Injury Insights

Dr. Edwin Porras shares his insights and brief commentary on recent injuries across the league, including return-to-play timeline, historical factors and more. Sign up for a Fantasy Points subscription using promo code PORRAS22 for 10% off to read more of Dr. Porras’ work.

For clarity, there are two primary categories of “hernia” that are used interchangeably but should not be. A true "hernia" involves a protrusion of internal organs. These are extremely difficult to manage and may require surgery. Meanwhile, a "sports hernia" is an injury to abdominal and/or thigh muscles that attach to the pubic bone. The following is a discussion that makes the assumption Walker has __*a muscular groin injury but this has not been confirmed.*__ Athletes miss about 1-3 weeks with muscular  groin injuries. This is a situation to monitor because if rehab fails or if the injury worsens, Walker could need a similar procedure Rashod Bateman had in 2021. That procedure would sideline Walker for 8-10 weeks. This objectively raises Walker's injury risk for the 2022 season.

According to Adam Schefter, Wilson’s surgery was a success; however, Week One is  unlikely. The original timeline of 2-4 weeks, though reasonable, is optimistic. A timeline of  4-6 weeks from the date of the surgery is more realistic. All and all, this is great news for Wilson.

Eli Mitchell out the rest of the preseason with hamstring strain. This is normal given the time of year but it’s not a good start for a RB who is in the RB Injury Red Light Tier at fantasypoints.com.

Gage injury not serious per Rapaport. Soft tissue injuries are extremely common this time of year.

Dobbins is officially off the PUP and began individual drills today. He'll need to progress without setbacks to be ready for Week One.

Since Jourdan Rodrigue reported that Sean McVay denied that Stafford is dealing with previously reported "tendinitis" in his throwing arm. Instead McVay added the quarterback's elbow issue is "more of a baseball thing". At this point the extent of this issue is unknown but the bottom line is that it's a chronic injury that requires close management. If the Rams are monitoring this, you should too. In terms of baseball injuries, there are a handful of options and none of them are encouraging. Stafford is more volatile than his peers. This should only minimally impact your perception of Cooper Kupp but this Stafford injury is certainly not nothing.

Here's the bottom line - McCaffrey's primary injury risk is due to the most recent ankle sprain and hamstring strain. Those recurrence rate in skill players is 8% for the ankle. After a calendar year, re-injury risk to the hamstring is approximately 5%. There is some inherent risk of soft tissue injuries for McCaffrey based on his workloads and functional demands. The good news is McCaffrey himself has said this summer that he'll listen to his body more closely and has discussed taking days to rest with the coaching staff when needed. For context, another RB being drafted highly who also has a history of ankle and hamstring injuries is Leonard Fournette. McCaffrey's risk for injury this year is no higher than most of his contemporaries.

Edwards is reportedly "further behind Dobbins" in his recovery. This is a difficult report to decipher as Edwards is chronologically one month behind Dobbins so it is unclear if the report is referring to time or progress in rehab. Whatever the case may be, Edwards is still on the mend and if he isn't off the PUP by the end of August, he's at risk to miss the season opener.

Smith Jr. suffered a minor finger injury and reports from the team are that he'll be back by Week One

Washington has a Jones fracture and reports are he'll be out 6-8 weeks. The soonest return is by Week One. Depending on the specific area that was fractured, this could actually go up to 10 weeks based on the research done on NFL athletes which places him back in early to mid October.

Godwin avoiding the PUP is nothing short of an outlier. At just 6 months and three weeks, he's overcoming many odds that are stacked against him. Despite this return, understand this doesn't mean he's totally back and there is objective risk involved from a re-injury perspective. That means Tampa Bay will almost certainly be extra cautious with him until at least the official 9 month mark in October. The only modern example of a pass-catcher returning to NFL game-action at 8 months post-op is Rob Gronkowski. Gronk played but for the first month of the season averaged just 52% of snaps and 11 PPR points per game. Reading the tea leaves, the Julio Jones signing indicates the Bucs will undoubtedly take it slow with Godwin who will be just 8 months by Week One of the 2022 season. Still, Godwin could be a massive value in drafts this year.

I know what you're thinking - but it's unlikely. Gallup is an entire month behind Godwin in terms of rehab and is nowhere near the same athlete. Even if Gallup operates on the Godwin timeline (basically the fastest we've ever seen), that places Gallup starting practice in September and in-game action by October. Gallup still has a way to go.

