Fantasy Injury Ward – Week 9
Dr. Dave Pratt breaks down injuries of notable fantasy football players heading into Week 9 of the Regular Season.
Fantasy Injury Ward – Week 9
We have officially reached the halfway point of the NFL regular season, and every team has accumulated a significant amount of injuries—some more so than others (e.g. the Rams). This is the time of year when teams’ depth of talent matters the most; that is true for fantasy teams and real teams alike. The following is a break down of all the injuries of notable fantasy football players heading into Week 9.
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. Coach Jay Gruden said he wants Griffin to complete at least two weeks of practices prior to being activated for a game. If the Redskins training staff believes Griffin’s ankle and foot are stable, and his conditioning is adequate, he has a chance of being active in Week 9.
However, because the Redskins are on bye in Week 10, they are likely to delay his return until Week 11. Also, because Colt McCoy’s had such an impressive performance on Monday night, the Redskins coaching staff has less pressure to rush Griffin back to action. Griffin’s practice participation throughout the week will be the best indicator of his availability for Week 9. If he receives first-team reps at practice this week, he has a strong chance of starting on Sunday.
Aaron Rodgers suffered a Grade-I or Grade-II left hamstring strain during Sunday’s game. Two pieces of information suggest the strain is not severe. First, he kept grabbing and rubbing the hamstring’s muscle belly. This suggests that he did not suffer an injury to the hamstring tendons—which take longer time to heal than a tear to the muscle belly. Secondly, he was able to jog after he sustained the injury—which he would not be able to do if he suffered a high-end Grade-II strain.
The Packers are on bye this week, so Rodgers will have an extra week to recover and rehab his left hamstring. He will certainly not be back to 100 percent health when he faces off against the Bears in Week 10, but he will likely be in good enough health to play. His fantasy owners have no reason to panic at this time.
Tony Romo suffered a low back contusion during Monday’s game. He was kneed in the back during the play he was injured. Immediately following the play, television broadcasters voiced their concerns that Romo might have reinjured the lumbar disc that he had surgically repaired during the offseason.
Anatomically speaking, it is almost impossible to damage an intervertebral disc with a knee to the back. The most probable mechanism of injury for a lumbar disc would be a forceful thrust of the lumbar spine into rotation and forward flexion—which was not the case in this instance.
Romo’s X-ray print was negative of any fractures. However, because the Cowboys medical staff elected to have him undergo a CT scan on Monday, there must be some concern that he could have suffered a small fracture of a transverse process of a lumbar vertebra—which could go undetected on X-ray. Unless a small fracture is found on the CT scan, Romo will only be limited by pain. He is day-to-day at this time.
Alex Smith suffered a muscle strain in his right shoulder during the second half of Sunday’s game, according to head coach Andy Reid. Smith was able to finish the game after he suffered the injury. Even though the symptoms of a muscle strain can worsen over the first initial days, it appears Smith’s injury is no worse than initially thought. According to Reid, Smith’s primary symptom remains to be mild tenderness in the shoulder. He will likely be a limited participant in practices throughout the week, but his availability for Week 9 is not in jeopardy.
Geno Smith suffered a shoulder injury during Sunday’s game. All reports indicate the injury is not severe. Regardless of how quickly Smith recovers from this injury, he will be riding the pine for the foreseeable future. Michael Vick has been named the Jets new starting quarterback.
Montee Ball suffered a grade-II groin strain in Week 5. He is expected to miss four to six weeks in total. He has yet to return to practice, so he is doubtful for Week 9. Also, considering his lack of production this season, and the emergence of Ronnie Hillman, Ball will likely not regain his starting job when he returns to the lineup.
Giovani Bernard left Sunday’s game early due to a hip injury. The mechanism of injury is unclear in the game film. His injury is not believed to be significant, per the Bengals’ official site. With the limited information available at this time, there is no reason to think Bernard’s availability for Week 9 is in jeopardy. Nevertheless, his fantasy owners are advised to closely monitor his practice participation throughout the week—as it will be the clearest indication of his status for this weekend’s game.
Donald Brown suffered a concussion in Week 5. He has been inactive since that time due to lingering symptoms. He will need to complete the NFL concussion protocol prior to being cleared to play. He is questionable for Week 9.
Reggie Bush suffered an ankle sprain in Week 5, sat out in Week 6, and then exacerbated his injury in Week 7. Last Wednesday, he returned to practice on a limited basis, was downgraded to a non-participant for the rest of that week, and then he was inactive for Sunday’s game. Luckily for Bush, the Lions are on bye this week. However, due to his multiple setbacks, and the now chronic nature of his ankle injury, his availability for Week 10 remains unclear. This injury could linger for quite a while.
Fred Jackson suffered a grade-II groin strain during Week 7. Specifically, a small portion of the adductor longus muscle, a groin muscle, was pulled from its insertion site on the bone, per Mike Rodak of ESPN. 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 will likely be out for a total of three to four weeks. The Bills are on bye this week, so Jackson could return in time for their game against the Chiefs in Week 10.
Rashad Jennings suffered a sprained MCL (knee) in Week 5. Skill players typically need two to five weeks to return from such an injury. Coach Tom Coughlin expressed doubt that Jennings will be available for Monday’s game. Considering Jennings’ game is on Monday, and he will be a game-time decision at best, his fantasy owners should bench him this week.
Doug Martin suffered an ankle injury during Sunday’s game. The Buccaneers have yet to give any meaningful information regarding his condition. The mechanism of injury was more consistent with a high ankle sprain than a low ankle sprain, and there are reports that he had significant swelling in the ankle after Sunday’s game. For these reasons, Martin’s availability for Sunday’s game is in jeopardy. His fantasy owners should monitor his practice participation throughout the week.
