Fantasy Injury Ward – Week 8
Dr. Dave Pratt breaks down injuries of notable fantasy football players heading into Week 8 of the Regular Season.
Fantasy Injury Ward – Week 8
Week 7 was a pretty good week for the NFL. Peyton Manning threw his record-breaking 509th touchdown pass on Sunday, and it was a relatively quiet week in regards to injuries—excluding the Bills backfield. Nevertheless, there are still a few injuries that need to be covered. The following is a break down of all the injuries of notable fantasy football players heading into Week 8.
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. He has been performing progressive individual agility and conditioning drills for the past two weeks. So far, he has not had any setbacks. This is the week the Redskins plan to have Griffin return to practice.
In the past, coach Jay Gruden stated he wants Griffin to complete at least two weeks of practice prior to letting him play in a game. Because the Redskins are on bye in Week 10, they are more likely to delay his return until Week 11. Colt McCoy is expected to start on Sunday, as Griffin continues to work back into game form.
Jake Locker suffered a right thumb injury in Week 5. The X-rays of his thumb were negative of any fractures. Locker was a limited participant in all practices last week. He began throwing the ball on Tuesday, and he expects to play in Sunday’s game. His participation in this week’s practices will be the best indicator of his availability for Week 8. He is day-to-day at this time.
Montee Ball suffered a grade-II groin strain in Week 5. He is expected to miss four to six weeks total. He is unlikely to return to play until at least Week 9. Considering his lack of production this season, he may not have the starting job when he returns to the Broncos lineup.
Donald Brown suffered a concussion in Week 5. He will need to complete the NFL concussion protocol prior to being cleared to play. Due to lingering symptoms, he was inactive in Week 7. On a short week of preparation, Brown is unlikely to be cleared prior to Thursday’s game. His fantasy owners should check his Wednesday practice participation for an indication of his availability for Week 8.
Reggie Bush suffered an ankle sprain in Week 5, and he was inactive in Week 6. He played in Week 7, but he was sidelined for the majority of the second half after exacerbating his ankle injury. On Tuesday, Bush was adamant that he would be ready to play in this Sunday’s game, per Kyle Meinke of MLIve.com. Regardless of Bush’s comments, his fantasy owners should use his practice participation throughout the week as the true indicator of his availability for Sunday’s game. At this time, his status is day-to-day.
Toby Gerhart was inactive in Week 6 and Week 7 due to a foot injury. Little is known about the type and severity of his injury. He is questionable for Sunday’s game against the Dolphins.
Shonn Greene has been inactive for the past two weeks due to a hamstring strain. He appears to have a severe grade-II strain. He did not participate in any practices last week, so he is unlikely to progress enough this week to be available for Sunday’s game. The Titans’ bye is Week 9, so he will most likely return in Week 10 or Week 11.
Fred Jackson suffered a grade-II groin strain during Sunday’s game. 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’s return will likely be in four weeks.
Rashad Jennings suffered a sprained MCL (knee) in Week 5. Skill players typically need two to five weeks to return from such an injury. He was inactive in Week 7. Week 8 is the Giants’ bye week, so Week 9 is when Jennings will likely return to play.
Ryan Mathews sprained his MCL (knee) in Week 2. Due to the severity of his sprain, 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. Because he has yet to run at practice, he is doubtful for Thursday’s game against the Broncos.
Trent Richardson left Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury, and he did not return to action. Following the game, he indicated that the injury was only minor. He had an MRI on Monday, but the results have yet to be released to the public.
If he has a grade-I hamstring strain, he has a chance of playing this Sunday. However, if he has a grade-II strain, he would likely miss two to four weeks. His practice participation throughout the week will be the best indicator for his availability for Sunday’s game. At this time, he is questionable for Week 8.
C.J. Spiller suffered a clavicle fracture during Sunday’s game. A fractured clavicle can be treated without surgery—such as Aaron Rodgers’ fracture was treated last year—but it requires an extended amount of healing time. This is likely why Spiller opted to have surgery on Monday to internally fixate his broken collarbone.
Following this type of surgery, it is possible for an athlete to return to play in as little as four weeks. However, it normally takes six weeks of recovery time. Because of that timetable, the Bills placed Spiller 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 during Week 6. A mild MCL sprain usually takes a running back two to three weeks to return to play. Sproles returned to practice on Tuesday, so he is on track to play against the Cardinals this week.
James Starks left Sunday’s game in the third quarter with an ankle injury, and he did not return. The injury appears to be minor. Nevertheless, his fantasy owners should monitor his practice participation throughout the week—as that will be the best indicator of his availability for Sunday’s game.
Pierre Thomas left Sunday’s game early with a shoulder injury, and he did not return to play. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported Thomas’ shoulder injury will keep him sidelined for two to three weeks. Specifics of his injury have not been released at this time.
DeAngelo Williams suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 4. He has been inactive since that time. His most probable return date is Week 9.
Harry Douglas injured his foot in Week 3, and he has been inactive ever since that time. Coach Mike Smith has indicated that the imaging of Douglas’ foot came back negative, per the Falcons’ official website. His exact diagnosis is still unknown. He is questionable for Sunday’s game.
