Well, folks, we’ve made it to the end of the season. With just one game left in the 2022 NFL season, it all comes down to this. With the two best teams in the league competing, every variable of the Super Bowl has increased in importance. This is especially true on the injury front.
There are impact players on both teams that are dealing with injuries heading into Sunday. It’s my job to give you a full understanding of these injuries to help you beat the books or buddies at your Super Bowl party. With the Lombardi Trophy on the line, it’s time to lock in. Welcome to the Super Bowl LVII Injury Report!
Note: This injury report will be updated until the conclusion of Super Bowl LVII. For the most current injury news and analysis, follow me on Twitter @SGPNFootballDoc!
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Super Bowl LVII Injury Report
Kadarius Toney (WR) Kansas City Chiefs
Ankle/Hamstring Injury, Initial Injury: 1/29/2023
Kadarius Toney seems to be the definition of a high-risk, high-reward player. He has shown flashes of being a great NFL player but can just never seem to stay on the field. So it is no surprise he is on the injury report heading into the Super Bowl.
Toney was knocked out in the first half of last week’s game with an ankle injury. This, combined with a previous hamstring injury, has put his availability into question.
If you were asked to ask the Chiefs WR himself, he would say he is “definitely playing” Sunday. While I do agree he will be able to play, I am not confident in his ability to produce.
The good news is that he is practicing to start the week, although he is the only Chief listed as a limited participant. The ankle injury he suffered is likely a low ankle sprain which refers to damage to his lateral ankle ligaments. These injuries, when mild, are typically healed in 1-2 weeks, so it would make sense for him to be able to play through it.
What concerns me is that Toney has repeatedly shown us he has difficulty finishing games. Hamstring injuries carry a high reinjury rate with them.
The fact that he is still carrying this designation with him tells me it is still affecting him. In August, while he was still a member of the New York Giants, Toney’s hamstring injury was first reported. Toney is as “boom or bust” of a play as they come this week.
WR Kadarius Toney is dealing with multiple injuries but will likely play this week. Trust him at your own risk. – JUDGEMENT CALL
Juju Smith-Schuster (WR) Kansas City Chiefs
Knee Injury, Initial Injury: 1/29/2023
The Chiefs received some positive news in terms of WR Juju Smith-Schuster. He was logged as a full participant for the Super Bowl’s first official injury report on Wednesday. He is reported to have been dealing with some knee swelling that has reduced significantly from last week.
Injury specifics have not been provided by the team, but he is likely dealing with patellar tendinitis or bursitis in the front of his knee. Basically, one of the structures in his knee became irritated, and this led to knee swelling. Rest and managing his reps are key in the buildup to Sunday.
The knee’s response to a full practice Wednesday will be key, but there is optimism for Smith-Schuster. Barring a setback, I would expect him to be ready to go for Sunday with little limitation.
WR Juju Smith-Schuster is practicing fully and is likely to start in the Super Bowl. – MONITOR
L’Jarius Sneed (CB) Kansas City Chiefs
Concussion, Initial Injury: 1/29/2023
This entire Chiefs defense will be tested this week. They are going up against the most balanced offensive attack in the NFL. Sounds like a great week for their best coverage guy to return to the lineup. CB L’Jarius Sneed was knocked out of the AFC Championship early in the first quarter with a concussion.
A concussion refers to a mild traumatic brain injury that leads to disruption in the function of the brain. Reaction time is one of the biggest areas negatively affected in the short term. Research has shown that most NFL players return to playing in less than seven days from injury.
Sneed appears to fit this category, as he cleared the NFL concussion protocol Monday. With a whole two weeks to recover and reintegrate back into practice, he should be a full go Sunday.
CB L’Jarius Sneed is out of the concussion protocol and will start Sunday. – START
Chiefs CB L’Jarius Sneed says he cleared the concussion protocol today. He’s ready to play in Super Bowl LVII pic.twitter.com/asaREjV9Me
— Matt Derrick (@mattderrick) February 7, 2023
Avonte Maddox (DB) Philadelphia Eagles
Toe Injury, Initial Injury: 12/24/2022
In Week 16, Eagles DB Avonte Maddox suffered a serious toe injury that put his season in jeopardy. After missing about six weeks, Maddox was able to make his return to the lineup for the NFC Championship.
There was some concern last week after reports surfaced that he was back in a walking boot. This seems to be precautionary, however, as he returned to practice this week as a limited participant.
He also let reporters know that the Eagles simply didn’t want him stubbing his toe and making the injury worse last week. Although he is unlikely to be 100% Sunday, I do think he will be close enough to start in the slot for the Eagles.
DB Avonte Maddox is dealing with a toe injury that is still affecting him but will let him play on Sunday. – START
Landon Dickerson (G) Philadelphia Eagles
Elbow Injury, Initial Injury: 1/29/2023
Pro Bowl OL Landon Dickerson gave fans a scare late in the NFC Championship. While the game was well in control, he had to be removed from the game after suffering an elbow injury.
It is a new injury for Dickerson but, thankfully, does not seem serious. After getting some rest last week, he starts off this Super Bowl week with full practice per the injury report.
He will likely wear a brace for the game, but I don’t expect him to be very limited. He will be tested early and often against Chiefs DT Chris Jones, so this is a big positive update for Philly.
G Landon Dickerson hyperextended his elbow two weeks ago but is all set to start in the Super Bowl. – START
Patrick Mahomes (QB) Kansas City Chiefs
High Ankle Sprain, Initial Injury: 1/21/2023
Now we get to the portion of the Super Bowl injury report we’ve all been waiting for. Undoubtedly the biggest injury heading into Sunday is Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes. In what was seemingly the “tackle heard around the world” a few weeks ago, a Jacksonville player landed on Mahomes’ ankle.
