The Training Room: Week 14 Injury Updates
The fantasy playoffs are here! Congratulations to our readers and thanks for allowing us help you get to this point! The best advice I can give is to keep it simple when it comes to playoffs. Try not to over-analyze every single piece of information you read, play your studs, follow the rankings and let the chips fall where they may. You can only control so much of what your team does, so put your team in a good position and that’s all you can ask for. There is more work to be done to help you bring home the championship, so let’s check out this week’s injury report...
On The Mend
Larry Fitzgerald (MCL Sprain): Fitz missed his 2nd straight game this past weekend and is in danger of missing his 3rd straight game if he doesn’t show significant progress this week. Coach Arians stated that Fitzgerald is looking to practice Wednesday, but how much he practices and what he actually does should give us a better idea of where he is physically. I’m still very hesitant to think he’ll play this weekend, and I’m not sure he’s a viable option for fantasy playoffs even if he does.
Julius Thomas (Ankle Sprain): Thomas remains day-to-day with an ankle sprain but looks poised to potentially return against the Bills this Sunday. Be sure to check that Thomas is able to practice later in the week, with the possibility that he’ll be another game time decision to make sure he’s confident the ankle will hold up throughout the game.
Roddy White (Ankle Sprain): There is still no specific information as to what type of sprain White is dealing with, so until we hear different, he’ll be day-to-day. He’ll more than likely miss some practice time, but he needs to practice later in the week to feel confident in him being available on Monday night. Have a backup plan ready (Harry Douglas) if White can’t give it a go.
Reggie Bush (Ankle Sprain): The Detroit News is reporting that Bush is expected to play this week against the Bucs. I’ll believe it when I see it, as we thought Bush was supposed to return on Thanksgiving. How effective he’ll be is another question since the Joique Bell/Theo Riddick combo has been working nicely in Bush’s absence. Bush will probably be eased back into games with hopes he can emerge from the game healthy with no setbacks, so I’m not sure how much I would fully trust using him this week. He hasn't been very good even when healthy this season.
Dwayne (Ankle Sprain): Coach Pagano states that Allen is on the mend and looking more likely to play this upcoming weekend. I have seen some different reports that Allen was dealing with a normal inversion ankle sprain, and then I have seen some reports say that he’s dealing with a high ankle sprain. If it’s a normal ankle inversion sprain, I’d say he’s more likely to suit up this weekend. If he’s dealing with a high ankle sprain, he might need more time to fully recover from the injury. He’ll continue to be week-to-week until we see him participating in practice. If he is able to practice later in the week, he’ll more than likely be a game time decision, so plan on not having him available unless something changes.
Latavius Murray (Concussion): I thought Murray had a great shot to play against the Rams this past weekend with 10 days to recover from his concussion, but it seems that Murray had some issues with passing the last stages of the protocol. He remains day-to-day until he can gain full gain clearance. He’s an intriguing, but risky play against a 49ers defense.
Julian Edelman (Thigh Contusion): Edelman has been dealing with a thigh issue ever since he fell and landed on the yard stick a few weeks back against the Colts. He was able to play through some issues during the game, but you could see it was bothering him as he was constantly trying to keep it loose. The Patriots will be vague as usual when it comes to any injuries, but I don’t see him missing any time due to this.
Khiry Robinson (Forearm Injury): It’s nice to finally get a timetable on when Robinson will return, as a report from ESPN reporter Mike Triplett states he’ll be available this upcoming weekend. I would not consider Robinson an option this weekend as the Saints will more than likely limit his touches. Expect Mark Ingram to continue to see high usage.
Training Room Week 14
Bruised Knee: Repetitive strain and/or direct trauma to the knee can cause swelling in the knee either during or after activity. Charles didn’t appear to suffer any injury during this past weekend’s game against the Broncos, but Coach Reid said that Charles came out of the game with some swelling.
Bottom Line: I don’t see this being an issue unless the swelling continues to get worse. Charles was able to play through whatever knee issue he had this past weekend, and although he wasn’t used as much as owners would’ve hoped, I didn’t see any issues when he had the ball. He’ll be day-to-day, but he should be fine to use as you normally would.
Hip Pointer: Direct Trauma to the front side of the hip bone can cause swelling, pain, and an inability to flex the hip without discomfort. Ellington suffered the injury in the 2nd quarter and did not return.
