The Training Room: Week 8 Injury Updates
We are officially at the half way point of the fantasy season with many managers still in the thick of things, and others fighting through injuries as the season unfolds. Unfortunately for many managers, Week 7 has left huge voids for many teams the rest of the season, as there were many devastating injuries that either ended seasons for significant players or will hold them out for an extended amount of time. For those who have the following players on their rosters, we provide some insight as to what you can do to keep afloat.
Torn ACL - The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is the main ligament in the knee that helps prevent rotational/twisting motions and prevents the lower leg from moving excessively on the upper part of the leg. A rupture of the ACL leaves significant instability in the knee where normal day to day activities become difficult to do.
Bradford fell awkwardly as he was pushed out of bounds in the 4th quarter. He was unable to put any weight on his left leg immediately after the injury happened. MRI confirmed he tore his ACL, which puts Bradford out for the rest of this season.
Bottom Line - It's a big blow to the Rams as Bradford has played better and more productive over the past few weeks. Backup Kellen Clemens is a significant downgrade for the Rams receivers, but look for the Rams to rely on their running backs to do the heavy lifting moving forward. Zac Stacy has looked good of late and should continue to receive the bulk of the work out of the backfield. Being that it's Bradford's left leg, which is the leg he plants on when throwing, it'll be interesting to see if he'll be ready in time for training camp.
Torn ACL - See Sam Bradford
Wayne suffered the knee injury when attempting to make a catch on a ball that was under thrown by Andrew Luck. He hurt his knee with no other players near him and was in immediate pain after he sustained the injury.
Bottom Line - Andrew Luck's favorite and most reliable target will be hard to replace in the short term. Every pass catcher in the Colts starting lineup gets an upgrade although outside of TY Hilton, it's hard to get excited about Darrius Heyward-Bey's and Colby Fleener's lack of consistent catching. Wayne, who will be 35 next season, should be ready for the start of training camp, although it will be interesting to see how effective he will be as recovery time is longer as players get older.
Torn Shoulder Labrum - The labrum in the shoulder is a thick fibrous cartilage that helps stabilize the shoulder (glenohumeral) joint when performing any activity with the arm. Direct trauma or repetitive trauma to the labrum can cause tears in the tissue, which can lead to instability and pain in the shoulder.
Martin left the game in the 3rd quarter after he a took a hit on an incomplete pass. He left the game and did not return. Reports are that Martin tore his labrum but will try to rehab the injury to see if he can return this season.
Bottom Line - If Martin did tear his labrum and plans on playing through the injury, there's no question he will be playing through pain the rest of the season. The location and severity of the tear will determine if rehab will be able to get him to a level that will allow him to gut it out the rest of the way. There's always the risk that if he continues to play that it will get worse, which makes it a tough decision. I would hold onto Martin until his status is updated, but in the mean time, pick up Mike James who will be his immediate backup. I still don't have faith in the Bucs offensive line to be able to open holes for James, but from a volume standpoint, he seems to be next in line. Consider Martin out indefinitely.
Strained Hamstring - The hamstring muscle is the primary muscle in the back of the thigh responsible for bending the knee and extending the hip. When it relates to sports, it's a very important muscle in aiding to accelerate/decelerate the lower body to allow proper running and cutting.
Foster left the game in 1st quarter after aggravating his hamstring issue that he was dealing with during the week. He was in streets clothes the rest of the game after being ruled out. Coach Kubiak considers Foster day to day.
Bottom Line - The fact that Foster was ruled out as fast as he was is somewhat concerning for owners, as it seemed like the attempt to test out his hamstring was minimal. Considering the day to day label, it seems as if Foster might be dealing with a grade 1 or grade 2 strain, which would put him in the 2-3 week timetable. The Texans do have a bye this week which will help Foster heal up, but only time will tell if he'll be able to suit up for Week 9 against the Colts. He's had a history of hamstring issues in the past so definitely keep an eye on his status to see if he's practicing even in a limited fashion.
Torn Adductor - The adductors are the muscles on the inside of your thigh known as your groin muscles. Higher grade strains of the adductor muscles can lead to partial tearing of the muscle off the bone, either where the muscle originates or inserts.
Cutler was in immediate pain after taking a sack in the 2nd quarter. He had to be helped to the locker room by the training staff and walked with a noticeable limp. Reports are that Cutler is expected to miss at least the next 4 weeks.
Bottom Line - It sounds like Cutler is dealing with a grade 2 or grade 3 strain which would put Cutler on the shelf for roughly 6-8 weeks, best case scenario. We've seen players come back from hip injuries faster than expected, (Jake Locker) but Cutler seemed to be in a lot of pain and based on his past injury history, Cutler seems like he'll make sure he's 100% before coming back. I would look for QB help elsewhere as Cutler won't be helping your team anytime soon. Josh McCown looks to be Cutler's replacement, and while Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte should remain viable or possibly even gain a bit of value with McCown at the wheel, Alshon Jeffery and Martellus Bennett could see their startability impacted.
Concussion - Concussions are an insult to the brain from direct trauma. The brain suffers microtrauma and scarring with a variety of symptoms presenting, depending on where the trauma is located.
Foles came out of the game and did not return after he was slammed down to the ground by two defensive players from the Cowboys. His head hit the ground hard and he looked shaken up on the sideline, which prompted the medical staff to take him to the locker room for more testing.
Bottom Line - Just when there was talk about Foles taking over the starting job for good, he can't stay healthy, which brings Michael Vick right back in the mix. Matt Barkley isn't an option as he looked overmatched playing in his first NFL game, which might force the Eagles to play Vick at less than 100%. Keep a close eye on Foles' status later this week to make sure he's going through the NFL protocol without any setbacks. The QB situation in Philly makes it difficult to determine whether or not he's worth keeping even in 10-12 team leagues, so keep an eye on his status to help with your decision.
Spinal Cord Contusion - Excessive trauma to the joints/bones of the spine can cause bruising and inflammation around the spinal cord. Depending on the area that is affected, it can cause weakness, altered sensation, and balance/walking disturbances that can make daily tasks that much more difficult.
Finley was diagnosed with a spinal cord contusion early Tuesday morning after he was released from the hospital.
Bottom Line - Spinal cord contusions are a serious manner and can be very debilitating if not managed properly. Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jameel McClain suffered the same injury last December and just returned back to football this past week. I don't think there's a chance that Finley plays another snap this season to be cautious and allow the spinal cord to heal without issue. It sounds like he'll have a full recovery but he's safe to drop in re-draft leagues.
Fractured Ribs - Direct trauma/force to the ribs that exceeds the limits of the bone to withstand that trauma leads to a fracture.
Tate left the game briefly and headed to the locker room to be examined. He later returned to the game and finished with 50 yards on 15 carries. Today it was revealed that Tate played through 4 broken ribs as x-rays done after the game revealed the fractures.
Bottom Line - One fractured rib is tough to manage when you're a running back, but four is another story. Tate will likely be sore and very limited, but the fact that the Texans have a bye this week gives him extra time to heal without too much contact to the painful area. With his fellow running back Arian Foster on the shelf with a strained hamstring, Tate will be in line to carry the load if Foster can't give it a go. He will likely wear protective gear around his fractured ribs to reduce the strain and since many players have played with his injury, I don't expect him to miss much time at all. He remains a high upside handcuff and will likely be an RB1 play if Foster misses time.