The Training Room: Week 7 Injury Updates
With fantasy playoffs usually played during Weeks 14-16, we are heading into the halfway point of the fantasy season. Fantasy owners are either really enjoying how their team is performing, scraping and clawing to keep their team in the thick of things, or packing it in and getting ready for next season. Regardless, being able to put your team in a position to win and dodging or recovering from major injury losses during the season is crucial to a successful year. Even with all the advances in rehab, technology to help with preventative care, and expedited treatments, injuries still remain a big part of fantasy football, whether we like it or not. It was a quieter week in the training room compared to the start of the season, but let’s look at some injuries that could affect your team for Week 7.
Torn ACL/MCL: The mechanism for an MCL tear is having someone or something hit your knee from the outside so that it buckles in, usually when the leg is planted on the ground. The amount of torque that the knee sustained also compromises the ACL, which is the main ligament inside the knee to help restrain rotational/twisting forces on the knee.
Bottom Line: I was watching the Bills/Patriots game when Ridley suffered his knee injury, and it wasn’t pretty. When he finally landed on the ground after taking the hit to his knee, his leg was completely limp, which is never good as it shows no real control over the leg. Ridley will require season-ending surgery to repair the ACL and MCL, and heading into his free agency year, it’ll be interesting to see what type of market develops for him as he progresses back from major knee surgery. Brandon Bolden is the hot waiver wire name here, and will likely take some of Ridley's work, but the Patriots remain an unpredictable quagmire for fantasy running backs and could sign a veteran. (BenJarvus Green-Ellis anybody?)
Torn ACL: The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the main ligaments in the knee that helps prevent excessive twisting and torque on the knee. ACL tears usually occur when trying to change direction when the leg is planted or by trauma through direct contact to the knee.
Bottom Line: It's interesting that Moreno's injury went unnoticed and was not reported when it first happened. There were no reports as to which knee he suffered the torn ACL, as Moreno did tear his right ACL in 2011. Athletes who have suffered a previous ACL tear increases their risk for another tear, either in the same knee or the opposite knee. It's a disappointing end to Moreno's first season as a Dolphin, as he was just returning from his elbow dislocation that cost him the last few weeks. There was no report of any other structures involved in his knee when he tore his ACL, so he should have minimal issues with his recovery. Average return to play after an ACL reconstruction is around 11 months putting Moreno on track to be ready by the start of next season.
Strained Quadiceps: The quadriceps is the main muscle in the front of the thigh. It’s responsible to help straighten the leg and stabilize the leg (in addition other muscles) when fully putting weight through the leg. Most quadriceps strains occur either in the middle of the muscle belly or towards the insertion point down by the knee. Whittaker was forced from Sunday’s game against the Bengals and did not return.
Bottom Line: Whittaker seemed to have re-aggravated a quad issue that he has been dealing with for a few weeks leading up to Sunday’s game. He didn’t seem too concerned about it when he was interviewed after the game, but it is still a situation to monitor. Consider him to day-to-day, but with Jonathan Stewart looking likely to be back this week, its tough to recommend any other Panther’s RB as an add.
Hamstring Strain: The hamstring muscle is the primary muscle in the back of the thigh responsible for bending the knee and extending the hip. When it relates to sports, it's a very important muscle in aiding to accelerate/decelerate the lower body to allow proper running and cutting.
Bottom Line: Riddick will be day-to-day as he tries to get his hamstring issues sorted out. With Reggie Bush set to return this week, it’s unfortunate timing for Riddick to go down with an injury, as he showed well before leaving the game. Reggie Bush nor Joique Bell have shown they can remain healthy for an extended amount of time, so Riddick could work his way back into the rotation at some point.
Torn Patellar Tendon: The patellar tendon is the main tendon that comes from the Quadriceps muscle on the front of your thigh that attaches to the tibia (your shin bone). The main function of the patellar tendon is to distribute forces from the quadriceps muscle to allow the leg to stay straight and to also help control bending when standing. Rupture of this tendon causes complete failure of the quadriceps muscle to straighten the leg and also put any weight as it is being applied to the leg. Cruz was carted off the field after sustaining the injury that required season-ending surgery.
Bottom Line: It’s a brutal injury for Cruz as ruptures to the patellar tendon are very painful. It’s fair to question what type of player he will be when he returns next year. Rehab for this type of injury is very difficult with a long recovery timetable, with many players experiencing setbacks along the way. Most players who are recovering from a patellar tendon rupture at some point do develop some secondary issues, such as patellar tendinitis, due to the atrophy and weakness in the quadriceps. Odell Beckham Jr. should be the next man up for the Giants to help make up for the loss of Cruz. Preston Parker will also see more reps.
Sprained MCL: The mechanism for an MCL tear is having someone or something hit your knee from the outside so that it buckles in, usually when the leg is planted on the ground.
Bottom Line: With the Eagles on bye this upcoming week, owners shouldn’t have too much trouble finding another option to replace Sproles, as his touches have diminished quite a bit since the start of the season. The MCL sprain he sustained sounds like a very mild grade 1 sprain, which will cost him 2-3 weeks, with 3 weeks being the worst case scenario. I don’t see this being an issue moving forward, assuming he can get through his rehab without any setbacks.
Rib Pain: Direct Trauma to the ribcage area can cause pain, irritation, and bruising to the muscles and cartilage that help support the area. Royal left the game after the 1st half and did not return. He was seen on the sidelines with a wrap around the rib area the rest of the game.
Bottom Line: There has been no update to Royal’s status since he sustained the injury. Consider him day-to-day for now until further updates are given.