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NFL Week 6 injury roundup: Bears’ Justin Fields, 49ers’ Christian McCaffrey among stars forced to exit

The NFL’s Week 6 has provided plenty of entertainment in the early slate, with the Browns hanging in with the 49ers, the Bengals and Seahawks going blow for blow and the Dolphins cruising thanks to more Tyreek Hill and Raheem Mostert dominance. Sunday’s matchups also saw more big names encounter injury woes, with stars like Christian McCaffrey, Justin Fields and Deebo Samuel forced to the locker room.

Here’s a roundup of some of the most notable players to go down:

Looking to continue a hot stretch including eight passing TDs in his last two starts, Fields was back to erratic early against the Vikings before leaving in the third quarter with a right hand injury suffered on a scramble attempt. He was later ruled out, with undrafted rookie Tyson Bagent taking over and promptly fumbling the ball for a Minnesota defensive score.

Lawrence threw two scores to help guide the Jaguars’ 37-20 win over the Colts, but he left late with a knee injury and was ruled questionable to return. With Jacksonville up big, he did not return and was replaced by C.J. Beathard.

It’s been a rough year for the former Pro Bowler, and it got rougher on Sunday morning in London, where Tannehill was carted off with a late ankle injury after failing to lead the Titans to more than 16 points for the fourth time this year. Second-year backup Malik Willis went 4 of 5 in relief of Tannehill against the Ravens, and he could be called upon again in the coming weeks.

San Francisco’s multipurpose star made history by scoring yet again to open Sunday’s game against the Browns, but he left the field late in the third quarter with an oblique injury. The All-Pro returned soon after, but then left for the locker room. It’s worth noting he was severely hampered by physical ailments late in his Panthers career, missing 23 combined games from 2020-2021.

In between more dynamite downfield action against the Panthers, “Cheetah” briefly left Sunday’s game with leg cramps, earning a “questionable” designation, only to return to the field to help Miami maintain its lead against Carolina. He remains uncoverable.

The Seahawks‘ top pass target secured two catches for 30 yards against the Bengals before exiting with a hip injury. The Pro Bowler also briefly left a game earlier this season only to later return, as he did again on Sunday vs. Cincinnati.

After battling ankle and knee issues earlier this year, Samuel left the 49ers‘ game against the Browns early with a shoulder injury, never returning. He was involved in a pregame scuffle but did not catch a pass before leaving. Fellow starter Trent Williams also briefly left San Francisco’s lineup due to a lower-leg injury, only to return soon after.

The former Jaguars prospect hasn’t been a major weapon in Carolina, but the Panthers aren’t loaded at wide receiver, so any loss is notable. Shenault was carted off and later ruled out with a fibula injury, putting more pressure on veteran No. 1 Adam Thielen.

The Saints moved Hurst from the interior to left tackle against the Texans, hoping to jumpstart Derek Carr’s protection. But Hurst was helped to the locker room with an ankle injury and forced Trevor Penning off the bench and back to the LT spot.

The former Pro Bowl lineman left Sunday’s divisional matchup with the Colts due to an ankle issue, first receiving medical attention on the sidelines, then relocating to the locker room. Jacksonville thrived regardless, going up multiple scores at home.

The former Titans guard, signed to help protect Justin Fields this offseason, was carted off with an ankle injury and later ruled out. He also missed time earlier this year, leaving Chicago to lean on emergency help at the right guard spot.

Washington built a multi-score lead over the Falcons in the second half of Sunday’s matchup despite Sweat leaving with a thumb injury and drawing a questionable designation. The pass rusher entered Week 6 with 4.5 sacks on the season.

The Dolphins‘ No. 1 cover man with Jalen Ramsey still rehabbing from offseason surgery, Howard was ruled questionable to return late in Miami’s rout of Carolina with a groin injury. He logged five tackles before exiting.

The starting cornerback pulled up with a hamstring injury after a special teams play in the second quarter of Sunday’s matchup with the Colts. Jacksonville turned to second-year reserve Montaric Brown in the secondary to help defend its lead vs. Indy.

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