Here we go, folks. You’re either in the midst of your playoffs or your playoffs are about to start. Either way, your focus and attention to the latest injuries are more important than ever. With no time to waste, let’s take a look at the key injuries from Week 13 and see how they’re going to affect your fantasy team moving forward…
Christian Ponder, MIN – After his best and most productive game of the season, Ponder is now listed on the injury report as questionable with what is being described as a hip pointer. Vikings coach Leslie Frazier says that Ponder should be fine for Week 14, but you should obviously monitor his progress throughout the week. Minnesota takes on Detroit next week, but while Ponder threw for over 300 yards for the first time and the Lions defense has been struggling lately, Ponder is nothing more than a number two fantasy quarterback.
A.J. Feeley, STL – While the Rams wait to see what’s going on with Sam Bradford’s ankle, they took another hit at the QB position when Feeley suffered a fractured thumb on his right hand and is now questionable for Week 14. St. Louis’ practices should be interesting to watch as the team will likely be cautious with both and give first team reps to third stringer Tom Brandstater as they prepare for Seattle this week. Stay tuned for this one and give serious consideration to the Seahawks for your suicide pool this week.
Kyle Orton, KC – After just one play in which he didn’t even complete a pass, Orton suffered a dislocated finger on his throwing hand and is questionable to play in Week 14 against the Jets. He sat in the locker room on Monday with his hand wrapped up, but there wasn’t a cast which is somewhat promising. It should be noted that Orton came into the game for a trick play and not to replace Tyler Palko, but now with this injury, the likelihood of him[Orton] taking over the quarterback position is pretty low. Stay tuned for more…
Matt Forte, CHI – Among all of the injuries you’ll read about here, this one is probably the most devastating to fantasy owners headed into the playoffs. Forte suffered a sprained MCL early in Sunday’s game and was unable to make it back at all. He had x-rays and an MRI, thankfully showed that there was no damage to the ACL, but Forte is likely to miss anywhere from two to four weeks with the injury. That just about kills him for the fantasy playoffs and those that rode the running back to victory all season long are left to patch up a major hole in their offense. Marion Barber takes over primary rushing responsibilities now, so if for some freak of nature reason he’s available, you better scoop him up fast!
Peyton Hillis, RB – While Hillis made it through Week 13 without re-injuring his hamstring, he lands on the injury report with a new ailment – a strained left hip. He was limited in practice Monday and you’ll have to watch him all week, but with Montario Hardesty returning from his calf injury, the Browns may go easy with Hillis and keep him limited the rest of the way. We’ll know more on Friday after the week’s practices.
Kevin Smith, DET – It’s déjà vu all over again as Smith was forced from Sunday’s game after re-aggravating the same ankle injury that knocked him out of the game in Week 12. Atleast this week he had a decent showing before leaving the game. While they’re not calling it a high ankle sprain, it’s pretty close to it and now Smith is, once again, questionable for the next game. Keep an eye on him this week in practice, but also make sure you have a viable alternative. Even if he gets the start again, he’s going to be a difficult one to trust in the playoffs.
Joe McKnight, NYJ – After leaving Week 13 with a hyperextended elbow, McKnight is now listed as questionable for the Jets upcoming matchup with Kansas City. Coach Rex Ryan said that he will hold McKnight out of practice on Wednesday and re-evaluate from there. He doesn’t want to push him too hard though as he could find himself down two running backs what with what you’re about to read next…
LaDanian Tomlinson, NYJ – After missing two weeks with a knee injury, Tomlinson returned in Week 13, only to be forced out again after just two touches. Ryan thinks he’ll be ready to go this week, but you’ll want to monitor the practices this week before thinking about using him.
James Starks, GB – Starks re-aggravated the same ankle injury he suffered back in Week 11 and was forced to leave Sunday’s contest against the Giants after just three carries. He’ll be listed as questionable, likely for the whole week, and you’ll have to monitor his progress, but he is rapidly becoming less and less trustworthy at this time of the year. While you would expect Ryan Grant to take over in Starks’ absence, the backfield became more of a committee as Brandon Saine received 10 touches to Grant’s 14. Expect more of the same if Starks can’t go which makes both Grant and Saine unreliable fantasy starts next week against Oakland.
Andre Johnson, HOU – Just when you thought it was safe to get back onto the field….BAM…..your other hamstring gives out on you. Coach Gary Kubiak said on Monday that this hamstring injury was minor in comparison to the one that sidelined Johnson for six games, but we won’t know more for another few days. Those that stashed Johnson all this time are likely holding their breath, so to save them from self-suffocation, we’ll try to keep you posted throughout the week. When more news comes out of Houston, we’ll get it to you.
Nate Washington, TEN – Though he left the game on Sunday with a sprained ankle and is being listed as questionable on the injury report already, Washington is still expected to play in Week 14. He’ll have tests run to determine the actual severity of the injury and he will likely be limited in practice for most of the week, but all parties involved seem to insinuate that all of this is strictly precautionary. Stay tuned for more…
Scott Chandler, BUF – Chandler suffered a sprained ankle during Sunday’s game and is now questionable for the Bills’ Week 14 matchup against the Chargers. While coach Chan Gailey says that there’s a chance Chandler could play this week, he sounded neither optimistic nor convincing. Keep an eye on him this week and make sure you have a healthy alternative just to be on the safe side. Lee Smith would take over starting duties if Chandler is unable to play.
Marcedes Lewis, JAC -- After tallying three catches for 27 yards in Monday’s loss to the Chargers, Lewis was forced out of the game in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury. The severity is not yet known as x-rays and possible MRI results are still pending, but given the season he is having, you’re probably not missing much if Lewis misses any time. Zach Potter would likely take over the starting role if needed, but he really isn’t much of an option moving forward either.
Visanthe Shiancoe, MIN – Shiancoe is currently sitting with a very swollen hand right now after getting banged up in Sunday’s game against Denver, but x-rays revealed no fracture. He’s already being listed as questionable for Week 14 as the team waits to see how he feels over the next few days. If he is unable to go, then Kyle Rudolph will take over primary duties. For what it’s worth, not that he’s even that reliable an option, but Rudolph seems to have some sort of rapport with Christian Ponder as evidenced by his two touchdowns in his last two games.
Andrew Quarless, GB – Not that he had much in the way of value, but it should be noted at that Quarless will miss the remainder of the season after tearing up his knee during Sunday’s win over the Giants. The injury looked pretty brutal and now surgery and rehab are all he has to look forward to in the future.
Other injuries to monitor this week include:
|Dallas Clark||TE||lower leg|
Back on Friday with practice reports from the week and the official Week 14 NFL injury report!
Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over 10 years on a variety of websites. You can follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or for questions, thoughts or comments you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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