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.
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.
Dislocated Right Thumb: Doubtful for Week 7
Fields exited their Week 6 game against the Vikings with a right thumb injury. He dislocated his thumb and was unable to return to the game due to pain and an inability to grip the football. X-rays taken at the stadium were negative for a fracture, and an MRI on Monday revealed no significant ligament damage that would require immediate surgery. Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, a source told him it’d keep Fields out “however long it takes for swelling and stiffness to reside and strength to come back so he can grip a ball.” This is pinpoint accurate when it comes to this injury as it’s all about functional strength. If Fields can’t grip a football, he can’t spin it. Look for Chicago’s QB to miss Week 7 and consider him doubtful for Week 8 as this is usually a multi-week recovery. When he returns, he could play with a glove on his right hand to improve his ability to grip the football.
Left Knee Sprain: Questionable for Week 7
Lawrence tweaked his left knee late in the game against the Colts when he got his knee twisted while being tackled. He was listed questionable to return but never did, potentially because the game was out of hand at that point with the Jags up by multiple scores. Lawrence was seen walking around the sidelines and walking to the locker room following the game, and he did not appear to be favoring his knee in any way. On Monday, Adam Schefter, reported the injury is not significant but that his status for Thursday night’s game is uncertain. Playing on a short week against New Orleans, it’s likely he misses practice time. Consider him questionable for Week 7, but this does not appear to be a multi-week injury.
Back Injury: Questionable for Week 7
Garoppolo exited Week 6 early with a lower back injury and did not return. He was taken to a local hospital for further evaluation in order to rule any internal injury. Fortunately, those scans came back clean. Low back pain can be tricky to manage on a short week, especially for an athlete that is likely to take hits and put increased stress on the lower back during the throwing motion due to the rotation of the core and hips that’s required. If Jimmy G can’t go, either Aidan O’Connell or Brian Hoyer will be under center against the Bears.
Right High Ankle Sprain: Questionable for Week 8
Tannehill injured his right ankle on Sunday morning against the Ravens while playing in London. He was seen on crutches after the game, and X-rays were negative for a fracture. Tennessee’s QB got his right ankle caught under a defender while being tackled in the third quarter. The Titans go on bye in Week 7, but it’s possible we see Tannehill miss a game or two coming out of the bye. It’s worth noting that he’s got an extensive injury history on this right ankle. Last season, Tannehill suffered a right high ankle sprain in Week 7 and missed two games. He returned and played six games before re-injuring the ankle in Week 15, ultimately missing the rest of the season after undergoing tight-rope surgery to stabilize the ankle. If Tannehill can’t go in Week 8, Malik Willis will be under center. If Tannehill can go, his ability to get outside of the pocket will be significantly affected.
Grade III AC Joint Sprain: Likely to Undergo Season-Ending Surgery
Richardson was in this article last week when he suffered a grade III AC joint injury in his right shoulder. After missing Week 6, news came out on Monday that Richardson is likely to undergo season-ending surgery to stabilize the ligaments that are currently torn. For a throwing athlete, it’s difficult to come back from a grade III AC joint injury because it causes pain and instability in the shoulder when the arm is above shoulder height. For redraft purposes, Richardson can be dropped. As for dynasty, this injury is not going to affect his ability to participate fully in training camp, and he will be fully healthy prior to the start of the 2024 season.
Rib Cartilage Injury: Out Week 7, potentially out through Week 9 bye
Montgomery injured his ribs in the first half on Sunday against the Bucs when he landed on top of the football while being tackled on a screen pass. He left for the locker room for X-rays, which were negative, but the Lions RB did not return to the game. Monty is expected to miss some time, and given their schedule, a Week 10 return seems likely. The Lions have two games prior to their Week 9 bye, and it’s entirely possible Montgomery sits for those matchups depending on his recovery. Detroit’s RB situation is an important one to monitor given their injuries. Behind Montgomery, rookie Jahmyr Gibbs has missed their last two games with a hamstring injury, and depth RB Bam Knight was just placed on season-ending IR last week. With Montgomery expected to miss time, the team is likely to add a RB to the roster. If Gibbs can’t go, Craig Reynolds will serve as the team’s top back in Week 7 against Baltimore.
