Grade 2 MCL sprain: out 2-4 weeks
The Chargers staff has got to be kicking themselves as they look towards the next few weeks. Their star running back, Melvin Gordon, was listed as questionable heading into Sunday with knee and hamstring injuries, but he pushed to play and was active. In hindsight, Gordon’s newest injury could have been avoided if L.A. chose to sit him in this one, but that’s neither here nor there. The knee injury that caused Gordon to be on the injury report heading into Week 12 was his left and did not cause his new injury. On Sunday, Melvin Gordon suffered a grade 2 MCL sprain to his right knee as he was taken down awkwardly in the backfield, causing his knee to buckle inwards. He will miss the Chargers match up next Sunday night against the Steelers but could be back as early as Week 14. His grade 2 MCL injury carries a 2-4 week recovery timeline, so fantasy football owners may get Gordon back at some point during the fantasy playoffs. Gordon won’t practice this week but look for an update regarding Gordon next week. While Gordon is out, Austin Ekeler and rookie, Justin Jackson, will handle the touches for the Chargers backfield.
Right thumb UCL sprain: out for the year
The Bengals 2018 season is unraveling. Not only did they lose their game against the Browns in Week 12, but they also lost their starting quarterback for the year on Sunday. Andy Dalton has been placed on injured reserve with a right thumb injury. His thumb got bent awkwardly in the third quarter, forcing him to exit early before being ruled out. After further testing, it was determined that Dalton sustained a torn ligament in his thumb. Dalton may need surgery for his injury if the ligament is pulled away from the bone, but even if he doesn’t need surgery, his recovery timeline for a completely torn ligament exceeds the remainder of the regular season. With the Bengals very likely to miss the playoffs, it makes sense for the Bengals to shut him down. Jeff Driskel will start for the Bengals moving forward.
Strained hamstring: week to week
If you started Evan Engram, you got goosed! Engram injured his hamstring during pregame warm-ups against the Eagles and didn’t play a snap. At this point, the severity of Engram’s hamstring strain is unknown, so he should be considered week-to-week. Given that the Giants did not rule him out and decided to keep him as questionable, I suspect this is not a long-term injury. However, we all know how tricky hamstring strains can be to manage on a week to week basis, so owners relying on Engram will need to make other plans for Week 13. Rhett Ellison performed well in Engram’s absence, catching 4 balls for 77 yards.
Left shoulder injury: day to day
Kenyan Drake spent the week practicing in a red non-contact jersey heading into Week 12. He appeared to aggravate this injury during the team’s loss to the Colts on Sunday. He got stuffed on a third-down run against the Colts and got up holding his left shoulder before exiting early in the fourth quarter. Head coach, Adam Gase, told reporters Monday that Drake will continue to practice in a limited fashion with a non-contact jersey. The exact diagnosis for Drake is unclear, but it looks like he will be playing at less than 100% for the rest of the year. As we saw on Sunday, Drake’s injury could force him out of games early.
Concussion: day to day
Marlon Mack‘s Week 12 game against the Dolphins ended early. He left early with a concussion and didn’t return. He now enters the league’s concussion protocol and should be treated as day to day. Progressing through the protocol is based off how a player’s symptoms respond to physical activity and mental processing. Watch the Colts practice reports this week in order to get a sense of whether or not Mack will be available next week.
Kidney injury: out for the year
Doyle’s 2018 season is over after he suffered a kidney injury on Sunday against the Dolphins. He caught a short pass from Andrew Luck in the fourth quarter and took a big hit to his left lower back (the region in which one of your kidneys is located). Doyle got up slowly and pulled himself out of the game as he was clearly in pain. He returned for a couple of plays before leaving for good. Doyle is headed for injured reserve, leaving Eric Ebron to play an every-down role as the Colts top tight end. He will have a fantastic opportunity ahead of him for the remainder of 2018 as he looks to build on his 12 touchdowns thus far.
Right ankle sprain: day to day
Things are going from bad to worse for Derek Carr, who got banged up on Sunday during the Raiders loss to the Ravens. He was checked for a concussion earlier in the game before returning and then appeared to sprain his right ankle later in the game. He exited briefly but returned with his ankle taped for some extra support. Carr shouldn’t miss any time with this injury, but it’s worth noting as it’s possible that he’s limited during practice heading into Week 13. Also worth noting, this is the same ankle that Carr broke back in 2016.
Broken ribs and bruised lung: out for the year
Jeff Heuerman was in the midst of a breakout during his fourth year in the NFL, developing a nice relationship with Case Keenum. However, Heuerman’s 2018 season is over after suffering multiple broken ribs and a bruised lung on Sunday against the Steelers. The Broncos will now turn to Matt LaCosse as their starting tight end. Courtland Sutton owners will be hoping that Heuerman’s departure increases Sutton’s target share moving forward.
Hip injury (diagnosis unknown): day to day
Vance McDonald exited for a brief period of time on Sunday against the Broncos with a hip injury. He was examined on the sideline by trainers but was ultimately cleared to re-enter the game. I don’t anticipate McDonald missing any time, but don’t be surprised to see McDonald pop up on the Steelers injury report heading into their Sunday night tilt versus the Chargers.
Back soreness: day to day
Sony Michel had a big day on Sunday, so this injury may go under the radar for fantasy owners. Michel got bent backward awkwardly in the second half, causing his body to almost fold at a 90-degree angle. The tackle looked pretty nasty at the time, as he lay on the turf in visible pain before hobbling off the field in obvious pain. He missed a series but did return for the remainder of the game. Michel most definitely woke up on Monday morning with a lot of soreness and stiffness in his back, but as of the writing of this article, he’s not in danger of missing any time. Expect Michel to be limited at practice throughout the week. Worth noting here, Rex Burkhead is set to return from injured reserve this week with a neck injury, so if the Patriots need to limit Michel’s reps, they’ve got Burkhead as an option.
Bone bruise with subsequent additional injury (exact diagnosis unknown): out for the year
Jones has been dealing with a bone bruise in his knee for the past few weeks, which forced him to sit in Weeks 11 and 12. He recently got a second opinion on his knee, which is probably why his season is now over, as he was sent to injured reserve on Monday. Typically, a bone bruise doesn’t require a player be sent to injured reserve, so it’s certainly possible that there is subsequent damage to the knee that was not detected at the original time of injury. Regardless, Jones’ 2018 is over. Bruce Ellington is likely to become a fixture in this Lions passing attack with Kenny Golladay soaking up plenty of targets.
Strained hamstring: week to week
Coutee exited the second half of Monday Night Football early after he reaggravated the hamstring injury that forced him to miss 5 games so far this season. Once a player reaggravates a lingering hamstring strain, the recovery timeline increases, so it’s certainly possible that Coutee misses multiple weeks once again. For now, consider Coutee week to week, but look for more news surrounding his status later this week.