Just a few weeks left until the fantasy playoffs begin, and thankfully this weekend was relatively light on the injury front…unless you had one particular Indianapolis running back. Read on to see all the injury breakdowns and prognoses moving forward!
Jameis Winston, QB, TB – Ankle
Another monstrous turnover game for Winston brings his season interception total to 18 (!!!). In addition to the picks, Winston also suffered an ankle sprain. According to head coach Bruce Arians, Winston suffered a medial ankle sprain, which is atypical in the world of ankle sprains (typically see lateral sprains or high ankle sprains). Current reports suggest Winston and the team are downplaying the injury, but if it is a true medial ankle sprain, I would be a bit more cautious than the team seems to be. Granted, Winston does not use his legs like a regular part of his game, and quarterbacks, in general, are more easily able to return from ankle sprains compared to skill positions, BUT true medial ankle sprains rarely occur in isolation and many times are associated with fractures. Watch reports closely going forward.
Prognosis: Week to week, need a clarifying injury report
Kansas City skill players – Damien Williams (Ribs), Tyreek Hill (Hamstring), LeSean McCoy (Concussion)
Damien Williams left Monday night’s game against the Chargers with a rib injury, while McCoy left with a concussion, further muddling the backfield situation in Kansas City. Additionally, Tyreek left with a hamstring injury early in the game. As the Chiefs enter their bye week, we will not have any new official injury updates from the team until next Monday, therefore we’re in a holding pattern with these players as we wait on injury severity. At the moment, Hill is of greatest concern considering hamstring recurrence rates.
Prognoses: Official injury report after the bye week
Marlon Mack, RB, IND – Hand
Marlon Mack was having a great day on Sunday in a divisional matchup against the Jags. Unfortunately, he was unable to finish the game due to a hand injury. Mack was ruled out almost immediately likely signifying a fracture, which would be confirmed later on. The injury was a metacarpal fracture, which is a long, thin bone in the hand just before the knuckle. Mack had surgery to stabilize the fracture, and although a fracture is never a good thing for an athlete, there is a very good chance the Colts’ young running back returns sooner rather than later. Once Mack is able to firmly grip the football, without pain, he will be able to return to lineups, with a chance of getting back on the field just in time for fantasy playoffs.
Prognosis: 1-3 weeks
James Conner, RB, PIT – Shoulder
Once again James Conner is banged up. Conner is also the first in a trio of Steelers coming up from that slugfest of a game on Thursday night. Conner was only able to last 13 snaps before aggravating his prior AC joint separation. Conner’s status is currently “up in the air” according to coach Tomlin, but considering the impossibility of avoiding contact to his shoulder, I think Conner has less than a 50/50 shot to play on Sunday as he will almost assuredly re-aggravate the injury again and likely worsen his condition. At best Conner will be on a pitch count against Cincinnati
Prognosis: Doubtful for week 12
Juju Smith-Schuster & Diontae Johnson, WRs, PIT – Concussions
Juju and Diontae Johnson were the other two significant injuries we saw on Thursday night. Both players are in the concussion protocol currently, so we will see how they progress through the week. Remember as both players go through the protocol, that concussion recovery is not a linear process. Additionally, Juju suffered a knee injury (diagnosis unknown currently) for which he was seen wearing a bulky knee brace. For what it’s worth, according to Tomlin, the team is more worried about the concussion than his knee. Will monitor injury updates from the Steelers regarding both players’ progress during the week as the Steelers receiving core is quite barren without their top two wideouts.
Prognoses: Day-to-day in concussion protocol
Auden Tate, WR, CIN – Neck
After an initial scare about a potential spinal cord injury when Tate’s neck went into hyperflexion, thankfully, it seems he was able to escape serious injury. Tate is now in the concussion protocol with an additional cervical strain as a result of the neck musculature being overstretched. Will monitor Tate’s progression through the protocol as well as the progression of the neck strain as the strain isn’t a significant injury but may limit his neck range of motion, and therefore limit his ability to turn his head as he tries to find and track the football.
Prognosis: Day-to-day in concussion protocol
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