Two weeks down, a whole bunch more to go folks! So don’t worry about being too overreactive when… Wait how many players are injured? This is just like week 2 last year? This is what happens when you shorten the preseason? Well, that changes things.
Maybe it is overreaction time, eh?
Here’s your weekly round-up of all those poor souls we’ve lost; all the hurting ankles, knees, toes, and groins (heh) you could ever ask for. Buckle up because this is a big one.
Tua Tagovailoa has been ruled out for his matchup against the future Super Bowl champions (Shoutout Son), the Las Vegas Raiders, with fractured ribs after taking a massive hit from A.J. Epenesa on a missed block from his right tackle Jesse Davis. The Dolphins’ offensive line completely crumbled and Tua got destroyed while his backup Jacoby Brissett didn’t fare much better against a stout Buffalo Bills pass rush, putting up only 169 yards, 1 INT, no touchdowns, and a 60% completion rate. Really not good at all. His matchup against a surprising Raiders defense, that’s been seemingly revived under new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, does not look promising for Jacoby’s chance at fantasy relevance in Week 3. I’d look elsewhere if you can.
Carson Wentz, the absolute madman he is, had both of his ankles sprained somehow after getting kicked around by the Rams defense who made chopped liver out of the offensive line and kept Wentz from making many hero plays in the secondary. Now, it appears that Wentz is going to be a game-time decision and Frank Reich has been reluctant to name either Jacob Eason or Brett Hundley as the starter is Wentz sits. With the way this team has looked through two games, neither seems especially tempting a choice even against a thoroughly mediocre Titans defense. The last time Hundley started was when he filled in for Aaron Rodgers for nine games in 2017 with the Packers. He looked absolutely terrible and Green Bay went 3-9 in that stretch. If the Colts coaching staff is even considering starting Hundley over Easton, that bodes really badly for the way Easton looks behind the scenes. If Wentz doesn’t play, I’d be downgrading the Colts receiver across the board and hope and pray that Jonathan Taylor can carry the offensive load.
Ben Roethlisberger injured his pectoral muscle after getting his ass thoroughly kicked by the Raiders defensive ends with his offensive line giving up a ton of pressure and even then Ben was able to piece together a decent game with 295 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT. That’s a lot better than it might have looked actually watching the game. Ben Roethlisberger is going into Sunday’s matchup with the Bengals without an injury designation but the Bengals have somewhat surprisingly put up a pretty strong defensive game so far, showing out in Week 2 against the Bears. I’m not excited to run out Ben this week and I’d probably be a bit weary against starting Pittsburgh’s wide receivers. If you have JuJu Smith-Schuster or Chase Claypool you probably should still play him, especially with Diontae Johnson being ruled out with a knee injury, but I wouldn’t be chomping at the bit to play them anywhere other than a flex spot. Other than that I would stay away from anyone not named Najee Harris who sources tell me is due for a serious breakout any day now.
For the Bengals, Tee Higgins has been ruled as doubtful and only returned to practice Friday as a limited participant. In his absence, Ja’Marr Chase is in for a lot of touches, next to Tyler Boyd who hasn’t really taken that extra step yet this season. Ja’Marr is a must-start, especially against a weak Steelers secondary and T.J. Watt questionable with a groin injury.
Over in Chi-Town, Andy Dalton is officially week-to-week with a bone bruise and is out for Week 3. That’s right, rabid fanboys. It’s Justin Fields SZN in Chicago. He didn’t play… great in relief for Dalton taking a few brutal sacks, an interception, and a forced fumble while only putting up 60 yards in the air with 6 completions in 13 attempts. He showed a bit of mobility but with his weak offensive line and being a rookie, he might be looking forward to getting smoked by a Cleveland Browns defense that hasn’t truly had a chance to shine yet this year. Long term, he has the talent to put it together but if you have another option at QB it could be worth waiting to see how his first start plays out. Also for the Bears, Darnell Mooney has been dealing with a groin injury in practice but seems likely to hit the field Sunday. He’s been a big sleeper pick across the fantasy verse and could be worth a watch if he hasn’t already been scooped up.
In Cleveland, Jarvis Landry has been placed on the IR for at least three games with an MCL tear after a pretty middling start to the season even with the absence of Odell Beckham Jr. That same Odell who is now back and starting for Week 3. However, the Browns have shown themselves to be a run-first, ask questions later kind of team, rushing on 53% of their plays. You could attribute this to being without their star receiver in Beckham Jr. but with him coming in with limited practice I wouldn’t be expecting a majorly explosive game from him. More for him to regain a bit of rhythm with Baker Mayfield and look to establish some solid passing plays opposite David Njoku, Anthony Schwartz, and Donovan Peoples-Jones.
