The Training Room: Week 15 Injury Report

Dec 14, 2020
The Training Room: Week 15 Injury Report

If you're reading this then hopefully you are either starting to do your homework as you get ready for the fantasy playoffs, or you are celebrating advancing into the next round! Regardless, preparing to make the necessary moves to put your team in the best position to grab a W this week is all that matters as we get closer to the end of fantasy football. We had a decent number of injuries that will need monitoring, and our On The Mend section has a few big names that could make their return and impact your decisions heading into this weekend. Let's take a look at the new injuries that occurred in Week 14 and what to expect moving forward! Updated Saturday 12/19/20

Alex Smith, QB Washington Football Team

Injury: Strained Calf

Timetable For Recovery: Day To Day. Ruled OUT For Week 15.

Potential Replacement: Dwayne Haskins

Initial Thoughts: Smith injured his surgically repaired leg and it turned out to be a strained calf that prevented him from returning to the game against the 49ers. Smith has been ruled out for Week 15 so Dwayne Haskins will take over the starting role while Smith recovers from his calf strain. Calf issues are always trick to return from, and the fact that it is his surgically repaired leg will make it more challenging potentially to figure out how long he might miss.

Deebo Samuel, WR 49ers

Injury: Strained Hamstring

Timetable For Recovery: 2-4 Weeks. Ruled Out For Week 15.

Potential Replacement: Brandon Aiyuk, Kendrick Bourne

Initial Thoughts: Samuel hurt his hamstring on the first offensive play of the game and did not return. Coach Shanahan states that Samuel's hamstring injury did not look good which usually means we are looking at a multi-week injury. It would not be surprising if the 49ers shut him down for the rest of the year as he's dealt with a variety of issues this year that has not allowed him to stay on the field in 2020.

Mike Gesicki, TE Dolphins

Injury: Shoulder Dislocation

Timetable For Recovery: Week To Week. Questionable For Week 15.

Potential Replacements: Adam Shaheen

Initial Thoughts: Gesicki fell hard on his shoulder and had to be helped off the field with the trainer holding his arm due to the pain he was in. The fact that he's been able to catch passes in practice this week is encouraging, but he'll need to show the medical staff that he's healthy enough to be out there. The Dolphins may limit his snaps and reduce his role as a blocker to help reduce the stress on his shoulder so keep tabs on his status heading into the Dolphins game against the Patriots.

James Conner, RB Steelers

Injury: Thigh Injury

Timetable For Recovery: . Limited All Week. Questionable For Week 15.

Potential Replacements: Benny Snell Jr., Anthony McFarland

Initial Thoughts: It sounds like Conner is on track to play Week 15 against the Bengals as he's been limited in practice all week. The biggest thing I'd be concerned about is an in-game aggravation as the quadricep is very prone to strains due to the nature of the sport and the constant start/stop demands as a running back.

DeVante Parker, WR Dolphins

Injury: Strained Hamstring

Timetable For Recovery: Limited Practice. Questionable For Week 15.

Potential Replacements: Lynn Bowden

Initial Thoughts: Parker has played through injuries this season and it looks like he's planning on doing so again this weeken as the Dolphins continue to try and make a playoff push. There is risk here as we don't know just how healthy he is feeling, but as of now I don't see Parker sitting this game out unless he has a setback leading up to kickoff.

Ronald Jones, RB Bucanneers

Injury: Broken Pinky Finger

Timetable For Recovery: Week To Week. Placed On reserve/COVID list.

Potential Replacements: LeSean McCoy, Ke'Shawn Vaughn, Leonard Fournette

Initial Thoughts: Jones now has two things that are likely to keep him out of Week 15 as he recovers from the surgery on his finger and now waiting out being activated from the COVID list. Even if he's activated from the COVID list, it's a long shot for him to play Sunday.

Michael Thomas, WR Saints

Injury: High Ankle Sprain Re-aggravation

Timetable For Recovery: Placed On IR. Out For Rest Of Fantasy Playoffs.

Potential Replacements: Emmanuel Sanders, TreQuan Smith

Initial Thoughts: Just a brutal fantasy season for Michael Thomas and fantasy owners that had him. Apparently his ankle still isn't right so the Saints decided to put him back on IR in hopes that he can get as healthy as possible for the playoffs. Thomas for all intensive purposes severely underdelivered and ends his fantasy season on a pretty sour note.

Evan Engram, TE Giants

Injury: Strained Calf. Questionable For Week 15.

Potential Replacements: Kaden Smith

Initial Thoughts: Engram was a late week addition to the injury report and a calf issue is never what you want to hear late in the week. However, the Giants are reporting that Engram is likely to play Sunday night against the Browns which makes it a difficult choice if you have him rostered. I would have a backup plan if you have Engram as calf issues do have a tendency to have a high re-aggravation rate so be prepared to pivot if need be.

