Post-Friday Practice Injury Report for Two Dozen Fantasy Football Starters
Jameis Winston QB, Buccaneers: right shoulder sprain
Winston was knocked down on his right side last week and injured his throwing shoulder. Scans showed an AC joint sprain. Coach Dirk Koetter said that Winston’s sprain is minor and that it is possible for him to play in Week 7. Winston was limited at practice on Wednesday, doing everything except for throwing. On Thursday he was able to throw some, and on Friday he picked it up and really tested his arm.
After making it through practice Friday, Winston says he will play this weekend. Even if the injury is just a minor, Grade 1 sprain, the Inside Injuries algorithm is calculating a two-week Optimal Recovery Time. He won’t be as effective if he plays in Week 7.
Cam Newton QB, CAR: shoulder injury
Newton was limited at practice on Wednesday and Thursday. While he hasn’t taken quite as many big hits this season, he is still pretty banged up. His surgically-repaired shoulder bothers him from time to time, and most weeks he is limited at some point to rest his shoulder. It isn’t a major concern that this trend continues, but it is something to watch. His play has improved drastically over the last few weeks, but lingering shoulder problems may affect his performance again at some point.
Trevor Siemian QB, DEN: left shoulder injury
Siemian made a brief exit in Week 6 to have his left shoulder evaluated. Siemian hurt his non-throwing shoulder last season and then underwent surgery during the offseason. This time he escaped without any ligament damage, and it shouldn’t affect him going forward.
Marcus Mariota QB, TEN: hamstring strain
Mariota escaped the Monday night game without re-injuring his hamstring. He certainly didn’t display the same mobility that we are used to seeing, but he did get more comfortable as the game progressed. The most important thing was not making his hamstring any worse. He did that. Now he has reached his Optimal Recovery Time and should be even better this weekend.
Demaryius Thomas WR, Broncos: lower calf bruise
With Emmanuel Sanders (ankle) sidelined for at least the next week, Demaryius Thomas will more than likely play through the lower leg injury he picked up on Sunday. The injury sidelined him for a short time in the fourth quarter, but he was able to return to the game. X-rays of his lower leg came back negative and he was diagnosed with a bruise, though he did not participate in practice on Wednesday. He was able to get in a limited practice on Thursday.
There was no mention of Thomas in Coach Joseph’s Friday injury report. Thomas has had a hard time staying healthy this season, suffering hamstring and calf injuries on top of his recent leg troubles. He’s a High Injury Risk and Below Average Health Performance, so he’s not going to be anywhere near 100 percent by this weekend if he does suit up.
Stefon Diggs WR, Vikings: groin injury
Diggs was sidelined at practice all last week before being declared inactive for Week 6, so he’s not off to a great start this week with a DNP on Wednesday and Thursday. He suffered a groin injury in Week 5 against the Bears, but not much has been released regarding the extent of the injury. The Inside Injuries algorithm is calculating a Grade 2 strain, which comes with a four-week Optimal Recovery Time. He won’t be healthy in time for Sunday’s game, but he could be ready by Week 8.
Mohamed Sanu WR, Falcons: hamstring strain
After sitting out through the Week 5 bye and last Sunday’s loss to the Dolphins, it looks like Mohamed Sanu has a chance to return for the Super Bowl rematch against the Patriots this weekend. He was back at practice for the first time on Wednesday after suffering a hamstring strain in Week 4. The Inside Injuries algorithm originally gave Sanu a four to five week Optimal Recovery Time, and if he returns Sunday, he will still be a few weeks shy of that. Hamstring injuries are known their tendency to linger, so he should sit another week to help reduce his Injury Risk.
Sterling Shepard WR, Giants: ankle sprain
No Giants wide receiver was spared in Week 5, but Sterling Shepard was the only one who escaped without a season-ending injury. The Inside Injuries algorithm calculated a Grade 2 ankle sprain for Shepard, which comes with a four-week Optimal Recovery Time. He still needs another two weeks until he reaches that timetable, but because of his extremely short injury history, he has already dropped to a Low Injury Risk. He did have an ankle issue pop up in the preseason, so this could be something that could show up on the injury report as a recurring issue.
Kelvin Benjamin WR, Panthers: knee injury
Benjamin battled a knee injury earlier in the season but he has not been on the injury report for the past two games. He exited practice on Wednesday with an aggravation of the injury and did not participate in practice on Thursday. He returned Friday but was limited and is listed as questionable. That leaves his Week 7 availability up in the air. He is a High Injury Risk going into this weekend and is at a Below Average Health Performance, so he is far from healthy. The Panthers expect to have Benjamin on the field this weekend, but his knee soreness will impact his performance.
Jeremy Maclin WR, BAL: shoulder
Maclin has been limited at practice this week and wore a non-contact jersey as he continues to battle a shoulder injury. He missed Week 6 and hopes to play Week 7, but he could end up being a game-time decision. Even if he does suit up, he isn’t worth a start in Fantasy lineups.
Mike Wallace WR, BAL: back
Wallace was added to the Ravens’ injury report this week with a back injury. He took a big hit on Sunday that led to the injury. Wallace was able to get in a limited practice on Wednesday but did not practice Thursday. Like Maclin, he isn’t worth a start in Fantasy lineups even if he is active.
