Fantasy Football Injury Recap for Week 4

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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 4 and take a look at what fantasy managers can expect heading into Week 5 and beyond.

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Austin Ekeler

Hamstring Strain: Out at least 4-8 weeks
Ekeler picked up a significant hamstring strain on Sunday in the 1st quarter against the Bucs and is going to miss several weeks after being placed on injured reserve. Ekeler was unable to put any weight on his left leg immediately following the injury as he also hyperextended his knee on the play. This mechanism can lead to a significant hamstring injury as was the case with Ekeler.

Players impacted: Joshua Kelley, Justin Jackson

Josh Allen

Left Shoulder Injury: Day to day
Allen exited briefly before halftime with a left shoulder injury after being sacked. Allen’s left arm was caught up in front of him overhead when he fell to the ground, which is a typical mechanism of injury for a labrum injury. He returned for the second half wearing a harness on the shoulder and was able to return to finish the game. This is an injury that Allen can play through this season but may require offseason surgery, depending on the severity of the injury.

Players impacted: Stefon Diggs, John Brown

O.J. Howard

Torn Achilles: Out for the year
O.J. Howard splashed some upside early in the season catching passes from Tom Brady, but his season is over. He ruptured his Achilles on Sunday and will require surgery to repair the tendon. He faces a lengthy recovery but should be ready for Week 1 in 2020.

Players impacted: Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady

Nick Chubb

Right Knee MCL Sprain: Out 6-8 weeks
Chubb got his right leg rolled up on by another player on Sunday, causing his knee to buckle inward. This inward stress to the knee causes the medial collateral ligament (MCL) to be injured and for Chubb, the fact that he was given a 6-week recovery timeline suggests a complete tear of the ligament. Fortunately, these do well without surgery, but Chubb won’t be on the field for several weeks. He’ll go on short term IR.

Players impacted: Kareem Hunt, D’Ernest Johnson, Dontrell Hilliard 

Kenyan Drake

Chest Injury: Day to day
Drake picked up a chest injury late in the 4th quarter, but there isn’t a specific diagnosis right now. All reports suggest Drake will be okay and is unlikely to miss time. Monitor the practice reports this week.

Players impacted: Chase Edmonds

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Noah Fant

High Ankle Sprain: Likely out Week 5
Noah Fant projects to miss Week 5 after picking up an ankle injury on Thursday Night Football. His foot got caught under a defender while being taken to the turf and externally rotated, as is the classic mechanism of injury for a high ankle sprain. Fant is likely to miss Week 5.

Players impacted: Jerry Jeudy, Drew Lock, Brett Rypien, Tim Patrick, K.J. Hamler (hamstring)

K.J. Hamler

Hamstring strain: Likely out Week 5
Hamler strained his hamstring on Thursday Night Football and is projected to miss Week 5. As a deep threat WR, Hamler relies on his top end speed to win, which could make this injury tricky in future weeks. I expect Hamler to miss time in practice or be limited this week.

Players impacted: Noah Fant (ankle), Jerry Jeudy, Tim Patrick

Sam Darnold

AC Joint Sprain: Likely out Week 5
The Jets may be without their starting QB after he was slammed to the turf at MetLife on Thursday night. His suffered an AC joint sprain, and x-rays taken at the stadium were negative for a fracture. I believe that he received an injection in the locker room, which allowed him to finish the game. Even a mild AC joint injury can take up to three weeks for a throwing athlete to get back on the field. I would suspect Darnold sits at least one game. If he plays, he’ll be at less than 100%.

Players impacted: Jamison Crowder, Joe Flacco

LeSean McCoy

Ankle Sprain: Likely out Week 5
McCoy isn’t winning anyone a fantasy championship in 2020, but it’s worth noting that he left early with what’s being called a grade II ankle sprain. That would suggest McCoy will miss at least one week. With Leonard Fournette already out because of his ankle injury, there could be even more opportunity for Ronald Jones and Ke’Shawn Vaughn.

Players impacted: Ronald Jones, Ke’Shawn Vaughn

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Jordan Akins

Concussion: Week to week
Akins took a shot to the head while going across the middle on Sunday. The safety for Minnesota who delivered the hit was ejected for targeting and the helmet to helmet hit. Akins will enter the NFL’s concussion protocol and should be considered week to week.

Players impacted: Darren Fells

Tyler Eifert

Concussion: Week to week
Eifert left early on Sunday after being diagnosed with a concussion. Like Akins, he’ll enter the league’s concussion protocol and will have the week to progress. He’s week to week.

Players impacted: Gardner Minshew, D.J. Chark

Julio Jones

Hamstring Strain: Likely out Week 5
Julio Jones has now been battling a hamstring injury since training camp. He finally returned to the lineup in Week 4 but left Monday Night Football early after aggravating his hamstring again. He’s already missed one game this year, and I would expect this injury to linger for multiple weeks moving forward. Fantasy managers with Julio Jones need to start making backup plans for Week 5 and beyond.

Players impacted: Matt Ryan, Calvin Ridley, Russell Gage, Hayden Hurst

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