Another week, another batch of injuries. We are now more than halfway through the NFL regular season, and more than 2/3(!) of the way through the fantasy regular season. It’s crunch time as you all make that final playoff push, so stick around and get a leg up on the injury outlooks for the upcoming week!
Jacoby Brissett, QB, IND – Knee
Colts’ quarterback Jacoby Brissett got double stomped by a lineman on Sunday causing an MCL injury. There have been multiple MCL injuries over the last few weeks, some causing extended absences (Alvin Kamara, Josh Gordon), and others causing only one game to be missed (Evan Engram). Looking at Brissett specifically, considering he is more of a pocket quarterback and doesn’t move around a ton, thus limiting the stress on his knee, he should have a decent chance of playing. This positive spin is based on the assumption that Brissett’s MCL sprain is a low-grade injury, similar to Evan Engram, and does not have any ankle involvement. What may influence the Colts to be cautious though, is that they are playing the Dolphins this week, and likely would be just fine with Brian Hoyer under center.
Leveon Bell, RB, NYJ – Knee
After an inefficient (albeit FINE) fantasy performance on Sunday, we learned on Monday that Bell underwent an MRI on his knee for an unspecified injury. Bell was not removed from the game at any point on Sunday but must have had some combination of pain and swelling that caused him to go for the MRI. Bell has undergone one precautionary MRI this season (shoulder) without it being an issue, but this feels different. It’s impossible to speculate what the injury might be, but Ty Montgomery warrants HEAVY #1 waiver pick-up consideration if there is no news by Wednesday.
Prognosis: Need MRI results
Adam Thielen, WR, MIN – Hamstring
What was thought to be a very minor hamstring strain for Thielen, considering he thought he was nearly ready for week 8 Thursday night football, turned out to be a problem on Sunday as he gave his owners a big fat donut on the stat sheet, leaving for good in the 1st quarter of play. The fact Thielen had nearly two weeks off and had a flare-up almost immediately is concerning to me, as he obviously was not fully healed, and likely exacerbated the problem. Without appropriate rest and recovery, this will be a nagging injury for the rest of the season, so I suspect both Thielen and the Vikings will play it conservatively going forward. For that reason, at a minimum, I DOUBT he plays this weekend against the Cowboys.
Prognosis: 2-3 weeks
DeSean Jackson, WR, PHI – Abdominals
WELCOME BA…SIKE. Desean Jackson returned from an eight-week absence for 4 snaps before leaving the game. This analysis will be more of a rant than anything, because he won’t be coming back for fantasy or regular football until AT LEAST the NFL playoffs. So, you would probably assume that medical staff’s for PROFESSIONAL sports teams are at the BEST of the BEST at their jobs right? Yea, me too. Well I no longer believe that as I, a recently graduated, newly practicing clinician have discussed DJax’s injury at length no less than three times on my injury podcast and on Twitter, growing more and more concerned each time I spoke as there was NEVER a hint of really positive news or progress being made by Desean at any point over the last two months. If rehab isn’t working, with a professional athlete, you don’t keep putzing around and hope for the best, you explain to the player that they’re best option to get back on the field with their team is surgery. This surgery, sports hernia surgery, should have happened no later than week 4 if no significant progress was seen in rehab. Now, here we are in WEEK 10, and NOW he is having the surgery, ruining the season for fantasy owners, Eagles fans, Eagles players, and Desean himself. I DO NOT GIVE A FLYING DUCK if Desean was reluctant to get the surgery initially. The job as a medical professional is more than treating, it is to educate a patient to the point that they are comfortable and understand WHY a particular rehab approach or surgical intervention is best for them, and then they choose that superior approach. If the Eagles’ medical staff couldn’t do that, well then. they are not the BEST of the BEST, they are mediocre clinicians and SHOULD BE FIRED. Rant over, Desean is done for the season.
Prognosis: If you play fantasy football in the NFL playoffs, there’s a chance
Sterling Shepard, WR, NYG - Concussion
After seemingly making good progress over the past month in the protocol and actually being cleared looking like he would play in week 9, Sterling Shepard was mysteriously downgraded to out and was placed back into the protocol. This means Shepard is continuing to experience concussion symptoms and his brain is not fully healed. As I’ve said in the past, concussions are individual experiences and recovery is non-linear. Unfortunately for the young Giants’ wideout, a continued extended absence is likely.
Preston Williams, WR, MIA - Knee
One of the few, and I stress FEW, bright spots for the Miami Dolphins is done for the season after tearing his ACL against the Jets. Williams posted his best stat line of the season, going for two touchdowns helping the Dolphins secure their first win of the season. We hope to see him back for the start of the regular season next year. Devante Parker should receive a boost in targets continuing to keep him fantasy relevant as long as Ryan Fitzpatrick is still under center.
Prognosis: Out for season
George Kittle, TE, SF – Knee
After taking a shot to the knee on Thursday night football, Kittle ended up having an MRI on Friday which came back clean, which is great for Kittle, and his owners. Considering nothing serious, Kittle is likely dealing with a contusion or bone bruise, making the injury a pain tolerance issue going forward. I don’t expect Kittle to miss time.
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