Welcome to the introductory edition of the Injury Report.  The Injury Report will be your chance to get caught up on the latest player injury news every Thursday throughout the NFL season.  (I would say “National Football League season” but I’m not a former National (w/emphasis and pause) Football (w/emphasis and pause) League (w/emphasis and pause) player.  The most basic components of the Injury Report will be a run down of all the newly injured players, a suggestion for their recovery time, quick updates on previously injured players and the NFL practice reports in near entirety for skill position players.  (I’ll be relying on all released reports via most media outlets for this portion of the post.) Some situations will require a more detailed analysis on what the injury means for the player and for the team.  That will give me a chance to go over who benefits from the injury and who, other than the injured player, loses out.  I’ll also be giving my thoughts on whether the injured player should be dropped or held onto through the injury. Another goal of the injury report will be to dig a little deeper, as in, deeper down the depth chart.  That means I’ll also be noting when that fourth wide receiver on the depth chart sustains an injury, for example.

I’d first like to get into a more lengthy, general, discussion on whether to hold or let go of an injured player.  I view the most important factors here as:

  • Performance level of the player (also can be viewed as “how much better is he than replacement”)
  • Length of the injury
  • Player’s expected role/performance when he returns from the injury

The longer the injury will keep a player out, the better the player has to be in order to keep him.  Obvious right.  And I think occasionally we will need to consider whether the player will be the same player when he gets back from the injury or if he’ll still have his starting job.

Some general guidelines for when to hold onto an injured player are:  If it’s the worst player on your team you should probably be dropping him even for the shortest of injuries.  If it’s a player that is a not an every week starter but starts sometimes depending on the matchup then it will depend on the length of the injury.  I’d consider dropping a player at that level if the injury was expected to be longer than 2 weeks but it will depend on who is available to acquire.  A lot of it comes down to:  If you choose to drop a useful player that will only be out a short amount of time, you better be relatively sure you are either going to use the player you acquire or the player you acquire better be a good breakout candidate.  Players with a higher expected performance level, like those that are your every week starters, should be held onto through injuries of almost any length other than season ending.

I’m hopeful that most or all of us are aware of the injuries that took place during the preseason because I decided I’m not re-hashing old news.  Instead I’ve got the practice reports of all the skill players for every team.  These are the same reports that each team is required to give the league after every day of practice.  Teams that play Thursday have a full injury report with the “Out/Doubtful/Questionable/Probably” designations due by Wednesday.  Teams that play Sunday (or Saturday) only have a practice report due Wednesday and teams that play Monday have nothing at all due by Wednesday.  The reason “by Wednesday” is important is because that’s when I’ll be collecting the data and writing this report.


Week 1 Practice Reports

(Legend:  Player – Practice Status (F = Full Practice, L = Limited, N = No Practice Participation)

Arizona Cardinals
Michael Floyd – L
Jermaine Gresham – L

Atlanta Falcons
No Practice Info Reported

Baltimore Ravens
Breshad Perriman – N
Lorenzo Taliaferro – N

Buffalo Bills
Charles Clay – F
Marquise Goodwin – N
Percy Harvin – N
Chris Hogan – F
LeSean McCoy – F
Sammy Watkins – F
Robert Woods – F

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears
Alshon Jeffery – L
Eddie Royal – L
Marquess Wilson – L

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns
Dwayne Bowe – L
Duke Johnson Jr. – L
Johnny Manziel – L

Dallas Cowboys
Dez Bryant – F
James Hanna – L
Brandon Weeden – F

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions
Eric Ebron – L

Green Bay Packers
Randall Cobb – L

Houston Texans
Arian Foster – N

Indianapolis Colts
Vick Ballard – N

Jacksonville Jaguars
Toby Gerhart – L
Marqise Lee – N
Julius Thomas – N
Bryan Walters – N

Kansas City Chiefs
Jason Avant – F
Chris Conley – F
Demetrius Harris – F
Travis Kelce – F
De’Anthony Thomas – F
Albert Wilson – F

Miami Dolphins
DeVante Parker – F

Minnesota Vikings
No Practice Info Reported

New England Patriots
Travaris Cadet – Probable

New Orleans Saints
Tim Hightower – N
C.J. Spiller – N

New York Giants
Victor Cruz – N

New York Jets
Chris Ivory – F
Jeremy Kerley – F
Devin Smith – L
Geno Smith – N

Oakland Raiders
Andre Holmes – F

Philadelphia Eagles
No Practice Info Reported

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Diego Chargers

Seattle Seahawks
Tarvaris Jackson – L

San Francisco 49ers
No Practice Info Reported

St. Louis Rams
Todd Gurley – L
Tre Mason – N

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Mike Evans – N

Tennessee Titans

Wahsington Football Team
Robert Griffin III – L

So all I’ve really got to say this time is: Great news for DeVante Parker and LeSean McCoy.  Bad news for C.J. Spiller (arthroscopic knee surgery), Tre Mason (thigh), and Mike Evans (hamstring).  I’m also worried about Alshon Jeffery but my guess is that he will play.

