2018 NFL Injury Report: November 30
Michael A. Stein breaks down the injury situations across the NFL, including player profiles, reasons for optimism, and reasons for pessimism.
We have reached the end of November and the fantasy playoffs are upon us. Players are banged up with various injuries and fantasy GMs are left scrambling looking for definitive status updates because lineup decisions need to be made. The best we can do is make educated decisions based on how much risk you are willing to take, so GMs should make that self-evaluation first before making any critical roster decisions and maneuvers. So without any further ado, let’s delve into the next edition of the 2018 fantasy football emergency room.
Rob Gronkowski (TE-NE)
It has become pretty standard for Rob Gronkowski to show up on the injury report. The Patriots disclosed he is still dealing with both an ankle and back injury which limited him in practice on Thursday. At this point the news is likely just formulaic as he is fully expected to play this weekend against the Vikings. Gronkowski is coming off a solid game against the Jets where he caught his second touchdown of the season and will look to build on that this weekend against Minnesota. He is a must-start TE1 and should be motivated to prove he can stay on the field down the stretch.
Stefon Diggs (WR-MIN)
Diggs has been playing through some knee discomfort and has been limited in practice to help keep down his reps. There is no reason at this point to worry about his status for Week 13 against New England unless something unforeseen takes place today or tomorrow. Diggs has had a great season thus far catching 79 passes for 790 yards and six touchdowns. He is a solid fantasy option against the Patriots in what could be a high-scoring shootout between two of the league’s best teams.
Mitchell Trubisky (QB-CHI)
The Bears reported that Trubisky has not resumed throwing so that all but assures us that Chase Daniel will get another start this weekend against the Giants. Trubisky missed last week’s game against the Lions on Thanksgiving and has been unable to make enough progress since then to warrant a return. Chicago should not have any issues handling the 3-8 Giants who saw their playoff aspirations all but extinguished last week against the Eagles. Chicago should be able to run the ball effectively against the Giants defense and Trey Burton could be in for a big game with mismatches against the Giants linebackers.
T.Y. Hilton (WR-IND)
The Colts and T.Y. Hilton have been red hot lately and that streak should continue this weekend against the reeling Jaguars who could be without Jalen Ramsey . Hilton was limited in practice on Thursday with a groin injury but he is fully expected to play and build off of two consecutive monster games. He has caught 45 passes for 710 yards and six touchdowns thus far and should be able to feast on Jacksonville’s secondary if Ramsey is unable to play.
Adrian Peterson (RB-WAS)
Peterson has been dealing with a shoulder injury for quite a while now and was held out of practice on Thursday. At his age, it is expected that he will be given time off to simply rest his body and let these aches and pains subside. There is no reason to question his availability for Monday night’s upcoming showdown against the division rival Eagles. However, he could possibly see some snaps diverted to the returning Chris Thompson who is a great third down running back and a big part of the Redskins offense catching passes out of the backfield.
Calvin Ridley (WR-ATL)
Rookie wide receiver Calvin Ridley has been limited in practice this week with both ankle and elbow injuries. He has been banged up for most of the season but has managed to stay on the field for the most part catching 47 passes for 625 yards and eight touchdowns. GMs should not be concerned about his ability to take the field, but they should be concerned about the difficult matchup against the Ravens defense which has been getting better as the season progresses.
Kerryon Johnson (RB-DET)
Johnson did not practice at all on Thursday and is fully expected to miss this week’s game. GMs were made aware of his impending multiple game absence last week due to the knee injury he suffered a couple weeks ago. He emerged as the Lions primary running back rushing for 641 yards and three touchdowns, but he will give way to LeGarrette Blount and Theo Riddick once again this week.
Gus Edwards (RB-BAL)
Edwards has emerged as Baltimore’s primary running back but he was slowed with an ankle injury this week in practice. The good news is that he did practice in a limited capacity on Thursday which bodes well for his ability to take the field against Atlanta in Week 13. Edwards should have a field day against the Falcons vulnerable defense even if Alex Collins returns from his own injury.
