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Injury Update: The Tyreek Hill Outlook

Injury Update: The Tyreek Hill Outlook
Inside Injuries December 12, 2018 10:33AM EST

The latest in-depth injury breakdown from the team at insideinjuries.com

What exactly is Tyreek Hill’s heel injury?

Can he continue to play through it? 

Why was he able to play so well even though he was clearly hobbling around? 

Is he ever going to be healthy this season?

There’s a lot of confusing information to process in regards to Tyreek Hill’s heel injury. Inside Injuries is

here to fill you in on everything we know so far with our analysis on all of these questions.

Hill suffered a heel injury in Week 14 but plans to try to play through the injury. He was visibly bothered by it at times on Sunday but continued to return to the game. While the Chiefs haven’t revealed an exact injury diagnosis, we do know that the MRI revealed “nothing significant.” While that’s positive news for his available the rest of the season and into the playoffs, it does seem to indicate that the scan showed something.

After watching all of Hill’s plays from Sunday’s game, processing all of the information that has been released so far and reviewing quotes from Hill and head coach Andy Reid, it seems like he is likely dealing with either plantar fasciitis or a painful contusion. Both are either grade 1 or 2 injuries according to our algorithm. There’s no need for surgery, but the Optimal Recovery Time is anywhere from two to five weeks. By playing through it, he will extend that recovery timeline. It will take longer to heal if he keeps putting stress on the heel by taking the field every week.

There’s good news and bad news associated with a heel injury. The good news is that many movements such as accelerating, sprinting and cutting don’t really involve the heel. That’s why Hill was able to break open some long runs without appearing to limp. The problem is that the heel can be easily aggravated any time a player lands (after jumping for a pass in the air) or decelerates (which happens at the end of every play). Learning that Hill’s injury was to his heel and not to his toe or arch is relatively good news, but that doesn’t mean it won’t affect him on the field.

Right now, we have Hill in the Elevated Injury Risk category at 20 percent. His HPF is currently 50 percent, which means his production could be impacted by his injury.

With a short week, don’t expect to see Hill taking many practice reps in the next few days. In a crucial matchup with the Chargers, we suspect he will try to play, but if he aggravates the injury at any point he may not be able to return.

Playing him in fantasy lineups is going to be a risk, but he has such high upside as the best receiver in one of the league’s best offenses. He’s one of those guys who can still put up great numbers despite being far from 100 percent. He can also be effective on long runs down field because those won’t put much stress on the heel. It’s passes thrown his way that involve suddenly stopping or making a grab near the sideline that will be difficult. The Chiefs will need to keep these things in mind when calling plays on Thursday night. If they’re smart about the routes they have him run, he should still be able to be effective. 

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