you better have a dominant defense and be able to run the ball at will," offered one league observer as an explanation for the Texans' surprising success in the face of adversity. "The Texans can do that."
A brief explanation supports each ranking, preceded by a complete listing of each team's players on injured reserve as of Sunday (total number in parentheses).
In addition, we present our annual All-Injury team, consisting of players who have either suffered season-ending injuries or missed a substantial portion of the season with injuries.
Will there be more fallen victims of note in the weeks ahead?
An already off-the-charts body count through 14 weeks suggests we haven't seen the last of potentially catastrophic casualties in what qualifies as crunch time — in more ways than one.
Note: Players listed in boldface on I.R. lists were projected as starters entering the 2011 season.
1. Buffalo Bills
Injured reserve (14): SS Jon Corto, WR Marcus Easley, RB Bruce Hall, RB Fred Jackson, WR Donald Jones, PK Rian Lindell, OLB Shawne Merriman, CB Terrence McGee, WR Roscoe Parrish, LB Reggie Torbor, NT Torell Troup, LB Chris White, DT Kyle Williams, C Eric Wood.
You'd be hard-pressed to find a team with its best three players on injured reserve like the Bills, and it's no coincidence their losing streak began when they lost Williams, then Wood and then Jackson. In addition to Parrish, Jones and Easley being on I.R., WRs Stevie Johnson and David Nelson have been banged up at times. OLT Demetrius Bell was very impressive early on before suffering an injury that has taken longer than expected to heal. CB Aaron Williams has suffered two injuries, curbing a promising rookie campaign. The loss of SS George Wilson in recent weeks also has hurt the secondary. He was playing at a Pro Bowl level.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars
Injured reserve (23): LB Kyle Bosworth, ORT Eben Britton, DE John Chick, CB Derek Cox, S Courtney Greene, OL Kevin Haslam, CB T.J. Heath, CB Rod Isaac, RB Rashad Jennings, DE Aaron Kampman, DE Austen Lane, CB Rashean Mathis, CB William Middleton, TE Zach Miller, DE Aaron Morgan, RB Richard Murphy, S Chris Prosinski, WR Brian Robiskie, TE Martin Rucker, WLB Clint Session, WR Mike Sims-Walker, DT D'Anthony Smith, S Terrell Whitehead.
The Jaguars' league-leading I.R. list includes their top three cornerbacks (Mathis, Cox, Middleton), starting weak-side linebacker (Session), their best pass rusher (Kampman) and arguably their best run-stuffing defensive end (Lane). On offense, the loss of backup RB Jennings (knee), who went down in the preseason, has hurt, as Jacksonville lacks a solid complement to Maurice Jones-Drew. Britton (back) played in only four games. His replacement, Guy Whimper, has been a turnstile.
3. Carolina Panthers
Injured reserve (15): TE Gary Barnidge, LB Jon Beason, LB Thomas Davis, DT Ron Edwards, DT Sione Fua, WR David Gettis, RB Mike Goodson, CB Cletis Gordon, DT Terrell McClain, ORT Jeff Otah, LB Jason Phillips, OL Geoff Schwartz, OT Garry Williams, LB Thomas Williams, C Zack Williams.
Injuries have weakened the Panthers at many positions, but the season-ending injuries suffered by Beason (Achilles tear) and Davis (ACL tear) in the first two weeks of the season were losses from which the defense never fully recovered. Carolina's crop of defensive tackles also has been decimated, as rookie third-round picks Fua and McClain — who had started 11 of the first 12 games side-by-side — joined Edwards, a key free-agent addition who was lost for the season in training camp, on I.R. after Week 13. Otah, a former first-round pick, started four games at right tackle before his injury woes landed him on I.R. for the third time in four seasons.
4. San Diego Chargers
Injured reserve (10): DLE Luis Castillo, ILB Stephen Cooper, OLG Kris Dielman, OLB Larry English, PK Nate Kaeding, OLT Marcus McNeill, LB Jonas Mouton, C-OG Scott Mruczkowski, FS Nick Polk, SS Bob Sanders.
