Fantasy Injury Ward Redux – Week 6

Dr. Dave Pratt breaks down injuries of notable fantasy football players heading into Week 6 of the Regular Season.

| 2 years ago
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Fantasy Injury Ward Redux – Week 6


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Week 6 is upon us. Unfortunately for a lot of fantasy owners, many top-notch fantasy players will be inactive: the Chiefs and Saints are on their bye week and arguably the two best wide receivers in the league will likely be out. The depth of many fantasy teams will be tested this week.

The following is a break down of all the injuries of notable fantasy football players heading into Week 6.

As a reminder, there are five status designations players can have: active, probable, questionable, doubtful and out. The active and out designations are self-explanatory. The probable designation signifies a player has a greater than 50 percent chance of being active for the game. Questionable means the player essentially has a 50-50 chance of playing. Doubtful means the player has less than a 25 percent chance of playing.

 

Quarterbacks

Tom Brady is listed as questionable for Week 6 due to an ankle injury. He did not show up on the injury report until Friday, when he was a limited participant. He has recently been on the injury report with an ankle injury, and he has yet to miss a game this season.  There is no reason to think Brady will be inactive on Sunday.

Teddy Bridgewater suffered a low-grade high ankle sprain in Week 4, per Tom Pelissero of USA Today Sports. He was inactive in Week 5, and he suggested he would have played if the game were a day later in that week. He was a full participant in all of this week’s practices. He will be the Vikings starting quarterback against the Lions on Sunday.

Derek Carr suffered both a high ankle sprain and a MCL sprain in Week 4. If both of the injuries are mild to moderate in severity, he should only miss 2-4 weeks in total. He was a limited participant in Wednesday and Thursday’s practices, and he is officially listed as questionable for Sunday’s game. Nevertheless, barring any setbacks, Carr is expected to start for the Raiders against the Chargers.

Jake Locker suffered a right thumb injury in Week 5. The x-rays on his thumb were negative of any fractures, reports The Tennessean’s Jim Wyatt. Locker did not participate in any practices this week, and he is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game. Because he has not practiced at all this week, Locker is very unlikely to play against the Jaguars. If Locker is inactive on Sunday, the fantasy value of all Tennessee pass catchers will be reduced. Update: Locker will be inactive for Week 6, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Josh McCown injured the thumb on his throwing hand during Week 3. McCown hit his thumb on the helmet of a defender during the end of his throwing motion. Adam Schefter of ESPN reported McCown has a torn ligament in his thumb.

The ligament is most likely the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) of the thumb. If that were the affected ligament, the stability of McCown’s thumb would be compromised. Also, the normal healing time for such an injury is four to six weeks. If surgery is required, it could take McCown upward of four months to return to play. However, it is just speculation that McCown tore his UCL.

McCown will be inactive in Week 6. Once he does return to play, McCowns will likely back up Mike Glennon.

Carson Palmer was inactive in Week 5.  After throwing the ball earlier that week, his symptoms of right shoulder numbness and weakness were exacerbated.

He has been diagnosed with an axillary nerve contusion of the right shoulder. The axillary nerve innervates the muscles of the shoulder that are big contributors to a quarterback’s throwing motion: the deltoid and teres minor muscles. The nerve also transmits lateral shoulder sensation. The contusion of this nerve severely affects Palmer’s throwing motion, and it is causing numbness throughout the lateral aspect of his shoulder. The healing rate of such a nerve injury is very slow and difficult to predict.

Palmer has been a limited participant in practices all throughout this week. It has been reported he has yet to throw passes near his maximum velocity in practices. Coach Arians estimated he is currently throwing at about 80 percent of his maximal arm strength. He is officially listed as questionable for Week 6. However, due to his limited participation in practices, and the fact that he has not begun throwing balls at full strength, he will likely not get the start on Sunday. Nevertheless, his fantasy owners should check his game status prior to kickoff. Update: Palmer is slated to get the start today, per NFL’s Ian Rapoport .

Drew Stanton suffered a concussion during last Sunday’s game. Stanton has been a limited participant in this week’s practices, and he is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game. However, late Friday, Mike Jurecki of Fox Sports reported Stanton has been cleared to play on Sunday.

