Week 6 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 6 and take a look at what fantasy managers can expect heading into Week 7 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 Carson Wentz, Washington Commanders
Fractured Ring Finger: Out 4-6 weeks
Wentz fractured the ring finger on his right hand on Thursday night against the Bears and went to see a hand specialist in LA on Monday to determine the next step in his recovery. The Commanders QB underwent surgery on his finger on Monday and now faces a 4-6 week recovery timeline. When compared to other notable QBs who have had hand injuries, Wentz is fortunate in that his injury occurred to his ring finger and not his thumb, like Dak Prescott and Russell Wilson (2021). The thumb is far more critical to grip strength when throwing a football, while the ring finger is not quite as crucial in grip strength or the throwing motion. Still, Wentz will miss at least a month, making it likely Washington places the QB on IR. Taylor Heinicke is likely to get the start against the next four opponents: GB / @ IND / MIIN / @ PHI.
Players impacted: Taylor Heinicke, Sam Howell
QB Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Steelers
Pickett exited Week 6 early with a concussion and now enters the league’s concussion protocol. The average missed time for a first concussion is one week, so Pickett should be considered truly questionable for Week 7 against the Dolphins on Sunday Night Football. If he can’t go, the team will turn to Mitchell Trubisky, who completed 9 of 12 passes for 144 yards and a TD in relief on Sunday against the Bucs.
Players impacted: Mitch Trubisky
QB Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos
Hamstring Strain: Severity unknown
Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett told reporters after the team’s Monday night loss to the Chargers that his QB suffered a hamstring injury. Given the quick turnaround of this article on Tuesday morning, we do not have official word on the severity of the injury. The biggest issue with this injury would be its effect on Wilson’s mobility out of the pocket. After totaling just five rushing yards in Weeks 1 and 2 combined, Russ has helped bolster his fantasy floor with 22.8 rushing yards per game from Weeks 3-6. Wilson is also still recovering from his Week 4 lat strain as well.
QB P.J. Walker, Carolina Panthers
Neck Injury: Questionable for Week 7
Walker got the start in Week 6 against the Rams after Baker Mayfield suffered a high ankle sprain the previous week. Walker was forced from the game with a neck injury. It’s unclear as of this writing how serious the injury is or how long he may be out, but this injury leaves the Panthers with a terrifying QB situation. Mayfield is likely not ready to return from his high ankle sprain, and Sam Darnold has missed the entire season with his high ankle sprain that he picked up in the preseason back in August. He remains on IR as of this writing. If all three of these QBs can’t go, it’ll likely be Jacob Eason under center against the Bucs. Eason has attempted just 10 total passes in the NFL.
Players impacted: Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Jacob Eason
QB Skylar Thompson, Miami Dolphins
Thumb Injury: Day-to-day
The Dolphins QB carousel continued on Sunday against the Vikings when 7th round rookie Skylar Thompson got the start. He was forced to leave early, however, with a thumb injury and didn’t return. Teddy Bridgewater was active as the team’s backup with Tua Tagovailoa out, but fortunately for the Dolphins, Tua has cleared concussion protocol and should start in Week 7 against the Steelers. Expect Teddy Bridgewater to remain the team’s backup.
Players impacted: Tua Tagovailoa
RB J.K. Dobbins, Baltimore Ravens
Recovery from ACL surgery: Situation to Monitor
Dobbins didn’t play a single snap in the second half of Sunday’s loss to the Giants due to knee “tightening up” according to Ravens ESPN reporter Jamison Hensley. While this isn’t necessarily a new “injury,” it’s absolutely something fantasy players need to monitor. Dobbins suffered a significant multi-ligament knee injury last August and has had a relatively slow start to the year after missing all of 2021. Sometimes following a complex ACL injury, athletes deal with lingering soreness, stiffness and swelling when workloads are increased. It’s unclear as of this writing specifically what exactly is going on with Dobbins’ knee, but this signals that he’s still not ready for a full workload. In four games back, Dobbins’ snap counts have been as follows: 43% > 50% > 40% > 27%. Until we see Dobbins really get a full workload consistently, he’s likely not a reliable fantasy starter.
Players impacted: Kenyan Drake
RB Deon Jackson, Indianapolis Colts
Quad Injury: Likely out at least one week
Jonathan Taylor (ankle) and Nyheim Hines (concussion) were ruled out for this game, allowing Jackson to operate as the team’s lead back. He was actually having a nice fantasy day, especially through the air, before leaving with a quad injury. It appears likely Taylor and Hines will be back in the lineup in Week 7, so Jackson’s injury doesn’t carry much of a fantasy impact.
