The pattern of quarterback injuries continued in the NFL Sunday, when Houston’s Warren Moon suffered a dislocated thumb and Dallas’ Troy Aikman suffered a dislocated right shoulder.
Both are probably out for the season, although Moon might be able to return in three weeks if the Oilers make it that far in the playoffs.
The Cowboys, despite their 17-3 loss to Philadelphia Sunday, can still qualify for the playoffs with a victory at Atlanta next Sunday, but Aikman is out for at least four weeks, and possibly longer.
Eight quarterbacks have been injured in the past two weeks, including New England’s Tommy Hodson, who suffered a sprained ankle in the second quarter of the Patriots’ 42-7 loss to the New York Jets Sunday and did not return.
In the same game, the Jets’ Ken O’Brien was shaken up in the second quarter, but missed only two plays.
On Saturday, Minnesota’s Wade Wilson, who was sidelined for most of the season because of a thumb injury, separated his right shoulder in the 28-24 loss to the Raiders.
The previous weekend, the injury list included Buffalo’s Jim Kelly (knee), New York Giants’ Phil Simms (foot), Cleveland’s Bernie Kosar (broken thumb), and Kansas City’s Steve DeBerg (broken little finger).
Only DeBerg, whose injury was to his non-throwing hand, was able to play Sunday, and he threw for 251 yards and two touchdown in a 24-21 victory over San Diego.
Kelly and Simms might be able to return for the playoffs.
Moon was injured Sunday when he caught his right thumb on a helmet in the closing minutes of a 40-20 loss to Cincinnati, which knocked the Oilers out of first place in the AFC Central Division.
Team trainer Brad Brown said Moon would have surgery Sunday night to clean out the dislocated joint after the team returned to Houston.
“We’re looking at three or four weeks before he’d be able to throw the football very well,” Brown said.
The dislocated joint broke through the skin and was put back in place.
Cody Carlson, who has completed 15 of 26 passes for one touchdown this season, will have to try to rally the Oilers to their first division title next Sunday night, when they play host to Pittsburgh.
“People on this team are going to have to rally around him to get his confidence going,” Moon said. “Our players know he can do the job. They see him in practice every day and they’ve seen him in game conditions. They know Cody can play.”
Moon’s injury came one week after he had the second-best passing performance in NFL history, throwing for 527 yards against Kansas City. He hurt the thumb on an incomplete pass with 1:47 left in the game Sunday.
The injury comes at the end of Moon’s most spectacular season. He matched Dan Marino’s NFL record with nine 300-yard passing games, and was closing in on a number of Marino’s other records.
Moon finishes the regular season with 4,689 yards passing and 33 touchdowns, both league highs. He completed 342 of 584 throws.
Moon suffered a broken bone in his throwing shoulder in the Oilers’ 1988 season-opening game against Indianapolis. He missed five games as a result.
Moon was forced to leave a game against Cleveland on Nov. 30, 1986, when he hit his thumb on the helmet of a Browns’ player while throwing. He missed one game because of the injury.
Aikman was the sixth quarterback the Eagles have knocked out of a game this season.
Aikman was decked by defensive end Clyde Simmons only 4:53 into the game.
“I saw him coming and I got rid of the football,” Aikman said. “It wasn’t the hit. When I landed, I fell on the shoulder.”
He was replaced by Babe Laufenberg, who had one completion all year. Laufenberg was 13 of 36 for 140 yards and had four passes intercepted, including Eric Allen’s 35-yard touchdown return in the fourth quarter.