 

Running Backs

Montee Ball left last Sunday’s game with a groin strain. Ball strained his hip adductor muscles (i.e. groin muscles) when he made a cut move out of the backfield while running on a passing route. When he made the cut move, his legs were spread apart forcefully as if he were doing the splits. The quick stretch of his hip adductors likely caused tearing of muscle fibers or tearing of a tendon from the bone. There are many muscles in that region of the body, so it’s difficult to predict which he injured and to what severity.

Generally speaking, if he significantly tore muscle fibers in his hip adductors (i.e. grade II strain), he could be out four to six weeks. If a small part of a tendon was torn off the bone, he could miss only two to four weeks.

On Tuesday, reports have indicated he will not need surgery—which eliminates a complete tear from his possible diagnoses. At minimum, Ball will miss two weeks of play. He will need to let the injury scar over, and then he will need to rehabilitate the injury. Ball will not be cleared to play until he can run and make lateral cuts symptom free at full speed. Once he returns to play, he will have an elevated risk of reinjuring his groin for the rest of the season.

As expected, Ball did not participate in any practices this week, and he has been ruled out for Week 6. Ronnie Hillman is expected to start at running back for the Broncos on Sunday.

Joique Bell suffered a concussion in Week 4. He has been a full participant in practices throughout this week, and he is listed as probable for Week 6. He is expected to start for the Lions on Sunday as Reggie Bush is expected to be inactive due to an ankle injury.

Donald Brown suffered a concussion during Sunday’s game. He will need to complete the NFL concussion protocol prior to being cleared to play. He has been ruled out for Sunday’s game.

Reggie Bush left last Sunday’s game early with an ankle injury. The mechanism of his injury is unclear on the game film. He had an MRI on Monday, but the results have not yet been released.  He did not participate in any practices this week, and he is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game. His fantasy owners should expect him to be inactive this week. Joique Bell is expected to lead the Lions backfield in Week 6. Update: Bush will be inactive for Week 6, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Toby Gerhart will be inactive in Sunday’s game due to a foot injury. He has been dealing with an ankle injury since Week 1. The Jaguars are expected to use Storm Johnson, Denard Robinson and Jordan Todman as their committee of running backs this week.

Shonn Greene is listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game due to a hamstring strain. This could be the catalyst for Bishop Sankey’s breakout week—especially since they are facing the Jaguars.

Mark Ingram has suffered a fracture of his hand, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. He is still on schedule to return in Week 7, the week after the Saints’ bye week.

Fred Jackson missed Friday’s practice due to illness. He is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game. His fantasy owners should check his game status prior to kickoff.

Rashad Jennings suffered a sprained MCL (knee) during Sunday’s game, per Bill Pennington of the New York Times. Skill players typically need two to five weeks to return from such an injury. Week 8 is the Giants’ bye week, so Week 9 is when Jennings will likely return to play.  Jennings will be inactive in Week 6. Andre Williams will play in his stead for the time being.

Ryan Mathews sprained his MCL (knee) in Week 2. Due to the severity of his sprain, he is expected to miss a total of four to five weeks. He will be inactive in Week 6.

Knowshon Moreno suffered a dislocated elbow in Week 2, and he has been inactive since that time. During Monday’s practice, Moreno participated in team drills while wearing an arm brace, reported Andrew Abramson of the Palm Beach Post. He was a limited participant in practices throughout the week. He is officially listed as probable for Sunday’s game against the Packers. If he does play, he will likely have a managed workload. Lamar Miller is expected to still lead the Dolphins backfield.

Zac Stacy strained his left calf in Week 5. On Monday, coach Jeff Fisher said Stacy will likely miss practice time throughout the week, but he expects Stacy to play in Monday’s game, per Joe Lyons of the St Louis Post-Dispatch. Stacy was a full participant in Friday’s practice, and he is listed as probable for Week 6. His fantasy owners can expect him to start in Monday’s game.

Jonathan Stewart suffered a MCL (knee) sprain in Week 3.  This is the same ligament that he sprained last season, and caused him to miss the entire month of December.

Stewart was a limited participant in Friday’s practice, and he is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game. Coach Ron Rivera considers Stewart to be a game-time decision. Update: Stewart will be inactive on Sunday, per Joe Person of The Charlotte Observer.

DeAngelo Williams was inactive in Week 3 due to a hamstring injury. Then, in Week 4, he suffered a high ankle sprain. He recently had the cast removed from his foot. He will be inactive in Week 6.

