More Inside Injuries: Fantasy Playoff Health Outlooks
Tyrod Taylor QB, Bills: patellar tendon contusion
Tyrod Taylor avoided ligament damage when he got rolled up in Week 13, but he is still dealing with a patellar tendon contusion. It’s no shock that Taylor didn’t practice on Wednesday, and he should be considered on the doubtful side of questionable for Week 14. The quarterback returned to practices on Thursday but was reportedly moving with a “slight but still noticeable limp.” He will be a game-time decision.The Inside Injuries algorithm is calculating a 2-4 week Optimal Recovery Time, so Week 15 is the earliest Taylor could be healthy.
Matthew Stafford QB, Lions: hand injury
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford suffered a bruised hand when he was stepped on in last week’s loss to Baltimore. X-rays on his hand came back negative, but Lions coach Jim Caldwell said that Stafford is “not out of the woods, yet.” Stafford was limited at practices, but given that every games is now a must-win for the Lions, we would be surprised if he didn’t play through the pain on Sunday. Stafford has proven to be extremely durable in recent years and hasn’t missed a game since 2010. Unfortunately, any throwing hand injury to a quarterback is an issue. Stafford’s accuracy and ball security are the biggest concerns.
Matthew Stafford is officially listed as questionable. He’s as tough as they come and often plays through injuries, and this one should be no different. Stafford’s hand injury could still affect his throws and ball security. https://t.co/Kb6ombTxNU pic.twitter.com/esCoLOwL5I
— Inside Injuries (@InsideInjuries) December 8, 2017
Dak Prescott QB, Cowboys: hand injury
Neither Dak Prescott nor the Dallas Cowboys seemed concerned about his availability for Week 14 after taking a helmet to the hand lastThursday. He played through a swollen hand for the second half of Week 13 with ease and has an extra three days to recover. Like Matthew Stafford, the biggest concerns for Prescott playing on Sunday are going to be his accuracy and ball security.
Chris Hogan WR, Patriots: shoulder injury
The Patriots don’t play until Monday, but Chris Hogan finally returned to practices. He has been out the past five weeks with a shoulder injury, though it’s still not clear exactly what he is dealing with. With Rob Gronkowski suspended for Week 14, Hogan could play a big role if he is on the field. Unfortunately, we don’t think one week of practice is enough to get Hogan back in game shape after five weeks on the sidelines. He remains two weeks away from his Optimal Recovery Time and is a High Injury Risk.
Sterling Shepard WR, Giants: hamstring injury
Sterling Shepard has dealt with various injuries so far this season including two ankle sprains, migraines, and now a hamstring injury. He rode the stationary bike during practice Wednesday and was listed as a DNP on the injury report but was able to return to practice on Thursday. Shepard’s injury history makes him a High Injury Risk going into Week 14, and given how tricky hamstring injuries can be, he’s not going to be healthy by Sunday.
Kelvin Benjamin WR, Bills: torn meniscus
Kelvin Benjamin returned to practice on Wednesday after suffering a torn meniscus in Week 11. Sean McDermott said Benjamin has a “really good chance to play” this weekend. The Optimal Recovery Time for Benjamin is 4-8 weeks according to the Inside Injuries algorithm, which means the earliest that he could be healthy is next week. If Benjamin plays on Sunday, he is going to be a High Injury Risk. Stability in his knee is the biggest concern.
Amari Cooper WR, Raiders: concussion, ankle sprain
Amari Cooper has cleared the concussion protocol, but his sprained ankle is still a concern. He suffered both injuries in Week 12 and sat out last Sunday’s game as he remained in the protocol.. The Inside Injuries algorithm is calculating a four week Optimal Recovery Time for Cooper’s ankle sprain, which means he won’t be healthy until Week 16.
Rishard Matthews WR, Titans: hamstring strain
Rishard Matthews returned to a limited practice last Friday but was then ruled inactive for the second week in a row with a hamstring strain. He was on the practice field again on Wednesday and Thursday of this week and was off the injury report by Friday. Matthews’ Optimal Recovery Time is 3-5 weeks, so he will still be an Elevated Injury Risk if he plays this weekend.
