Fantasy Injury Ward – Week 6
Dr. Dave Pratt breaks down injuries of notable fantasy football players heading into Week 6 of the Regular Season.
Fantasy Injury Ward – Week 6
On the injury front, the past two weeks have been quiet…too quiet. After we convinced ourselves that the mayhem from the first-two weeks was an outlier, and the past-two quiet weeks were the new norm, marquee players began to drop left and right with injuries. On Sunday, those injured included the consensus-best fantasy wide receiver and tight end. Those injured also included five starting running backs and two starting quarterbacks for that 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.
Teddy Bridgewater suffered an ankle sprain in Week 4. His MRI came back as negative. He has been diagnosed with a low-grade high ankle sprain, per Tom Pelissero of USA Today Sports. Low-grade high ankle sprains commonly take players one to three weeks to recover. Bridgewater was inactive in Week 5. Coach Mike Zimmer said he was expecting Bridgewater to be back in the lineup in Week 6. Bridgewater is currently day-to-day.
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. Last Wednesday, he stated he was confident he would play in Week 6, per Steve Corkran of the Contra Costa Times. Carr has a reasonable chance of playing in Week 6 if both injuries are mild, and his symptoms are not exacerbated when he returns to practice this week. More will be known regarding his availability for Week 6 as the week progresses. For the time being, his fantasy owners should consider him to be questionable for Sunday’s game.
Robert Griffin III suffered an apparent dislocation of the subtalar joint in Week 2. He will need to rehabilitate his ankle for another two-to-four weeks. On October 4, ESPN’s John Keim reported Griffin was seen walking without his boot and stretching with the team during practice. This report indicates Griffin could return to play sooner than initially thought—closer to the two-week timeframe than the four. Considering Kirk Cousins’ recent struggles, Griffin will have little resistance regaining his starting role once he is cleared to play.
Jake Locker was active on Sunday after missing Week 4 due to a sprained right wrist. During Sunday’s game, Locker received a big hit after running in a touchdown. He passed the sideline concussion tests, and was allowed to return to play. Locker then suffered a right thumb injury by having his hand hit by a blitzing Cleveland cornerback. He left the game and did not return. The x-rays on the thumb were negative of any fractures, reports The Tennessean’s Jim Wyatt. Locker will have an MRI on the injured thumb in the coming days to assess any ligament damage. The results of the MRI will best indicate the severity and prognosis of Locker’s right thumb injury.
Joshua 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 was inactive in Week 5. Once he does return to play, he 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 a nerve injury is very slow and difficult to predict. Palmer’s recent symptom exacerbation is a discouraging sign for his prognosis.
At this time, Palmer appears to be at least a few weeks away from returning to play. His fantasy owners should not expect his return until he is able to complete consecutive full-practices without an exacerbation of his symptoms.
Drew Stanton suffered a concussion during Sunday’s game. He will need to complete the NFL concussion protocol prior to returning to game play. Stanton is questionable for next Sunday’s matchup against the Redskins. With both Stanton and Carson Palmer being questionable for Week 6, the Cardinals will be forced to rely on rookie Logan Thomas at quarterback.
Montee Ball left Sunday’s game in the third quarter 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.
Joique Bell suffered a concussion in Week 4. He has been cleared for physical activity, but he has yet to be cleared for contact. Because it’s early in the week, he still has time to progress through the rest of the NFL concussion protocol before Sunday’s game. His practice participation throughout the week will be a strong indicator of his availability in Week 6.
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 is questionable for Sunday’s matchup against the Raiders.
Reggie Bush left 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. Bush has since expressed optimism about his chances of playing on Sunday. Until further is known about his injury, he is considered day-to-day.
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.
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. 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 speain, he is expected to miss a total of four to five weeks.
Knowshon Moreno suffered a dislocated elbow in 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. During Monday’s practice, Moreno participated in team drills while wearing an arm brace, reported Andrew Abramson of the Palm Beach Post. Moreno still has a chance of playing in Sunday’s game, but he is still considered to be questionable. Whenever he does return to play, he will likely have a managed workload.
Zac Stacy strained his left calf on Sunday. 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. If Stacy suffered a grade-I strain, then he has a chance to play on Monday. If the strain is more severe, he has little-to-no chance of playing in Week 6. Stacy’s practice participation at the end of the week will be the best indicator of his availability for Monday’s game—not Fisher’s comments. At this time, he is considered questionable.
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 last Wednesday’s practice, but he did not participate in last Thursday and Friday’s practices–a sign that he exacerbated his symptoms. His participation throughout this week’s practices will be the best indicator of his availability for Sunday’s game. Stewart is questionable for Week 6.
