Fantasy Football: Week 1 Injury Recap

Greg Olsen

Right Foot Injury: expected to miss an extended period of time
Olsen’s 2018 season started with an all too familiar image for fantasy owners – the veteran tight end on the sideline in street clothes with crutches and a walking boot on his right foot. Unfortunately for Olsen, he exited Week 1 early after stepping on a defender’s foot while trying to make a cut. The bad news here is that it’s the same foot that Olsen injured in 2017 when he went down with a Jones fracture, which required surgery. Suffering two serious foot injuries in less than a year will most certainly push back Olsen’s recovery timeline. There haven’t been any new updates regarding Olsen’s status, but he is expected to miss a prolonged period of time. My fear is a second Jones fracture. Rookie Ian Thomas will start in his place while he’s out.

Other players impacted: Ian Thomas, Cam Newton

Aaron Rodgers

Sprained left MCL: prognosis unknown
Rodgers scared fantasy owners on Sunday night when he was sacked in the first half. While on the ground, a defender fell on the outside of his left knee, a mechanism consistent with an MCL sprain. Rodgers was clearly in a lot of pain as he attempted to put weight on it and walk off the field. He then left the field and went to the locker room on a cart. When Green Bay returned for the second half, he had his helmet on and jogged back onto the field, much to the surprise of everyone watching. He was clearly limited in the second half because of his inability to put full weight through the leg and plant and twist on it while he threw the ball. However, his play didn’t show it as he gutted his way to an amazing comeback win. After the game, Rodgers insisted he’ll play in Week 2 but that remains to be seen. Look for more details regarding the injury severity to surface later today or tomorrow. Rodgers will fight stiffness, soreness, and swelling this week but still has a chance to play in what will be a limited fashion next week. If he does play, his mobility will surely be affected. I expect Green Bay to be conservative with their franchise player in practice all week.

Other players impacted: Devante Adams, Randall Cobb, Geronimo Allison

Doug Baldwin

Sprained right MCL: out 2-4 weeks
Baldwin sprained the MCL in his right knee, which fortunately for Baldwin is not the same knee that’s hampered him all preseason and training camp. While blocking, Baldwin had his right leg get rolled up on, which led to the injury. The mechanism of injury could have been much worse, but Baldwin escaped without a significant injury. The injury is being reported as a grade 2 sprain, so Baldwin likely returns in about 2-4 weeks. With Baldwin now dealing with two separate knee injuries to both knees, don’t be surprised to see him practice very little over the course of the next two weeks.

Other players impacted: Russell Wilson, Tyler Lockett, Brandon Marshall

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Marcus Mariota

Right elbow injury (exact diagnosis unknown): day to day
The Titans quarterback exited Week 1 with an injury to the elbow on his throwing arm Sunday against the Dolphins. In a press conference after the game, Mariota stated that he was having difficulty feeling his hand, resulting in an inability to grip the ball. Clearly, Mariota’s ability to throw the ball accurately was affected by this reduced grip strength, as he tossed an interception shortly after the injury occurred when he was hit by a defender. The ulnar nerve sits very close to the surface of the elbow, and it’s likely this nerve was hit during the injury, resulting in the weakness and numbness. Think of this injury as a really bad moment of hitting your funny bone. Expect Mariota back next week.

Other players impacted: Corey Davis, Rishard Matthews, Blaine Gabbert

Devonta Freeman

Right knee injury (exact diagnosis unknown): expected to be ready for Week 2
Freeman spent all offseason rehabbing a sprained MCL and PCL injury in his right knee. Unfortunately, Freeman exited Week 1 early with another knee injury though it appears it is minor. Freeman admitted himself that he’ll be ready for Week 2, but you can’t always trust the player. Monitor practice reports this week to get a better sense of his availability for Week 2. If he can’t go on Sunday, Tevin Coleman gets a big bump in value.

Other players impacted: Tevin Coleman

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Leonard Fournette

Strained hamstring: week to week
Fournette was off to a nice start on Sunday but was forced to exit the game early due to a strained hamstring. He jogged off the field grabbing the back of his thigh, something that is a classic tell-tale sign of a hamstring strain. The Jaguars don’t seem too concerned about the injury, but given that the highest risk for reinjury is in the first two weeks when the athlete returns to the field, owners will need to monitor Fournette’s status as the week progresses. Even if Fournette plays in Week 2, expect T.J. Yeldon to get more work.

Other players impacted: T.J. Yeldon, Corey Grant

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Delanie Walker

Right ankle fracture-dislocation: out for the year
The veteran tight end’s season is over after suffering a major and ankle and lower leg injury on his right leg. He was tackled from behind, causing the defender to land on the outside of his lower leg, bending his ankle awkwardly. Walker suffered a fracture and dislocation of his right ankle, resulting in ligament damage. For reference, this is a similar injury to what Odell Beckham had last year. He will undergo surgery to stabilize the fracture and miss the rest of the year. Second-year tight end Jonnu Smith will start in Walker’s absence. 

Other players impacted: Jonnu Smith, Marcus Mariota

Marquise Goodwin

Quadriceps contusion: day to day
Goodwin left Week 1 early with a quadriceps contusion. He took a hit directly to the front of his thigh and wasn’t able to come back in despite the training staff trying to loosen him up on the sideline. Goodwin will likely be limited early in the week during practice, but he’s not expected to miss Week 2. 

Other players impacted: Jimmy Garoppolo, Pierre Garcon, Dante Pettis

Jeremy Hill

Torn right ACL: out for the year
There was some excitement among fantasy owners surrounding the possible revival of Jeremy Hill‘s career in New England after he beat out Mike Gillislee for a roster spot. However, Hill’s season is over. He took an unfortunate hit to his right knee while trying to make a tackle on an interception, causing it to bend awkwardly and buckle. Reports today confirmed what the Patriots feared – a torn ACL. Hill will undergo surgery in the near future and begin rehab.

Other players impacted: Rex Burkhead, James White 

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DeSean Jackson

Jackson made his impact on the Bucs game early by catching a bomb from Ryan Fitzpatrick for a touchdown. However, he exited early with a concussion and is now in the league’s concussion protocol. Coming back from a concussion is never a time-based recovery and is non-linear in nature, so there’s no guarantee he’s ready for Week 2. Watch practice reports closely this week.

Other players impacted: Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Adam Humphries