Fantasy Injury Ward Redux – Week 9
Dr. Dave Pratt breaks down injuries of notable fantasy football players heading into Week 9 of the Regular Season.
Fantasy Injury Ward Redux – Week 9
Since the writing of our early-week injury report, a few revelations have been made known regarding the health statuses of two fantasy-relevant quarterbacks: Tony Romo and Robert Griffin III. Additionally, during a week when six teams are on bye, the pool of startable Week-9 fantasy running backs has been made even smaller due to injuries. The following is a break down of all the injuries of notable fantasy football players heading into Week 9.
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.
Robert Griffin III suffered an apparent dislocation of the subtalar joint of the foot in Week 2. Coach Jay Gruden said he wants Griffin to complete at least two weeks of practices prior to being activated for a game. If the Redskins training staff believes Griffin’s ankle and foot are stable, and his conditioning is adequate, he has a chance of being active in Week 9. Saturday Update: Griffin was a full participant in Thursday’s practice, and he worked with the first-team offense. Coach Gruden told the media that Griffin has been medically cleared to play. As long as Griffin does not have a setback before Sunday’s kickoff, he will be the Redskins starting quarterback for Week 9.
Aaron Rodgers suffered a Grade-I or Grade-II left hamstring strain in Week 8. Two pieces of information suggest the strain is not severe. First, after suffering the injury, he kept grabbing and rubbing the hamstring’s muscle belly. This suggests that he did not suffer an injury to the hamstring tendons—which take longer time to heal than a tear to the muscle belly. Secondly, he was able to jog after he sustained the injury—which he would not be able to do if he suffered a high-end Grade-II strain.
The Packers are on bye this week, so Rodgers will have an extra week to recover and rehab his left hamstring. He will certainly not be back to 100 percent health when he faces the Bears in Week 10, but he will likely be in good enough health to play. His fantasy owners have no reason to panic at this time.
Tony Romo suffered a low back contusion during Monday’s game. He was kneed in the back during the play he was injured. Immediately following the play, television broadcasters voiced their concerns that Romo might have reinjured the lumbar disc that he had surgically repaired during the offseason.
Anatomically speaking, it is almost impossible to damage an intervertebral disc with a knee to the back. The most probable mechanism of injury for a lumbar disc would be a forceful thrust of the lumbar spine into rotation and forward flexion—which was not the case in this instance.
Romo’s X-ray print was negative of any fractures. However, because the Cowboys medical staff elected to have him undergo a CT scan on Monday, there must be some concern that he could have suffered a small fracture of a transverse process of a lumbar vertebra—which could go undetected on X-ray. Unless a significant fracture is found on the CT scan, Romo will only be limited by pain. Saturday Update: Romo has been diagnosed having two fractured transverse processes in his back. A fractured transverse process is very painful, but such a fracture does not cause nerve damage or nerve irritation. Romo’s fractures do not compromise the structural integrity of his spine, so the fractures will not directly cause him to miss any playing time. However, pain and muscle spasms secondary to the injury could cause him to miss time—likely no more than two weeks. At this time, Romo remains to be a game-time decision. Even though he has a chance to play in Week 9, his fantasy owners should have a backup quarterback on standby just incase Romo is out.
Alex Smith suffered a muscle strain in his right shoulder during the second half of Sunday’s game, according to head coach Andy Reid. Smith was able to finish the game after he suffered the injury. Even though the symptoms of a muscle strain can worsen over the first initial days, it appears Smith’s injury is no worse than initially thought. According to Reid, Smith’s primary symptom remains to be mild tenderness in the shoulder. Saturday Update: Smith was a full participant in Friday’s practice. He is expected to play on Sunday against the one-win Jets.
Geno Smith suffered a shoulder injury in Week 8. All reports indicate the injury is not severe. Regardless of how quickly Smith recovers from this injury, he will be riding the pine for the foreseeable future. Michael Vick has been named the Jets new starting quarterback. Saturday Update: Smith began throwing again at Thursday’s practice. Nevertheless, he will be the Jets backup quarterback in Week 9.
Montee Ball suffered a grade-II groin strain in Week 5. He is expected to miss four to six weeks in total. He has yet to return to practice. Considering his lack of production this season, and the emergence of Ronnie Hillman, Ball will likely not regain the starting job when he returns to the lineup. Saturday Update: Ball is officially out for Week 9.
