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Injury Roundup: Aaron Rodgers Worth the Gamble, Leonard Fournette a High Risk

Injury Roundup: Aaron Rodgers Worth the Gamble, Leonard Fournette a High Risk
Inside Injuries September 11, 2018 7:43PM EST

The latest injury updates from insideinjuries.com

Greg Olsen TE, Panthers: foot

Olsen is expected to miss “a significant chunk of time” after his latest foot injury. Olsen suffered a Jones fracture early last season and returned after 2 months, but he was never the same. Inside Injuries warned that this is an injury that often needs a second surgery and that Olsen still wouldn’t be 100% despite being nearly a year removed from the original injury. Now Olsen is likely looking at another fracture. It’s very possible we don’t see him again this season. The minimum time missed should be 8 weeks for a Jones fracture, but because this is likely a re-fracture, he needs to miss even more time. This is a horrible situation for Olsen and the Panthers. He will be High Risk the rest of the year.

Aaron Rodgers QB, Packers: knee injury

A first half knee injury couldn’t slow Rodgers down as he led the Packers on an incredibly comeback from 20 points down to steal a victory from the Bears. Rodgers had his left leg landed on while getting sacked near his own end zone. The team won’t provide any information on his injury other than saying “We do have some information and no decision has been made. We’re still collecting all the information”. Not helpful. Inside Injuries believes it is a moderate MCL sprain or meniscus tear with a possible ankle sprain.

Rodgers has a history of problems with his left knee. He tore his ACL in high school and later underwent surgery when he was in college to repair the ligament. Then in 2015 he had a minor surgery on the same knee. This shouldn’t be related to the ACL tear, but he could have cartilage damage or degenerative issues related to the two past surgeries. Rodgers insists he will play in Week 2, but his mobility will continue to be compromised whether it’s a ligament or meniscus injury. It was clear that Rodgers wasn’t moving well, and he wasn’t able to transfer his weight to his lead leg on long throws. That didn’t slow him down on Sunday, and it might not in the future. Even at far from 100% he can take over a game with his ability to get rid of the ball quickly. Know that starting Rodgers this week comes with plenty of risk, but he’s worth it.

Leonard Fournette RB, Jaguars: hamstring strain

Fournette left in the first half with a hamstring strain and didn’t return. While the team says this is the good kind of hamstring strain, there really is no such thing. If mild, Fournette needs at least two full weeks to recover. A moderate strain can take closer to 5 weeks to fully heal. This is also an injury that is easily re-aggravated, and Fournette had injury concerns long before this hamstring strain. He started the season as an Elevated Injury Risk, mainly due to his past foot and ankle problems and the quad strain he suffered last season. Now he is High Risk (26%). If for some reason the Jags do decide to play him this weekend, he will be a risky fantasy option.

Devonta Freeman RB, Falcons: knee injury

Freeman’s 2017 season ended on a disappointing note as he tried to play through a fairly significant knee injury that involved damage to the PCL and MCL. He didn’t undergo surgery and instead spent most of the offseason rehabbing. Late in the Falcons loss Thursday night Freeman was forced out of the game with another knee injury. The team is downplaying the severity, and ordinarily it wouldn’t be a serious concern going forward. But because of his recent history of knee problems and quite a few other injuries, his Injury Risk is now even higher than it already was (it jumped from 21% to 32%, a significant increase). With a Poor HPF (Health Performance Factor) it’s best to leave him on the bench this week.

Marcus Mariota QB, Titans: elbow injury

An elbow injury forced Mariota to an early exit on Sunday. The Titans say he is still being evaluated, which isn’t exactly a great sign. Any time a QB has an injury to their throwing arm, it’s a serious cause for concern. Mariota’s HPF dropped to Below Average, so even if he does suit up for Week 2 it’s best not to play him this weekend. When Mariota went down he said he had trouble getting feeling in his hand, which indicates a nerve issue in his elbow. Sometimes this resolves itself quickly, but it can also become a lingering problem and serves as a sign of a more serious injury.

DeSean Jackson WR, Bucs: concussion

Jackson’s great game was spoiled by a concussion that ended his day early. Jackson posted 146 yards and a touchdown before getting knocked out of the game when he slammed face first into the turf after a long reception. It’s been years since he suffered a head injury, but he does have a concerning history of concussions from early in his NFL career. Jackson already had plenty of injury concerns, which is why he started the year at an Elevated Injury Risk. Now he is High Risk (36%) and should be looking at a multi-week absence. A majority of players clear concussion protocol within 2 weeks, but every concussion is different. And because Jackson has a history of concussions, this one could be more problematic than most. Look elsewhere for WRs to plug into your fantasy lineups this weekend.

Delanie Walker TE, Titans: ankle fracture-dislocation + ligament damage

The Titans lost tight end Delanie Walker for the season. Walker’s ankle got pinned under a defender, resulting in a gruesome dislocation of the joint. It caused a fracture with ligament damage that will require season-ending surgery. Walker’s injury is similar to Odell Beckham Jr.’s from last year. With almost a year to recover, his ankle should be close to 100% by the start of next season. Unfortunately, Walker started the season with injury concerns and could continue to be an Elevated or High Injury Risk for the remainder of his NFL career.

Doug Baldwin WR, Seahawks: MCL sprain

Baldwin entered Week 1 with concerns about his left knee, but it was his right knee that could force a lengthy absence. Baldwin suffered a grade 2 MCL sprain on Sunday, which comes with a 4-6 week Optimal Recovery Time. A grade 2 sprain actually indicates a partial tear to the ligament. The good news is the MCL doesn’t typically require surgery unless it is a full-thickness tear. It does, however, lead to a lengthy absence. Baldwin was already at a very High Injury Risk because his left knee (likely a meniscus tear) is going to be a lingering problem. Baldwin’s owners need to plan to keep him on the bench through most of October, even if he does return to the field before the Seahawks’ Week 7 bye.

Marquise Goodwin WR, 49ers: quad contusion

Consider Goodwin day-to-day after suffering a quad contusion in the 49ers week 1 loss. He tried to play through the injury but it was clearly affecting his mobility. The toughest thing is to keep the muscle loose, and riding the bike wasn’t enough to improve things. This injury comes with an Optimal Recovery Time of just one week, so he should be ok to face the Lions on Sunday. Goodwin could miss some practice time to receive treatment, but this isn’t a long-term concern.One thing to keep in mind- before the season we warned not to draft Goodwin. He has a very concerning history of concussions (at least five documented), so on any given play he is at a high risk of being forced out with a head injury.

Jeremy Hill RB, Patriots: torn ACL

Jeremy Hill may not have been a huge part of the Patriots plan for the season, but his season-ending ACL tear leaves them incredibly thin at running back. Sony Michel was unavailable as he continues to recover from a knee procedure earlier in the summer, and Rex Burkhead comes with lingering injury concerns over his knee. Now Hill is done for the year and will undergo surgery. He was injured after Rob Gronkowski fumbled. Hill tried to make a tackle and ended up getting hit by his own teammate. If Hill suffered an isolated ACL tear, he should be close to 100% by the start of next season. If he damaged the meniscus or any other ligaments, which seems somewhat likely based on how the injury occurred, it could take him longer to fully recover.

Head over to Inside Injuries later in the week for updates on all of these players along with LeGarrette Blount, Matthew Stafford and others as we learn more about their injuries.

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