The Training Room: Week 15 Injury Updates
A big congratulations to all the owners who are still in the championship hunt! For those that got hosed by poor performances from big time names, (Peyton Manning, LeSean McCoy to name a few, I’m not bitter) pride is still on the line. There are a number of injuries that continue to plague fantasy owners on a week-to-week basis, so we’ll sort through them below...
On The Mend
Torrey Smith (Sprained knee): We were keeping tabs on Torrey’s knee prior to this past Sunday’s game against the Dolphins, with reports that he looked stiff and was limping significantly during warm-ups. It turns out we were wise to report that he was a risky proposition for the playoffs as he only played a handful of series during the game and was held without a catch. MRI confirms no significant damage and that he’ll be day-to-day, but having another week of limited practice should help Smith be ready for a game against the Jaguars.
Rashad Jennings (Sprained Ankle): Jennings was clearly not 100% against the Titans this past weekend, as evidence by his two rushing attempts the whole game. He’ll more than likely miss practice time this week, and with Andre Williams showing well in his place, it’s fair to wonder whether the Giants continue to even out the carries between both backs. If Jennings is practicing later in the week, you can go ahead and use him, but he might be a riskier play than originally thought.
CJ Spiller (Broken Collarbone): Spiller isn’t eligible to return until Week 16, but he has been practicing with all signs pointing to him returning during the fantasy football championships. He’ll be hard to trust with the biggest fantasy game on the line, but those who are looking for help at the RB position in extremely deep leagues could do worse. The Bills will more than likely limit his touches so you’re hoping for a homerun from Spiller if you’re picking him up.
Kendall Wright (Fractured Wrist/Hand): Although I haven’t heard exactly where the fracture occurred, it’s going to be very hard to trust Wright if he plans to play with a splint on his hand. Defensive backs will try to rough up Wright, and the inability to manipulate the wrist and hand to catch passes sounds like a situation to avoid. He’ll continue to be day-to-day for now, but I wouldn’t feel good about starting him unless you absolutely don’t have any other choice.
DeSean Jackson (Bruised Fibula): Jackson will continue to be day-to-day as he recovers from his lower leg injury. There’s a good chance he could return this week, but make sure he’s practicing towards the end of the week to feel confident in using him. His quarterback situation is murky as well, so although it’ll be a good sign if he plays, who will be throwing him the ball will be important.
Julius Thomas (Sprained Ankle): Thomas was active for the game against the Bills, but failed to play a snap. It was a frustrating sight to see for owners, and hopefully it didn’t cost you a win. The fact that he dressed is a good sign, so I’m feeling good about his chances to play this upcoming weekend against the Chargers and moving forward.
DeAngelo Williams (Fractured Finger): There is a chance that Williams suits up this weekend, although Jonathan Stewart owners are hoping that he doesn’t after the performance Stewart just had against the Saints. If the swelling is down enough for Williams to feel comfortable gripping the ball and being able to pass protect, I wouldn’t see why the Panthers would hold him out. This is definitely a situation to monitor.
Training Room Week 15
Transverse Process Fracture: The transverse process is an extension off of each spinal vertebrae. It allows many muscles, tendons, and ligamentous structures to attach to the area to allow stability and proper mobility. Newton sustained the injury from a motor vehicle accident on Tuesday, December 9th. He has been released from the hospital and has been ruled out for Week 15.
Bottom Line: As long as the fracture is stable, much like Tony Romo, it will come down to pain tolerance and management. Somehow the Panthers are still in the race for the NFC South, so the Panthers will likely try and give Newton as much rest possible in hopes he'll be able to try and play down the stretch of the regular season. Giving him Week 15 off should go a long way towards allowing him to play Week 16 against the Browns.
Strained Neck: Spinal pain can be experienced when going into extreme ranges of motion, particularly when being tackled. There are many structures in the neck that can generate pain, and being forced into a certain position can cause irritation and inflammation which can cause further discomfort. McCoy was forced from the game in the 4th quarter and did not return.
Bottom Line: McCoy will continue to be day-to-day as further testing revealed no structural damage. He’s likely dealing with increased muscle soreness/stiffness, and will continue to rehab to be ready before Sunday’s game against the Giants. If he’s not able to suit up, those who are in desperate need for a QB in 2QB leagues could look to RGIII. There was also discussion by Coach Gruden to possibly give Kirk Cousins another shot which shows you just how much you should avoid this situation.
Collapsed Lung/Broken Ribs: A collapsed lung (pneumothorax) is usually a product of a fractured rib, as the rib punctures the lung and causes it to collapse. Marshall was hurt in the 2nd quarter during Thursday night’s game against the Cowboys and was taken to the hospital.
Bottom Line: Marshall was put on IR this past week which ends an up and down season. Those in need of a replacement could look to Marquess Wilson, or possibly Donte Moncrief if Reggie Wayne were to miss any time.
Sprained Shoulder: Direct trauma to the acromioclavicular (AC) joint can cause immediate inflammation in the joint and possible disruption of the ligaments that help support it. Normally an AC joint sprain is caused when falling directly on the shoulder. Mettenberger exited the game in the 4th quarter and did not return.
Bottom Line: This is worst case scenario for Mettenberger, who was dealing with a mild AC joint sprain when returning this past weekend against the Giants. Aggravating a previous injury usually leads to an increase in the severity of the discomfort and could delay recovery. Although the Titans are refusing to state that Mettenberger is done for the year, for fantasy purposes, he can’t be trusted.
Concussion: Concussions are an insult to the brain from direct trauma. The brain suffers microtrauma and scarring with a variety of symptoms presenting, depending on where the trauma is located. Johnson suffered the injury in the 2nd quarter and did not return.
Bottom Line: Helmet to helmet hits always look ugly when they happen, and this was no exception. Johnson will now go through the NFL’s concussion protocol, which is the 2nd time he’s suffered a concussion since the 2013 season. He’ll be day-to-day until he gains clearance, but one might look for a higher upside play than Johnson, as he has had a down season by his standards.
Inversion Ankle Sprain: There are different types of ankle sprains, but the main ones that occur in football are either high ankle sprains, or inversion ankle sprains. A high ankle sprain involves the ligaments between the bones of the lower legs (tibia and fibula), whereas the inversion sprain involves the ligaments on the outer aspect of the ankle. Harvin suffered the injury in the 4th quarter and did not return.
Bottom Line: Normal protocol when players are dealing with an ankle injury is to put them in a boot to prevent any further irritation to the healing tissue, so we shouldn’t overreact too early in the week just yet. Harvin has struggled to stay healthy so far during his NFL career, with this just another example of the high risk he poses to fantasy owners who trust him. It’s unclear how severe the ankle sprain is, but he’ll be highly questionable heading into this week’s game against the Titans. I wouldn’t drop him just yet, as he was having a great game prior to the injury, but if he’s not able to progress quickly, he’ll likely be playing less than 100% if he suits up at all.