Week 2 Fantasy Football Injury Recap
Just like in Week 1, there were some big-time names who went down with an injury in Week 2. 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 2.
Right Elbow UCL Tear: Out for the year
Big Ben suffered a non-contact right elbow injury on his throwing arm in Sunday’s loss to the Seahawks. He dropped by to make a pass, delivered the football, then immediately grabbed for his right elbow in visible pain. Backup, Mason Rudolph, entered the game and finished as Ben Roethlisberger didn’t return. Historically, Ben has always tried to play through an injury, so the fact that he did not return tells us this was something more serious. Per ESPN’s Dianna Russini, Ben was dealing with inflammation in the elbow this week leading up to the game. His MRI on Monday confirmed the initial concern – a completely torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL). This ligament is responsible for stability in the elbow and without it functioning properly, it’s nearly impossible to throw a ball. He’ll undergo Tommy John surgery and be placed on IR. He faces a 9-12 month recovery.
Other players impacted: JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington, Vance McDonald, Mason Rudolph
Right Thumb UCL Sprain: Out at least 6 weeks
Another veteran QB sustained a serious injury on Sunday. Drew Brees also injured the UCL but not in his elbow; it’s to his thumb. Like in the elbow, this ligament helps to provide stability to the thumb and its function is crucial for grip strength. Without stability on the side of the thumb, gripping a football and throwing with accuracy is nearly impossible. Brees’ MRI on Monday confirmed surgery is required to address the torn ligament, but this recovery timeline is much faster. Expect Brees back in about 6-8 weeks with the latter more likely.
Other players impacted: Teddy Bridgewater, Michael Thomas, Jared Cook
Left Ankle Fracture-Dislocation: Out for the year
Siemian got the start on Monday Night Football in relief for Sam Darnold, who is out multiple weeks with mononucleosis. Siemian got hit after making a pass, and his left ankle/foot got caught underneath him and as the defender’s body weight landed on his leg, the ankle fractured. X-rays were taken in the locker room, which undoubtedly showed a fracture. He’s going to have an MRI on Tuesday in order to evaluate the extent of damage to the ankle joint, assess cartilage, and the degree of ligament damage. He’ll undergo surgery and is out for the year.
Other players impacted: Luke Falk, Jamison Crowder, Robby Anderson
Left hamstring strain: week to week
Singletary continues to look effective when given opportunity alongside Frank Gore. However, the Bills are likely to be without Singletary for at least one week after he exited early with a left hamstring strain. The injury occurred late in the game, so it’s hard to determine if he would have continued to play through the injury if more time was left or the Bills weren’t ahead by two TDs. The greatest risk of re-injury for Singletary will be in the first two weeks back on the field, so don’t be surprised to see Singletary carry a few DNPs next to his name on the practice report this week. He is likely to miss Week 3.
Other players impacted: T.J. Yeldon, Frank Gore
Left Knee Hyperextension and Bone Bruise: Week to week
James Conner hyperextended his left knee in Sunday’s game versus the Seahawks. The team ordered a precautionary MRI on Monday to further evaluate the knee, as there is a concern for a ligament injury with this mechanism of injury. Fortunately for Conner, his MRI showed no signs of ligament injury but did show a bone bruise. While the term bruise tends to give most people promise because it doesn’t seem like a big deal, these injuries are extremely painful to play through. Depending on the severity, a bone bruise can also affect the cartilage in the knee joint and cause a multi-week absence. Let’s not forget in 2018 Marvin Jones‘ season ended early because of a bone bruise. Despite Conner being adamant he would play in Week 3, I’m not so sure. Fantasy owners will need to monitor the practice reports closely this week.
Other players impacted: Jaylen Samuels, Benny Snell
Right Knee Contusion: day-to-day
Williams went down late in the Week 2 win over the Raiders with a right knee injury and didn’t return. He will get an MRI of his knee to further evaluate the integrity of the structures inside the joint but as of now, this should be treated as a bruise that’s different than Conner’s until we hear otherwise. Expect Williams to be limited throughout the week in practice, but he’s got a good shot to be ready for Week 3. We should know more as the week progresses.
Other players impacted: LeSean McCoy, Darwin Thompson
Left Ankle Sprain: day-to-day
McCoy suffered what looked like a minor ankle sprain in the Chiefs Week 2 win against the Raiders. He had an MRI on Monday, but as of the writing of this article, the results are unknown. Should there be an update, be sure to find me on Twitter to discuss in more detail. Like Williams, expect McCoy to show up on the Chiefs’ injury report this week as the team attempts to manage his reps in practice in order to have him available next week.