On The Mend

Ezekiel Elliott, RB Cowboys

Injury: Strained Calf. Expected To Play Week 15.

Initial Thoughts: Elliott didn't practice all week, but the Cowboys are still claiming that he will be available without limitations Week 15. It sounds like the bruise that Elliott was dealing with last week sounds more like a strain of the calf itself than just a bruise. He doesn't have the greatest matchup either against the 49ers and hasn't been overly consistent over the past few weeks so I would temper expectations about if you are playing him.

Christian McCaffrey, RB Panthers

Injury: Quad Strain, Strained Shoulder. Ruled OUT For Week 15.

Initial Thoughts: The expectation was that CMC won't be available to play Week 15 and the Panthers confirmed that with ruling him out. It is fair to wonder that if he doesn't trend in the right direction fast enough that the Panthers might just choose to shut him down the rest of the year to not risk further issues. Those who have him need to prepare for the worst and hope for the best but as of right now it's not looking good for his availability the rest of the season.

Daniel Jones, QB Giants

Injury: Strained Hamstring. Ruled OUT For Week 15.

Initial Thoughts: Jones did not look right last week against the Cardinals and the Giants will hold him out in favor for Colt McCoy to try and get a win against the Browns. Depending on where the Giants stand after Week 15 may determine how desperate the Giants will be when it comes to Jones' recovery.

John Brown, WR Bills

Injury: High Ankle Sprain. Ruled OUT For Week 15.

Initial Thoughts: Brown's window to return to the field started this week as he was activated off the IR list. Unfortunately, it looks like the Bills will hold him out to give him more opportunity to get to 100%. Gabriel Davis will continue to play in his place.

Drew Brees, QB Saints

Injury: Broken Ribs. Expected To Play Week 15.

Initial Thoughts: It's hard to imagine Brees being 100% like the Saints say he is given that he had multiple rib fractures and is only a few weeks removed from the injury. However, he'll face the Chiefs in an important game as the Saints continue to try and keep up with the Packers for the first seed in the NFC. If the Saints feel comfortable with Brees playing this weekend then I wouldn't have too many reservations but pain

Matthew Stafford, QB Lions

Injury: Rib Injury. Questionable For Week 15.

Initial Thoughts: Stafford was able to practice on a limited basis on Friday which puts him on track to play Week 15. He made the trip to Tennessee and is preparing to start barring any significant setbacks. Stafford has a good matchup against the Titans but he has just been very difficult to trust and has not had Kenny Golladay as his disposal for the last two months. I'd consider Stafford only if you don't have any better options.

Julio Jones, WR Falcons

Injury: Strained Hamstring. Ruled OUT For Week 15.

Initial Thoughts: The Falcons have been eliminated from playoff contention so at this point there is no real urgency or rush to try and get Julio Jones back if he is not anywhere near 100%. I would not bank on Jones being back for Week 15 and it's fair to wonder whether or not he'd be available for the fantasy playoff championships if teams are looking ahead to that already.

Brandin Cooks, WR Texans

Injury: Strained Neck. Expected To Play Week 15.

Initial Thoughts: Cooks missed Week 14 with the neck issue but appears on track to make return to the field for Week 15 as he was removed from the injury report late in the week. The Texans will be on the road against the Colts.

Kenny Golladay, WR Lions

Injury: Strained Hip. Ruled OUT For Week 15.

Initial Thoughts: It's been a lost season for Golladay as what seemed to be a minor hip related issue has caused him to miss the majority of the season now with no real end in sight. It's fair to question whether or not he will return before the season is over. I'd say for anyone that has him, I would not trust him to be in your starting lineup for the fantasy playoffs even if he does somehow miraculously return.

Antonio Gibson, RB Washington Football Team

Injury: Turf Toe

Initial Thoughts: Gibson did not practice at all last week which makes it hard to believe that he'll be available in Week 15 as the Washington Football Team face the Seahawks. They'll continue to use J.D. McKissic and Peyton Barber in the backfield as they make their push to capture the division.

Jamison Crowder, WR Jets

Injury: Strained Calf. Expected To Play Week 15.

Initial Thoughts: Crowder was limited on Thursday and Friday which puts him on track to play against the Rams. It's a tough matchup and at less than 100%, he's very tough to trust in the fantasy playoffs at this point.

Duke Johnson, RB Texans

Injury: Strained Neck. Ruled OUT For Week 15.

Initial Thoughts: You weren't going to play Duke Johnson in the fantasy playoffs, but it potentially gives David Johnson more of a safer floor now that Duke is ruled out but both are still hard to really trust.

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