Fantasy Injury Ward Redux – Week 3
Dr. Dave Pratt breaks down injuries of notable fantasy football players heading into Week 3 of Regular Season.
Fantasy Injury Ward Redux – Week 3
A plethora of injuries occurred in Week 2. Surprisingly, a few of the marquee fantasy players that were hurt last week have made big strides towards returning to play. The most significant of these players are Jamaal Charles and AJ Green. Additionally, there has been optimistic news regarding Robert Griffin III’s return timetable.
As we head into Week 3, here is a look at the playing status of noteworthy fantasy players.
Robert Griffin III suffered an apparent non-contact left ankle dislocation during Sunday’s game. Fortunately for him, his MRI came back negative for any fractures, per Mike Jones of The Washington Post. This result essentially rules out an ankle dislocation as his diagnosis. This is because ankle dislocations very rarely occur without the presence of a bone fracture.
On Wednesday, coach Jay Gruden stated that Griffin will have his ankle immobilized in a hard cast for about 10 days. Then, he will rehabilitate his ankle for four to six weeks, as reported by the Washington Times’ Zac Boyer. This prognosis is consistent with a dislocation of the subtalar joint, the joint distal to the ankle that allows for the foot to invert (tilt inward) and evert (tilt outward), and not of the ankle joint.
The Redskins will be moving on into Week 3 with Kirk Cousins as their starting quarterback. Griffin’s fantasy owners should feel safe with dropping him from their rosters. When Griffin returns, his mobility will be worse, his risk of injury will be higher, and there is no guarantee he can reclaim the starting job from Cousins.
Shaun Hill sat out in Week 2 due to a quadriceps strain he suffered in Week 1. He has been a limited participant in Rams practice all week. His is listed as questionable for Week 3 on the Rams’ official website. He will be a game-time decision on Sunday. Austin Davis is expected to start this week. Update: Hill will be active today, per Adam Schefter. Austin is still expected to get the majority of the snaps.
Carson Palmer has been ruled out for Week 3, and Drew Stanton will be the starting quarterback for the Cardinals, per John Breech of CBSSports.com. Palmer’s exact diagnosis is unknown. His reported symptoms and mechanism of injury are consistent with chronic burner syndrome. Due to the time he has missed, he likely has a more severe peripheral nerve injury (grade II or III). Palmer’s outlook for the rest of the season is bleak. His fantasy owners should move on to greener pastures.
Tony Romo is listed as probable for Sunday’s game due to low back tightness. He did not participate in Wednesday’s practice, but he was a full participant in Thursday and Friday’s practices. He will be the Cowboys’ starting quarterback against the Rams on Sunday.
Joique Bell is probable for Week 3 due to a knee injury. He has not missed any practices this week. He is expected to be active on Sunday against the Packers.
Jamaal Charles left last Sunday’s game in the first quarter with a high ankle sprain. Coach Andy Reid stated that Charles’ ankle sprain was not severe, and NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reported that the MRI of his ankle was “clean.” Charles surprised the masses by being a limited participant in Thursday and Friday’s practices. His participation included running back drills and agility drills around cones—which is a good sign during the rehabilitation of a high ankle sprain.
On Friday, Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com wrote, “[it’s] look[ing] more likely that [Charles] will suit up Sunday in the team’s huge game in Miami.” Charles is listed as questionable for Week 3 on the Chiefs’ official website. If he is active on Sunday, expect Knile Davis to get the majority of carries, and Charles to have a managed and limited workload. Fantasy owners should find a safer alternative to start in Charles’ stead until he proves he is back near full form. Nevertheless, he is a game-time decision on Sunday.
Andre Ellington is still suffering from a peroneus longus (i.e. fibularis longus) tendon strain. He has continued to manage the injury conservatively throughout the week by not participating in Wednesday’s practice, and then being a limited participant in Thursday and Friday’s practices. Expect him to be on the field in Week 3.
Arian Foster is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game due to a hamstring injury. Foster has been limited at practice for the entire week. The most likely reason Foster has been limited is the Texans are trying to rest their veteran-workhorse running back. However, considering Foster’s long history of hamstring injuries, he may actually be recovering from an acute hamstring strain. Update: Foster will be inactive for Week 3, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.
Toby Gerhart sustained an ankle injury in Week 1, and he was able to play in Week 2. The mechanism of injury from Week 1 is consistent with that of a high ankle sprain. The fact he played in Week 2 is encouraging that the injury is only mild in severity. However, he will likely not be at 100 percent health for quite a while. He will play in Week 3, but expectations for his production should be tempered for the near future.
Mark Ingram has suffered a fracture of his hand, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. He is expected to miss at least 4 weeks. Pierre Thomas and Khiry Robinson are expected to take on larger workloads in his absence.
Maurice Jones-Drew underwent a “minor surgery” on his right hand after Week 1, and he was inactive in Week 2. Jones-Drew was a limited participant in Thursday and Friday’s practices. It appears he is close to making a full return. However, if he is still not able to effectively block and catch the ball at full speed with his right hand, he will likely miss Week 3. He is listed as questionable for Week 3 by the Raiders’ official website, and he will be a game-time decision.
Marshawn Lynch is listed as probable on this week’s injury report due to a back injury. Lynch has a history of low back muscle spams, but they have not been an issue in recent seasons. He missed practice on Wednesday—which was likely a rest day—and he was a full participant in Thursday and Friday’s practices. He will be suited up and ready to play on Sunday.
Ryan Mathews sprained his MCL (knee) in Week 2. He is expected to miss four to five weeks. Donald Brown’s workload will be hefty in the coming month.
Doug Martin was inactive on Thursday night due to a knee injury he suffered in Week 1. While his teammates took a shellacking from the Falcons, Martin got an extra week to recover from his injury. His status for Week 4 is still questionable.
Knowshon Moreno suffered a dislocated elbow during Week 2. He is expected to miss four to eight weeks. He told teammates he is planning play in Week 6 against the Packers, as reported by the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson. Unfortunately for Moreno, he has minimal control on how fast he can recover from this injury. Lamar Miller will lead the Miami backfield for the time being.
Bernard Pierce was a late-week addition to the Ravens’ injury report. Pierce is listed as questionable for Week 3 due to a quad injury. He was a limited participant in Thursday and Friday’s practices. He will be a game-time decision. If he responds well to pregame warm-ups, he will play. His fantasy owners should check his status prior to the start of Sunday’s early games. Update: Pierce will be inactive for Week 3, per Around The NFL’s twitter page.
Ben Tate suffered a MCL sprain (knee) in Week 1. His estimated return time is Week 5 against the Titans. Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell will be the Brown’s primary running backs until his return.
Shane Vereen is listed as questionable for Week 3 due to a shoulder injury. There is no report of Vereen suffering a significant shoulder injury, and he was a limited participant in practices throughout the week. The Patriots are well known for flooding their injury report with players, and most of the players end up being active on Sundays. In this particular case, Vereen likely suffered a mild injury to his shoulder in Week 2, and the Patriots managed his workload throughout the week. He is expected to play on Sunday, but his fantasy owners should still check his status prior Sunday’s early games.
DeAngelo Williams is listed as questionable for Week 3 due to a hamstring injury. He sat out of Week 2. He did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday, but he was a limited participant in Friday’s practice. It’s rare for a player that has missed over a week of action due to a hamstring strain to be able to play a game with only one day of practice. There is a decent chance Williams will not play on Sunday. Because the Panthers play the Steelers in Sunday’s late game, it will be difficult for Williams’ fantasy owners to have a good back-up plan if he were to be inactive. It’s advised that his owners find a safer option for Week 3 if able.
Keenan Allen showed up on this week’s injury report on Thursday with a groin injury. He was a limited participant in Friday’s practice. The severity of this groin injury is unclear. He may have mildly tweaked a groin muscle during Thursday’s practice, and then was rested on Friday to ensure his availability for Week 3. On the other hand, this may be a more significant groin injury. In this case, the former is more likely than the latter. Nevertheless, his fantasy owners should definitely check his pregame status. Update: Allen will be active today, per NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport.
Tavon Austin has been diagnosed with an MCL tear (knee), nflspinzone.com reports. He is expected to miss two to four weeks of play.
Dez Bryant suffered a shoulder injury in last week’s game. He left the game to have additional padding applied to the shoulder region, returned to the action, and finished the game. He was a limited participant in Thursday and Friday’s practices. Despite the fact his status is questionable, he is expected to play on Sunday.
Eric Decker left last Sunday’s game early against the Packers due to a hamstring injury, and he did not return to play. He is questionable for Week 3. This recent hamstring injury was an exacerbation of a previous hamstring strain. Decker missed most of this week’s practices. His only practice of the week was on Saturday, and he was a limited participant in that. He is a very risky start for his fantasy owners on Monday night due to the high chance he will have a symptom exacerbation, and that fact that it is the last game of the week. His fantasy owners should find a better option to play in Week 3.
A.J. Green left his Week 2 contest early with a toe injury. On Monday, Geoff Hobson of bengals.com reported that Green’s MRI was negative, and he is not expected to miss much playing time. Green was a limited participant in Thursday and Friday’s practices, and he was upgraded to a status of probable for Week 3. This means Green will likely play on Sunday. However, because he left last week’s game early due to this exacerbation of an old toe injury, there is a chance Green could also leave this game early if the toe symptoms are again exacerbated. Because of Green’s elite-level upside, that is a risk his owners should take by playing him. His owners should check his status following pre-game warm-ups to see how he tolerated those activities.