Giovani Bernard left Sunday’s game early due to a hip injury. The mechanism of injury is unclear in the game film. His injury is not believed to be significant, per the Bengals’ official site. However, his exact diagnose is unknown—but he likely has a hip pointer. Saturday Update: Bernard did not practice this week. He is officially out for Week 9. His diagnosis and prognosis are still unclear at this time.
Donald Brown suffered a concussion in Week 5. He has been inactive since that time due to lingering symptoms. He will need to complete the NFL concussion protocol prior to being cleared to play. Saturday Update: Brown practiced fully on Wednesday and Thursday. He will be active for Sunday’s game.
Reggie Bush suffered an ankle sprain in Week 5, sat out in Week 6, and then exacerbated his injury in Week 7. Last Wednesday, he returned to practice on a limited basis, was downgraded to a non-participant for the rest of that week, and then he was inactive for Sunday’s game. Luckily for Bush, the Lions are on bye this week. However, due to his multiple setbacks, and the now chronic nature of his ankle injury, his availability for Week 10 remains unclear. This injury could linger for quite a while.
Ronnie Hillman suffered a minor shoulder injury during Wednesday’s practice. He was a limited participant in Thursday’s practice, and he was upgraded to a full participant on Friday. Saturday Update: Hillman is listed as probable for Sunday’s game: he is expected to get the start.
Fred Jackson suffered a grade-II groin strain during Week 7. Specifically, a small portion of the adductor longus muscle, a groin muscle, was pulled from its insertion site on the bone, per Mike Rodak of ESPN. Running backs typically have a difficult time recovering from this injury. Sprinting and lateral cutting, the primary movements of a NFL running back, can exacerbate the injury if the athlete’s hip adductor muscles are not adequately healed. With that in mind, Jackson will likely be out for a total of three to four weeks. The Bills are on bye this week, so Jackson could return in time for their game against the Chiefs in Week 10.
Rashad Jennings suffered a sprained MCL (knee) in Week 5. Skill players typically need two to five weeks to return from such an injury. Coach Tom Coughlin expressed doubt that Jennings would be available for Monday’s game. Saturday Update: Jennings has been ruled out for Week 9.
Doug Martin suffered an ankle injury in Week 8. The mechanism of injury was more consistent with a high ankle sprain than a low ankle sprain, and there are reports that he had significant swelling in the ankle after last Sunday’s game. Saturday Update: Martin did not practice this week. He is officially listed as doubtful for Week 9. Bobby Rainey is expected to be the Buccaneers starting running back on Sunday.
Ryan Mathews sprained his MCL (knee) in Week 2. He is expected to miss a total of five to six weeks. He did not participate in any practices last week, and he was inactive for Sunday’s game. Reports from San Diego hint that Mathews could make a return to the field this week. However, because Week 10 is the Chargers’ bye, he may be rested through that time, and then return in Week 11. Saturday Update: Mathews is out for Week 9. As expected, the Chargers will rest him through their bye week. He will likely make his return in Week 11.
Trent Richardson suffered a hamstring injury in Week 7. He did not participate in any practices last week, and he was sidelined in Week 8. Saturday Update: Richardson practiced fully this week, and he is expected to play in Monday’s game.
Khiry Robinson has a forearm injury. Specifics about the injury are unknown, but it has been referred to as a “tweak” by many in the media. He did not practice last week, and he was inactive in Week 8. Saturday Update: Robinson was inactive in Thursday’s game.
C.J. Spiller suffered a clavicle fracture during Week 7. The Bills placed him on their injured reserve list with a designation to return. He will be eligible to return on December 21 against the Raiders.
Darren Sproles suffered a mild MCL (knee) sprain in Week 6, and he has been inactive ever since that time. A mild MCL sprain usually takes a running back two to three weeks to return to play. Saturday Update: Sproles was a full participant in all practices this week. He is expected to play in Week 9.
Pierre Thomas suffered a shoulder injury in Week 7, and he was inactive in Week 8. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported Thomas’ shoulder injury would keep him sidelined for two to three weeks in total. His exact diagnosis is still unknown. Saturday Update: Thomas was inactive for in Thursday’s game.