I’ll make these practice reports a weekly thing but in other weeks I think I’ll have an additional list of injured players grouped by something like injury length or how near return they are.  This week I decided to skip player analysis in favor of an overview so the forthcoming weeks will look a little different in that regard as well.  Good luck everybody.  (I think there might be some football game on tonight…)

Bonus (Last Minute/Non Skill Player) Injury Update – I just learned that Minnesota Vikings center Jonathan Sullivan has been put on the IR w/Designation to Return list.  The Vikings have already lost right tackle Phil Loadholt for the season so they are down two solid offensive linemen.  My biggest fantasy takeaway is that you should consider slot receiver Jarius Wright (who was just inked to a 4 year deal this morning) in deeper leagues because he’ll possibly receive extra (as in, more than expected) targets on quick hit passes.  Of course it also hurts every skill player but we just don’t know how much yet so there’s not really anything to be done there except watch as the season progresses.



Lance is also on Twitter @RotoLance.

  1. Roll of SAGNOF, Hear my Cry says:

    Ugh, Mike Evans. Not optimistic about his season outlook. I hope this injury doesn’t linger.

    Great post.

    I’m looking to trade one of the 3 stud RBs (Charles Forte and Miller), probably for a WR

    Is Charles for Calvin Johnson an overpay? It should be noted that I also have Golden Tate and am a biased Lions fan

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:

      @Roll of SAGNOF, Hear my Cry: Thanks for that.

      To your question: Depends on the format. In PPR it’s perhaps only a slight overpay. Is everyone aware that Charles really didn’t catch all that many passes last year? He’ll probably rebound some this year but only 40 catches last year. So I think in PPR that’s an ok deal because Johnson is worth more in that format than standard and there is no guarantee Charles is a PPR beast.

      In standard I’d just roll with 3 RBs assuming you can play all of them every week. Or wait for Miller to go off this week then trade him for Calvin Johnson. Or maybe go like Cobb for Forte if you can (I’m assuming you can’t go Forte for Calvin or you would have said that). But again, I don’t realy see the problem with 3 great RBs. Just work the waiver wire after week 1 for WRs if need be.

  2. I-Man says:

    Great article and format – look forward to reading this each week.

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:

      @I-Man: Thanks for the feedback. The kind words are greatly appreciated. I don’t mind constructive criticism either.

      • goodfold2 says:

        @RotoLance: yeah, this sounds like much more useful and in depth than previous seasons. nice.

  3. Dom B. says:

    Who is better for this week and the rest of the year at K Dan Bailey or Steven Hausuaka

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:

      @Dom B.: I consider Bailey the safer option for both but with very little confidence. Low confidence is just sort of the nature of kickers and fantasy football.

  4. BillieBeeen says:

    Would love to see article about looking ahead a few weeks for those of us in deeper leagues with IR slots. Who may be worth stashing for this year and maybe next year for keepers.

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:

      @BillieBeeen: Interesting. I’ll give your idea some thought. I’m not particularly knowledgeable on the deeper end of the player pool but I’ll be gaining knowledge in that regard as the season progresses.

      I’m a Minnesota Vikings fan so I am very knowledgeable about the deeper end of their roster. So the Jarius Wright note from above applies especially to those in deep keeper leagues because many people with knowledge of the Mike Wallace contract situation suspect that this will be Wallace’s only year in Minnesota. That scenario would leave Charles Johnson and Jarius Wright as probably the 2 primary receiving targets there next year. You might also want to keep an eye on the rookie Stefon Diggs. It will be interesting to see which player out of Adam Thielen, Cordarrelle Patterson and Stefon Diggs gets used the most out of 4 wide sets (if they even use 4 wide sets, I think they probably will).

  5. Dom B says:

    Who is best flex start week 1 Keenan Allen, Steve Smith Sr., GIO Bernard, John Brown

    Also Better Week 1 starter and roy Eli Manning or Tony Romo

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:

      @Dom B: I’m torn between Brown and Allen. I kinda like the thought of taking a big swing with Brown but Allen is the safer bet, I think Gates’ absence helps him. I’d rank them Allen > Brown > Smith > Bernard. We just don’t know much this time of year. We like to pretend we do, but we don’t.

      For those QBs, I gotta go Romo for both circumstances.

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