The Training Room: Week 2 Injury Updates
We are officially underway in the 2016 fantasy football season. This past weekend started off relatively mild when it came to injuries, but as the games continued to progress, it turned out to be a pretty typical day in the NFL with regards to athletes getting hurt. Although we saw the likes of Keenan Allen go down with a season ending injury, we didn't see another major injury that would've cost the player his season. Let's get into some of the injuries that occurred in Week 1 and what the expectation is heading into Week 2.
On The Mend
Rob Gronkowski (Hamstring Strain): Gronk will try and practice in some manner this week and is most likely heading towards a game-time decision. The hope is that he won't suffer any setbacks and is able to test out his hamstring by end of this week. Projection: Starts Week 2. Hamstring injuries are always difficult to manage early in the season, as rest is usually the best way to reduce the likelihood of re-aggravation. If Gronk does play, the Patriots might use Gronk in set packages and red zone plays to start, and then depending on game flow, use him more or rest him if they have a lead.
Jamaal Charles (ACL Reconstruction): Coach Reid stated that he is still unsure if Charles will be ready for Week 2. He continues to practice on a limited basis. Projection: Misses Week 2. Spencer Ware had a good Week 1 which should give the Chiefs confidence that they can continue to wait and see how Charles feels to make sure he's ready.
Tyler Eifert (Ankle Surgery): Eifert remains week-to-week as he recovers from offseason ankle surgery. He's been doing agility drills on the side during practice, but hasn't been involved in any practices yet. The hope is that he's able to start practicing on a limited basis to see how the ankle feels and then the Bengals training staff can make a determination as to what the next step is. Projection: Misses 2-3 more weeks. Eifert will continue to work his way back into game shape and also test the ankle to see how it reacts to cutting and turning on it.
Kendall Wright (Hamstring Strain): Wright suffered a re-aggravation of his hamstring strain early last week, so he'll continue to be week to week until we get any further updates. Projection: Misses Week 2. Wright is becoming an afterthought on the Titans depth chart due to the number of receivers they have and can produce similarly to what he'd be capable of doing.
DeVante Parker (Hamstring Strain): Coach Adam Gase is hopeful that Parker will be able to return this week. The fact that he was able to practice on a limited basis late in the week last week is an encouraging sign that he's getting closer. Projection: Active Week 2. Parker will likely be brought along slowly to reduce risk of re-injury, but if he comes out of this game unscathed, his volume of snaps should only continue to rise.
The Training Room
Bottom Line: Allen was carted off the field in the 3rd quarter after he was attempting to cut on his right leg and collapsed onto the ground without any contact. The Chargers feared an ACL tear, and it is now confirmed with the MRI. It's a major blow to the Chargers as the offense, in particular Philip Rivers production, goes down without Allen on the field.
Projection: Misses rest of 2016, possibly ready for start of 2017 season. As you have seen with previous players recovering from ACL reconstruction, everyone's recovery is different. Allen should be in line to start Week 1 next year barring any setbacks, but we'll keep an eye on his recovery as he goes through rehab. Travis Benjamin should see an uptick in targets without Allen available, with the Chargers also likely to rely on their RB's and TE's to make up for the loss of Allen.
Bottom Line: Wilson's ankle twisted awkwardly when he was trying to escape Ndamukong Suh and seemed to be bothered by that ankle as the game went on. Coach Pete Carroll said that he's got an ankle sprain, but it isn't anything too concerning and that he should be available for Week 2.
Projection: Starts Week 2. Wilson was reportedly seen wearing a walking boot after the game, which isn't uncommon with foot/ankle injuries to protect the tissue and allow a reduction of strain to the healing tissue. He'll likely be limited throughout practice this week and will almost definitely get tagged with the questionable designation, but I believe Wilson will play this upcoming week.
Coracoid Process Fracture
Bottom Line: Griffin hurt his left shoulder as he tried to barrel over a defensive back in the 4th quarter. After the play, he was seen dangling his left arm in obvious pain. RGIII underwent further testing, which revealed a coracoid fracture. He was put on IR which requires him to be out at least 8 games.
Projection: Misses 8 weeks. Coracoid fractures are somewhat unusual to occur, as it takes just the right amount of force to cause a fracture in that area. The important part here is that it is his non-throwing shoulder, so barring any setbacks, or when he gets re-evaluated again in a few weeks to determine how he's healing, then there's a chance that he he could rehab and then return when eligible. If it is decided after a few weeks that the tissue isn't healing, then the likelihood of surgery would end all chances that RGIII returns this year.
Bottom Line: Julio rolled his left ankle, which was the same ankle he sprained earlier in the preseason, during the 2nd half against the Bucs. He told reporters that he should be fine moving forward.
Projection: Starts Week 2. He will likely be questionable, just like he was last week, but unless he suffers a setback he should be ready to play. This is something to keep an eye on, as recurrent ankle sprains can delay the healing process and also leave him at risk for further aggravations. The ligamentous structures on the outer aspect of his ankle are weakened and a little more unstable with repetitive ankle sprains, but the hope is they'll get his pain under control to allow hi to be fine Week 2. Projected Production Drop-off: ~11%
Bottom Line: Thomas hurt his hip early in the Thursday night game against the Panthers, but he was able to stay in the game and finish. He was seen being stretched or evaluated by trainers during the game, and he apparently had an MRI on his hip to determine the cause of the pain. Coach Kubiak states that the plan is for Thomas to practice Wednesday and see how he feels.
Projection: Starts Week 2. Thomas will likely be questionable heading into Sunday, but hopefully we should get a better idea of how effective he can be later in the practice week. If he doesn't progress to a full participant in practice during the week, he could be headed towards a game-time decision. Projected Production Drop-off: ~7%
Broken Bone in Hand
Bottom Line: Prosise was originally diagnosed with a wrist sprain and was able to play through the discomfort, but was only able to play on special teams. Later testing revealed a broken bone in Prosise's hand, but no specifics were given as to what type of it is. Bob Condotta reported that Prosise is expected to play through the broken bone and will be available Week 2.
Projection: Active Week 2. Prosise continues to deal with health issues that limits his availability, so he'll continue to play occasional passing downs behind Thomas Rawls and Christine Michael. Projected Production Drop-off: ~6%
Bottom Line: Ertz got hurt early in the game with the rib dislocation, but it wasn't first diagnosed as a rib dislocation, so he played the entire game. It was then later revealed that he was playing with a dislocated first rib and is being considered week to week.
Projection: Misses 3-4 weeks. Having the first rib dislocated and then reduced to put it back in place is one thing, but the cartilage and the ligamentous structures that were compromised with the dislocation is more concerning. The brachial plexus is the main nerve supply to the arm, in addition to other major arteries/veins all in that vicinity, so the Eagles will likely slow play this one to make sure that the tissue is completely healed to reduce risk of instability in that region.