The Training Room: Week 7 Injury Updates
Somehow Week 7 has arrived and it brings either a lot of nervousness as to where your team currently stands, or some optimism as to what you need to do to continue staying atop the standings. With bye weeks continuing to make it difficult to wait for players that are injured, here is a list of players you need to watch heading into this week to make sure you can plan ahead. Look for continued updates in the news feed on our homepage, and I will look to do a periscope later this week to discuss some of the injury developments that occur.
On The Mend
Steve L Smith (High Ankle Sprain): Smith wasn't able to practice at all last week, which makes his availability very questionable for this weekend if he continues to miss practice time. Projection: Misses Week 7. Kamar Aiken filled in for Smith Sr. in the slot and although he saw more targets, the Ravens passing game as a whole has been underwhleming.
Stefon Diggs (Strained Groin): Diggs will continue to be day-to-day until we see him practice in some sort this week. Projection: Starts Week 7. The Vikings have a tough game against the Eagles this upcoming weekend, so having Diggs available will help Bradford be more effective with his throws at the intermediate and short route level.
Ladarius Green (Ankle Surgery): Coach Tomlin failed to give any confidence that Green could return this week. He remains week-to-week until we see him practice and show he's ready to play. Projection: Misses Week 7. Even if Green does return within the next few weeks, the likelihood that he becomes a factor immediately is unlikely, especially with Jesse James there.
Tyler Eifert (Strained Back): Eifert has returned to practice this week, which puts him on track to play this upcoming weekend. Keep an eye on his status to make sure he doesn't suffer any setbacks. Projection: Active Week 7. The wait could finally be over, and it couldn't have come at a better time as the Bengals face a Browns team that is struggling to cover tight ends. If you've waited this long, now is the time to finally reap the benefits of having Eifert, even if he's on a snap count.
Doug Martin (Strained Hamstring): Martin remains sidelined with a strained hamstirng even with the Bucs coming out of a bye. He'll continue to be day-to-day until we see him back on the practice field. Projection: Misses Week 7. It is always concerning when a player who has been dealing with a hamstring strain continues not to practice in any fashion, especially coming out of a bye week. Hopefully I'm wrong here and he'll practice later this week, but this is not what we were expecting heading into this week.
Dwayne Washington (Ankle/Foot Sprain): Washington was able to get in a limited practice this past Friday, and although the Lions were stating that he had a chance to play this past weekend, it was never really a consideration. Projection: Actve Week 7. Washington's injuries have hurt his ability to grab the starting role in the Lions backfield, especially now that the Lions signed Justin Forsett in addition to Zach Zenner and Theo Riddick. If Theo Riddick continues to sit, there's a chance the Lions see what Washington can do to establish himself in a bigger role.
Latavius Murray (Turf Toe): Murray hasn't practice in any form since he's been dealing with a turf toe injury he sustained against the Ravens in week 4. He'll remain week-to-week. Projection: Misses Week 7. Even when Murray does return, he is a returning to a crowded backfield which makes it hard to be optimistic about how much he's going to contribute.
Jordan Reed (Concussion): Reed continues to make progress from his concussion he sustained late last week, but he still remains very questionable to be available this weekend. Projection: Misses Week 7. Reed's concussion history is well documented, so the Redskins will likely be very cautious when he is ready.
Jared Cook (High Ankle Sprain): Cook has come out of his walking boot and has returned to working out and doing individual drills, but he still isn't where he needs to be yet in order to practice. Projection: Misses Week 7. The Packers play on a short week this week, so Cook will likely not play. The earliest it seems he could make a return is Week 8, especially since the Packers will have a lot of time before Week 8 to get him ready.
Will Fuller (Strained Hamstring): Fuller was active this past Sunday but did not play a snap due to an injured hamstring. Projection: Starts Week 7. Unless Fuller suffers a setback this week, he should be ready to resume his starting WR slot opposite DeAndre Hopkins. There is some risk for an in-game aggravation, so the Texans could potentially put him on a snap count depending on how he feels.
