Major injuries to key players during Week 16 of the NFL season hit star running backs hard:
* The Houston Chronicle reported that Arian Foster of the Houston Texans was pulled from the game against the Minnesota Vikings with an irregular heartbeat.
Foster has had trouble with an irregular heartbeat before in practice. He echoed (coach Gary) Kubiak’s sentiments that his condition wasn’t anything of concern. ”I’ll be fine,” said Foster, who left the locker room before it opened to the media, in a statement distributed by the Texans. “I’ll be OK. It’s a very minor situation, so I’ll be OK.”
* Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte suffered a right ankle injury during the third quarter against the Arizona Cardinals, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. He didn’t return.
#Bears running back Matt Forte has been ruled out. He just slowly made his way into the locker room.
— Adam Jahns (@adamjahns) December 23, 2012
* Cleveland Browns running back Trent Richardson also suffered an ankle injury late against the Denver Broncos. But he didn’t appear to have a major injury according to ESPNCleveland.com.
No broken ankle for Trent Richardson, but left foot in boot.
— Tony Grossi (@TonyGrossi) December 24, 2012
* His teammate, quarterback Brandon Weeden hurt his right shoulder when Von Miller landed on him, according to Associated Press. Weeden’s head stuck the ground when he was hit and he went to the locker room.
Weeden was knocked from the game in the third quarter when he couldn’t avoid the heavy rush and went down hard. After walking off the field, the rookie slammed his helmet on the bench. Weeden was examined by trainers on the sideline and then taken into the locker room. “I’m all right,” Weeden said as he made his way to the shower.
* Denver Broncos cornerback Tracy Porter left the same game in the first quarter with a concussion, according to Associated Press.
* Oakland Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer suffered a back injury in his team’s game against the Carolina Panthers, according to the San Jose Mercury-News.
The blow to Palmer came as he rolled to his right to pass. (Greg) Hardy hit him on the dead run in the back and was penalized for unnecessary roughness, leading with his helmet. Palmer was down for several minutes before getting up and leaving under his own power.
– Bill Bradley, contributing editor