This caused a direct blow to his lower outer leg while his foot was planted, clearly indicating a high ankle sprain. These types of ankle sprains are much more serious and harder to deal with than the common low ankle sprain.
A high ankle sprain refers to damage to the ligaments (syndesmosis) connecting the lower leg bones above the ankle. These ligaments act to absorb shock and stabilize the ankle while running and jumping. Mahomes’ mobility is going to be limited this week but should be much better than in the AFC Championship.
In mild cases, these sprains are fully recovered in 4-6 weeks. Clearly, the Chiefs QB is aiming to be as recovered as possible in just three weeks.
High ankle sprains require much more force to occur than a low ankle sprains, as the ligaments involved are stronger. This also means that more damage was caused to the ankle, which correlates to a longer recovery time.
This increased instability in the ankle is going to lead to quicker throws and less scrambling from the Chiefs QB. This injury will limit some of the things that make Mahomes so unique.
Not So Fast…
Despite the negative outlook of this injury, it has been primarily positive news coming from Mahomes and the Chiefs. It is really impressive that Mahomes was able to even return in the second half and help secure the win over the Jaggs.
In even better news, he was able to be highly productive as a passer in the AFC Championship game. He was moving around much better in the first half but was able to do just enough to push through in the second.
His mobility and ankle stability will be much improved when Mahomes takes the field Sunday. However, he will not be 100%, and this will affect the play-calling a bit.
It will be key for Mahomes not to take many hits during this game, especially early on. Due to this and the Eagle’s pass rush, look for the Chiefs to get the quick pass and run game going early.
QB Patrick Mahomes has outperformed expectations of his injury. Expect him to be better this week, but still not 100% – START
Perhaps the most important injury update for Super Bowl Sunday.
Andy Reid said Patrick Mahomes, who admits isn’t 100%, can do just about everything in the playbook. Reid referenced a fast practice on Monday and seemed happy with how Mahomes is moving.
— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) February 8, 2023
Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB) Kansas City Chiefs
High Ankle Sprain, Initial Injury: 11/20/2022
The Kansas City Chiefs rushing offense got off to a bit of a slow start in the first half of the season. With a number of solid options in the backfield, the team struggled to find the most effective rotation.
The running game situation became a little clearer when one of these top backs got injured in Week 11. RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire suffered a high ankle sprain and was placed on the injured reserve.
A high ankle sprain refers to damage to the ligaments (syndesmosis) connecting the lower leg bones above the ankle. These ligaments serve as shock absorbers and play a role in stabilizing the lower leg during running and jumping.
A mild high ankle sprain typically takes between four and six weeks for a full recovery. Edwards-Helaire’s route running and cutting ability would be hindered upon return due to the injury.
After seemingly being a healthy scratch these past two games, the Chiefs RB was activated this week. This came in a corresponding move to placing WR Mecole Hardman on the IR.
It seems very unlikely the Chiefs would have made this move if they didn’t have an open roster spot. CEH is healthy at this point, but he is very unlikely to be involved in the game plan.
RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire is on the active roster but likely as an emergency RB only. – SIT
Mecole Hardman (WR) Kansas City Chiefs
Groin Strain, Initial Injury: 11/6/2023
Now it’s time for the one player on this Super Bowl injury report who is definitely out this week. Chiefs WR Mecole Hardman was placed on IR earlier this week, thus officially ending his season.
Hardman has been dealing with a groin injury all year, and he, unfortunately, reaggravated the injury in the AFC Championship. As he has found out all year, groin injuries are challenging to come back from due to their high reinjury rates.
A groin strain refers to damage to muscles of the inner thigh but is really an umbrella term. It could involve abdominal muscles, hip muscles, or both. These injuries often give a false sense of being healed sooner than they actually are. The groin plays a big role in allowing a player to change direction quickly and rotate their body.
Although he is typically a starting WR for Kansas City, the team has played most of the season without him. His speed will be missed, but the Chiefs should have enough weapons to make up for this loss
WR Mecole Hardman is officially OUT for the Super Bowl after being placed on IR. – SIT
Update: #Chiefs are placing WR Mecole Hardman on IR
He won’t play in the Super Bowl
— JPA (@jasrifootball) February 6, 2023
Jalen Hurts (QB) Philadelphia Eagles
Shoulder Injury, Initial Injury: 12/18/2022
The one-time MVP favorite is heading into the Super Bowl off of the Eagles’ official injury report. Philadelphia Eagles QB Jalen Hurts has been dealing with a shoulder injury he suffered against the Bears over six weeks ago.
He was landed on by a Bears defensive lineman, with most of the force directed at his throwing shoulder. Hurts finished the game, but the injury did cause him to miss two weeks in a row. After Philly dropped those two games, Hurts played in Week 18 to secure the #1 seed but looked limited.
The Eagles have not disclosed exactly what type of injury he is dealing with, but it is most likely an AC sprain. These injuries can be played through but are painful and do negatively affect a player’s throwing ability temporarily. On the other hand, these injuries typically heal in 2-6 weeks, depending on the severity.
Hurts silenced some doubters this postseason after an impressive performance against the Giants. However, he still has not looked 100% and had some miscues that are easily overlooked against the 49ers.
The Philly QB has no issue admitting he may not be 100%, but I would absolutely expect him to put his body on the line for a win. We may have two QBs “gutting it out” by the end of this one Sunday.
QB Jalen Hurts has shed his injury designation and is likely close to a 100% but is likely dealing with some pain still. – START