What This Is:
*A no-nonsense quick-hitting analysis of fantasy-relevant player injuries that could impact performance on game day.
*A preview of the current week’s fantasy-relevant players with an injury through Thursday night.
What This Is Not:
*A comprehensive analysis of players who are on bye or currently on the I.R.
*A look ahead to injuries impacting fantasy football beyond Week 9.
For any questions related to this article such as “should I drop [player A] for [player B]?” please refer to the staff’s weekly projections. This is not the final version and will be continually updated through Sunday morning, so definitely bookmark this article.
The following general rules apply for big shake-ups on the weekend:
*Players who are downgraded from full or even partial practice to “Did Not Practice” on Friday or Saturday, for any medical reason, are a long shot to play. Typically you’ll see teams say these players are a “game time decision” which is code for “they ain’t playing”.
*Players who have a concussion have up until Saturday night/Sunday morning to clear the protocol.
*If no “final update” is available, the player has either been officially ruled out or no news is good news.
The following players have already been ruled out for Week 8 as of Friday evening so get them out of your lineup!
Irv Smith Jr. - DOUBTFUL
Nick Foles - DOUBTFUL
The general rules of the list are explained here but are as follows:
- A player exhibiting symptoms and a positive test can return after 10 days since the initial onset of symptoms and at least 3 days since the last symptoms in addition to at least one negative test.
- If there are no symptoms present but a positive test is reported, players can return in 5 days only after not exhibiting symptoms and two negative tests at least 24 hours apart.
The following players are on the COVID/Reserve List and will not play on Sunday and beyond:
Adam Thielen - Not expected to play.
The following notable players practiced in full on Friday and are on track to play without limitations.
Sammy Watkins - HIGH RE-INJURY VOLATILITY
Deebo Samuel - MODERATE RE-INJURY RISK
Giovani Bernard - Concussion
Surprisingly, this is Gio’s third documented concussion since 2011. That many concussions is worrisome from a cumulative perspective and even though it’s much more complicated than “players can fake it”, it is surprising to see a player cruise through the protocol this quickly. From a more objective perspective, most players recover from a concussion within 10 days and the bottom line is that Gio is less than 7 days from the initial injury. This means he’s not a lock to play until the final headline announcing that he’s passed the protocol is published.
HIGH RE-INJURY RISK, MINIMAL TO MODERATE RISK TO SIT
Alvin Kamara - Foot
The tide turns quickly in the NFL and a guy who was in the running for the 2020 fantasy MVP is now battling a foot injury and saw just 54% of the team’s offensive snaps last week. This is his second lowest mark of the season and is obviously confounded by the quarterback change, but it’s not nothing. Until Kamara can show the foot isn’t a problem in that new-look offense, it’s really hard to be overweight on him against the field like we all have been in the first two months of the season.
MODERATE VOLATILITY, MODERATE RE-INJURY RISK
David Montgomery - Concussion
Montgomery is in a better position than Bernard from a recovery standpoint. He’s well beyond the 10-day mark but still isn’t in the clear as the longer-term expectation for concussion recovery is one month.
MODERATE RE-INJURY RISK
Chris Carson - Foot
Carson is allegedly on track to play. Be careful though in ownership numbers because this is one of those injuries where seeing him perform without a setback is key. He’s still limited in practice and given Pete Carroll’s track record when it comes to injuries, it’s not a slam dunk he’s back quite yet. Watch your lineups and the news.
MINIMAL-MODERATE RE-INJURY RISK, MODERATE RISK TO SIT
Julio Jones - Hamstring
He can’t shake this injury. He practiced in a limited fashion Wednesday and Thursday before being downgraded on Friday to DNP. It wouldn’t be shocking to see Jones ruled out for Week 12, but as always he’s a warrior and will want to go. He’s officially listed as questionable, but it’s hard to trust him even if active. He’s volatile and a high risk to sit.
HIGH RE-INJURY RISK AND HIGH RISK TO SIT
Jerry Jeudy - Ankle/Achilles
Any time a player is listed with an achilles issue, it’s not minor. At least not in my head. Jeudy went from LP to DNP then LP again in practice this week. It’s not that the Denver offense has been the 2007 Patriots, but Jeudy, for his part, has been a decent option at times this year. Given the fact that rookies have a big change in workloads coming in from college, non-contact injuries are a concern. I’m on high-alert until this achilles issue is resolved.
HIGH RE-INJURY RISK
Marquez Valdes-Scantling - Achilles
MVS also has an achilles injury to monitor and didn’t practice on Friday.
HIGH RE-INJURY RISK AND HIGH RISK TO SIT
Laviska Shenault Jr. - Hamstring
There’s a 20% chance of recurrence for Shenault coming off the moderate hamstring strain.
Jakeem Grant - Hamstring
He popped up on Thursday and was limited to end the week.
MODERATE RISK TO SIT AND MODERATE RE-INJURY RISK
Kyler Murray - AC Joint
Murray isn’t on the final injury report which is great. The objective data says this about AC joint injuries to quarterbacks: 17 days mean-time lost, 9 days median-time lost. So, in theory, there’s a chance he’s not quite 100%. It’s really difficult to fade Murray on a weekly basis, but if you’re really looking for an excuse to do so, this is it.
MINIMAL TO MODERATE RE-INJURY RISK
Tua Tagovailoa - Thumb
Tua’s throwing thumb caused him to be a limited participant all week. Now, there are two sides to every story, and one side is that Tua might might play. The second side of the story is that Brian Flores said yesterday:
“I don't think this is something that we're too, too worried about."
We know here at FantasyPoints not to take coach’s words for gold, so it’s worth noting that since Flores took over in 2019 it’s actually been about a 50/50 split for skill players to play if they’re limited on the final day of practice. So, just keep in mind that even if Tua is active, the extent of his injury is unknown so treat him like Week 11 Matthew Stafford in terms of volatility.
MODERATE RISK TO SIT AND HIGH VOLATILITY IF ACTIVE
Hayden Hurst - Ankle
It’s not clear which kind of ankle sprain Hurst is dealing with here but the fact he’s already back to a limited participant makes it seem like a lateral ankle sprain. Typically players come back from there within 7 days but his goose egg in Week 6 does not make it easy to trust him even if he plays. He’s highly volatile this week with a capped ceiling. A big game with Julio potentially out is possible, but it isn’t the high-percentage play this week.
MODERATE RISK TO SIT
Tyler Higbee - Elbow
Didn’t practice all week and is a high risk to sit.
TENTATIVE PROJECTED RETURN DATES:
Joe Mixon - December 13th (soonest)
Austin Ekeler - December 6th
Christian McCaffrey - December 13th