Fantasy Injury Ward – Week 12
Dr. Dave Pratt breaks down injuries of notable fantasy football players heading into Week 12 of the Regular Season.
Fantasy Injury Ward – Week 12
After a few relatively quiet weeks, injuries to marquee fantasy players shot up significantly in Week 11. As a completely random occurrence, Peyton Manning’s current and former teams, the Broncos and the Colts, were the offenses most affected by injuries during last week’s games. Luckily, most of those two teams’ players are expected back sooner than initially thought. The following is a break down of all the injuries of notable fantasy football players heading into Week 12.
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.
Montee Ball returned to gameplay in Week 11 after missing the previous five games due to a Grade 2 groin strain. His return was short lived as he reinjured his groin during the game. He is expected to miss two to four weeks. For the time being, C.J. Anderson and Juwan Thompson will lead the Broncos backfield.
Giovani Bernard has been inactive since Week 8 due primarily to an undisclosed hip injury—in conjunction with a clavicle injury. Initially, Bernard was believed to have suffered a hip pointer, a contusion to the iliac crest. However, the length of his recovery is inconsistent with a hip pointer.
Nevertheless, regardless of his exact diagnosis, Bernard appears close to returning to practice. He tolerated individual conditioning drills well last week, and he reportedly looked good in pre-game warm-ups on Sunday. Barring any setbacks in his condition, he is expected to participate in practices this week, and then play in Sunday’s game.
Ahmad Bradshaw suffered a fractured fibula in Sunday’s game. He was placed on injured reserve Tuesday. Trent Richardson will lead the Colts backfield for the rest of the season.
Reggie Bush was inactive in Week 11 due to his chronic ankle injury—which seems to be a high ankle sprain. Bush did not participate in any practices last week, and he was a game-time scratch on Sunday. The Lions will likely rest him until they are certain he can return to play without having a significant chance of exacerbating his ankle injury—such as they did with Calvin Johnson earlier this season. If Bush does not return to practice by Thursday, it’s very unlikely he will play on Sunday.
Arian Foster suffered a non-contact groin strain in Week 9. As discussed extensively during the offseason, his injury history has made him more vulnerable to suffering lower extremity soft tissue injuries.
For this very reason, the Texans will not push him to return to play until this groin is fully healed. If his groin strain is not fully healed when he returns to play, he will have a high risk of being reinjured—which would require at least another two to four weeks of rest.
Foster’s fantasy owners should not expect him to play in any meaningful way this week if he does not participate in at least two-consecutive practices. Without seeing him participate in multiple practices this week, it’s ill advised to trust that his groin is adequately healed and that his conditioning is good. His fantasy owners should monitor his practice participation closely throughout the week.
Ronnie Hillman suffered a midfoot sprain in Week 10. A “midfoot sprain” is a generic term. The most common injury that is termed a “midfoot sprain” is a Lisfranc injury. Initially, it was encouraging that Hillman was not ambulating in a walking boot after he sustained the foot injury. However, after reports indicated he could miss upward of six weeks, it’s now reasonable to believe he may have a Lisfranc injury.
Regardless of Hillman’s actual diagnosis, one thing is certain: he has virtually no fantasy value for the rest of the season. If by some chance he were to return to play by the end of the NFL regular season, it would be very difficult to trust in his conditioning, the integrity of his foot, and his workload. His fantasy owners can drop him without hesitation.
Fred Jackson was inactive in Week 11 due to his aggravated groin strain. Jackson believes he will play In this Sunday’s game against the Jets. In order for his fantasy owners to be confident his groin is adequately healed, and that his conditioning is good, Jackson will need to participate in consecutive practices this week without having any setbacks. His fantasy owners are advised to monitor his practice participation throughout the week—as it will be the best indicator of his availability for Sunday’s game.
Marshawn Lynch has a “banged up” lower back, according to coach Pete Carroll on Monday. Considering Lynch finished last Sunday’s game, and that he was very productive, rushing for 124 yards, it’s unlikely that he has a significant-enough injury to miss any playing time in Week 12. Lynch’s practice participation throughout the week is expected to be limited, but his status for Sunday’s game is not in jeopardy.
Doug Martin was inactive for his third-straight game in Week 11 due to an ankle injury. His original mechanism of injury was more consistent with a high ankle sprain than a low ankle sprain—which explains his prolonged absence from play. He was a limited participant in last Thursday and Friday’s practices, so he will likely return to full practice participation sometime this week. That would bode well for his possible return to play this week. Nevertheless, his fantasy owners should assume he would no longer be the starting running back for the Buccaneers upon his return. If Martin is active on Sunday, his fantasy owners should play him only if they are desperate.
Khiry Robinson was inactive in Week 11, his fourth-straight missed game, due to a forearm injury. Specifics about the injury are still unknown. He is questionable for Monday’s game. Considering Mark Ingram’s recent success, Robinson’s workload upon his return will likely be low. His fantasy value for the remainder of the season is limited.
Antone Smith suffered a broken leg during Sunday’s game. He has been placed on season-ending injured reserve.
Pierre Thomas suffered a shoulder/rib injury in Week 7, and he has since been inactive. The Saints were optimistic that he would make his return to the field in Week 11, but that was not the case. Like his teammate Khiry Robinson, Thomas is also questionable for Monday’s game.
