Positivity is key. After all we are talking a sport and a game that we all know and love. Yes, the stakes are high between cash and bragging rights, but again it is still just a game. 

So, let’s embrace positivity.

There, that’s it, I’m done. Aren’t you glad I got that out of the way? 

If you watched a key player get hurt this past week, I mean who didn’t, it’s perfectly reasonable for you to still be seething. It might be safe to assume that it’s hard for you to muster up any level of positivity. 

With the injuries we have seen through the first six weeks of the season, that’s all you can do though as everyone is in this together. For better or worse, let’s check in on the injuries that came out Week 6 and are now added to our list of situations to monitor moving forward. 


If there ever was a good time for an injury, it is always going to be prior to a team’s bye week. In the case of Dak Prescott he takes a strained calf into Dallas’ week off and there is a full week for him to rest and rehab before we get a peak at his true status for the following week. Prescott has shown no ill effects of last year’s season ending injury with 16 touchdowns and 1,813 passing yards to this point, and the early indication is that he will be ready to go in two weeks.

After his best game of the season, to the detriment of Denver falling behind and generating a positive game script for Bridgewater, the quarterback is now dealing with a foot injury. With the Broncos playing on Thursday, it is a quick turnaround for Bridgewater who would have been limited on Monday at practice. It remains to be seen when he will get some of his weapons back but Bridgewater did throw for 334 yards and three touchdowns although it also came with three interceptions. It’s clear that Denver is better with Bridgewater under center, and the early indications point to that being the case on Thursday. 

Things aren’t looking as good for Baker Mayfield who would not have practiced on Monday ahead of Thursday’s game against Denver. He aggravated his partially torn labrum, at least it’s in his non-throwing shoulder, and despite what Cleveland is saying, I have my doubts about his status for the upcoming week. With just six touchdown passes on the season, you should be looking elsewhere from a fantasy perspective, so even if Mayfield does take the field this week, I would likely look for a safer option. Although there is the caveat that six teams are on bye. 

Trey Lance sprained his knee in Week 5, and coming out of San Francisco’s bye week, the early indications aren’t too favorable for his status this week. The good news for the 49ers is that Jimmy Garoppolo appears to be moving in the right direction as he recovers from his calf injury and that also bodes well for Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk

Running Back

To say things are currently less than ideal in Cleveland’s backfield might be an understatement. Nick Chubb was sidelined with a calf injury last week, and with a short week ahead of Thursday’s game, his status is unclear at the moment but things aren’t looking great as he was a DNP on Monday’s estimated practice report. For better or worse, we do have clarity on his replacement as Kareem Hunt is slated to miss about a month after exited on Sunday with a calf injury of his own. That means we should be prepared to see a lot of D’Ernest Johnson and Demetric Felton on Thursday unless Chubb is able to return. But even if he does, it likely won’t be at 100% and someone needs to fill Hunt’s previous role as well. 

Chris Carson going on Injured Reserve should have made things easy with the Seattle backfield thanks to Alex Collins’ emergence. From a performance perspective that continued to be the case this past week as Collins carried the ball 20 times for 101 yards and a touchdown. Of course, now the confusion starts with the running back dealing with glute and hip injuries. It’s still early in the week, and Seattle has an extra day as they don’t play until Monday night, but Pete Carroll didn’t appear to be optimistic about his status. Now there could be some coach speak mixed in, but we have to be prepared to replace Collins. Travis Homer looked good in the three times he touched the ball last week (two carries for 27 yard and one reception for 27 yards) but DeeJay Dallas appears to be the main back to target as finished 11 touches behind Collins (33 to 22) and picked up a combined 50 yards (17 rushing and 33 receiving on five receptions). 

On top of the shin injury he had been dealing with, Antonio Gibson is now headed for an MRI after picking up a calf injury on Sunday. Prior to leaving the game Gibson hadn’t done much gaining 44 yards on 10 carries and any limitations or absence he has would lead to an uptick in playing time, and fantasy value for J.D. McKissic who has already carved out a nice role with Washington and broke the century mark in combined yards last week. If you are really desperate, Jaret Patterson (seven snaps in the last two weeks) appears to be next on the depth chart. 

With Sony Michel locked into the backup role for the Rams behind Darrel Henderson, there should be no fantasy impact (one carry for six yards on the season) from Jake Funk being ruled out for the remainder of the season with a hamstring injury. Of course, Michel is now dealing with a shoulder injury, but all signs currently point to him being available this week. With 54 carries through the first six games, Michel has carved out a limited role, but at 3.8 yards per carry, there isn’t much fantasy value. 

