Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has a broken thumb, Titans QB Matt Hasselbeck is dealing with an injured right arm, and Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has a high left ankle sprain.
Those three stars were injured in games Sunday, placing their status in doubt not only for next weekend's games, but for a longer term.
Raiders receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey was feeling better a day after being carted off the field with his neck stabilized after the scary collision with Minnesota linebacker E.J. Henderson.
Cutler will undergo surgery on his right hand, a major blow for a team contending for a playoff spot in the NFC. Coach Lovie Smith said Cutler will be out “for an extended time” but expects to get him back this season. He would not say when the surgery would take place, just “hopefully fairly quick” and provided few details about the specific nature of the injury.
“Is it a season-ending injury? No,” Smith said Monday. “From what I've been told right now, we can expect him back at the end of the regular season.”
Hasselbeck has no structural damage to his right forearm and elbow and likely will try to throw this week to see if he can play against Tampa Bay. He was hurt during the 23-17 loss in Atlanta when he hit his arm on a defender's helmet. Coach Mike Munchak isn't expecting the 13-year veteran to practice Wednesday.
On Monday, Kansas City placed its starting quarterback, Matt Cassel, on injured reserve with a broken right hand.
Peterson will be in a walking boot this week, leaving his availability for Sunday's game at Atlanta in question. Peterson has a Grade 1 sprain, the least severe of the three categories, with “a little bit of” ligament damage, coach Leslie Frazier said. Peterson will wear the boot for a few days to protect the joint and won't try to practice until Friday.
“The good news is there's nothing more serious than that,” Frazier said, adding: “He'll recover from it. It's just the amount of time that he'll miss. We'll have a better indication toward the end of the week.”
Raiders coach Hue Jackson was encouraged by Heyward-Bey's condition.
“I think we're beyond the major part of it,” Jackson said. “Now I think it's more of let's see how fast he heals and see exactly where he is. He had the neck, back issue and a concussion so we need to get him past those things.”
Jackson also said he would not know the status of running back Darren McFadden and receiver Jacoby Ford until later in the week. Both players have been sidelined by a sprained foot.
Also hurt Sunday were Cardinals nose tackle Dan Williams, gone for the season with a broken left arm; Bills cornerback Terrence McGee (left knee), who also is likely done for 2011; and Buffalo running back Fred Jackson (right calf).
Sustaining concussions were Giants running back D.J. Ware, Cardinals tackle Brandon Keith, and Browns fullback Owen Marecic.</p>
Bills receiver Donnie Jones aggravated an ankle problem, while Carolina DE Charles Johnson hurt his left shoulder.