Things never get any easier, do they? Another week, more craziness, struggles and injuries. We know that no one is immune, so the hope is that you can simply manage them as best you can.  Our NFL injury update for Week 5 features Tee Higgins, Mike Evans, Kenny Pickett, and Deshaun Watson. As news breaks, be sure to update your Week 5 fantasy football rankings and NFL projections either way. This information can also help to focus on important Week 5 start/sit lineup decisions and fantasy football advice surrounding some injured players. The first step though is the NFL injury report as you set Week 5 fantasy football lineups. 


Fantasy Football Injury Report

Week 5 NFL Injury Report for Quarterbacks

Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns (Shoulder)

Cleveland ultimately ruled DeShaun Watson and his shoulder out of Sunday’s game. That meant the Browns were left with Dorian Thompson-Robinson under center in a less-than-ideal performance. The good news is that the Browns are on a Week 5 bye, so we have another week to sort this out. 

Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals (Calf)

Through four weeks, the season for the Cincinnati Bengals and Joe Burrow has been an absolute disaster. While we can’t give up on Burrow just yet, the good news is that things do appear to be improving as we wait to see that translate into results and production on the field.

Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers (Finger)

If you saw Justin Herbert unleash a long completion to Joshua Palmer at the end of the game you wouldn’t think there was an issue. However, Herbert did injure his finger in the third quarter of what was an unremarkable game for him. Since he returned without an issue, albeit wearing a glove, it doesn’t appear that this will linger. And that is a good thing. 

Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams (Hip)

Matthew Stafford and the Rams got off to a great start before the veteran had to lead Los Angeles back to an overtime victory. In between, Stafford injured his hip while throwing for 319 yards. The good news is that it doesn’t appear to be an issue that will impact his status for this week. After practicing in full on Wednesday with no restrictions, that appears to be the case. 

Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Steelers (Knee)

After Kenny Pickett left Sunday’s game with a knee injury, his status appeared to be in question for Week 5. But with a full practice under his belt on Thursday, the second-year QB should be ready to go on Sunday after dodging a bullet with just a bone bruise. However, it is a tough matchup against Baltimore.

Derek Carr, New Orleans Saints (Shoulder)

After injuring his shoulder two weeks ago, Derek Carr ended up not missing any time. The good news is that Carr played last week, but the bad news is that he didn’t look to do anything downfield and he threw for just 127 yards. Once again, Carr has been limited in practice in this week, but it shouldn’t impact his playing status for Sunday. The problem though, is that we would like him to throw the ball downfield. 

Jimmy Garoppolo, Las Vegas Raiders (Concussion)

After missing last week’s game with a concussion, Jimmy Garoppolo appears to be getting closer to making his return. Initially, the thought for Thursday was that he would practice in full, but instead, Garoppolo was limited. While he still looks to be on track to return, the issue here is that we have to wait until Monday when the Raiders play for confirmation and there are likely better options out there. 


Week 5 NFL Injury Report for Running Backs

Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts (Ankle)

This is what we have all been waiting for. After seeing Jonathan Taylor practice in full on 
Thursday, despite definitive clarity, things are trending toward him being active this week against the Titans. While we do have to answer questions about his role, it will be difficult not to slot him right into your lineup. The good news is that Taylor appears to be confident about his health. 

Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (Ankle)

Saquon Barkley continues to practice on a limited basis, and with a must-win ahead of the Giants on Sunday, I would expect to see him on the field. From a game script perspective though, he will likely be utilized more in the passing game though. 

Breece Hall, New York Jets (Knee)

While Breece Hall has been on the field each week and has a few big runs under his belt as well, things should turn a corner for Week 5. Heading into a great matchup against Denver, there are no longer any restrictions on Hall’s workload. 

Kyren Williams, Los Angeles Rams (Hip)

After not practicing on Wednesday, it was a great sign to see Kyren Williams back in practice on Thursday. While it was on a limited basis, it most importantly was a step in the right direction as he should be back in the lineup once again for Week 5. That means Williams will continue his monopoly over the Rams’ backfield after 346 yards on 75 touches through the first four games of the season to go along with six touchdowns. 