Donte Moncrief (Fractured Shoulder Blade): Coach Pagano has not given any timetable as to when Moncrief will return, but he did mention that he is recovering well since he fractured his shoudler blade in Week 2. Projection: Misses 1-2 more games. Moncrief will need to practice in order to feel confident that he is closer to returning.
The Training Room
Bottom Line: Big Ben underwent surgery this past Monday to address a tear in his meniscus. Coach Tomlin has already ruled him out for this weekend's game against the Patriots. Latest report from ESPN's Ed Werder is that Roethlisberger will miss 4-6 weeks due to the surgery he just underwent.
Projection: Misses 2-4 games. Normal timetables for meniscus trimming surgeries are usually 2-4 weeks, but it sounds like Big Ben had a little more work done on the knee which could delay his recovery. The Steelers Week 8 bye will help, but this is definitely a situation to keep an eye on as all the Steelers position players are going to get a bump down in rankings with Landry Jones under center.
Odell Beckham Jr.
Bottom Line: Beckham Jr. landed hard on his left hip when attempting to make a diving grab. He came out of the game, was evaluated, and later returned to torch the Ravens for over 200+ receivering yards for the day. He'll likely be limited this whole week to help allow the hip to heal, so keep an eye on his status for this weekend.
Projection: Starts Week 7. Although most will point to Beckham Jr. being able to play through the injury during the game, that night and the following days after is when most of the soreness and stiffness will set in. I wouldn't be overly concerned unless Beckham Jr. fails to practice later in the week. Possible Production Dropoff: ~7%
Bottom Line: Hyde came out of this past weekend's game against the Bills with a shoulder injury, but only missed a short amount of time and finished the game. He's considered day-to-day, although he was spotted wearing a sling on the injured shoulder at practice on Tuesday.
Projection: Misses Week 7. Chip Kelly stated during Wednesday's practice that Hyde would be hard press to suit up this weekend against the Bucs. There hasn't been any indication as to what type of injury he's dealing with, but my guess would be an AC joint sprain.
Bottom Line: Starks underwent knee surgery this past Sunday to address a torn meniscus. Early reports have Starks missing 4 weeks since his surgery.
Projection: Misses 4-6 games. With the Packers RB corps extremely thin, the Packers have traded for Kniles Davis and have promoted Don Jackson off their practice squad. Much like Roethlisberger, it sounds like Starks had a little more cleanout than originally thought as to why the timetable was put at 4-6 weeks.
Bottom Line: There was no indication as to when Pryor sustained the hamstring injury, but Coach Jackson did say that Pryor is dealing with a hamstring issue and is day-to-day.
Projection: Misses Week 7. Pryor does have some history of hamstring issues since he's been in the league, which does pose a potential problem for his availability heading into this weekend. If he does somehow progress towards the end of the week, he'll likely be a game time decision.
Bottom Line: Adams left this past weekend's game against the Cowboys in the 3rd quarter after sustaining a head injury. He was later ruled out and is considered day to day at this point.
Projection: Misses Week 7. With the Packers playing on Thursday night, it will be difficult to see Adams being cleared in time to play.
Bottom Line: Allen was forced from Sunday night's game against the Texans as he got his ankle rolled up on. He was seen on crutches on the sidelines during that game is considered week to week.
Projection: Misses 2-4 games. Allen has had trouble staying on the field so far in his NFL career and this won't help him. Jack Doyle should see more work with Allen out and Erik Swoopes should also be in the mix for more touches.
Bottom Line: Jackson finished the game, but was complaining of knee discomfort after the game. He was put on I.R. today and will have further testing to determine the extent of knee injury.
Projection: Misses at least 8 weeks, if not the whole season. Jackson will undergo further testing to determine what exactly is going on in the knee, but he wasn't exactly producing at the level we have been used to seeing Jackson perform at.
Bottom Line: Dorsett suffered a hamstring injury at the beginning of the 3rd quarter and did not return. He is considered day to day.
Projection: Misses Week 7. Dorsett has done very little with his opportunity to establish himself as a reliable option opposite T.Y. Hilton and with Donte Moncrief still getting healthy. If Dorsett sits, Chester Rogers will fill in for him with more targets going to Jack Doyle.