Fantasy Football: Week 12 Injury Recap

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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 12 and take a look at what fantasy managers can expect heading into Week 13 and beyond.

Don’t forget to 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.

RB Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers

Left Ankle Sprain: Out for the year
The consensus 1.01 in each of the last two seasons is set to finish on IR two years in a row. McCaffrey sprained his left ankle on Sunday against the Dolphins, and despite optimism that the injury was relatively minor, his season is over. CMC left the stadium in a walking boot, then an MRI was taken on Monday. The imaging study apparently showed a ligament injury severe enough that the team felt McCaffrey would miss several weeks. Moving forward, Chuba Hubbard is likely to handle early-down work, while Ameer Abdullah is likely to handle pass-catching duties.

Players impacted: Chuba Hubbard, Ameer Abdullah

TE Darren Waller, Las Vegas Raiders

Left Knee Injury: Week to week
The reporting regarding Darren Waller‘s left knee injury sustained on Thanksgiving against Dallas has been all over the map. Initially, the injury looked like a sprained MCL, then it was reported as a bone bruise and then after the game, it was reported as a “strained IT Band.” It’s an odd diagnosis because, from an anatomy standpoint, you can’t physically strain your IT Band. As a result of this inconclusive reporting, it’s difficult to analyze how long Waller may be out. I’ll be tracking the Raiders injury report closely ahead of Week 13.

Players impacted: Derek Carr, Hunter Renfrow, Foster Moreau

RB Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys

Bone Bruise: Day to Day
Ezekiel Elliott has been dealing with a bone bruise in his knee for most of the year, but we finally just got the details regarding his lingering knee issue. He’s been dealing with the knee issue since October 3rd, when he originally picked up the injury in Week 4 against the Panthers. There have been conflicting reports in recent weeks in regards to the Cowboys’ plans for managing Elliott’s knee injury moving forward, including the possibility of sitting him Thursday night against the Saints. Regardless of how the Cowboys decide to manage this issue, it’s realistic to expect a reduced workload and snap count for Zeke, as this is an injury that will respond well to rest. Tony Pollard should see more work if the team limits Zeke at all.

Players impacted: Tony Pollard

RB D’Andre Swift, Detroit Lions

Shoulder Sprain: Out Week 13, Possibly Week 14
Swift injured his right shoulder on Thanksgiving when he was tackled along the sideline. The Detroit RB’s right shoulder was driven into the ground by the defender, resulting in a sprained SC or AC joint. At the time of injury, Swift was not wearing a sling on the sideline after he got ruled out, which suggests this is not a significant injury. However, even a mild sprain can result in a 2-4 week recovery. Jamaal Williams should earn the start for Swift in Week 13.

Players impacted: Jamaal Williams

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RB Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings

Left Shoulder Dislocation: Out 2-3 weeks
Dalvin Cook has a significant injury history for prior shoulder dislocations dating back to high school and college. Unfortunately, he added to this history when he dislocated his left shoulder against the 49ers on Sunday. An MRI on Monday confirmed a partially torn labrum in the shoulder, which is likely to require surgery in the offseason. As for 2021, Cook is set to miss at least two games, then return to play with a harness on his shoulder. Moving forward, until Cook has surgery, his left shoulder is at significant risk for re-injury. Each dislocation results in an increased risk for a future dislocation.

Players impacted: Alexander Mattison

RB Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles

Aggravated Right Ankle Sprain: Week to week
Sanders missed Weeks 8-10 due to a lateral ankle sprain, which happened in Week 7 against the Raiders. Sanders appeared to re-injure the same ankle on Sunday against the Giants and was used sparingly in the 2nd half in favor of Boston Scott. Speaking to reporters on Monday, Nick Sirianni indicated his RB is “trending in the right direction,” but it’s too early to know if Sanders will be available for Week 13. Worth noting, the Eagles go on bye in Week 14, so it’s possible the team gives him the extra week of rest to get healthy before the end of season stretch.

Players impacted: Boston Scott, Kenneth Gainwell, Jordan Howard

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QB Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles

Left Ankle Injury: Questionable for Week 13
Hurts got his left ankle stepped on by a teammate while trying to avoid traffic in the pocket. He was able to finish the game, but Nick Sirianni indicated that Hurts was sore Monday and that his Week 13 availability is in question. Should Hurts be active on Sunday against the Jets, his mobility may be limited. If Hurts is forced to miss, Gardner Minshew would get the start.

Players impacted: Devonta Smith, Dallas Goedert, Gardner Minshew

WR Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers

Groin Strain: Out 1-2 weeks
Deebo was taking a carry out of the backfield to the left side of the line when he went down with a groin injury. After an MRI was taken on Monday, news broke that Deebo is expected to miss 1-2 weeks, indicating this is a Grade I injury. Assuming his short-term rehab and rest goes according to plan, Samuel should be back sooner than later, but it is worth noting these groin strains can be easily aggravated if not handled appropriately early in the rehab process. As a result, Samuel is a player to monitor closely heading into Week 14.

Players impacted: Brandon Aiyuk, George Kittle, Jimmy Garoppolo 

TE Dan Arnold, Jacksonville Jaguars

Right Knee MCL Sprain: Out 4-6 weeks
The Post Man won’t be delivering fantasy goodness any longer. He left early in the first half on Sunday against the Falcons due to a right knee injury and didn’t return. Arnold is set to miss 4-6 weeks with a Grade II MCL sprain, which could end up keeping him on the shelf for the remainder of the season given the calendar. It’s possible Arnold returns for the final game, but with the team clearly out of playoff contention, his season is likely over. James O’Shaugnessy returned from his own injury this past Sunday and ran a route on 37 of 45 Trevor Lawrence dropbacks.

Players impacted: Trevor Lawrence, Laviska Shenault, Marvin Jones, James O’Shaugnessy

WR Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers

Groin Strain: Out 2-4 weeks
Cobb was in the middle of a big fantasy game Sunday against the Rams but exited early with a groin injury and was quickly ruled out. The Packers go on bye in Week 13, so he’ll get an extra week of rest, but it’s possible we see Cobb sit in Week 14, or possibly longer. Because Green Bay goes on bye this week, it’s unlikely we hear any updates until the team returns to practice ahead of Week 14.

Players impacted: Aaron Rodgers, Allen Lazard, Marquez Valdes-Scantling

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RB Darrell Henderson, Los Angeles Rams

Quad Strain: Questionable for Week 13
This injury flew a bit under the radar on Sunday, but when Sean McVay spoke to reporters on Monday, he mentioned that starting RB Darrell Henderson picked up a quad injury and that the team will monitor his status throughout the week. Per Gary Klein, who covers the team for the LA Times, confirmed Henderson is dealing with a quad strain, which typically carries a worse prognosis than a contusion. Even a mild injury could force Henderson to sit in Week 13. Grade I strains typically carry a 1-3 week recovery timeline. If Henderson does sit, Sony Michel would draw the start against Jacksonville.

Players impacted: Sony Michel

RB J.D. McKissic, Washington Football Team

Neck Injury: Week to week
The top of McKissic’s head collided with a defender’s knee as he was being taken to the ground on Monday Night Football. The RB ended up having to be carted off the field, and obviously didn’t return. As of now, there’s no official word from the team regarding the severity of McKissic’s neck injury, and while this is indeed being reported as a neck injury, it’s also possible McKissic sustained a concussion in addition to the neck injury. He’s scheduled to undergo additional testing Tuesday, but for what it’s worth, McKissic’s agent on Twitter did report “He is all good.” For now, we wait for additional details to become available.

Players impacted: Antonio Gibson, Jaret Patterson 

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