Fantasy Injury Ward: Week 2
Regarding player injuries, Week 1 of the 2014 regular season came with two oddities: the most noteworthy and publicized of all the injuries, Andre Ellington’s, occurred during a practice in Week 1, and three players’ seasons came to an end due to their Achilles tendons rupturing.
In addition to those bizarre events, many players that are noteworthy for fantasy were injured in Week 1, or missed their games due to pre-existing injuries.
Shaun Hill left Sunday’s game early with a thigh injury. He underwent an MRI on Monday, and the results showed he suffered a quadriceps strain. The severity (i.e. grade) of the strain has not been disclosed at this time. However, NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport stated Hill is a long shot to play in Week 2.
Cam Newton was inactive in Week 1 due to his hairline fracture of the ribs. Newton could certainly have played on Sunday. However, the Carolina coaching staff opted to not risk their franchise quarterback getting hit hard in the injured ribs, and possibly exacerbating his current condition. Head coach Ron Rivera stated that Newton is expected to start in Week 2. His rib injury will not be a limiting factor in Week 2.
Andre Ellington finished Monday night’s game with 13 carries for 53 yards and five catches for 27 yards. Ellington’s status for Week 1 was questionable heading into Monday night due to an unspecified foot/ankle injury. Earlier in the week, it was reported that Ellington had an MRI on the foot, and foot specialists were being consulted for further evaluation. There were even reports that Ellington could have missed four to six weeks.
Ellington’s diagnosis was not made clear until Jay Glazer of FoxSports.com reported prior to Monday night’s game that he was suffering from a peroneus longus (i.e. fibularis longus) tendon strain. This peroneus longus muscle is located on the outside of the lower leg, and it helps turn the foot outward (i.e. evert), support the arch of the foot, and extend (i.e. plantar flex) the ankle.
The severity of Ellington’s injury is not known. Strains are based on three grades. A grade I strain occurs when a small number of muscle fibers are torn resulting in some pain, but the person still has almost full function. A grade II strain is when a significant number of muscle fibers are torn, and the person has a moderate loss of function. A grade III muscle strain is when all muscle fibers are ruptured, and a major loss of function occurs. Ellington likely has a low-level grade II strain.
This kind of injury will decrease Ellington’s power to push off of the injured foot/ankle. Nevertheless, from viewing the game tape from Monday night, he had plenty of drive and ability to absorb force in the injured foot—which is a very good indication he can continue to play with this injury.
Ellington will likely practice in a limited-capacity throughout the upcoming weeks, receive conservative treatment for the strain, and continue to play in games, as he is able. If his symptoms are exacerbated during play, he could miss up to 4 weeks. As of now, however, he is expected to play in Week 2, but not at 100 percent health and ability.
Toby Gerhart briefly left Sunday’s game with an ankle injury. He returned to the game shortly thereafter, and he finished the day with 42 rushing yards on 18 carries. After the game, the Jaguars called his injury an ankle sprain. The manner in which Gerhart’s foot was rolled during the game is consistent with a mechanism that would cause a lateral ankle sprain—different from a high ankle sprain. Gerhart is expected to be limited in practices throughout the week, and then play in Week 2. However, he will not be at 100 percent health by game time. He will also have a significantly higher chance of injuring that ankle further throughout the season—and more so in the near future.
Eddie Lacy suffered his second concussion of the last 12 months in Thursday night’s game. He has since passed the first step of the NFL concussion protocol, per ESPN’s Rob Demovsky. Most players are able to clear all of the steps of the concussion protocol within eight to ten days of the initial injury. However, every player’s recovery time is different, and every concussion is unique. Even though Lacy’s recovery seems to be going well, it’s difficult to determine if he will be ready to play by Week 2. If he has any symptoms return while progressing through the protocol, he will almost certainly not be available to play on Sunday. At this time, Lacy is still questionable for Week 2.
Doug Martin left Sunday’s game with a left leg injury, jogged into the locker room for further examination –likely including an X-ray– and he then returned to play. Because Martin was able to return to the contest, it’s certain that he did not have a fracture. After the game, Martin indicated that someone injured his leg by falling on it. At this time, all indications are Martin does not have a significant injury to the left knee or leg. He likely has a bruise in that region, and his performance would be limited primarily by pain. He is currently questionable for Sunday’s game against the Rams.
Ben Tate left Sunday’s contest against the Steelers with a knee injury, and he was not able to return. As of Monday, Coach Mike Pettine didn’t have an update to give regarding Tate’s knee injury, as reported by Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal reports. At this time, there is not enough information available to make an accurate assessment of Tate’s availability for Week 2. Until further information is known, consider Tate to be questionable for Sunday’s game against the Saints.
Dez Bryant left Sunday’s contest with an arm injury, returned to play and then left again due to dehydration. His initial arm injury was likely just a contusion. Both the arm contusion and symptoms of dehydration shouldn’t affect his Week 2 availability.
