Just like in Week 9, there were some big-time names who went down with an injury in Week 10. As The Fantasy Footballers’ injury analyst and sports physical therapist, the majority of my content will cover injuries in the NFL. All season long, I’ll be recapping the previous week’s injuries and giving a projected timeline for recovery. Let’s look at the biggest injuries from Week 10.
Transverse Process Fracture: Week to week
News broke over the weekend that Stafford was on the injury report because of a fracture in his lower back. Ultimately, he did not play on Sunday, but he’s worth discussing in this recap article because he’ll be a player to monitor for the remainder of the season. Stafford took a direct hit to his lower back in Week 9, the typical mechanism of injury for a transverse process fracture in the lower back (see picture below). The good thing about this is that a fracture here is not a ‘red flag’ meaning there isn’t risk to the inherent stability of the spine or concern for nerve damage. Muscles attach onto this part of the spine, so there’s pain and muscle spasm associated with the broken bone. Stafford can play through this injury, but the Lions will likely keep him out for another week or two to allow soreness to recover.
Foot Sprain: Out 2-4 weeks
Freeman exited late in the first half on Sunday with a foot sprain, which required an MRI on Monday. He’s projected to miss at least two weeks, which signals that this is likely a grade II sprain (stretched ligaments), which typically requires about a month of recovery. Worth noting, Freeman missed time early last season with a foot sprain before landing on injured reserve for a different injury. Because of this, the Falcons should be conservative with Freeman if they hope to avoid a setback with their starting RB. With Ito Smith now on injured reserve, Brian Hill will start.
Mild Shoulder Injury (Diagnosis Unknown): Day to day
Barkley had a rough fantasy day on Sunday against the Jets, rushing for a single yard on 13 carries. To add insult, he was also evaluated for a neck/shoulder injury on the sideline before returning for the game. He ended up getting precautionary x-rays after the game, but given that we haven’t heard any news regarding the x-rays, he should be fine. The Giants are on bye in Week 11, so Barkley will have two weeks to recover and should be good to go in Week 12.
Other players impacted: Wayne Gallman
Concussion: Day to day
Johnson got injured early on Sunday against the Bears and didn’t return after being diagnosed with a concussion. The plan for this week will be to gradually increase Johnson’s activity in practice and see how he responds, thus he gets the day to day label. Monitor the Lions’ practice report this week to get a better sense of his availability for Week 11. Worth noting, the vast majority of players who are battling concussion symptoms miss at least one game.
Left MCL Sprain: Out at least one week
Hooper suffered what appeared to be a sprained MCL on his left knee on Sunday, forcing him to exit early against the Saints. He got an MRI on Monday, but the official results of his test have yet to be released. However, in the game, you can see Hooper’s knee dive inward, which is the classic mechanism of injury for the sprained MCL. A mild grade I injury is likely to keep him out just a week, but a grade II injury is going to keep him out for about 2-4 weeks. Look for updates to Hooper’s practice status this week for more details as to his availability and the severity moving forward.
Fractured Rib: Out multiple weeks
Herndon was suspended for the first month then picked up a hamstring strain while training on his own and finally came back into the lineup in Week 10. In this game, Herndon fractured a rib and is likely to miss several weeks. Most rib fractures occur in the middle and lower part of the ribcage, and these are typically a pain management issue. However, a broken rib in the upper part of the ribcage (closer to the neck), can cause concern for a lung injury, which is likely what’s going on here with Herndon. Because of this, I wouldn’t expect to see him back on the field at all in November.
Compartment Syndrome: Week to week
News broke that Tyler Lockett ended up in the hospital after Monday Night Football with a lower leg injury. Speaking to reporters, Pete Carroll told reporters that he was dealing with a lot of swelling and bruising, suggesting this could be compartment syndrome. Essentially, when there is severe direct impact to the lower leg, bruising and swelling inside the lower leg can develop, leading to compression on the nerves and blood vessels that course through the muscles of the lower leg. In severe cases, this requires surgery to relieve pressure on the nerves and arteries, but if mild, it’s unlikely to have any long term impact. If mild, Lockett should be released from the hospital on Tuesday.
Rib Cartilage Injury: Week to week
Emmanuel Sanders exited early on Monday night with a rib injury on the right side. He was seen clutching for his ribs when he ran a route in the first half, but the injury itself happened on the play before, where he took a hit directly to the ribs. This injury is something that is simply a pain management issue, so Sanders could suit up next week if his pain can get controlled before Sunday. Expect the medical team to utilize injections and an extra flak jacket for protection in an effort to get their top WR on the field this Sunday. However, if he does miss, this shouldn’t be a long term absence.
Concussion: Day to day
The Giants are now dealing with an injury to their top two TEs (Evan Engram still dealing with a foot sprain). Like Ty Johnson, Rhett Ellison enters the league’s concussion protocol. However, unlike Johnson, he has an extra week to recover given that the Giants are on bye in Week 11. There’s no guarantee he’s ready for Week 11 out of the bye, and I don’t expect to hear much regarding Ellison’s health while the Giants are on bye. Look for an update on Monday of Week 11.
Right Knee Sprain: Day to day
Bernard injured his right knee in the second quarter and exited to the medical tent for evaluation. He was initially labeled as questionable to return but was then downgraded to doubtful. The exact diagnosis of the knee at this point is unknown, so it’s difficult to comment on the recovery timeline for Bernard. However, the term “sprain”, when used correctly, is used to describe a ligament injury, so Bernard is likely dealing with a minor ligament issue. Look for more details regarding Gio later this week.