Fantasy Injury Ward – Week 4

Dr. Dave Pratt breaks down injuries of notable fantasy football players heading into Week 4 of the Regular Season.

| 3 years ago

Fantasy Injury Ward – Week 4


A plethora of marquee fantasy players suffered significant injuries during the first-two weeks of this NFL season. A lesser volume of players were injured in Week 3, but the injuries were no less severe. Unfortunately, a handful of players were knocked out for the season on Sunday, and one may have been knocked out for his career.


Matt Cassel left Sunday’s game with a severe foot injury. After the game, Coach Mike Zimmer indicated that Cassel has multiple fractured bones in his foot. It’s worth noting that the mechanism of injury is consistent with that of a Lanfranc fracture. Regardless, Cassel is done for the year. Rookie Teddy Bridgewater will now get the nod to be the starting Vikings quarterback.

Robert Griffin III suffered an apparent dislocation of the subtalar joint during Week 2. He 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. Kirk Cousins has done well in his stead thus far.

Jake Locker hurt his right wrist during Sunday’s game. He had an MRI on Monday, and the results of the test are unknown at this time. He is questionable for Week 4.

Carson Palmer was ruled out for Week 3, and Drew Stanton was the starting quarterback for the Cardinals. 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.


Running Backs

Jamaal Charles left last Week 2 with a high ankle sprain. Coach Andy Reid stated that Charles’ ankle sprain was not severe, and’s Ian Rapoport reported that the MRI of his ankle was “clean.” Charles surprised the masses by being a limited participant in last 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. He was inactive in Week 3, but he appears to be close to returning. More information regarding his Week 4 status will be available throughout the week.

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 weeks. He has looked good on the feel recently. Expect him to be on the field in Week 5 with fresher legs.

Arian Foster was inactive in Week 3 due to a hamstring strain. Due to his long history of hamstring strains, this injury could take him longer to recover from than the average player. He also has a high risk of reinjuring the hamstring when he returns to play, so the Houston staff may be more conservative with his return time. Nevertheless, the fact he was a limited participant in three practices and a pregame workout is a good sign for his Week 4 availability. He is questionable for Week 4, and more will be known later in the week.

Mark Ingram has suffered a fracture of his hand, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. He is expected to miss at least another 3 weeks.

Maurice Jones-Drew underwent a “minor surgery” on his right hand after Week 1, and he was inactive in Week 2 and 3. Jones-Drew was a limited participant in last Thursday and Friday’s practices. It appears he is close to making a full return. He is day-to-day at this time.

Ryan Mathews sprained his MCL (knee) in Week 2. He is expected to miss four to five weeks total. With Danny Woodhead also out, 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 total. 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 inactive in Week 3 due to a quad injury. He was a limited participant in last Thursday and Friday’s practices. He is day-to-day at this time.

Jonathan Stewart suffered a MCL (knee) sprain on Sunday.  This is the same ligament that he sprained last season and caused him to miss the entire month of December. A recurrent sprain of a ligament makes the joint less stable, and it increases the person’s chance of reinjuring the joint and ligament in the future. The grade of this sprain is unknown, so his timetable for return is sometime between one and four weeks. With Mike Tolbert also currently injured, DeAngelo Williams will be relatively lonely in the Panthers backfield in Week 4.

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.

DeAngelo Williams was inactive in Week 3 due to a hamstring injury. He also sat out of Week 2. He did not practice last 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. He is day-to-day for Week 4. Considering Stewart and Tolbert are both hurt, Williams will be on the field in Week 4 if able.

Danny Woodhead suffered an ankle injury on a one-yard carry during the first quarter of Sunday’s game. Woodhead was carted off the field due to the severity of his ankle injury. According to Alex Marvez of Fox Sports, Woodhead suffered a severe high ankle sprain and a fractured fibula, the outside bone of the lower leg. At this time, it is believed that he suffered a Maissoneuve fracture, a more-severe spiral fracture. Such an injury requires surgical stabilization, and it is season ending. He will likely undergo surgery on Monday, and then he will be placed on IR. His ankle will be immobilized following surgery, and then he will have to undergo intensive rehabilitation. Rehab takes a minimum of two-to-three months. With Ryan Mathews still out due to an MCL sprain, this injury to Woodhead moves Donald Brown up to the Chargers’ No. 1 running back.


Wide Receivers

Tavon Austin has been diagnosed with an MCL tear (knee), reports. He is expected to miss a total of two to four weeks of play.

Eric Decker left last Week 2 early against the Packers due to a hamstring injury, and he did not return to play. He played in Week 3 against the Bears, and he exacerbated his hamstring strain. His availability for Week 4 is unknown. If he significantly reinjured his hamstring, he could miss 2-4 weeks. More will be known later in the week.