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. The training staff likely did not want him to return as he could have further damage the hamstring. If Alshon is being truthful about how he felt after the initial injury, he likely suffered a grade I hamstring strain. This degree of strain is relatively mild, and players can return to play within a week. Alshon is questionable for Week 2, but he has a reasonable chance of suiting up on Sunday night.
Lance Moore did not practice at all last week due to a groin injury; he also did not suite up for Week 1. Moore is likely suffering from a groin strain. He was a limited participant in Monday’s practice, and he did not practice on Tuesday. Because the Steelers play this Thursday night, it’s unlikely Moore will be able to recover sufficiently enough to participate. Even though Moore is being labeled as questionable for Thursday, it’s best to consider him as doubtful.
Cecil Shorts is continuing to recover from a hamstring strain. He has had a history of recurrent hamstring strains, and that tends to slow a player’s recovery time with each subsequent injury. He missed Sunday’s game due to the injury, and has yet to begin running at practice. Consider him to be questionable for Sunday.
Kenny Stills missed Sunday’s game due to a nagging quadriceps strain. The severity (i.e. grade) of his strain is unknown, so it’s difficult to make an accurate prognosis for his return to action. Considering Brandon Cooks showed to be more than competent on the field in Week 1, the Saints have little reason to risk bringing Still back too early. At this time, Stills appears to be questionable for Week 2.
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 re-injured the shoulder on Sunday. If Cameron has a low-grade A/C injury, he could play within a week with proper padding and pain control. If it is more severe, he may need to miss a few weeks, and allow the joint to heal. As of Tuesday, there has been no update regarding Cameron’s condition.
Tyler Eifert suffered a gruesome-looking elbow dislocation during Sunday’s game, and he was unable to return to play. It’s too early to determine when Eifert will be able to return to play, but it will likely not be in the next two weeks. When a joint is dislocated, the ligaments of the joint are at least stretched and strained. Because of this, the ligaments need time to heal—normally around four weeks for minor cases. If he suffered torn ligaments, or even a fracture near the joint, he would likely be placed on the team’s IR-designated for return, as he would need a couple of months to heal.
Garrett Graham did not play in Sunday’s game due to a back injury. At this time, his status is day-to-day.
Jordan Reed injured his hamstring during Sunday’s game against the Texans. Coach Jay Gruden described the hamstring injury as being mild in severity, but he also said it could take an extended amount of time for him to return to play. These are clearly contradicting statements regarding the severity of the injury. Therefore, the hamstring strain severity is unclear. It’s best to assume that Reed is doubtful for Week 2 until further is known regarding the severity of his injury.
Chris Long left Sunday’s game against the Vikings with a left ankle injury. No news has been given regarding the severity of his ankle injury since Sunday. His current status is probable for Week 2. Further news will clarify this situation.
John Abraham left the Monday night’s game with a concussion. He will need to go through the NFL concussion protocol prior to returning to the field. He is questionable for Week 2.
Zach Brown suffered from what was initially thought to be a shoulder injury, but is now believed to be a pectoral injury. The pectoral injury could be season ending. He is doubtful for Week 2.
Vontaze Burfict suffered a concussion in Sunday’s game. He’ll have to undergo the NFL concussion protocols before returning to football activities.
Jadeveon Clowney suffered a torn lateral meniscus cartilage in knee on Sunday. He is expected to miss four-to-six weeks following surgery. His arthroscopic surgery was held on Monday.
Dannell Ellerbe left Sunday’s game with a hip injury. He was later placed on season-ending Injured Reserve.
Jerrell Freeman left Sunday night’s game with a hamstring injury. There has been no news on the severity of the injury at this time. He is questionable for Week 2.
Derrick Johnson suffered an Achilles tendon rupture during Sunday’s game. He will miss the remainder of the season.
Robert Mathis suffered an Achilles tendon rupture last week while working out on his own. He will miss the entire season.
Koa Misi left Sunday’s game with an ankle injury, and did not return. He was later spotted on the sidelines in a walking boot. He is questionable for Week 2.
Nick Roach is still recovering from a concussion that occurred prior to Week 1. He is day to day.
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. There has been no news regarding his recovery since Sunday. He is questionable for Week 2.
Lardarius Webb missed Week 1 due to a back injury. He practiced for the second day in a row on Tuesday. He is has a day-to-day status at this time.
Jonathan Cyprien suffered a concussion during Sunday’s game against the Eagles. He will need to go through the NFL concussion protocol prior to returning to the field. He is questionable for Week 2.
James Ihedigbo sat out of Monday night’s game due his injured neck and knee. He has a day-to-day status at this time.
Aaron Williams suffered a concussion during Sunday’s game against the Bears. He will need to go through the NFL concussion protocol prior to returning to the field. He is questionable for Week 2.
Note: An updated injury report will be posted every Sunday morning to keep you up to date on all fantasy-relevant injury news