Oct 7, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) returns to the sideline following a series against the Los Angeles Rams the second quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson headed to injured reserve

Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said quarterback Russell Wilson would be placed on injured reserve with a finger injury.

During last week’s loss to the Los Angeles Rams Oct. 7, Wilson suffered a ruptured tendon and a fracture-dislocation of the middle finger on his throwing hand. He had surgery the following day, with a reported timetable of four to eight weeks to return.

“That’s what’s coming up, yeah,” Carroll said Friday when asked whether the team was planning to move Wilson to IR.

Players on IR must sit out a minimum of three weeks. Wilson will miss the Seahawks’ games against the Pittsburgh Steelers, New Orleans Saints and Jacksonville Jaguars. Then Seattle has a bye week, meaning the earliest Wilson can return to the field would be a Week 10 matchup against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.

Wilson, 32, has not missed a game since entering the league in 2012. His ironman streak of 149 consecutive games officially will end Sunday when Seattle faces Pittsburgh. Geno Smith has been tapped to start in Wilson’s absence.

Starting running back Chris Carson (neck) was ruled out for the second straight game after not practicing all week. Carroll said the Seahawks were still considering whether Carson would need to be moved to IR.

Alex Collins started in Carson’s place last week and is likely to get the majority of the work in Week 6.

–Field Level Media

Oct 10, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) hands off to running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire (25) during the first half against the Buffalo Bills at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs put RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire (knee) on IR

The Kansas City Chiefs put running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire on injured reserve Tuesday with a sprained MCL in his knee.

The move was expected for Edwards-Helaire, who likely will be sidelined for a few weeks. He’ll have to miss at least three games by virtue of the move.

Edwards-Helaire exited Sunday night’s 38-20 home loss to the Buffalo Bills in the third quarter after being tackled at the end of an 11-yard reception.

Teammates helped him off the field and he was taken to the locker room, where he was quickly ruled out for the rest of the game.

Edwards-Helaire, 22, finished the game with seven carries for 13 yards and the one reception. In five starts this year, he has rushed for 304 yards and no touchdowns and has eight receptions for 61 yards and two scores.

A first-round pick in 2020 out of LSU, Edwards-Helaire gained 1,100 yards from scrimmage (803 rushing, 297 receiving) and scored five TDs (four rushing, one receiving) in 13 games as a rookie.

Darrel Williams would be in line for more carries on Sunday when the Chiefs (2-3) visit the Washington Football Team (2-3).

–Field Level Media

Sep 13, 2021; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) runs the ball ahead of Baltimore Ravens linebacker Patrick Queen (6) defensive back DeShon Elliott (32) and linebacker Malik Harrison (40) during the first half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Raiders place QB Marcus Mariota (quad) on IR

Las Vegas Raiders backup quarterback Marcus Mariota was put on injured reserve with a quad injury, NFL Network reported Saturday.

He aggravated his injury in Monday night’s 33-27 overtime win over the Baltimore Ravens, and his placement on IR means he must miss a minimum of three weeks..

Mariota, 27, apparently was injured on the lone snap he took in the game, a 31-yard run up the middle in the first quarter.

Nathan Peterman will replace Mariota as the backup to starter Derek Carr.

The No. 2 overall pick by the Tennessee Titans in 2015, Mariota is in the final year of his contract and is slated to become a free agent.

Mariota was initially scheduled to earn $10.7 million in 2021, but with the money not guaranteed, the Raiders would likely have cut him had he not agreed to a one-year, $3.5 million restructured deal.

–Field Level Media

Sep 12, 2021; Jacksonville, Florida, USA;  Green Bay Packers linebacker Za'Darius Smith (55) stands on the sidelines during the game against the New Orleans Saints at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Packers to place DE Za’Darius Smith (back) on IR

Green Bay Packers defensive end Za’Darius Smith is headed to injured reserve due to an ailing back, coach Matt LaFleur said Friday.

Smith, 29, recorded one tackle while playing in only 18 defensive snaps in the Packers’ 38-3 season-opening loss to the New Orleans Saints last weekend.

“We’re going to have to shut him down for a while,” LaFleur said. “It’s a matter of, do just you keep him in a limited role, or do you shut him down for a while, try to get him healthy, and get him up to the snap count that you’d like him to be just like he’s been in the past.

“He’s been such an impact player. It’s just the route that we thought was best long-term.”

Smith registered 12.5 sacks, 52 tackles, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in 16 games (all starts) last season.

A Pro Bowl selection in both 2019 and 2020, Smith has 227 tackles, 44.5 sacks, eight forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in 91 career games (48 starts) with the Baltimore Ravens (2015-18) and Packers.

