Matt's Medical Tent Talk (Week 6)

October 16, 2019

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Injuries are INEVITABLE. In the NFL, they can happen to anyone, any age, any time without a pattern. Sure, some players have a history that makes them more susceptible to injury (Todd Gurley) while others just tend to have issues that crop up yearly (‘Sup Sammy Watkins), but for the most part, injuries are random. So how does this help your fantasy team going forward? Well, in addition to injuries piling up this time of year, many casual fantasy owners lose interest. You, the reader, the dedicated fantasy extraordinaire that you are, now have the ability to capitalize on this waning interest. By continuing to follow the news cycle and staying in tune with injury updates throughout the week, you will be rewarded with players like Malcolm Brown, Chase Edmonds, and Latavius Murray at a time when bye weeks necessitate waiver wire fill-ins. Of course, as I say this, week 6 was probably the lightest injury week of the season! So, here’s to future injury luck, and here’s to YOU for staying dedicated to your fantasy teams and sticking it to your league-mates!



Alvin Kamara, RB, NO - Knee

Having already been on the injury report with an ankle injury, many may have assumed that Kamara’s limited workload on Sunday was due to that. In fact, very early in the game (somewhere around the 13-minute mark in the 1st quarter) on a run up the middle, Kamara’s left knee buckled inward as he was being tackled. As he was getting up, he was hesitant to put any weight on the knee before gingerly jogging off. Based on the mechanism and the fact Kamara was able to continue playing points toward a grade 1 MCL sprain. This injury does not jeopardize the stability of the knee as the MCL is still intact, but it does cause quite a bit of pain. Evan Engram suffered a similar injury just last week and was nearly able to play just four days after suffering the injury. Grade 1 sprains typically heal quickly with pain tolerance being the major factor. Practice reports throughout the week will give us a good idea of Kamara’s availability, but I’d expect him to be limited during the week. We will see if Kamara can play through the pain this weekend in a tough matchup against the Bears, or if the Saints, already 5-1, elect to rest their star and let him fully heal. 


Prognosis: Day to day, likely limited workload again if active for Week 7



James Conner, RB, PIT - Quad

He’s baaaack! James Conner was once again nicked up over the weekend as he suffered a quad injury in the 3rd quarter of the Steelers upset win over the Chargers on Sunday night football. Conner had 26 touches during the game and absorbed a lot of contact as the Chargers (unsuccessfully) keyed in on him. There is no word currently as to the specifics of the injury, but considering a bye in week 7, Conner should have enough time to heal from what seems to be a minor injury. I will say it again, just as I said last time Conner was in this article, as Conner continues to show a propensity for getting nicked and dinged during the season, and his career in general, Jaylen Samuels is a MUST OWN. Samuels, who, by the time the Steelers return from their bye, will be 3 weeks post-knee scope, should be close, if not ready, to play. Conner seems destined to miss additional time this season if Mike Tomlin continues to use Conner in a bell-cow role, as his body just does not seem to be able to hold. In order to combat this, a backfield split is very likely as was seen in week 4 when Samuels had 18 touches.


Prognosis: Week 7 bye, expect him to be good to go for week 8, the potential return of Jaylen Samuels



Chris Thompson, RB, WAS – Foot

We found out Tuesday that Chris Thompson is dealing with turf toe…yes the same turf toe as Davante Adams. It is being reported that Thompson’s case is mild, but, remember, Davante Adams’ case was also considered to be mild and he doesn’t look like he’ll be ready to suit up again in week 7 which will be his third consecutive absence. Running backs, just like receivers, put significant force down through the big toe in order to plant, run, jump, and cut, therefore, I doubt Thompson is ready for Sunday, even IF this is a very mild case of turf toe. 


Prognosis: Week to week



Amari Cooper, WR, DAL – Quad

Dallas’ top pass catcher’s week 7 status is in “serious doubt” according to ESPN’s Todd Archer. Cooper left week 6 with what was initially reported as a quad and ankle injury, but the former seems to be of greatest concern. Cooper was diagnosed with a thigh bruise which is essentially a muscle bruise to the quadriceps. Cooper is reported to be in significant pain as of Monday, which makes sense as any movement where the knee has to move (bend or extend) requires some type of activation from the quadriceps, which, when bruised, becomes swollen and painful around the area of injury as the body provides a protective response as it heals. This injury is the same injury that was suffered by Todd Gurley last week and kept him OUT of week 6. While the injury is not serious, it can take a week or two to settle down and allow for a return to running. With Cooper potentially out for week 7, FIRE UP Michael Gallup and watch him torch my beloved Eagles’ TRASH pass defense. Additionally, though unlikely, if exposed to another hit to the same spot, Cooper’s injury can turn into a season-long injury, and TRUST ME no one wants that. If you are wondering why I know this, well, besides being a doctor, I also had this exact injury happen to me. NOT FUN. 


Prognosis: Week to week, GTD for week 7 at best



Emmanuel Sanders, WR, DEN – Knee

After suffering what was only classified as a “knee injury” on Sunday, Emmanuel Sanders was able to run through Tuesday’s practice as a full participant which means he will be a full GO for a juicy matchup on Thursday against the Chiefs


Prognosis: Good to go



Josh Gordon, WR, NE – Knee

Josh Gordon suffered what initially looked like a severe knee/ankle injury on Thursday against the Giants. Thankfully, we can assume there is no severe injury or ligamentous instability in the knee, as there has been plenty of time to undergo all sorts of imaging and tests since last Thursday. Therefore, with a major injury ruled out, based on video replay, Gordon looks to be another case of a low-grade MCL injury. It is possible Gordon may have suffered a grade 2 sprain due to a fairly significant amount of force on the MCL during the tackle, which would indicate some instability in addition to pain. As we likely will not receive the exact grading, practice reports will be the best indicator for a potential return for Gordon. His prospects for a week 7 return have begun bleak, as he missed practice on Tuesday. 


Prognosis: Week to week



Will Dissly, TE, CAR

After successfully returning from a patellar tendon rupture last year, Will Dissly will now be out for the remainder of the 2019 season with an Achilles rupture. The budding Seahawk tight end has certainly gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to injuries as both of these injuries are two of the most difficult to return from. Many will point to Emmanuel Sanders as an Achilles success story, but for every Manny Sanders, there are typically 2 D’Onta Foreman’s out there. Hopefully, Dissly will continue to have rehab success as he recovers from his Achilles tear. Assuming no complications, look for Dissly to be ready for the 2020 training camp. 


Prognosis: Out for season


The Concussed

NFL’s Concussion Protocol – Criteria for Return-to-Play
1.) Rest and Recovery – Player is prescribed rest until his signs and symptoms return to baseline.
2.) Light Aerobic Exercise – As soon as able, the player will begin LIGHT exercise, for example riding a stationary bike at a low resistance.
3.) Continued Aerobic Exercise & Introduction of Strength Training – Progress aerobic activities as tolerated, and introduce strength training.
4.) Football Specific Activities – Player continues to progress aerobic and strengthening exercises as tolerated and introduces NON-contact football activities
5.) Full Football Activity / Clearance – Player is cleared by the team physician and examined by an independent neurological consultant (INC). If INC agrees with the team physician, the player may return to full-contact practice and games.



Geronimo Allison, WR, GB

Geronimo Allison is the lone fantasy-relevant player that’s part of “The Concussed” this week, which is great! Well, great for everyone except for Allison as he’ll be hard-pressed to get through the concussion protocol on a shortened week. Assuming Allison misses week 7, it’s possible he returns when Davante Adams returns, which would relegate Geronimo back to 3rd on the Packers’ wide receiver depth chart.


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