NFL Injury Report: October 18
Michael Stein breaks down the injury situations across the NFL, including player profiles, reasons for optimism, and reasons for pessimism.
We have already seen several star quarterbacks go down with injuries, but none of them have as big an impact as Patrick Mahomes . Fantasy GMs are sitting in the fetal position waiting to hear the diagnosis and time frame for his return. This simply reinforces what we already know about the frequency of injuries and the impact they have on fantasy rosters. There is also a domino effect as one injury has implications for several other players as well. So without any further adieu, let’s take a look at some of the walking wounded in the fantasy football emergency room.
Patrick Mahomes (QB-KC)
If you were scrolling through Twitter on Thursday night then you would have thought the world was ending. Chiefs quarterback and MVP candidate Patrick Mahomes suffered a knee injury on Thursday night against Denver and was removed from the game. It was reported he sustained a dislocated kneecap and will undergo an MRI to determine the full extent of the injury and any other damage that may have been done. The good news is that it may only cost him three weeks, but that is still a significant amount of time for fantasy GMs to be without the best quarterback in the league. Matt Moore came in to replace Mahomes and should be in line for several more starts unless Kansas City makes a trade for another quarterback. Mahomes should certainly be stashed on your bench with the hope that you can tread water until he is able to return. Keep following for updates as we should know more about Mahomes’ status later today.
Alvin Kamara (RB-NO)
Fantasy GMs who drafted Kamara were banking on elite production from the all-world running back. However, he has only provided pedestrian statistics thus far rushing for 342 yards and one touchdown to go along with 26 catches for 241 yards and one touchdown. He is now dealing with a high ankle sprain that will likely cost him this week’s game against the Bears. Kamara has not practiced this week and will likely be sidelined if he cannot get some work in on Friday. The Bears have a great defense so Kamara’s value would be diminished somewhat if he does end up playing because he would be less than 100%. GMs should be hoping this is not a multi-week absence since high ankle sprains typically take a few weeks to heal. If he is unable to go, Latavius Murray gets the start against the Bears.
Todd Gurley (RB-LAR)
Gurley missed last week’s game with a quadriceps injury but has been practicing this week in a limited capacity. The Rams indicated they believe Gurley will be able to play this week which is good news for fantasy GMs. Los Angeles has a favorable matchup against a terrible Atlanta defense, so even if Gurley has a reduced number of snaps he would still be a RB1 option. Backup Malcolm Brown is also dealing with an ankle injury and his status is up in the air for Week 7. Both of these conditions mean that rookie Darrell Henderson should see increased playing time making him a viable Flex option if your options are limited due to bye week constraints.
Davante Adams (WR-GB)
What seemed like a minor injury a few weeks ago for Davante Adams has now turned into a disaster for fantasy GMs as he is expected to miss another game this week with turf toe. Initially it was expected that he might miss a game or two, but he is on the verge of missing his third consecutive game. Green Bay continues to win despite being decimated by injuries at the wide receiver position. The reliance on running the ball and solid defense has led to success for Green Bay but a significant reduction in fantasy value for Aaron Rodgers . Adams should continue to be stashed on your bench because he is an elite player, but you should also be exploring trade opportunities to try and make up for his lost production.
Amari Cooper (WR-DAL)
Cooper has not practiced this week as he continues dealing with a quadriceps injury. He tried playing through it last week against the Jets but was taken out of the game after just three snaps. The timing of this injury is not good because Dallas has a divisional showdown with the Eagles on Sunday night. Cooper has been stellar this year with 33 catches for 515 yards and five touchdowns. Dallas does have a bye next week so it seems likely the team will keep Cooper inactive to give him the extended time to rest and recover. If he does not play, then look for Michael Gallup to assume the Cowboys WR1 position along with Tavon Austin and Devin Smith getting opportunities as well.
