The Training Room: Week 8 Injury Updates

The Training Room: Week 8 Injury Updates

By Russell Manalastas (Injury Expert), on Oct 21, 2014

Russ Manalastas's picture

Russ is a Board Certified Sports Physical Therapist and Clinical Director at Lattimore Physical Therapy in Rochester, NY. He has a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University at Buffalo as well as his Bachelors Degree in Exercise Science. His board certification credentials in sports is what is required for PT's that work at the NFL level. Russ provides a unique perspective on NFL injuries as they relate to fantasy football.

Follow Russell Manalastas on Twitter: @RussPT.

There are many surprises and disappointments to start off the year so far in fantasy football, which have either provided a big boost or have deflated your team. Demarco Murray, Arian Foster, and Ahmad Bradshaw have all stayed healthy and have surpassed the production owners were expecting. On the flip side, Calvin Johnson, AJ Green, and Reggie Bush have all battled injuries that have had owners struggle to replace the production they are missing from these highly drafted players. Each week you can only hope that injuries don't end up costing you an opportunity to be competitive in the short term and the rest of the year. This week’s Training Room discusses all running backs this week, including a pair of Buffalo Bills that you will need to find replacements for. 


Pierre Thomas

Shoulder Strain: Due to the amount of mobility in the shoulder, there are many muscles, tendons, and ligaments that help support it. Direct trauma, or moving the shoulder into an extreme range of motion unexpectedly can cause irritation to those structures which can cause pain. Thomas was trying to play through the shoulder injury he sustained in the 1st half, but took another hit in the 2nd half which forced him to leave the game for good.  

Bottom Line: Ian Rapoport from Rapsheet reports that Thomas will miss 2-3 weeks due to the shoulder strain. Khiry Robinson, Mark Ingram, and Travaris Cadet will see a bump in touches with Pierre Thomas out, with Cadet most likely directly replacing Pierre's passing down work. Shoulder strains do have a tendency to linger (see Jimmy Graham), and since running backs experience a lot of contact throughout a game, the Saints could be cautious with bringing Thomas back too early. Consider Thomas week-to-week for now.


CJ Spiller

Broken Clavicle (Collarbone): The clavicle connects the shoulder girdle directly to the sternum. Direct trauma to the clavicle from a fall or by being driven to the ground can cause excessive force that the bone can’t handle, which can lead to a fracture. Spiller was carted off the field in the 2nd quarter and did not return. Spiller had surgery Monday 10/20 and is out indefinitely. There has been no timetable for his recovery. 

Bottom Line: It’s a major blow to Spiller, as he was about to take over lead back duties as Fred Jackson also got hurt just a few minutes earlier. There are 3 main types of clavicle fractures; medial, midshaft, and distal, with each requiring different attention. The most common clavicle fractures are of the midshaft and distal varieties, with a medial fracture being uncommon. Clavicle fractures that require surgery usually recover in the 4-6 to 6-8 week time frame, as hardware is placed into the area of the fracture to help stabilize and improve healing. It's unclear why there has been no timetable for Spiller’s injury yet, but there's potential that the fracture could be more severe or complicated than expected. Regardless, Spiller is safe to drop. His shoulder should be a non-issue heading into the start of next season, but it’s fair to wonder if Spiller has played his last game with the Bills if he's put on IR. Bryce Brown is the upside add here. Anthony Dixon is a banger who figures to get about 6-10 carries a game and probably sees the goal-line work. Check out this week's Waiver Wire Watch for more.


Fred Jackson

Groin (Adductor Strain): The adductors are the muscles on the inside of your thigh known as your groin muscles. Sprinting, cutting, and twisting motions can cause the muscle/tendon junction to fail causing pain in that region. 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. Jackson was carted off the field in the 2nd quarter after sustaining the injury and did not return.

Bottom Line: Jackson has already been ruled out for Week 8, so at least fantasy owners have the opportunity to plan ahead of time with a waiver wire addition or a potential trade. When Jackson was carted off the field, he seemed to be in a lot of pain, so the groin strain he suffered could be in the grade 2 severity range. Grade 2 groin strains usually heal within the 3-4 week timeframe, but each injury is highly variable, especially as they start to ramp up activity. 3-4 weeks would have Jackson returning in Week 11 or 12. The Bills have a BYE in Week 9.


Trent Richardson

Hamstring Strain: 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. Richardson suffered the injury in the 4th quarter and did not return. He underwent an MRI, but the results of the MRI have not been reported. 

Bottom Line: It certainly sounds like Richardson avoided a significant strain and is considered day-to-day for now. Keep an eye on his practice status this week to see if he’s a full participant or limited due to his hamstring. Richardson’s value would take a hit if he were to miss any time as Ahmad Bradshaw has been on his heels since the beginning of the season. All signs point to him being fine for this week's matchup against the Steelers. 


James Starks

Ankle Sprain: An inversion sprain is often referred to as "rolling" your ankle. The ligaments/tendons/muscles on the outside of the ankle get overstretched and cause pain/swelling. Starks suffered the ankle injury in the 3rd quarter and did not return. Coach McCarthy did not provide any updates on Stark’s situation after the game.  

Bottom Line: The main question here is if Starks suffered a normal ankle sprain or if it was a high ankle sprain. Starks did remain on the sideline after the injury happened, so it appears he didn't suffer an injury that could hold him out for an extended amount of time. Consider him day-to-day for now until further updates are given on his status. 


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