Bottom Line: Ellington is the second RB who suffered this injury within the past few weeks (Gio Bernard is the other). Like we’ve seen with Bernard, it took him a few weeks to return from the injury, as it can be very painful to do any type of running. He’ll be day-to-day for now, and although Coach Arians states that the severity of the hip pointer is not considered serious, progress from a hip pointer is very variable. If he does give it a go, I can’t see him being very effective, so if you have other options, you might want to consider them.
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. Jennings suffered the injury in the 4th quarter and did not return.
Bottom Line: Uh oh. It's unclear as to what type of ankle sprain Jennings suffered this past weekend, which makes his availability even murkier. Unfortunately for many Jennings owners, the injury occurs with a tasty matchup against the Titans coming up. The fact that he wasn’t able to put any weight down on his ankle when he got hurt is concerning, and makes me question whether or not he’ll be able to progress enough during the week to be able to play this week. Consider him day-to-day until we see what he’s able to do in practice. His past injuries have taken longer to recover from, so even if he does practice in any form, he’ll likely be a game time decision Sunday.
Acromioclavicuar (AC) Joint Sprain: Direct trauma to the acromioclavicular (AC) joint can cause immediate inflammation in the joint and possible disruption of the ligaments that help support it. Normally an AC joint sprain is caused when falling directly on the shoulder. Mettenberger suffered the injury in the 3rd quarter against the Texans and did not return.
Bottom Line: Mettenberger took a hit from JJ Watt, with Watt rolling up onto him as he followed through on his tackle. He was diagnosed with a grade 1 AC joint sprain to his throwing shoulder and is considered day-to-day. I would consider Mettenberger questionable at best for his next start against the Giants, even though reports from Ian Rapoport are saying he could be available to play this weekend. Continue to monitor his progress later in the week, but outside of 2 QB leagues, I would be hard pressed to consider him for the fantasy playoffs.
Sprained Knee: There are many structures in the knee that can be injured either from repetitive overuse or from blunt trauma to the knee. Smith may have suffered the injury in the 4th quarter during Sunday’s game against the Chargers and missed the last few series during the game.
Bottom Line: Per Jeff Zrebeic, Smith was seen limping around the locker room after the game, but Coach Harbaugh has stated that the injury isn’t considered serious. The vagueness of the injury scares me a little, but he’ll be day-to-day until we get more information.
Lacerated Spleen: Direct trauma to the chest or stomach region cause can internal bleeding of many of the vital organs. The injury appeared to have occurred in the 1st quarter after taking a big hit on an interception by Zach Mettenberger. He tried to play through the injury, but was then taken to the hospital after due to complaints of stomach pain.
Bottom Line: Hunter will not require surgery to address the laceration, and he shouldn’t have any further complications as long as he’s able to rest. He’ll more than likely miss this upcoming week, with the rest of his season up in the air to protect his long term outlook. There is always a risk for increased bleeding with any internal injuries if he comes back too soon, so the Titans will likely play it safe with him.
Kidney Issue: Austin was hospitalized after the game against the Bills due to a kidney issue. No further information has been revealed whether or not he suffered the injury during the game.
Bottom Line: Consider Austin day-to-day for now, with it looking like he’ll be available to play if there isn’t any major issue. At least we’re not talking about Austin’s oft-injured hamstrings.
Bruised Fibula: The fibula is one of two bones in the lower leg. The fibula is the bone on the outer aspect of the lower leg, and direct trauma to the fibula can cause swelling, pain, and potential nerve irritation due to the location of the peroneal nerve around the fibular head at the top of the bone. Jackson suffered the injury in the 1st quarter, returned to the game, and then did not return after aggravating the injury again in the 3rd quarter.
Bottom Line: It’s always difficult to return from a lower leg injury, especially for a wide receiver who relies so much on speed. Jackson will be considered day-to-day, however, the location of the bruise and his pain tolerance will determine when he’s able to return. He’ll more than likely be a game time decision this week, so have a backup plan just in case the Redskins shut him down on Sunday.
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. Brown was lost in the 2nd quarter after catching a ball and landing with the back of his head and shoulders. He was taken for further evaluation and did not return.
Bottom Line: Brown has been hit or miss this season with both Torrey Smith and Steve Smith Sr. getting the majority of the targets. If Brown is able to get through the concussion protocol and Torrey Smith misses time due to his knee, he could see more targets against the Dolphin’s this Sunday, but that is still to be determined at this point. All things considered, Brown should not be in fantasy playoff lineups.