Fantasy Football: Week 14 Injury Recap
Right foot/heel injury and bruised left hand: day to day
Tyreek Hill was brilliant on Sunday against the Ravens as he played the majority of the game injured on his way to yet another 100+ yard performance. In the first half, Hill’s left hand got stepped on, and he was seen on the sideline grabbing his hand/wrist area, wincing in pain. He didn’t appear to be effected in the second half, reeling in 8 receptions for 139 yards. Then, after returning to the field, Hill injured his right foot and heel. The exact diagnosis is unknown at this time, but he could be seen with his ankle heavily wrapped to provide some external support. After every route run, Hill limped back to the huddle. The Cheetah described his heel as “bad” while Adam Schefter revealed the exam of his foot showed “nothing serious.” Hill will most certainly do almost nothing in practice this week as the team attempts to get him healthy for Thursday. He’s got an uphill battle to be ready in just two days, but coach Andy Reid, told reporters Monday that he does believe Hill will play. If he does, he’ll absolutely be out there at less than 100%.
Rib injury: day to day
Big Ben got injured in the first half against the Raiders on a short touchdown pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster. He went to the locker room for x-rays on his ribs but returned to the sideline quickly. At the time of the injury, the Steelers were up big on Oakland, and following the game, Mike Tomlin told reporters that Ben was held out due to game flow rather than injury. Once the game got closer, Roethlisberger came back in to finish the game. Big Ben should be fine for Week 15 against the Patriots.
Other players impacted: Antonio Brown, JuJu Smith-Schuster
Sprained ankle: day to day
Lamar Jackson got injured late in overtime against the Chiefs on Sunday and missed the final two plays. He appeared to sprain his ankle, forcing him to exit early. X-rays on Jackson’s ankle came back clean, so he’s got a chance to be ready for Week 15. However, for a quarterback who runs more than any other quarterback in the league, an ankle sprain is much more likely to affect his game than someone like a Big Ben or Joe Flacco, who are primarily pocket passers. Speaking of Flacco, he practiced in full last Friday for the first time since his hip injury occurred more than a month ago. Watch Jackson’s practice status this week to get a sense of his availability for Week 15. If he can’t go, Flacco may get his starting role back.
Strained hamstring: day to day
McCoy exited during the first half against the Jets on Sunday with a hamstring injury and didn’t return. He had an MRI on Monday, which must have come back with positive news given that NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport described his injury as “day to day.” With the greatest risk of re-injury being the first two weeks upon returning to the field, McCoy is at a risk for aggravating his hamstring in Week 15 if active. Watch his practice reports closely this week, but don’t be surprised to see McCoy listed as “limited.”
Shoulder and hamstring injuries: day to day
This injury is definitely going under the radar given that Ware’s stat line at the end of the day didn’t look too bad and the fact that he was never ruled out with an injury. However, Ware got banged up on Sunday in the team’s win over the Ravens. He initially aggravated his right shoulder while being tackled on the sideline late in the second quarter. He landed on the top of his right shoulder, which usually causes concern for either an AC joint or clavicle injury. He missed the final few plays but returned after halftime. Then, later in the game, he strained his hamstring. The severity of Ware’s injuries are unknown at this time, but if I own Ware, I’m spending a lot of FAAB to acquire Damien Williams. The Chiefs play on Thursday Night Football, so Ware owners need to make back up plans in the event he’s inactive.
Other players impacted: Damien Williams, Charcandrick West
Sprained right foot: out multiple weeks and potentially out for the year
Jordan Reed deserves some credit. He has actually been on the field and healthy for the majority of the year, but his luck has run out. Reed sprained his right foot against the Giants and didn’t return. Reed has been playing with ongoing toe injuries and is coming off an off-season surgery, so an additional injury to the foot is likely to keep Reed out several weeks. Given that we’re entering Week 15 and the Redskins are quickly falling out of playoff contention, it’s certainly possible that Reed won’t play again in 2018. Personally, I don’t expect him to. Vernon Davis will start for the Redskins.
