The Training Room: Week 5 Injury Updates
It's crazy to think, but we are already a quarter through the fantasy football season! With injuries continuing to pile up and bye weeks becoming a factor, knowing when players are expected to come back can be the difference in holding onto them or having to drop them to make appropriate need-based roster moves. Check out Brandon Niles' Week 5 Waiver Watch column here, and be sure to keep checking back on our homepage as our news feed is constantly updating with the newest injury information as it comes out.
On The Mend
Already ruled out for Week 5: TE Jared Cook, WR Eli Rogers
Dez Bryant (Knee Bone Bruise): Bryant will continue to be day-to-day. If the latest report stating that Bryant is dealing with a bone bruise is to be believed, there's a chance he might even practice in some form this week. Depending on how he feels, the Cowboys could attempt to rest him one more week to make sure his knee is closer to 100% before returning. Projection: Misses Week 5. I'm torn on this one, as I have a gut feeling that Bryant will likely try and convince the medical and coaching staff to play him, and there's a chance that he could be successful if his diagnostic tests show that his knee is continuing to heal. Keep an eye on his status this week and we'll make sure to update
Arian Foster (Groin Strain): Foster returned to a limited practice this past Wednesday, which was a surprise to many as most had him missing this week already. However, when discussing his running back situation for this upcoming week, Coach Adam Gase failed to mention Foster's name in the discussion, which makes me think he's not ready yet. Projection: Misses Week 5. The frustration of owning Foster continues to mount and it's fair to question whether or not he'll regain the form we are expecting when he returns. The Dolphins offensive line continues to be subpar at best so even when Foster returns, it could be hard for him to find room to run.
Tyler Eifert (Ankle Reconstruction): Eifert apparently suffered a setback in Monday's practice and was noticebly limping. Reports are that the injury he is dealing with is to his back and not to his surgically repaired ankle. Projection: Misses Week 5. There's always a risk of setback when trying to ramp up to full activity after any type of surgical procedure. It sounds like Eifert will continue to be week to week for now, so keep an eye on his status heading into next week in hopes that he can start practicing again and gear up for his long awaited return to the field.
Antonio Gates (Hamstring Strain): Gates hasn't been close to playing in the last two games, so it's hard to imagine him progressing enough this week to give it a go this upcoming weekend. Projection: Misses Week 5. Hamstring strains do have a tendency to linger, especially as a player gets up there in age, so I would keep an eye on Gates' status but make backup plans for this weekend.
Rashad Jennings (Thumb Sprain): Jennings continues to progress from this thumb sprain that he suffered in Week 2. He was inactive for Monday's game, but it does seem like he is getting closer. Projection: Active Week 5. Jennings will return to the field, but there's a chance they could put him on a snap count to see how his thumb feels once he returns to game action.
Virgil Green (Calf Strain): Coach Kubiak states that Green will practice this week, but how much he practices was not mentioned. Projection: Active Week 5. It sounds like if Green is able to get limited practices in all week without setbacks, he'll likely be a game time decision. He's hard to trust as he's coming off a two-week absence.
Jay Cutler (Thumb Sprain): Cutler continues to be week-to-week, with coach John Fox stating that even if Cutler does return, Brian Hoyer could maintain the starting QB job. Projection: Misses Week 5. Hoyer has looked more comfortable and a better fit than Cutler since he's taken over the starting job, so the Bears won't rush to bring Cutler back until he's close to 100%.
The Training Room
Bottom Line: Newton took a big hit at the goal line on a 2-point conversion and was evaluated and then diagnosed with a concussion after that hit. Derek Anderson came in and finished the game in place of Newton. Coach Ron Rivera did confirm that Newton is in the concussion protocol but did not know whether or not he will be available for Week 5. Newton has yet to practice this week and his status will likely go down to the wire.
Projection: Starts Week 5. With the Panthers playing on Monday Night Football against the Bucs, Newton will have an extra day to be able to get through the concussion protocol. Concussions can always be tricky and setbacks can happen at anytime, but the extra day should hopefully help Cam be available for Monday night.
Bottom Line: As Palmer was being sacked, his head hit hard against the turf. He was slow to get up and was brought to the sideline, where he was later diagnosed with a concussion. Coach Bruce Arians currently states that Palmer is day-to-day and that he has a chance to play this upcoming Thursday.
Projection: Misses Week 5. Suffering a concussion and trying to get cleared before a Thursday night game is always hard to accomplish. Keep an eye on Palmer's status, but he has yet to practice in any fashion, which is never a good sign on a short week.
Bottom Line: Siemian was tackled and landed on his non-throwing shoulder. He was evaluated and was able to return to the sideline as the backup if the Broncos needed him. MRI confirmed that he is dealing with an AC joint sprain and is considered day-to-day.
Projection: Starts Week 5. The fact that Siemian was able to return to the sidelines after he sustained the injury, and the fact that he wasn't in a sling is a telling sign that he is dealing with a lower grade sprain. He'll likely have some discomfort and pain from the injury this week and will likely not practice much, but I do believe that if he progresses enough that he'll regain the starting role and start for the Broncos this upcoming weekend.
Partially Torn Rotator Cuff
Bottom Line: Decker had an MRI on his shoulder which revealed a partially torn rotator cuff. He remains week-to-week, but the severity of the injury did have the Jets medical staff question whether or not they should put Decker on IR and have his rotator cuff repaired.