DeSean Jackson (WR-PHI)
Jackson remained sidelined at practice on Thursday and will likely be out again this week against the Cowboys. He is still dealing with an abdominal injury that will cost him his fifth consecutive game. It is expected that he will be back within the next few weeks, but fantasy GMs have grown tired of utilizing a valuable roster spot on him. He demonstrated in Week 1 that he still has explosiveness and fantasy value, but it is understandable if GMs have given up on waiting for him to come back.
Josh Gordon (WR-NE)
Gordon suffered a knee injury last Thursday night against the Giants when his leg was rolled over at the end of an interception return for a touchdown. He did not practice on Thursday and is questionable at best for Monday night’s game against the Jets. Gordon would be a great fantasy option this week since the Patriots typically dominate the Jets, but it does not appear that he will be ready to play. Phillip Dorsett seems ahead of Gordon in terms of likelihood to return, so New England can afford to give Gordon the extra rest and get him back to 100%. Check back for additional updates in the next 24-48 hours to see if anything has changed.
Phillip Dorsett (WR-NE)
The Patriots have had a revolving door at wide receiver this season with various injuries sandwiched around the Antonio Brown drama. That has not stopped New England from going undefeated through six games. One of those wide receivers could be back this week as Phillip Dorsett has been practicing in a limited capacity. He missed last week’s game against the Giants with a hamstring injury but has had a lot of time to rest and heal up. Dorsett has 15 catches for 197 yards and three touchdowns thus far, and he would have an even bigger role in the offense if Josh Gordon is unable to play.
Sterling Shepard (WR-NYG)
Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard will miss another game due to a concussion he sustained a couple of weeks ago. He is still in the league’s concussion protocol and has only been able to practice in a limited capacity without any contact. The Giants are being ultra conservative with Shepard as this is the second concussion he has sustained in a short amount of time. He is hoping to return for Week 8 which would give Daniel Jones his full complement of offensive weapons for the first time this season. Look for Golden Tate and Darius Slayton to see a lot of targets against Arizona this Sunday.
Christian Kirk (WR-ARZ)
Kirk has missed the past couple weeks with an ankle injury but has been practicing in a limited capacity this week. The Cardinals and fantasy GMs would very much like to see him return for Week 7 against the Giants who have allowed huge games to opposing wide receivers. Kirk has played in only four games and accumulated 24 catches for 242 yards and no touchdowns. GMs should plug him in lineups as a WR3 or Flex this week if he is able to take the field.
Will Dissly (TE-SEA)
The tight end position is scarce enough for fantasy GMs, and now it is even worse after Will Dissly underwent season-ending surgery on his torn Achilles tendon. Dissly suffered the injury last week against Cleveland and an MRI confirmed what was already expected. Dissly had been a solid fantasy performer this year catching 23 passes for 262 yards and four touchdowns. This is the second consecutive season that he has suffered a serious leg injury so there are legitimate questions about his health and durability going forward. Luke Willson will now be elevated to become the Seahawks primary tight end unless they make a trade.
Dede Westbrook (WR-JAX)
Jaguars wide receiver Dede Westbrook suffered some type of shoulder injury very recently as he appeared suddenly on Jacksonville’s injury report. This is concerning given how late it is in the week. Fantasy GMs will want Westbrook in their lineups this week as the Jaguars have an appetizing matchup against an awful Bengals team that is severely depleted by injuries in the secondary. Westbrook has a lot of potential but has been limited to just 26 catches for 280 yards and one touchdown thus far.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling (WR-GB)
The Packers are accepting applications off the street for wide receivers as Davante Adams and Geronimo Allison will both likely miss this week’s game against Oakland. Marques Valdez-Scantling has been dealing with ankle and knee injuries of his own and he did play through them on Monday night against Detroit. Valdez-Scantling has not taken advantage of the opportunities presented to him, so he is nothing more than a WR3 or Flex option if he is able to play. Green Bay just signed Ryan Grant this week and Allen Lazard should continue getting playing time after catching a touchdown pass last week. The Packers reliance on their running game this season has rendered their receivers (except for Adams) almost irrelevant from a fantasy perspective.