Harry Douglas injured his foot during Thursday night’s game against the Buccaneers. Coach Mike Smith has indicated that the imaging of Douglas’ foot came back negative, per the Falcons’ official website. That indicates there is not any fractures or significant soft tissue disruptions in Douglas’ foot. He likely will not miss much time, but more information is needed for an accurate timetable for his return. He is listed as questionable for Week 4.

T.Y. Hilton sprained his ankle during Sunday’s game. After the game, Coach Chuck Pagano told the media that Hilton’s sprain was not “too severe,” per the Colts’ official website. If Pagano’s comments are accurate, Hilton likely suffered a grade I lateral ankle sprain, and he could be available as soon as Week 4. If it is more severe, it could take a couple of weeks for him to return. There is no reason to believe this is a high ankle sprain. He is questionable for Week 4.

Rod Streater suffered a fracture in his foot during Sunday’s game against the Patriots. It is unclear what type of fracture he suffered. Regardless, Streater will likely be out for six-to-eight weeks.


Tight Ends

Vernon Davis left Week 2 with an ankle injury, and he was inactive in Week 3. His MRI results showed a bone bruise. He was still seen ambulating with crutches last Wednesday, and he did not practiced all week. He is day-to-day at this time.

Dennis Pitta suffered a hip dislocation on Sunday. This will be his second season-ending hip dislocation since joining the NFL—the other being in 2013. After having the hip surgically repaired, Pitta will be put on the Ravens’ IR.  Unfortunately for him, this injury may force him to retire.  When a hip dislocates, the labrum, ligaments, muscles, and other soft tissues holding the femoral head in the socket (i.e. acetabulum) are often damaged. With every subsequent dislocation, the person’s recurrence rate increases significantly. This means Pitta has a much higher chance of dislocating his hip again. With the risk of again dislocating his hip and accelerating osteoarthritis in the hip, Pitta will likely be advised by his physicians to retire. The outlook for his career is not good.

Jordan Reed missed Week 2 and Week 3 due to a lingering hamstring strain. He did not participated in any practices last week. His fantasy owners should expect him back no sooner than Week 5.

Kyle Rudolph left Sunday’s game with a groin injury. He was dealing with an abdominal injury heading into the game, and these two injuries are related. Rudolph suffered from a strain (i.e. tear) of soft tissue in the lower abdominal or groin region, per NFL writer Chris Wesseling. This is also known as a sports hernia. He will need to undergo surgery, and he will miss about six weeks.


Defensive Linemen

Jeremiah Ratliffe left Week 2 with a concussion, and did not play in Week 3. He will have to complete NFL concussion protocol prior to returning to full contact participation. He is questionable for Week 4.

Sealver Siliga injured his foot on Sunday. He was able to walk to the locker room under his own power. No further information regarding his injury is available at this time. He is questionable for Week 4.



Vontaze Burfict suffered a concussion in Week 1, and then suffered a “stinger” in Week 2. He missed Week 3. Bengals are on a bye in Week 4.

Jerrell Freeman was ruled out of Sunday’s game due to a hamstring injury. He is day-to-day at this time.

Koa Misi ruled out of Week 3 due to ankle injury. He is day-to-day at this time.

Jarvis Jones fractured is wrist on Sunday. He will undergo season-ending surgery and be placed on the Steelers IR.

Nick Roach missed Week 2 and Week 3 due to a concussion. He is still progressing through the NFL concussion protocol. He is day-to-day at this time.

Ryan Shazier suffered a MCL (knee) sprain on Sunday, according to Kevin Patra of It is believed to be a minor sprain. He will likely be out one-to-four weeks.

Stephen Tulloch tore his ACL on Sunday while taunting Aaron Rodgers with a post-sack “discount double check” maneuver. He will have plenty of time to rethink that moment as he is done for the season.


Defensive Backs

Eric Berry left Week 2 early with an ankle injury, and he did not return. He has been diagnosed with an ankle sprain. He also missed Week 3. He is questionable for Week 4.

Antonio Cromartie suffered a bone bruise in left knee on Sunday, according to Josh Weinfuss of He is day-to-day at this time.

Jonathan Cyprien is still going through the NFL’s concussion protocol. He is questionable for Week 4.

DeAngelo Hall ruptured his left Achilles tendon on Sunday. His season is over.

James Ihedigbo sat out of Week 2 and Week 3 due his injured neck and knee. He is questionable for Week 4.

Ike Taylor broke his arm during a friendly-fire collusion with a teammate on Sunday. He broke both his radius and ulna in the arm, and he underwent surgery to fixate the fractures. He will likely be placed on the IR or IR with designation to return.

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