NFL Injury Report: November 12
Michael A. Stein recaps the injury news heading into Week 11 and offers up potential return timetables and suggestions for replacement players for fantasy football.
November 12, 1955 is the day in Back to the Future when Marty McFly gets sent back to 1985 during the famous Hill Valley lightning storm, as well as when Biff from the future gives his younger self the sports almanac with 50 years-worth of game results. With today being November 12, many fantasy GMs wish they had a sports almanac to help predict injuries. The fantasy regular season is winding down for standard leagues, so injuries have even greater consequences at this point in the season. So without any further adieu, let’s take a look at some of the walking wounded in the fantasy football emergency room.
Tyler Lockett (WR-SEA)
The fantasy football community was perplexed on Monday night when Tyler Lockett was on the sideline late in the game against San Francisco. It turns out he sustained a leg contusion and then was subsequently hospitalized after the game due to some swelling that affected the blood flow in his leg. This sounds extremely serious, but we do not know the extent of the injury or how this will affect his status going forward. The good news is that Seattle has a bye this coming week so Lockett will have additional time to rest and recover. He has been a solid fantasy contributor with 62 receptions for 793 yards and six touchdowns on the season. If Lockett does require an extended absence then look for D.K. Metcalf and Josh Gordon to see even more targets along with emerging fantasy stud tight end Jacob Hollister .
Matthew Stafford (QB-DET)
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford missed his first game since 2010 this past week as he is dealing with a fracture in his back. He was not ruled out until just a couple hours before kickoff and is considered week-to-week at this point. Stafford clearly wants to be on the field and will do whatever he can to return in Week 11. However, the Lions will not risk their franchise quarterback’s long-term health unnecessarily. Jeff Driskel will get another start next week against Dallas if Stafford is unable to return. While Driskel was not terrible against the Bears, his presence will make the Cowboys’ defense/special teams a solid fantasy option next week.
James Conner (RB-PIT)
The Steelers are red hot despite being decimated by injuries as they managed to squeak by the Rams on Sunday without star running back James Conner . He sat out Week 10 with a shoulder injury but is fully expected to return this Thursday against the division rival Cleveland Browns. Conner has been banged up all season but has managed to shoulder a heavy workload since Ben Roethlisberger went down with a season-ending injury. Conner will be a must-start RB1 this week as Pittsburgh looks to solidify its playoff positioning against their number one nemesis on Thursday night.
Devonta Freeman (RB-ATL)
Atlanta’s shocking upset win over the Saints came with a price as running back Devonta Freeman sustained a foot injury and was removed from the game. He underwent an MRI on Monday and is expected to miss a couple weeks due to a sprain. Freeman has been one of the most frustrating players to own in a fantasy league as he is frequently injured and does not produce on a consistent basis. The Falcons’ primary backup Ito Smith is on injured reserve with a neck injury, so the team will turn to Brian Hill to carry the load over the next couple weeks. Hill ran for 61 yards and also had a ten-year touchdown reception against New Orleans, so he will be one of the biggest targets on the waiver wire heading into Week 11.
Brandin Cooks (WR-LAR)
The Rams are being cautious with wide receiver Brandin Cooks by proactively ruling him out for next week against the Bears. Cooks recently suffered his second concussion of the season so it has been a delicate situation with their player. While he was cleared to participate in limited no-contact activities at practice, he is still miles away from being cleared to play in a game. The Rams offense has stagnated over the past few weeks, but Josh Reynolds will continue to see playing time as the team’s third receiver if you are looking for a temporary replacement.
Emmanuel Sanders (WR-SF)
The 49ers not only lost their first game of the season on Monday night against Seattle, but they also lost their newly acquired top wide receiver. Emmanuel Sanders was taken out of the game during the first half with an injury to his ribs and he did not return. Sanders has been stellar for the 49ers since arriving a couple weeks ago as he has 13 catches for 161 yards and two touchdowns. We should know more about the extent of the injury in a couple days so check back in later this week for an update on his status for Week 11.
Matt Breida (RB-SF)
The 49ers also lost running back Matt Breida during the Monday night game against the Seahawks as he re-aggravated his ankle injury in the second half. Breida was dealing with ankle issues during the week but played through it until he was taken out of the game. The 49ers have a deep and versatile backfield so Tevin Coleman and Raheem Mostert filled in for him the rest of the way. Breida has rushed for 542 yards and one touchdown along with 16 catches for 110 yards and a touchdown making him a viable RB2 option. Follow up for updates throughout the week to check on his availability for Week 11 against Arizona.
A.J. Green (WR-CIN)
Fantasy GMs will not be faulted for simply dropping A.J. Green at this point. The Bengals wide receiver suffered a setback last week in his recovery from ankle surgery as his 2019 debut is indefinitely put off for now. He dealt with some swelling in the ankle and was ruled out for Cincinnati’s game against the Ravens this past weekend. The Bengals have not completely shut him down yet, but it would not be surprising if they place Green on injured reserve and continue their pursuit of 0-16.
Austin Hooper (TE-ATL)
The Falcons are coming off a shocking win over the Saints this past weekend but they may have lost tight end Austin Hooper for a couple weeks. He suffered a sprained MCL and is undergoing tests and getting additional medical opinions to determine the severity of the injury and how long he might be out. This is a big loss for fantasy GMs because the tight end position has been a vacuous hole and Hooper has been one of the most productive players in the entire league. He has 56 catches for 608 yards and six touchdowns on the season earning him a high TE1 position on fantasy rosters. It should be expected that Hooper will be out for multiple weeks so GMs can look for Luke Stocker to see most of the playing time for Atlanta in Hooper’s absence.
Jacoby Brissett (QB-IND)
The Colts clearly miss Jacoby Brissett as their offense was completely shut down against Miami with Brian Hoyer under center. The good news is that Indianapolis has indicated that Brissett will play next week against Jacksonville if he is able to practice by Wednesday. Brissett has been recovering from a knee injury he sustained a couple weeks ago and would be a welcome addition back into the Colts lineup. He would be a QB2 if he is able to return for Week 11, but if he cannot play than the Jaguars defense/special teams will be a great streaming option.
Ty Johnson (RB-DET)
The Lions backfield took another major loss this weekend when Ty Johnson left the game against the Bears with a concussion. He left the game late in the first quarter and did not return. Johnson will be in the league’s concussion protocol this week so his status for Week 11 against Dallas is up in the air at this point. Detroit will turn to J.D. McKissic and Paul Perkins to shoulder the load out of the backfield unless they sign a free agent during the week to add some depth. Johnson has not taken advantage of the opportunity he was given after Kerryon Johnson was ruled out for the season as he has rushed for only 153 yards and no touchdowns on the season.
Trey Burton (TE-CHI)
Trey Burton ’s disastrous tenure in Chicago took another hit this past weekend as he was taken out of the game against the Lions with a calf injury. Burton has dealt with various injuries and lack of production since joining Chicago last year rendering him irrelevant from a fantasy perspective. Burton has only 14 catches for 84 yards and no touchdowns in eight games this year and does not belong on fantasy rosters in standard 12-team leagues.
Emmanuel Ogbah (DL-KC)
The Chiefs defense has been lackluster at best this season and has now sustained a major loss as defensive lineman Emmanuel Ogbah is out for the season. The team’s leader in sacks suffered a torn pectoral muscle during Kansas City’s brutal loss to Tennessee on Sunday. Opposing offenses have had their way against the Chiefs and this loss only makes their future opponents more valuable fantasy options.