Other players impacted: Damien Williams, Darwin Thompson
Groin Strain: Week to week
Jacobs gave up a bit more work to Jalen Richard in Week 2 than he did in Week 1, and now we know why. There wasn’t any news of the injury during the game, but Jon Gruden told reporters on Monday that rookie RB, Josh Jacobs, is dealing with a “groin issue.” This should be categorized as a groin strain with the severity unknown. Even a mild strain can linger for a few weeks, so Jacobs owners will want to tread lightly in Week 3. Lateral movements and sprinting are the two things that stress the groin the most, making re-injury risk high if he returns to play too quickly.
Other players impacted: Jalen Richard, DeAndre Washington
Hip Pointer: Out 1-3 weeks
Tyrell Williams got banged up on Sunday against the Chiefs and is currently dealing with a hip pointer. Whenever the hip takes a direct hit/impact, it can cause acute inflammation of the tendon attachments on the pelvis of the hip muscles. The rehab for this is pretty straight forward, but it does require rest. Williams has a chance to play in Week 3, but it’s probably more realistic that he is out there in Week 4. If he is playing in Week 3, he’ll be playing at less than 100% and playing through pain.
Other players impacted: Ryan Grant, Darren Waller, Derek Carr
Left Knee Meniscus Tear: Out 2-4 weeks
An MRI on Monday confirmed a torn meniscus for second-year breakout WR Michael Gallup. He’ll undergo surgery to trim the piece of the torn meniscus and start rehab immediately after. For reference, this is a similar injury and surgery to that of D.K. Metcalf who underwent surgery in late August. Gallup should be able to return to full strength and be equally as effective as he was early on this season when he gets back on the field.
Other players impacted: Amari Cooper, Dak Prescott, Randall Cobb, Jason Witten
Calf Strain: week to week
Jeffery exited Week 2 early with a calf injury and didn’t return. Jeffery is notable due to his history of previous soft tissue injuries, and the most recent addition to that list is his calf strain from Sunday night. Expect Jeffery to take at least a week to be back on the field, with the potential for this being a multi-week absence. Owners will want to closely monitor the Eagles injury report this week.
Other players impacted: DeSean Jackson, Carson Wentz, Zach Ertz
Groin Strain: week to week
The bad luck for the Eagles offense continues as DJax also suffered a muscle injury on Sunday night. He exited in the 1st quarter with a groin strain and didn’t return. Groin strains are very difficult for a wide receiver to play through because of how these muscles get stressed with lateral, or side to side, movements. Jackson is likely to miss time in practice this week, so don’t be surprised if he has a few DNPs next to his name on the injury report. If Jackson plays in Week 3, he won’t be 100% and carries a high risk of re-injury given that the biggest risk of aggravation comes in the first 2 weeks back on the field.
Other players impacted: Carson Wentz, Alshon Jeffery, Zach Ertz
The Giants are already without Golden Tate because of suspension and Sterling Shepard, who missed Week 2 with a concussion. Latimer joins Shepard on the injury report with a concussion and now enters the league’s concussion protocol. Recovery after a concussion is a non-linear process, so owners will need to see how Latimer responds to increased activity throughout the week. Monitor the Giants’ practice reports in Week 3.
Other players impacted: Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram, Eli Manning
The Browns’ starting TE, David Njoku, suffered a concussion in the first quarter of Monday Night Football and was ruled out before halftime. Monitor his practice activity to see how he responds to increased physical activity. The Browns play on Sunday night, so Njoku will have one less day than Cody Latimer to be ready for Week 3.
Other players impacted: Baker Mayfield, Demetrius Harris, Jarvis Landry, Odell Beckham Jr.
Calf Strain: Week to week
Goedert was knocked out of Sunday Night Football early after aggravating a calf injury that affected him most of training camp. Expect Goedert to miss practice time and potentially Week 3. If a muscle strain gets aggravated, the recovery timeline gets longer, so it’s certainly possible Godert misses next week.
Other players impacted: Zach Ertz, DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery
Chest Injury (Diagnosis Unknown): Day-to-day
Higbee exited Sunday’s game against the Saints early with a chest injury and didn’t return for the second half. The extent of his injury is unknown at this point, but I would consider Higbee day to day until we get more updates. Monitor Higbee on the practice reports this week.
Other players impacted: Gerald Everett, Cooper Kupp, Jared Goff