Week 5 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 5 and take a look at what fantasy managers can expect heading into Week 6 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 Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos

Right Latissimus Strain: To play through injury
Following Thursday night’s dreadful game against the Colts, news broke that Russell Wilson has been dealing with a strained latissimus dorsi muscle near his right shoulder. That may sound familiar to fantasy players because last August, Dak Prescott dealt with a similar injury. This muscle strain, like all other muscle strains, will need to be managed closely, and unfortunately, can’t be pushed. Wilson had a PRP (platelet-rich plasma) injection last Friday to attempt to help accelerate the healing process, but there isn’t a lot of proven effectiveness for this treatment, especially in-season for a throwing athlete. Dak’s injury was able to heal appropriate last August because the team could afford to shut him down for multiple weeks in training camp, but as long as Russ plans to play through this injury, it is unlikely to heal at the same rate. As a result, expect Wilson to be limited in practices for the foreseeable future, and functionally, this injury can affect his downfield power and accuracy. Therefore, the fantasy ceiling for names like Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy is lowered until Russ is over this shoulder issue.

Injuries are an unfortunate reality in sports, and having a well-stocked first aid kit on hand can make all the difference in the initial treatment of an injury. Whether it’s a muscle strain like Wilson’s or something more serious, having the right supplies readily available can help prevent further damage and speed up recovery time. That’s why it’s important to have a reliable source for sports first aid supplies, like eFirstAidSupplies, which offers a wide range of products specifically designed for athletic injuries. From ice packs and bandages to braces and splints, having a well-equipped first aid kit can help athletes stay safe and healthy on and off the field.

Players impacted: Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy

QB Baker Mayfield, Carolina Panthers

Left High Ankle Sprain: Out 2-6 weeks
Mayfield picked up a high ankle sprain on Sunday against the 49ers and was seen in a walking boot following the game. While QBs can generally return from these injuries faster than RBs and WRs due to the position requiring less explosiveness and cutting, it’s still an injury that takes time to heal for a QB to be mobile in the pocket. Reports out of Carolina suggest Mayfield will “miss some time.” Best case scenario is that Baker returns after two weeks with the possibility he misses a month+. Regardless, don’t expect Baker to be under center in Week 6 when Carolina takes on the Rams or in Week 7 when the Panthers host the Bucs. P.J. Walker will start in Week 6 with Sam Darnold also recovering from a pre-season high ankle sprain.

Players impacted: P.J. Walker, D.J. Moore, Christian McCaffrey

QB Teddy Bridgewater, Miami Dolphins

Concussion: Week-to-week
Bridgewater exited early in the first quarter Sunday against the Jets to be evaluated for a concussion. Bridgewater reportedly cleared all concussion related tests from the independent evaluator. However, under the NFL’s new concussion guidelines, Bridgewater was ruled out due to a spotter suggesting concerns over on-field “instability.” Unfortunately for fantasy players, (fortunately for player safety), we’re likely to see more of this from the NFL for the remainder of the 2022 season, especially after what happened with Tua just a few weeks ago. Expect a more conservative approach to the management of concussions from the NFL moving forward, and that likely means more missed games for players. Worth noting, head coach Mike McDaniel told reporters that Tua was still “not ready for football related things” in his recovery from his Week 4 concussion. As a result, it is very unlikely Tua is ready for Week 6, so they now have their top two QBs in concussion protocol. If Bridgewater can’t go, it’ll be rookie Skylar Thompson under center.

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Players impacted: Tua Tagovailoa, Skyler Thompson, Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle

RB Rashaad Penny, Seattle Seahawks

Fractured Fibula: Out for the year
Penny exited week 5 early with a fractured fibula in his left leg that is going to require surgery. As a result, Penny is done for the year, and enters the 2023 offseason as a free agent. From a long-term health perspective, this surgery heals reliably after about 6 months. Several NFL players have come back from this injury, but Penny’s contract situation moving forward is uncertain. Rookie RB Kenneth Walker now takes over the lead role for the Seahawks moving forward.

Players impacted: Kenneth Walker, Tony Jones Jr.

RB James Conner, Arizona Cardinals

Rib Injury: Week-to-week
Conner exited Week 5 early with a rib injury and didn’t return against the Eagles. Kliff Kingsbury told reporters Conner will “be okay” on Monday, but that doesn’t provide any information on the specifics of this injury. Bruised ribs are unlikely to keep Conner out, but any injury to the rib cartilage is likely to force Conner to miss a game. As a result, we’ll need to monitor the Cardinals’ practice report for updates on Conner throughout the week. Backup RB Darrel Williams also exited with a knee injury. If both backs can’t go, Eno Benjamin would likely be in line to draw the start in Week 6 against the Rams.

Players impacted: Darrel Williams, Eno Benjamin

RB Damien Harris, New England Patriots

Hamstring Strain: Out multiple weeks
Harris exited early on Sunday due to a hamstring injury and didn’t return despite being listed questionable. Most hamstring injuries keep RBs out at least one game, so fantasy managers should make backup plans for Weeks 6 and 7 at a minimum. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that Harris is expected to miss “multiple games”, which immediately thrusts Rhamondre Stevenson into an elite role for fantasy, especially in Week 6 against the Browns.

