Week 8 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 8 and take a look at what fantasy managers can expect heading into Week 9 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 Kirk Cousins
Torn Achilles: Out for the year
It’s a brutal end to Kirk Cousins‘ 2023 season. He tore the Achilles in his right leg on Sunday against the Packers. Look for Cousins to undergo surgery in the next several days as he’s placed on IR. Cousins, who just turned 35 this season, has an uncertain future ahead of him after signing a one-year deal with Minnesota this off-season. As a traditional pocket passer, Cousins is fully capable of making a return to the NFL if he decides to continue his career. Rookie Jaren Hall entered the game for Cousins after the injury while Nick Mullens (back injury) is eligible to return from IR in Week 10.
Right Thumb UCL Sprain: Out Week 9, Could land on IR
Stafford injured his right thumb at the end of the first half on Sunday against the Cowboys, getting his thumb caught in a defender’s face mask. This mechanism is consistent with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament (UCL), a ligament in the thumb that helps provide stability when gripping a football. Stafford has previously injured this ligament, which forced him to undergo surgery on it in 2020. Because of that surgery, it’s unlikely Stafford has a complete rupture, but he could miss several weeks depending on severity. The Rams could place him on IR. Expect Brett Rypien to be under center next week against the Packers.
Rib Injury: Questionable for Week 9
Pickett took a hard hit to his right side on Sunday against the Jaguars and did not return after suffering a rib injury. On a short week, it’ll be difficult for Pickett to play against the Titans on Thursday Night Football. He was officially listed as ‘Limited’ on the Pittsburgh’s estimated injury report on Monday. If Pickett can’t go, it’ll be Mitchell Trubisky under center. On Sunday, Trubisky completed 15-of-27 passes (56%) for 138 yards (5.1 YPA) and a TD.
QB Tyrod Taylor
Rib Injury: Out Week 9
Taylor left Sunday’s game early with a rib injury and was taken to a local hospital for further evaluation to rule out an injury to his lungs. He did not return, giving way to Tommy DeVito against the Jets. Taylor is set to miss Week 9, but fortunately, the Giants cleared Daniel Jones for contact on Monday. He’s missed the last three games with a disc injury in his neck. Jones is expected to return to practice on Wednesday and start in Week 9 against the Raiders.
Potential Ankle Injury: Situation to monitor
Taylor was having a productive day on Sunday against the Saints in the first half, running for 94 yards on 11 carries. For some reason, he logged just one carry in the second half. The team did not mention any ankle injuries and the Indy beat reporters have not confirmed this injury. However, it’s something to monitor this week given JT’s injury history.
Players impacted: Zack Moss
I've been asked about this, but I am not sure there is anything to it. No one has acknowledged any injury with Jonathan Taylor. I asked Steichen directly and talked to Taylor in the locker room and got nothing. https://t.co/Z3VK1cJBG1
— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) October 30, 2023
Torn ACL: Out for the year
Bourne has been a bright spot in a relatively uninspiring Patriots passing offense this year. Sadly, his 2023 season is over after he tore his ACL on Sunday against the Dolphins. Bourne will be placed on IR and undergo ACL reconstruction surgery in the coming weeks. On the year, Bourne was leading the Patriots WRs in production with a 17-game pace of 79 receptions, 863 yards, and 8.5 TDs. Look for rookie “Pop” Douglas to step up with DeVante Parker and JuJu Smith-Schuster rounding out 3WR sets.
Parker left Sunday’s game with a concussion and did not return. He now enters the NFL’s concussion protocol, making him questionable for Week 9 against the Commanders. It’s worth noting that Parker missed three games at the end of 2022 after picking up a concussion in Week 14. With Bourne headed to IR, Parker is expected to play in an every down WR role when healthy after the team made Tyquan Thornton a healthy inactive this past week. Expect the team to also feature their TEs more in the offense given their WR issues.
WR Drake London
Groin Strain: Questionable for Week 9
Drake London left Sunday’s game against the Titans with a groin injury and did not return. He was injured while stretching out for a catch in the 3rd quarter. Groin strains are extremely difficult for WRs to play through given the demands of changing directions while running a route. Speaking with reporters on Monday, Arthur Smith said the injury “wasn’t as bad as we thought.” For now, I’d consider London questionable at best but wouldn’t be surprised to see him sit next week against the Vikings.
Toe/Foot Injury: Doubtful for Week 9
The veteran receiver was questionable heading into the week with a foot injury. He was ultimately a game-time decision on Sunday morning but was cleared to play. He left early with a toe injury, and it’s certainly possible these injuries are related. On Monday, Ron Rivera mentioned Samuel is still undergoing additional testing. Given the pre-existing foot injury, Samuel looks like he’ll be on the wrong side of questionable for Week 9. At a minimum, expect him to miss practice time.
Right Knee Injury (Specifics Unknown): Situation to monitor
Palmer entered Week 8 questionable as a game-time decision after missing most of the practice week with a knee injury. Palmer re-aggravated that injury in the first half on Sunday Night Football against the Bears. He left for a period of time and was seen on the sideline with trainers, spending time on the stationary bike with a knee brace on. Palmer did return to the game but played sparingly. His 68% snap rate was his lowest since Mike Williams tore his ACL in Week 3. Palmer and the Chargers get a tough matchup against the Jets in Week 9. Expect him to miss practice time this week and likely be less than 100% for next week’s game, assuming he’s able to play. With Palmer banged up, Quentin Johnston and Simi Fehoko played a bigger role alongside Keenan Allen against the Bears in Week 8.
Hamstring Strain: Out Week 9 at a minimum
Waller entered Week 8 questionable with a hamstring injury that’s plagued him for most of the season and even affected him going back to last year when he was on IR for several weeks. He exited in the first half (23% of the snaps) with just one catch for four yards on two targets. Given that this is a lingering issue for Waller, it’s going to take some time before he’s back to 100%. New York has their bye in Week 13. It would not be surprising to see the team place him on IR and target a Week 14 return.