The following will be a quick-hitting recall of last week’s previous injuries with any tidbits of news or assessment that can be gleaned during the early stages of the week. This article exists to cover only new injuries to fantasy-relevant players as most weeks some player injuries end up slipping through the cracks or are just relevant enough to crop up in a meaningful way down the road. Later this week the Injury Report will be published that will include all player injuries new and old. And remember- don’t over-react to the Wednesday practice report. Why? Because in 2020 only 10% of players listed as “LP” on Wednesday end up being officially ruled out.
These teams are on bye this week:
Players who are expected to be back this week:
Christian McCaffrey - AC Joint
Can this year end already? On Sunday CMC came back and was his usual self catching 10 balls on 10 targets before exiting with a shoulder injury. This appeared to be an AC joint sprain but could also be a rotator cuff strain. Either way, the once front-runner for the RB1 spot is looking at an average missed time frame of 2-4 weeks with the midpoint being 10 days. Given Carolina’s conservative style, I wouldn’t expect him back for at least another two weeks.
Estimated early week odds he plays: < 10%
David Montgomery - Concussion
Unfortunately, Montgomery is now in the league’s concussion protocol. Based on the fact it’s his first documented concussion, that approximately more than 50% of players return to play in less than 7 days, and the extra day he has to get right, the inclination is to proclaim that he’ll be back in Week 10. However, it’s important to point out concussions are nonlinear in terms of the progression and the exact opposite situation we saw with Allen Robinson being ruled in one day before the game isn’t out of the cards. The chances of Monty not playing on Monday are minuscule, but not zero.
Estimated early week odds he plays: > 75%
David Johnson - Concussion
Johnson sustained a concussion in the first quarter of Week 9 and is now in the protocol. The hit looked absolutely brutal but that doesn't’ necessarily predict availability. As with Monty, this being Johnson’s first documented concussion gives him a chance to play in Week 10. The factors playing against Montgomery is the type of hit he took. This is of course more anecdotal, but when a player falls into the postures DJ did, the damage can be greater than anticipated.
Estimated early week odds he plays: > 50%
Damien Harris - Chest
Harris took a shot to the chest Monday night and didn’t return to the game on Monday. This is the type of injury that causes concerns for ribs/cartilage damage. Even without physical evidence of damage on x-ray, these injuries make it difficult to breathe, let alone play in a football game. Harris has a chance to play in Week 10 but it’s not a slam dunk as of today.
Estimated early week odds he plays: 40- 50%
Preston Williams - Foot
Williams suffered a foot injury on Sunday. This appeared to be a Lisfranc injury, the same injury Joe Mixon, Chris Carson, andCalvin Ridley have suffered. The X-rays were negative and no update from the MRI has been reported so for now we’ll treat this like a sprain. Don't expect to see Williams back this week and monitor his practice status.
Estimated early week odds he plays: < 20%
Ben Roethlisberger - Knee(s)
Big Ben’s primary concern is the MCL sprain he appeared to suffer to his left knee on Sunday. Tomlin says that Ben should be available, but as we saw with Diontae Johnson earlier this year, optimism can turn. Additionally, Roethlisberger has been placed on the COVID list due to close contact and won't be allowed to return to the practice facility for 5 days. Not that he needs practice reps to play, but it begs the questions: will the 8-0 Steelers risk their starter’s health in a throwaway game with no implications against the 2-5-1 Bengals? Will they let Big Ben recover from the injury and get healthy since they have no bye week the rest of the way? This week won't be telling since he can't be in the building but the conservative move here is to make plans without the Pittsburgh QB as opposed to banking on him playing and being effective.
Noah Fant - Ankle(s)
Fant’s injury is mysterious but it looked to be a new injury and not a re-aggravation. A superstar athlete and at worst the third-best option on that entire offense, it's difficult to fade Fant. But if you're looking for a reason, a second ankle injury to the opposite side of the original ankle injury is a place to start. First, Fant was simply fighting the after-effects of the high ankle sprain from earlier this year. Now he'll be fighting re-injury with the opposite side lateral sprain. This is a tough break for the product out of Ames, IA, and I wouldn't be surprised if the Broncos just let him rest. If he plays, he's banged up enough that I wouldn't want to risk playing him in any DFS lineups or even season-long depending on the options available.
Make sure to check back in later this week for a comprehensive Injury Preview leading up to Week 10.