AJ Green is dealing with a chronically sprained right great toe. He did not practice at all last week, and he was inactive in Week 8, his third-consecutive missed game. Reports indicate that his symptoms are improving gradually, and he is on track to play in Week 9—unless a setback occurs. If his new shoe orthotics adequately supports his injured toe, Green has a decent chance of being productive on Sunday.
Nevertheless, regardless of his orthotics’ effectiveness, this injury will limit him for the rest of the season. His fantasy owners should temper their expectations for his production over the rest of the season. Saturday Update: Green was a limited participant in all of this week’s practices. He is listed a probable for Week 9. His fantasy owners should monitor his game status up until kickoff—as he could have a setback during pre-game warm-up.
Vincent Jackson is listed on the Buccaneers injury report due to a rib injury. He was a limited participant in Wednesday and Thursday’s practices, and was upgraded to a full participant on Friday. Saturday Update: He is listed as probable for Sunday’s game, and he is expected to play.
Calvin Johnson is continuing to recover from his high ankle sprain. As expected, the Lions opted to rest him through their bye week. He is expected to gradually ramp up his general conditioning and practice participation over the next two weeks. He is expected to make his return against the Dolphins in Week 10.
Cordarrelle Patterson was spotted wearing a walking boot after last Sunday’s game. Reports have indicated that he is no longer wearing the boot, and he is not expected to miss any practice time. Saturday Update: Patterson is off of the Vikings injury report. He will play on Sunday.
Nate Washington suffered a shoulder injury during Week 8. Coach Ken Whisenhunt indicated that Washington would not practice this week, Tennessee’s bye week. More will be known about his injury status next week.
Reggie Wayne hyperextended his elbow in Week 7. He did not practice last week, and he was inactive for last Sunday’s game. Coach Chuck Pagano has hinted that Wayne will be ready to play in Monday’s game. Saturday Update: Wayne was a full participant in Friday’s practice, and he is listed as probable for Monday’s game. He is expected to play— likely while wearing an elbow brace.
Jordan Cameron suffered a concussion in last Sunday’s game. He will need to complete the NFL concussion protocol prior to being cleared to play. Saturday Update: Cameron has been ruled out for Sunday’s game.
Owen Daniels was inactive in Week 8 due to having an arthroscopic knee surgery earlier that week. Daniels has a chance of playing this week, but he could need another week of rest and rehab. Saturday Update: Daniels was a full participant in Friday’s practice. He is probable to play in Week 9.
Eric Ebron missed Week 8 due to a hamstring injury. The Lions are on bye this week, so he will have some additional time to rest and rehab the hamstring. More will be known about his health status next week.
Kyle Rudolph is still recovering from his sports hernia surgery. He is expected to return to the Vikings in Week 11.
Nick Fairley suffered a sprained MCL and PCL in Week 8. He is expected to miss four to five weeks.
Lamarr Houston suffered an ACL tear in Week 8, and he will be out for the rest of the season.
Chandler Jones could miss the rest of the season due to a hip injury. He is expected to miss at least six weeks.
Lance Briggs has been inactive since Week 6 due to a rib injury. The Bears are on their bye this week.
Eric Berry suffered a severe left ankle sprain in Week 2, and he has been out ever since that time. He is listed as probable for Week 9, and he is expected to make his return to the field on Sunday against the Jets.
Morgan Burnett was inactive for Week 8 due to a calf injury. Packers are on bye this week.
Vontae Davis suffered a knee injury in Week 8. His MRI reportedly did not show any significant structural damage to the knee. He is listed as probable for Week 9, and he is expected to play on Monday.
Brandon Flowers suffered a concussion in Week 7. He is listed as probable for Sunday’s game.
Kyle Fuller suffered a broken hand and hip pointer in Week 7. He played in Week 8, but left the game early due to a hip injury. Bears are on bye this week.
Janoris Jenkins suffered a knee injury during Week 7. His exact diagnosis is unknown at this time. He was inactive in Week 8, and he is questionable for Week 9. He will be a game-time decision.
Patrick Peterson suffered a concussion in last Sunday’s game. He is probable for Week 9.
Sam Shields was inactive in Week 8 due to a knee injury. The Packers are on their bye week.