Four starting quarterbacks were hurt in Week 1. Nick Foles, Patrick Mahomes, Baker Mayfield, and Deshaun Watson all suffered injuries. Let’s take a look at what happened and what it could mean for each going forward.
Nick Foles, Jacksonville Jaguars (clavicle)
Foles was the worst of the bunch with a left non-throwing clavicle fracture and has already undergone surgery. He was placed on injured reserve. Even with breaking the same collarbone in 2014, he is likely to be designated to return as soon as allowed after missing eight games. In the meantime, he is having done to him what he did to Carson Wentz. Foles’s backup went 22/25 for 275 yards and an impressive first-time quarterback rating of 122.5.
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs (ankle)
Mahomes injury in the press is potentially being underestimated. Postgame, head coach Andy Reid said “ankle sprain” and since his quarterback finished the game, there is little attention here but there should be. By video, Mahomes suffered a left high ankle sprain. Although relatively mild, it still affected his performance. This injury is something to be watched. No amount of ankle tape can affectively stabilize a high ankle sprain. This type of injury tends to get worse with swelling in the first few days before it gets better. He is set to practice on Wednesday, but to what extent is still unknown.
#Chiefs coach Andy Reid says QB Patrick Mahomes, who sprained his ankle but returned on Sunday, will practice today.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 11, 2019
He is likely to play but unlikely to be his same mobile self. Thanks to a strong arm, his not stepping into throws may not affect him as much as others but there still will be effects on accuracy. During Week 1, the Chiefs went from deeper throws to quicker, shorter passes in response to the injury. I expect this injury to hamper Mahomes throughout the month of September. Do not disregard this injury. Factor it into your decision making and balance it against his superior athleticism.
Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns (wrist)
Mayfield is reported to have a right throwing wrist injury, which he dismissed as minor. Reports noted a lack of usage of the arm/hand at the post-game press conference and then left with a wrap. Reviewing the video of the safety when he was injured was not helpful and there was no clear view. However, the fact that the post-game wrap included not only Mayfield’s wrist/hand but his thumb is of potential concern. The thumb is vital for proper grip to be able to spin the ball and be accurate. Did this contribute to three fourth-quarter interceptions? The key is to watch this week what kind of wrap or support is or isn’t need on his thumb going forward before making any decisions involving the Browns.
Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans (various)
Watson dove into the endzone for the first touchdown and was slow to get up and headed for the medical tent. His right knee was hit while airborne but seems fine. He did hit the back of his head but no apparent concussion. His landed on his chest but his rib/lung issue from last season is not an issue. By video, he has a low back/sacrum/pelvis contusion. He headed to the medical tent a second time but finished the game.
This is something to watch but I believe Watson will be fine. He will be sore this week but I don’t see this affecting him at all next week. Of course, if he continues at this rate, he will rack up 96 sacks for the season and countless more hits. He will inevitably sustain more injury unless protection gets better or he commits to getting rid of the ball earlier.