Desean Jackson was knocked out of the game last Sunday with a shoulder injury. Jackson suffered an AC joint sprain, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Jackson’s AC sprain appears to be mild. He did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday, but was a limited participant in Friday’s practice. He is questionable for Sunday. The primary deciding factor to whether he plays will be his overhead reaching ability, an important function of a wide receiver, and his tenderness along the joint. Also, this injury can be exacerbated if he lands on that shoulder hard, so his short-term injury risk is higher than usual. If he does play, he will likely have a managed workload. Update: Jackson will be active on Sunday, per Adam Schefter.
Alshon Jeffery suffered a hamstring strain while playing against the Bills in Week 1. His week-2 status was a game-time decision. He was made active last Sunday, and he finished the night with three receptions for 47 yards. Even though he played the entire game without any visible setbacks in his condition, he looked relatively slow and labored when he reached his top-end speed. It was clear that the hamstring was not adequately healed. He was a limited participant in Thursday, Friday and Saturday’s practices. He is expected to play on Monday night, but he is still not at 100% health. Nevertheless, his top-end running should look better than it did last week—which is important for his big-play ability.
Brandon Marshall is listed as questionable for Week 3 due to an ankle injury. He initially injured his ankle in Week 1. He was a last-second activation for last Sunday night’s game, and he finished the evening with five receptions for 48 yards and three touchdowns. He was not able to reach his normal top-end speed, but that made little difference in the outcome. With a long week of rest, Marshall’s ankle issue should be even less of a concern when the Bears face the Jets on Monday night. He was a limited participant in Saturday’s practice, and he is expected to play in prime time on Monday.
Hakeem Nicks is listed as questionable for Week 3 due to an illness. He missed both Thursday and Friday’ practices due to being ill. His fantasy owners should check on his status prior to kickoff on Sunday.
Cecil Shorts did not play in Week 2 due to a lingering hamstring strain. He has practiced three days in a row this week, and he appears to be available for Week 3. Expect to see Shorts on the field against the Colts on Sunday.
Jordan Cameron missed Week 2 due to an AC joint sprain. His MRI showed no structural damage, according to the Browns official website. Nevertheless, Cleveland is being cautious in returning Cameron to play. It is likely that Cameron was held out of Week 2 due to overhead reaching range-of-motion deficits and tenderness at the joint.
He was a limited participant in Friday’s practice. His status is questionable for Sunday. The Browns could really use him back ASAP. On the other hand, if he is held out of Week 3, then he will have two weeks of rest before the Browns’ next game. This additional rest would help reduce his risk of re injuring the AC joint. It is difficult to predict if he will play this week against Baltimore. His fantasy owners should check on his status prior to kickoff on Sunday. Update: Cameron is active for Week 3, per Around The NFL’s twitter page.
Charles Clay has been dealing with a knee issue for the past couple of weeks. His status was downgraded to questionable for Week 3. He was a limited participant at practices throughout the entire week. He will likely play on Sunday.
Vernon Davis left last Sunday night’s contest early against the Bears with an ankle injury. His MRI results showed a bone bruise. He was still seen ambulating with crutches on Wednesday, and he has not practiced all this week. He is listed as questionable for Sunday, but there is little-to-no chance he will play.
Marcedes Lewis suffered an ankle injury last Sunday, and he was not able to finish the game. He was later diagnosed with a significant high ankle sprain. His estimated time until return is six-to-seven weeks.
Jordan Reed missed Week 2 due to a lingering hamstring strain. He has not participated in any practices this week. He is officially listed as out for Week 3 on the Redskins’ official website. He will likely be out for Week 4 as well. His fantasy owners should expect him back no sooner than Week 5.
Chris Long will soon undergo ankle surgery, and he has been placed on the Rams’ IR/designated to return list. He is expected to miss about 10 weeks of play.
Jeremiah Ratliffe left last Sunday’s game with a concussion. He will have to complete NFL concussion protocol prior to returning to full contact participation. He is out for Week 3.
John Abraham has been placed on the Cardinals IR due to his recent concussion.
Vontaze Burfict suffered a concussion in Week 1, and then suffered a “stinger” in Week 2. He is doubtful for Week 3.
Jerrell Freeman has been ruled out of Sunday’s game due to a hamstring injury.
Koa Misi ruled out for Week 3 due to ankle injury.
Nick Roach missed Week 2 due to a concussion. He is still progressing through the NFL concussion protocol. He is questionable for Week 3.
Eric Berry left last Sunday’s matchup against the Broncos early with an ankle injury, and he did not return. He has been diagnosed with an ankle sprain. He is officially ruled out for Week 3.
Jonathan Cyprien is still going through the NFL’s concussion protocol. He is questionable for Week 3.
James Ihedigbo sat out of Week 2 due his injured neck and knee. He is doubtful for Week 3.