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Jaguars’ Leonard Fournette and Texans’ DeAndre Hopkins Could Be Out

Special from InsideInjuries.com December 15, 2017 8:13PM EDT

You may be without Leonard Fournette and DeAndre Hopkins this week



Aaron Rodgers QB, Packers: broken clavicle

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is expected to make his return from a broken collarbone against the Panthers this weekend. He suffered the injury in Week 6 and underwent surgery to insert 13 screws and two plates in his shoulder. Rodgers reached his 8-10 week Optimal Recovery Time and has been medically cleared to play Sunday. The bone is not completely healed by now, making him an Elevated Injury Risk for the rest of the season. It may take him a week or two to shake off the rust, but he should be started in just about every league unless you have someone like Russell Wilson or Tom Brady on your roster.

Tyrod Taylor QB, Bills: patellar tendon contusion

Tyrod Taylor was inactive last weekend after suffering a patellar tendon contusion in Week 13. He is expected to be back under center on Sunday. Backup QB Nathan Peterman is still in the concussion protocol, which means if Taylor suffers a setback in practice, third stringer Joe Webb will have to take over. Taylor practiced fully this week, and he is coming up on his two week Optimal Recovery Time. If he is still dealing with lingering soreness in his knee, his mobility in the pocket and rushing ability will be affected.

Marcus Mariota QB, Titans: knee injury

Marcus Mariota suffered a minor knee injury on Sunday but isn’t in danger of missing Week 15. He practiced in full this week, getting in his normal reps, and he never missed a snap in Sunday’s loss. Mariota has a history of lower body injuries, though, and has been a big fantasy letdown this season, injuries aside. He can’t be trusted in lineups due to his recent performance and his High Injury Risk.

Cam Newton QB, Panthers: shoulder soreness

Newton’s right shoulder and thumb continue to be a concern. While he isn’t in any danger of missing Week 15, two injuries to his throwing arm is a concern. Newton always has value because of his legs, but his accuracy will continue to be a concern.

Matthew Stafford QB, Lions: hand injury

Stafford got in another full week of practices despite his hand injury. As he often does, Stafford toughed it out last week despite the injury. He played with two of his fingers taped up, but now he is down to just his pinkie finger. Stafford is making progress and should put up much better numbers now that he has hit his Optimal Recovery Time. He does remain a High Injury Risk as he had ankle, hand and hamstring injuries already this year.

Running Backs

Joe Mixon RB, Bengals: concussion

After missing practice on Wednesday, it was a good sign to see Joe Mixon back at practice in a limited capacity on Thursday and then a full participant on Friday. It doesn’t mean he’s necessarily going to be available for Sunday’s game, but it does mean he’s progressing through concussion protocol. He is considered questionable for Sunday’s game and has yet to clear the protocol. He will have to be cleared by an independent physician before he can play in a game.

Alvin Kamara RB, Saints: concussion

Alvin Kamara practiced in full leading up to Week 15, and Coach Sean Payton announced Friday that he cleared concussion protocol. Kamara had an extra three days to clear because he sustained the concussion during last Thursday’s game. It is also his first documented concussion since entering the NFL. Once again, he is a top RB option and should be in all fantasy lineups.

Leonard Fournette RB, Jaguars: quad injury

Leonard Fournette

You could see Leonard Fournette on the sidelines this week. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

We don’t know much about Fournette’s quad injury or when exactly he sustained it, but it kept him out of practice all week. Fournette has battled foot and ankle injuries throughout the season and hasn’t quite been 100% for the past month. He will likely end up being a game-time call, but three DNPs in a row likely means the injury is serious enough for him to sit on Sunday. This is yet another reason for his inconsistent performances to continue.

Jerick McKinnon RB, Vikings: shoulder injury

McKinnon only got one touch in the second half of Sunday’s loss to the Panthers, and it’s likely because he injured his shoulder. He was limited at practice on Wednesday, but we aren’t too concerned about his Week 15 status. He returned to a full practice on Thursday and Friday, signs that he is making progress. If it’s a mild sprain, he should be able to play through a little bit of pain and perform fairly well. But if it’s anything more serious he won’t be 100% come Sunday. Ball security and pass-catching ability are the two biggest things to look for when he takes the field.

Giovani Bernard RB, Bengals: knee injury

Giovani Bernard was limited at practice on Wednesday and Thursday after picking up a knee injury on Sunday. He was then removed from the final injury report on Friday and is expected to play in Week 15. He played a season-high in snaps, and the Bengals might just be limiting his practice reps after a bit of overuse. With Joe Mixon still in the concussion protocol, it is possible Bernard tries to play through the injury even if he is not completely healed. A grade 1 knee sprain comes with a two week Optimal Recovery Time.