Starting with the first play of the season, when Kaeding tore his ACL attempting to make a tackle on a kickoff return for a touchdown, the Chargers have been beaten up. Sanders, English and Cooper were expected to be important pieces on the defense, and McNeill and Dielman are the team's top offensive linemen. Additionally, injuries to players such as RB Ryan Mathews, WR Malcom Floyd and TE Antonio Gates have deprived the offense of key talent throughout various parts of the season. Meanwhile, the absences of Castillo and OLB Shaun Phillips have hurt the defense.
5. Indianapolis Colts
Injured reserve (13): MLB Gary Brackett, DB Stevie Brown, SS Melvin Bullitt, QB Kerry Collins, DT Eric Foster, RB Chris Gronkowski, OG Ben Ijalana, DB Terrence Johnson, DT Drake Nevis, OG Seth Olsen, CB Jerraud Powers, OG Jaimie Thomas, WR Blair White.
The 2011 campaign confirms what many people have long thought: No player means more to their team than QB Peyton Manning does to the Colts. Manning (neck) won't take a snap this season despite remaining on the active roster. Indianapolis lost its two defensive captains, Brackett and Bullitt, to shoulder injuries in Weeks One and Two, respectively. The Colts' top three draft picks all have missed time, with Ijalana (knee) and Nevis (back) appearing in nine games combined. The O-line has been a MASH unit, and RB Joseph Addai (hamstring) and TE Dallas Clark (knee) have missed seven games combined.
6. Seattle Seahawks
Injured reserve (14): ORT James Carpenter, TE John Carlson, DE Dexter Davis, WR Kris Durham, LB Jameson Kunz, LB Matt McCoy, ORG John Moffitt, OLT Russell Okung, CB Ron Parker, WR Sidney Rice, CB Walter Thurmond, CB Marcus Trufant, LB David Vobora, DE Jimmy Wilkerson.
As was the case last season, Seattle's offensive line has had problems staying healthy. Carpenter, Moffitt and Okung, who was starting to play quite well before tearing a pectoral muscle in Week 13, are all looking at lengthy rehabs. The projected starting five O-linemen to begin the season (Okung, Carpenter, Moffitt, C Max Unger and OLG Robert Gallery) played in only four games together. The Hawks also took a hit at cornerback, losing both starters. But rookie Richard Sherman and CFL product Brandon Browner have done a commendable job in replacing Trufant and Thurmond.
7. St. Louis Rams
Injured reserve (15): WR Danny Amendola, CB Ron Bartell, OLG Jacob Bell, WR Mark Clayton, DT Jermelle Cudjo, CB Bradley Fletcher, CB Al Harris, TE Michael Hoomanawanui, CB Brian Jackson, CB Marquis Johnson, FB Brit Miller, CB Jerome Murphy, OT Rodger Saffold, WR Greg Salas, OT Jason Smith.
An injury epidemic of epic proportions — particularly at cornerback, offensive tackle, wide receiver and quarterback — might be enough to convince Rams owner Stan Kroenke to grant head coach Steve Spagnuolo a reprieve. With QBs Sam Bradford (ankle) and A.J. Feeley (fractured right thumb) both currently hobbled, a Rams offense that has been awful could get even worse. Amendola (torn triceps), who lasted only one game, was Bradford's most trustworthy target.
8. Houston Texans
Injured reserve (12): SS Dominique Barber, OT Rashad Butler, CB Roc Carmichael, P Brett Hartmann, WR Lestar Jean, QB Matt Leinart, OG Darius Morris, QB Matt Schaub, ILB Darryl Sharpton, OG Shelley Smith, OG Kasey Studdard, OLB Mario Williams.
No team has handled adversity better than the Texans, who didn't skip a beat defensively after losing Williams (pectoral) in Week Five and have managed a 5-2 record in games without WR Andre Johnson, who has missed time with two separate hamstring injuries. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. After losing starting QB Schaub after Week 10, Houston got less than one half of action out of backup Leinart (collarbone), leaving fifth-round rookie T.J. Yates as the starter. RB Arian Foster (hamstring) missed two games early, and FS Danieal Manning (leg) was out three games. Barber, Sharpton and Hartmann all are key special-teams losses.
