Fantasy Football: Week 15 Injury Recap
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 13 and take a look at what fantasy managers can expect heading into Week 15 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.
WR Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Torn ACL: Out for the year
Godwin took a low hit going across the middle of the field Sunday night against New Orleans, causing his right knee to bend awkwardly. Initially, it looked like Godwin’s injury would not be season-ending as he was warming up on the sideline with what originally appeared to be an MCL sprain. However, an MRI on Monday revealed the ACL injury, ending his 2021 season. Godwin was playing on the franchise tag in 2021 and is set to become a free agent in March. Godwin will make a full recovery, but he’s unlikely to return to form until the second half of the 2022 season given the timing of his injury.
Players impacted: Mike Evans, Tom Brady, Antonio Brown, Rob Gronkowski
WR Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Hamstring Strain: Week to week
Shortly after Chris Godwin exited on Sunday night, Mike Evans was also ruled out with a hamstring injury. Initial reports indicate that Evans “has a chance” to play in Week 16, but I wouldn’t be so sure. Even a mild hamstring injury is at a high risk of re-injury if the athlete returns to the field too quickly. With the Bucs losing Godwin for the year, and the team has Super Bowl aspirations, they’ll take it slow with their star WR. I expect him to sit in Week 16, and he’s no guarantee to play in Week 17, either.
Players impacted: Tom Brady, Antonio Brown, Tyler Johnson, Rob Gronkowski
RB Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Hamstring Strain: Out 2-3 weeks
After his teammates left early, Fournette was the next Buc to get ruled out. Like Mike Evans, Lenny suffered a strained hamstring in the loss to the Saints and is also likely to miss Week 16. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport suggested Fournette is likely to miss “a game or two” indicating this is likely a grade II injury, which can take up to 4 weeks to heal. Again, because of the Bucs’ post-season goals, look for Fournette to sit in Weeks 16 and 17.
Players impacted: Ronald Jones, Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Tom Brady
WR Sterling Shepard, New York Giants
Torn Achilles: Out for the year
Shepard ruptured his Achilles late in the game against the Cowboys and will undergo surgery to repair it. He’s done for the year but should return to the field at some point in the 2022 season. He’s got an outside chance to be ready for Week 1, but it’s unrealistic to expect Shepard to be 100% until later in the year.
Players impacted: Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, Mike Glennon, Jake Fromm
WR Julio Jones, Tennessee Titans
Hamstring Strain: Out multiple weeks
Julio Jones can safely be dropped in fantasy leagues after he suffered yet another hamstring injury Sunday against the Steelers. After battling a hamstring issue almost all of 2020, Julio’s 2021 season wasn’t much different. He’s unlikely to play at any point in the regular season for Tennessee this year, but he has a chance to return for the playoffs should Tennessee advance.
Players impacted: Ryan Tannehill, A.J. Brown
RB Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals
Left Ankle Sprain: Week to week
Mixon picked up what appeared to be a mild ankle sprain late in the game against Denver. He exited to have his ankle taped and was seen trying to test his ankle on the sideline. He did eventually return for the final couple of plays but at that point the game was over, so it’s difficult to comment on the severity here. Speaking Monday, Zac Taylor described Mixon’s injury as “encouraging” for what it’s worth. I expect him to at least miss practice time this week. Fantasy managers would be wise to add Samaje Perine as insurance for semi-finals week.
Players impacted: Samaje Perine, Joe Burrow
QB Teddy Bridgewater, Denver Broncos
Concussion: Out Week 16
Teddy took a hard hit to the head and didn’t return after having to leave on a spine board. He was taken to the hospital for additional evaluation but was released on Monday. He’s now in the league’s concussion protocol, but the Broncos are moving forward with the intent to start Drew Lock, per Chris Mortensen.
Players impacted: Drew Lock, Jerry Jeudy, Noah Fant, Courtland Sutton
TE Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers
Concussion: Week to week, Likely Out Week 16
The Muth…unfortunately is unlikely to get luth in Week 16. He picked up his second concussion of the season on Sunday against Tennessee, which is concerning. Freiermuth’s concussion on Sunday was his second in four weeks after he was also concussed.
Players impacted: Ben Roethlisberger, Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool