We’ve made it to week 12. It’s crunch time. The fantasy playoffs are quietly sneaking up on all of us. How are you doing? Are you in? Are you out? Are you fighting for one of the last playoff spots with multiple other teams, checking all of their matchups to see who they play and how a win/loss will affect your playoff standings if you win/lose? If that question seems specific, it’s because that person is me in my main league, but I am certain, MANY of you are playing the same mind games with yourself. This is a fun game man (Gruden voice), and I am really glad we have been fortunate enough to watch football this year. BUT, the season is not nearly over, we have chips to go win! So read on as I drop the injury knowledge you need to secure your playoff standing on the road to glory. Let’s do it.
Burrow, Kyler, Rivers, Julio, Juju, McLaurin, Perine
Week 12 Injuries:
Joe Burrow, QB, CIN – Knee
One of the top candidates for offensive rookie of the year in 2020 is done for the season after tearing a multitude of ligaments in his knee. Similar to Saquon Barkley, Burrow will have a delayed surgery due to swelling from trauma to the joint. With a two month delay, and the nine-month “magic mark” to return from ACL tears, Burrow will not return until September 2021 AT BEST. Realistically, I’d be looking at a mid-October return due to the severity of the injury. Additionally, players have a decreased performance in their first year back after ACL reconstruction surgery as they do not have the neuromuscular control (or confidence) in the knee to play the game to their maximal abilities.
Prognosis: Likely ~2-month delay to surgery, putting best-case timetable from January-September. No offseason, likely mid-season return, and decreased performance spells doom for Burrow in 2021. He should round into form again for 2022. Tough break for the Bengals.
Kyler Murray, QB, ARI – Shoulder
Murray was tackled onto his throwing shoulder on Thursday night as discussed in the live stream last week at halftime. Murray was able to complete the game with no noticeable deficits (other than wincing on the sideline). Kyler was limited in practice to start the week, but I don’t see this injury keeping the Cardinals blooming superstar from action…unless he gets dumped on the same shoulder again.
Prognosis: Day-to-day, not in danger of missing time
Philip Rivers, QB, IND – Toe
What was thought to be an ankle issue, is evidently a “bruised toe” for Philip Rivers. Rivers was able to complete the Colts’ comeback on Sunday against the Packers, albeit, with a noticeable limp. Frank Reich reported Rivers would have been able to practice Wednesday if he had to, but was ultimately a DNP. The veteran QB knows his body and has had plenty of bumps and bruises over his career. A DNP to start the week is concerning, but assuming Rivers can log at least one limited practice, I’d expect him to be out there on Sunday
Prognosis: Day-to-day, worth monitoring as toe injuries can be tricky, but at this time, I expect Rivers to play
LaMical Perine, RB, NYJ – Ankle
Perine was the freshly minted starter the rest of the way for the Jets…until his high ankle injury Sunday which landed him on the IR. GORE RETURNS. Perine will be out a minimum of three weeks, potentially returning for the last few games.
Prognosis: 4-6 weeks
JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, PIT – Foot
Dealing with a foot injury, JuJu has been able to steadily progress during this week of practice. DNP Monday, limited Tuesday, full practice Wednesday. Steelers will have an extra three days to get right after Thanksgiving TNF was postponed due to COVID concerns for Baltimore, so expect JuJu to be a full go assuming no setbacks the rest of the week.
Prognosis: Practice progression is a good sign for Sunday, expect Juju to play
Thanksgiving Day Breakdown – HOU at DET, WSH at DAL
A three-game Thanksgiving slate was cut to two on Wednesday as the primetime matchup between Baltimore was postponed to Sunday (BOOOO!). As for the games that are being played, Houston will be without tertiary targets Randall Cobb and Kenny Stills as Will Fuller and Brandin Cooks should FEAST in Detroit. Speaking of Detroit, the Lions will once again be without their number one wideout in Kenny Golladay, who evidently suffered a setback in his return to play rehabilitation, as well as Danny Amendola. D’Andre Swift is likely out due to his concussion. He certainly has had the time to clear the protocol, not a ton, but enough. We’ll see if he is declared active for gameday, likely a GTD. Finishing with The Football Team versus Cowboys, the only real question is Terry McLaurin, which isn’t even a question as Scary Terry was able to practice in full on Wednesday leading into Turkey Day’s divisional battle. McLaurin will likely be a scorin’ against Dallas’ putrid defense. Fire him up with confidence.
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