Just like in Week 6, there were some big-time names who went down with an injury in Week 7. 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 7.
Right High Ankle Sprain: Week to week
Similar to Patrick Mahomes‘ injury in Week 1, Matt Ryan suffered a high ankle sprain on his right leg when he got rolled up on in the pocket late in the Falcons’ Week 7 loss to the Rams. Ryan underwent an MRI on Monday, which reportedly didn’t show a severe injury. As of now, head coach, Dan Quinn, told reporters that Ryan won’t practice starting the week, but that his franchise QB doesn’t need to practice to play. There’s certainly a chance that Ryan misses Week 8, and with the Falcons on bye in Week 9, it probably makes more sense for the team to sit him and give him the extra week for recovery.
Dislocated Right Patella: Out 3-6 weeks
Patrick Mahomes dislocated his right patella (kneecap) last Thursday night on a QB sneak. Mahomes was in obvious pain as he lay on the field, unable to bend or straighten his knee. When the kneecap dislocates laterally, it can get stuck on the side of the femur and require a medical professional to relocate the knee cap, as was the case with Mahomes. The star QB’s MRI came back without any cartilage injuries, which bodes well for his recovery. However, he certainly tore the ligament that attaches the kneecap to the femur, but the good news is that he can still function at a high level without this ligament intact. Mahomes should miss about a month rehabbing his knee and return to play with a brace on the knee for extra stability. Offseason surgery to repair the torn ligament can’t be ruled out.
Right Knee Injury (Diagnosis Unknown): Out at least one week
Kerryon Johnson missed the final month of the 2018 season with a left knee injury. Now, he’s dealing with a right knee injury. He could be seen on Sunday after exiting with a compression sleeve on his right knee as he rode the stationary bike, but there wasn’t any specific play that I saw where he injured the knee. This could be an overuse type of injury given the lack of obvious mechanism of injury. Given the Lions’ track record, I would expect the news surrounding this injury to be minimal. For what it’s worth, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Monday evening that Johnson will “miss some time.” This remains a week-to-week situation to monitor.
Right Ankle Sprain: Week to week
AP injured his ankle late in the game, causing him to fumble. He got his ankle stuck under a defender, and because of pain, he dropped the ball. Peterson had an MRI on his ankle on Monday, but as of this writing, the results are unknown. He is truly questionable for Thursday Night Football against the Vikings and is very unlikely to be 100% with just a four-day turnaround. For what it’s worth, the Redskins listed AP as a ‘DNP’ for Monday’s practice reports as an estimate if the team were to hold practice. He likely won’t practice at all this week.
Concussion and Stinger: Out at least one week
Smith took a hard hit to the head and neck and was carted off with a concussion and stinger. Dan Quinn has already ruled Smith out for Week 8 and then the team goes on bye in Week 9. A stinger is basically an acute injury to the bundle of nerves exiting the neck into the shoulder called the brachial plexus. This can cause numbness, tingling, and sometimes, even weakness. Depending on the severity, this can take multiple weeks to heal, so Smith is no lock to return in Week 10 after the bye week.
Other players impacted: Devonta Freeman, Brian Hill, Qadree Ollison
Hamstring Strain: Out at least one week
Adam Thielen made an absolutely ridiculous TD catch in the first half, but he injured his hamstring on the play and didn’t return. Thielen’s injury is reportedly minor, but he’s unlikely to play Thursday just four days after injury. It makes sense to hold him out in a matchup where the Vikings should be able to handle the Redskins rather easily without the services of Thielen. Plus, the Thursday game gives Thielen extra time to attempt to be ready for Week 9.
Hamstring Strain: Out several weeks
Will Fuller played just three offensive snaps before exiting Week 7 early with a hamstring, which he suffered on a go route. Fuller’s playing style and the fact that he was coming off the ACL surgery for his right knee was a major reason I warned fantasy owners about Fuller’s health in 2019 in the Ultimate Draft Kit. The hamstring muscles work to stabilize the knee in a similar way to that of the ACL, and this is why players coming off the surgery are more susceptible to these strains. It certainly doesn’t help that Fuller has a history of previous hamstring injuries. His MRI on Monday revealed a significant injury. He could miss up to 8 weeks.
Ankle Sprain: Week to week
Walker entered the week questionable with an ankle injury and was downgraded from limited to DNP on Friday in practice. Not surprisingly, this late week downgrade signaled bad news as Walker aggravated the ankle on Sunday, exiting early after playing just five snaps. Walker is likely to miss at least one game and should be considered week-to-week.