9. Kansas City Chiefs
Injured reserve (7): SS Eric Berry, QB Matt Cassel, RB Jamaal Charles, DE Gabe Miller, TE Tony Moeaki, ORT Ryan O'Callaghan, LB Brandon Siler.
Within a devastating three-week span, the Chiefs lost three of their top young players. Starting with the final week of the preseason and going through Week Two of the regular season, Moeaki, Berry and Charles all suffered torn ACLs, ending their 2011 campaigns. The hits kept coming on important players when Cassel (hand) also had to be placed on I.R. following Week 10. In addition, WR Jonathan Baldwin, the team's first-round draft pick, missed the first five games following a hand injury suffered in a preseason fight.
10. New York Giants
Injured reserve (10): OT Stacy Andrews, DT Marvin Austin, OLT Will Beatty, WR Michael Clayton, CB Michael Coe, MLB Jonathan Goff, WR Domenik Hixon, SLB Clint Sintim, CB Terrell Thomas, DT Justin Tryon.
Early on, all three levels of the defense took big hits. The line suffered when second-rounder Austin went on I.R. in training camp, and DEs Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora have battled through early injuries all season. Projected starting LBs Goff and Sintim also went down early, along with the underrated Thomas (landed on I.R. in the preseason) and his potential replacement, first-rounder Prince Amukamara, who didn't play until Week 11. Recently, it has been the offense that has taken more abuse, with RB Ahmad Bradshaw, FB Henry Hynoski, WR Mario Manningham and Beatty all missing chunks of the season.
11. Pittsburgh Steelers
Injured reserve (7): RB Baron Batch, ORT Willie Colon, RB Jonathan Dwyer, NT Chris Hoke, QB Byron Leftwich, P Daniel Sepulveda, DLE Aaron Smith.
The Steelers have endured and thrived in spite of injuries all season. ROLB James Harrison missed four games with an eye injury. In his absence, LOLB LaMarr Woodley notched 7½ sacks, only to be sidelined for three games with a hamstring injury. The offensive line has had to be shuffled numerous times because of injuries — and C Maurkice Pouncey, the line's best player, suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 14, as did QB Ben Roethlisberger, whose mobility was hampered by the injury. Roethlisberger also has played with thumb and foot injuries.
12. New England Patriots
Injured reserve (11): S Josh Barrett, LB Christian Cox, DL Jermaine Cunningham, CB Ras-I Dowling, OL Kyle Hix, C Dan Koppen, DB Bret Lockett, OG Rich Ohrnberger, DT Myron Pryor, LB Jeff Tarpinian, DL Mike Wright.
The injury bug hit the Patriots in Week One when they lost Koppen for the season, and New England has started four different centers. The team had high hopes for Dowling and Barrett in what has been a shaky secondary, and losing Pryor and Wright hurt the depth on the D-line. Injuries to LBs Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes and Dane Fletcher, SS Patrick Chung and CB Devin McCourty at points this season have exposed an already-weak defense, forcing Bill Belichick to play wide receivers and special-teamers in his back seven. ORT Sebastian Vollmer has struggled to stay healthy, thrusting rookie OT Nate Solder into a starting role.
13. Chicago Bears
Injured reserve (6): TE Kyle Adams, ORT Gabe Carimi, LS Patrick Mannelly, LB J.T. Thomas, S Anthony Walters, OLG Chris Williams.
Chicago is trying to keep its playoff hopes alive while two of its more valuable players recover from injuries, but winning isn't easy without QB Jay Cutler and RB Matt Forté. The Bears remain hopeful that Cutler, who broke his thumb in Week 11 and underwent surgery, will be able to return before the end of the regular season. Forté suffered a Grade-2 MCL sprain early in Chicago's Week 12 loss to Kansas City. He's expected to miss at least two games. The offensive line is without two Week One starters (Carimi and Williams), and key members of the supporting cast, including WR Earl Bennett and CB D.J. Moore, have missed significant time.