 

Wide Receivers

Jarrett Boykin was inactive in Week 4 and Week 5 due to a knee and a groin injury. Coach Mike McCarthy said Boykin’s injury is worse than originally expected. He will be inactive in Week 6 as well. For the time being, Davante Adams will continue to occupy the Packers’ WR3 role.

Eric Decker has been dealing with a lingering hamstring strain since Week 2. Decker was inactive in last Sunday’s blowout game. He was a limited participant in Friday’s practice, and he is listed as questionable for Week 6.

Because he has had numerous setbacks during the healing process, this injury will be nagging him for longer than initially expected. Compared to his counterparts, Decker has a higher risk of suffering another hamstring strain this season.  Additionally, if he were to play on Sunday, he would have a high risk of aggravating the injured hamstring and leaving the game early. In a nutshell, Decker’s risk far exceeds his upside in Week 6. His fantasy owners should bench him regardless of his game status. Update: Decker will be active against the Broncos today, per Kim Jones of NFL.com.

Harry Douglas injured his foot in Week 3, and he has been inactive ever since. Coach Mike Smith has indicated that the imaging of Douglas’ foot came back negative, per the Falcons’ official website. His exact diagnosis is still unknown. He did not participate in any practices this week, and he has been ruled out for Sunday’s matchup against the Bears.

Mike Evans suffered a groin strain in Week 4, and he was inactive in Week 5. According to Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports, Evans is expected to miss two to three weeks in total. He was a limited participant in all of this week’s practices, and he is officially listed as questionable for Sunday’s game.

It is worth noting that Week 7 is the Buccaneers’ bye week. Because a player’s groin strain can be easily aggravated if he returns to play too soon, the Buccaneers will likely hold Evans out until Week 8. That would significantly reduce the likelihood that his groin injury becomes a chronic issue. Update: Evans is expected to play today, per NFL’s Ian Rapoport.

Malcom Floyd suffered a calf injury in Week 5. The type and severity of the injury is unknown. He likely strained his calf, and he could miss one to four weeks–depending on the grade of the strain. He has been a limited participant in all of this week’s practices. He is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Raiders. His fantasy owners should check his game status prior to kickoff.

AJ Green made headlines this week when his chronically injured right great toe suffered a setback. He was spotted wearing a walking boot during the Bengals’ practice on Friday. He is officially listed as questionable for Sunday’s game. However, Coley Harvey of ESPN reports Green will be inactive on Sunday. His fantasy owners should plan to replace him for Week 6. Update: Green will be inactive for Week 6, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Devin Hester is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against his old team, the Bears. Hester has been dealing with a hamstring strain that forced him to miss Wednesday and Thursday’s practices. He was a limited participant on Friday. Hester stated that he is ready to play this week, per Vaughn McClure of ESPN. Nevertheless, it’s ill advised to trust players and coaches when they discuss injury statuses. Hester’s fantasy owners best check his game status prior to kickoff.

Vincent Jackson is questionable for Sunday’s game due to a rib injury. He did not participate in Wednesday and Thursday’s practices, and he was a limited participant on Friday. He is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game, and he is truly a game-time decision. Luckily for his fantasy owners, the Buccaneers play in an early game. Update: Jackson is expected to play today, per NFL’s Ian Rapoport.

Calvin Johnson was active in last Sunday’s game despite being listed as questionable due to an ankle injury.  Throughout the first half of that game, Johnson did not look any better than he did in Week 4, when he essentially hobbled around the field as a decoy. He did not have a single target in the first half.

In the third quarter, Johnson was targeted for the first time all day. On that play, he was hit low by a Bills cornerback, and his ankle was aggravated by the hit. Since the game, coach Jim Caldwell has discussed the strong possibility that Johnson will be held out of action for a week or two.

As expected, Johnson did not participate in any practices this week, and he is listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game. Update: Johnson will be inactive for Week 6, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Marqise Lee was inactive in Week 5 due to a lingering hamstring injury. After missing the Jaguars’ last three games, Lee is expected to make his return to the field this Sunday. His role in the offense remains to be seen.

Cecil Shorts III was inactive in Week 5 due to a hamstring strain. He is listed as probable for Week 6.

