Week 2 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 2 and take a look at what fantasy managers can expect heading into Week 3 and beyond.
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QB Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers
Right Ankle Fracture-Dislocation: Out for the year
Lance suffered a right ankle fracture-dislocation on Sunday in the 1st quarter, ending his first season as a starter. Lance underwent surgery Monday morning and will now be placed on IR. This injury is similar to that of Dak Prescott from the 2020 season, but Lance’s injury was not a compound fracture, suggesting the skin wasn’t broken like Dak’s. This is a recovery that will take roughly 9 months, and Lance’s Week 1 status for 2023 is not in doubt. Jimmy Garoppolo will be the Niners starter moving forward.
Players impacted: Jimmy Garoppolo, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, George Kittle
QB Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers
Fractured Rib Cartilage: Week-to-week
Herbert was injured in the second half of Thursday night’s game against the Chiefs. He took a hit after delivering the football on a pass attempt and immediately came up grabbing the left side of his chest. Herbert was able to stay in the game and almost completed the comeback for the Chargers, but he was clearly in pain. These rib cartilage injuries can linger for several weeks and be extremely painful, but I fully expect Herbert to try to play through the injury. It’s possible he receives an injection for pain control and/or wears extra protection around his mid-section. From a fantasy perspective, I suspect we’ll see the team try to game plan quick passes and/or limit his rushing in order to minimize subsequent contact.
Players impacted: Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Austin Ekeler
RB James Conner, Arizona Cardinals
Left Ankle Sprain: Week-to-week
Conner suffered a classic inversion (rolled) ankle sprain in the team’s win over the Raiders on Sunday. News on Monday regarding Conner’s ankle injury suggests that this is a mild sprain. Look for Conner to miss some practice time, but I ultimately expect him to play in Week 3. Depending on how he progresses throughout the week, it’s possible the Cardinals opt to split the work with Eno Benjamin and Darrel Williams, but we’ll see how he’s responding in practice.
Players impacted: Eno Benjamin, Darrel Williams
RB Tyrion Davis-Price
High Ankle Sprain: Out 4-6 weeks
The 49ers are already without starting RB Elijah Mitchell, who is on IR recovering from a sprained MCL. Just a week later, they lost their rookie RB Ty Davis-Price to a high ankle sprain, which is expected to keep him out “at least a few weeks” per head coach Kyle Shanahan. While the specifics regarding the severity of the injury have not been reported, Shanahan’s report of a few weeks suggests this is likely a grade II sprain, which usually results in a 4-6 week recovery. However, my off-season research showed that most players struggle to return to their pre-injury level of performance after this injury within the same season. When TDP does eventually return to the lineup, we should temper expectations, especially given that he’s behind Mitchell and Jeff Wilson on the depth chart.
Players impacted: Jeff Wilson, Jordan Mason, Marlon Mack (Practice Squad)
WR Jerry Jeudy, Denver Broncos
Chest/Sternum Injury: Questionable for Week 3
Jeudy landed on his right shoulder with the defenders’ body weight on top of him, which is the classic mechanism for an injury to the clavicle or either of the joints on the ends of the collarbone, the AC joint or the SC joint. Head coach Nathaniel Hackett described the injury as more of a “rib issue” while Ian Rappoport described this as a chest/sternum injury. Reading the tea leaves here, this is likely an SC joint sprain based on the location of the SC joint and its attachment at the sternum. The recovery timeline for this depends on severity, but functionally, this injury affects a player’s ability to extend overhead. I suspect Jeudy will be listed questionable ahead of Week 3, with the decision to play based on how effective he can be. There’s an outside chance he could miss Week 4 as well, but I do not expect this injury to result in a lengthy absence.
Players impacted: Courtland Sutton, Russell Wilson, K.J. Hamler
WR Hunter Renfrow, Las Vegas Raiders
Renfrow had a forgettable 4th quarter and overtime. The play in which he took a huge hit to the head, he fumbled, and the Cardinals scooped and scored to win the game in OT. There was news following the game that he was “being evaluated for a concussion.” We have yet to receive news as to whether or not Renfrow is in fact in the league’s concussion protocol, so this is one of the more impactful injuries to watch this week. We should know more by Wednesday. Any absence for Renfrow would result in even more opportunity for Davante Adams and Darren Waller.
Players impacted: Davante Adams, Darren Waller, Derek Carr
TE Dalton Schultz, Dallas Cowboys
Right Knee PCL Sprain: Likely out Week 3
The Cowboys starting TE’s knee injury occurred during the Cowboys’ win over the Bengals on Sunday, but he was fortunate to avoid “substantial” damage. While we know he avoided an ACL tear fortunately, Schultz was unable to avoid a sprained PCL, which is the same injury his teammate Ezekiel Elliott dealt with in 2021. The recovery for PCL sprains depends on severity, but it’s likely Schultz isn’t out there in Week 3, and there’s a legitimate chance Schultz is out multiple weeks.
Cowboys TE Dalton Schultz received good news in this morning's MRI: Damage to right knee could have been more substantial, and he's expected to avoid a significant absence, person close to situation said. Schultz suffered injury late in Sunday's win over Bengals.
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) September 19, 2022
Players impacted: CeeDee Lamb, Noah Brown, Cooper Rush