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!
Josh Jacobs - Dev Booker SZN. Don’t plan on having Jacobs next week either and consider it a treat if he plays. He’s volatile the rest of the way.
Daniel Jone - DOUBTFUL - This makes the Seattle defense an even better streaming option.
Salvon Ahmed - DOUBTFUL
The players on the COVID List are difficult to project because there’s a big difference in the rules based on whether or not a player was symptomatic vs. tested positive vs. out because of contact tracing. The general rules of the covid list are explained here but are as follows:
- A player exhibiting symptoms + a positive test can return after 10 days since the initial onset of symptoms + at least 3 days since the last symptoms + 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 + 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:
James Conner - There’s virtually no news on Conner but he is still on the COVID list as of today. He tested positive on November 28th meaning his return on day 9 (Monday December 7th) would violate rules. This is assuming he was symptomatic. Just have a backup plan.
The following notable players practiced in full on Friday and are on track to play with no limitations unless otherwise noted below.
Adam Humphries - HIGH RE-INJURY RISK
Alvin Kamara - Although it coincides with the Brees injury, Kamara has not been the same since Week 9.
Dalvin Cook - MODERATE VOLATILITY - Coming off what appeared to be a lateral ankle sprain, Cook carries extra volatility in addition to his inherent risk due to the chronic shoulder issue.
Deebo Samuel - MODERATE VOLATILITY - Technically Samuel was downgraded from last week to this week. Now he doesn’t even carry a designation but don’t let that blind you from the fact they felt the need to rest him from a non-contact injury in the first place. Why? Yes, precautionary measures are a thing, but it still begs the question, why are they still concerned about it if it’s behind him?
Devontae Booker - SZN
Kyler Murray - MINIMAL VOLATILITY
Philip Rivers - MODERATE VOLATILITY - This statue might be even more limited in mobility due to a toe injury.
Zach Ertz - HIGH VOLATILITY - Was the high ankle sprain bothering him before he got shut down? Will the whopping 7 weeks off work to his advantage? Is he just toast? Will he be worked into the game plan at all with Dallas Goedert seemingly snatching the torch? What does a ceiling game even look like for Ertz at this point? You get the picture here. Extending back to 2019, over Ertz’ last 8 games, he’s scored double digit PPR points just 3 times.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire - STOMACH ILLNESS - MINIMAL VOLATILITY
Dude caught a stomach stomach bug according to Cheese Burger Eddy Andy Reid. Be on high alert about him this week as dehydration and overall fatigue without being worked into the game plan could limit his upside. The likelihood of him having a ceiling game this week is low.
D'Andre Swift - ILLNESS - HIGH RISK TO SIT
A weird situation made weirder when Adrian Pterson made a comment about Swift’s health. Let’s be clear: Swift is out of the concussion protocol. However, he did not practice last week due to a non-COVID illness. He isn’t expected to play this week but if he does, he’s too volatile to utilize.
Allen Robinson - KNEE - MINIMAL VOLATILITY
Unfortunately there isn’t much that’s known about Robinson’s battle over the last two weeks with a knee injury. That means he comes with minimal volatility but not enough reason to bench him.
Cam Newton - Abdomen/Groin - MODERATE VOLATILITY
Newton was limited all week with a (presumably) groin strain considering basically every ab muscle attaches at the groin. 61% of skill players in 2017 played despite being limited all week. In fact, Newton was one of those with a throwing shoulder injury. He played twice that year through two full weeks of LP’s. So, the issue probably isn’t eligibility, the problem is mobility and playing through pain.
Matthew Stafford - THUMB - MINIMAL VOLATILITY
It is off that he’s still limited in practice, but he bounced back nicely in terms of accuracy and depth of target last week, so he’s getting close to 100%. You can use Stafford with minimal health concerns.
Tua Tagovailoa - THUMB - HIGH VOLATILITY - HIGH RISK OF SITTING
It’s not clear how ready Tua will be come Sunday, but if pain and inflammation were an issue last week, he might not be out of the proliferative stage of healing just yet. That means gripping and throwing a football in the NFL is, well, difficult. I would be surprised if he plays and if he does, he’s volatile.
TENTATIVE PROJECTED RETURN DATES:
Myles Gaskin - December 4th
Joe Mixon - December 13th (soonest)
Christian McCaffery - December 13th
D.J. Moore - December 13th
George Kittle - December 27th - 2021
Josh Jacobs - December 20th