The Training Room: Week 9 Injury Updates

Nov 08, 2022
The Training Room: Week 9 Injury Updates

We have officially reached the part of fantasy football where you should be handcuffing players - specifically running backs. Rolling into Week 10, fantasy football playoffs are right around the corner. Some teams have already been devastated by running back injuries but especially with some NFL teams getting eliminated from playoff contention the likelihood of marquee RBs getting shut down goes up with each passing week. Even if a player's current outlook for touches is bleak, stashing them could provide real league-winning upside should a player or two ahead on the depth chart go down with an injury.

Here are the main injuries from Week 9 of the 2022 season.

Josh Allen, QB Buffalo Bills

Injury: right elbow injury (likely UCL sprain)

Projected Timetable: 2-4 weeks

Potential Replacement(s): Case Keenum

Initial Thoughts:

Easily the most significant injury from this weekend was Josh Allen injuring his right elbow (throwing arm) during their loss to the New York Jets. The mechanism of this injury is textbook for a UCL sprain.

Personally don't have a lot of data on elbow injuries in NFL quarterbacks besides time missed. Typically an elbow injury results in 2-4 weeks missed. Allen actually had a similar injury during his rookie season in 2018. Following this UCL sprain, Allen missed four games. Upon his return, the then-rookie's pass attempts per game actually increased and his average air yards per pass attempt spiked to 12.3, compared to 9.8 air yards prior to his injury.

Buffalo is downplaying the injury, but I think Allen very likely misses a few weeks. The silver lining is that when he returns, performance should be minimally impacted... if at all.

Aaron Jones, RB Green Bay Packers

Injury: left ankle injury

Projected Timetable: 0-2 weeks

Potential Replacement(s): A.J. Dillion

Initial Thoughts:

Despite being unable to return to the game after his 3rd quarter injury, it would appear that Aaron Jones avoided a major injury Sunday. X-rays were negative, and by video (which can, at times, be misleading), there did not appear to be any major injury. Green Bay has reported Jones likely won't miss time, and I tend to agree. As it stands now, I expect Jones to be ready in Week 10.

Romeo Doubs, WR Green Bay Packers

Injury: right high ankle sprain

Projected Timetable: 4 weeks

Potential Replacement(s): Sammy Watkins, Amari Rogers

Initial Thoughts:

For whatever reason, there has been a litany of high ankle sprains this season - unfortunate news for NFL fantasy and fantasy football managers. I’ve discussed high ankle sprains in depth in previous Training Rooms, but here are the main points:

  1. Typically NFL WRs miss 3-4 weeks, with nearly 95% of WRs missing at least one game.

  2. Although the data suggest high ankle sprains are not as limiting for WRs as they are for RBs, looking at the rest of season prediction, wide receivers’ fantasy points dip by ~17%.

Adam Thielen, WR Minnesota Vikings

Injury: left eversion ankle sprain

Projected Timetable: 1-2 weeks

Potential Replacement(s): K.J. Osbon, Jalen Reagor

Initial Thoughts:

After hauling in three targets for 67 yards, Adam Thielen injured his left ankle when he was tackled from behind by a Washington defender Sunday. By video, it appeared to be an eversion ankle sprain instead of the more common inversion ankle sprain.

With an eversion sprain, the foot rolls outward. These types of sprains are far less frequent. Looking at ankle injuries (unspecific) in WRs, on average, time missed equates to 3.2 weeks, with a 10% decrease in fantasy points for the three games following an injury. Filtering this down to just eversion ankle sprains - the sample is much smaller, but the time missed is the same with no significant decrease in production.

The good news here is that Thielen dealt with right ankle injuries in 2021 and did not sustain another injury that could have prolonged his recovery. The bad news is Thielen is 32 years old, on the wrong side of an age production curve, and after not missing a single game the first five years in the league, is showing signs of slowing down by missing more and more games the past three years.

Deon Jackson RB Indianapolis Colts

Injury: left knee injury (unspecific)

Projected Timetable: 0-4 weeks

Potential Replacement(s): Philip Lindsay, Zack Moss

Initial Thoughts:

This is purely speculation, but Deon Jackson did exit Sunday's game briefly with a knee injury and did not return. Jordan Wilkins actually finished the game for the Colts, although it was out of hand by the time Jackson did get hurt. The Colts are in a full-out tailspin, and should they choose to completely throw in the towel and shut down Jonathan Taylor, RB touches in Indy could be up for grabs. Knee injuries have been shown to sideline NFL running backs for 2-3 weeks.

News on Jackson's knee injury could have been pushed to the side in the wake of the Colts' coaching change. It could be worth stashing Philip Lindsay or Zack Moss before your leaguemates catch on should Jackson have a serious injury. The wide timeframe in the projected time missed is due to the uncertainty around this injury.

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