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Panthers’ Greg Olsen, Packers Jordy Nelson Top Long Injury List

Inside Injuries September 18, 2017 3:57PM EDT

Greg Olsen TE, Panthers: foot fracture

Olsen suffered a foot fracture in Week 2 and is expected to miss at least 6-8 weeks. Inside Injuries has calculated an eight-week Optimal Recovery Time, so it makes sense for the Panthers to place him IR and bring him back later in the season. When players try to return in six weeks from a foot fracture, they often experience renewed discomfort or get re-injured. By taking two months off, Olsen will give himself enough time for the fracture to heal completely, limiting the chances that he has future foot problems.

Cam Newton QB, Panthers: ankle sprain

Sunday looked a lot like the 2016 season for the Panthers QB. Newton spent a lot of time on the turf, getting sacked six times before leaving with an ankle injury. He returned to the game and is expected to play in Week 3, but as the hits keep coming we have to wonder how long his body can take it. Newton underwent shoulder surgery during the offseason and is already banged up just two weeks into the season. The next two days Newton can expect to experience pain and swelling and will likely receive around-the-clock treatment. As long as he can get in a few limited practices this week, he should be ready to play next Sunday, but he is a risky start for his Fantasy owners, so look elsewhere for your starting QB if he is on your roster.

Rob Gronkowski TE, Patriots: groin strain

The Panthers and Fantasy owners may lose Greg Olsen for up to eight weeks. AP Photo/Jason E. Miczek

Gronk put up monster numbers in the first half but left the game after landing awkwardly while getting tackled in the third quarter. It looked like he may have tweaked his back, but the Patriots later reported a groin injury. He was questionable to return and was even seen on the stationary bike, but he did not return to the game. The team believes the injury is minor, although they won’t really know until he goes through more testing on Monday. The Inside Injuries algorithm has calculated a grade 2 groin strain, which comes with a three-week Optimal Recovery Time. Because of his concerning injury history, the Patriots should take a very cautious approach with Gronk. They have plenty of injuries to deal with to the offense, but that doesn’t mean they should risk Gronkowski’s long-term health to have him on the field in Week 3.

Rex Burkhead RB, Patriots: rib injury

Burkhead didn’t see any playing time in the second half after suffering a rib injury. Right now, we are calculating a grade 2 injury, an indication that there could be a rib fracture or contusion. He will likely undergo additional scans and testing early this week to determine the extent of the injury. If it is a rib fracture, he could miss anywhere from 2-6 weeks depending on the location of and/or number of fractures. Burkhead could play through a rib contusion by wearing extra padding in Week 3.

Chris Hogan WR, Patriots: right knee injury

Hogan played through a right knee injury on Sunday but downplayed the injury following the game. Keep a close eye on his practice status this week. The injury may be minor, but if he misses practice time it could be an indication of a more serious problem.

Phillip Dorsett WR, Patriots: left knee injury

Dorsett was having a solid day, catching three passes for 68 yards, before leaving with a knee injury. He is one of many players who will likely undergo an MRI on Monday. Best case scenario is a mild sprain that could sideline him for just a week or two. If there is any ligament damage, he could be looking at a three-week plus absence depending on which ligament he hurt and the severity of the sprain.

Randall Cobb WR, Packers: shoulder injury

Cobb will be sent for an MRI on his injured shoulder on Monday. He left in the fourth quarter against the Falcons and did not return. This is looking like an injury that could sideline him for at least a few weeks, but we won’t know the extent of the injury until the MRI results are released. Cobb’s Fantasy owners should start to look for a replacement, even if it is just temporary. Cobb has a lengthy injury history that includes past shoulder problems, and he is now High Risk according to our algorithm.

Jordy Nelson WR, Packers: quad injury

After limping off the field in the first quarter, the Packers labeled Nelson as questionable to return, but he never did step on the field again. He was nursing a quad injury and received treatment in the locker room at halftime, but it wasn’t enough. For now, there are no signs that he will undergo an MRI, but if the Packers become concerned that he is dealing with a more serious quad strain they could send him for an MRI. Consider him a toss-up to play in Week 3 for now, and keep a close eye on his practice status this week.

