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Lingering Injury Concerns for Falcons Devonta Freeman, Bengals Joe Mixon

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Inside Injuries October 5, 2018 5:41PM EST

Your Friday Week Five Injury Update from insideinjuries.com

Devonta Freeman RB, Falcons: knee injury

Freeman returned to practice this week and he was removed from the final injury report, so  he’s set to return on Sunday against the Steelers. Freeman has reached his 4 week Optimal Recovery Time, but his High Injury Risk is still a concern. A Below Average Health Performance Factor also suggests that Freeman won’t perform at his normal level. The Falcons should ease Freeman back into things, considering he’s already aggravated his MCL sprain once. His usage shouldn’t be what it was pre-injury, at least in the first few weeks.

Joe Mixon RB, Bengals: meniscus surgery

Joe Mixon was removed from the Bengals final injury report, indicating that he’s a full-go for Week 5. Unfortunately, he’s nowhere near healthy. Meniscus surgery requires a minimum of 6 weeks to recovery, even if he only had it trimmed. Mixon has been out just under 4 weeks. Needless to say, Mixon is an extremely High Injury Risk. He could cause further damage by playing before the meniscus is fully healed. Returning too soon will have a major impact on changing direction, and it will be easily aggravated if he takes a hit that awkwardly twists his leg.

Alvin Kamara RB, Saints: knee injury

Kamara’s knee injury has been bothering him for the past few weeks, and while we don’t necessarily think he is in danger of missing Week 5, it is definitely something to keep an eye on. He was limited last week and showed no signs of wear on Sunday, so the limited practice sessions this week aren’t particularly concerning. Unfortunately, playing through a knee injury as a running back has its risks (think Devonta Freeman). Also, Mark Ingram returns this week, so Kamara will likely see a drop in usage.

Hayden Hurst TE, Ravens: foot surgery

Hurst is looking truly questionable to make his debut on Sunday. He got in some limited sessions last week before being ruled out, and he’s followed the same track this week. Hurst is still over a week away from his 7 week Optimal Recovery Time following foot surgery. He’s a High Injury Risk going into Week 5, and his Below Average Health Performance Factor suggests his debut could be less than stellar if it happens this week.

Will Fuller WR, Texans: hamstring strain

Fuller’s hamstring injury is never going to heal until he takes the time to rest it. He tried playing in Week 4 but aggravated the strain and made it worse. The Texans admitted that holding Fuller out of the second half of Week 4 was not precautionary. The minimum amount of recovery time that Fuller needs is 2 weeks, but 4 weeks would be the safest option because of his history. He’s not worth the risk if he plays Week 5.

Dalvin Cook RB, Vikings: hamstring strain

Dalvin Cook has been held out of practice this week after returning from a hamstring strain last Thursday. Though the Vikings haven’t said it, Cook more than likely aggravated the strain during the game. We always discuss how recurrent hamstring strains are, and this is a perfect example. What likely started out as a simple strain has now turned into a more serious issue. Like Fuller, Cook needs at least 2 additional weeks of recovery time, but it will likely be another 4 weeks until he’s 100%.

Alex Collins RB, Ravens: knee injury

Collins’ practice status has been all over the place this week. He got in a limited session on Wednesday then was downgraded to DNP on Thursday. The running back returned as a full participant on Friday, and the Ravens are claiming his absence on Thursday was simply precautionary. Knee injuries are always a concern, especially for running backs. Even a minor knee sprain needs 2 weeks to completely heal. Collins will be playing at an Elevated Injury Risk if he goes for it this weekend.

Doug Baldwin WR, Seahawks: knee injury

Doug Baldwin was added to the Seahawks injury report on Thursday, getting in a limited session. This isn’t a huge surprise considering he is coming back from an MCL sprain, but mid-week additions are never a good sign. Baldwin is still a High Injury Risk, and he’s unlikely to be 100% at any point this season. He could still need some sort of surgical procedure to address his preseason knee injury, but the Seahawks will try to hold that off until the end of the season.

Davante Adams WR, Packers: calf injury

It’s unclear exactly when Adams sustained the calf injury, but he is clearly dealing with something more than just wear and tear. After getting in a limited session on Wednesday, Adams was downgraded to a DNP on Thursday. Mid-week downgrades are never a good sign, even though the Packers are expecting Adams to get back out there on Saturday. Even a minor calf strain needs 3 weeks of rest and rehab to fully heal, so Adams won’t be near 100% if he plays on Sunday. He is a High Injury Risk, and his Below Average Health Performance Factor suggests he won’t be reliable if he’s out there. Calf strains affect everything from sprinting downfield to cutting to jumping and even blocking.

Sammy Watkins WR, Chiefs: hamstring injury

Watkins has been limited all week in practice after suffering a hamstring injury on Monday night. He had one less day to get healthy, and one week is never enough time to recover from a hamstring injury. These injuries are highly recurrent, and we’ve seen multiple players aggravate hamstring strains already this season. It’s not an easy injury for a wide receiver, and chances are that he’ll aggravate the strain if he tries to play through it in Week 5.

Others to Monitor:

Lamar Miller RB, Texans: chest injury

Geronimo Allison WR, Packers: concussion

Marquise Goodwin WR, 49ers: hamstring and quad injuries

Matt Breida RB, 49ers: knee injury

DeAndre Hopkins WR, Texans: ankle, hamstring, thumb

Cole Beasley WR, Cowboys: ankle injury

Devante Parker WR, Dolphins: quad injury

Larry Fitzgerald WR, Cardinals: back and hamstring injuries

Adrian Peterson RB, 49ers: ankle sprain

Corey Clement RB, Eagles: quad injury

More Breaking News and NFL Injury Analysis

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