Week 13 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 13 and take a look at what fantasy managers can expect heading into Week 14 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.

QB Kenny Pickett

Right High Ankle Sprain: Out 3+ weeks
Pickett has been dealing with a minor ankle injury for most of the season, and that injury got worse on Sunday when he picked up a high ankle sprain on his right leg on Sunday against the Cardinals. Pickett was seen on the sideline with his right ankle in a boot and underwent tightrope surgery on his ankle Monday morning. This procedure is extremely effective and the results in pro athletes are great as far as return to play rates. However, even with Pickett likely to return at some point in the next 4-5 weeks, there’s a good chance Pickett’s mobility out of the pocket won’t be the same until next season. Still for a QB to recover from this procedure, it’s much more favorable than a WR, RB or TE given that the positional demands are different for a QB than that of another skill player. Look for Pickett to return as a pocket passer in Week 17 or 18 depending on the Steelers’ playoff scenario. If they can lock up a playoff spot before then, they could hold him out until the Wild Card Round. Veteran Mitch Trubisky will start moving forward.

Players impacted: Mitch Trubisky, Diontae Johnson, George Pickens, Pat Freiermuth

QB Derek Carr

Concussion and Rib Injuries: Likely Out Week 14
Carr took a huge hit on Sunday against the Lions, and when he did, his head slammed off the turf. Following the play, Carr exited and didn’t return. The team listed him as Questionable to return with a concussion as well as shoulder and back injuries, so there’s more here than just the concussion. It’s now the second time in less than a month that Carr has been in the concussion protocol, which suggests his recovery could take longer due to the second impact. While not a guarantee, the most likely scenario moving forward is that Jameis Winston is the Saints’ starter in Week 14 against the Panthers. Winston starting multiple games for the Saints is not out of the question, either.

Players impacted: Jameis Winston, Chris Olave, Rashid Shaheed, Alvin Kamara

QB Trevor Lawrence

Right Lateral Ankle Sprain: Questionable for Week 14
Lawrence rolled his right ankle when he was stepped on by OT Walker Little on Monday night against the Bengals. During the play, he also got bent over backward, causing his right knee to hyperflex. Fortunately, it looks like Lawrence avoided a knee injury here, but he was unable to return due to his sprained right ankle. While the play looked terrible in real time, there’s optimism that this ankle sprain is not a long term injury. X-rays taken at the stadium were negative for a fracture, but he’s got an MRI pending on Tuesday. Assuming the MRI reveals no major ligament damage, there’s a small chance Lawrence could play in Week 14 with his ankle heavily taped, but the most likely outcome here is a one or two game absence for the Jags QB. It’s also worth mentioning that Doug Pederson described Lawrence’s injury as a “high ankle sprain”, though the injury mechanism is not consistent with a high ankle sprain. It’s possible this is just a semantics issue. For now, consider Lawrence Questionable for Week 14 against the Browns.

Players impacted: C.J. Beathard, Calvin Ridley, Zay Jones, Christian Kirk, Evan Engram

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RB Rhamondre Stevenson

Right High Ankle Sprain: Out 3+ weeks, Could go on IR
Stevenson’s right ankle was rolled up on by a tackler on Sunday (hip drop tackle), in a mechanism that is classic for a high ankle sprain. X-rays taken at the stadium were negative for a fracture, but the Patriots’ RB1 is set to miss multiple weeks due to this injury. For starters, the injury itself is likely to sideline him for 3+ weeks, but with this Patriots team already having its sights set on the 2024 season, there’s no reason to rush Stevenson back this year. I would not be surprised to see Stevenson land on IR in the coming days.

Players impacted: Ezekiel Elliott

RB Brian Robinson Jr.

Hamstring Strain: Questionable for Week 15
When the Commanders returned for the second half, Brian Robinson Jr. did not join the team; He was ruled out with a hamstring injury and did not return. As of the writing of this article on Monday evening, the severity of the injury has not been reported, but there’s a chance Robinson could be back in Week 15 given that the team is set to go on bye in Week 14. For now, he should be considered questionable for that Week 15 contest against the Rams.

Players impacted: Antonio Gibson, Chris Rodriquez Jr.

