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.

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 Anthony Richardson

Grade III AC Joint Sprain: Out 4+ weeks
Richardson had a defender’s body weight land on top of him  as his right shoulder was driven into the turf. Following the injury, Richardson exited to the locker room for x-rays, which were negative for a collarbone fracture. Unfortunately, this injury is going to knock Richardson out for at least a month. A grade III injury to the AC joint indicates a completely ruptured ligament in the shoulder, and when this happens, it takes weeks for the shoulder to recover. As a throwing athlete, it’s going to take time before A Rich is back to 100%. For fantasy, the other thing to consider is that he’s a rushing QB who gets the majority of his fantasy points with his legs. Moving forward, look for Richardson to be more conservative as far as avoiding contact with his right shoulder. This injury has the potential to affect Richardson’s fantasy production for the next couple of months. Garder Minshew will be under center for the next few weeks as it’s possible the Colts decide to play their QB on IR.

Players impacted: Gardner Minshew, Josh Downs, Michael Pittman Jr.

QB Daniel Jones

Neck Injury: Severity Unknown
Jones took another six sacks on Sunday against the Dolphins, and on his final sack of the day, Jones injured his neck. He ended up leaving the game and did not return. X-rays were negative at the time of the injury, but as of Monday, Jones was reportedly undergoing an MRI to further evaluate the injury. It is worth noting that Jones did speak with media following the team’s Week 5 loss to Miami, so there’s optimism this is not a significant injury. However, as of this writing, the specifics of the injury are not known. Ian Rapoport called Jones “iffy” for Week 6 against the Bills. If he can’t go, it’ll be Tyrod Taylor under center.

Players impacted: Tyrod Taylor, Darren Waller, Wan’Dale Robinson

RB Khalil Herbert

High Ankle Sprain: Out multiple weeks
The Bears RB1 picked up a high ankle sprain in the team’s win over the Commanders on Thursday night. There hasn’t been an official report as to the severity of the injury, but historically, high ankle sprains usually sideline plays 3+ weeks. Regardless of the severity, Herbert will be out for Week 6 against the Vikings. Roschon Johnson would be the next man up, but unfortunately, he also exited the game early with a concussion and now enters the league’s protocol, leaving his status up in the air. Their pass catching specialist and special teams player, Travis Homer, also left with a hamstring injury. Due to these injuries, Chicago singed Darrynton Evans off the Miami practice squad. D’Onta Foreman could be the lead ball carrier next week against the Vikings.

Players impacted: Roschon Johnson, D’Onta Foreman

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RB James Conner

Right Knee Injury: Out multiple weeks, could go on IR
Conner ripped off a long 35-yard run against the Bengals on Sunday, but unfortunately, he picked up a knee injury on this awkward tackle. On Monday, Jonathan Gannon told reporters his RB is “feeling okay” but he didn’t provide additional details. On Tuesday morning, however, news broke that Conner is expected to miss multiple weeks and could land on IR. The primary concern is a sprained MCL and/or a meniscus injury, but those details are not yet available. Keaontay Ingram is typically Conner’s backup, but he was inactive on Sunday with a neck injury. With Conner banged up and Ingram inactive, rookie Emari Demercado rushed for 45 yards on 10 attempts and picked up his first career touchdown. He’d likely lead the backfield next week against the Rams if Ingram can’t go. We’d also likely see a handful of carries for WR Rondale Moore out of the backfield. With Conner set to miss multiple weeks, the team signed Tony Jones Jr. off waivers.

Players impacted: Emari Demercado, Keaontay Ingram

RB De’Von Achane

Right Knee Injury: Out multiple weeks, could go on IR
Achane carried the ball to the left edge in the 4th quarter on Sunday against the Giants with a defender landing on the outside of his right leg. It resulted in his right ankle and knee getting caught under the tackler, as seen in the video below. On Tuesday morning, news broke that the electric rookie is set to miss multiple weeks with his knee injury. He’s a candidate to go on IR, but is currently seeking a second opinion. For now, consider Achane out for 2+ weeks, but it could be longer. It’s also worth mentioning that Jeff Wilson Jr., who started the year on IR, could be back soon. The Dolphins opened his 21-day window on Monday, so he should be back in practice at some point soon.

