2018 NFL Injury Report: January 11
Michael A. Stein breaks down the injury situations across the NFL, including player profiles, reasons for optimism, and reasons for pessimism.
The best weekend in football is upon us as we head into the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs. It was an exciting and dramatic Wild Card weekend last week so we can only imagine what is in store for us this coming weekend. There are so many different types of postseason fantasy leagues to do now that we can continue getting our fix for the next several weeks. Of course, injuries will always be a factor so we must take them into consideration, even this deep in the season. So without any further ado, let’s delve into the next edition of the 2019 postseason fantasy football emergency room.
Todd Gurley (RB-LAR)
It may be too little too late for some fantasy GMs, but Todd Gurley finally appears healthy. He missed the final two games of the season with a knee injury which likely cost GMs a league title if they did not have C.J. Anderson as a backup. Now the Rams have taken him completely off the injury report which means he is practicing at a full capacity and will be 100% ready for this weekend’s matchup against Dallas. Gurley had an incredible season as he rushed for 1,251 yards and 17 touchdowns along with 59 catches for 580 yards and four touchdowns. He is without question the top choice to build a lineup around no matter what type of playoff league format you are using.
Melvin Gordon (RB-LAC)
Gordon showed a lot of courage playing through injuries last week in Baltimore as he helped lead the Chargers to a road playoff victory. Gordon ran the ball 17 times for 40 yards and scored a touchdown despite being less than 100% and being taken out of the game for a brief moment due to knee issues. He has been limited in practice this week as a way to get him additional rest, but there is no doubt he will be on the field this weekend against New England. One thing to keep in mind is that winter weather is most likely going to be a big factor in this game so the Chargers are going to want to protect Gordon as much as possible which means Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson should see a fair amount of snaps as well.
Golden Tate (WR-PHI)
Tate practiced in a limited capacity on Wednesday due to a knee issue but this is not expected to affect his ability to play at all. He is coming off a solid game against the Bears in which he caught five of eight targets for 46 yards including the go-ahead touchdown. There is no concern for his status this weekend against the Saints as he should continue seeing a bigger role in the offense since New Orleans will likely be focused on covering Alshon Jeffery and Zach Ertz .
Dontrelle Inman (WR-IND)
The red-hot Colts went into Houston and overpowered the Texans last week thanks in large part to Dontrelle Inman . He has picked the right time of year to get hot as he caught a touchdown pass for the third consecutive game in last week’s 21-7 victory. Inman was targeted four times and caught all four passes for 53 yards including that score. He has been limited in practice this week with both finger and shoulder issues, but he is not in any danger of missing time this weekend against the Chiefs. Andrew Luck will need to light up the scoreboard to keep pace with Kansas City, so Inman should once again be a major factor in the red zone.
Sammy Watkins (WR-KC)
Watkins has missed the past several weeks with a foot injury but he could be ready to return at just the right time. The Chiefs were very happy with the way he practiced this week and all signs are pointing towards him suiting up this weekend against the Colts in the AFC Divisional Round. The reality is that Kansas City will likely limit his snaps and his presence on the field will at the very least take some pressure off Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce down the field.
Spencer Ware (RB-KC)
The Chiefs have listed Spencer Ware as questionable for this weekend’s game against the Colts. He did not play in the last three games of the season with a hamstring injury and has continued to be limited in practice this week. Kansas City’s running game has survived just fine in the hands of Damien Williams so he is expected to see a majority of snaps regardless of whether Ware is able to take the field.
Allen Hurns (WR-DAL)
We all saw the gruesome injury sustained by Allen Hurns last week against Seattle as he broke his leg getting tackled after a catch. It is never pleasant to report on such an awful injury, but the good news is that he immediately underwent successful surgery and is expected to make a full recovery for next season. Hurns finished the season with 20 catches for 295 yards and two touchdowns but was never a major factor in the Cowboys’ offense
Cole Beasley (WR-DAL)
Besides losing Allen Hurns last week, the Cowboys are further banged up at wide receiver as Cole Beasley continues dealing with an ankle injury. He has not practiced this week but should still be able to take the field after he played through the injury last week against Seattle and caught all three of his targets for 28 yards. This may end up being a game-time decision on Saturday for the Cowboys but fantasy GMs should not be considering Beasley for playoff lineups either way.
Hunter Henry (TE-LAC)
There was a lot of chatter last week about Hunter Henry making his season debut against the Ravens, but it never came to fruition. This week that could change as Henry has been practicing in a full capacity ahead of the Chargers showdown in New England on Sunday. He has missed the entire season (despite what Stephen A. Smith says) after tearing his ACL over the summer, but he could take the field on Sunday and give Philip Rivers another valuable target to depend on. Assuming Henry does play, do not expect him to be on the field all day as winter weather will be a factor so the Chargers will likely limit his playing time and ease him back in.