Javonte Williams, Denver Broncos (Hip)

Seeing Javonte Williams exit the game on Sunday certainly was concerning, but it appears that we have dodged a major injury. While it is too early to determine Williams’ status for Sunday, it doesn’t look like a significant absence will be in store. Williams returned to practice on a limited basis Thursday being held out of practice on Wednesday. While things are moving the right direction, it will be a tough matchup against the Jets. After Jaleel McLaughlin gained 104 yards along with scoring a touchdown last week, it is clear who to target in a handcuff situation.

Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers (Hamstring)

While Aaron Jones did return to action last week, he ultimately was not a factor. Jones finished with 14 net yards on six touches as we look for him to bounce back this week. With two more practices left in the week, Jones was limited in practice on Thursday as he looks on track to take the field on Monday; hopefully with an increased role. 

Dameon Pierce, Houston Texans (Knee)

With a full practice on Thursday under his belt, Dameon Pierce is on track to be the lead back once again for Houston. While he is sharing perhaps more time than expected with Devin Singletary, Pierce did have 24 carries last week. The good news is that Pierce has 64 carries through four weeks and he is seemingly healthy, but the bad news is that he is averaging just 2.8 yards per carry with just one touchdown. 

Rhamondre Stevenson, New England Patriots (Thigh)

For the second straight day, Rhamondre Stevenson was limited in practice with a thigh injury, but it doesn’t appear that it will have any impact on his role as the main option in New England’s backfield. 

Miles Sanders, Carolina Panthers (Groin)

Seeing Miles Sanders limited in practice once again this week should not be surprising, but we would like to see him healthier entering Week 5. With just 239 combined yards and one touchdown, we are still waiting for Sanders to find his groove, and it’s possible that health has been an issue here despite the fact that he has been on the field. 

Justice Hill, Baltimore Ravens (Foot/Hamstring)

Regardless of Justice Hill’s health, he is on track to play this week, it appears to be clear that Gus Edwards is the running back to target in Baltimore. Last week, Hill was only on the field for seven snaps, and with just 3.8 yards per carry this year, there isn’t much to see. 

Rico Dowdle, Dallas Cowboys (Hip)

While Rico Dowdle really just serves in a supplemental role to Tony Pollard, it is still worth noting that he left Sunday’s game early. Should Dowdle be forced to miss any time then we will get an extended look at rookie Deuce Vaughn, but this is still very much Pollard’s backfield. With a full workload in practice on Thursday, Dowdle should be good to go on Sunday. 

Elijah Mitchell, San Francisco 49ers (Knee)

With a healthy Christian McCaffrey in the mix, and a tough matchup against Dallas on tap, does it really matter who the backup running back is for the 49ers? However, with Mitchell not back in practice as of Thursday, it looks like he will be out on Sunday which means Jordan Mason will be the backup. 

Keaontay Ingram, Arizona Cardinals (Neck)

While John Conner is the main option in Arizona’s backfield, Keaontay Ingram does appear to be on track to return to action this week after being limited in practice on Thursday. 


Week 5 NFL Injury Report for Wide Receivers

Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams (Hamstring)

This is the news we have been waiting on from Cooper Kupp. After missing the first four weeks of the season with a hamstring injury, Kupp is all set to take the field on Sunday. He participated fully in Thursday’s practice, but it remains to be seen what his workload will be. Regardless, he’s likely going right into your lineup for seasonal leagues. 

Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions (Abdomen)

Despite not practicing Wednesday or Thursday, Amon-Ra St. Brown is doing work with trainers and intends to play on Sunday. Obviously, we need to keep an eye on his status leading up to game time, but at least things have an optimistic slant. 

Davante Adams, Las Vegas Raiders (Shoulder)

With Aidan O’Connell under center in place of Jimmy Garrapolo, things were less than ideal for the Raiders’ offense. After we saw Davante Adams briefly exit with a shoulder injury, things could have gotten that much worse. Adams ultimately returned and caught eight passes for 75 yards. While Adams didn’t practice on Thursday, he does have an extra day since the Raiders don’t return to action until Monday. Unfortunately, a contingency plan is needed and likely will be Hunter Renfrow if we don’t get further clarity before Sunday since Adams still intends to play. 

Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals (Ribs)

Unfortunately for Tee Higgins, things don’t appear to have as positive an outlook as the Bengals receiver appears to have suffered a rib fracture. Initially, this appears to be something that will keep Higgins sidelined for more than just one week. That means an increase in target share for Tyler Boyd and perhaps we will see Ja’Marr Chase truly get on track. With a missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday, it is difficult to have confidence here. 

Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers (Knee/Ribs)

Talk about a fake and a decoy. While Deebo Samuel was active in Week 4, and on the field for the majority of the snaps, he didn’t have any targets and carried the ball just three times for six yards. However, the fact that he was on the field is a good thing for his status and outlook next week. Through Thursday, Samuel was once again limited in practice and it is unclear whether or not he will be able to take on a larger role. 

Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Hamstring)

A hamstring injury forced Mike Evans out of Sunday’s game and despite his best attempts, the Tampa Bay receiver was unable to return. With three catches for 40 yards, he was having a solid game, but the injury was ultimately too much for him to handle. With a bye coming up in Week 5, Evans gets an extra week to heal.

Jerry Jeudy, Denver Broncos (Knee)

It was a great sign to see Jerry Jeudy move to a full practice on Thursday as this is likely the healthiest, he has been all season entering Week 5. There are some injury issues in the Jets secondary to note as Jeudy looks to build on a three-catch, 52-yard effort last week although he will have to deal with Sauce Gardner

Christian Watson, Green Packers (Hamstring)

After returning last week and playing about half the snaps, Christian Watson appears to be in a better place heading into Monday’s game. While he is still limited in practice to start the week, things are moving in the right direction. 

Odell Beckham, Baltimore Ravens (Ankle)

After being out the last two weeks with an ankle injury, Odell Beckham was limited in practice Thursday as he returned to the field. While things are trending towards him making a return this week, it likely would be as Baltimore’s third receiver, and with a potential limit on snaps, I would wait before adding him back to your lineup. 

Josh Reynolds, Detroit Lions (Groin)

While it has not hindered him to this point, Josh Reynolds continues to be limited in practice with a groin injury. He is not showing any signs of having a reduced role on Sunday as he continues to see the majority of the snaps for Detroit. 

Zay Jones, Jacksonville Jaguars (Knee)

After missing each of the last two weeks with a knee injury, Zay Jones is back in practice on a limited basis. The game script this week will likely require a lot of downfield passing, so Jones could be in a good situation if he is able to make his return against Buffalo. 

Treylon Burks, Tennessee Titans (Knee)

After not playing last week and then not practicing Wednesday or Thursday, things are not looking good for Treylon Burks in Week 5. That should lead to more work for DeAndre Hopkins along with an increased role for Nick Westbrook-Ikhine

Wan’Dale Robinson, New York Giants (Knee)

Despite being limited in practice on Thursday, Wan’Dale Robinson’s issue is not his knee but the struggling New York offense. With that being said, the Giants will be playing catchup this week for sure. 

Jonathan Mingo, Carolina Panthers (Concussion)

The rookie was unable to clear the concussion protocol for Week 4, so we will, once again, keep an eye on Jonathan Mingo’s status heading into next week. With the rookie now off the Injury Report, his only issue is Bryce Young under center. 


Week 5 NFL Injury Report for Tight Ends

Luke Musgrave, Green Bay Packers (Concussion)

After exiting last week’s game early with a concussion, Luke Musgrave is off the Injury Report and ready to go for Monday night. He practiced in full on Thursday, so at this point, it is just a formality for the rookie to be removed from concussion protocol. 

Irv Smith, Cincinnati Bengals (Hamstring)

After a full practice on Thursday, Irv Smith appears to be ready to make his return after a two-game absence. While the Bengals have struggled overall this year, there could be some benefit to Smith if Higgins is sidelined. 

Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers (Hamstring)

It was a rough afternoon for Pittsburgh as they also lost Pat Freiermuth to a hamstring injury. In the coming days, this will be something to monitor. At this point, it looks like alternate plans will have to be made for Week 5. 

Juwan Johnson, New Orleans Saints (Calf)

A calf injury kept Juwan Johnson out of action, and it is very possible that it pushes Jimmy Graham back into having borderline fantasy relevance. This is more for deep leagues though, and likely nothing to go crazy about. After another missed practice on Thursday, things are not looking good for Johnson.

Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills (Quadricep)

Dawson Knox has practiced on a limited basis Wednesday and Thursday, but his impact on the field has been minimal this season thanks in part to Dalton Kincaid