It was not a good week for starting running backs this week as multiple top 24 players went down. With that said, it’s also probably a good time to begin taking a second look at rookies as they become accustomed to the NFL and get further integrated into their respective offenses. We saw D’Andre Swift breakout in week six, Tua has been named the starter in Miami, CeeDee Lamb and Chase Claypool are integral offensive pieces, who’s next? From an injury perspective, will J.K. Dobbins get his chance after the week seven bye with Ingram banged up? And how close is Jalen Reagor to a return in Philly? Stay tuned and keep an eye out over the next few weeks as we approach the halfway point in the fantasy season! Now, let’s dive into some injuries.
Week 6 Injuries:
Miles Sanders, RB, PHI – Knee
On a freak play in the middle of the third quarter on Sunday, Miles Sanders broke off a long run before getting awkwardly tackled, fumbling forward, and then having his teammate pick up the ball for a touchdown, madness. After watching the video of the play over and over and over again, I really did not see anything that indicates any severe pathology. Sanders planted hard on his right knee, and with that type of force causing a forward displacement of the tibia, I was initially very concerned about an ACL tear. Obviously, Sanders had an MRI on the knee that ruled out an ACL tear, so besides that, I’m not seeing much, which is great news! Reports have Sanders out one to two weeks but based strictly on the video as there has not been much information otherwise, at this point, I expect him back for week nine despite their week 10 bye.
Prognosis: Out 1 week, not enough time to recover for TNF in week eight
Raheem Mostert, RB, SF – Ankle
Back in, back out. After a shortlived return to the lineup, Raheem Mostert is set to miss some significant time with a high ankle sprain. I’ve gone over high ankle sprains at length multiple times here and on the podcast. Depending on severity we’re looking at an 8-12 week timeline for a full recovery but most players will return in 4-6, albeit not 100%. For that reason, we may have seen the best of Mostert in 2020. Regardless, Mostert is most likely heading to the IR causing him to miss a minimum of three weeks. Will have to watch closely his explosiveness and agility upon return to the field.
Prognosis: Out 4-6 weeks
Mark Ingram, RB, BAL – Ankle
Another ankle injury here but immediate reports are already confusing. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, MRI reports suggest a “mid to high ankle sprain.” Let me be clear when I talk about ankle sprains, I’m not out here taking out a ruler and assessing the height of the injury. There are three potential ankle sprains, lateral (“low”), medial, syndesmotic (“high”). There is no such thing as a middle ankle sprain, therefore, he has a high ankle sprain and that is concerning. Even if the injury is considered “not severe”, the timeline is STILL going to be a minimum of 2-3 weeks. So, while yes, the Ravens have a week seven bye which gives him a week of rest, I still don’t expect Ingram to be out there in week eight, and likely week nine. I’ll take them at their word of this injury not being severe, but for an aging running back who has not looked great this year, any type of mid, high, east, north, whatever ankle sprain is concerning.
Prognosis: Out 2-3 weeks minimum.
Joe Mixon, RB, CIN – Foot
The ankle area was popular this week. Joe Mixon joins the running back foot/ankle injury party, though, thankfully, his does not seem to be as serious. Mixon left the game briefly against the Colts but was able to return, which is a positive first step in assessing injury severity. Mixon has not practiced yet this week, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him log more than one full practice going into the weekend as he doesn’t really need to practice to play. He should be monitored on game day, but I fully expect Mixon to play in a division matchup against the Brownies.
Prognosis: Probable for week seven
DeVante Parker, WR, MIA – Groin
After exiting early in the fourth quarter of a blowout win, we learned Parker is dealing with a minor groin strain. The good news, all reports suggest this is a non-issue, and considering Parker will have an extra week to get back to full health with a week seven bye, I would expect DeVante to be ready to go for week eight.
Prognosis: 1-2 weeks, should be good for week eight post-bye
Zach Ertz, TE, PHI – Ankle
Another Eagles’ player on IR, you bet! Zach Ertz is another player dealing with a high ankle sprain, which, again, I’ve gone over at length (see Mostert). The hope with Ertz is that when he returns, the Eagles will have some semblance of the team they anticipated having throughout the season, which should hypothetically open more room for Ertz as he has never been great at creating space.
Prognosis: Out 4-6 weeks
Jonnu Smith, TE, TEN – Ankle
Having a breakout season in 2020, Jonnu had to leave the game on Sunday due to an ankle injury. Thankfully, Jonnu is another player that seems to have escaped without serious injury as he has already been able to log a limited practice this week. The exact diagnosis is unknown at this point, therefore, practice reports should be monitored heading into the weekend.
Prognosis: GTD, monitor practice reports
Thursday Night Breakdown – New York vs. Philadelphia
In a battle of the NFC (L)East, the Eagles take on the Giants. Big injury news for this game as previously discussed includes the losses of both Miles Sanders and Zach Ertz for Philly. In addition, Alshon Jeffery continues to be sidelined. On a positive note for the Eagles (there haven’t been many), Desean Jackson returns from a hamstring injury, so don’t be surprised if he has a long bomb touchdown. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see him re-aggravate his hammy, so there’s that. As for the G-Men, from an injury perspective, it really comes down to Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton. I expect Slayton to go, with Shepard a GTD after being activated from IR.
Before I go, I gotta say it. GOOOO BIRDSSSS