Injury Glossary

The following table is meant to be used as a guide and not a roadmap when navigating injuries in redraft leagues. As always, context, league settings, win probabilities, and individual situations will not be reflected in this general table. Timelines are calculated based on skill players when data is available. Severity/seasonal scores are relatively arbitrary but are intended to be compared relative to one another and reflect missed time, potential recurrence rates, and performance following an injury based on historical precedent. The higher the score, the riskier

** = Injury variability and context is too individual to determine general advice

InjuryOverall Mean Missed WeeksSeverity/Seasonal Impact ScoreTrade For?Notes and Positional Caveats
High ankle sprain2-44/5NoTrue average missed time among non-QBs who average at least 9 PPR points per game since 2016 is 2-4 weeks after accounting for variance. The mean for all other skill players is 3-5 weeks. Performance for these skill players in the first week back is historically 20% worse than seasonal average. Unless a report from Schefter specifies a high ankle sprain will last "4-6 weeks" operate based on this shorter timeline. QBs can typically survive this drop in production but aren't as mobile in the subsequent weeks.
AC Joint Sprain or "shoulder separation"2-42.5/5YesMean missed time for QBs is 17 days and 10 days for position players. More severe injuries last up to 4 weeks which explains the wide range. If a QB has this injury to their throwing side, there's no way to trust they'll reliably perform well witout taking time to rehab. Returning back too early from these injuries can lead to re-injury.
Achilles tear8-9 months5/5NoIf the athlete is drafted after the 4th round and/or over the age of ~25, outcomes and fantasy production will suffer. Historical data has shown very bad performance for RBs but at least some ability to survive as a pass catcher. However fantasy relevance is a different story.
ACL tear9-10 months5/5NoUnless a player (WR or RB) is generationally good/athletic with a first round NFL pedigree and 25 or younger, the first year back from ACL is objectively worse than career averages. Guys like Cooper Kupp, Julian Edelman, and Adrian Peterson can survive due to a very specific set of skills but the ACL problem among NFL athletes is nowhere near "solved". Large scale ACL studies done specifically on fantasy points and offensive production have shown this to be true. Look for year two post-op to be more productive. A major caveat to all of this is that QBs as a whole are proven to avoid this fall off in production.
Bone Contusion2-31/5Yes
Calf Strain3-53.5/5**Calf strains are tricky just like every other soft tissue injury. Best case scenario athletes can return at 2 weeks with a mini-bye week buffer.
Concussion0-1 or 1-23.5/5**0-1 weeks for a first time concussion and at least 1 week in between games. 1-2 weeks for a recurrence. This injury is the least predictable by nature and every time a new concussion occurs, the brain struggles to return to baseline. These can add of quickly and be career-enders. There's also preliminary data showing a concussion leads to a higher chance of a lower extremity injury.
Groin strain/Sports hernia1-3 weeks or 6-8 weeks if surgical3.5/5**Depending on severity, players can return faster but are at increased risk of re-injury if they take the non-surgical route. If they have surgery to repair the injury, it takes them up to 8 weeks (or more) to be back at full strength.
Hamstring Strain1-33.75/5**The true average of missed time among skill players is 1.4 weeks but the mode is 0 weeks if it isn't a reccurence. Overall, 33% of players will miss zero games, 33% miss one game, and 15% miss two games and only a selec few miss more than that. Hamstrings are tricky and can extend even further if a setback occurs. If it is a recurrence, the mean missed amount of time is 1.7 weeks and the mode is 1 week. Hamstring injuries recurred within two years 28% of the time but of those recurrences, 71% were within the same season. When a recurrence happened in-season, 23% it occurred in the first week back from injury. If an athlete leaves the field for a hamstring strain and tries to play the following week, history shows he's a bad bet for production.
Jones Fracture10-125/5NoJones fractures are sub-divided into several different types. 10-12 weeks is the absolute soonest players can return. At worst, this injury can extend up to 16 weeks.
Knee Scope2-42/5Yes
Shoulder dislocation/subluxation2-4 or 4-84.5/5NoThe true missed time average for athletes who suffer a subluxation (does not need assistance to reset shoulder) is 1.6 weeks. If the player has a true dislcoation and needs assistance reseting it, the average return time is 3.7 weeks. Every time a player dislocates the shoulder and does not repair it with surgery, the risk recurrence and season-ending surgery climbs.
Lisfranc injury3-5 weeks or season2.5/5 or 5/5NoThe average missed time after a Lisfranc sprain is 36 days with a wide standard deviation depending on the severity. If the injury is more severe the athlete will need season-ending surgery.
MCL Sprain3-62/5YesThe true average of missed time due to an MCL injury is 23 days. The standard deviations are wide but usually this injury results in about 4-5 weeks of missed time. Ther recurrence rate of MCL sprains is unknown but due to it's extremely good blood flow, these sprains often heal well with time.
Meniscus injury6-8 weeks or 6 months4/5NoTypically a meniscus procedure will result in at least 5 months off from sport. However, in relatively minor cases, players can return in about 8 weeks.
Ribs0-1 weeks1.5/5Yes
Turf Toe4-5 weeks3.5/5NoUnless the injury is minor, turf toe is extemlely painful to play through and can knock athletes out of competition for 5 weeks. The true average missed time is 36 days with a wide standard deviation depending on severity. QBs who play through this injury will be less mobile than usual potentially impacting their performance.