The Training Room: Week 12 Injury Updates
Whereas last week's column was relatively quiet with regards to injuries, this week brings far more unfortunate news for fantasy owners. You can never predict injuries and when they are going to happen, but there are many players that fantasy owners were going to rely on to be major factors down the stretch that will now be on the sidelines for an extended time. Throw in the fact that you have multiple games on Thursday for Thanksgiving, and a lot of fantasy owners have important decisions to make sooner than expected. Make sure you check out Brandon Niles' Week 12 Waiver Wire Watch here, and be sure to check our news feed that is updated regularly with all the latest player news.
On The Mend
Sammy Watkins (Sprained Foot): Watkins has gotten the green light to not only be active this week, but to start. The Bills have made it clear that Watkins will be on a snap count as he's still working his way back conditioning wise, but if he's on your waiver wire somehow, he needs to be owned. Projection: Starts Week 12. I would take caution and temper expectations with Watkins in his first week back in 8 weeks, especially against a Jaguars secondary that has played relative well. Hopefully Watkins will come out of the game unscathed as it will help him build confidence in his foot.
Trevor Siemian (Sprained AC Joint): Siemian had an injection in his non-throwing shoulder during the Week 11 bye to help get the pain under control. He'll likely be limited during the week, but he should be fine against the Chiefs for Sunday night. Projection: Starts Week 12. Siemian clearly is still dealing with discomfort in his left shoulder and could be at risk for an in-game aggravation if he takes a hit and is driven into the ground. I'd look elsewhere if you are looking to stream a QB.
Robert Griffin III (Fractured Coracoid Process): RGIII will return to practice this week to see how his shoulder feels. He'll likely be limited in practices this week, but he's trending in the right direction. Projection: Misses Week 12. With the QB situation up in flux due to Cody Kessler suffering another concussion this past weekend, Griffin's status is something to keep an eye on moving forward as they might be forced to put in Griffin earlier than they'd like if Josh McCown were to get hurt.
Tevin Coleman (Strained Hamstring): Coleman's return to practice early in the week suggests that he is getting closer to 100%. Keep an eye on his status to make sure he doesn't suffer any setbacks, with the expectation that he'll be ready for Week 12. Projection: Active Week 12. The Falcons have not looked as dynamic on the ground since Coleman went out with a hamstring strain. He should provide an immediate boost to that offense, and although there is some risk for injury, it sounds like the bye week really helped him.
Travis Benjamin (Sprained Knee): Benjamin has returned to practice this week coming out of the bye, which is a good sign when it comes to his availability for this upcoming Sunday. He'll continue to be day-to-day but is looking more and more likely to suit up. Projection: Active Week 12. The bye week couldn't have come at a better time for Benjamin and looks poised to make a bigger impact than the last few weeks where he's tried to play through the injury.
Jeremy Maclin (Strained Groin): Maclin has failed to practice two weeks in a row, leaving his status for Week 12 very up in the air. He'll still be week-to-week until further notice. Projection: Misses Week 12. I don't think the Chiefs will take any chances with bringing him back early this time around like they did a few weeks ago. He might return to practice this week, but even if he does, I don't like his chances at suiting up for Week 12.
Rob Gronkowski (Punctured Lung): Gronk made the trip to New York with multiple reports stating that although he is questionable, he is likely to play. Projection: Starts Week 12. The lung seems to be fully healed, but the main concern is the possibility of the chest discomfort lingering as sometimes cartilage is slower to heal. He's a must start if you have him against a Jets secondary that has been giving up big plays on a weekly basis.
Jacquizz Rodgers (Sprained Foot): Rodgers shed his walking boot last week, with Coach Dirk Koetter stating that Rodgers could return to practice this week. He'll likely be day-to-day if he does return to practice, but he'll need to show quick progress once he returns to practice to feel good about his chances of returning. Projection: Misses Week 12. Even if Rodgers does return this week, there's a chance they ease him back into his role. Add in the fact that Doug Martin is back, and Rodgers is merely a hand cuff at this point should Martin get hurt again.
The Training Room
Fractured Shoulder Blade
Bottom Line: Prosise suffered an injury to the shoulder blade region as he took a direct hit to the back of the shoulder pads. Coach Pete Carroll said after the game that Prosise suffered a shoulder blade injury and that he will be out for a while.
Projection: Misses 6-8 Weeks. A fractured scapula normally doesn't require surgery, so it's just a matter of allowing the bone to heal and improve range of motion and strength when appropriate. It's a shame for Prosise cause he has had difficulty staying healthy this year and seemed to be on his way to making a big impact for the Seahawks.
