2018 NFL Injury Report: November 9
Michael A. Stein breaks down the injury situations across the NFL, including player profiles, reasons for optimism, and reasons for pessimism.
This week marks the return of an old favorite to the injury report as well as the continuation of ongoing sagas involving injury-prone players. The proverbial “game-time decision” is one of the worst things a fantasy GM can hear because of the uncertainty it brings with it. GMs know that injuries happen and players could miss games, but not knowing for sure and wavering over lineup decisions is a major frustration for everyone. The best way to combat this is to ensure you have a backup plan and evaluate whether a safer but less productive option is more ideal than taking a chance on a high risk/high reward option where you could end up with 30 points as equally as you could get a goose egg with an inactive player. So without any further ado, let’s delve into the next edition of the 2018 fantasy football emergency room.
A.J. Green (WR-CIN)
We learned earlier this week that Green is expected to miss a couple games which rules him out of this week’s contest against the Saints. Green is an elite wide receiver so this is a devastating loss at a critical juncture of the season. It is also even more unfortunate because Green likely would have been in for a monster game against the Saints in what should be a high-scoring game. Tyler Boyd and John Ross will see a lot of targets in this game and should be on your fantasy radar.
George Kittle (TE-SF)
Kittle has been banged up all season and is now dealing with a chest injury causing him to be limited in practice on Thursday. We have no reason to think this will affect his ability to play on Monday night. Fantasy GMs should be locking him in as a top TE1 in all league formats as Kittle should be able to dominate the middle of the field against the Giants. Kittle has 41 catches for 692 yards and three touchdowns making him a must-start option every week.
Rob Gronkowski (TE-NE)
Gronkowski was limited in practice on Thursday leaving his status for Week 10 up in the air. It is impossible to predict whether he will play or not because he always is banged up and the Patriots really don’t need him to win. Gronkowski’s days as an elite tight end appear to be over because he just cannot stay on the field long enough to produce the statistics GMs expect from a player of his caliber. The only good news about this is that New England finally does not play in prime time this week so we should have clarity on his situation with enough time to set lineups.
Sammy Watkins (WR-KC)
The Chiefs may be without Sammy Watkins this week as he missed practice on Thursday with a foot injury. Watkins does have a history of foot issues so this is somewhat concerning for GMs who have been utilizing him as a WR3 in Kansas City’s high-octane offense. Watkins has 39 catches for 515 yards and three touchdowns on the season but will likely be given the week off since Kansas City should easily dispose of the lowly Cardinals without him.
Jordan Reed (TE-WAS)
One of the biggest surprises of the season thus far is that this is the first time Jordan Reed has been on the injury report. He has played in all eight games and managed to avoid any injuries. However, Reed was limited at practice on Thursday as he is dealing with a back issue. The injury is not expected to affect his status for Week 10 so he can still be plugged into lineups. Reed has been limited to 33 catches for 340 yards and one touchdown, but a matchup against a terrible Tampa Bay defense could be the recipe he needs for a breakout game.
Kerryon Johnson (RB-DET)
Lions running back Kerryon Johnson has been limited in practice this week as he is dealing with an ankle injury. Johnson has rushed for 503 yards and one touchdown on the season and emerged as Detroit’s primary rusher. He will be up against a solid Bears defense so it could be an uphill battle for him to improve on his sub-3.00 yards per carry that he has over the past couple games.
Doug Baldwin (WR-SEA)
Baldwin returned to practice in a limited capacity on Thursday as he is dealing with a groin injury. This comes on the heels of his recurring knee issues so there is some concern about Baldwin’s overall health. He has not been much of a factor when he has played this year managing only 18 receptions for 236 yards and no touchdowns. Seattle will be up against the high-scoring Rams to look for Russell Wilson to be throwing the ball all day which should benefit Baldwin assuming he is able to play. Check back for more updates before kickoff on Sunday because we may not have a decision on him until game time.
Jamison Crowder (WR-WAS)
The Redskins have had major issues at wide receiver all season including the recent loss of Paul Richardson for the season. In some positive news, it looks like Jamison Crowder could possibly be back this weekend after missing the last four games with an ankle injury. He practiced in a limited capacity on Thursday which gives him a chance to return for Week 10 against Tampa Bay. Crowder has 13 catches for 134 yards and one touchdown on the season and could make a big splash in his return if he can take the field against a horrendous Tampa Bay defense.
Mohamed Sanu (WR-ATL)
Sanu has been dealing with a hip injury for quite a while now but it has not caused him to miss any games. He practiced in a limited capacity on Thursday which is no surprise, so he is fully expected to be on the field against the Browns this weekend. Sanu is a WR3 at best in deeper leagues as he has 28 catches for 369 yards and three touchdowns on the season. Calvin Ridley has clearly passed him on the depth chart and now Sanu’s best hope is to take advantage of mismatches when opposing defenses are focused on Ridley and Julio Jones .
Doug Martin (RB-OAK)
The Raiders are a train wreck so playing any of their offensive players in a fantasy lineup is a risky proposition. Doug Martin was limited in practice on Thursday with a hip injury, but it is not expected to affect his status for Week 10’s game against the Chargers. Martin is now the starter after Marshawn Lynch went down, and he has rushed for 220 yards without reaching the end zone at all this year. He is only a deep Flex option at this point because the Raiders are out of games so quickly that they abandon the run.
Darren Sproles (RB-PHI)
Veteran Darren Sproles was on the verge of returning this week until he re-aggravated his hamstring injury at practice earlier in the week. Sproles has been out since Week 1 after coming back from tearing his ACL in 2017. The Eagles need his explosiveness and versatility on the field, but right now it does not look good for him to be able to return. Sproles can remain on the waiver wire for now because at his age the ability to recover from hamstring injuries severely diminishes.
Chris Carson (RB-SEA)
Carson has not practiced this week which was expected after he left last week’s game with a thigh injury to add on top of a hip issue as well. We do not have any clarity on this situation because we were in the same boat last week. It will likely be a game-time decision whether Carson will play, so you should plan on having an alternative ready to go. will see a bulk of the playing time if Carson is inactive.
Sam Darnold (QB-NYJ)
Rookie quarterback Sam Darnold will not start this week against Buffalo as the Jets claim he has a foot injury. Darnold has not been ruled out though, so he could still come into the game as a backup for journeyman Josh McCown . Darnold has struggled mightily of late so this could just be the Jets justifying a reason to give him some time off. He has thrown for 1,934 yards along with 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions thus far in his rookie season. Even if he does not play on Sunday, he will be back under center shortly thereafter.
Cameron Meredith (WR-NO)
One door closes and another one opens. Cameron Meredith signed with the Saints as a free agent and was expected to be a big part of their offense opposite Michael Thomas . However, injuries marred his season and now he is done for the year after injuring the same knee where he tore his ACL last year. In a corresponding move, the Saints signed veteran Dez Bryant this week making him a very intriguing waiver wire acquisition at this point of the year. Meredith can be dropped in all format and Bryant is worth taking a chance on.