Fantasy Football Injury Recap for Week 16
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 16 and take a look at what fantasy managers can expect heading into Week 17.
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Darrell Henderson Jr.
Left High Ankle Sprain: Out Week 17
Henderson exited early on Sunday with a high ankle sprain and didn’t return. He won’t play in Week 17, notable as Cam Akers missed Week 16’s game against the Seahawks as he recovers from a high ankle sprain of his own. Malcolm Brown should be in line for a huge workload as the lone healthy back on the active roster next week against the Cardinals in a must-win game. Look for the Rams to make a roster move to add RB depth ahead of Week 17 and the playoffs.
Players impacted: Malcolm Brown, Xavier Jones, Cam Akers (also battling high ankle sprain)
Right Elbow Injury: Questionable for Week 17
Watson injured his elbow two weeks ago, suffering a “funny bone” injury, otherwise known as a mild ulnar nerve contusion. He ended up being totally fine after this incident but this week, Watson injured the same elbow on Sunday against the Bengals. His hand got caught in a defender’s face mask, resulting in significant torque on the elbow. By all accounts, the injury is minor, but this is certainly something to monitor as we look forward to Week 17. He’s not out of the woods quite yet.
Players impacted: Brandin Cooks, Keke Coutee, A.J. McCarron
Here’s the play where Deshaun Watson injured his right elbow yesterday
Reports say nothing too serious but this puts major strain on the UCL and ulnar nerve. Had a very mild ulnar nerve injury 2 weeks ago
— Matthew Betz (@TheFantasyPT) December 28, 2020
Right Thumb Fracture with Dislocation: Out for Week 17
Goff hit his right thumb on a defender’s helmet on his follow-through while throwing a pass on Sunday against the Seahawks. In doing so, he dislocated his thumb and actually had to relocate it back into place after the injury. Goff underwent additional testing (x-ray and MRI) on Monday and after further evaluation, ended up having surgery to stabilize the fracture in his thumb. As a result, Goff won’t play in Week 17. John Wolford will get the start.
Players impacted: Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, John Wolford
Lower Leg Injury (Diagnosis Unknown): Day to day
Murray got injured on the Cardinals’ final offensive play of the game, but this is a situation where Kyler is more likely “hurt than injured.” He got leg whipped by a defender, hitting him in the shin in what’s being described as a bruise. Don’t be surprised to see Murray on the team’s practice report this week, but he should be good to go for a must-win game next week against the Rams without limitation.
Players impacted: DeAndre Hopkins, Christian Kirk
Right Ankle Sprain: Questionable for Week 17
Stafford suffered an inversion ankle sprain on Saturday against the Bucs and exited for the remainder of the game. He got his ankle taped on the sideline, but he was clearly not able to push off effectively to return. This isn’t a long term serious injury, and if the Lions were in playoff contention, he would likely play through this injury but with Stafford battling multiple injuries in addition to the ankle issue, there’s a good chance the Lions shut down their franchise QB for the last game of the year.
Players impacted: Chase Daniel, Marvin Jones Jr., T.J. Hockenson, D’Andre Swift
Michael Pittman Jr.
Concussion: Day to day
The Colts’ rookie WR was evaluated for a concussion on Sunday after taking a hit against the Steelers. He’ll likely enter the league’s protocol and needs to be monitored as the week goes progresses. Don’t be surprised to see him on the Colts injury report this week.
Players impacted: T.Y. Hilton, Philip Rivers, Zach Pascal
Calf Strain: Likely Out Week 17
Watkins left the game this week against the Falcons with a calf injury and didn’t return. As of now, the severity of the calf strain isn’t known, but it’s very likely he doesn’t play in Week 17 given that the Chiefs have already secured the #1 overall seed in the AFC Playoffs. Look for Watkins to return for the Divisional round of the playoffs in January.
Players impacted: Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Demarcus Robinson, Mecole Hardman
Left Ankle Sprain: Questionable for Week 17
Engram picked up a left ankle injury late in the 4th quarter on Sunday against the Ravens. Coach Joe Judge told the media that he is optimistic that Engram will progress throughout the week, but that he still needs to meet with team doctors for additional evaluation. For now, consider Engram questionable for Week 17 and monitor the Giants’ practice report this week, as that will be a key factor in regards to his availability next week.
Players impacted: Daniel Jones, Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton
High Ankle Sprain: Out Week 17
McLaurin didn’t get injured in Week 16, but I figured it was worth including him on this list as we now have details regarding the severity of McLaurin’s injury. He missed Week 16 with an ankle injury that is now confirmed as a high ankle sprain. The Washington WR1 is now in a walking boot and won’t be ready for Week 17. Best case scenario, McLaurin is back in a few weeks if Washington can get into the playoffs as NFC East champs.
Players impacted: Alex Smith/Dwayne Haskins, Logan Thomas, J.D. McKissic
High Ankle Sprain: Out Week 17
Aiyuk had a down performance in Week 16, catching just one ball for 15 yards, and now we know why. Aiyuk picked up a high ankle sprain early in the game and battled through the injury, but he clearly wasn’t himself for the remainder of the game. He won’t play in Week 17 but should recover nicely with a full offseason to heal.
Players impacted: C.J. Beathard, George Kittle, Kendrick Bourne