This Week in Hurt: How much more pain can the Cardinals take?

Every week bones break and muscles rip around the NFL. We’ll take a look at the most significant injuries, and what happens next.

Oh hey look, another week of football has been played. By default that also means we get to talk about another potentially crushing Arizona Cardinals injury.

Except this one actually might not be so bad?

Antonio Cromartie scares us, might only miss one week

At this point we can conclude the football powers above are Seattle Seahawks fans, and they’re striking with all their injury might to ensure the Cardinals–who will play the rest of their season without Andre Ellington–eventually don’t have any more players.

The latest ding isn’t nearly as serious, but every lost body for even a single game is still significant. And the next body down in Week 15 will likely be cornerback Antonio Cromartie.

Cromartie went down with what looked to be an Achilles injury during Arizona’s narrow win Sunday over the Kansas City Chiefs. He fell and stayed down without contact, which always signals doom.

Luckily, after further examination the outlook for Cromartie is promising. The problem lies with the peroneal tendon in his ankle. In English, that’s the muscle on the back of your ankle, which is why the injury is commonly mistaken for an Achilles issue.

Peroneal tendons stabilize the foot and ankle, so no, they don’t sound important at all. Though the recovery time isn’t lengthy, Cromartie has the poor luck of a short turnaround this week with the Cardinals traveling to St. Louis Thursday night.

He’s considered questionable, but the chances of Cromartie playing on short rest seem exceedingly slim. So between him and safety Tyrann Mathieu, the Cardinals could be without two critical members of their defensive backfield as they try to secure another precious win and stay atop both their division and conference.

They’ll be fielding that short-handed defense in a game when preventing any Rams points whatsoever will be critical, because scoring against them simply doesn’t happen. No really, it doesn’t: The Rams haven’t allowed a single point over their last two games, outscoring opponents 76-0.

Is this it for Reggie Wayne?

Watching a once great player fade isn’t a fun experience for anyone involved. But time remains undefeated, and a decline this season was inevitable for Indianapolis Colts receiver Reggie Wayne.

Now it seems physical abuse is taking its toll as Wayne tries to limp through a season with his 36-year-old body that just recovered from an ACL tear.

Wayne was downright horrible while the Colts white-knuckled a win over the Cleveland Browns Sunday, holding on to third place in the AFC with three weeks to go. Long known as a sure-handed receiver even as his speed declines with age, Wayne dropped three passes. He caught only one of his eight targets, and now he’s totaled just 46 receiving yards over his last three games.

Part of the problem is a long list of injuries. After the game Colts head coach Chunk Pagano mentioned a previously undisclosed triceps problem, which would explain a lot. Pagano wouldn’t confirm or deny any thoughts of shutting Wayne down for the season. But given his ineffectiveness, that’s surely getting some long thought.

Wayne has become expendable now among the Colts’ pass catchers anyway, especially with the quick emergence of rookie Donte Moncrief. The third-round pick from last spring has two 100-plus yard games this season even with just 27 receptions. That includes his 134-yard outing in Week 11, with 79 of those yards coming on one deep ball.

Moncrief has speed and the physicality to claw for extra yards after the catch. Wayne doesn’t have either of those things, and he’s declining fast.

About Sean Tomlinson

Hello there! This is starting out poorly because I already used an exclamation point. What would you like to know about me? I once worked at a mushroom farm, which is sort of different I guess (don't eat mushrooms). I'm pretty wild too, and at a New Year's Eve party years ago I double-dipped a chip. Oh, and I write about football here and in a few other places around the Internet, something I did previously as the NFL features writer and editor at The Score. Let's be friends.