Week 12 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 12 and take a look at what fantasy managers can expect heading into Week 13 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 Aaron Rodgers

Rib Injury/Oblique Strain: Unlikely to be 100% for 2+ weeks, could play through injury
Rodgers exited at the end of the third quarter against the Eagles on Sunday Night Football. He was sacked by multiple Eagles, resulting in the injury. He ultimately finished the drive but was clearly grimacing in pain with some off-target throws. X-rays taken in the locker room were reportedly negative for a fractured rib, but he did not return, allowing Jordan Love to finish the game. There’s no way Rodgers will be 100% by next week when the Packers take on the Bears. To make matters worse, Rodgers is still recovering from a fractured thumb from earlier this season, which is likely to continue to affect his grip strength and therefore, accuracy. The reigning MVP has said he wants to continue to play as long as the Packers are mathematically in the hunt for the playoffs – we’ll see what the practice reports show this week, but it’s ultimately about whether or not the team and Rodgers feel he can perform through the discomfort. It is worth noting, rib injuries can be injected for pain management, so that could help him gut it out. And finally, the thumb issue and the rib injury can negatively impact each other. In other words, if Rodgers is struggling to rotate through his core, he’ll have to compensate with his arm. This could create big time issues with accuracy and power.

Players impacted: Jordan Love, Christian Watson, Allen Lazard

RB Damien Harris

Right Thigh Injury (Details Unknown): Likely out multiple weeks
It may seem like a lifetime ago, but the Patriots and Vikings played on Thanksgiving evening. Patriots RB Damien Harris exited early with what the team described as a right thigh injury. It’s difficult to comment on the specifics here without knowing if this is a quad strain or a hamstring strain, but Harris was limping badly after the game and was seen on crutches. Based on this report, Harris also was reportedly in a lot of pain, struggling to even put on a pair of pants in the locker room due to pain. Harris has a history of hamstring injuries in the NFL (most recently this season), but regardless of if this is a quad or hamstring issue, the soft tissue injury is going to cause Harris to miss multiple weeks. The Pats play the Bills this week on Thursday Night Football, and they’ll be without Harris for that one at a minimum.

Players impacted: Rhamondre Stevenson, J.J. Taylor

RB Michael Carter

Left Ankle Sprain: Questionable for Week 13
James Robinson was a healthy scratch on Sunday, opening up Michael Carter for a projected great opportunity against Chicago. Unfortunately, his day ended early when he was rolled up on from behind, suffering a left ankle sprain. At the time of the injury, it looked like a high ankle mechanism, but reports Monday indicate a “low” ankle sprain, likely to the ligaments at the inside of the ankle. These injuries don’t heal as reliably as the traditional lateral ankle sprain (think basketball type injury where you roll the ankle), so despite the team calling their RB “day to day,” it shouldn’t surprise anyone to see Carter sit in Week 13.

Players impacted: Zonovan Knight, James Robinson, Ty Johnson

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RB Travis Etienne

Left Foot Injury: Day-to-day
Etienne left in the 1st quarter on Sunday and was ruled questionable to return. However, he never did. He was seen testing the foot on the sideline and remained in his uniform and pads, a potential sign that this injury wasn’t overly serious. According to beat reporters, Etienne did not have a boot on his foot and was not on crutches, which is good news for his long-term health. Doug Pederson told reporters after the game, “We didn’t rule him out because we thought maybe he could go.” The team also reported on Monday that they were being cautious with their starting RB, but of course, time will tell on the severity here. It is worth noting that this is the same foot that Etienne had surgery on last August when he suffered a season-ending Lisfranc injury. Monitoring Jacksonville’s practice reports this week will be crucial for fantasy managers.

Players impacted: JaMycal Hasty

RBs Elijah Mitchell and Christian McCaffrey

Mitchell – MCL Sprain, McCaffrey – Left Knee Tendinitis

Elijah Mitchell suffered a significant MCL injury in Week 1 earlier this year and was forced to miss eight weeks. He suffered another MCL sprain on Sunday against the Saints, and per Kyle Shanahan is expected to miss 6-8 weeks, suggesting this injury is the same severity as the injury he had in Week 1. Meanwhile, McCaffrey was seen on the sidelines with a strap on his left knee (see below) and appeared to be favoring the left knee when he was in the game. Based on the coach’s comments and this patellar tendon strap, CMC is likely dealing with patellar tendinitis, an injury that is essentially an overuse injury. As a result, the only way to truly allow it to heal is via load management. Fantasy managers can expect McCaffrey to be playing through pain for a couple of weeks. The Niners are likely to limit McCaffrey’s practice time in the coming weeks, and on Sundays, he’s likely to operate in a committee situation in an effort to avoid putting too much stress on the knee. It’ll be a difficult task for the Niners – keeping one of their best players on the field, while also making sure he’s getting the prop amount of recovery. I suspect they’ll use caution whenever possible (blowouts, winnable games, etc.) as the team has its sights set on a post-season birth.

Players impacted: Jordan Mason

RB Najee Harris

Abdominal Injury: Severity Unknown
Najee and the Steelers picked up a win on Monday Night Football, but they did it without Najee in the second half as he left just before halftime with what the team called an abdominal injury. Unfortunately, this description doesn’t tell us a lot of information as this could mean any number of diagnoses. Possibilities include a rib injury, core muscle injury or a back injury. Worth noting, trainers were working on the right side of his core in the region of his oblique/ribs. If this is a mild core muscle injury, Najee should be expected to miss 1-2 weeks. We’ll see what Mike Tomlin has to say on Tuesday after the team’s Monday night win. Backup RB Jaylen Warren missed Week 12 with a hamstring injury, and after Najee’s exit, the team used a committee between Benny Snell and Anthony McFarland.

Players impacted: Jaylen Warren, Benny Snell, Anthony McFarland

WR Darnell Mooney

Left High Ankle Sprain: Out for the year
Mooney was blocking on Sunday against the Jets when he had another player roll on the outside of his left leg, causing the ankle and knee to collapse inward, the classic mechanism for a high ankle sprain. Mooney’s injury is significant enough that he’ll require surgery to repair the ligaments that connect the two lower leg bones. He will make a full recovery for the 2023 season, but his 2022 season is over.

Players impacted: Justin Fields, Chase Claypool, Cole Kmet

WR Jakobi Meyers

Right Shoulder AC Joint Sprain: Day-to-day
Meyers injured his shoulder when he dove for a reception in the 1st quarter on Thanksgiving against the Vikings, making an impressive catch. He landed on the top of his shoulder, which is the classic mechanism for a sprained AC joint. Despite leaving for a period of time, Meyers did return and played in a limited role, suggesting the injury isn’t overly serious. That doesn’t mean he’s out of the woods from a pain/discomfort standpoint, especially considering the Pats play on Thursday night. He’ll likely be at less than 100%, but this is an injury that, if mild, players can play through with a pain relieving injection if necessary. Worth noting when speaking to reporters on his Week 13 availability, Meyers said, “They will have to sit me down for me not to go.”

Players impacted: DeVante Parker, Nelson Agholor, Mac Jones

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WR Allen Robinson

Foot Injury: Out for the year
Robinson entered Week 12 against the Chiefs questionable due to a foot injury. He ultimately didn’t play, and after the game, Sean McVay revealed that Robinson’s injury is severe enough to shut him down for the remainder of the 2022 season. Per McVay, Robinson will require surgery. Cooper Kupp is already out for the year after getting surgery on his high ankle sprain, and Matthew Stafford is battling a neck injury.

Players impacted: Bryce Perkins, Van Jefferson, Tyler Higbee

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