–Field Level Media

Dec 20, 2020; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Philadelphia Eagles tight end Richard Rodgers (85) is carted off the field after suffering an injury against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Looser IR rules to return for 2021

Keeping a rule change first installed during the pandemic-ravaged 2020 season, NFL teams will be allowed to place an unlimited number of players on injured reserve during 2021 and those players will be eligible to return after a minimum of three games rather than eight.

NFL Network reported the update Tuesday, citing a league memo sent to the 32 clubs.

It is not clear if the NFL intends to keep the change long-term, but with the pandemic still active around the U.S., it chose to allow teams to have that flexibility for at least another season.

Normally, players placed on injured reserve cannot return from IR until they’ve missed at least six weeks’ worth of practice and eight weeks’ worth of games. Further, teams are usually allowed to activate only two players from IR during the course of a season, while any others must remain on IR for the rest of the season.

The league’s reserve/COVID-19 list remains separate from the standard injured reserve.

–Field Level Media

Nov 15, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth (77) holds up a finger as he is carted off the field during the first half at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

McVay: Whitworth’s injury likely not season-ending

While Los Angeles Rams left tackle Andrew Whitworth won’t be playing anytime soon because of a knee injury, coach Sean McVay is finding some relief that the 15-year veteran could return later this season.

Whitworth, who was injured in the second quarter of Los Angeles’ Sunday win and needed to be carted off the field, was diagnosed with a grade 3 MCL and PCL tear in his left knee, McVay said Monday. His ACL was said to be intact, however.

“We were all worried it was for sure going to be season-ending,” McVay said, “and that’s not going to be the case.”

McVay added Whitworth would be out “for a handful of time” and that the tackle was going on injured reserve with no certainty whether he would be out for six or eight weeks.

Whitworth was hurt in the Rams’ 23-16 win over the Seattle Seahawks when he banged into Seattle linebacker K.J. Wright and ended up on the ground. Rams quarterback Jared Goff was sacked on the play.

Whitworth spent his first 11 seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals before signing with the Rams prior to the 2017 season. The two-time All-Pro and four-time Pro Bowl selection has played all 16 games in a season 11 times and started 220 of his 224 games overall.

Whitworth’s spot on the line falls to Joe Noteboom, who is in his third season out of TCU. He has played in 25 games, including three this season. Noteboom started twice this year, and he filled in for Whitworth after the injury on Sunday.

The Rams are tied with the Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals at 6-3 atop the NFC West. Los Angeles plays at Tampa Bay next Monday night.

–Field Level Media

Nov 1, 2020; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins running back Myles Gaskin (37) runs the ball against the Los Angeles Rams during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Dolphins place starting RB Gaskin on IR

Dolphins running back Myles Gaskin landed on injured reserve on Thursday, a hit to Miami’s backfield ahead of the Week 9 trip to face the Arizona Cardinals.

Gaskin must sit at least three games before returning to the active roster. The Dolphins’ starting tailback is dealing with a knee injury.

Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores said Thursday morning that Gaskin suffered the injury in Week 8.

Gaskin emerged as the starter over Jordan Howard and Matt Breida. Gaskin started five games and rushed for 387 yards and two touchdowns on 100 attempts, plus 30 receptions for 198 yards.

Flores did not name Howard the starter, but the move is expected with Breida also dealing with a hamstring injury.

However, Howard was last active on gameday in Week 4 and has since been a healthy scratch. Patrick Laird and Salvon Ahmed are also backfield options for Miami, which traded for DeAndre Washington of the Kansas City Chiefs this week. Washington is not available until he clears COVID-19 protocols next week.

The uncertainty at running back could hamper the Dolphins as they plot an attack against an Arizona defense with seven takeaways in the past two games. The offense was vanilla in Week 8, Tua Tagovailoa’s first start at quarterback, and the Dolphins appear wary of asking him to do too much.

Tagovailoa completed 12 of 22 passes with one touchdown last week.

–Field Level Media

Feb 2, 2020; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; San Francisco 49ers receiver Deebo Samuel (19) runs with the ball against the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

49ers WR Samuel on IR, will miss at least 3 games

The San Francisco 49ers put Deebo Samuel on injured reserve Saturday as the wide receiver continues to recover from surgery to repair a broken foot.

Samuel, the No. 36 overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, must miss at least the first three games of the season. He sustained a Jones fracture of his left foot while working out in mid-June.

The 49ers’ receiving corps was beset by injuries throughout the offseason — none more significant to the team than the one to Samuel, who emerged as a top option for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

The 24-year-old Samuel had 57 catches for 802 yards and three touchdowns in 2019 as a rookie. He also scored three times on 14 rushing attempts.

Also Saturday, the 49ers promoted offensive lineman Hroniss Grasu and cornerback Dontae Johnson to the active roster from the practice squad.

The 49ers begin defense of their NFC championship on Sunday when they host the Arizona Cardinals.

–Field Level Media