Well, if you thought Week 1 had a lot of injuries to keep track of, you had no idea what was coming.
Last Sunday saw three star QB’s suffer or complicate major injuries, while a slew of different backs and receivers saw themselves out of contests late into games with an abundance of injuries.
Let’s talk about some of the players who landed on the injury report this week.
Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans (Thumb)
Brees underwent thumb surgery on Wednesday after exiting the Saints’ Week 2 loss against the Rams with a torn thumb ligament. He’s expected to miss roughly six weeks, which would make Week 10, after the New Orleans bye, the target return date. Teddy Bridgewater and Taysom Hill will be slplitting the starting QB duties, for now, and both are a clear downgrade for Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara, although they are still starting options. This Sunday will be a good indicator of how well they will still perform in fantasy.
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh (Elbow)
On Monday, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin announced that Roethlisberger will undergo season-ending elbow surgery later in the week. Big Ben had been hoping to avoid surgery at all costs, but he’ll be placed on the IR. The Steelers offense now rests on the shoulders of Mason Rudolph, who did end up throwing for 112 yards and 2 TD’s when taking over against the Seahawks. While JuJu will still be starting most weeks, his fantasy stock takes a bit of a hit, as does James Conner’s.
Cam Newton, QB, Carolina
On Tuesday morning, the Panthers announced that Newton wasn’t available for practice, without disclosing an actual reason for the absence. Later that day, Panthers coach Ron Rivera admitted that Newton was uncertain for Week 3 against the Cardinals due to a foot injury. Then, on Wednesday, he didn’t practice, with Ian Rapoport reporting later that Newton was in a walking boot, and is trending towards not playing in Week 3. Kyle Allen is shaping up to be the Panthers’ starting QB against the Cardinals, and while the matchup isn’t the toughest, it’s a clear downgrade for every Panther as a result (although you’re never going to bench CMC). We don’t know the extent of Newton’s injury, but it’s good for his health that he takes the week off.
Sam Darnold, QB, New York (Mono)
Well, in typical Jets fashion, Darnold seemed to have contracted mono before the Jets’ Week 2 matchup against Cleveland, as Trevor Siemian drew the start, before suffering an injury that will cost him the rest of the season. I can’t believe I just typed that sentence. Anyway, Darnold spoke to the media on Wednesday, saying that he has “full confidence” he’ll be ready for New York’s Week 5 matchup against the eagles. Until he returns, it’s hard to see Jamison Crowder and Robby Anderson offering much fantasy production/upside.
Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee (Quad)
While he wasn’t able to practice on Monday, he was able to practice in full on Tuesday and Wednesday before tonight’s TNF tilt against the Jaguars. He’ll be on the road in this matchup on a short week, and is barely a startable QB in even the deepest formats.
James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh (Knee)
Conner missed most of the fourth quarter last week against the Seahawks with a knee injury, but he did remain on the sideline, which suggests that it’s not too serious. While he won’t practice this week, Conner spoke to the media on Wednesday and claimed that he was “good to go” for Sunday. We’ll have to keep an eye on his status leading up to kickoff on Sunday.
Damien Williams, RB, Kansas City (Knee)
Williams went down in the fourth quarter last week against the Raiders, and hasn’t practiced so far this week. Unlike Conner, we don’t fully know what his, or LeSean McCoy’s status will be heading into Sunday. It’s something to monitor for the rest of the week leading up to Sunday. If neither plays against the Ravens, Darwin Thompson and Darrel Williams are the next men up in the backfield. I wouldn’t expect a lot in this tough matchup.
Devin Singletary, RB, Buffalo (Hamstring)
Midway through the fourth quarter last Sunday, Singletary departed with a hamstring injury and was ruled out late. He hasn’t practiced this week so far, and coach Sean McDermott told the media that the back is considered “day-to-day”. While Singletary’s strain isn’t considered to be serious, his Week 3 status is still uncertain. If he won’t go, the aging wonder in Frank Gore should get the start in a very nice matchup against the Bengals at home.
Josh Jacobs, RB, Oakland (Hip)
While there is a little confusion about Jacobs’ injury (Gruden said he was dealing with a groin injury, the official injury report said he is dealing with a hip injury), Jacobs was limited at practice on Wednesday and is questionable for Week 3. He should be able to go, but it’s something to keep an eye on.
DeSean Jackson, WR, Philadelphia (Groin)
After getting hurt early in Week 2 against the Falcons, NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero reported that DJax is expected to miss Sunday’s game against the Lions and will likely remain sidelined for the Eagles’ Week 4 TNF content. It’s a blow to both Jackson and the rest of the Eagles offense that he will essentially be missing three games. It doesn’t help that Alshon Jeffery is also banged up and considered day-to-day.
Michael Gallup, WR, Dallas (Meniscus)
On Monday, Ian Rapoport reported that Gallup will miss 2-4 weeks and will undergo arthroscopic surgery in order to trim his meniscus. The good news is that there is reportedly no structural damage besides the meniscus tear, s the return is expected to be quick. Gallup was a featured piece in Kellen Moore’s offense, and once he returns, he should pick up right where he left off.
Tyrell Williams, WR, Oakland (Hip)
On Monday, coach Jon Gruden told reporters that Tyrell Williams is dealing with a hip pointer. It’s nothing serious, and Williams should be considered questionable for the Raiders’ Week 3 matchup against the Vikings. Regardless of his health, he’ll see shadow coverage from Xavier Rhodes in a very tough spot.
David Njoku, TE, Cleveland (Wrist)
On Tuesday, multiple sources confirmed David Njoku suffered a broken wrist, and is looking at missing at least one month. He’s still seeking opinions on whether or not he needs surgery, but it’s looking like he might not make a return until Week 8 against the Patriots. Because of this departure, it’s possible that we see an uptick in targets and production from Jarvis Landry.
Higbee was taken to the hospital after suffering a lung injury in Sunday’s Week 2 win against New Orleans. Speaking on Monday, Sean McVay said Tyler Higbee is day-to-day with a lung contusion, which is actually a minor injury by NFL standards. Higbee may not end up missing any actual game action.
I’ll be back on Saturday for Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em!
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