Fantasy Injury Ward - Week 14
Week 13 was unusual in regards to injuries. Two wide receivers, Miles Austin and Justin Hunter, suffered significant organ injuries. Hunter is out for the rest of the season, and Austin’s return is still unclear—but will not be this week. The following is a breakdown of all the injuries of notable fantasy football players heading into Week 14.
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.
Zach Mettenberger suffered a Grade 1 right acromioclavicular (AC) joint sprain during Sunday’s game. This injury to his throwing arm is also commonly referred to as a separated shoulder. His primary impairments are pain with activity and having an overhead-reaching active range of motion deficit. Because this is a low-grade injury, Mettenberger has a reasonable chance of playing in Week 14.
However, if he doesn’t quickly regain his full active throwing range of motion, he will be out in Week 14. It’s also worth noting that if he lands hard on his right shoulder in the coming weeks, this injury could significantly worsen—which would cause him to miss playing time.
Montee Ball has yet to return to practice after aggravating his Grade 2 groin strain in Week 11. C.J. Anderson will continue to lead the Broncos backfield.
Reggie Bush has been inactive for the past two games due to a chronic ankle injury—which seems to be a high ankle sprain. He was a limited participant in last week’s practices, but was inactive for last Thursday’s game against the Bears. He has logged in some practice time this week, and the Lions are expecting him to play in Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers. Considering how conservative the Lions’ medical staff has been with his return to play, it’s reasonable to expect his ankle to now be about 80 to 100 percent healed.
Andre Ellington suffered a hip pointer during Sunday’s game. Coach Bruce Arians said Ellington’s hip pointer is “severe.” A hip pointer is a contusion to the brim of the pelvis, the iliac crest, and symptoms can include: localized muscle spasms, intense pain, decreased strength and reduced range of motion. Swelling and stiffness of the injured region typically worsens for 48 hours following onset. If the swelling becomes severe, a nerve located in the hip region could become irritated, and further impairments would result.
Therefore, it’s difficult to gauge the severity of a hip pointer injury until the second or third day following its onset. At this time, Ellington is questionable for Week 14, and he will likely be a game-time decision. His practice participation at the end of the week will be the best indicator of his availability for Week 14. His fantasy owners are advised to make backup plans for his possible absence from Sunday’s game.
Ronnie Hillman suffered a midfoot sprain in Week 10. It’s reasonable to believe he has a Lisfranc injury. He has yet to return to practice. He will be out in Week 14.
Rashad Jennings suffered an ankle injury during Sunday’s game. It’s unclear from the game film whether he suffered a high ankle sprain or a low ankle sprain. The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports Jennings’ ankle injury is not believed to be severe. Even though Rapoport has recently been wrong regarding the severity of players’ injuries—such as Giovani Bernard’s hip pointer from earlier this season—he is likely correct in this instance.
Firstly, Jennings’ injury does not appear to be severe in the game footage. Secondly, Jennings does not believe the injury is severe. He is questionable for Week 14, but his fantasy owners should not yet panic. At this time, Jennings appears to have a fair chance of playing on Sunday.
Jerick McKinnon has been dealing with a low back injury for the past few weeks. His condition worsened following the Vikings’ matchup against the Packers in Week 12. He did not practice last week, and he was inactive in Week 13. His exact diagnosis is still unknown, and it could be anything from a lumbar intervertebral disc issue to recurrent muscle spasms. Therefore, an accurate prognosis cannot be made. He is questionable for Week 14.
Latavius Murray suffered a concussion during his breakout game in Week 12, and was then inactive in Week 13. He cleared the NFL concussion protocol on Tuesday, per 95.7 The Game’s John Middlekauff. Murray is expected to play in Sunday’s matchup against the 49ers.
DeAngelo Williams has a fracture in the third finger of his right hand. He will likely be inactive in Week 14. Even if he were to play, his fantasy owners would need to be very desperate to start him—considering this is a playoff week for most fantasy leagues.
Miles Austin suffered kidney damage during Sunday’s game. He was hospitalized in Buffalo on Sunday night, and he has yet to be discharged. There is virtually no chance he will be cleared to play in Week 14—and possibly for the rest of the season.
Larry Fitzgerald suffered a Grade 2 MCL (knee) sprain in Week 11, and he has since been inactive. It typically takes a receiver a total of three-to-four weeks to return to play after suffering this injury.
He was a limited participant in last Friday’s practice—while still wearing a knee brace. Until his knee is able to sufficiently absorb the forces of quick lateral movements without the assistance of a brace, he will not be on the field during game days. At this time, Fitzgerald is questionable for Week 14. His practice participation throughout the week will be the best indicator of his availability for Sunday’s game.
Brian Hartline suffered a knee injury during Monday’s game. Luckily for him, it was only a mild bruise. He is expected to play in Week 14.
Justin Hunter suffered a lacerated spleen in Week 13. On Tuesday, he was placed on injured reserve. He is finished for the season.
DeSean Jackson suffered a fibula contusion (i.e. bruise) during Sunday’s game. He will need time to rest the leg throughout the week, so he will likely miss a few practices. However, his availability for Week 14 is not in jeopardy.
