Fantasy Injury Ward – Week 15
Dr. Dave Pratt breaks down injuries of notable fantasy football players heading into Week 15 of the Regular Season.
Fantasy Injury Ward – Week 15
As if the NFC South wasn’t already in bad shape, it is now missing two of it’s biggest superstars due to injuries: Julio Jones and Cam Newton. Jones was injured Monday night after having an amazing performance. Newton was injured on Tuesday in an automobile accident. Both players’ timetables to return are questionable. The following is a breakdown of all the injuries of notable fantasy football players heading into Week 15.
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.
Colt McCoy suffered a neck strain during Sunday’s game. MRI did not find any structural damage in his cervical spine. His status for Week 15 is in question. His practice participation throughout the week will be the best indicator of his availability for Week 15. If he is unable to play, Robert Griffin III will likely get the nod to start. However, if McCoy is able to play, coach Jay Gruden will likely opt to keep him in as the starter.
Zach Mettenberger suffered a Grade 1 right acromioclavicular (AC) joint sprain in Week 13. As mentioned in last week’s article, if he were to land hard on his right shoulder, his AC joint sprain could significantly worsen. Well, that is exactly what happened on Sunday. Mettenberger fell directly onto the shoulder, and his sprain worsened to at least a Grade 2. With this injury, his primary impairments are pain with movement and having an overhead-reaching active range of motion deficit. As long as these impairments persist, he will be unable to throw a football.
Since Sunday’s game, multiple beat writers have reported Mettenberger is done for the season. On Monday, coach Ken Whisenhunt stated that there is a chance he could return this season. Professional quarterbacks with low-level AC injuries can recover without surgery. However, many quarterbacks that suffer Grade 2-3 sprains typically elect for surgery due to its better functional outcomes.
At this time, it appears Mettenberger will be out until 2015. Jake Locker is expected to start for the Titans for the remainder of the season. Mettenberger should be dropped in all non-dynasty formats.
Cam Newton was in a motor vehicle accident on Tuesday. He suffered two transverse process fractures in his lumbar spine, as stated in an official tweet from the Carolina Panthers. A fractured transverse process is very painful, but such a fracture does not cause nerve damage or nerve irritation. Newton’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, the severe pain and muscle spasms secondary to the injury will cause him to miss playing time—almost certainly this week’s game and possibly next week as well. This injury will not negatively affect his career in the long term. In terms of fantasy, his owners should expect him to miss Week 15, so they should prepare for his absence now.
Tony Romo reportedly had a broken rib when he played in Week 14. That report has been corrected. Romo did not have a broken rib—nor does he at this moment. At this time, he is probable to play in Week 15. His fantasy owners can breathe a sigh of relief.
C.J. Anderson limped off the field a few times during Sunday’s game. It appears he suffered a mild low ankle sprain. Despite being hobbled, Anderson was able to finish the game—which is always a good sign. A low ankle sprain tends to be at its worst one-to-two days following its onset. Because of that, Anderson’s fantasy owners should monitor his practice participation throughout the week. At this time, his availability for Week 15 does not appear to be in jeopardy, but the situation is worth monitoring.
Jamaal Charles briefly left Sunday’s game with a left ankle injury. After a short time, he returned to play, and was effective for the rest of the game. During the play he was injured, his lower leg was forcefully externally rotated—a common mechanism for a high ankle sprain.
Because he was able to finish the game, Charles likely has a mild high ankle sprain. This injury tends to be at its worst one-to-two days following its onset. For this reason, his fantasy owners shoulder monitor his practice participation for the remainder of the week. He will likely be limited at practices throughout the week. However, if his practice status is downgraded at any time throughout the week, his fantasy owners should begin to be concerned. At this time, he is day-to-day.
Andre Ellington underwent a sports-hernia surgery on Tuesday, and he has been placed on season-ending injured reserve. The foot injury he has been dealing with all season, a peroneus longus (i.e. fibularis longus) tendon strain, will not also require surgery. He is not expected to miss any time in 2015 due to these injuries or procedure.
Rashad Jennings suffered an ankle injury in Week 13. He surprisingly played on Sunday, but only in a limited capacity. He did not appear to aggravate the ankle injury at any time. Therefore, it’s safe to assume he will play again in Week 15. The capacity at which he will play is the question.
Eddie Lacy suffered a hip contusion during Monday’s game. The injury does not appear to be severe, but it will be at its worst in the coming days. Lacy’s fantasy owners should monitor his practice participation throughout the week. If possible, this is a good time to acquire James Starks. As of now, Lacy is day-to-day.
Ryan Mathews was limited in the second half of Sunday’s game due to a leg injury. The Chargers have given no news regarding his injury. His fantasy owners should monitor his practice participation this week.
Jerick McKinnon has been dealing with a low back injury for weeks. His condition worsened during the Vikings’ matchup against the Packers in Week 12. An educated guess of his injury would include: a symptomatic bulging or herniated lumbar intervertebral disc. On Saturday, the Vikings placed him on injured reserve. He is done for the season.
DeAngelo Williams has an unspecified fractured bone in the third finger of his right hand. He was inactive in Week 14. He is day-to-day. Jonathan Stewart will continue to lead the Panthers’ backfield.
