2018 NFL Injury Report: September 21
Michael A. Stein breaks down the injury situations across the NFL, including player profiles, reasons for optimism, and reasons for pessimism.
The NFL and fantasy football communities are still buzzing about the Browns first win since 2016 and the debut of Baker Mayfield . His emergence could have a domino effect on the fantasy values of other Cleveland players so there is a lot of significance with what transpired on Thursday night. There are also several elite players who have found themselves on this edition of the injury report, so you will need to carefully monitor all developments over the next 24-48 hours in order to set your lineups. So without any further ado, let’s delve into the next edition of the 2018 fantasy football emergency room.
Julio Jones (WR-ATL)
Julio Jones did not practice on Thursday due to a calf injury that he sustained last week against the Panthers. He indicated that this was just precautionary and will be on the field for Week 3 against the Saints. Jones still has not found the end zone but he does have 15 catches for 233 yards making him still one of the most elite fantasy wide receivers in the league.
Aaron Rodgers (QB-GB)
The Packers are replicating their routine from last week where Rodgers does not practice during the week but will suit up on Sunday. He is still recovering from his knee injury from Week 1 against the Bears and may not be 100% any time soon. Despite that, Rodgers at any percentage is still better than most quarterbacks at full health. Expect him to play on Sunday against the Redskins and put up his usual solid statistics.
Rob Gronkowski (TE-NE)
It was only a matter of time before Gronkowski showed up on the injury report. He practiced in a limited capacity on Thursday due to an ankle injury that we do not have many details about. Right now there is no reason for concern about his status for Week 3, but follow up for updates over the weekend to ensure that he will be active. Gronk has gotten off to a good start to the season with nine catches for 138 yards and one touchdown over his first two games.
Larry Fitzgerald (WR-ARZ)
Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks indicated that Fitzgerald will be on the field this Sunday against Chicago despite practicing in a limited capacity on Thursday. Fitzgerald has been dealing with a hamstring injury but will be fine to face a strong Bears defense. Arizona’s offense has been abysmal so Fitzgerald’s fantasy value has plummeted due to quarterback incompetence.
Dalvin Cook (RB-MIN)
Cook did not practice again on Thursday but said he was fine and expected to play on Sunday against Buffalo. What Cook says and what the Vikings do may be completely different because Minnesota is expected to have a cake walk against a terrible Bills team. The Vikings may not want to risk further injury for Cook who has had an injury-plagued NFL career thus far. Follow up for updates after Friday’s practice and over the weekend before making any lineup decisions. If Cook does not play, then Latavius Murray becomes a solid waiver wire acquisition and potential RB2 option.
Leonard Fournette (RB-JAX)
Fournette has returned to practice in a limited capacity and seems to be trending in the right direction. He has only played in the first half of Week 1 so he is itching to get back on the field. Fournette should be active on Sunday against Tennessee barring any setbacks, but expect him to share rushing duties with T.J. Yeldon so as to not overburden him upon his return.
T.Y. Hilton (WR-IND)
Hilton is dealing with a quadriceps injury and has missed the past couple days of practice. He claims that he is not worried at all about the injury but his status for Sunday against Philadelphia could be in jeopardy depending on whether he can practice at all on Friday. Hilton is a solid WR2 now that Andrew Luck is back as he already has 12 catches for 129 yards and two touchdowns through the first two weeks.
Will Fuller (WR-HOU)
Fuller made his season debut last week and rewarded fantasy GMs with eight catches for 113 yards and a touchdown. He is still dealing with the hamstring injury and has been limited in practice again this week. However, this should not affect his status for Week 3 as he has a favorable matchup against a vulnerable Giants defense.
Derrick Henry (RB-TEN)
Titans running back Derrick Henry has been limited in practice for most of this week due to a back injury. His fantasy production has been awful thus far with only 82 yards rushing and no touchdowns. He has seen Dion Lewis eclipse him in terms of fantasy value. With a matchup against a stellar Jacksonville defense, Henry is not a good fantasy option for Week 3.
Alshon Jeffery (WR-PHI)
It does not appear that Alshon Jeffery will return to the Eagles this week. He has been limited at practice as he recovers from a shoulder injury and seems doubtful to make his season debut along with Carson Wentz . This means that Nelson Agholor could be in for a huge day against the Colts as he will see a majority of the targets from the returning Wentz.
Case Keenum (QB-DEN)
Broncos quarterback Case Keenum has been dealing with a knee injury this week but returned to practicing in a full capacity on Thursday. His status was never in jeopardy, but the injury should be something to keep in mind if you are starting him in a two-quarterback league. Denver will be up against Baltimore this Sunday which is not an idea matchup for Keenum, especially if he is limited at all in his mobility.
Cole Beasley (WR-DAL)
Beasley sustained an ankle injury this week and was limited at practice on Thursday. There is no reason to believe that this could affect his status for Week 3 against Seattle, but it is worth noting because Beasley is the best wide receiver on the Cowboys and should continue seeing a lot of targets. He has nine catches for 86 yards and no touchdowns thus far, but those numbers should continue to climb.
LeSean McCoy (RB-BUF)
Shady McCoy has been practicing in a non-contact jersey the past couple days which is good news in terms of whether he will be active on Sunday. However, the Bills terrible offense will be up against a solid Minnesota defense which should lead to a blowout victory for the Vikings. McCoy will unlikely be very effective against that defense, even if he does play. He is not a great fantasy option but if he is active then you may have to start him at least as a Flex unless you are filled to the brim with roster depth.
Tyrod Taylor (QB-CLE)
After two and a half weeks, the Tyrod Taylor era has ended in Cleveland. Taylor sustained a concussion against the Jets on Thursday night and was replaced by the #1 pick in the 2018 Draft. Baker Mayfield made his debut for the Browns and led them to their first win since 2016. Mayfield looked very impressive leading Cleveland’s comeback and will now be under center going forward. Taylor will be relegated to a backup role thus rendering him useless in terms of fantasy production.