Vick, Mariota, Hoyer leave, then return, after big hits
First, Michael Vick went to the sideline after taking a knee to the helmet. Then he returned, with the Pittsburgh Steelers saying all that was wrong was a little dirt in his eye.
And then Vick left the game again later, this time with what the team said was an injured right hamstring.
Already without starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers beat the Cardinals 25-13 on Sunday, despite relying on third-string QB Landry Jones, who had never taken a regular-season snap but threw a pair of touchdown passes.
Of more concern to the Steelers might be a different injury: Left tackle Kelvin Beachum is done for the season after tearing a ligament in his left knee.
Vick wasn’t the only quarterback who took an ugly-looking shot and left Sunday, then returned.
Titans rookie Marcus Mariota played while wearing a knee brace after a Dolphins defender rolled onto his left leg. And Houston’s Brian Hoyer got sandwiched up high by Jacksonville’s Johnathan Cyprien — who was called for a late hit — and Telvin Smith, missed one play, then finished leading the Texans to a 31-20 victory.
“You never want to get hit like that. It’s one of those things where, you get hit, you kind of have to assess yourself and there’s a little bit of showmanship, too, to make sure you get the penalty,” Hoyer said.
“I didn’t know I would have to come out of the game. I guess I stayed down too long, but I was able to bounce right up and get back in the game.”
The injured players from that game included Texans cornerback Kareem Jackson (left ankle) and backup safety Lonnie Ballentine (left knee), and Jaguars receiver Allen Robinson, who limped to the locker room with a bruised left leg and used a crutch after the game.
Also needing help Sunday was Bills receiver Sammy Watkins, who was spotted walking with a cane in the locker room after hurting his left ankle while making a 22-yard touchdown catch in a loss to the Bengals. Another Bills wideout, Marquise Goodwin, left with a rib injury.
In other injury news:
— Among those who left games with concussions were Chiefs DE Mike DeVito and WR Jeremy Maclin, Jets CB Buster Skrine, and Bills RT Seantrel Henderson. Browns RB Duke Johnson exited with what the team said initially said was a potential head injury; he returned, and afterward, the Browns said he had a shoulder injury.
— Linebackers who got hurt included two for the Broncos, Shane Ray and Corey Nelson, both with knee problems. Ray left the stadium on crutches and his knee immobilized. Bengals LB Vincent Rey was carted off the field against the Bills with a right ankle injury. Panthers rookie LB Shaq Thompson hurt a leg on a kickoff with 30 seconds left against the Seahawks.
— Denver WR Emmanuel Sanders hurt his left shoulder while making a catch.
— Bills DT Kyle Williams was carted off the field with a left knee injury.
— Chargers WR Keenan Allen left with a hip injury, while S Eric Weddle left, too, but the team wouldn’t say where he was hurt. In the same game, the Packers lost WR Ty Montgomery, who was carted off with an injured left ankle.
— Titans C Brian Schwenke dislocated his left ankle and was carted straight to the locker room.
— Ravens S Kendrick Lewis left because of a knee injury.