14. Minnesota Vikings
Injured reserve (8): SS Husain Abdullah, LB Jasper Brinkley, WR Stephen Burton, WR Michael Jenkins, FS Tyrell Johnson, OT Scott Kooistra, LS Cullen Loeffler, CB Antoine Winfield.
Things are pretty dire in the secondary, which is down to scraps. Winfield was Minnesota's best cover man by far. CB Cedric Griffin is hobbling around on two bad knees, CB Asher Allen has a banged-up shoulder, and with CB Chris Cook having been suspended, the Vikings are down to low draft picks and street free agents in prominent roles. It hasn't helped that RB Adrian Peterson, the team's workhorse, has missed the past three games.
15. Denver Broncos
Injured reserve (9): WR Mark Dell, LB Derek Domino, RB Mario Fannin, WR Jamel Hamler, RB Knowshon Moreno, CB Syd'Quan Thompson, CB Cassius Vaughn, DT Kevin Vickerson, DT Ty Warren.
In their first season running a 4-3 defense, the Broncos were relying on the big bodies of Warren and Vickerson to anchor their line. Instead, they got little impact from either. Warren, who was signed following the lockout, never played in a game with the Broncos because of a pectoral injury. Vickerson started four games before going down with an ankle injury. The defense also took a hit early in the year when LB D.J. Williams, DE Elvis Dumervil and CB Champ Bailey all missed time because of various injuries.
16. Washington Redskins
Injured reserve (8): NT Chris Baker, CB Phillip Buchanon, TE Chris Cooley, DE Kedric Golston, WR Leonard Hankerson, RB Tim Hightower, DE Jarvis Jenkins, OLG Kory Lichtensteiger.
The Redskins have lost their starting running back (Hightower), tight end (Cooley) and left guard (Lichtensteiger), so it's no shock that the running game has taken awhile to be revived. The secondary also has taken some hits, with nickel CB Buchanon missing nearly the entire season and safeties LaRon Landry and Oshiomogho Atogwe missing time. Perhaps the most disappointing injury was suffered in the preseason by second-rounder Jenkins (torn ACL). He looked dominating in the preseason. Also frustrating was the Week 11 loss of fellow rookie Hankerson, who was developing into a go-to receiver.
17. Cleveland Browns
Injured reserve (7): SLB Scott Fujita, P Reggie Hodges, RB Brandon Jackson, P Richmond McGee, OLG Eric Steinbach, DE Emmanuel Stephens, TE Benjamin Watson.
Last season, it was QB injuries that marked the Browns' season. This year, they have had to cope with injuries to their top two running backs. Peyton Hillis missed five games with a hamstring ailment, and Montario Hardesty was inactive for three games and didn't carry the ball in two others because of a calf injury. SS T.J. Ward (foot) has missed the last five games, taking a strong run-support player out of the mix on defense. QB Colt McCoy suffered a oncussion in Week 14.
18. Cincinnati Bengals
Injured reserve (6): CB Leon Hall, LB Roddrick Muckelroy, TE Bo Scaife, WR Jordan Shipley, DT Pat Sims, OG Bobbie Williams.
Reserve/Non-Football injury (1): LB Keith Rivers.
The Bengals have had more injury concerns on defense than offense. DE Carlos Dunlap has battled a hamstring injury. MLB Rey Maualuga missed three games with an ankle injury. CB Adam Jones missed the first six games after neck surgery, then suffered a hamstring injury upon his return to the lineup and missed two more games. CB Nate Clements (hamstring) missed the Week 13 loss to Pittsburgh.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Injured reserve (10): DE Tim Crowder, LB Jacob Cutrera, RB Earnest Graham, FS Cody Grimm, S Devin Holland, DE George Johnson, DE John McCargo, DRT Gerald McCoy, WR Raymond Webber, DE E.J. Wilson.