Bottom Line: There has been no indication as to when Luck started experiencing concussion like symptoms, but he'll work through the protocol in order to be cleared sooner than later.
Bottom Line: Green got tangled up with a Bills defender on the third play of the game and as he went down he immediately grabbed for the back of his right thigh. He was carted off the field and was ruled out of the game shortly thereafter.
Projection: Out for the season. Whenever a player gets carted off the field with a hamstring strain, usually it indicates that it's a significant strain. The Bengals got some good news in that Green's MRI revealed that the severity of his hamstring strain wasn't as bad as they first thought, but he is still unlikely to make a return for the fantasy playoffs. It's a tough blow for fantasy owners since he was having such a great season, but now the Bengals will lean more on Tyler Eifert and rookie Tyler Boyd to see if they can replace the production lost from Green.
Bottom Line: McCoy suffered the injury in the second quarter of this past week's game against the Bengals and was ruled out the rest of the game. He suffered a dislocated thumb and due to the medical staff not being able to reduce the dislocation, he will undergo surgery to restore normal congruency of thumb.
Projection: Starts Week 12. As I've mentioned on Twitter, the type of thumb dislocation that Shady suffered is not your typical area as the IP (interphalangeal joint) is much less likely to get dislocated. The reason they need to do surgery is to move any tissue that could be preventing the thumb from re-locating and being back in it's normal resting position. The concerns I have with Shady playing this week are gripping and catching, as the incision will likely cause some discomfort, but he's the Bills best offensive player and need him to be out there. Possible Production Dropoff: ~50%. This is a very small sample size and the data is from RB's who were probable to play, so this is something to keep an eye on.
Bottom Line: Matthews hurt his knee early in the second quarter and was shortly ruled out after he went to the locker room. After the game, Matthews was seen in a brace and was limping. Coach Doug Pederson is claiming that Matthews is day-to-day.
Projection: Misses 2-3 games. This isn't the first time Matthews has missed time due to an MCL sprain, so fantasy owners should look to have a backup plan in place. If Wendell Smallwood is on your waiver wire, now is the time to go get him, even if Darren Sproles plays, because Sproles is dealing with an injury as well.
Bottom Line: Miller's foot was stepped on towards the end of the first half and did not return. After the game Coach John Fox stated that Miller broke his foot and that he will be out the rest of the season.
Projection: Out of the season, ready for 2017. Miller has always struggled with health over his career, so this is a tough blow. Luckily most leagues only play 1 TE so there should be a pretty abundant amount of TE's available to help give you the production you're looking for.
Bottom Line: Sproles took a big hit right before the half and then was ruled out shortly thereafter. Reports are saying that Sproles suffered a fractured 7th rib, and is considered day-to-day.
Projection: Active Week 12. The majority of rib fractures are a matter of managing the pain and protecting the rib from further irritation with rib protectors. Keep an eye on Sproles' status later this week, but it sounds like he'll try and play through the pain. Being a smaller back, in-game aggravations are higher if he sustains another big hit, so definitely have a backup plan even if he does play.
Bottom Line: Woods suffered the knee injury in the 1st half of this past weekend's game against the Bengals and did not return. He was seen spotted on crutches after the game and is considered week-to-week.
Projection: Misses 3-4 games. Even though it could be precautionary, it's never a good sign when a player is spotted on crutches after a ligamentous knee injury. The Bills receiving corps continues to get smaller and smaller each week and will continue to ride their running game and be opportunistic with their passing game when needed.
Bottom Line: There was no real indication as to when Bernard hurt his knee. Even after the game there was no immediate report that Bernard suffered the season-ending injury until later in the day. He'll have surgery and will be out the rest of the season.
Projection: Misses the rest of the season, limited early in 2017. The Bengals season is slipping from their grasp pretty quick, even in a much weaker AFC North division. Bernard will be up against the clock to be ready for the start of the regular season, as he'll be 9 months removed from surgery at the beginning of next year. Keep an eye on when he does have surgery to get a better idea of timetables for his recovery.
Lateral Ankle Sprain
Bottom Line: Yeldon suffered the injury in the second quarter this past weekend against the Lions and did not return. There haven't been many updates, so consider him day-to-day until we get a better idea of his current status.
Projection: Misses Week 12. The Jaguars have states that Yeldon is unlikely to play this week, but they are still going to have him participate in pre-game warmups to see how his ankle feels. That tells me that the severity of his ankle injury isn't significant, so Yeldon should be able to return sooner than later.