Players impacted: Rhamondre Stevenson

RB Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts

Concussion: Week-to-week
Hines left Thursday Night Football on the first drive after taking a hit to the head. After showing on-field instability, he did not return and remains in the league’s concussion protocol. We’ll know more about Hines’ recovery on Wednesday when the team returns to practice. Jonathan Taylor, who also missed Week 5 with an ankle injury is expected to return in Week 6.

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Players impacted: Jonathan Taylor

WR Tyreek Hill, Miami Dolphins

Foot and Quad Injuries: Week-to-week
Hill picked up a quad injury on Thursday last week and was labeled as questionable for Week 5’s game against the Jets. During the the game, he reportedly got stepped on, and picked up a foot injury. Following the game, Hill was seen with a walking boot, so this is certainly a situation to monitor. Expect the quad injury to recover ahead of Week 6, but the foot is the biggest injury to monitor in Miami’s practice reports this week. A simple bruise is unlikely to keep him out, but any foot sprain puts his Week 6 availability in question.

Players impacted: Jaylen Waddle

WR Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals

Left Ankle Injury: Week-to-week
In what was a worst case scenario for fantasy managers, Tee Higgins was active for Sunday Night Football against the Ravens, but he barely played. He entered the game questionable due to a left ankle injury and reportedly aggravated the ankle in the first quarter before exiting for the remainder of the game. From my analysis in the video below, it’s very possible Higgins picked up a mild high ankle sprain in Week 4 against the Dolphins on Thursday Night Football. After aggravating that same injury Sunday night, Higgins is unlikely to be 100% for the next couple of weeks. It doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t try to play through the injury, but fantasy managers should keep expectations in check with the understanding that Higgins’ ceiling is lowered with this injury. He’ll certainly be on the Bengals’ injury report ahead of their Week 6 game against the Saints.

Players impacted: Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, Tyler Boyd, Hayden Hurst

WR Chris Olave, New Orleans Saints

Concussion: Week-to-week
Olave was slammed to the turf on his TD reception, hitting his head. He was credited with the score, but he did not return due to his concussion. Like Hines and Bridgewater, Olave is now considered week-to-week and remains in the concussion protocol. Fantasy managers will need to monitor Olave’s practice status leading up to New Orleans’ Week 6 game against the Bengals. The Saints are dealing with a ton of injuries to their WR room – Michael Thomas has missed the last two games with a toe injury, Jarvis Landry missed Week 5 with an ankle injury, and Deonte Harty is set to miss at least a month with turf toe.

Players impacted: Jameis Winston, Michael Thomas, Jarvis Landry

WR Christian Watson, Green Bay Packers

Hamstring Strain: Likely out Week 6
Watson injured his hamstring in Sunday’s game against the Giants. Hamstring injuries are the most common injuries to NFL wide receivers, and they almost always result in at least one missed game. Watson wasn’t really on the fantasy radar given his limited playing time, but his injury and likely absence would open up more opportunity for Allen Lazard, Romeo Doubs and Randall Cobb.

Players impacted: Romeo Doubs, Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb

TE Darren Waller, Las Vegas Raiders

Hamstring Strain: Questionable for Week 7
Darren Waller exited in the first quarter on Monday night against the Chiefs after playing just six snaps. Fantasy managers looking for a silver lining here at least get the benefit of a Week 6 bye for Waller to attempt to heal up ahead of Week 7. Of course, that all depends on the severity of the strain, which is not available as of this writing. A Grade II strain would likely force Waller to miss Week 7 as well, and with the team on bye this week, managers may not get much information on Waller as the team won’t be practicing. Savvy fantasy gamers should plan ahead for Week 7 in the event the Wallerus isn’t ready to go.

Players impacted: Davante Adams, Hunter Renfrow, Derek Carr, Foster Moreau 

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TE Dalton Schultz, Dallas Cowboys

Right Knee Contusion: Questionable for Week 6
Schultz banged knees with a Rams linebacker on Sunday, resulting in a contusion to the front of the knee. He only played a handful of snaps following the injury. Structurally, there is no cause for concern, but this injury could take roughly a week to feel 100%. Expect Schultz to be limited in practice this week with a chance to suit up for Sunday Night Football against the division rival Eagles depending on how he progresses. Regardless of his Week 6 availability, this injury is unlikely to affect his long-term outlook or effectiveness.

Players impacted: Dak Prescott, CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup

TE Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers

Concussion: Likely out multiple weeks
Freiermuth exited Week 5 against the Bills early due to a concussion, and unlike Nyheim Hines or Chris Olave mentioned above, I’m pessimistic about any chance of the Muth suiting up in Week 6. The second-year TE out of Penn State has now picked up three documented concussions since he’s been in the NFL. The issue with this is that multiple concussions within a small time frame is not only dangerous for the player’s safety, but it also leads to a longer recovery. It’s unrealistic to expect Freiermuth to be ready for Week 6 given his concussion history, and there’s even a chance he is out in Week 7 as well.

Players impacted: Kenny Pickett, Diontae Johnson, George Pickens

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