Week 11 Fantasy Football Injury Recap

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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 11 and take a look at what fantasy managers can expect heading into Week 12 and beyond.

Don’t forget to 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.

QB Justin Fields

Left Shoulder Injury: Questionable for Week 12
Fields was tackled on the sideline on Sunday against the Falcons, with his body weight landing on the top of his left shoulder. There have been conflicting reports on the details surrounding Fields’ injury. Ian Rapoport described Fields’ injury as a dislocation while Adam Schefter reported on Monday Night Football that Fields’ injury is not a dislocation. When I watched the injury, it looked like a classic mechanism for a sprained AC joint. It’s possible the term “dislocation” is being used incorrectly here as this injury refers to the ball and socket joint. A significant AC joint injury is often called a “separated” shoulder, and based on the video of the play and conflicting reports, I suspect that’s the most likely injury, though this has not been confirmed by the team. A dislocated shoulder can lead to more damage than a sprained AC joint, but a significant AC joint injury (i.e. separated shoulder) is likely to lead to a multi-week absence. Fortunately for Fields, this is his non-throwing shoulder, so it is possible for Fields to play through the injury in Week 12 when the Bears take on the Jets if there is minimal damage. His availability will depend on how his shoulder responds to treatment throughout the week and the severity of the injury. He is likely to be limited and/or miss practice time this week, and I suspect the decision to play could come up until the weekend. Forward thinking fantasy managers will want to make backup plans in the event Fields can’t go. Given the uncertainty surrounding this injury, fantasy mangers will want to keep an eye on Fields news as the specifics here (dislocation vs. AC joint) has a profound impact on his rest of season availability and possibly, his effectiveness.

Players impacted: Darnell Mooney, Cole Kmet

QB Matthew Stafford

Concussion Protocol: Likely out week 12
Stafford picked up his second concussion in less than two weeks on Sunday against the Saints. He missed Week 11 with a concussion but was cleared for this week. Picking up two concussions in a short time frame is likely to force Stafford to miss Week 12 as research shows it usually takes longer to recover from a second impact, especially when that injury is so close to the first. Look for John Wolford to get the start on Sunday against the Chiefs.

Players impacted: John Wolford, Allen Robinson, Tyler Higbee

RB Joe Mixon

Concussion Protocol: Questionable for Week 12
The Bengals RB1 exited early against the Steelers with a concussion and didn’t return after being placed in the league’s concussion protocol. He has a chance to play in Week 12, but it all depends on how he progresses throughout the week. As a result, fantasy managers will need to monitor the Bengals practice reports closely this week. It is worth noting through Week 9, just 23% of NFL players who are in concussion protocol are cleared the following week. This is likely due to the NFL’s revamped concussion protocols this year. If Mixon can’t go against the Titans, Samaje Perine should get the start.

Players impacted: Samaje Perine, Joe Burrow

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RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire

Right High Ankle Sprain: Out 4-6 weeks
CEH’s fantasy season is essentially over at this point – he played just 6% of the snaps the week prior and on Sunday Night Football, he picked up a high ankle sprain. Following the game, head coach Andy Reid told reporters, “He’s a tough kid, but it doesn’t look good.” My research from this past summer shows that the vast majority of skill position players fail to return to their pre-injury level of play in the same season. The door is wide open for Isiah Pacheco to continue to run away with the lead back duties in CEH’s absence.

Players impacted: Isiah Pacheco, Jerick McKinnon

RB Chase Edmonds

High Ankle Sprain: Out 4-6 weeks
Edmonds left Week 11 early with an ankle injury and was actually carted off. He was seen with a walking boot on his ankle and was on crutches following the team’s loss on Sunday, a sign that he’s dealing with a relatively significant high ankle sprain. The report from Rapsheet is that Edmonds will miss “a few weeks,” indicating this is likely a grade II injury. Grade II high ankle sprains typically require a recovery timeline of 4-6 weeks, so there’s a good chance Edmonds lands on IR. The team released veteran Melvin Gordon on Monday, making their current RB room extremely thin. Latavius Murray should get the bulk of the carries in Week 12 against the Panthers. Marlon Mack is expected to serve as the backup with Mike Boone still on IR.

