NFL Injury Report: August 6
Michael A. Stein breaks down the injury situations across the NFL, including player profiles, reasons for optimism, and reasons for pessimism.
The Hall of Fame Game is in the rearview mirror and preseason games are set to begin this week. Now is the time that fantasy GMs really immerse themselves into draft season so it is imperative that they stay up-to-date on all of the latest injury news. GMs should take solace knowing that NFL teams are not going to subject their star players to any elevated risks of injury or aggravation of injuries. This means that when we learn of an injury during the preseason, we can reasonably expect players to be held out of games in order to ensure that they are rested and recovered in time for the regular season. So without any further ado, let’s take a look at some of the walking wounded in the fantasy football emergency room.
Antonio Brown (WR-OAK)
The wideout is dealing with a foot injury and is considered day-to-day right now. He saw a foot specialist over the weekend and indicated that there is nothing serious with which to be concerned. Brown has been one of the top two or three fantasy wide receivers for several years, but now he is in Oakland with many variables. Fantasy GMs need not worry about this foot issue as Brown is fully expected to be ready for Week 1. He caught 104 passes for 1,297 yards and 15 touchdowns last year with the Steelers. Now he will be catching passes from Derek Carr who could possibly see a huge boost to his fantasy value if he can take advantage of having one of the best wide receivers in the league on his team.
Andrew Luck (QB-IND)
Fantasy GMs have to be concerned about Luck’s status for the regular season. He has been dealing with a calf strain for several months now and the Colts have indicated that he is not ready to keep progressing in his recovery at this point. Luck believes he will be able to play in Week 1 but he is anything but sure that will happen. The Colts fortunes ride on Luck so they desperately need him on the field as we all saw what the team is capable of when he is under center. Luck missed all of 2017 but came back last year and threw for 4,593 yards and 39 touchdowns along with 15 interceptions. He is one of the top five quarterback options in any fantasy league format so this injury and his lack of progress could have major ramifications in drafts over the next couple weeks.
Damien Williams (RB-KC)
The running back emerged as a legitimate fantasy stud at the end of 2018 when replaced Kareem Hunt . Williams had never fulfilled his potential in Miami but he showed what he could do late last year and in the playoffs. Williams is one of the best running back options in any fantasy format thanks to being the featured rusher in Kansas City’s offense. He has missed quite a bit of time this preseason with a hamstring injury and Coach Andy Reid appears to be a little frustrated at his absence. Reid went out of his way to praise backup Carlos Hyde who is looking to re-invigorate his career after a horrendous 2018 season that he split between Cleveland and Jacksonville. Hyde should have some value as Williams’ handcuff, especially if the hamstring continues to be an issue heading into the regular season.
Aaron Jones (RB-GB)
The Packers backfield is in disarray right now as both Jones and Jamaal Williams are banged up with hamstring injuries. Jones missed multiple days of practice late last week and has a history of hamstring issues. There is no doubt that Jones is the featured back for Green Bay so fantasy GMs will want to monitor his status closely as he has the potential to be a real fantasy stud. Jones rushed for 728 yards and eight touchdowns along with 26 catches for 206 yards and one touchdown last year. Dexter Williams is third on the depth chart behind Jones and Williams, so he could become a late-round fantasy option if GMs are looking to accumulate potential handcuffs.
Sterling Shepard (WR-NYG)
The Giants have not received much good news over the past few months but they did receive some encouraging news regarding the wide receiver. Shepard broke his thumb a couple of weeks ago but has already been cleared to take part in live team drills. He is still limited in use of his injured hand, but all signs now point to him being ready for Week 1 of the regular season against Dallas. Shepard will be the focal point of Eli Manning ’s passing attack as Golden Tate is suspended and Corey Coleman is out for the season. Shepard could be in for a huge fantasy season coming off a year in which he had 66 receptions for 872 yards and four touchdowns lining up opposite of Odell Beckham , Jr.
Javorius Allen (RB-NO)
Buck Allen signed with the Saints a couple of months ago and has now been placed on injured reserve. He has not practiced in camp thus far due to an undisclosed injury and has been replaced on the roster by Rob Kelley. Allen was signed to provide depth behind Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray , but he will have to latch on elsewhere now. He ran for 110 yards and three touchdowns along with 35 catches for 196 yards and two touchdowns last year for the Ravens.
Lavonte David (LB-TB)
The veteran linebacker recently had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. He had a torn meniscus that precipitated the operation and Tampa Bay is hopeful that David will be ready for Week 1 of the regular season. He is one of the best tackling linebackers in the league and would be a big loss for GMs in IDP leagues that count tackles for points. David had 120 tackles and 3.5 sacks in 14 games last year and should still be considered a solid IDP option assuming he is cleared the play in Week 1.
Sean Lee (LB-DAL)
Speaking of veteran linebackers, Lee is hurt once again. He is out after spraining his MCL on Monday but the good news initially is that he will not need surgery. Lee has a significant injury history and has never played in all 16 games of an NFL season in his career. He will likely see a reduced role on the Cowboys defense this year because he cannot be relied upon to stay on the field with any regularity.
Zack Martin (OL-DAL)
The Cowboys' offensive lineman is out right now with a back injury. He underwent an MRI that did not reveal any structural damage so Dallas is encouraged by that news. The veteran guard will likely be very limited during the preseason but he is expected to be ready for Week 1. Martin’s health and presence will be key factors in aiding running back Ezekiel Elliott to an elite season. The MRI was merely a precaution. "He's moving around fine, but the [athletic trainers] just want to look into it," said Garrett. Xavier Su'a-Filo worked as the starting right guard in Martin's absence Friday.