LeSean McCoy RB, Bills: knee injury

LeSean McCoy was limited on Wednesday with a knee injury, though it wasn’t one of the players that coach Sean McDermott said he expected to be limited this week. McCoy was upgraded to a full participant on Thursday but then sat out on Friday, likely to get in a maintenance day. It is possible McCoy is just getting some rest after playing in a blizzard on Sunday, but McCoy has been a High Injury Risk for most of the season. He suffered wrist and groin injuries at the beginning of the year and played through them. It’s likely he’ll end up playing through this knee injury, too.

Ameer Abdullah RB, Lions: neck injury

Ameer Abdullah missed the past two games to a neck injury, but coach Jim Caldwell believes Abdullah will be back on the field for Week 15. “I do, as long as things keep trending in the right direction,” Caldwell said. The running back is practicing in full this week, which is an upgrade from last week’s limited practice sessions and he was removed from the Lions’ final injury report on Friday. He’ll be an Elevated Injury Risk for Saturday’s game.

Tevin Coleman RB, Falcons: concussion

Tevin Coleman suffered a concussion in last Thursday’s win over the Saints, and while it’s usually difficult for a player to clear the protocol in time for the next week’s game, Coleman had an extra four days to recover. Unfortunately, Coleman is not progressing through the protocol as quickly as the team had hoped and he has not participated in practice at all this week. The Falcons take on the Buccaneers on Monday, and Coleman needs to be cleared by an independent neurologist before then in order to play. This is Coleman’s second documented concussion in his professional career. The first was in the 2015 season.

Matt Forte RB, Jets: knee injury

Matt Forte has a long history of knee injuries, including surgery last January to address a meniscus tear. It didn’t take long for it to act up again. Since showing up on the injury report in Week 4, Forte has just two games with over 50 rushing yards. He continues to be a High Injury Risk, and with a Poor HPF (Health Performance Factor), it’s no surprise that he is under-performing. This week won’t be any different. He missed practice all week and is considered questionable for Week 15. Forte is nothing more than a desperation flex play if he is active.

Lamar Miller RB, Texans: knee injury

Miller has been a very consistent fantasy option this year, but that isn’t necessarily a good thing. He has rushed for at least 41 yards in every game, but he has not surpassed 75 yards. Last Sunday he briefly left with a knee injury, which had him limited at practice each day this week. His knee has been a problem for weeks, and it won’t get better until he takes time off. With a Below Average HPF, our projections show that Miller will continue to be an underwhelming fantasy option again on Sunday.

Damien Williams RB, Dolphins: shoulder injury

Williams dislocated his shoulder in Week 12 and missed the following two games. While he did not practice on Wednesday, he was able to get in a limited practice Thursday. Williams dropped back down to a DNP on Friday, so it doesn’t look like he will play this weekend. While he is about to hit his Optimal Recovery Time, he does remain an Elevated Injury Risk. Kenyan Drake also took advantage of the increased workload since Williams has been out.

Wide Receivers

Robert Woods WR, Rams: shoulder injury

Robert Woods injured his left shoulder in Week 11, and while the Rams announced Woods didn’t suffer any structural damage, he was still expected to miss a few weeks. The original return date was Week 15 and that still seems to be on target. He was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday but was upgraded to full on Thursday and Friday. He should be ready to go for Sunday’s matchup with the Seahawks.

Chris Hogan WR, Patriots: shoulder dislocation

Chris Hogan didn’t do much in his return in Monday’s loss to the Dolphins, catching only 1-of-5 targets for five yards. He was limited at practice all week, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see his practice reps limited for the next few weeks. We said that it was going to take more than just one week of practice to get him into game-shape after five weeks on the bench and that was obviously the case on Monday..

Adam Thielen WR, Vikings: knee injury

Adam Thielen popped up on the injury report on Wednesday with a knee injury, but he was still able to get in a limited session. He was then upgraded to a full participant on Thursday and Friday and is expected to play on Sunday. Thielen has been extremely durable so far this season and has had at least five receptions per game with the exception of Week 13. The Vikings have a favorable matchup on Sunday against the Bengals.

Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Bills: torn meniscus

Kelvin Benjamin made his return from a torn meniscus on Sunday, but he aggravated the injury playing in the snow. Miraculously, the aggravation doesn’t seem to be too serious because he was a limited participant in practice each day this week. Benjamin really doesn’t have any business being on the field in Week 15 (he’s a High Injury Risk), but it looks like the Bills are expecting him to play. It’s worth noting that the Bills are known for running players into the ground when they are hurt, and coach Sean McDermott has even admitted doing so with RB LeSean McCoy (knee).