Players impacted: Latavius Murray, Marlon Mack

RB Jaylen Warren

Hamstring Strain: Likely out Week 12
Warren exited Week 11 against the Bengals early with a hamstring injury and didn’t return. Hamstring injuries are never just one week injuries, so we can confidently expect Warren to be out in week 12 and potentially longer depending on the severity. On Sunday, Najee Harris had his best game of the year, going 20/90/2 on the ground while adding 26 yards through the air. Pittsburgh plays the Colts on Monday Night Football next week.

Players impacted: Najee Harris

WR Wan’Dale Robinson

Torn Right ACL: Out for the year
The Giants exiting rookie WR was in the middle of a breakout game, going for 100 receiving yards before going down with a right knee injury. He tore the ACL in his right knee and will undergo surgery in the near future. Robinson will make a full recovery for 2023, but given the timeline of the injury and surgery, he’s no lock to be ready for Week 1 of next year and is unlikely to be 100% until later in the season next year. New York has dealt with a litany of injuries to their pass catchers – Robinson and Sterling Shepard are out with ACL injuries, Colin Johnson tore his Achilles, Kenny Golladay has missed time with a hamstring injury and a knee injury, and TE Daniel Bellinger is still out recovering from his eye injury. The Giants play the Cowboys on a short week on Thanksgiving.

Players impacted: Daniel Jones, Richie James, Darius Slayton

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WR Kadarius Toney

Hamstring Strain: Likely out multiple weeks
Toney’s 2022 season appeared to be turning a corner after he was dealt to the Chiefs, but he exited in the first half on Sunday night against the Chargers due to a hamstring injury, which is Toney’s third this year. He missed virtually the entire season with New York due to injuries to both hamstrings before being traded to KC. Expect a mutli-week absence for Toney given that he’s dealt with this injury for months, adding to the WR room issues for KC. JuJu Smith-Schuster missed Week 11 with a concussion, and Mecole Hardman is on IR with an abdomen issue.

Players impacted: JuJu Smith-Schuster, Travis Kelce, Justin Watson, Skyy Moore

WR Mike Williams

Aggravated Right High Ankle Sprain: Out Week 12 at a minimum
Williams missed Weeks 9 and 10 with a high ankle sprain and returned for his first game on Sunday night against Kansas City. Williams went up for a ball on the sideline and aggravated that same right ankle injury when he came down. He was evaluated on the sideline but ultimately never returned after limping off the field. After aggravating the same ankle injury, we can project Williams to once again be sidelined for multiple weeks, and this second injury to the same ankle, reduces Williams’ chances of returning to 100% in the short term. The best case scenario for fantasy managers is that Williams can get fully healthy for the fantasy playoffs, but we should downgrade expectations for the next 3-4 weeks.

Players impacted: Keenan Allen, Joshua Palmer, Justin Herbert

WR Rondale Moore

Groin Strain: Likely out Week 12
It was pretty much worst case scenario for fantasy managers needing a good performance from Rondale Moore on Monday Night Football. The Cardinals WR took a jet sweep on the Cardinals’ first play from scrimmage and lost six yards while suffering the groin injury. He was listed as questionable to return but never did, meaning Rondale finished with negative fantasy points. It’s worth noting that it was raining at the beginning of the game, and these field conditions generally lead to a higher rate of soft tissue injuries. Look for Moore to miss Week 12, but there’s a good chance he misses time beyond that as well. A strained groin muscle is significant for a wide receivers’ ability to cut and get in and out of breaks, and Moore’s game out of the slot is predicated on his ability to change direction.

Players impacted: Kyler Murray/Colt McCoy, DeAndre Hopkins, Greg Dortch, Marquise Brown

TE Kyle Pitts

Torn MCL: Out 6+ weeks, On Injured Reserve
Pitts took a direct shot to the front/outer portion of his knee, resulting in his knee getting hyper-extended on Sunday against the Bears. NFL Network’s Ian Rappoport reports that Pitts tore his MCL, the ligament that sits on the inside of the knee and that this injury will require surgery. This specific surgery usually requires a recovery timeline of 6-8 weeks, so from a fantasy football perspective, Pitts’ 2022 season is essentially over. If the Falcons can sneak into the playoffs, he has a chance to contribute at some point, but he can safely be dropped in redraft leagues. He was placed on IR on Monday.

Players impacted: Marcus Mariota, Drake London

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