Fantasy Injury Ward Redux - Week 2
Heading into Sunday of Week 2, there remains to be many fantasy-relevant players listed as questionable. The most significant of which being in Sunday night’s game in San Francisco: Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall. Fantasy owners will need to pay close attention to game-time decisions this week.
Shaun Hill left the game early in Week 1 with a thigh injury. On Monday, he underwent an MRI, and he was diagnosed with a quadriceps strain. The severity (i.e. grade) of the strain is unknown. Hill missed early Week 2 practices, but he was a limited participant in Friday’s practice. After the Rams’ practice on Friday, Coach Jeff Fisher stated, “We’ll evaluate [Hill] tomorrow, and then, of course, probably evaluate him in pre-game warmups.” Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer said the team would be comfortable starting Hill even if he didn’t practice much this past week. Hill took the trip to Tampa Bay, and he is officially a game-time decision. If Hill is ruled out for Sunday’s game, Austin Davis will start at quarterback in his stead.
Cam Newton will play in Week 2. He was a last-second scratch in Week 1, and the Panthers did not suffer a setback because of that. Ron Rivera indicated this week that Newton would definitively be starting against the Lions on Sunday. Newton’s Week 1 absence likely had as much to do with game planning as it did Newton’s health. Because of the rib injury, Newton was not going to be expected to rush the ball a lot—if at all. The Panthers likely sat him because Derek Anderson is a competent pocket passer, and he could get the job done against the Buccaneers. Therefore, Newton’s absence in Week 1 should not worry his fantasy owners in regards to his health status for Sunday. Newton is still healing from the rib fracture, so he will wear extra padding in the rib region and likely get an injection for pain management.
Carson Palmer has been a limited participant in practices all week due to a shoulder injury. Head coach Bruce Arians stated that Palmer’s shoulder has been sore all week due to a “nerve thing,” per Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com. This “nerve thing” could be a nerve irritation coming from the cervical spine, or it could be coming from a more distal region in the throwing arm. Palmer did suffer a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing arm many years ago. If his elbow is unstable due to that old tear, a repetitive throwing motion could be causing a repetitive nerve stretch in his arm. Regardless of the mechanism and severity of this “nerve thing,” owners need to keep a close eye on his game-time status on Sunday. And if he does play, keep an eye on his arm strength as well–it will be an indication of how severe the nerve is irritated. He is officially listed as questionable for Week 2 on the Cardinals official website. Update: Palmer has been declared out for Week 2, and Drew Stanton will get the start, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.
Reggie Bush was a limited participant in Wednesday’s practice due to a knee injury. There are few details about the type of knee injury he has, but all indications are it’s minor in severity. He was a full participant in Thursday and Friday’s practices, and he is expected to play on Sunday. He is officially listed as probable on the Lions’ official website.
Andre Ellington finished Monday night’s game with 13 carries for 53 yards and five catches for 27 yards. This was a good performance considering his questionable status prior to the game.
According to reports, Ellington is suffering from a peroneus longus (i.e. fibularis longus) tendon strain. This is a muscle that that helps support the arch of the foot, push off the ground and stabilize the ankle during a lateral cuts.
The Cardinals have managed Ellington’s injury conservatively during the week. He did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday, and he was seen wearing a boot on Wednesday—all being means of reducing inflammation and letting the foot rest. He was a limited participant in Friday’s practice, and is expected to play on Sunday.
It’s worth noting that this strain could be exacerbated while he is playing, and possibly cause him to miss significant time. However, for now, he appears to be a productive fantasy player despite the foot injury.
Toby Gerhart left the game in Week 1 with an ankle injury. He returned to play shortly thereafter, and he finished the day with 42 rushing yards on 18 carries. Upon further review of the horse-collar tackle that caused Gerhart’s injury, it appears his toes were caught in the ground and his lower leg was hyper- externally rotated. This mechanism of injury is indeed consistent with a high ankle sprain. However, the fact he returned to the game in Week 1 is encouraging that it’s a relatively mild sprain.
If he does have a high ankle sprain, Gerhart could suffer from this injury for the rest of the season. Nevertheless, he could continue playing every week, but at less than 100 percent of his normal abilities—like C.J. Spiller did last season. He is listed as probable for Week 2 and is expected to play.
Maurice Jones-Drew did not participate in practices this week after undergoing a surgical procedure on his right hand. Coach Dennis Allen told SiriusXMNFL that Jones-Drew fractured his right hand and underwent a “minor surgery,” as reported by Bill Williamson of ESPN.com. Since the reported surgery, he has been seen without a cast or splint on the right hand. This indicates he did not suffer a significant fracture. Nonetheless, because he has not practiced this entire week, he is more likely than not going to sit out on Sunday. He is officially listed as questionable for Week 2.
Eddie Lacy completed the NFL concussion protocol, and he was a full participant in Thursday and Friday’s practices. In Week 1, Lacy was diagnosed with his second concussion since becoming a professional football player. Lacy is listed as probable for Week 2 on Green Bay’s official website. It’s worth noting that players with a history of multiple concussions have a higher risk of suffering future head injuries than their counterparts. The exact reason for this correlation is unclear, but should be considered with Lacy’s risk for the rest of the season. If he suffers another concussion this season, he would likely be held out an extended amount of time.
Doug Martin left Sunday’s game with a left leg injury. After the game, Martin indicated that someone injured his leg by falling on it. He likely suffered a contusion to the left knee region, and his performance will be limited primarily by pain and stiffness. Martin did not practice on Wednesday, but was a limited participant in Thursday and Friday’s practices. He is currently listed as Questionable for Week 2 on the Buccaneers official website. Martin will be a game-time decision.