DeAndre Hopkins WR, Texans: toe injury

DeAndre Hopkins wasn’t listed on the injury report on Wednesday but did not practice on Thursday or Friday due to a toe injury. It must have happened at the very end of Wednesday’s practice or the very beginning of Thursday’s. His status for Week 15 is up in the air at this point, especially considering he dealt with a foot injury in Weeks 12 and 13. Hopkins leads the NFL in touchdowns this year and is second in both catches and receiving yards behind Antonio Brown, so he’s a must-start if he plays. Unfortunately, his value does drop with T.J. Yates under center.

Marqise Lee WR, Jaguars: foot injury

Marqise Lee was a limited participant in practice all week with a foot injury but is expected to play on Sunday against the Texans. Lee had a lingering knee injury for the better part of the season, so it was a surprise to see him listed with a foot injury. Given the limited practices and the fact that he’s played through injuries all year, it’s likely he plays this weekend. He’s still a High Injury Risk.

Ted Ginn WR, Saints: ribs injury

Ted Ginn picked up a rib injury in last Thursday’s loss to the Falcons, and it held him out of practice on Wednesday. The good news is that he was able to return to a limited session on Thursday and Friday. The main hurdle in playing through ribs injuries is pain management, and the limited practice sessions suggest he’s going to try to play through the pain. He wasn’t much of a fantasy option before the injury, so don’t put him in your lineups for Week 15.

Sterling Shepard WR, Giants: hamstring strain

Sterling Shepard was limited in practice on Thursday and Friday of last week before playing in Week 14, and he appears to be following a similar schedule this week. He was limited on Thursday and Friday, and the Giants seem to think he’ll be out there again on Sunday against the Eagles. Shepard had injuries ranging from sprained ankles to migraines this season and has hovered in the WR3/4 range since Week 3. The biggest concern is how easily hamstring injuries can be aggravated.

Mike Wallace WR, Ravens: ankle injury

Mike Wallace has taken over the No.1 receiver position recently, and he seems prepared to get out there and play through an ankle injury on Sunday.  “I’m playing,” he said. “You all don’t even have to ask.” He popped up on the injury report on Wednesday and Thursday with DNPs but was back on the field on Friday. A grade 1 ankle injury requires two weeks of recovery time, and he will be a High Injury Risk if he does suit up on Sunday.

JuJu Smith-Schuster WR, Steelers: hamstring strain

JuJu Smith-Schuster was a late addition to the injury report on Thursday with a hamstring injury. He was limited on both Thursday and Friday. He battled this hamstring issue for the better part of November, and it looks like it’s popped back up again. Hamstring injuries are notoriously tricky and tend to linger even after a player thinks they are completely healed.

Devin Funchess WR, Panthers: shoulder injury

Devin Funchess was limited in practice on Wednesday with a lingering shoulder injury but was upgraded to a full participant on Thursday. He then dropped to a DNP on Friday, which is always concerning. The Panthers have him officially listed as questionable for Week 15, but he followed the same routine last week and was active on Sunday. Funchess has a favorable matchup with a terrible Packers pass defense this weekend, but he will be an Elevated Injury Risk.

Tight Ends

Kyle Rudolph TE, Vikings: ankle injury

Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph missed the end of last week’s game after injuring his ankle and was seen in a walking boot following the game. He did not practice all week and is looking closer to doubtful for Week 15. Unfortunately the Vikings’ backup TEs Blake Bell (shoulder) and David Morgan (concussion) are also injured. Rudolph won’t be healthy if he tries to play through the ankle sprain on Sunday. He is a High Injury Risk

Jimmy Graham TE, Seahawks: ankle injury

Graham continued to have his practice reps managed this week, but he is not in danger of missing Week 15. He has been listed with an ankle injury just about every single week but continues to play. Graham was invisible against the Jaguars last week but should again be a top tight end option in Week 15.

Jared Cook TE, Raiders: wrist injury

Cook popped up on the injury report this week for the first time since Week 3. He was limited with a wrist injury both Wednesday and Thursday but was upgraded to a full participant Friday. While he isn’t in doubt for week 15, his HPF (Health Performance Factor) is Below Average. If his wrist is bothering him it will affect his blocking and pass-catching ability.

Zach Ertz TE, Eagles: concussion

Ertz was not able to clear concussion protocol in time to play last Sunday, but he has been a full practice participant all week and officially cleared. He will play and again is a top tight end option despite the loss of Carson Wentz to a torn ACL.


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