Jordan Reed TE, Redskins: AC sprain

After leaving in Week 2 with an injury, the Redskins reported a chest injury for Reed. Now reports indicate an AC or SC sprain, a similar injury to the one that sidelined Reed in 2016. It was a pretty serious injury (grade 3 AC sprain, according to Inside Injuries) that forced him to miss games and limited his performance when he did return.  Reed, already dealing with a serious toe injury, is a ticking time bomb. Not to mention he has a concerning history of concussions. His Fantasy owners should do whatever it takes to get rid of him. If it is an AC sprain, expect him to miss at least a few weeks. He could play through an SC sprain, although it is a very painful injury. Based on the film, an SC joint sprain looks more likely than an AC sprain. We are calculating a three-week Optimal Recovery Time right now.

Corey Coleman WR, Browns: broken hand

The Browns confirmed that Corey Coleman did suffer a right-hand fracture, the same injury that sidelined him for six weeks in his rookie season last year. Coleman fell awkwardly following an incompletion on Sunday, injuring his hand. He will need to undergo surgery. Our algorithm shows a seven-week Optimal Recovery, so he could be a good IR candidate with the option to return later in the year.

DeMarco Murray RB, Titans: hamstring strain

A hamstring injury sidelined Murray for two weeks during the preseason, and in Week 2 he experienced “tightness” in his hamstring. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t be a big concern, but because it is a repeat injury it is a red flag. He also dealt with a hamstring strain in 2015. Murray was already at an Elevated Injury Risk, and this has dropped his numbers even lower. The Titans may send him for an MRI this week to ensure that there is no significant damage that could require a lengthy absence. Even if it is just tightness, he needs to be very cautious this week at practice. This is a very easy injury to make worse by returning too soon.

Rob Kelley RB, Redskins: rib fracture

The Redskins are concerned that their running back suffered a fractured rib in Week 2, but he will need to undergo a scan to confirm. We are currently calculating a grade 2 injury, an indication that he is dealing with a non-displaced rib fracture. The Optimal Recovery Time is five weeks. He could play sooner than that but would need to wear extra padding and would be at an increased Injury Risk. Right now, he is a risky Fantasy start.

Corey Davis WR, Titans: hamstring strain

Corey Davis left Sunday with a hamstring strain, the same that sidelined him for much of training camp. Everything we said for DeMarco Murray applies here. It’s a concerning injury because it is a repeat injury, and he could be looking at a lengthy absence. Don’t be surprised if the Titans send him for an MRI today to determine the extent of the injury.

LeSean McCoy RB, Bills: wrist injury

Entering Week 2, McCoy was dealing with both a wrist injury and groin soreness. Our algorithm calculated a Below Average HPF (Health Performance Factor), a warning sign that he would underperform. Well, McCoy only managed nine yards on twelve carries and is continuing to experience problems with his wrist. He is a High Injury Risk and needs five weeks to get healthy. He isn’t expected to miss any game time, but expectations need to be lowered for now.

Tyler Eifert TE, Bengals: back and knee injuries

Eifert was one of our high risk, high reward tight ends entering the season, but injuries are already a concern. He underwent back surgery at the end of the 2016 season and his knee was a problem during training camp. Both injuries continue to hamper him, and he is now in danger of missing games. The Bengals’ offense is much more productive when Eifert is on the field, but his outlook isn’t looking good right now.

Jimmy Graham TE, Seahawks: ankle sprain

Graham appeared to hurt his left knee in Week 2 but played through the injury. Turns out he actually injured his ankle at some point, and he is now questionable for Week 3. Graham hasn’t done much so far this season, and if he tries to play hurt we can expect even less from him. When Graham is healthy he is one of the best tight ends in the league, but he is clearly playing at less than 100 percent. A few weeks off to get healthy may be best for Graham if he wants to be productive later in the year. He is currently a High Injury Risk with a Below Average Health Performance Factor, making him a risky start for his Fantasy owners.

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