Week Four Injury Insights from the team at insideinjuries.com
Jay Ajayi RB, Eagles: back fracture
Ajayi admitted on Thursday that he’s actually been dealing with a back fracture, not just soreness. He returned to practice on Thursday after missing Week 3 and the Eagles have said he will suit up on Sunday. It’s possible for Ajayi to return if he’s dealing with a transverse process fracture, but there is no way he’s fully healthy after just two weeks.
LeSean McCoy RB, Bills: fractured ribs
Last week McCoy wore a non-contact jersey in practice and ended up being inactive for week 3. Now McCoy is practicing in a limited capacity and is considered questionable for Week 4, although he says he will play. McCoy’s rib cartilage fracture is far from completely healed, but he’s in a much better position to play this week than last week. He’ll need to wear extra padding to protect the area, which could cause concerns with ball security. Pain management will be the biggest hurdle but this is possible to play through.
Leonard Fournette RB, Jaguars: hamstring strain
Fournette is following the same practice schedule from last week before he sat out Week 3. He hit the 2 week Optimal Recovery Time (for a mild strain), but if he’s dealing with a moderate, Grade 2 strain then he should really sit out 2 additional weeks. Hamstring strains are highly recurrent, especially for running backs, so being cautious is the right way to go. He has returned to a Peak Health Performance Factor, a sign he should play well on Sunday if he is active, but his Elevated Injury Risk still has us somewhat concerned for his overall health going forward. Fournette is a game-time decision.
A.J. Green WR, Bengals: pelvis bone bruise
The good news for fantasy owners is that it looks like Green was just dealing with a painful but minor pelvic bone bruise. After a limited practice session on Wednesday, he was upgraded to full on Thursday and is on track to play in Week 4. He claimed to have “felt great” after the full practice session, but he won’t be fully healed until Week 5 (2 week ORT). He will be playing at a High Injury Risk on Sunday, but he’s worth the risk.
Larry Fitzgerald WR, Cardinals: hamstring strain
Fitzgerald played through a hamstring strain in Week 3, but he wasn’t healthy and it showed. The veteran receiver hasn’t missed a game in 4 years, and it’s unlikely he sits out Week 5. He’s nearing his 2 week Optimal Recovery Time for a mild strain, but his Elevated Injury Risk is a sign of lingering concern. If Fitzgerald aggravates the strain, he could be looking at a lengthy absence.
Chris Carson RB, Seahawks: hip injury
Carson is practicing in a limited capacity this week after suffering a hip injury. The Seahawks don’t seem concerned about his Week 4 availability, but our algorithm is projecting at 2 week Optimal Recovery Time. Hip injuries can be tricky, so his High Injury Risk is even more concerning.
Doug Baldwin WR, Seahawks: MCL sprain
Baldwin has declared himself as “ready-to-go” for Week 4, but we aren’t so sure. Baldwin was diagnosed with a Grade 2 MCL sprain, which means there is a partial tear to the ligament. The Seahawks are saying he’s going to play, but High Injury Risk and Below Average Health Performance Factor suggest he’s far from ready. Even if he does play, there is no way he sees his normal usage and plays his best. He’s not worth the risk. Not to mention his other knee will come with concerns for the entire season. He never admitted it but it sounded like a meniscus tear, something that is likely to eventually require surgery.
Keenan Allen WR, Chargers: knee injury
Keenan Allen has had back-to-back DNPs this week, which means his Week 4 availability is definitely in question. His return to practice Friday is certainly a step in the right direction, but he is still a High Injury Risk. Allen suffered a torn ACL two years ago, so it’s possible this is related. A mild knee sprain would only require 2 weeks of recovery time, but anything more would need at least 4 weeks or more to fully heal. The Chargers need to be careful with this one given his injury history. He is officially listed as questionable.
Marlon Mack RB, Colts: hamstring strain
Mack has been limited in practice this week after sitting out Week 3 with a re-aggravated hamstring strain. Our algorithm shows that a Week 4 return is too early. He has already aggravated the injury once, which puts him at an even higher injury risk going forward. If Mack does play, it’s unlikely he will see enough usage to be worth a fantasy start.
Matt Breida RB, 49ers: knee injury
Though he returned to practice as a full participant, Breida’s knee injury remains an important one to monitor. He appeared to hyperextend his knee in Week 3. He was able to return to action, but that sort of mechanism can cause serious ligament damage.. It’s still possible Breida is dealing with a bone bruise, and his High Injury Risk makes him a concern going into Week 4. He is a game-time decision.
Alshon Jeffery WR, Eagles: shoulder surgery
Jeffery was just cleared for contact and could make his season debut in Week 4, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to play him yet. Recovering from a torn rotator cuff is a very long process, so it’s no surprise he’s questionable after his first week of full contact. It also takes much longer than a week for the body to adjust to contact, so he is at an Elevated Risk of injury (and that doesn’t just involve his shoulder.)