You already know how busy week two was…so let’s not waste time with a long convoluted intro here. What I will say though, is my new podcast will be streaming live tonight after Thursday Night Football to further breakdown injuries. I’m not sure if there is a more necessary week for the debut of the pod than this one, so stay tuned! Now, let’s dive into the injury extravaganza that was week two…
Done for the season:
Saquon Barkley, Courtland Sutton, C.J. Uzomah, 49ers D/ST (Nick Bosa, Solomon Thomas)
Week 2 Injuries
Drew Lock, QB, DEN – Shoulder
The young Broncos’ signal-caller took quite a shot on Sunday as his shoulder was driven into the ground by Bud Dupree. This is a classic mechanism of injury for quarterbacks and typically results in AC joint issues or collarbone fractures. The medical staff has declared Lock’s injury a rotator cuff strain, which can also be caused by these hits as the rotator cuff muscles which wrap around the arm bone can be overstretched, or take direct force causing a muscle strain. This injury will be touch and go for Lock as, due to the nature of his throwing motion, the rotator cuff muscles are utilized in all phases of the motion. This injury will truly be a week by week injury as Lock rehabs and calms down the muscles, before slowly ramping up throwing. How the muscles respond will be a wait and see.
Prognosis: True week to week injury, an expectation of 2 weeks rest, before ramping back up. Likely out 3-5 weeks.
Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, SF- Ankle
A high ankle sprain is ailing the 49ers’ franchise quarterback after getting injured in what looked like a dirty play to me as multiple Jets’ defenders were diving at Jimmy G’s legs. Regardless, after injuring his plant leg, Garoppolo will have a difficult time returning for week three against the Giants as the pain will affect throwing mechanics and likely significantly hinder his play. Quarterbacks can typically return sooner than skill position players as there is less of a requirement for lateral quickness and explosiveness, with pain tolerance being the main issue.
Prognosis: Week to week; pain tolerance and effect on how throwing mechanics will be what determines Garoppolo’s availability going forward
Tyrod Taylor, QB, LAC – Chest
We learned of the most unfortunate and more serious injuries on Wednesday as it was revealed that while receiving an injection for pain (bruised ribs), the team physician punctured Taylor’s long. YIKES. Truly an unfortunate situation all-around as once again Tyrod, due to injury, is likely to lose his starting job to a high draft capital rookie as the rookie looked GOOD. Regardless of Herbert’s play, I don’t see Taylor returning any time soon, with team physicians recommending an indefinite leave. Any type of lung injury is serious as lung tissue does not return to form as quickly as muscle tissue as it is not made to deal with trauma.
Prognosis: No agreed-upon timeline for return to sport after pneumothorax (punctured lung). Is likely left up to medical staff and based upon Taylor’s physical conditioning with high-intensity activity. Likely never regains his starting job (unless an injury to Herbert).
Christian McCaffrey, RB, CAR – Ankle
Another player with a high ankle sprain, but this player is a little bit more important in the world of fantasy compared to Jimmy G. The consensus number one overall pick is out and on IR with a high ankle sprain. A devastating injury to one of the league’s premier talents will cause McCaffrey to miss a minimum of three games, but regardless of the number of games missed, he will not be healthy for a large portion of the NFL season. Similar to my breakdown of Michael Thomas last week, skill players typically tend to return in 3-4 weeks after high ankle sprains but do not perform up to their usual playing abilities. As I said last week, just think of 2019 versions of Saquon, Kamara, and Christian Kirk, when did they seem to return to form? None of them returned to their top-level play until late in the season when Saquon and Kamara helped win championships, but in between, not great, as both players were shells of themselves and the stats back it up. Now, when Christian McCaffrey returns, I’m not going to tell you not to play him, but lower your expectations as he WILL NOT BE 100% upon returning to the lineup.
Prognosis: Out 3-5 weeks with a full healing time of 8-12 weeks. Temper expectations until around week 11/12, though I absolutely expect him to SMASH in a fantasy playoff run.
Raheem Mostert & Tevin Coleman, RBs, SF – Knee
After busting out of the gates (Mostert) and plodding around (Coleman) in week two, both players are now out with knee sprains. The good news is that the clearly more dynamic and talented back, Raheem Mostert is reportedly only dealing with a mild MCL strain. Data shows with low-grade MCL sprains players can return as soon as the next week with pain being the only limiting factor as there is no ligamentous instability with a low-grade sprain. As the 49ers have been concerned regarding field conditions over the last two weeks at MetLife Stadium, I would not be surprised to see Mostert held out of the week three tilt against the G-Men, though a week four return is certainly possible.
As for Coleman, who ran for a putrid 12 yards on 14 carries Sunday, his knee sprain seems more severe with less firm details on the exact type of sprain. Regardless, current reports say Coleman will be out for four weeks which suggests a moderate sprain. Despite Shanahan’s love for Coleman, I think Jerrick McKinnon takes the backup job and runs with it, as he and Mostert became the lead duo out of the 49er’s backfield with Coleman picking up the scraps.
Mostert: Out 1-2 weeks assuming mild MCL sprain, no worries of further injury upon return to the field.
