The Training Room: Week 11 Injury Updates
As the fantasy football playoff picture becomes clearer, hopefully you have a spot locked up or are still in the hunt. Regardless, there were a number of injuries this past week, and many player are close to returning who could possibly help your team. Let’s get right into it and discuss the Week 10 injuries you need to keep an eye on.
On The Mend
Giovanni Bernard (Hip Pointer): I mentioned on twitter a few weeks ago that hip pointers can be very painful and difficult to return from due to the location of the symptoms in front of the hip. It seems like Bernard is having a difficult time trying to ramp up his activity due to the pain, which can continue to give him issues even when he does return. Continue to consider him day-to-day for now. There’s a chance Bernard might be able to play this upcoming week, but there’s still no indication as to how healthy he’ll be when he comes back. To keep Bernard from getting too banged up, I can see Jeremy Hill getting more touches, keeping him a viable option down the stretch.
Montee Ball (Groin Strain): All signs point to Ball suiting up to play this week versus the Rams. Ball should be good to go moving forward, and with Ronnie Hillman hurting his foot, Ball could be for an increased workload along with C.J. Anderson.
Rashad Jennings (MCL Sprain): Jennings has been in this column for the past few weeks. His status remains day-to-day until we get the official word, but he’s been progressing through rehab and doing more sport specific activity, which makes him more likely to suit up against the 49ers on Sunday. Once he does return, look for him to return to his starting duties with no restrictions.
Pierre Thomas (Shoulder Sprain): Prior to being inactive for this past Sunday’s game, Thomas still had not practiced with the team, leaving his status for Week 11 up in the air. It’s tough to gauge whether or not he’ll be able to return, but considering that he hasn’t done any activity, his short term outlook is not great.
Khiry Robinson (Forearm Pain): The fact the Saints have gone this long without revealing what exactly Robinson is dealing with makes it sound like he’s got some sort of fracture. Just my speculation, but I can’t see how a strained forearm or soft tissue injury to the forearm could hold Robinson out for now 3 games. Continue to consider him week-to-week until he gets back on the practice field.
Kyle Rudolph (Sports Hernia Surgery): Rudolph has been practicing with the team with no mentions of any setbacks since his surgery. Coach Zimmer states they are going to take it slow with Rudolph, but I can’t see them not putting him back into an offense that is in need of playmakers. He’ll continue to be day-to-day but I think Rudolph plays this weekend against the Bears.
Mercedes Lewis (High Ankle Sprain): Lewis has been practicing with the team on a limited basis since the end of October. He’s eligible to return off of short term I.R. in Week 12, so things are shaping up for him to return against the Colts. Now is the time to stash if you are looking ahead for a replacement at TE or for when Greg Olsen/Heath Miller are on bye in Week 12.
Training Room Week 11
Torn ACL: The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the main ligaments in the knee that helps prevent excessive twisting and torque on the knee. ACL tears usually occur when trying to change direction when the leg is planted, or by trauma through direct contact to the knee. Palmer suffered the knee injury as he landed awkwardly on the leg without anyone touching him. MRI confirmed the ACL tear but no other structural involvement.
Bottom Line: It’s a combination of bad luck for Palmer and poor timing for the Cardinals to have Palmer go down with this knee injury just a few days after signing his contract extension. Although Palmer is now 35 years old and will be coming back from his second ACL reconstruction on the left knee, mobility was never his forte, so he should be ready for the start of next season. If he can work his way back to form and trust his left knee when planting on it to make his throws, there shouldn’t be any reason to think he can’t be as productive as he has been over the last few years.
Midfoot Sprain: The main role of the midfoot is to help dissipate forces as the foot lands and pushes off the ground. There are many ligaments and structures that attach to the midfoot, so any pain or irritation will limit an athlete’s ability to fully put weight through the foot. Hillman suffered the injury early in the game against the Raiders, tried to play through it after having his foot re-taped, but was very limited the rest of the game.
Bottom Line: Hillman played limited snaps after the injury to his foot for precautionary reasons. However, reports from the Denver Post state that Hillman was seen limping around in the locker room after the game. John Fox is referring to Hillman as day-to-day for now, but initial reports were he could miss two or more weeks. A midfoot sprain could hinder his cutting and explosiveness if he isn’t able to get the pain under control right away. There hasn’t been any talk about possible lisfranc involvement, so that's the good news, but there is still a very good chance he could miss this week’s game and possibly more. With Montee Ball likely to return this week from a groin injury, and C.J. Anderson showing well when Hillman missed time, Hillman could be the odd man out if he’s not able to get healthy soon.
Inversion Ankle Sprain: There are different types of ankle sprains, but the main ones that occur in football are either high ankle sprains, or inversion ankle sprains. A high ankle sprain involves the ligaments between the bones of the lower legs (tibia and fibula), whereas the inversion sprain involves the ligaments on the outer aspect of the ankle. Marshall suffered what is to be an inversion sprain to his left ankle in the 4th quarter against the Packers, and did not return.
Bottom Line: Marshall didn’t seem overly concerned about his ankle sprain after the game, but there should be concern considering it’s another nagging injury Marshall must overcome. When he first injured his right ankle at the beginning of the year, he considered himself fine but it clearly took him a little while to return to form after the initial injury. He’ll more than likely miss practice time this week, but barring any setbacks or new developments, he should be in the lineup against the Vikings this upcoming week. Effectiveness, however, remains to be seen.
Ankle Sprain: See Above. Willson hurt his ankle in the 2nd quarter against the Giants and did not return.
Bottom Line: No further information on the extent of Willson’s injury has been reported since he left the game against the Giants. Willson hasn’t been much of a factor in the Seahawks passing game, so fantasy owners in need of TE help can find better options on the waiver wire.
Ankle Sprain: See above. Hester hurt his ankle during the 4th quarter after a kick return and did not return.
Bottom Line: Consider him day-to-day for now until more information is known on the extent of his injury. Hester still remains one of the elite returners in the game, so leagues that count return yardage would still be wise in keeping him rostered. Unfortunately in most leagues, the return of Harry Douglas as the Falcons 3rd WR option leaves Hester as a dispensable player.
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.
Bottom Line: Hillis has a pretty extensive history of concussions during his time in the NFL, so it will more than likely take longer than a week to get him ready to participate in any football related activity. Check back l to see what his status is, but with Rashad Jennings looking likely to be back this week, Hillis days of fantasy relevance are likely over.
Bottom Line: Walker took a massive hit across the middle and was down on the ground for a while before being helped off the field. He’ll go through the concussion protocol to see if he’ll be ready to return this week. The fact the Titans don’t play till Monday night might give him a better chance, but he’ll be day-to-day for now until we get a better idea of what to expect.
Bottom Line: The Jaguars have a bye week coming up, so it should give Hurns plenty of time to be able to get through protocol and return for Week 12.