NFL Injury Report: Conference Championships
Published: Jan 28, 2022
It’s going to be quite difficult to follow up the four games we were gifted last weekend, but you could make the argument that Sunday will be the best day of football this season. Both conference championship games are here, so let’s dig into the injury situations we are keeping an eye on.
I know Jimmy Garoppolo takes a lot of abuse here, and he is the worst quarterback who will be taking the field on Sunday (especially from a fantasy perspective), but he is still one of the last four signal callers left this season. With a recently sprained thumb and shoulder, Garoppolo isn’t 100% healthy, but to give him credit he did practice in full on Wednesday and there aren’t any questions about his status for Sunday. We should note though, that Garoppolo has been solid against the Rams in two previous matchups this season; 498 passing yards and three touchdowns.
Elijah Mitchell has been dealing with a knee injury for almost two months now, but it hasn’t impacted his performance on the field as of late. In fact, Mitchell has been quite the workhorse for the 49ers as he follows a modified practice schedule. After not practicing on Wednesday, Mitchell returned on a limited basis on Thursday and that trends towards him taking the field without issue on Sunday as he has been. Mitchell will dominate the touches once again for San Francisco, as one of his backups (Jeff Wilson) is also trending towards being unavailable with an ankle injury.
At this point, it appears that Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Jerick McKinnon have the majority of the work in Kansas City’s backfield nailed down. After not playing last week, Williams practiced in full on Wednesday and then was limited on Thursday as he still is dealing with a toe injury. At this point, his status is unclear for Sunday, but even if he is available, I’m not sure there will be much of a fantasy impact that we can bank on.
Everyone can exhale; Deebo Samuel is off the injury report. Things didn’t look good as Samuel was limping around the field towards the end of the game on Sunday after he took a helmet to his lower leg, but things have healed sufficiently for him to practice in full. At this point, we can’t overstate how valuable Samuel is to San Francisco’s offense as a runner and receiver and that was also on full display earlier this season against the Rams.
We know how good Cooper Kupp is and in conjunction with Odell Beckham’s presence, Van Jefferson is clearly the third receiver in the pecking order for Los Angeles. With that being said, we did get to see Jefferson have success in flashes this year so it was good news that he found himself back on the practice field Thursday and is trending in the right direction for Sunday.
In what was a quiet game from a passing perspective last week for San Francisco, George Kittle actually stepped compared to his last few games. After four straight games in which he didn’t break the 30-yard mark, Kittle caught four of his six targets for 63 yards on Sunday. Just like Samuel, Kittle didn’t look 100% at the end of the game, but he too is off the injury report heading into this week.