Carolina Panther’s superstar, fantasy darling Christian McCaffrey went down with a hamstring injury. We don’t know the exact extent of the injury but we do know it’s going to keep him sidelined for at least a few weeks. Yikes. With a guy as explosive and athletic as McCaffrey, you have to hope he’ll be able to come back strong but in the meantime Chuba Hubbard profiles as the next back in line. That is unless you subscribe to the theory that Royce Freeman is next and Hubbard sucks. I personally don’t but I’d be remiss if I didn’t bring up the possibility if Chuba is gone from the wire and you’re feeling super desperate in week 4.
Stud running back Dalvin Cook has missed practice all week with an apparent ankle injury but Mike Zimmer has signaled that unless there is a setback Dalvin will probably play. This one is likely going to go down to a game-time decision, understandably since the Vikings don’t want to risk the long-term availability of their star player. If he doesn’t play or is playing limited snaps, long-time overhyped handcuff, Alexander Mattison looks to fill in against a really bad Seattle run defense who got dog walked in week 2 against Derrick Henry. While Mattison isn’t Henry, he still could profile as a solid flier if you’re thin at running back and especially if Cook ends up not playing Sunday.
Josh Jacobs is officially designated as doubtful for the Raiders matchup against the Dolphins but if you ask me, chances are he’s going to be out. He looked hurt the whole game against Baltimore in week 1, even with him making some great plays for two touchdowns, and was DNP against Pittsburgh. He hasn’t practiced all week except as a non-contact participant Friday. If he does end up playing somehow he’s still worth starting, refer back to those two touchdowns earlier Gruden is going to do everything in his power to give Jacobs touches if he’s on the field. But in the likely case of his absence, Peyton Barber took the majority of rush attempts but didn’t do much with them and Kenyan Drake had only a handful of rushes but factored into the passing game. I’m not looking to rush to slot them into lineups where I’m not desperate especially with future MVP (Shoutout Hobbs) Derek Carr playing absolutely out of his mind.
Saquon Barkley goes into Week 3 without an injury designation even after being limited all week in practice. He has been just straight-up bad through two games as I so boldly predicted (victory lap!) coming off of his ACL injury last year. This is a major get-right game for Saquon against a decidedly piss poor Falcons rush defense and if he can’t make something happen here, panic alarms might start really getting loud over in Giants town. Evan Engram and Kenny Golladay are both listed as questionable with a calf and hip injury, respectively. If Golladay is out I’d upgrade Sterling Shepard in my lineups and might just be convinced to start Darius Slayton too. Oh, and do you remember that Kyle Rudolph is on this team? Yeah, he’s done absolutely nothing with the absence of Engram and you probably have to be in a really horrible position at TE if you’re even considering starting him. Not great!
Speaking of the Falcons, receiver Russell Gage has been ruled out for Sunday’s contest with an ankle injury, opening the door even wider than it was for Calvin Ridley, Kyle Pitts, and breakout darling Cordarrelle Patterson to eat up his little bit of target share. Now, if only Matt Ryan could get a grip on throwing the ball…
In San Francisco, everyone is injured yet again. Trey Sermon has cleared concussion protocols and he’ll have a shot to show out with JaMycal Hasty being ruled out with an ankle injury and Elijah Mitchell questionable with a shoulder injury. Apparently, Shanahan has signaled that Mitchell will play if he feels up to it, and apparently team doctors have said that the injury is one that could get much worse. Uh, yeah right I’ve heard that bullhonky before. Supposedly the team is likely to call up DonkeyTeeth’s MVP pick Kerryon Johnson and Trenton Cannon no matter if Mitchell is out or not. The point is even with a porous Green Bay rush defense, this backfield is just an absolute mess. Yes, someone is going to end up shining in Shanahan’s offense and it very well could be rookie Trey Sermon but at this point, if you can avoid getting involved in this headache I wouldn’t blame you.
For the Tompa Bay Gronkaneers, Antonio Brown looks unlikely to play unless he gets a perfectly timed negative COVID test. It’s hard to say who exactly is going to assume his targets if he’s out since Chris Godwin and Mike Evans seem to be pretty close to one another in target share and it’s to be seen who’s going to bear the brunt of Jalen Ramsey for this game. However, I’d hope that this gives an even bigger target painted on Rob Gronkowski, who’s been going nuts his first two games. I’m all aboard the Gronkowski TE1 Train and there ain’t no brake on this muthasucka!
For the Rams, Darrell Henderson is questionable with a rib injury and is likely a game-time decision. If he ends up not playing, Sony Michel looks to lead the way in carries against a tight Tampa Bay rush defense. He’s worth keeping an eye on for Henderson owners going into Sunday.
