Week 1 Fantasy Football Injury Recap
As The Fantasy Footballers’ lead injury analyst and sports physical therapist, I’ll be recapping the previous week’s injuries and giving a projected timeline for recovery all season long. Let’s look at the biggest injuries from Week 1 and take a look at what fantasy managers can expect heading into Week w and beyond.
If you’re looking for more detailed injury analysis, check out JoinTheFoot.com for additional premium resources, including access to the Injury Blitz Podcast hosted by yours truly. This bonus podcast, available to all #FootClan Premier members, is a short, yet informative injury podcast that drops late in the week in order to provide all the injury updates you need to set your lineup each week.
Torn Achilles: Out for the year
Aaron Rodgers‘ season is over just as it began. He played just a few snaps prior to rupturing his left Achilles on Monday Night Football against Buffalo. Rodgers will undergo an MRI on Tuesday to confirm the injury, but this is an injury easily diagnosed at the stadium immediately following the injury. Rodgers’ 2023 season will be over, leaving Zach Wilson as the QB1 under center moving forward.
Knee Bruise: Day-to-day
Richardson picked up a minor knee injury on Sunday against Jacksonville but managed to continue to play through the injury. Following the game, the team called the injury a “bruise” and while that may seem worrisome given Travis Kelce‘s recent bone bruise, this injury is completely different. Richardson’s injury is not a bruise in the joint, so his Week 2 availability is not in doubt. We may see him limited in practice this week, but he should start next Sunday against the Texans.
RB J.K. Dobbins
Torn Achilles: Out for the year
Absolutely brutal for Baltimore’s RB1. Dobbins’ 2023 season is over after he tore his Achilles on Sunday against Houston. Dobbins missed all of 2021 recovering from ACL surgery on his left knee then struggled to stay on the field last season due to complications from that multi-ligament procedure. Dobbins will enter the 2024 off-season coming off major surgery and looking for a new contract. He’ll likely be ready for the 2024 season opener, but given his injury profile, it’s tough to see Dobbins returning to form. Josina Anderson reports the team plans to elevate Melvin Gordon from the practice squad with Dobbins set to go on IR.
RB Aaron Jones
Hamstring Injury: Questionable for Week 2
Jones had a great day for fantasy before picking up a hamstring injury in his left leg. He actually picked up the injury while taking a 35-yard screen pass from Jordan Love to the house. Jones was seen getting a wrap on his left thigh following the injury, and after the game, he told reporters he felt like could have continued to play if the team needed him. It is worth noting that game script could have played a role here. When Jones was injured, the Packers were up 24-6 roughly midway through the 3rd quarter. For now, consider Jones questionable for the Packers Week 2 matchup with the Falcons and keep a close eye on Green Bay’s practice reports this week. If Jones is limited in any way, A.J. Dillon would have more opportunities in the Green Bay backfield.
Ankle Injury: Week-to-week
Ekeler had a very nice fantasy day on Sunday, but he came out of the game with an ankle injury. It at least explains, in part, why we saw Joshua Kelley on the field for 16 carries against the Dolphins. On Monday, Chargers head coach Brandon Staley told reporters that his RB is dealing with an ankle injury but he did not offer any specifics. Staley also mentioned that Ekeler’s practice status this week is unclear. Unfortunately for fantasy managers, we’re in wait and see mode. Wednesday and Thursday’s practice reports will be telling.
Rib Injury: Severity Unknown
The Eagles made Rashaad Penny a healthy scratch in Week 1, and it was Kenny Gainwell who carried the load against New England. There wasn’t a report of injury during the game or immediately following the game, but Gainwell popped up on Philly’s injury report on Monday with a rib injury ahead of Thursday Night Football. It is worth mentioning that Monday’s practice report was only an estimation as the team didn’t actually hold practice, but the fact that the team listed Gainwell as a DNP on Monday is worth monitoring with the short week.
RB Evan Hull
Knee Injury (Diagnosis Unknown): Out Week 2
The Colts RB room was thin entering Week 1 thanks to preseason and training camp injuries. Jonathan Taylor remains on the PUP list while Zack Moss is still recovering from a fractured forearm in late July. The room got even more thin after rookie RB Evan Hull picked up a knee injury in Week 1. Unfortunately, we don’t know specifics at this time, as head coach Shane Steichen said Monday, “He’s dealing with the knee. He could miss some time.” It certainly sounds like Hull will miss Week 2 at a minimum. As of Monday afternoon, Deon Jackson and Jake Funk (practice squad) are currently the only healthy RBs in Indianapolis.
Hamstring Strain: Out multiple weeks
Johnson injured his right hamstring in Sunday’s loss to the 49ers and now looks set to miss Week 2 at a minimum after the team confirmed Johnson is going to miss “a few weeks.” The vast majority of NFL WRs miss at least one injury following a strained hamstring, but there’s certainly a possibility this spills over into Weeks 3 and 4. Additionally, we tend to see fantasy production take a dip in the player’s first game back, so it’ll likely be multiple weeks until we see Johnson performing well in fantasy land. For now, consider him out for Monday Night Football against Cleveland and doubtful for Week 3.
Meyers took a nasty hit going across the middle of the field on Sunday against the Broncos and is now in the league’s concussion protocol. Immediately after the hit, Meyers displayed on-field signs of a concussion with posturing, but this does not guarantee he’ll sit next week as the “severity” of the hit or the reaction does not have any effect on recovery timeline. This is a case-by-case situation, and Meyers will need to pass all tests to safely return to the field. It’s possible he plays next week, but the majority of NFL players miss about one game following a concussion. Consider Meyers week-to-week and questionable for Week 2.
TE Greg Dulcich
Hamstring Strain: Out multiple weeks
Dulcich exited Week 1 early with a hamstring and did not return. He underwent an MRI on Monday to determine the severity of his injury, a signal that this is a multi-week absence. It’s worth pointing out that Dulcich began his rookie season a year ago with a significant hamstring injury that landed him on IR to open the year. He also missed the final couple of weeks of the regular season last year after picking up a hamstring injury in December. Given the injury history, it wouldn’t be surprising to see this injury linger. Teammate Jerry Jeudy, who’s also recovering from a hamstring injury, missed Week 1 but has a chance to play in Week 2.
Chest Contusion: Week-to-week
Freiermuth took a shot to his chest in the end zone on Sunday, getting sandwiched between two 49er defenders. The Muth was in and out of the game after that injury, playing roughly half the offensive snaps. This injury is likely a contusion to the sternum, and while these injuries are painful, it’s possible the Steelers TE plays in Week 2. It would not be surprising to see Freiermuth miss time in practice this week.