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Melvin Gordon came out of Sunday’s game and heads into the short week with a questionable designation once again for his hip injury. Gordon entered last week’s game with the same tag and we saw a customary outing from him; 10 carries for 50 yards and three catches for another 23 yards. He continues to play around half the snaps and remains touchdown dependent. Depending on your roster situation for the week, I would try to avoid locking him into a starting spot on Thursday. 

I guess it is a good thing that Baltimore has accumulated a stable of veteran running backs as they were seamlessly able to replace Latavius Murray this week after he left the game with an ankle injury. With nine carries for 44 yards and a touchdown along with two catches for another 12 yards, it appears that Murray is the leader in the Ravens’ backfield but it remains to be seen whether his ankle injury will keep him out of this week’s game. After carrying the ball nine times for 53 yards and a touchdown, Devonta Freeman appears to be the next man up. 

It’s unclear whether or not Derrick Henry is human at times and whether or not Tennessee even needs another running back, but we do need to keep an eye on Jeremy McNichols who left Monday’s game with an ankle injury. McNichols has been targeted 23 times this season but he only has 198 combined yards so there is nothing to see here unless (knock on wood this doesn’t come true) an injury replacement is needed for Henry. 

Wide Receiver

In the end it all worked out for Tyreek Hill but this week was a bit of a roller coaster ride as he dealt with a quadricep injury. The star receiver caught two passes for 25 yards before temporarily leaving the field but he came back and put all concerns (at least temporarily) to rest. Hill then proceeded to seven passes for 51 yards and a touchdown so it was another good day for the receiver. Although everything appears to be in order, this is still a situation we are going to have to keep an eye on. 

It was good while it lasted. Julio Jones returned to action on Monday after he missed the last two games with a hamstring injury, but a setback led to him exiting in the fourth quarter. To that point, Jones had caught three of his five targets for 59 yards and it appears that this is something we will have to continue monitoring throughout the week and have an alternative at the ready. 

Sunday had all the makings of a really good day for Kadarius Toney as he caught three passes for 36 yards early on in the game. Unfortunately, that was all we saw from the rookie as he was forced to the sidelines after trying to play through an ankle injury. More tests are on tap for Toney, but initially it’s hard to be confident in his status for this week with Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton (should he return this week) being the beneficiaries from any time Toney does miss. 

Can we blame Odell Beckham’s shoulder injury on his lackluster performance this past week? Cleveland could just be trying to be careful in general with Beckham but he was only on the field for 54% of their offensive snaps which led to a 79-yard receiving day on five receptions (eight targets). Heading into Thursday’s game this is something to keep an eye on as he was a DNP on Monday’s estimated practice report. 

The good news is that Parris Campbell made his one catch count last week; 51 yards for a touchdown. The bad news is that he suffered a foot injury that appears to be a long-term thing. As a positive, T.Y. Hilton appears to be healthy as he caught four passes for 80 yards last week and the quadriceps issue that forced him out of Sunday’s blowout early doesn’t appear to be anything major. With Campbell sidelined, the Colts will lean a lot more on both Hilton and Michael Pittman moving forward. 

With Terrace Marshall in concussion protocol and Brandon Zylstra dealing with a hamstring injury, there could potentially be an opening on Carolina’s depth chart behind their starters. However, it is hard to find much value there, and with Alex Erickson also exiting with a concussion this is likely a situation to avoid as we can expect D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson (who finally found the end zone last week) to be busy. 

Tight End

Tommy Sweeney was not a name I was really familiar with prior to Monday night’s game other than knowing he was behind Dawson Knox on the depth chart. But with Knox missing the fourth quarter with a hand injury, Sweeney made sure everyone knew who he was and that might continue moving forward as we await an update on Knox’s status. 

Despite being examined on the sideline with a potential arm injury, we can all exhale regarding Travis Kelce as he caught eight passes for 99 yards last week and there doesn’t appear to be any issues to monitor. 

Granted the outcome of the game was already determined, it’s still difficult to argue with Noah Fant’s performance on Sunday as he caught nine passes for 97 yards and a touchdown. There appears to be a foot injury we now need to keep our eyes on, but he was listed as a limited participant on Monday’s estimated practice report so there doesn’t appear to be an issue for Fant with the quick turnaround to Thursday’s game. 

David Njoku has the same status for Cleveland ahead of Thursday’s game with a knee injury, but the bigger issue here is the tight end coming back down to earth after his monster Week 5 performance. He was only on the field for 44% of the Browns’ snaps and Njoku caught just one of two targets for six yards and this is a situation to keep an eye from multiple fronts.