The Michael Thomas saga has extended two years now. After going AWOL the summer of 2021, Ian Rapaport of NFL Network reported Thomas "could require a second surgery for a new and separate injury to the same ankle". That report was in late 2021. Another plausible (unconfirmed) scenario is that an initial "tight rope" procedure was not a complete success. If that's the case, the next logical step would be a more extensive procedure that requires approximately 6-9 months of rehab and recovery. \*If\* Thomas did have this procedure in late 2021 or early 2022, the timeline adds up with where we believe Thomas is in his rehab. The FantasyPoints team wishes nothing but the best for Michael Thomas' health first and foremost. Secondarily, his good health could lead to a massive fantasy football advantage given the ambiguity that's driving his ADP down. Make no mistake - this situation is an absolute mess and Thomas is the most volatile veteran WR in 2022. There's no guarantee this theory is right or wrong - but it does seem this outcome could have been much, much worse.

Higgins has been participating in camp without issues.

Beckham's redemption tour in LA was unfortunately short-lived. He re-tore his ACL during the Super Bowl and per reports had surgery the week of 2/14/22. It's worth noting that there are dozens of potential reasons his ACL re-tore and any speculation that the second surgery altered his career trajectory are unlikely. Usually 9 months is the bare minimum for players returning from a first time ACL. However, many medical teams tack on another month for a revision. Assuming OBJ's team follow that rule of thumb, the soonest we could see OBJ on the field is late December.

Robinson is slowly progressing and participated in 11 vs. air today which is a legitimate good step towards Week One. Regardless, it's hard to imagine he'll light the world on fire this season.

Thomas came out and said that he sustained damage to the ACL/MCL/LCL and meniscus. That last part is crucial to rehab timelines as procedures to the meniscus typically require 2-4 weeks of non-weight bearing immediately postop which can delay rehab. Given his 12/17/21 surgery date and the information we have, Thomas will be hard-pressed to make his 2022 debut before Week 3 or 4 at the absolute soonest. Anything before that is unlikely.

Depending on where Etienne goes in drafts, he can be a steal. Factors working in his favor are high draft capital, athleticism, a backfield to himself, and an entire year to rehab the injury. Factors against him are the fact he's essentially still a rookie, potential left over hardware still in his foot, and a historical drop in offensive production post-op Lisfranc. There's some reason to have confidence in Etienne but he shouldn't be viewed as a blue chip RB quite yet. If he produces hig-end RB2 numbers, that's a win in his first year back from this injury.

Akers' comeback in such a quick period of time was by no means something to shrug off. But his playoff efficiency numbers (bottom three in EPA/attempt, points above replacement, expected points added above average, and points earned/play) further illustrate the stark difference between return to play and return to perform. Even the most ardent Akers supporters must acknowledge that although there's no historical precedent that he can't return to elite stardom, there's certainly no data to support that he will. In fact, all return to performance data post-op achilles is bleak to say the least. Drafting Akers with the hopes he'll reach top 12 status is more of a gamble than playing the probabilities.

Jameson is coming off ACL surgery on 1/13/21. Exactly nine months from then is 10/13. This is his earliest possible return. Depending on the extent of the damage and/or his overall progress in rehab this could be extended another 2-6 weeks. Any time prior to 9 months is when the risk for reinjury is at its highest so expecting a 100% Williams by early September would be extremely risky. Possible? Sure. Probable? Absolutely not.

Here we go again? Here we go again. Barkley disappointed in 2021 - there's no denying that. However, recency bias erases the fact that despite playing just 48% of snaps in Week One, Barkley was tied for RB9 overall in PPR formats from Weeks 1-4. Before the fluke ankle injury (in which he stepped on a defender's ankle) Barkley was well on his way to smash his 2021 ADP despite the ACL tear. After the ankle injury in Week Five, Barkley's usage was way down and in an honest moment he did not look good. Although another injury for a RB is potentially around the corner, the greater picture Barkley has painted since his days at Penn State make him the absolute nuts anchor RB in the third round. Fantasy football is about process. The process to trust Barkley was just as correct last year as it is in 2022.

Tonyan's earliest return to full activity is August 5th. Depending on the extent of the damage and/or his overall progress in rehab this could be extended another 2-6 weeks. However, it's very realistic for him to be ready by Week One.

Metchie had surgery on December 10th. That means that in an ideal world his soonest return is September 10th. That's exactly 9 months on opening day. Depending on the extent of the damage and/or his overall progress in rehab this could be extended another 2-6 weeks.

Woods' exact return date is gray as there are no reports of the extent of damage or the surgery date. Playing it conservatively based on his injury date, he could be cleared by 9/1/22 at the earliest. Depending on the extent of the damage and/or his overall progress in rehab this could be extended another 2-6 weeks.

Winston should not have issues coming back from an ACL tear.