Coleman: Out approximately 1 month based on reports, suggesting a moderate sprain. Has not shown anything special as of late, McKinnon likely inserts himself into Coleman’s 1B role to Mostert’s 1A.
Cam Akers & Malcolm Brown, RBs, LAR – Ribs/Hand
Another injured running back duo in Cali, but this duo plays in LA for the Rams. The good news for both players is that neither suffered serious injuries (relatively speaking of course) that will keep them out any significant length of time as the rookie Cam Akers suffered a separated rib cartilage injury, while Malcolm Brown required surgery to repair his pinky finger. Both will likely be game-time decisions with Akers’ main issue being a pain when breathing and taking hits, while Brown will have a difficult time holding onto the ball depending on how his hand is wrapped. Both players are likely to return within a week or two, but this week, regardless of availability, I think Darrell Henderson Jr. shoulders most of the load.
Prognoses: Both players should miss no more than 1-2 weeks with neither practicing as of Wednesday. Even if active, likely to be limited as Darrell Henderson should dominate touches this week.
Julio Jones, WR, ATL- Hamstring
An injury that flew under the radar for a while was Julio Jones’ hamstring injury, which, according to head coach Dan Quinn worsened during Sunday’s thriller with the Cowboys. It was news to me that Julio was already dealing with a hamstring injury, and it was bad news that he further exacerbated the problem which likely led to his poor output on Sunday (2 for 24). I don’t think Atlanta wants to allow this injury to get out of hand and become a season-long problem, and considering we’re only going into week three, I expect the Falcons to play it safe with Julio and likely sit him in week three. If he does play, expect another outing like Sunday as he assuredly will not be 100%
Prognosis: Likely GTD, would not be surprised at all to see Julio sit to prevent further aggravation. If he were to play, I would not expect Julio’s usual output as he will not be 100%.
Davante Adams, WR, GB – Hamstring
Adams is another star wideout to suffer a hamstring injury. The current severity is in question, but based on reports and Adams’ own words, the injury seems to be mild. That being said, Adams’ status for Sunday night remains in question as he was unable to practice Wednesday. This injury may be nothing and the Packers just don’t want to show their hand as Adams is technically dealing with an injury, but considering the Packers play Sunday night, I wouldn’t go into the game without a backup plan. Guys like MVS and Jamaal Williams are guys still widely available and could be started in a pinch if Adams sits.
Prognosis: Tell-tale signs of Adams’ true injury severity will be practice reports. If he is unable to log a full practice at all this week, his status for Sunday will be a true GTD.
Parris Campbell, WR, IND – Knee
After a promising start to the season for the Colts’ second-year wideout, Parris Campbell was placed on IR with what is reported as an MCL/PCL injury. Considering the reported injuries, Campbell is lucky to come away without a season-ending injury like so many others on Sunday afternoon. With Campbell’s addition to the IR, this demonstrates at the very least a grade II sprain with 3-6 weeks recovery time with the PCL injury likely bringing that timeline closer to the full six weeks. I was a strong proponent for Campbell having a big season with Phillip Rivers, basically being Keenan Allen 2.0. We’ll see if he can return and pickup with the momentum he began the year with.
Prognosis: Out 3-6 weeks with multi-ligament injury complicating timeline.
Will Fuller V, WR, HOU – Hamstring
Here we go. One week in and we’re talking about Will Fuller’s hammy. Fuller was held without a catch on Sunday after being the main target in week one, so was clearly limited. That being said, Fuller was NOT listed on the Wednesday injury report which is…interesting? This suggests Fuller will be a full go on Sunday, though he faces a brutal matchup against Pittsburgh. I don’t think Fuller is 100% and he has a poor matchup on Sunday which sets up for a very risky play.
Prognosis: Good news that Fuller is not listed on the injury report, though I find it hard to believe he is 100% after being held without a catch in week two. RISKY START.
Jalen Reagor, WR, PHI – Thumb
After making a few splash places in Philly’s currently dysfunctional offense, Jalen Reagor was placed on IR due to a UCL injury in his hand. This ligament is responsible for gripping and squeezing with the thumb…quite necessary for a wide receiver. This is also the same injury Drew Brees suffered last year that kept him out for six weeks. The average return timeline is 8-10 weeks and I think Reagor will likely be closer to the 10 weeks due to the force absorbed through the ligament with each catch being a more significant stressor than squeezing and throwing a football which allowed Brees to return a bit sooner. Reagor can safely be dropped in redraft leagues.
Prognosis: Out 8-10 weeks
Thursday Night Breakdown – Miami at Jacksonville
The main fantasy injury storylines on TNF this week center around both teams’ number one wideouts in DeVante Parker and D.J. Chark Jr. battling injuries heading into the game. Good news bad news here. Good news, DeVante Parker was a full participant on Wednesday, and after not suffering a hamstring setback during Sunday’s game, he should be a full go for tonight. Bad news, Chark, after logging limited practice sessions Monday and Tuesday, was a DNP on Wednesday. Regression, on the final injury report of the week, is typically not a good sign, which puts his availability in doubt. He will likely be a GTD, but I wouldn’t put his chances higher than 50/50 to play with reported chest and back issues. Be ready to pivot from Chark, expect a big game from Parker.