Oblique and Rib Injury: Questionable for Week 7
CMC left this past week’s game against the Browns early with an oblique and rib injury. He was seen stretching on the sideline, trying to stay loose, and he did return for only one play before finally leaving the game for good. San Francisco’s RB underwent an MRI on Monday afternoon, and as of this writing, the results of that MRI are unknown. McCaffrey will certainly miss practice time this week, adding some questions about his health entering Week 7’s Monday night game against the Vikings. This injury is not one that will linger, but it could sideline fantasy’s RB1 for a week or two. CMC managers should have an insurance plan in place in the event McCaffrey can’t go.
Sprained Ankle: Likely Out Week 7
Williams was in and out of the game in the second half against the Cardinals. He tweaked the ankle but returned a few plays later before aggravating the ankle. On Monday, head coach Sean McVay told reporters that Williams is unlikely to play in Week 7. For now, consider Kyren out for Week 7 and questionable for Week 8. To make matters worse for LA, backup RB Ronnie Rivers also left this game with a completely torn PCL in his knee. This injury will sideline him for at least a month as he’ll head to IR. Zach Evans is the only healthy RB on the active roster as of this writing. They will elevate Royce Freeman from the practice squad, but they could also add another player to the depth chart ahead of Sunday’s game against the Steelers.
Neck Sprain and Concussion: Out at least Week 7
It was a scary seen in Buffalo on Sunday Night Football as RB Damien Harris was lifted on a spine-board and driven off the field in an ambulance due to a neck injury. Fortunately, Harris gave the thumbs up sign and reportedly has feeling and movement in all four extremities. Harris was able to avoid worst-case scenario, but obviously, his status for Week 7 is in major doubt. James Cook and Latavius Murray‘s roles are even further solidified against New England with Harris recovering. Perhaps an indication that Harris will miss multiple weeks, the Bills are hosting free agent RB Leonard Fournette for a workout on Tuesday.
WR Deebo Samuel
Shoulder Injury: Questionable for Week 7
Deebo injured his shoulder in the first quarter on Sunday against the Browns and did not return. He landed on hard on the top of his left shoulder, which is typically the mechanism for a sprained AC joint, though the specifics of the injury have not been reported. On Monday, Kyle Shanahan described Samuel as “day to day” and also said this: “If you watch him like the next eight plays, you could just tell the feeling was starting to go because he couldn’t use his left arm. He tried to come back but just couldn’t get feeling back in it. So we had to shut him down.” Deebo should be considered questionable for Monday Night Football in Week 7 against the Vikings. If this is a mild injury, Samuel can play through the injury with an injection for pain control. If he’s out for Week 7, I expect him back for Week 8.
Right Ankle Sprain: Will play Week 8
Wilson got his right foot stuck in the turf on Sunday against the Eagles when attempting to run a curl route. It caused his right ankle to roll, resulting in a mild lateral ankle sprain. This is the same ankle that Wilson injured during training camp, but the two incidents are not related, and this injury is very minor. The Jets’ bye in Week 7 comes at the perfect time for Wilson. He’ll get treatment this week and should be fine for Week 8 against the Giants.
Dislocated Left Elbow: Out 2+ weeks
Watson injured his left elbow on Thursday night against the Chiefs when he dove trying to make a reception. Watson’s injury was a dislocated left elbow, and fortunately, it sounds like he avoided any serious ligament damage based on his MRI results. Even so, this injury leads to pain, stiffness and swelling in the elbow, so in order to effectively play WR, he’ll need to rehab the injury for a few weeks to regain full range of motion. When he does return, he’ll likely play with a sleeve and/or brace. The Chiefs have three more games before their bye week, so it’s possible he’s held out until their Week 10 bye.
TE Greg Dulcich
Dulcich injured his hamstring in Week 1 then spent four weeks on IR. Unfortunately, in his first game back against the Chiefs, he re-injured the hamstring, exiting the game early. At this point, Dulcich is likely to miss multiple weeks dealing with this recent aggravation, further solidifying Trautman’s role as the team’s top TE.