WR Puka Nacua

AC Joint Sprain: Expected to play Week 14
Nacua got banged up on Sunday against the Browns, exiting for a period of time before returning. Nacua was dealing with a rib injury and a shoulder injury during the game but did return to finish the game. On Monday, head coach Sean McVay confirmed Nacua is dealing with a sprained AC joint in his shoulder and is expected to play this upcoming week. Given that he was able to return to the game, this is likely a Grade I injury, which usually resolves in 1-2 weeks. If Nacua is still dealing with pain by the end of the week, he can opt for pain relieving injection. I expect Nacua to show up on the injury report this week, but he should play without limitation.

Players impacted: Matthew Stafford

WR Tank Dell

Left Fractured Fibula: Out for the year, to be placed on IR
Dell got rolled up on while blocking at the goal line, resulting in a fractured fibula in his left ankle. Dell will be placed on IR and is out for the year after undergoing surgery on Monday. He can safely be dropped in season long formats and will enter the off-season limited to start but should be back to 100% by the time OTAs and training camp roll around.

Players impacted: C.J. Stroud, Nico Collins, Noah Brown, Robert Woods

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WR Marquise Brown

Heel Injury (Diagnosis Unknown): Questionable for Week 15
Brown has practiced once in the last two weeks due to a lingering heel injury. While the specifics of the injury aren’t known, it is worth pointing out that Brown went LP, DNP, DNP in practice ahead of Week 12 then went DNP, DNP, DNP last week before being listed as Questionable. He ended up leaving Sunday’s game against the Steelers early after playing just 53% of the snaps while failing to catch any of his three targets. The Cardinals go on bye in Week 14, so it’s possible he can play through the injury in Week 15 with extra rest, but for now, I’d consider him questionable for that game against the 49ers.

Players impacted: Kyler Murray, Rondale Moore, Greg Dortch

WR Christian Watson

Right Hamstring Strain (Severity Uknown): Likely to miss multiple weeks
Watson took a pop pass from Jordan Love on Sunday Night Football and grabbed for his right hamstring as he was turning up the sideline, immediately falling to the ground. It’s unfortunate timing for Watson, who was having a great game and emerging for the Packers in recent weeks. The team has not announced the severity of the injury as of Tuesday morning, but for a WR, hamstring injuries are almost always multi-week injuries. Watson dealt with a hamstring injury in training camp and missed Weeks 1-3 as a result while playing limited snaps in Week 4. Green Bay is usually conservative with injuries, so it’s unlikely we see Watson before Week 15 or 16.

Players impacted: Jordan Love, Jayden Reed, Dontayvion Wicks

WR Christian Kirk

Core Muscle Injury/Left Groin Strain: Likely to go on IR
Kirk caught a 26-yard pass from Trevor Lawrence in the first quarter and exited immediately after the play, injuring his groin in the process. He immediately grabbed for his left groin as he hit the turf and ended up limping to the locker room before being called questionable to return and ultimately getting ruled out. On Tuesday, head coach Doug Pederson told the media that Kirk suffered a core muscle injury and that this injury will likely require surgery. This recovery timeline is usually in the ballpark of about six weeks, so expect the Jaguars wide out to land on IR. His season (at least for fantasy purposes) is over. There’s a chance he could return if the Jags make a run in the post-season.

Players impacted: Trevor Lawrence, Calvin Ridley, Zay Jones, Evan Engram

WR Amari Cooper

Concussion: Week-to-week
Cooper was banged up all week due to bruised ribs suffered in Week 12, and now he’s got a concussion on top of that. Cooper left this past week’s game early due to a concussion and didn’t return, playing just 32% of the snaps. Cooper and the Browns get the Jags in Week 14; we’ll see if he can clear protocol in time for that one. If not, expect a larger target share for Elijah Moore and David Njoku.

Players impacted: Elijah Moore, David Njoku, Joe Flacco

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TE Tyler Higbee

Stinger: Week-to-week
The Rams’ starting TE left their game this past week against the Browns in the second half due to a concussion evaluation and was deemed questionable to return. He did not return, playing just 67% of the snaps. On Monday Sean McVay confirmed that Higbee actually cleared concussion protocol but is dealing with a stinger. Higbee should be considered Questionable for Week 14 against the Ravens. Monitor the Rams’ practice report this week to get a sense of how well Higbee is progressing

Players impacted: Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Puka Nacua


Don says:

It’s great to see extra information on the severity of injury and impacted players, but would be nice to have more notes on how those players are actually impacted. For example, I saw a tweet that Diontae Johnson had good results with Trubisky. Would be nice to see more info like that

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