Fantasy Football: Week 15 Injury Recap
Sprained right MCL: out at least one week
For fantasy football purposes in season-long formats, Aaron Jones is likely done for the year after suffering a sprained MCL early in the Packers’ loss to the Bears on Sunday. Jones’ MCL injury is being described as a sprain rather than a tear, which tells you that the ligament on the inside of the knee is stretched but not completely torn. If this is a grade I sprain, he’ll likely miss a week. If it’s a grade II sprain, he’d be out 2-4 weeks. Regardless of the exact degree of the sprain, it’s tough to see a scenario in which Jones is available for fantasy owners in Week 16. Worth noting, this is the same injury Jones suffered last year in Chicago on the opposite knee. He missed two games as a result of the injury in 2017. Jamaal Williams becomes an immediate plug and play at the running back position.
Left knee injury (diagnosis unknown): day to day
Gurley scared fantasy owners on Sunday night against the Eagles when he exited with a left knee injury. He only missed a series, but during his time on the sideline, he was seen with a heating pad on his left knee and was intermittently getting on and off the bike in order to try and stay loose. This likely has the makings of a contusion type of injury. Fortunately, he did return after the injury to finish the game, but he was in obvious pain as he didn’t look like the Todd Gurley we all know and love. Gurley was limping off and on, and was clearly playing at less than 100%. His return after the injury, however, indicates that it is very unlikely there is any structural damage here. In fact, after further testing on Monday, coach Sean McVay, told reports that his star running back has inflammation in his knee. Ultimately, he should be fine for Week 16, but I don’t expect him to do much in practice this week.
Other players impacted: John Kelly
Right hip pointer: week to week
Keenan Allen made an absolutely ridiculous catch on Thursday night against the Chiefs in the corner of the end zone. Unfortunately for Allen and his fantasy owners, the touchdown didn’t count given that his right hip landed on the sideline, and the pass was ruled incomplete. What’s worse is that on that same play, Allen was injured and didn’t do anything the rest of the game. He attempted to come back in for one play, but as soon as he tried to push off his right leg, he stopped in his tracks and took a knee as he was clearly in a ton of pain. Keenan Allen’s hip injury is a hip pointer, which is a contusion of the iliac crest (pelvis), creating an inflammatory response on the bone and all of the muscles that attach to it (there’s a lot). Fortunately for Allen, he has an extra few days to get ready for Week 16 given that he played on Thursday night last week. The optimal treatment for this is rest and gradual return to activity. Look for Allen to be limited in practice for the majority of the week, but he’s got a real shot to play on Saturday. If for some reason he can’t go on Saturday, he will most definitely be back for Week 17.
Left foot sprain: out for the year
In the words of Mike Wright, “He is infinite”…but he is also injured. Frank Gore, one of the most durable backs in NFL history, hasn’t missed a game since 2010. That will change in Week 16, as Gore’s 2018 season is over after suffering a sprained foot on Sunday against the Vikings. Gore had x-rays taken on his foot and ankle, which came back clean, so at least there’s no fracture. The sprained foot will cost Gore several weeks, but given that the season is coming to a close, he won’t play again this season. The Dolphins will rely on Kenyan Drake and Kalen Ballage to lead their backfield down the stretch.
Aggravated ankle: day to day
Breida’s ankle has bothered him virtually the entire season, and that doesn’t change heading into Week 16. Breida reinjured his ankle late against the Seahawks and should once again be questionable next week. The fact of the matter is that Breida’s ankle ligaments are stretched, making the ankle less stable. As a result, he’s very susceptible to re-injury (as we’ve seen thus far). If he sits, Jeff Wilson would get a big workload for the fantasy championship.
Other players impacted: Jeff Wilson Jr.
Left ankle sprain: day to day
Lamar Miller injured his left ankle on Saturday night against the Jets. He rushed up the middle and got rolled up on underneath the pile, causing his ankle to twist. He attempted to get up and jog off the field but was in obvious pain. After missing a short period of time, Miller tried to come back in, but only played a few more snaps before being ruled out for the remainder of the game. All reports at this point indicate that the ankle sprain is not considered serious, so Miller could certainly play this week with a taped ankle or a brace for more external support. If he can’t go, D’Onta Foreman, who has yet to play after rupturing his Achilles last year, could be on the active roster in Week 16.
Sprained right MCL: likely out for the year
The third-year wideout for the Bengals had just eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark for the first time in his career before injuring his knee on Sunday. Boyd sprained the MCL in his right knee and was ruled out for the remainder of the game. Boyd’s sprain is being described as a “low grade” sprain, but there’s a chance he doesn’t play again in 2018. With the Bengals set to miss the playoffs, Boyd’s breakout campaign is likely over given that there’s a good chance he misses at least one game.
Left elbow dislocation: out for the year
The Bills were without their top two running backs (LeSean McCoy and Chris Ivory), who are both dealing with injury. As a result, Marcus Murphy got the start for the Bills but was injured on Sunday, suffering a dislocated elbow. The Buffalo medical staff was able to put the elbow back into its anatomic alignment, which is an immediate pain reliever. However, when this happens, the ligaments of the elbow get stretched or torn, creating an unstable joint. Murphy’s injury (despite looking scary), typically is not a season-ender if it happens early in the year, but for the purposes of 2018, his season is over. Worth noting, Keith Ford, who served as Murphy’s backup on Sunday, also got injured for a period of time but did return to finish the game.
Torn meniscus: out for the year
Ito Smith entered Week 15 as questionable with a knee injury but was ultimately active. He further injured the knee on Sunday versus the Cardinals, and as a result, his rookie season is over. Smith suffered a torn meniscus in his knee and will undergo a procedure to address it. At this point, it’s unclear what exactly is being done in this procedure, but there’s basically two options: trim the meniscus (2-4 week recovery) or repair the meniscus (4-6 month recovery). Regardless of the treatment choice, Smith should be good to go for the start of 2019.