AJ Green is dealing with a chronically injured right great toe. He did not practice at all last week, and he was inactive for Sunday’s game. Albert Breer of the NFL Network reported Green recently received a positive prognosis from a foot specialist, a sign he could play in Week 8.
This is good news for Green. However, he is not out of the woods yet. There is a reasonable chance he could suffer a setback when he returns to practice this week. Additionally, even if he is able to play this weekend, the toe will have an elevated risk of suffering further injury throughout the remainder of the season.
Green’s practice participation throughout the week will be the best indicator of his Week-8 availability. As of now, he is considered to be day-to-day.
Calvin Johnson was inactive in Week 6 and Week 7 due to an ankle injury. Johnson reportedly suffered a mild high ankle sprain in Week 3, yet he continued to play until his symptoms were exacerbated in Week 5.
The Lions will likely hold Johnson out as long as it takes to ensure the joint connecting the tibia and fibula (the two lower leg bones) is stable when he returns. If that joint continues to be unstable, and he returns to play, his performance will be poor—in addition to the injury being exacerbated further. Johnson’s injury is comparable to the one that plagued Roddy White throughout the 2013 season: not a pretty site.
Week 9 is the Lions’ bye. Even though Johnson was seen running on the field in shorts prior to Sunday’s game, he will likely not return to gameplay until Week 10. Unless he makes huge strides in his recovery this week—which is doubtful—the Lions will be incentivized to sit him during their game against Atlanta on Sunday. With that in mind, Johnson’s fantasy owners should expect him to be unavailable for the next two weeks.
Reggie Wayne injured his elbow during Sunday’s game. He had a MRI on Monday, but the results are still unknown. Wayne indicated Tuesday that his arm feels pretty good, but his status for Week 8 is uncertain. He is scheduled to not participate in Wednesday’s practice—the same as all previous weeks this season. His participation in Thursday and Friday’s practices will be a good indicator of his availability for Sunday’s game against the Steelers.
Eric Ebron is listed on the Lions’ injury report with a hamstring injury. Last week, he was a limited participant in Wednesday’s practice, had a setback, and was downgraded to a non-participant for Thursday and Friday’s practices. He ended up being inactive for Sunday’s game. Due to his recent setback, he is unlikely to play in Week 8.
Jimmy Graham suffered a right shoulder injury in Week 5. He reportedly suffered a “shoulder sprain,” a general term. Graham likely suffered an AC sprain, generally termed a mild “separated shoulder.” He did not practice last week, but was active for Sunday’s game. During that game, Graham played only 30 snaps—primarily in the red zone and on third downs. He failed to record a reception on two targets.
The good news is he did not exacerbate his shoulder injury on Sunday. The bad news is he will likely be limited in practices throughout the week, and his owners will be relatively clueless to what his workload will be during Sunday’s game against the Packers. Regardless, Graham is expected to play on Sunday, and his owners will need to play him due to his potential to score in the red zone.
Kyle Rudolph is still recovering from his sports hernia surgery. He is expected to return to the Vikings in Week 11.
Calais Campbell suffered a MCL (knee) sprain in Week 5. He was inactive in Week 7. He is expected to miss a total of one to three weeks of play. He is questionable for Week 8.
Jon Beason re-aggravated his toe injury during Sunday’s game. The X-rays were negative of any fractures. The Giants are on bye this week, so no further information regarding his injury will be available until next week.
Lance Briggs was inactive in Week 6 and Week 7 due to a rib injury. He is questionable for Sunday’s game.
Vontaze Burfict suffered what is being called a “cervical strain” during Sunday’s game. He is questionable for Week 8.
Bruce Carter suffered a quadriceps strain in Week 4. He was inactive in Week 7, but plans to plan in Week 8.
Jadeveon Clowney was a limited participant in Friday and Saturday’s practices, but ended up being inactive for Monday’s game due to his knee injury. He is probable for Week 8.
Emmanuel Lamur suffered a left shoulder injury in Week 6, and he was inactive in Week 7. He is day-to-day at this time.
Brian Orakpo tore his right pectoral tendon during Sunday’s game, and underwent surgery to repair the tear. He is done for the season.
Ryan Shazier suffered a MCL (knee) sprain in Week 3, and he has been inactive ever since. He remains to be questionable for Week 8.
Danny Trevathan suffered a knee injury in Week 6. His MRI results indicated he has a fracture in his distal femur. He has been placed on the Broncos’ IR/designated for return.
Eric Berry suffered a severe left ankle sprain in Week 2, and he has been out ever since that time. He is questionable for Week 8.
Brandon Flowers left Sunday’s game early with a concussion. He will need to complete the NFL concussion protocol prior to being cleared to play. He is questionable for Week 8.
Kyle Fuller suffered a broken hand and hip pointer during Sunday’s game. He is not expected to need surgery on the injured hand. He is questionable for Week 8.
Janoris Jenkins suffered a knee injury during Sunday’s game against the Seahawks. His exact diagnosis is unknown at this time. He is questionable for Week 8.
Aaron Williams was inactive in Week 6 due to a wrist injury. He played on Sunday, but left early due to a back injury. He is questionable for Week 8.