The most significant loss of the season for Tampa Bay has been McCoy, who had his season cut short by a biceps tear for a second consecutive season. McCoy, the third overall pick in the 2010 draft, played in only six games this season, and the defense has gone downhill without him. QB Josh Freeman's rough third season included a right thumb sprain that he suffered in Week Seven. He played through that injury, but a right shoulder injury kept him out in Week 13. The Bucs also have missed Graham, a dependable third-down back who tore his Achilles tendon in Week Seven.
20. Detroit Lions
Injured reserve (8): RB Jahvid Best, S Erik Coleman, OT Johnny Culbreath, P Ryan Donahue, LB Isaiah Ekejiuba, OT Jason Fox, S Vincent Fuller, RB Mikel Leshoure.
Reserve/Non-Football illness (1): RB Jerome Harrison.
QB Matthew Stafford hasn't missed a start in his third NFL season despite playing with a broken right finger. A strong performance in Week 13 at New Orleans alleviated concerns about the injury. Defensive injuries have loomed as a major concern recently. DT Nick Fairley's season has been marked by foot problems. FS Louis Delmas and CB Chris Houston are both dealing with knee injuries suffered in the Thanksgiving Day loss to Green Bay. RB Kevin Smith has been hampered with an ankle ailment of late; his emergence has been one of the bright spots at a position where injuries have been the story since training camp.
21. Arizona Cardinals
Injured reserve (6): CB Crezdon Butler, QB Max Hall, CB Greg Toler, NT Dan Williams, RB Ryan Williams, OG Floyd Womack.
The preseason loss of promising second-round RB Ryan Williams (knee) was a big blow, but the foot ailment that sidelined starting QB Kevin Kolb for four games was probably the most significant injury. Starting FS Kerry Rhodes (left foot) has been out since Week Seven, and TEs Todd Heap and rookie Rob Housler have missed a combined 10 games.
22. Oakland Raiders
Injured reserve (5): CB Chimdi Chekwa, FS Hiram Eugene, LB Travis Goethel, WR Derrick Jones, DE Matt Shaughnessy.
The Raiders might not have placed many impact players on I.R., but few teams have had as many key cogs on one side of the ball forced to the sideline. RB Darren McFadden, FB Marcel Reece and WRs Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford all have missed extended time this season, not to mention QB Jason Campbell, who broke his collarbone in Week Six while in the midst of his best season as a pro.
23. Philadelphia Eagles
Injured reserve (5): DE Victor Abiamiri, S Colt Anderson, DT Antonio Dixon, OLB Moise Fokou, WR Steve Smith.
The Eagles' injuries have been more of the week-to-week variety. Starters such as QB Michael Vick (three games), WR Jeremy Maclin (three), CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (three), DE Trent Cole (two) and OLT Jason Peters (two) all have missed time. Other key contributors such as DE Brandon Graham, Smith, Dixon, QB Vince Young, DE Darryl Tapp and special-teams ace Anderson all have missed various lengths of time, but it's not like you can say injuries have decimated Philly's season.
24. Green Bay Packers
Injured reserve (5): FS Nick Collins, RB Alex Green, DE Lawrence Guy, TE Andrew Quarless, WR Shaky Smithson.
Suffice it to say the injury gods have been a great deal kinder to the Packers than they were last season. But the injury to Collins has taken its toll on a Green Bay secondary that has given up yardage in big chunks. Veteran starting OLT Chad Clifton has been out since Week Five with a hamstring injury, but he has been replaced adequately by Marshall Newhouse. Something to keep an eye on is the knee injury suffered by WR Greg Jennings in Week 14.
25. New York Jets
Injured reserve (7): C Taylor Boggs, TE Jeff Cumberland, SS Jim Leonhard, QB Greg McElroy, WR Logan Payne, OLB Bryan Thomas, OL Robert Turner.
Thomas was a huge loss, and the Jets have struggled to find a consistent replacement for him and have had difficulties stopping the run. In Week 14, the Jets lost Leonhard for the second season in a row with a knee injury. We saw last season how much the secondary missed his leadership and communication when he was not on the field. All-Pro C Nick Mangold missed two games early in the season with an ankle injury that has hampered him ever since. The biggest loss throughout the season has been DE Mike DeVito, the rock on the D-line, who has missed five games.
