The Training Room: Week 16 Injury Updates
Championship week is finally upon us! The unique thing about the 2016 season is that you could potentially be crowned a fantasy football champion as a late present to yourself during the holiday season. There are some prominent names that need some attention this weekend, so let's get right to business. Also, be sure to check out Brandon Niles' Week 16 Waiver Wire column.
On The Mend
Julio Jones (Turf Toe): Jones looks to be on track to play this weekend against the Panthers. Keep an eye on his practice participation to get a better feel for how limited he could potentially be. Projection: Starts Week 16. The Falcons were able to grab two wins while they rested Jones to get him as healthy as he can be for the final playoff push. The two weeks should be enough for him to play and be effective against a Panthers defense that has struggled against receivers.
Melvin Gordon (Strained Hip/Sprained Knee): Gordon has not been able to practice so far this week, which makes the likelihood of him playing this weekend slimmer and slimmer. Projection: Misses Week 16. The fact that the Chargers are not in playoff contention and Gordon is dealing with both hip and knee injuries makes him unlikely to play.
A.J. Green (Strained Hamstring): Latest reports are that the Bengals are not sure if Green is going to play today. He's practiced in limited fashion all week, but this is first time there has been some doubt in his status Projection: Misses Week 16. This is a situation to watch, but with the Bengals not having much to play for, it sounds like the Bengals are more likely to sit Green than to play him. It sounds like he might be dealing with some lingering soreness in his hamstring after practicing consecutive days this week.
Theo Riddick (Sprained Wrist): Riddick continues to be sidelined with a wrist injury and remains week-to-week. Projection: Misses Week 16. Riddick has yet to practice since Week 14, which makes the odds of him suiting up this weekend unlikely unless he has a quick recovery within the next few days.
Donte Moncrief (Strained Hamstring): Moncrief has returned to practice in limited fashion this week so far, which tentatively puts him on track to play this upcoming weekend. Projection: Starts Week 16. Moncrief has been a touchdown-or-bust player since returning from his shoulder injury early in the year, making him hard to trust even in a good matchup against the Raiders.
Allen Hurns (Strained Hamstring): Hurns remains week-to-week and could potentially return to practice on a limited basis this week. Projection: Misses Week 16. The Jaguars have no reason to rush Hurns back, so even if he does return to practice, they'll likely take it slow with him.
The Training Room
Bottom Line: Miller has failed to practice all this week, with latest report from Ian Rapaport stating that Miller is more likely doubtful than questionable for tonight's game against the Bengals.
Projection: Misses Week 16. Aggravations to ankle sprains can cause more discomfort than they initially felt, which is most likely the reason he hasn't progressed as fast this week. He should be fine for Week 17, but for now, the Texans backfield is a situation to avoid.
Bottom Line: Pryor injured his finger this past Sunday against the Bills. He was able to finish the game, but reports are stating that he has torn ligaments in his finger that will require surgery after the season.
Projection: Starts Week 16. Pryor will try and play through the injury, although the ability to catch passes might be more difficult due to the pain he is experiencing in the finger. Pryor's production has dropped as of late, especially with RGIII back at the helm, so he would be a risk option for the fantasy championship round. Possible Production Dropoff: ~15%. Finger injuries are difficult for receivers to catch the ball away from their body due to either pain or lack of grip strength. An in-game aggravation is also possible as well, so there is some risk to playing Pryor this week.
Bottom Line: Green suffered the head injury in the first quarter against the Patriots and did not return. He has entered the league's concussion protocol and is day-to-day.
Projection: Misses Week 16. Green has been a non-factor for the Broncos this season due to the number of injuries he's had. He has been ineffective even when he has played.
Bottom Line: Green suffered the concussion late in Sunday's game against the Bengals. He is currently in the concussion protocol and is also visiting a doctor in Pittsburgh with regards to his brain injury
Projection: Misses Week 16. Green's history of concussions and the fact that there was talk about him having some lingering issues from those previous concussions makes it very difficult to think he'll be available this week. Jesse James will see more playing time, but he's not a recommended option for the championship round.
Bottom Line: Thielen was forced from the game this past Sunday against the Colts and was initially checked for a concussion. Reports later described his injury as only a neck injury and that he did not suffer a concussion. He is currently day-to-day
Projection: Starts Week 16. Thielen is a risky option against a Packers defense that has been playing better as of late. I wouldn't trust any receiver on Minnesota except for Diggs and Kyle Rudolph at this point. Possible Production Dropoff: Minimal. The Packers defense has not been great against receivers, but he is still a very risky play if you want to win your championship game.
Bottom Line: Petty suffered the injury in Saturday's night game against the Dolphins after he was sandwiched between two defenders. He has returned to practice and states that he will play this weekend against the Patriots.
Projection: Starts Week 16. Many of you probably rolled your eyes at this update, but for those desperate in two quarterback leagues, you never know what the options could be.