As nice as it is having football back, it sure didn’t take long for the sport to remind us how much stress it places on athlete’s bodies. With injuries as commonplace in the NFL as ever we are constantly updated, sometimes numerous times a day, on the status of players. Also, with the NFL’s new language in the injury reports, its important to stay on top of players’ statuses over the course of the week.
With that being said, it is impossible to predict the impact of an injury when it comes to player performance. Fantasy owners, fans, and media are mostly given the basics of a player’s situation throughout the week. The source of the information should always be noted as well. If a player or coach says something about an injury, it may be a little less reliable than something coming from a medical expert.
Staying updated and becoming familiar with injury jargon is essential over the course of the season. Whether a fantasy owner’s first-round pick or a back-end bench player goes down, injuries close and open up opportunities that significantly affect every fantasy team (eventually).
Andrew Luck (QB) – Luck, despite being listed as a full participant in Friday’s practice, is listed as questionable for Sunday’s match up with a right shoulder injury. The Indianapolis Colts’ superstar noted throughout the week that he didn’t expect his shoulder to keep him out of action Sunday. Head coach Chuck Pagano was also quoted after Friday’s practice saying everyone is looking too far into this. All reports indicate Luck as a full go on Sunday. Owners should start the quarterback with confidence against the San Diego Chargers. Like I said in week one, expect Luck to frequent the injury report with a below average offensive line protecting him from week to week.
Thomas Rawls (RB) – Rawls has been held out of practice all week as he deals with a lower leg injury. The Seattle Seahawks’ starting back is currently listed as doubtful with signs pointing to him being held out of Sunday’s game. While Rawls’ injury wasn’t considered serious at first, it has lingered longer than expected. Owners should have a back up plan in place for Rawls as Christine Michael and C.J. Prosise will handle the full rushing work load.
Rashad Jennings (RB) – Jennings has been a limited participant in practice all week and is currently listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Washington Redskins. Jennings has been dealing with a left wrist and thumb injury that is expected to limit him when it comes to the New York Giants’ air attack. While he is expected to play, Jennings will be sporting a cast on his left thumb. Jennings is certainly a serviceable fantasy back, but don’t expect anything better than flex production if he is able to go.
Sammy Watkins (WR) – Watkins, who is nursing a sore foot after off-season surgery, is listed as questionable and will be a game-time decision Sunday. Bills’ head coach Rex Ryan didn’t sound at all confident in the third-year receiver’s chances of play, saying “the odds [are] probably not real good that he plays”. With Watkins’ status being up in the air throughout much of the season and preseason, it’s no surprise to see the Bills’ being cautious here. Despite the Bills’ other offensive injuries, Watkins is not expected to suit up for Sunday’s match up against Arizona. Even if he does played, he would draw an unfavorable match up against cornerback Patrick Peterson that probably wouldn’t go too well with him being less than 100 percent.
Brandon Marshall (WR) – After being limited in practice all week, Marshall is listed questionable and will be a game-time decision with knee and foot injuries. After Marshall survived a gruesome tackle in week two, it’s no surprise that knee is still bothering him. Overall, very little is known about the severity of the injuries. But it seems more than likely even if Marshall does suit up, he will see a limited role. With teammates Eric Decker and Quincy Enunwa both healthy, I would expect the Jets’ to err on the side of caution with Marshall in week three.
Julio Jones (WR) – Jones did not practice Friday as he continued to nurse a calf strain he sustained last Sunday against the Oakland Raiders. Despite this not so great news, Atlanta Falcons’ head coach Dan Quinn expects Jones to be ready to go for Monday night’s match up against the New Orleans Saints. If Jones is playing, you start him. If the calf holds up over the course of the game against the Saints, he could be in for a big night against the Saints shaky secondary.
Alshon Jeffery (WR) – Despite returning to practice on Friday, Jeffery is listed as questionable for Sunday as he deals with what the Bears’ are calling “knee soreness.” All signs point to Jeffery playing on Sunday night. His status is worth watching, however, as not a lot is known about the severity of Jeffery’s knee injury. Owners should have him in their starting lineups, as he will serve as backup Brian Hoyer’s number one option.
Willie Snead (WR) – Snead, who is dealing with a toe injury, was listed as a non-participant during Friday’s practice. While Snead has been fantastic this season, his status for Monday night’s match up against the Falcons is very much up in the air. Currently listed as questionable, the New Orleans’ offense has no shortage of weapons if they decide to play it safe with their young receiver. Owners should monitor Snead’s activity during Saturday’s practice to get a better feel on Snead’s status.
Delanie Walker (TE) – Walker has been dealing with a hamstring injury and is currently listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Raiders. Tennessee Titans’ head coach Mike Mularkey said that Walker hasn’t shown any signs of improvement. Owners should have a plan in place as one of the better tight ends in fantasy looks like he may be held out Sunday. Anthony Fasano is expected to fill Walker’s void in the Titans’ offense if he is not able to go.
Tyler Eifert (TE) – Eifert is currently listed as doubtful while he continues his way back from off-season ankle surgery. Although the NFL’s 2015 touchdown leader returned to practice this week, he is not expected to take the field Sunday. Stay patient Eifert owners; he could provide a big boost to any lineup upon his return to action.
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