Projection: Misses 1-3 more games. Size of the tear, location, and function are all huge factors when it comes to playing through this type of injury. Decker's shoulder will likely be painful the rest of the season, it is just a matter of whether or not he can function and be productive for the Jets while managing the injury.
Bottom Line: Murray has been wearing a walking boot since this past weekend's game against the Ravens. He is apparently dealing with a toe injury, which I assume would be turf toe. He is considered day to day for now, but Adam Schefter reported that Murray is doubtful to play this upcoming weekend.
Projection: Misses Week 5. It sounds like the Raiders will hold him out this week for his toe to recover. Turf toe injuries are always tricky to manage as if you come back too soon it could cause a setback which requires a longer period of time to return. Murray continues to be less involved in the Raiders run game, so DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard should see the majority of the carries against the Chargers and could continue to see more work even when Murray does return.
Sprained Knee/Rib Injury
Bottom Line: Forte was seen being carted to the x-ray room after this past weekend's game, but there was no indication what the x-ray was for. It sounds like they were checking his ribs as they were included on his injury report this week.
Projection: Starts Week 5. Forte's usage early on in the season could be catching up with him as the Jets have been giving more work to Bilal Powell over the past two games. He's been practicing in limited fashion which puts him in line to start, but check back on his status to make sure he continues to practice in some fashion. Possible Production Dropoff: -15%, hard to determine if the ribs or the knee will be more limiting to Forte.
Bottom Line: Blount popped up on the injury report early this week with a hip injury. It is unknown if it is the same hip that he had offseason surgery on. He is considered day to day at this point.
Projection: Active Week 5. If Blount continues to practice in limited fashion, he should be in line to play this upcoming weekend against the Browns. Blount's usage will likely change with Tom Brady back in the fold, but he should continue to be a force in the red zone and goal line, which is what you most likely drafted him to be anyways. Possible Production Dropoff: Minimal. There hasn't been much data to show those who play with hip injuries have a drop in production.
Bottom Line: Washington left this past Sunday's game against the Bears and did not return. He was diagnosed with a foot and ankle sprain and is considered day-to-day at this point in time.
Projection: Misses 1-2 games. The fact that he has not been sent to see a foot/ankle specialist is a good sign that he avoided a possible lisfranc injury. I'm more concerned about the foot sprain than the ankle sprain as the foot might take longer to heal and recover from due to the discomfort when trying to push off the foot.
Bottom Line: Johnson was trying to change direction to avoid a tackler and his leg caught awkwardly and he immediately went down grabbing at his right groin. Early reports had him dealing with just a groin strain, but he has been put on I.R. and will be undergoing sports hernia surgery.
Projection: Misses 8-10 games. Johnson will be eligible to return after eight weeks, but normally sports hernia surgeries can take longer in terms of the recovery timetable depending on pain and ability to ramp up activity without setbacks. With CB Tyvon Branch also undergoing sports hernia surgery and being put on I.R., the Cardinals will have to figure out who the bigger need is when both are eligible to return.
Bottom Line: Reports after this past Sunday's game state that Lockett is dealing with a torn PCL, which is why he's been struggling over the past few games.
Projection: Active Week 6. The Seahawks are currently on bye, so Lockett will have a week to figure out if he can manage still playing at less than 100%, or if he needs to sit out to rest his knee. The fact that he's been trying to play through the injury makes me think he'll continue to try and do so unless he starts to notice either more instability in the knee or more discomfort.
Bottom Line: White was seen limping off the field in the third quarter this past weekend against the Lions. He was put on I.R. due to him sustaining a high ankle sprain along with a fibula fracture.
Projection: Out for the season. White's high ankle sprain and fibular fracture will require surgery which will ultimately end his season. It's a tough blow for White as he was starting to develop good rapport with Brian Hoyer, but will now have to deal with a long rehab and recovery to return for next year.
Bottom Line: Funchess hurt his toe in the fourth quarter against the Falcons and did not return. Although there has been no specification as to what type of injury to his toe he sustained, it sounds like he's dealing with turf toe.
Projection: Misses 1 game. Although Funchess will have an extra day of rest to recover since the Panthers don't play until Monday night, turf toe injuries are really painful initially.Being able to manage the pain and get it under control to allow him to start running again is important to see if he can at return sooner than later.
Bottom Line: Cunningham left the game early this past Sunday against the Cardinals, and although he was never formally ruled out, he never returned.
Projection: Misses 1-2 games. There hasn't been much update on Cunningham's status since he left the game this past Sunday. The reason why his status is important is if he sits out, Todd Gurley should get more opportunities in the passing game.
Bottom Line: Fiedorowicz exited the game against the after his knee was fallen on by another player during a field goal attempt. He was able to return to the game, but after was diagnosed with a sprained MCL.
Projection: Active Week 5. The fact that he was able to return to the game means that he could be dealing with a low grade sprain, so his pain tolerance and his ability to recover without setback will determine whether or not he'll be available this weekend. Possible Production Drop: -10%
Bottom Line: Williams hurt his knee in the first half of this past Sunday's game against the Raiders, but there was no evidence as to what caused the knee injury. He was ruled out of the game in the second half.
Projection: Misses Week 5. Regardless if Williams is available or not this upcoming week, he is completely off the fantasy radar as he has yet to show he can make an impact.