Keenan Allen WR, LAC: knee
Allen was added to the Chargers’ injury report on Thursday and did not practice. There isn’t much reason to be concerned yet, and the hope is that it was just some soreness and the Chargers are being cautious.
Chris Hogan WR, NE: ribs
There isn’t much concern over the ribs injury that has limited Hogan at practice this week. He took a big hit on Sunday but still played nearly every offensive snap. The Patriots are just being cautious here. He will be good to go again on Sunday in the Super Bowl rematch with the Falcons.
Leonard Fournette RB, Jaguars: twisted ankle
After three days of no practice, Fournette is looking very doubtful for Sunday’s matchup with the Colts. What makes this injury so concerning is that Fournette had serious ankle issues at LSU. He twisted his ankle during last Sunday’s game when his leg hyperextended, and though he was cleared to return, he stayed on the sideline. The Jaguars quickly said that they expect him to play in Week 7, but we have been skeptical all along. He is a High Injury Risk because of his history of ankle and foot injuries, so he won’t be healthy by Sunday. Fournette should be considered a risky Fantasy option even if he does happen to suit up.
Wendell Smallwood RB, Eagles: knee injury
Wendell Smallwood missed the past two weeks with a knee injury but is practicing for the first time this week. He got in some reps on Tuesday and was a full participant on Thursday according to the team’s injury report. He has an extra day to recover as the Eagles take on the Redskins on Monday, and for what it’s worth, Smallwood said he expects to play. The Inside Injuries algorithm calculated a four-week Optimal Recovery Time for Smallwood, and he will still be a week shy of that come Monday.
Melvin Gordon RB, Chargers: shoulder injury
It was a knee injury that limited Melvin Gordon for the first few weeks of the season, but he was limited at practice on Thursday with a shoulder issue. It’s not clear when Gordon sustained the injury, but he put up a huge performance on Sunday with 83 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries and 12 catches for 67 yards and another score. A limited practice session leads us to believe he isn’t in danger of missing Week 7, but he will continue to be an Elevated Injury Risk this weekend.
DeMarco Murray RB, Titans: hamstring injury
Uh oh. It looks like Murray aggravated his hamstring for the second time. He is reportedly only dealing with “tightness” but we are a bit concerned after he was listed as a DNP on Wednesday and Thursday’s injury report. Murray first dealt with hamstring issues during the offseason, but the injury lingered through the preseason and start of the regular season. Hamstring injuries are notorious for nagging well after an athlete is deemed “healthy,” and Murray is a perfect example. Even more concerning than the injury may be the emergence of Derrick Henry. The Titans should be able to take down the winless Browns without Murray, so there is a good chance he sits for Week 7. At a High Injury Risk, it would definitely be the smart move.
Andre Ellington RB, ARI: quad
After a limited practice Wednesday, Ellington missed practice Thursday and Friday as he battles a quad injury. With the injury and the addition of Adrian Peterson, Ellington is a very risky Fantasy play this week. He is worth consideration in deeper PPR leagues, but his injury has his Health Performance Factor at Below Average.
Jonathan Stewart RB, CAR: ankle sprain
Steward was limited again at practice on Thursday’s injury report but we don’t think he’s in danger of missing Week 7. He was able to play through the ankle sprain last week, but he has had such a terrible season so far that he’s not really a Fantasy option at this point. He’s also a High Injury Risk and a Below Average Health Performance, so he’s extremely risky even as a desperate RB3 play.
Jay Ajayi RB, MIA: knee
Jay Ajayi has dealt with chronic soreness in his knee ever since he had ACL surgery in 2011, so this injury is nothing new to the running back. The Dolphins are in a routine of giving Ajayi a maintenance day each Thursday and this week is no different. He’s not at risk of missing Week 7, but eventually, this issue is going to catch up with him. He’s a Below Average Health Performance so his injury will likely hinder his effectiveness on the field.
Rob Kelley RB, WAS: ankle injury
The Redskins are coming off a bye in Week 6 and Rob Kelley is on track to make a return after suffering an ankle injury in Week 4. He returned to practice this week and will have reached his four-week Optimal Recovery Time by this weekend. He’s still an Elevated Injury Risk as he’s had a difficult time staying healthy this season. Kelley also missed time with a chest injury in September.
Bilal Powell RB, NYJ: calf strain
Bilal Powell has been cleared to play Sunday against the Dolphins and was a full participant in practice on Thursday. He’s on track to make a return this weekend after suffering a calf strain in Week 5. Unfortunately, a Week 7 return will be too soon according to the Inside Injuries algorithm. He’s still a High Injury Risk and he’s two weeks shy of his four-week Optimal Recovery Time. He might play but he won’t be 100 percent.
Delanie Walker TE, TEN: calf strain
Walker popped up on the injury report on Thursday with a calf strain. He got in a limited session Thursday but was downgraded to DNP Friday. Late week downgrades are never a good sign. Walker is listed as questionable and may be a game-time decision. With a thin tight end position, it will be hard not to plug him into lineups if he is active, but don’t expect the same production.
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