DeAngelo Williams was inactive in Week 3 due to a hamstring injury. Then, in Week 4, he suffered a high ankle sprain, per Larry Hartstein of CBS Sports. He had the cast removed from his foot on Friday. He is doubtful for Sunday’s game.
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, and he expects Boykin could miss 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 Sunday’s blowout game. Because he had numerous setbacks with this injury thus far, it will be nagging him for longer than initially expected. Compared to his counterparts, he has a higher risk of suffering another hamstring strain this season. He is day-to-day at this time. His fantasy owners should be aware of his heightened injury risk for the rest of the season.
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. Douglas’ exact diagnosis is unknown, so the best predictor of his availability for Week 6 will be his practice participation throughout the week. He is currently questionable for Sunday’s game.
Mike Evans suffered a groin strain in Week 4, and he was inactive on Sunday. According to Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports, Evans is expected to be out for two to three weeks in total. Week 7 is the Buccaneers’ bye week, so Evans will likely get that extra week of rest. Evans is expected to return to play in Week 8.
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 is questionable for Sunday’s matchup against the Raiders.
Calvin Johnson was active in Sunday’s game despite being listed as questionable due to an ankle injury. Throughout the first half of the 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. Johnson’s ankle was aggravated by the hit. The exact mechanism of injury is unclear on the game film. There is no clear indication if Johnson suffered a high ankle sprain, a lateral ankle sprain or something all together separate. The results of imaging will paint a clearer picture of his injury.
Since the game, coach Jim Caldwell has discussed the strong possibility that Johnson will be held out of action for a week or two. Due to the continued aggravation of Johnson’s ankle injury, his fantasy owners should hope he is rested for at least a week. If Johnson continues to play through the pain and limitations of the ankle, the injury will become even more chronic, and his production will suffer. At this time, Johnson appears to be doubtful for Week 6.
Marqise Lee was inactive in Week 5 due to a lingering hamstring injury. He was able to perform a limited amount of running during Monday’s practice, per John Oehser of jaguars.com. Lee is questionable for Week 6.
Cecil Shorts III was inactive in Week 5 due to a hamstring strain. He remains to be questionable for Week 6.
Vernon Davis was inactive in Week 4 due to muscle spasm in his low back. Imaging of his back was reportedly negative. Because his Week 6 game is on Monday, Davis will have an extra day to recover from this injury.
Unfortunately for him, and his fantasy owners, muscle spasms can become problematic. Davis’ back injury could be exacerbated when he returns to play. As of now, he appears to be on track to play in Monday’s game. However, his condition could be downgraded throughout the week as he returns to full participation in practice. His fantasy owners should follow his practice participation closely throughout the week.
Joseph Fauria was inactive in Week 5 due to a sprained ankle. As reported by Michael Rothstein of ESPN, in slapstick fashion, Fauria injured his ankle while chasing his puppy. He is questionable for Week 6.
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. For the time being, it appears Graham’s injury is not severe, and he will likely not miss much time—if any at all. However, the results of further testing and imaging will indicate the true nature of his injury.
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 only able to practice in a limited capacity throughout all of last week, and he has yet to run at full speed at practice. He is questionable for Sunday’s matchup against the Cardinals.
Calais Campbell suffered a MCL (knee) sprain in Sunday’s game. He is expected to miss one to three weeks of play.
Jeremiah Ratliff left Week 2 with a concussion, and he has not played since that time. He is questionable 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.
Nigel Bradham was inactive in Week 5 due to a knee injury. He is questionable for Week 6.
Bruce Carter suffered a quadriceps strain in Week 4, and was out for Week 5. He will likely be out 2-4 weeks. He is questionable for Week 6.
Koa Misi was inactive in Week 4 due to an ankle injury. He returned to practice on Monday, and he is probable for Week 6.
Nick Roach has missed the past four games due to a concussion. Until there are signs he is progressing through the NFL concussion protocol, he is doubtful to play.
Ryan Shazier suffered a MCL (knee) sprain in Week 3, according to Kevin Patra of NFL.com. He was inactive in Week 4 and Week 5. It is believed to be a minor sprain. He will likely be out two-to-four weeks total. He is expected to return to practice on Wednesday.
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.
Devin McCourty suffered a rib injury in Sunday’s game. The type and severity of the injury is currently unknown. More will be known throughout the week.
Patrick Peterson suffered an ankle injury during Week 5. Coach Bruce Arians believes the injury is not severe, and it will not affect Peterson’s availability for Week 6.
Darrelle Revis left Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury. He likely suffered a strain. He is questionable for Week 6.
Shareece Wright suffered a knee injury in Week 4, and he was inactive in Week 5. He is questionable or Sunday’s game.