Let’s take a little break, shall we? Yeah lots of injuries, right? Sheesh. This is kind of a lot! Here’s a nice, relaxing little track to help your stressed-out nerves as you watch your team wither to dust in front of you. Ladies and Gentlemen, here’s Bill Evans with his track “My Foolish Heart”!
Ah yeah, that’s the stuff. You know, now that I think about it “My Foolish Heart” is a pretty good way to describe how I feel reminiscing on those bright halcyon days before the season started when I was ready to believe all the great and talented players I had drafted were going to stay healthy and compete at the highest level! My foolish heart indeed…
In sunny Arizona, a similar story is being told: DeAndre Hopkins isn’t practicing and didn’t practice Friday. It’s hard to tell if this is an actual red flag since he’s pretty much been on every injury report since who knows when and has still played and played hard. If he’s active you’re playing him because chances are he’s going to be absolutely carving up Urban Meyer’s Jaguar Fun Club over in Jacksonville. Kyler Murray is going to still feed him and he will ball out but keep your eye open if things change going into Sunday.
In Baltimore, Lamar Jackson has a tummy ache? Chances are Lamar plays Sunday but he seems to have some undisclosed illness likely tied to the consumption of many Taco Bell Crispy Chicken Tacos according to this writer’s speculation. Lamar is likely to suit up alongside Marquise Brown who was limited this week with an ankle injury. Lamar is going to look to keep up his strong momentum against the Lions after his blockbuster showdown against Kansas City.
On the other side, in Detroit Tyrell Williams has been placed on Injured Reserve with a serious concussion. This should open things up even more for guys like Amon-Ra St. Brown and Trinity Benson. D’Andre Swift was also included on the injury report with a groin injury but the early word is it’s more precautionary than anything else and Swift should be suiting up against the Ravens.
In the Meadowlands, the Jets are going to be without running back Tevin Coleman who is out with a non-COVID illness. Maybe he’s sick of his team stinking? Look for Michael Carter to possibly benefit from Tevin’s absence. Also on the injury report is Jamison Crowder who is doubtful with his lingering groin injury. Even if he does suit up, playing anyone in this Jets offense against a really tough Denver defense is ill-advised at best and foolish at worse, shoutout Bill Evans.
Other Notable Injuries:
Atlanta CB A.J. Terrell has been ruled out for Sunday’s game, opening up an already weak secondary. The Giants should have no problem moving the ball as long as they’re not fumbling over themselves the whole game as is New York tradition.
Arizona’s RT Kelvin Beachum is questionable with a rib injury and could be replaced come game time by the pretty mediocre RT Justin Murphy. The good news, however, is that they’re playing the Jaguars so I’m sure they’ll overcome either way and Kyler will keep moving even under pressure.
In Jacksonville, CB CJ Henderson is listed as questionable with “Groin/Illness”. You have to hope whatever groin illness he’s dealing with isn’t too terrible. Been there. If he’s out CB Tyson Campbell will fill in his role but, again, look for Kyler to probably tear these dudes up either way. Sources have actually reported that Kyler called Jaguars defensive coordinator, Todd Wash, on Thursday to offer the entire defensive side of the team brand new Yukons. Reportedly when Wash asked incredulously if Kyler was actually going to get them brand new Yukons Kyler responded with “Yeah. Yukon suck on these nuts.” Brutal stuff but hey this is a man’s game after all.
In New Orleans, C Erik McCoy has been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Patriots which is a major issue with C Will Clapp still on the IR until week 4, leaving the Saints to put in C/G Cesar Ruiz in his place who really wasn’t great in their game against Green Bay. The Saints O-Line looked really not great but hopefully, part of that was them missing offensive line coach Dan Rousher in an already suboptimal situation with a big gap in communication. But have no fear, my friend. There’s still zero doubt that Jameis Winston is going to play like the champ he is.
Going into Sunday’s game against the Chiefs, Charger LB Joey Bosa is questionable after suffering a foot/ankle injury. The Chargers are already going to be facing an uphill battle against a Chiefs team that is still reeling from a tough loss against Baltimore after a costly fumble by fantasy golden boy Clyde Edwards-Helaire lead them to lose the game by a field goal. Rough. Look for the Chiefs to come out swinging and the Chargers to really miss Joey.
For Miami, remember that RT I mentioned about 2,000 words ago Jesse Davis who got beat horribly by DE A.J. Epenesa in a sack that lead to Tua’s fracture ribs? Yeah he left the game with a knee injury. He’s clear of a designation going into Sunday against the Raiders but with the way DE Maxx Crosby has been eating up O-Lines, he might just set a new sack record on poor Jacoby Brissett.
You can find me on Twitter staring at slo-mo replays of high-ankle sprains set to light jazz piano at @skorishism. Be sure to let me know what you think and who you’ll be playing Sunday in the comments below. Cheers.