 

Tight Ends

Vernon Davis was inactive in Week 4 due to muscle spasm in his low back. Imaging of his back was reportedly negative. He was a limited participant in Thursday and Friday’s practices. He is officially listed as questionable for Monday’s game, but it appears he is on track to play. Nevertheless, if he is made inactive during pregame, his fantasy owners who need to have a backup player to plug into their lineups—which would be very difficult. Because of this, his owners should side with caution, and bench Davis for one more week.

Jimmy Graham suffered a right shoulder injury in Sunday’s game. Graham appeared to have been injured by a shoulder-to-shoulder collision he had with a Buccaneers linebacker.  He left the game to be examined on the sidelines, and then returned to play temporarily. He has since been diagnosed with a shoulder sprain, per NFL.com.

A shoulder sprain is a general term, and there are a few different injuries that could be classified as a shoulder sprain. In this specific case, Graham likely suffered an AC sprain, the same injury currently effecting Jordan Cameron.

If Graham indeed does have an AC sprain, it is likely not severe—as evident in the game film. In Graham’s last play in Sunday’s game, Brees targeted him in the end zone. The ball was thrown high over Graham’s head, and he was able to reach overhead with this right arm in an attempt to catch it. The fact that he could still reach overhead with little-visible effort is a good sign that his injury is not severe.

The Saints are on their bye week in Week 6, so more information regarding Graham’s injury will not be available until next week. The results of further testing and imaging will indicate the true nature of his injury. Update: Graham expected to miss two-to-three weeks after bye week due to shoulder sprain, per NFL’s Ian Rapoport.

Greg Olsen is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game due to an ankle injury. He was a limited participant in Friday’s practice. More likely than not, Olsen will play on Sunday. However, his fantasy owners best check his game status prior to kickoff.

Jordan Reed has been recovering from a relatively severe grade II hamstring strain. He has missed four-straight weeks of play due to this injury. He was a limited participant in Friday’s practice, and he is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game.

The Redskins appear to be confident Reed will play. Considering the state of his hamstring, and the fact he will be losing snaps to Niles Paul, if he were to play, Reed would be a risky fantasy player to start on Sunday.

 

Defensive Linemen

Calais Campbell suffered a MCL (knee) sprain in last Sunday’s game. He is expected to miss one to three weeks of play. He will be inactive in Week 6.

Jeremiah Ratliff left Week 2 with a concussion, and he has not played since that time. He was a full participant in Thursday and Friday’s practices. He is listed as probable for Week 6.

Kyle Williams left the game early in Week 4 due to a knee injury, and he was inactive in Week 5.  He is questionable for Week 6.

 

Linebackers

Nigel Bradham was inactive in Week 5 due to a knee injury. He was a limited participant in practices throughout the week. He is questionable for Week 6.

Lance Briggs is out for Week 6 due to a rib injury.

Bruce Carter suffered a quadriceps strain in Week 4, and was out for Week 5. He will likely be out 2-4 weeks. He will be inactive in Week 6.

Koa Misi was inactive in Week 4 due to an ankle injury. He practiced all week, and he is probable for Week 6.

Nick Roach has missed the past four games due to a concussion. He was placed on season-ending injury reserve on Wednesday.

Ryan Shazier suffered a MCL (knee) sprain in Week 3. He was inactive in Week 4 and Week 5. He will also be inactive in Week 6.

 

Defensive Backs

Eric Berry suffered a severe left ankle sprain in Week 2, and he has been out ever since that time. Week 6 is the Chiefs’ bye week, so he will have an extra week to heal prior to the next game.

Kam Chancellor is listed as questionable for Week 6 due to an ankle injury. Because he did not practice at all this week, it’s unlikely he will play on Sunday against the Cowboys.

Cortland Finnegan is listed as questionable for Week 6 due to a neck injury. He will be a game-time decision.

Devin McCourty suffered a rib injury in last Sunday’s game. He was a limited participant in practices this week, and he is listed as probable for Sunday’s game.

Patrick Peterson suffered an ankle injury during Week 5. He is expected to play on Sunday against the Redskins.

Darrelle Revis left last Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury. He is expected to play on Sunday against the Bills.

Shareece Wright suffered a knee injury in Week 4, and he was inactive in Week 5. He will also be inactive in Sunday’s game against the Raiders.

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