Just like in Week 4, there were some big-time names who went down with an injury in Week 5. 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 5.
Concussion: Out at least one week
Man, what a scary injury this was. Rudolph scrambled to his left and got sandwiched between two Ravens while taking a nasty shot to the head, going unconscious as before his head slammed against the turf. He laid unconscious on the turf for a few minutes before being helped to his feet and walking gingerly to the sideline with the assistance of trainers. He appeared to have all motor function in his limbs and told teammates repeatedly, “I’m good.” Ironically, he was not carted off because the cart broke down. He should have been carted off. Regardless of that mishap in Pittsburgh, Rudolph remains in the concussion protocol and is unlikely to play in Week 6 on Sunday Night Football.
Left Ankle Sprain: Day to day
Mahomes originally injured his left ankle in Week 1 suffering a minor high ankle sprain. During Sunday Night Football against the Colts, Mahomes re-injured the ankle and was clearly affected. He returned to the game with his ankle heavily taped, but he was never the same the rest of the game. Part of what makes Mahomes so special is his ability to escape pressure and make ridiculous throws down the field. In the second half, he was unable to do that, and this could be something we see for the next couple of weeks. Ultimately, I don’t expect Mahomes to miss time, but his mobility will be affected.
Back Pain: Day to day
Johnson injured his back in the first half and reportedly played through back pain in the Cardinals’ win over the Bengals on Sunday. His back must have been pretty flared up, as he couldn’t even sit at his locker to talk to reporters. Typically (but not always), disc injuries tend to correlate with pain with sitting, so this is certainly a situation to monitor. Undoubtedly, Johnson will be on the team’s injury report this week and is unlikely to be 100% before the team’s Week 6 matchup with the Falcons.
Concussion: Day to day
Gallman exited early in the Giants’ loss to the Vikings on Sunday and was ruled out quickly after being diagnosed with a concussion. With the Giants playing on Thursday night against the Patriots on a short week, Gallman most likely will not clear concussion protocol. Fortunately for the Giants, they might just get Saquon Barkley back from his high ankle sprain in this contest.
Other players impacted: Saquon Barkley, Jon Hilliman
Quadriceps Strain: Out at least one week
Sproles strained his quad on Sunday and exited early. He is likely to miss at least one week with the potential to miss multiple weeks, depending on the severity of the injury. Sproles wasn’t playing a ton of offensive snaps (just 9 snaps in Week 5), but this should at least clear the way for Miles Sanders to be the team’s primary receiving back. The Eagles will also need to find a new punt returner.
Hamstring Strain: Likely out at least one week
Dorsett injured his hamstring in the first quarter on Sunday against the Redskins and didn’t return. Because of the early injury, he put up a goose egg for fantasy owners. Playing on a short week on Thursday night against the Giants, I would expect Dorsett to be inactive because of the hamstring strain. If he is somehow active, he will carry a high risk of re-injury.
Hamstring Strain: Week to week
Watkins popped up on the injury report late last week with a hamstring injury and clearly, he returned to play too soon. He barely played at all on Sunday night, aggravating his hamstring injury in the first five minutes. He played just two snaps. Watkins will certainly be on the Chief’s injury report ahead of their Week 6 tilt with the Texans. He’ll likely enter the week as questionable.
Other players impacted: Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman, Demarcus Robinson, Patrick Mahomes
Concussion: Likely out multiple weeks
News broke on Monday that Sterling Shepard started experiencing concussion symptoms once again. He was evaluated for a concussion on Sunday after taking a hit to the head and neck area but cleared protocol and returned to the game. However, his concussion symptoms started after the game, which is not uncommon. This is Shepard’s second concussion in less than four weeks (missed Week 2), so fantasy owners can expect a longer recovery, as research indicates subsequent concussions usually require a longer recovery. He has already been ruled out for Thursday Night Football against the Patriots.
Ankle Sprain: Day to day
Brown suffered a minor ankle sprain in the first quarter on Sunday and exited to the locker room for evaluation. Despite being listed as questionable, he ended up returning to the field after missing about two quarters of play. After the game, head coach, John Harbaugh said Brown’s injury is not serious, and I believe him given that Brown did end up returning late in the game. Expect Brown to show up on the Ravens’ injury report, but he should play in Week 6.
AC joint sprain: Week to week
Washington injured his shoulder on Sunday, suffering an AC joint sprain. These injuries are also known as a ‘separated shoulder’ and can vary in severity from Grade I (ligaments stretched) to Grade III (ligaments torn). He was seen with a sling on his shoulder on Monday, which typically indicates at least a Grade II injury. Even if this is a more severe AC joint injury, Washington can avoid surgery and return to be effective this season. However, without knowing the severity, it’s difficult to project recovery timeline. Washington is unlikely to play in Week 6.
Other players impacted: JuJu Smith-Schuster, Vance McDonald, Diontae Johnson
James O’ Shaughnessy
Left ACL Tear: Out for the year
An MRI on Monday confirmed what the Jaguars feared – a torn ACL in the left knee of James O’Shaughnessy. He’ll undergo season-ending surgery and be placed on injured reserve. The Jaguars TE wasn’t really on anyone’s fantasy football radar, but his injury could open up more playing time and targets for Geoff Swaim.
Other players impacted: Gardner Minshew, Geoff Swaim