Alshon Jeffery is suffering from a hamstring strain. He was a limited participant in Monday’s practice, but was downgraded to a non-participant for Tuesday’s practice. A mid-week downgrade in practice participation is never an encouraging sign. Coach Marc Trestman claimed the downgrade was made only as a precautionary measure.
Nevertheless, a downgrade in a player’s practice participation during the week is very consistent with the player having an exacerbation of his symptoms—more so than a precautionary measure. Jeffery’s fantasy owners should pay close attention to his practice participation on Wednesday. As the Bears play on Thursday, if Jeffery is a non-participant for Wednesday’s practice, his owners should begin to look for his possible replacement for Week 14.
Torrey Smith was spotted limping in the locker room following Sunday’s game. On Monday, coach John Harbaugh stated Smith’s injury was not severe. No further information has been given regarding Smith’s health. Just to be sure his availibility for Week 14 is not in jeopardy, his fantasy owners should monitor his practice participation throughout the week.
Sammy Watkins injured a hip during Sunday’s game. His diagnosis is unknown at this time. Coach Doug Marrone describes Watkins as day-to-day. His practice participation on Wednesday will shed more light on the extent of his injury.
Roddy White is dealing with an ankle injury. His exact diagnosis or mechanism of injury is still unknown. He did not practice last week, and he was inactive in Week 13. Coach Mike Smith is expecting him to play in Week 14. He remains to be questionable for Monday’s game.
Dwayne Allen suffered an ankle injury in Week 11, and he has since been inactive. The mechanism of his injury is consistent with a high ankle sprain. Coach Chuck Pagano is confident Allen will play in Week 14. Considering the Colts waived tight end Weslye Saunders on Tuesday, Allen’s return to the field appears to be imminent. Nevertheless, until he participates in consecutive practices this week, it’s difficult to trust he will be available for Week 14.
Jace Amaro was inactive in Week 13 due to having a concussion. He will need to clear the NFL concussion protocol prior to being cleared to return to football-related activities. He is questionable for Week 14.
Jordan Cameron suffered a concussion in Week 8, and he has since been inactive. He was a limited participant in practices throughout all last week, but he failed to complete the final stage of the NFL concussion protocol prior to Sunday’s kickoff. He remains to be questionable for Week 14.
Charles Clay continues to be limited by a hamstring/knee injury. His exact diagnosis is still unknown. He was a limited participant in last Thursday’s practice, but was then downgraded to a non-participant for the rest of that week. He was then inactive for Monday’s game. He is questionable for Week 14.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins was inactive in Week 13 due to a back injury. His exact diagnosis and mechanism of injury are unknown. He was a limited-practice participant throughout all last week, so he appears to be close to making his return to game play. He is questionable for Week 14.
Julius Thomas has been inactive since Week 11 due to an ankle injury. He was a limited participant in last Thursday and Friday’s practices. According to multiple sources, he was looking good during drills in Friday’s practice. He is listed as questionable for Week 14. Thomas believes he is close to a return.
Robert Ayers tore a pectoral muscle during Week 13. He is done for the season.
Allen Bailey suffered a concussion during Week 13. He will need to clear the NFL concussion protocol prior to returning to play. He is questionable for Week 14.
Nick Fairley suffered a sprained MCL and PCL in Week 8. He was inactive in Week 13. He may miss the rest of the season.
Sharrif Floyd is questionable for Week 14 with a knee injury.
Brett Keisel suffered a torn triceps in Week 13. He has been placed on injured reserve. He is done for the season.
Mathias Kiwanuka was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday due to his knee injury. He is done for the season.
Ray McDonald is questionable for Week 14 with a knee injury.
Domata Peko suffered an elbow injury in Week 13. He is questionable for Week 14.
Jeremiah Ratliff was inactive in Week 13 due to a knee injury. He is day-to-day at this time.
Anthony Barr suffered a knee injury during Week 13. MRI found no structural damage in the knee. He is questionable for Week 14.
Vontaze Burfict is still recovering from his arthroscopic knee surgery. He is questionable for Week 14.
Jadeveon Clowney missed Week 13 due to his chronic knee injury. He will receive a second opinion on his injured knee from Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday.
Karlos Dansby suffered a knee injury in Week 11, and he is expected to miss three to four weeks. He is questionable for Week 14.
Robert Alford suffered a broken wrist in Week 11. He is expected to miss two-to-four weeks in total.
Vontae Davis suffered a concussion during Week 13. He will need to clear the NFL concussion protocol prior to returning to play. He is questionable for Week 14.
Cortland Finnegan suffered an ankle injury during Week 10, and he has since been inactive. He is questionable for Week 14.
Kareem Jackson suffered a sprained MCL (knee) in Week 9. He’s expected to miss three-to-four weeks in total. He is due back in Week 14.
Johnathan Joseph suffered a mild strain of his Achilles tendon in Week 13. He is questionable for Week 14.
Brandon Meriweather is questionable for Week 14 with a toe injury.
Sam Shields suffered a concussion during Week 13. He will need to clear the NFL concussion protocol prior to returning to play. He is questionable for Week 14.
Aqib Talib is questionable for Week 14 due to a hamstring strain.