Jeremy Maclin WR, BAL: back injury
Jeremy Maclin was downgraded from a limited practice on Wednesday to a DNP on Thursday with a back injury and was back at practice on Friday. Mid-week downgrades are never a good sign, and back injuries can be tricky. Maclin has rarely practiced in full this year, which is gives us slightly more hope for his Week 14 availability. Maclin has dealt with various injuries this season including a shoulder injury, hand injury, and concussion.
Robby Anderson WR, Jets: hamstring strain
Robby Anderson suffered a hamstring strain at practice on Thursday and was listed as limited at practice. Mid-week injuries are never a good sign for a player’s game-time availability, and hamstring injuries are especially tricky. Anderson was able to return to a full practice Friday, so he is back on track to play Sunday. Anderson has had an impressive year so far, and losing him would be a blow to the Jets’ offense. He dealt with an ankle injury earlier in the season but never missed time.
Ameer Abdullah RB, Lions: neck injury
Ameer Abdullah popped up on last week’s injury report with a neck injury. He got in a limited practice session on Friday but was ruled out for Sunday’s game. His availability for Week 14 should still be considered questionable. Neck injuries are always concerning and generally take more than a week to fully heal. Abdullah is a High Injury Risk, and given Matthew Stafford’s (hand) questionable status, he should be considered a risky fantasy option for Sunday.
Kerwynn Williams RB, Cardinals: fractured ribs
Kerwynn Williams played through cracked ribs last week with Adrian Peterson out with a neck injury and will likely do the same thing again this week. He still isn’t completely healed, and the main issue is pain management.
Jonathan Stewart RB, Panthers: foot injury
Jonathan Stewart sat out of practice on Wednesday, but it appears to have just been a maintenance day since he returned to full participation on Thursday. He is dealing with a foot injury according to the injury report, but he is not in much danger of missing Sunday’s game against the Vikings. Stewart will continue to be an inconsistent fantasy option.
Matt Forte RB, Jets: knee injury
Matt Forte’s knee is always a concern, and because of it, he is a perpetually High Injury Risk. He has missed three games so far this season to the injury and sat out of practice on Wednesday. He was able to return to a limited practice a day later, which suggests he’ll be on the field come Sunday. He’s a risky fantasy option considering his status.
Zach Ertz TE, Eagles: concussion
Zach Ertz did not practice Wednesday after suffering a concussion in Sunday’s Week 13 loss. The final hurdle is an evaluation by an independent neurologist. The Eagles announced that Ertz had cleared the protocol on Thursday but backtracked a few hours later. Either way, it looks like he’s on track to clear before Sunday.
Greg Olsen TE, Panthers: foot fracture aggravation
Greg Olsen is practicing in full leading up to Week 14. The tight-end aggravated his surgically repaired foot in Week 12 and sat out last week to get in some additional healing time. It’s looking like the Panthers expect Olsen to be ready for Sunday’s tough matchup with the Vikings despite his official questionable tag. According to the Inside Injuries algorithm, Olsen is almost completely healed, but he remains one week away from his Optimal Recovery Time. He is still an Elevated Injury Risk and his Health Performance Factor is Below Average. He will also be on a snap count, capping his fantasy value for this week. He is a risky play for now, but with a thin tight end position he is probably worth the risk.
Charles Clay TE, Bills: knee injury
Clay had been getting in limited practice through the week despite his knee injury, so it was a surprise on Wednesday when he was a DNP. He missed out on some Wednesday practices when he first sustained the knee injury earlier in the year, so the Bills may just be trying to limit his reps even more given how beat up their pass-catchers are right now. Given that he returned to practice on Thursday, we don’t think he’s in danger of missing Week 14.
Jimmy Graham TE, Seahawks: ankle injury
Jimmy Graham rarely practices on Wednesday and is always on the field on Sunday. This week is no different. He returned to practice Thursday and is a go for Week 14.
Delanie Walker TE, Titans: ankle injury
Walker is continuously banged up, and this week it’s an ankle injury that had him sidelined in practices on Wednesday and Thursday, but he was back by Friday. The other thing about Walker is that he almost always plays through his injuries, which means his Week 14 availability isn’t a concern just yet. Walker suffered a bone bruise in his ankle in Week 7, so this could be an aggravation. Walker is a perpetually High Injury Risk, and therefore always a risky fantasy option.