Percy Harvin suffered a low ankle sprain in Week 14. On Monday, coach Rex Ryan admitted that Harvin’s likihood of playing in Week 15 “doesn’t look good.” He is questionable for Sunday’s game.
DeSean Jackson suffered a fibula contusion (i.e. bruise) in Week 13. The primary limiting factor associated with this injury is pain and stiffness. He was unable to practice last week, and he was inactive for Sunday’s game. He is questionable for Week 15.
Andre Johnson suffered a concussion during Week 14. He will need to clear the NFL concussion protocol prior to returning to play. He is questionable for Week 15.
Julio Jones injured his hip during Monday’s game. The Falcons have yet to give an update on his injury. Coach Mike Smith said he “hopes” Jones will be ready to play in Week 15. His mechanism of injury is consistent with a hip flexor strain. If it is a strain, and it’s mild, he has a slim chance of playing this week. If it is a Grade 2 hip flexor strain, Jones could miss two-to-four weeks—which would be the rest of the season. However, until more information is given, this is all speculation. At this time, he is questionable for Week 15. His practice participation throughout the week will be the best indicator of his availability for Sunday’s game.
Brandon Marshall suffered a significant rib injury during last Thursday’s game. He sustained two broken ribs and a pneumothorax (i.e. collapsed lung), as reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter. His collapsed lung was treated successfully. He will suffer no long-term effects from this injury. However, he was placed on injured reserve. He is done for the season.
Torrey Smith suffered a sprained knee in Week 13. He did not participate in last Wednesday and Thursday’s practices, but was a full participant on Friday. During Sunday’s pregame warmup, his knee acutely swelled up. He played only 15 snaps during the game—primarily used as a decoy. He is questionable for Week 15. Unless he logs in consecutive practices this week, it would be difficult to trust his health enough to start him in Week 15, a fantasy playoff week.
Reggie Wayne has been playing with a partially torn left triceps—in addition to a knee and elbow injury. He has been playing with a large hinged brace on the elbow. He has been favoring it while he hand fights at the line of scrimmage, and he has had significant difficulties catching the ball. There is a strong likelihood that he will be shut down for the rest of the year—and probably have surgery. However, coach Chuck Pagano has not gone as far as confirming that just yet. Wayne is probable for Week 15. However, he is virtually unplayable in all fantasy formats for the remainder of the season.
Kendall Wright fractured a bone in his hand during last Wednesday’s practice. He has since been spotted wearing a splint on his injured hand. He was inactive for Sunday’s game, and is questionable for Week 15.
Jace Amaro was inactive in Week 14 due to having a concussion. He will need to clear the NFL concussion protocol prior to being cleared to return to football-related activities. He is questionable for Week 15.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins was inactive in Week 14 due to a back injury. His exact diagnosis and mechanism of injury are unknown. He is questionable for Week 15.
Julius Thomas was an active decoy during Sunday’s game. He is clearly still working back into playing shape following his multiple-week hiatus due to his ankle injury. He is probable for Week 15, but it’s difficult to trust his workload.
Allen Bailey suffered a concussion during Week 13. He will need to clear the NFL concussion protocol prior to returning to play. He is questionable for Week 15.
Nick Fairley suffered a sprained MCL and PCL in Week 8. He is expected to be inactive in Week 15, and he may miss the rest of the season.
Sharrif Floyd left Sunday’s game with a knee injury. He is questionable for Week 15.
Gerald McCoy suffered a right knee injury during Sunday’s game. He is questionable for Week 15.
Jeremiah Ratliff was inactive in Week 13 and Week 14 due to a knee injury. He is questionable for Week 15.
Anthony Barr suffered a knee injury during Week 13. MRI found no structural damage in the knee. He is was inactive for Week 14, and is questionable for Week 15.
Vontaze Burfict is still recovering from his arthroscopic knee surgery. He has been ruled out for Week 14. He is questionable for Week 15.
Jadeveon Clowney underwent microfracture knee surgery. He is expected to be out for nine months. He will miss the offseason.
Karlos Dansby suffered a knee injury in Week 11, and he is expected to miss three to four weeks. He is questionable for Week 15.
Lavonte David suffered a concussion during Week 14. He will need to clear the NFL concussion protocol prior to returning to play. He is questionable for Week 15.
Jelani Jenkins left Sunday’s game with a foot injury. He is questionable for Week 15.
Robert Alford suffered a broken wrist in Week 11. He is expected to miss two-to-four weeks in total.
Antonio Cromartie suffered an ankle injury during Week 15. Considering the Cardinals play on Thursday, he will likely be out for Week 15. Nevertheless, he is day-to-day.
Vontae Davis suffered a concussion during Week 13. He will need to clear the NFL concussion protocol prior to returning to play. He is questionable for Week 15.
Cortland Finnegan suffered an ankle injury during Week 10, and he has since been inactive. He is questionable for Week 15.
Adam Jones suffered a concussion during Week 14. He will need to clear the NFL concussion protocol prior to returning to play. He is questionable for Week 15.
Brandon Meriweather is doubtful for Week 15 with a toe injury.
Blidi Wreh-Wilson suffered a dislocated shoulder, and was placed on injury reserve on Tuesday. He is done for the season.