The St. Louis Rams lost three players to head injuries last week against the Bears. Zac Stacy, Trumaine Johnson and Chris Williams, all starters, left that game with possible concussions. When they'll be back on the field is a big question mark with an important game against the San Francisco 49ers looming this week.
Fantasy football GMs will be especially curious about Stacy's status. Benny Cunningham would likely get most of the work if Stacy can't go. The 49ers will have Michael Crabtree back this week, and the Rams secondary could have it's hands full against him and Anquan Boldin. Johnson's been pivotal to the secondary's improvement. Williams' replacement, Shelley Smith, is essentially a push on the inside.
Will any of those three players be on the field this week? That depends. Teams have a procedure to follow when it comes to concussions or injuries with concussion like symptoms. (That said, the NFL still has a long way to go when it comes to the immediate and long-term care for players with head injuries).
"We have protocol," Fisher said Monday. "We have evaluations - sideline, inside and then the doctors will make the determination. None of the three returned to play. We have a series of things that we do today, tomorrow and Wednesday, and right now everybody's doing fine."
A look back at the team's history with concussions offers some insight.
This season defensive tackle Matt Conrath was the only player diagnosed with a concussion, prior to Week 12. That was Week 4. He missed five games with the injury, and returned for a few snaps against the Colts in Week 10. He was inactive last week.
Last year, the Rams had four players diagnosed with a concussion during the season: Eugene Sims, Craig Dahl, Robert Quinn and Barry Richardson. Sims was the only one who missed a game with his injury, and he only missed one game after suffering a concussion in Week 4. He played an average of 49 snaps before the injury, and 36 in his first game back.
Of those four players who suffered concussions in 2012, Sims was also the only one who wasn't a starter. Quinn was the only one eased back into the mix, playing just 20 snaps in Week 13 after suffering a concussion in Week 12.
Keep an eye on the Friday injury report. We should have a better idea about the status for Stacy, Johnson and Williams then.
(Concussion data via PBS Frontline's Concussion Watch).