Another week and another laundry list of injuries here. Week 5 has come and gone and, once again, fantasy owners are sprinting to their waiver wire looking for help. The good news is that we haven’t heard of any debilitating injuries just yet, but even the day to day bumps and bruises can force you into lineups adjustments you’d prefer not to make. Here’s the latest from the NFL’s Week 5 triage unit…
Ryan Mathews, RB SD – While he left the stadium on Sunday on crutches and in a walking boot, Mathews is apparently going to be fine for the Chargers week 7 matchup against the Jets. A bye week never looked so sweet, huh? Reports are calling his injuries a calf strain and some sort of wrist ailment, but overall, no one seems too concerned. Mathews will get some much needed rest this week and probably next and be ready to resume his breakout season.
Mike Tolbert, RB SD -- Another “thank goodness for the bye” here as Tolbert, who left Week 5 with a concussion, will get almost two weeks off to recover. Obviously, he will have to pass all of the NFL’s concussion protocol stuff, but the extra time will do him some good. Tolbert had just five carries and caught three passes before exiting the game, but his role was expected to be reduced with the way Mathews has taken off. Still, a healthy Tolbert could be a mean flex play against the Jets in Week 7.
LeGarrette Blount, RB TB – Not only did he have to fly across country to be a part of a dismal 48-3 loss to the Niners on Sunday, but Blount then got knocked out of the game after taking a hit to his left knee. They are calling him day to day right now and word out of Tampa is that they will wait to see if he practices on Wednesday before making a determination. If you’re a Blount owner, it would be wise to make sure you also own Earnest Graham as well. The team won’t make any determinations just yet, but you, as a fantasy owner, should make sure you’re covered just in case.
Tim Hightower, RB WAS – Mentioning Hightower here is strictly precautionary, but is obviously worth your attention if you own him or Ryan Torain. He says his shoulder is better and is ready to go this week against the Eagles, but the team still has him listed on the injury report. Based on Torain’s performance in Week 4 and with Mike Shanahan’s waning confidence in Hightower, there’s a chance you could start seeing more of a committee in the backfield or even a supplanting of Hightower ads the number one. Stay tuned…
Joseph Addai, RB IND – The results from the MRI still weren’t available at press time here, so you’ll have to check back later in the week to see just how bad the hamstring issue is. Addai said he felt it grab which is far different from a tear, so that’s atleast something positive, but you’ll have to keep a close eye on him. If you’re using him as a starter, or even as your primary bye-week replacement, you’ll want to formulate a contingency plan to play it safe.
Zach Miller, TE SEA – As if the season wasn’t bad enough for Miller and his owners, a high hit from Giants’ DB Kenny Phillips knocked the tight end silly and put him out of Sunday’s game. Miller will have an MRI on his neck and go through all of the necessary concussion protocol that the NFL has instituted this season. The Seahawks have a bye this week so an extra week of rest will certainly help. However, Miller has become such a low-end option that there’s very little reason to concern yourself with him unless you’re in a super deep league and are having tight end bye week issues.
Tavaris Jackson, QB SEA – Jackson left Week 5 against the Giants with a strained pectoral muscle and while the Seahwaks have a bye week coming, he is still listed as questionable for Week 7. They say that had it been a torn pectoral muscle, then the remainder of his season would be in doubt, but there’s a chance that he doesn’t miss much in the way of games with it being just a strain. Not that Jackson was your number one QB anyway, right? Good ol’ Charlie Whitehurst would take over if Jackson misses any time.
Matt Schaub, QB HOU – Time to keep a watchful eye on Schaub this week as he is already being listed as questionable for this coming Sunday. The team is actually calling him day to day with a sore shoulder and a thigh bruise, so it doesn’t sound like much out of the ordinary bumps and bruises you see around the NFL. However, you’re going to have to continue to monitor the situation and make sure you have a viable back-up just in case.
Danny Amendola, WR STL – If the unofficial word wasn’t good enough to convince you to cut bait, then Amendola’s placement on Injured Reserve should suffice. After a second opinion on the elbow, the Rams have shut him down for the year.
Miles Austin, WR DAL – A little splash of good news here for Austin owners as he has been officially listed as questionable on the Cowboys’ injury report this week following their bye. He was a full participant in Monday’s practice and looks like he’s ready to play in Week 6 when Dallas takes on the Patriots and their suspect secondary.
Julio Jones, WR ATL – After a breakout performance in Week 4, Jones followed it up with just one catch for 16 yards and a 17 yard run. From there, he was forced to leave the game in the 4th quarter due to a hamstring injury. There’s no word yet as to whether or not it is severe enough to miss Week 6, but owners should always make sure they have a sufficient back-up just in case the rookie can’t go this week.
Josh Morgan, WR SF – While they haven’t said the season is over for Morgan, fantasy owners may want to just kick him back into the player pool and find themselves a replacement. He is set to undergo surgery this week to fix his broken ankle and there is no timetable set for his return. The team is seemingly hesitant to place him on Injured reserve just yet, but considering coach Jim Harbaugh said that the injury was worse than they had originally thought, it looks like it would be a very tough road for Morgan to make it back this season.
Lee Evans, WR BAL – Evans is still dealing with his ankle problem and even though he had a bye this past week, he is still not sure he is ready to go. Word is that they will see how he finishes up in practice this week, but with the emergence of Torrey Smith and the steady play of Anquan Boldin, it’s hard to see the Ravens pushing him onto the field before he is ready.
Back on Friday with more reports out of practices and with the official 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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