Ben Tate suffered a knee injury in Week 1, and has been ruled out for Week 2. The knee injury has been termed a sprain, but the exact knee ligament involved in the injury—which is an important detail for making a prognosis—is unknown. Prior to returning to full participation, Tate will need to demonstrate that the knee is stable and able to absorb the high forces of sprinting and multi-directional cutting. It will likely take Tate a month to achieve these rehab goals. This is likely the reason he said their Week 4 bye “comes at a good time,” per the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell will be the Brown’s primary running backs in Week 2.
DeAngelo Williams missed practice on Thursday and Friday after he developed tightness in his thigh on Wednesday. Williams likely suffered a mid-week quad or hamstring strain. The Panthers coaching staff expect Williams to miss Week 2, as reported by Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.
Alshon Jeffery left Sunday’s game early due to a hamstring injury, and was unable to return. After the game, Jeffery told the media that he felt good enough to return to play, but the training staff did not allow him. If Jeffery was being truthful about how he felt after the initial injury, he likely suffered a grade I hamstring strain. Players with this degree of strain have a realistic chance of returning to play within a week.
Jeffery did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday, and he was a limited participant in Friday’s practice. He is listed as questionable for Sunday night’s game, per the Bears’ official website. There is a strong likelihood he will miss Week 2, so his fantasy owners should make other arrangements—especially since he plays in a late game.
Brandon Marshall suffered an ankle injury in Week 1. He finished the game after injuring the ankle—which is encouraging. However, the inflammation and stiffness can be at its worst a couple of days after the initial onset. There is no evidence in the game tape that he suffered a high ankle sprain, so he is likely dealing with a low ankle sprain—which is less concerning for the long term. Marshall has not practiced all week, but did participate in walkthroughs, per Michael C. Wright of ESPN.com. Marshall will be a game-time decision on Sunday night. His fantasy owners should bench him if they don’t have a last-second replacement for him.
Cecil Shorts did not play in Week 1 due to a hamstring strain. He was a limited participant in Wednesday’s practice, had a setback, and then did not participate in Thursday and Friday’s practices. Because of his setback on Wednesday, it is unlikely Shorts will be ready to play in Week 2. At this time, he is listed as doubtful by the Jaguars’ official website. Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns are the only Jaguar wide receivers with fantasy relevance in Week 2.
Kenny Stills missed Sunday’s game due to a nagging quadriceps strain. However, he was a limited participant in Wednesday and Thursday’s practices, and he was a full participant on Friday. He is listed as probable for Week 2 on the Saints’ official website. He is expected to play on Sunday.
Jordan Cameron had limited participation in Sunday’s game after he aggravated—or caused a new injury of—his acromioclavicular joint (i.e. A/C joint). The A/C joint is located at the top of the shoulder, and is the joint that is affected when someone suffers from a “separated shoulder.” This joint is commonly injured when someone lands on the tip of the shoulder—which is how Cameron hurt the shoulder on Sunday. Cameron has not practiced all week, and he is a game-time decision for Week 2. If he does play, any impact to that joint could cause him to leave the game early—which makes him a risky player to start in fantasy. Update: Browns officially deactivated Cameron for Week 2, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Tyler Eifert suffered a gruesome-looking elbow dislocation during Week 1. He was placed on the Bengals’ IR/designated to return list. He will be out until at least Week 10.
Garrett Graham did not play in Sunday’s game due to a back injury. He was a limited participant in practice on Thursday, and is listed as probable for Week 2. He is expected to play on Sunday.
Jordan Reed injured his hamstring during Sunday’s game against the Texans. He has been officially ruled out for Week 2, per the Redskins’ official website.
Chris Long will soon undergo ankle surgery, and he has been placed on the Rams’ IR/designated to return list. He is expected to miss about 10 weeks of play.
John Abraham left the Monday night’s game with a concussion. He is out for Week 2.
Vontaze Burfict suffered a concussion in Sunday’s game. He was a limited participant in Friday’s practice. He is questionable for Sunday’s game. Update: Burfict has completed the NFL concussion protocol, and he will be active in Week 2, per Paul Dehner Jr. of The Cincinnati Enquirer.
Jadeveon Clowney suffered a torn lateral meniscus cartilage in knee on Sunday. He underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on Monday, and he will miss four-to-six weeks.
Jerrell Freeman left Sunday night’s game with a hamstring injury. He did not practice on Friday. He is listed as questionable for Week 2.
Koa Misi left Sunday’s game with an ankle injury, and did not return. He is officially listed as out for Week 2.
Nick Roach is still recovering from a concussion that occurred prior to Week 1. He has not been cleared for contact as of Friday. He is officially listed as questionable for Week 2. Don’t expect to see him playing on Sunday.
Danny Trevathan injured his knee during a practice, and was inactive during Week 1. According to a report from ESPN’s Jeff Legwold, Trevathan’s MCL and ACL are intact, but he has a fracture. He is expected to miss six-to-eight weeks.
Philip Wheeler missed Week 1 due to a thumb injury. He is listed as probable for Week 2.
Jonathan Cyprien suffered a concussion during Sunday’s game against the Eagles. He is officially out in Week 2.
James Ihedigbo sat out of Monday night’s game due his injured neck and knee. He is listed as doubtful for Week 2.
Aaron Williams suffered a concussion during Sunday’s game against the Bears. He is probable for Week 2.