Stinger: week to week
Austin Ekeler suffered a stinger on Sunday against the Bengals and is “extremely doubtful” for Thursday against the Chiefs according to the Associated Press’ Joe Reedy. A stinger is a nerve injury in which there is a large traction force on the bundle of nerves as they exit the neck and travel into the arm. This injury can cause pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness depending on severity. Worth noting, Ekeler has a recent history of a stinger injury, which can prolong his recovery timeline. Fantasy Football owners need to be prepared to be without Ekeler for Week 15. With Ekeler banged up, the Chargers may get Melvin Gordon back at just the right time. I do ultimately expect Gordon to be ready for Thursday Night Football given that he’s now two and a half weeks out from his MCL sprain, but monitor his practice status early in the week. If the team signs a running back or promotes someone from the practice squad, I’d feel shaky about Gordon’s availability.
Other players impacted: Melvin Gordon, Justin Jackson
Sprained ankle: day to day
Tannehill exited late in the first half after spraining his ankle. He was replaced by Brock Osweiler briefly but did return to lead the Dolphins in a crazy come from behind win over the Patriots. Speaking Monday, Adam Gase told reporters that Tannehill was “sore” but that he was able to put weight on his ankle. As of now, Tannehill is expected to be ready for Week 15, but monitor his practice reports this week to ensure his availability. If he is indeed active, Tannehill’s mobility in and out of the pocket may be limited due to his ankle sprain.
Toe injury (diagnosis unknown): week to week
Crowell entered Week 14 on the Jets’ injury report with a toe injury and was questionable entering the weekend. He left Week 14 early after aggravating the toe injury in the first half and didn’t return. This appears to be a turf toe type of injury and is likely to cost Crowell at least one week. Even if he is active for Week 15, I’d leave him on the bench given that he’s likely to be playing at far less than 100%, making the risk of re-injury very high.
Right foot – situation to monitor
Sam Darnold made his first start since Week 9 as he had been dealing with a sprained foot for the past month. He left in the first half to be evaluated for that same foot injury but did eventually return to lead a comeback against the Bills. Personally, I’m not too concerned about Darnold for Week 15, but I wanted to include him in this article given that this is the same body part that forced Darnold to miss the last several weeks. If there’s any soreness in the foot that lingers throughout the week, I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Jets be cautious with their franchise quarterback.
Other players impacted: Josh McCown
MCL sprain: out for the year
Smith got injured against the Jaguars on Thursday night, spraining his MCL. The fact that Smith’s 2018 season is over indicates this is likely a grade III injury. A grade II injury typically requires a 2-4 week recovery while a grade III injury (in which the ligament is completely torn) requires about 6-8 weeks. Smith won’t require surgery, as the MCL heals well without surgical intervention. Smith will most certainly be 100% by the time OTA’s roll around in the spring.
Sprained right knee: out at least a week
Clement got his right leg caught underneath a defender on Sunday against the Cowboys, causing his knee to hyperextend awkwardly. The injury is being described as a “sprain,” but the exact structural injury is unknown at this time. Look for details from his MRI on Monday. The Eagles signed a free agent, Boston Scott, on Monday, which signals that he won’t be available for Week 15. There’s a good chance Clement misses multiple weeks, leaving Darren Sproles and Wendell Smallwood as the change of pace options behind the starter, Josh Adams.
Other players impacted: Josh Adams, Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood
Strained hamstring: day to day
Bruce Ellington, who has been getting peppered with targets in the slot, left Week 14 early with a strained hamstring and didn’t return. The severity is unknown at this time, but I’d expect Ellington to be limited throughout the week at practice. He will likely enter Week 15 as questionable. Monitor his practice reports this week.
Rib injury (diagnosis unknown): day to day
Jalen Richard injured his ribs on Sunday against the Steelers, but his injury is not expected to be serious. For now, consider Richard’s injury a bruise and monitor his practice status throughout the week as the team prepares to take on the Bengals in Week 15.