Players impacted: Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson Jr., Salvon Ahmed

WR Justin Jefferson

Hamstring Strain: Out 4+ weeks
Jefferson slipped on the turf, causing him to awkwardly stumble while trying to make a cut running a route on Sunday. In the process, Jefferson injured his right hamstring, and despite the Chiefs being down a TD to the Chiefs in the 4th quarter, the 2022 Offensive Player of the Year stayed on the sideline with a towel over his head. Tom Pelissero reported on Tuesday morning that JJetts is set to miss multiple weeks and likely to head to IR because of his injury. This is a signal that the injury is likely a Grade II injury in nature, which typically takes 4-6 weeks to heal. The earliest Jefferson could return is Week 10 against the Saints, but it is worth pointing out that the Vikings have a Week 13 bye. If Jefferson isn’t ready to come off IR after four weeks, and this injury takes six weeks to heal, he could be held out through the bye, which would obviously have a massive impact on his fantasy value moving forward.

Players impacted: Kirk Cousins, Jordan Addison, K.J. Osborn, T.J. Hockenson

WR Chris Olave

Toe Injury: Situation to monitor
Olave was seen going through an extensive pre-game workout with one of the Saints’ trainers on Sunday morning. News ultimately confirmed that Olave was dealing with a toe injury, but he was able to play through the injury, finishing with just 2 catches, 12 yards and a TD. This injury does not appear to be serious, but it is worth monitoring ahead of Week 6 against the Texans. The Saints could choose to limit Olave’s reps in practice this week.

Players impacted: Derek Carr, Michael Thomas

WR Zay Jones

Right Knee Injury: Questionable for Week 6
Jones missed Weeks 3-4 with a right knee injury that was likely a sprained PCL. He made his return to the lineup in Week 5, but he exited early with another right knee injury. Fortunately for fantasy, Jones did haul in a Trevor Lawrence TD pass, but after exiting, he did not return. On Monday, Doug Pederson told reports that Jones was having an MRI. Following the MRI, Jones was labeled as “day-to-day” but this is certainly a situation where Jones could miss Week 6, if not longer given that this is the same knee that has plagued Jones for the majority of the season. The Jags get a bye in Week 9,

Players impacted: Trevor Lawrence, Calvin Ridley, Christian Kirk, Evan Engram

WR Tank Dell

Concussion: Week-to-week
Dell caught a pass in the first half and in the process, his hit head on the turf. After being evaluated for a concussion, he was ruled out and did not return. Dell now enters the league’s concussion protocol, and as we’ve seen so far this year, over 80% of players who enter the NFL’s protocol end up missing at least one game. The Texans could be without their rookie WR next week against New Orleans.

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Players impacted: C.J. Stroud, Nico Collins, Dalton Schultz

WR JuJu Smith-Schuster

Concussion: Week-to-week
JuJu took a helmet-to-helmet hit when he was tackled by two defenders Sunday against the Saints. Like Dell, he faces an uphill battle to clear concussion protocol ahead of next week’s contest against the Raiders. Fantasy managers will need to monitor the Patriots’ injury report closely this week.

Players impacted: Mac Jones, Kendrick Bourne, Hunter Henry, Demario Douglas

TE Travis Kelce

Right Lateral Ankle Sprain: Likely to play Week 5
Kelce slipped on the turf in Minnesota, rolling his right ankle in the process. The injury happened just before halftime, so Kelce went to the locker room early to get treatment. He returned with his ankle heavily taped and was able to finish the game. There was a report Sunday afternoon that this could be a high ankle sprain, but this is not accurate. Kelce’s injury is a mild lateral ankle sprain. The good news here is that Kelce can play through this injury, though he may not be quite as effective cutting in and out of his breaks. The Chiefs play the Broncos on a short week on Thursday night, so don’t be surprised to see him on the injury report. I am confident, he plays, however.

Players impacted: Patrick Mahomes, Rashee Rice, Kadarius Toney, Noah Gray

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