26. Tennessee Titans
Injured reserve (5): WR Kenny Britt, CB Ryan Mouton, WR O.J. Murdock, MLB Barrett Ruud, S Anthony Smith.
With the exception of Britt (knee), who was arguably the most productive wideout in football before going down in Week Three, the Titans have avoided major injuries. SS Chris Hope (arm) and Ruud (groin) missed six and four games, respectively, though Ruud was placed on I.R. after Week 14.
27. Baltimore Ravens
Injured reserve (5): LB Prescott Burgess, CB Domonique Foxworth, OT Ramon Harewood, RB Matt Lawrence, OLB Michael McAdoo.
The Ravens have been able to overcome some injuries to key players, most notably MLB Ray Lewis (foot). In his absence, the other starter inside, Jameel McClain, has taken on more responsibility and handled it well. WR Lee Evans, expected to be a field-stretching complement to Anquan Boldin, missed seven games with an ankle injury. In his absence, rookie Torrey Smith stepped into the lineup, emerged as a key contributor and has kept the job. OLG Ben Grubbs missed six games with a toe injury that continues to be a lingering concern. He is difficult to replace.
28. Dallas Cowboys
Injured reserve (7): PK David Buehler, S Barry Church, QB Jon Kitna, RB DeMarco Murray, OG Bill Nagy, WR Raymond Radway, RB Phillip Tanner.
The Cowboys have absorbed the losses of Buehler and Nagy easily. But they have lost a lot of games from key contributors. WR Miles Austin has missed six games with a nagging hamstring. Underrated FB Tony Fiammetta has missed six with an illness and a hamstring injury. CB Mike Jenkins (hamstring) and RB Felix Jones (ankle/shoulder) each missed four games, taking two playmakers from the lineup. Meanwhile, Murray suffered a fractured right ankle and high ankle sprain in Week 14, ending his season.
29. New Orleans Saints
Injured reserve (5): OT Charles Brown, PK Garrett Hartley, LB Jeremiha Hunter, WR Joseph Morgan, TE David Thomas.
The Saints have had to go without valuable players on both sides of the ball at times this season but appear to be getting healthy at just the right time. Jonathan Vilma, a captain and the starting middle linebacker, missed all of November after undergoing knee surgery to fix an injury that had bothered him for the bulk of the season. The offensive line has settled in after going through some significant changes during the preseason and regular season.
30. Atlanta Falcons
Injured reserve (2): OG Mike Johnson, FB Ovie Mughelli.
The Falcons have lost only one starter to I.R., but nagging injuries have been an issue for several valuable contributors. WR Julio Jones has missed three games and continues to be bothered by a hamstring injury, and RB Michael Turner has missed practice time, but no games, because of a groin issue. Atlanta also has had to do some shuffling on the O-line because of ailments to OLT Sam Baker and C Todd McClure.
31. Miami Dolphins
Injured reserve (4): QB Chad Henne, WR Marlon Moore, OT Lydon Murtha, WR Roberto Wallace.
Considering how much the Dolphins struggled early on, you would think there would be more players on injured reserve. Henne is obviously the biggest name, but Matt Moore has quickly made fans forget that Henne is hurt. Marlon Moore and Wallace were purely special-teams contributors. Rookie RB Daniel Thomas, who has missed three games, got off to a slow start because of a hamstring injury.
32. San Francisco 49ers
Injured reserve (5): WR Dontavia Bogan, TE Nate Byham, CB Curtis Holcomb, WR Josh Morgan, DT Will Tukuafu.
Until star ILB Patrick Willis' Week 13 hamstring strain, the only injury of note was the season-ending broken leg suffered in Week Five by Morgan, a solid but unspectacular wideout who was filling the No. 2 role at the time. Free-agent addition Braylon Edwards, who was projected before the season to start along with Michael Crabtree, has been sidelined with injuries more often than not.