A.J. Green (WR-CIN)
Green is expected to make his return this weekend after missing the past several games with a toe injury. The problem is that he will likely have a difficult time getting the ball with Jeff Driskel now under center for Cincinnati. Green cannot be considered a WR1 at this point due to his toe injury and the change at quarterback after Andy Dalton went down with a season-ending injury. GMs should still play him and hope that he finds some magic with Driskel against Denver.
Emmanuel Sanders (WR-DEN)
Sanders has been added to Denver’s injury report with a heel injury and he was only able to practice on Thursday in a limited capacity. Right now it is unclear how serious the injury is or if he is at risk of missing this week’s game against the Bengals. The Broncos offense has been awful this year but Sanders does have 67 catches for 849 yards and four touchdowns as Case Keenum ’s best remaining wide receiver target. He would be a solid WR3 option against Cincinnati assuming he is able to take the field.
Alex Collins (RB-BAL)
Collins was held out of last week’s game against the Raiders and missed some practice this week with a foot injury. However, he did practice in a limited capacity on Thursday which bodes well for his chances of playing in Week 13 against the Falcons. However, Gus Edwards has surpassed him on the depth chart so Collins’ fantasy value is severely diminished right now. He would only be a Flex option in very deep leagues where GMs had no other choices.
Keke Coutee (WR-HOU)
It has been maddening for fantasy GMs trying to pick and choose the right moments to rely on Keke Coutee . The rookie wide receiver has been dealing with a hamstring injury all season and it just will not go away despite several attempts at rest and recovery. He left Monday night’s game against the Titans after re-aggravating the injury and at this point he just cannot be trusted. He will be a serious injury risk even if he does play this weekend against Cleveland.
Evan Engram (TE-NYG)
Engram continues to be bothered by his hamstring injury and has not practiced the past couple days. Right now it appears his ability to play this weekend against the Bears is doubtful which means Rhett Ellison will get the start in his place. Ellison had a big game last week against the Eagles, but the Bears defense is another story. Do not expect similar production from Ellison so seek alternative options for Engram.
Sammy Watkins (WR-KC)
The Chiefs are coming off their bye week and Watkins has still missed several days of practice with his foot injury. This places his status for Week 13 in serious jeopardy so right now GMs should anticipate that he will not be on the field against Oakland. This is a game the Chiefs should easily win without Watkins, so the smart move would be to let him have additional time to rest and recover. Chris Conley would see additional playing time in Watkins’ absence.
Sam Darnold (QB-NYJ)
Darnold was limited in practice on Thursday as he attempts to come back from a foot injury which has cost him the past couple games. He had hoped to be back on the field for Week 13 against the Titans, but the Jets will be extra cautious with the third overall pick of the 2018 draft. We should know more in short order, but it would be surprising if the Jets rush him back on the field when they have nothing to play for at this points. Even if he does play, Darnold is not a good fantasy option in any league format.
Jalen Ramsey (DB-JAX)
Ramsey did not practice on Thursday as he is dealing with a knee injury. It had been expected that he would get at least some practice in, but apparently he was not in good enough shape to take the field at all. This places his status for Sunday’s game against the Colts in jeopardy and further increases the value of T.Y. Hilton assuming he is able to play. Ramsey is one of the better cornerbacks in the league with 42 tackles and three interceptions on the season so the Jaguars defense/special teams would take a big hit if he is unable to go.
Matt Bryant (K-ATL)
The veteran kicker has been marred by injuries this year and he was unable to practice at all the past couple days. Bryant is dealing with a back injury, and at his age it makes it even more difficult to overcome. Bryant is typically one of the best fantasy kicker options and is having another solid season going 14-for-14 in field goals and making 19 out of 20 extra point attempts in just eight games. He is questionable for this weekend so GMs would be best suited to go with another option at this point.