Mike Tolbert was activated from the IR/designated-to-return list on Tuesday. The Panthers are on bye this week. Tolbert is expected to make his return to the field in Week 13.
Brandin Cooks fractured his thumb during Sunday’s game. He was placed on season-ending injured reserve.
Larry Fitzgerald suffered a Grade 2 MCL (knee) sprain during Sunday’s game. Even though he was able to finish the game after suffering this injury, Fitzgerald is not guaranteed to be active for Week 12. The symptoms of a soft tissue injury tend to be at their worst 24-48 hours after initial onset—especially stiffness and pain. He will almost certainly be held out of–or very limited in– practices this week. The best-case scenario for his Week 12 status: a game-time decision. His fantasy owners are advised to make backup plans in the likely hood he will be inactive or limited in Sunday’s game.
Devin Hester sprained his wrist during Sunday’s game. The grade of the strain is unknown. He is questionable for Week 12.
Allen Hurns suffered a concussion in Week 10. He will need to complete the NFL concussion protocol prior to being cleared to play. The Jaguars expect him to play in Sunday’s game against the Colts. Hurns’ practice participation throughout the week will be the best indicator of his availability for Week 12.
Calvin Johnson received treatment on his elbow following Sunday’s game. He stated that the injury does not at all concern him regarding his availability for Week 12. At this time, his injury does not appear to be serious, and he should be viewed as probable for Week 12. However, it will be his practice participation throughout the week that will be the best indicator of his availability for Sunday’s game.
Emmanuel Sanders suffered a concussion during Sunday’s game. He will need to complete the NFL concussion protocol prior to being cleared to play. He is questionable for Sunday’s game.
Dwayne Allen suffered an ankle injury during Sunday’s game. The mechanism of injury seen in the game film is consistent with a high ankle sprain. After Allen had an MRI on Monday, coach Chuck Pagano indicated that he would likely miss one to two weeks. If this prognosis were true—which is not a guarantee considering it came from a coach— Allen has a mild high ankle sprain. Considering the Colts signed tight end Weslye Saunders to their squad on Tuesday, they appear to be preparing for Allen’s absence in Week 12. At this time, Allen’s fantasy owners should also prepare for his absence in Week 12.
Jordan Cameron suffered a concussion in Week 8, and he has since been inactive. He will need to complete the NFL concussion protocol prior to being cleared to play. He is questionable for Week 12.
Jordan Reed strained his hamstring during Sunday’s game. If it is a Grade 1 strain, he has a chance of playing in Week 12. However, if it is a Grade 2 strain, he could miss upward of four weeks—like he did earlier in the season with a hamstring strain. No meaningful information has been given regarding the severity of his injury. Therefore, the only real evidence of the severity of his strain will be his practice participation throughout the week. If he is able to practice multiple days in a row—limited or full participant—then he has a reasonable chance of playing on Sunday. If he doesn’t, his fantasy owners are advised to makes plans to replace him in their starting lineups.
Julius Thomas suffered a left ankle injury during Sunday’s contest—luckily not to the ankle he had surgically repaired. He had an MRI on Monday, and the Broncos report that he is considered day-to-day. This indicates Thomas almost certainly does not have any significant structural damage to the ankle, and that he avoided suffering a high ankle sprain. If both of those assumptions were correct, Thomas has a reasonable chance of playing in Week 13—as playing in Week 12 would be a stretch.
Delanie Walker suffered a concussion during Week 10. He will need to complete the NFL concussion protocol prior to being cleared to play. He was listed as a limited participant in Saturday’s practice, but an independent neurologist did not clear him prior to Monday’s game. He remains to be questionable for Week 12.
Nick Fairley suffered a sprained MCL and PCL in Week 8. He is expected to miss four to five weeks in total.
Chandler Jones could miss the rest of the season due to a hip injury. He is out for Week 11.
Ian Williams was placed on IR due to suffering a broken leg. He is done for the season.
Navorro Bowman will resume practicing this week. Bowman is still recovering from his recent knee surgery. He has three weeks to be activated. If he is not activated during that time, he will be placed on the season-ending IR.
Vontaze Burfict is still recovering from his arthroscopic knee surgery. He is planning to return to the field this week.
Karlos Dansby suffered a knee injury in Week 11, and he is expected to miss three to four weeks.
Jabaal Sheard suffered an ankle injury during Sunday’s game, and he may miss the rest of the season.
Robert Alford suffered a wrist injury in Week 11. He is expected to miss two to four weeks.
Rafael Bush was placed on IR after suffering a fractured tibia during Sunday’s game.
Cortland Finnegan suffered an ankle injury during Week 10. He was inactive in Week 11, and he is questionable for Sunday’s game.
Kareem Jackson suffered a sprained MCL (knee) in Week 9. He’s expected to miss three to four weeks.
Leodis McKelvin was placed on IR after suffering a fractured ankle during Sunday’s game.
Troy Polamalu was inactive in Week 10 and Week 11 due to a knee sprain. The Steelers are planning for his return to be in Week 13, the week after their bye.
Carlos Rogers was inactive in Week 11 due to a knee injury. He is considered week-to-week.
Alterraun Verner was out for Week 11 due to a hamstring injury. He is day-to-day.