Players impacted: Jonathan Taylor, Nyheim Hines
WR Marquise Brown, Arizona Cardinals
Foot Fracture: Out at least 6 weeks
Brown injured his left foot in the second half against the Seahawks when his foot got stuck underneath a defender after leaping to attempt to make a contested catch. X-rays were negative following the game, but an MRI on Monday confirmed a small fracture. It sounds like Brown’s injury is a fracture without associated ligament damage, which is not only good news for the short term but also for his long-term dynasty outlook. Brown will not require surgery, but this is an injury that requires appropriate time to not only heal, but also to allow the athlete to return to peak performance. Reports suggest Brown will miss six weeks, but fantasy mangers should be mindful that Brown will likely take an additional few weeks to return to 100% given that he’s not able to stress the healing fracture during those six weeks. The earliest Brown will return to the lineup is in Week 12, but with the team’s Week 13 bye, don’t be surprised to see Brown sit out until Week 14. It is worth noting this is the same foot that Brown injured while he was in college at Oklahoma when he suffered a Lisfranc injury during his final season. Fantasy managers may recall that Brown had a relatively quiet rookie season in 2019 has he recovered from the foot injury. On Monday, the team traded for former Panthers WR Robbie Anderson to add depth, and fortunately for Cardinal fans, DeAndre Hopkins is due back this week off his six-game suspension.
Players impacted: Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins, Rondale Moore, Zach Ertz
WR Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins
Left Shoulder Subluxation: Likely to play through the injury
Waddle injured his left shoulder late in the game against the Vikings, suffering what is believed to be a shoulder subluxation, otherwise known as a partial dislocation. Unless there’s significant damage to the shoulder, expect Waddle to play through the injury, likely with a harness on the shoulder to limit motion and avoid subsequent dislocations. Fantasy managers are familiar with this situation as Dalvin Cook has historically played through repeated shoulder instability events with his harness (“The Device”). However, the difference here is that Waddle being a WR is more likely to have to put his shoulder in positions overhead to make a reception whereas Dalvin is primarily focusing on securing the football at his waist with his arms down by his side. With the harness on, Waddle’s catch radius will be limited.
Players impacted: Tua Tagovailoa, Tyreek Hill, Mike Gesicki
WR Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers
High Ankle Sprain: Out 2-4 weeks
Cobb injured his ankle on Sunday against the Jets and was seen in a walking boot following the game. X-rays immediately following the injury were negative, but an MRI on Monday confirmed Cobb is going to miss time while recovering from his high ankle sprain. Despite the reported range for his recovery being anywhere between 2-4 weeks, the most likely scenario here is that Cobb is out a month. While Cobb will be out of the lineup for multiple weeks, they are likely to get Sammy Watkins back off IR as early as this week as he recovers from his hamstring strain.
Players impacted: Allen Lazard, Romeo Doubs, Sammy Watkins
WR Kendrick Bourne, New England Patriots
Turf Toe: Likely out multiple weeks
Bourne only played four snaps on Sunday after he exited with a turf toe injury. The headline on Bourne’s recovery is that it’s “not believed to be serious.” However, fantasy managers are well aware at this point what a turf toe injury can do to a WR’s productivity, as this injury is one that is easily stressed with the running and sprinting motion given how important the big toe is for pushing off. Despite the reports that this injury isn’t considered serious, I would not be surprised to see Bourne miss at least one game. There’s a realistic possibility he misses multiple weeks. The Pats get the Bears, Jets, and Colts before their Week 10 bye.
Players impacted: Cade Otton
TE Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Concussion and Neck Injury: Out multiple weeks
Brate took a scary hit to the head and neck area, and he immediately went to the turf grabbing his head and helmet in pain. He was actually carried off the field on a spine board, but the good news is that Brate has movement in all four of his extremities, and the scans for his neck came back negative. While this is good news for Brate’s health, he’s still likely to miss an extended period of time given that this is his second concussion in less than a month. Research shows that subsequent concussions in a short time period leads to a longer recovery. I’d expect Brate to miss at least two games, especially considering the added neck injury.
Players impacted: Cade Otton
TE Dalton Schultz, Dallas Cowboys
Aggravated Knee Injury: Week-to-week
Schultz has been dealing with a PCL issue in his knee for the last few weeks, but he was removed from the injury report on Friday evening before the team’s Week 6 tilt with the Eagles. However, on Saturday, Schultz reportedly “tweaked” the knee in the team’s walk through, and he was ruled out for Sunday Night Football. As we’ve seen with players like Julio Jones and Schultz this year and Ezekiel Elliott in 2021, these PCL injuries can linger for several weeks. It’s taken both Julio and Schultz several weeks to recover, and neither is back to 100% yet. Schultz is still capable of being productive later in the season, but fantasy managers should be cautious with Schultz in the short term.
Players impacted: Dak Prescott, CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup
About Dobbins, I’ve read a report that specifically states the turf could’ve been an issue. Also ESPNs Staphania Bell has talked how ravens have limited his return hoping for a bigger 2nd half. Maybe his fantasy stock is a good buy low. Thoughts on those two things?
Hey Chad, I definitely think there’s some merit to the Ravens being conservative, hoping for a better 2nd half. They’ve been conservative all along with his recovery, and the team knows he’ll be closer to 100% down the stretch. I think from a fantasy perspective, I’m only acquiring him if I’m having a great season (6-0, 5-1). If you need wins now, Dobbins is unlikely to be a difference maker in the short term.