Fantasy Injury Ward Redux - Week 15
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 last Sunday’s game. MRI did not find any structural damage in his cervical spine. Saturday Update: McCoy has been cleared to return to play. He practiced fully on Friday with the Redskins’ first-team offense. He will start against the Giants on Sunday.
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 last 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 last 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 will be the Titans’ starting quarterback for the remainder of the season. Mettenberger should be dropped in all non-dynasty fantasy 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. Saturday Update: Newton has yet to return to practice, and the Panthers are unsure when he will return. He will not be active for Sunday’s game.
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. Saturday Update: Romo will start in Sunday’s game against the Eagles. He is a borderline top-10 quarterback for Week 15.
Drew Stanton suffered both an ACL and MCL sprain during Thursday’s game. In regards to fantasy, he is done for the rest of the season. Ryan Lindley is the favorite to start at quarterback for the Cardinals in Week 16.
C.J. Anderson limped off the field a few times during last 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. Saturday Update: Anderson was a full participant in Friday’s practice. He is listed as probable for Sunday’s matchup against the Chargers. He is a top-10 running back for Week 15.
Montee Ball has been inactive for over a month due to a groin injury. On Saturday, he was placed on injured reserve. He is done for the season.
Jamaal Charles briefly left last 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. Saturday Update: Charles was a limited participant in Thursday practice, and was then upgraded to a full participant for Friday’s practice. He is listed as probable for Sunday’s matchup against the Raiders. On Friday, coach Andy Reid told reporters that Charles would have a full workload in this weekend’s game. Charles is a top-5 running back in Week 15 for both PPR and standard-scoring formats.
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.
Eddie Lacy suffered an ankle injury in Week 13. He surprisingly played last Sunday, but only in a limited capacity. He did not appear to aggravate the ankle at any time, but he did suffer a hip injury. Saturday Update: Lacy was a limited participant in practices throughout the week, and he is listed as probable for Week 15. His fantasy owners should expect him to play.
Ryan Mathews was limited in the second half of last Sunday’s game due to an ankle injury. He likely has a high ankle sprain Saturday Update: Mathews did not practice this week, and he is listed as questionable for Week 15. He will most likely be inactive this week. Regardless of his game status, he should be benched in all fantasy formats.
Denard Robinson suffered a mid-foot sprain in Week 14. He is done for the remainder of the season.
DeAngelo Williams has an unspecified fractured bone in the third finger of his right hand. He was inactive in Week 14. Saturday Update: Williams is listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game. 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.” Saturday Update: Harvin did not participate in Wednesday and Thursday’s practices, but was a limited participant on Friday. He is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game. He is more likely than not to be inactive for Week 15. Even if he were to play, his fantasy owners are advised to bench him for a safer option.
DeSean Jackson suffered a fibula contusion (i.e. bruise) in Week 13, and he was inactive in Week 14. The primary limiting factors associated with this injury are pain and stiffness. His pain would be exacerbated with lateral cuts, but not with linear sprinting. Saturday Update: Jackson was a limited participant in practices throughout the week. Coach Jay Gruden said Jackson’s chance of playing in Week 15 is “50-50,” so his status is truly questionable. His fantasy owners should check his game status right before Sunday’s kickoff. If he were to play, he would be a WR3 for Week 15
Andre Johnson suffered a concussion in Week 14. He will need to clear the NFL concussion protocol prior to returning to play. Saturday Update: Johnson has yet to be cleared to play by an independent neurologist. If he is not cleared prior to Sunday’s kickoff, he will not be allowed to play. Even though he is officially listed as questionable for Week 15, he appears to be more doubtful than questionable. Nevertheless, he still has time to be cleared, so his fantasy owners are advised to check his game status prior to Sunday’s kickoff.
Julio Jones injured his hip during Monday’s game. Coach Mike Smith said he “hopes” Jones will be ready to play in Week 15. Jones’ diagnosis is most likely a hip flexor strain. If he has a Grade 2 hip flexor strain, he could miss two to four weeks—which would be the rest of the season. However, until more information is given, this is all speculation. Saturday Update: Jones did not participate in any practices this week. According to D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Jones can “barely run.” He is officially listed as questionable, but appears to be closer to doubtful. If Jones is active for Sunday’s game, he would likely have a limited snap count, and he would likely have cringeworthy production. Therefore, Jones is a must-bench fantasy player for Week 15.
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 last Sunday’s pregame warmup, his knee acutely swelled up. He played only 15 snaps in Week 14—primarily used as a decoy. Saturday Update: Smith had the same practice schedule this week as he did the previous week. Despite having one more week of rest, there is still a reasonable chance his knee could again be aggravated during Sunday’s pregame warmup or during the game. For this reason, Smith is a high-risk fantasy player for Week 15. If he is active for the game, his fantasy owners are advised to bench him for a better alternative.
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 chance that he will be shut down for the rest of the year—and possibly 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. Saturday Update: Wayne practiced fully all week, and he is expected to play in Week 15. As stated before, he is virtually unplayable for fantasy.
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 in Week 14. Saturday Update: Wright was a limited participant in Wednesday and Thursday’s practice, and was then a non-participant for Friday’s practice. He is officially listed as questionable for Week 15, and he will be a game-time decision. His fantasy owners are advised to bench him for Sunday’s game unless they are extremely desperate.
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. Saturday Update: Amaro has been cleared to play by an independent neurologist, so he is expected to play in Sunday’s matchup against the Titans. However, because he is outside the top-25 fantasy tight ends for Week 15, he is virtually unplayable.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins was inactive in Week 14 due to a back injury. His exact diagnosis and mechanism of injury are unknown. Saturday Update: Seferian-Jenkins was a limited participant in practices this week. He is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game. Just like Amaro, Seferian-Jenkins is also virtually unplayable for this week.
Julius Thomas was an active decoy in Week 14. 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. Saturday Update: Thomas practiced full on Friday, and he is expected to play on Sunday. After logging-in another week of general conditioning, his workload should be significantly larger this week. He is a top-5 fantasy tight end for Week 15.
Allen Bailey suffered a concussion during Week 13. He will need to clear the NFL concussion protocol prior to returning to play. He is out 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 last Sunday’s game with a knee injury. He is out for Week 15.
Chandler Jones has missed substantial playing time this season due to a hip injury. He participated in practices this week on a limited basis. The Patriots are optimistic that he will return to play this weekend. He is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Dolphins.
Gerald McCoy suffered a right knee injury during last 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 was inactive in Week 14, and he will also be inactive for Week 15.
Vontaze Burfict is still recovering from his arthroscopic knee surgery. He was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday. He is done for the season.
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 is probable for Week 15.
Jelani Jenkins left Sunday’s game with a foot injury. He is doubtful for Week 15.
Danny Trevathan was activated from the Broncos’ injured reserve on Saturday.
Robert Alford suffered a broken wrist in Week 11. He is expected to miss two-to-four weeks in total.
Quinton Carter was placed on injured reserve on Saturday. He is done for the season.
Vontae Davis suffered a concussion during Week 13. He is probable 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 is probable for Week 15.
Brandon Meriweather is out 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.