Ryan Mathews sprained his MCL (knee) in Week 2. 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. Reports from San Diego hint that Mathews could make a return to the field this week. However, because Week 10 is the Chargers’ bye, he may be rested through that time, and then return in Week 11. His participation in practices throughout the week will be the best indicator of his availability for Sunday’s game.
Trent Richardson suffered a hamstring injury in Week 7. He did not participate in any practices last week, and he was inactive for Sunday’s game. He likely suffered a grade-II hamstring strain—which normally takes two to four weeks of recovery time. Coach Chuck Pagano believes Richardson will be ready to play by game time on Monday.
His practice participation throughout the week will be the best indicator of his availability for Week 9. If Richardson were unable to participate in consecutive practices this week, he would likely be a game-time decision. For that reason, his owners would be advised to play someone else in the earlier games.
Khiry Robinson has a forearm injury. Specifics about the injury are unknown, but it has been referred to as a “tweak” by many in the media. He did not practice last week, and he was inactive on Sunday. He is doubtful for Thursday’s game.
C.J. Spiller suffered a clavicle fracture during Week 7. The Bills placed him 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 in Week 6, and he has been inactive ever since that time. A mild MCL sprain usually takes a running back two to three weeks to return to play. Considering he was a full participant in last Friday’s practice, Sproles is likely to make his return in this Sunday’s game.
Pierre Thomas suffered a shoulder injury in Week 7, and he was inactive in Week 8. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported Thomas’ shoulder injury would keep him sidelined for two to three weeks in total. His exact diagnosis is still unknown. Because he has yet to return to practice, he is questionable for Thursday’s game.
DeAngelo Williams suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 4. He has been inactive since that time. Williams has indicated that he will make his return in Thursday’s game. He is day-to-day at this time.
AJ Green is dealing with a chronically sprained right great toe. He did not practice at all last week, and he was inactive in Sunday’s game. During post-game interviews, Green told the press that he plans to play in the Bengals’ upcoming game against the Jaguars. His practice participation throughout this week will be the best indicator of his availability for Sunday’s game. He is currently day-to-day.
Regardless of when he returns to play, this injury will likely limit him for the rest of the season. His fantasy owners should temper their expectations for his production over the rest of the season.
Calvin Johnson is continuing to recover from his high ankle sprain. As expected, the Lions opted to rest him through their bye week. He is expected to gradually ramp up his general conditioning and practice participation over the next two weeks. He is expected to make his return against the Dolphins in Week 10.
Cordarrelle Patterson was spotted wearing a walking boot after Sunday’s game. Reports have indicated that he is no longer wearing the boot, and he is not expected to miss any practice time.
Brian Quick suffered a dislocated shoulder and a torn rotator cuff during Sunday’s game. He is done for the season.
Nate Washington suffered a shoulder injury during Week 8. Coach Ken Whisenhunt indicated that Washington would not practice this week, Tennessee’s bye week. More will be known about his injury status next week.
Reggie Wayne hyperextended his elbow in Week 7. He did not practice last week, and he was inactive for Sunday’s game. Coach Chuck Pagano has hinted that Wayne will be ready to play in Monday’s game. Wayne’s participation in practices later this week will shine some light on his actual probability of playing in Week 9. At this time, he is day-to-day.
Jordan Cameron suffered a concussion in Sunday’s game. He will need to complete the NFL concussion protocol prior to being cleared to play. He is questionable for Week 9.
Owen Daniels was inactive in Week 8 due to having an arthroscopic knee surgery early last week. Daniels has a chance of playing this week, but he will likely need another week of rest and rehab. He is questionable for Sunday’s game.
Eric Ebron missed Week 8 due to a hamstring injury. The Lions are on bye this week, so he will have some additional time to rest and rehab the hamstring. More will be known about his health status next week.
Kyle Rudolph is still recovering from his sports hernia surgery. He is expected to return to the Vikings in Week 11.
Nick Fairley suffered a sprained MCL and PCL in Week 8. He is expected to miss four to five weeks.
Lamarr Houston suffered an ACL tear in Week 8, and he will be out for the rest of the season.
Chandler Jones could miss the rest of the season due to a hip injury. He is expected to miss at least six weeks.
Jon Beason re-aggravated his toe injury during Week 7. The toe will require surgery, and he will be out for the remainder of the season.
Lance Briggs has been inactive since Week 6 due to a rib injury. The Bears are on their bye this week.
Eric Berry suffered a severe left ankle sprain in Week 2, and he has been out ever since that time. He is day-to-day at this time.
Morgan Burnett was inactive for Week 8 due to a calf injury. He is day-to-day at this time.
Vontae Davis suffered a knee injury in Week 8. His MRI reportedly did not show any significant structural damage to the knee. He is questionable for Week 9.
Brandon Flowers suffered a concussion in Week 7. He will need to complete the NFL concussion protocol prior to being cleared to play. He is questionable for Week 9.
Kyle Fuller suffered a broken hand and hip pointer in Week 7. He played in Week 8, but left the game early due to a hip injury. Bears are on bye this week.
Janoris Jenkins suffered a knee injury during Week 7. His exact diagnosis is unknown at this time. He was inactive in Week 8, and he is questionable for Week 9.
Patrick Peterson suffered a concussion in Sunday’s game. He will need to complete the NFL concussion protocol prior to being cleared to play. He is questionable for Week 9.
Samuel Shields was inactive in Week 8 due to a knee injury. The Packers are on their bye week.