The Training Room: Week 11 Injury Updates
For most fantasy leagues, the trade deadline has come and gone. Hopefully those savvy enough to look to the future have set their teams up for a deep playoff run while others who are participating in keeper or dynasty leagues are building their teams for next year and beyond. Injuries will always plague fantasy owners -- they're inevitable -- but timely pickups and forward thinking based on matchups can help soften the blow a bit, especially this late in the season. Here's a look at this week's injuries to help you sort out what you might need to do to keep your fantasy team in contention.
On The Mend
Jared Cook (High Ankle sprain): Cook practiced on a limited basis last week but couldn't suit up against the Titans. He was practicing on a limited basis again Wednesday and will look to make his return against the Redskins. Projection: Active Week 11. Cook will likely be eased in and split snaps with Richard Rodgers.
Robert Griffin III (Fractured Coracoid Process): RGIII has progressed enough with his shoulder to the point where he's been medically cleared to practice. Keep an eye on how the Browns approach his status and whether or not they activate him from IR, as that would allow him to return to the field sooner than later. Projection: Misses Week 11. There hasn't been any timetable as to when the Browns activate RGIII off IR, and even if they do, there's been no indication that the Browns are looking to start him again. Cody Kessler has been ok in his starts, but the Browns brought in RGIII to at least see what he could potentially do for their franchise. I would think they would give him another shot to see what they see to determine if he could be a long-term solution.
Desean Jackson (Strained Shoulder): Jackson remains week-to-week as he recovers from a rotator cuff strain. He had a cortisone injection in his shoulder last week, so hopefully we should get a better idea of how he's feeling this week. He did return to practice Wednesday and does have a chance to play. Projection: Misses Week 11. The range of motion restrictions that he's currently dealing with could cause Jackson to be held out for one more week to get completely healthy.
Tevin Coleman (Strained Hamstring): All expectations are that Coleman will return to the field after the Falcons' Week 11 bye. Hopefully he'll be practicing early next week to feel confident that he is on track. Projection: Active Week 12.
Travis Benjamin (Sprained Knee): Benjamin was inactive Week 10 and now has a bye to try and get healthier. Projection: Active Week 12. Two weeks should hopefully allow him adequate time to recover and get his knee to the point where he can be effective on the field.
Victor Cruz (Sprained Ankle): Cruz was inactive for Monday's game against the Bengals due to not practicing at all last week due to the ankle sprain. It sounds like he shouldn't miss too much time, but look for him to practice in some fashion in order to feel confident that he could be returning sooner than later. Projection: Active Week 11. This is shaping up for Cruz to be a game-time decision, so keep close tabs if you have him on your roster.
Will Fuller (Strained Hamstring): Fuller was inactive this past week against the Jaguars after he was only able to get in a few limited practices this week coming off the bye. There still isn't a ton of information as to what Fuller is actually dealing with, so it makes his practice availability that much more important to keep an eye on. Projection: Active Week 11. With the Texans playing on Monday night, he'll have an extra day to get healthier. I'm not overly confident on his availability, but hopefully he's progressed enough to at least be a game-time decision.
Jeremy Maclin (Strained Groin): Maclin continues to be week-to-week after aggravating his groin strain in Week 9. His participation in practice or lack thereof will be telling to determine whether or not he's going to be able to suit up this weekend. Projection: Misses Week 11. Maclin will sit out another weeks in hopes the groin will heal up enough to try return to practice next week so he can get back on track.
Jacob Tamme (Sprained AC Joint): Tamme is scheduled to get a second opinion on his shoulder with the potential for surgery being an option if his shoulder doesn't progress as planned. With the Falcons on their bye week, hopefully we'll get a better idea if Tamme will be out for an extended amount of time. Projection: Misses Week 12.
Thomas Rawls (Fibula Fracture): Coach Pete Carroll states that Rawls is ready to go for this week as he's been ramping up his conditioning over the past few weeks. Projection: Active Week 11. It'll be interesting how much work Rawls will get since he's missed a significant amount of time, but Christine Michael's release makes it seem like the Seahawks are confident that Rawls is ready to return to action without much restriction. I would expect some him to be eased in somewhat initially, but he's an intriguing back to keep an eye on.
Jacquizz Rodgers (Sprained Foot): Rodgers was able to come out of his walking boot late last week, which should allow him to start ramping up activity, but he will struggle to try and get ready in time for this upcoming weekend. Projection: Misses Week 11. With Doug Martin returning last week, Rodgers stock takes a hit a bit, so if you need the room, he's someone I would consider dropping.
Dion Lewis (Knee Scope): Lewis was inactive for Sunday night's game against the Seahawks after being activated off the PUP. It is strange why the Patriots would do this, but he'll like continue to practice to work back into game shape with the Patriots possibly giving Lewis some game action against a porous 49ers run defense. Projection: Active Week 11. It's still unclear as to what role Lewis will have when he does return, but hopefully we'll find out soon when Lewis returns to the field.
Tony Romo (Back Fracture): Romo has been cleared to return to playing football, but with Dak Prescott still performing at a high level, he'll be nothing more than a backup at this point. Projection: Active Week 11. He's a hold at this point as injuries can always occur without notice, but with Romo even acknowledging that he's the backup at this point, the likelihood of him starting this season is unlikely.
The Training Room
Bottom Line: Gronk took a massive hit from Earl Thomas this past Sunday against the Seahawks. He was taken to the sideline to be checked for a concussion, which was negative, but apparently he suffered some lung issues that could force Gronk out until that is fully healed.
Projection: Misses 1 game. Lung injuries really come down to how significant the injury is and how long the lung tissue takes to fully heal. There's a chance he's also dealing with a chest contusion as well from the hit, so having a week off should give Gronk enough time to get healthy for Week 12.
Bottom Line: Brady took a helmet to the thigh by Kam Chancellor this past Sunday. Brady was clearly in discomfort initially after the hit, but was able to play the rest of the game. He states that he is sore but he doesn't think he'll miss any time.
Projection: Starts Week 12. Brady will likely be limited throughout the week to help his quad recover, but there's not much concern that he's in danger of missing this weekend's game against the 49ers.
Bottom Line: Coach John Fox stated after this past weekend's game that Howard suffered an ankle/achilles injury, but was unsure which one it was. Howard also commented saying he didn't sustain any injury to his ankle/achilles area. We have no other information available to us to determine whether or not he's actually dealing with an injury. He'll be day-to-day. Owners need to keep an eye on his practice status to see where he ultimately stands.
Projection: Starts Week 11. I honestly have no idea if I'm right or wrong here, and with the Bears being horrible with releasing any plausible medical information, this is a situation you need to monitor. He'll be day-to-day until we hear more.
Bottom Line: Fitzgerald was able to play and finish Week 11 against the 49ers. He had an MRI after the game as he was feeling soreness in the knee, and although we haven't heard any results from his MRI, it doesn't seem like he sustained a significant injury.
Projection: Starts Week 11. Fitz will be day-to-day and will likely be limited in practice this week, but barring any setbacks, he should be ready to play this weekend against the Vikings. Possible Production Dropoff: ~5%. It sounds like Fitz is more on the probable side of questionable than doubtful, so it shouldn't affect his production too much.