NFL Injury Report: October 4
Michael A. Stein breaks down the injury situations across the NFL, including player profiles, reasons for optimism, and reasons for pessimism.
The injury report seems to be getting longer and longer each time. This should not come as a surprise to anyone because injuries are to be expected. The question is how to GMs deal with them in order to withstand the loss of some key players. On the flip side, we also see some positive news regarding players on the mend who could make a big impact upon their returns. So without any further ado, let’s take a look at some of the walking wounded in the fantasy football emergency room.
Brandin Cooks (WR-LAR)
Rams wide receiver Brandin Cooks was taken out of Thursday night’s game against Seattle with a possible concussion. He made a tremendous catch in the fourth quarter and then landed hard on the ground. He stayed down for a few minutes and eventually made it off the field appearing woozy. We should know more about Cooks’ status in the coming days, but the good news is that he has extra time off before the Rams play in Week 6 against San Francisco.
James Conner (RB-PIT)
Things are trending in the wrong direction for James Conner as he has missed practice this week with an ankle injury that he sustained on Monday night. He seemed optimistic earlier in the week that he would be fine for Week 5, but he will have to make a big improvement in short order to instill confidence in fantasy GMs. Conner has been a big disappointment thus far rushing for only 139 yards and one touchdown along with 19 catches for 153 yards and a receiving touchdown. Jaylen Samuels would get the start in Conner’s place if he is unable to play and would instantly become a low-end RB1 coming off his big game against Cincinnati.
Tyreek Hill (WR-KC)
Fantasy GMs received some good news on Tyreek Hill this week as he has returned to practice, albeit in a limited capacity. He suffered a fractured clavicle in Week 1 and has a small chance of playing this week against the Colts. Despite that optimism, it is more likely that Kansas City will give him an extra week before getting him back on the field. Check back for updates over the weekend because Hill is a must-start if he is cleared to play even if his snaps are limited. Keep in mind that when Hill does return it means that Demarcus Robinson and Mecole Hardman will see their fantasy value diminish significantly.
T.Y. Hilton (WR-IND)
Another wide receiver who could impact the game between the Chiefs and Colts is T.Y. Hilton , who also returned to practice on Thursday. He has been dealing with a quadriceps injury that has cost him some time. Despite only playing in three games, he has managed to amass 20 receptions for 195 yards and four touchdowns. Hilton would be a sight for sore eyes if he is able to play, because this will likely be a shootout between these two teams and we could see some very crooked numbers. GMs should frequently monitor for updates over the weekend because Hilton needs to be in your lineup if he is active.
Davante Adams (WR-GB)
Adams was still held out of practice on Thursday but apparently did some light running on his own. He is still dealing with a toe injury that he suffered last Thursday night against the Eagles. There is still a chance he can suit up and play if he gets some practice in beforehand. However, fantasy GMs need to be prepared to be without him at this point. This would be a big loss because Adams is coming off a huge game before he was injured and Aaron Rodgers will need to light up the offense in order to keep up with the Cowboys. Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Geronimo Allison would see bigger roles in the passing game if Adams cannot play.
Marlon Mack (RB-IND)
Fantasy GMs are growing concerned about the status of Marlon Mack for Week 5. He did not practice again on Thursday as he continues dealing with an ankle injury. He could still be in line to play if he can practice in some capacity on Friday, so GMs will have to follow up for additional updates over the weekend. Mack will have a favorable matchup this week against the Chiefs who do not have a great defense and the two teams should be able to march up and down the field against one another. Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines would share duties in the backfield if Mack is unable to play.
Damien Williams (RB-KC)
The Chiefs are undefeated despite having several injuries to key players. One of those players is expected back this week as Damien Williams aims to take the field for the first time since Week 2. He has been out with a knee injury but has been practicing in a full capacity this week. Williams got off to a very slow start thus far averaging less than two yards per carry with only 34 total rushing yards. Williams’ fantasy value might be limited because he will be rejoining an already crowded Kansas City backfield that also includes LeSean McCoy and Darwin Thompson.
Jarvis Landry (WR-CLE)
Landry remained in the league’s concussion protocol on Thursday which makes him questionable at best whether he will play on Monday night against San Francisco. He is coming off a huge game last week against Baltimore so it would be unfortunate if he is unable to play this week and build on that momentum. The fact he has an extra day of rest is positive, but we are running out of time for him to get cleared. If Landry is unable to play, then look for Antonio Callaway to step in immediately now that he is returning from a suspension. Baker Mayfield will also have to find a way to get Odell Beckham , Jr. the ball despite likely facing double coverage.
DeSean Jackson (WR-PHI)
The Eagles have been without DeSean Jackson since Week 2 as he continues suffering from an abdominal injury. He exploded in Week 1 with two touchdowns so the Eagles and fantasy GMs have both felt his absence. He continues to miss practice despite having some extra time off due to the Eagles playing last Thursday night. It appears that he will not be able to play this weekend against the Jets so GMs will have to wait at least another week to have him back in the lineup.
Tyrell Williams (WR-OAK)
The Raiders are headed for the slaughterhouse this week in London against the Bears stellar defense. One of the only bright spots for Oakland in this tumultuous season has been Tyrell Williams who has caught a touchdown pass in all four games thus far. He is dealing with a foot injury and is questionable whether he will play this weekend. He has been resting but we may not know for sure what his status will be until later Friday or Saturday.
Tevin Coleman (RB-SF)
The 49ers deep and crowded backfield could be getting more congested this week as Tevin Coleman could be coming back. He has been out since Week 1 with an ankle injury but he returned to practice this week and will have an extra day to rest since the 49ers play on Monday night against Cleveland. San Francisco already has Matt Breida , Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson running the ball, so Coleman’s return would only diminish the value of all of them.
Sam Darnold (QB-NYJ)
There is now talk about the possibility that Sam Darnold will return this week against the Eagles. He has been out the last several weeks with mono but it is being debated whether he can play this week with some extra padding to protect his spleen. This all seems like a huge risk as one of the effects of mono is enlargement of the spleen. Darnold could die if that ruptures. It seems ludicrous that the Jets would even entertain that risk, but you cannot underestimate the competitive desire of the former 1st round draft pick. That being said, Darnold should not be a fantasy consideration this week either way. (Editor's note: Darnold has been officially ruled out for Week 5 since this article was submitted)
Mitchell Trubisky (QB-CHI)
Any hope that existed for Mitchell Trubisky to play this week likely evaporated when he did not practice on Thursday. He is dealing with a dislocated shoulder and slight labrum tear, but he does not need surgery. The Bears are best suited to keep him out and then give him extra time to rest with their bye coming next week. Chase Daniel would get the start against Oakland in London this weekend. He should be able to feast on a vulnerable Raiders defense that will be without Vontaze Burfict for the rest of the season
Devin Singletary (RB-BUF)
With Josh Allen likely going to miss this week’s game with a concussion, the Bills will need to rely on their running game even more. Rookie Devin Singletary got off to a hot start to the season rushing the ball ten times for 127 yards and one touchdown to go along with five catches for 28 yards in two games. He has missed the past couple weeks with a hamstring injury but has been practicing in a limited capacity. There is a chance he could return this Sunday against the Titans but he will have to contend with Frank Gore and T.J. Yeldon getting most of the snaps. Singletary can become a valuable fantasy asset but it may take some time for that to come to fruition.
Christian Kirk (WR-ARZ)
The Cardinals have indicated they feel lucky that Christian Kirk ’s injury was not as bad as it could have been. Initially, they thought he sustained a season-ending ankle injury but now it appears he could return as soon as Week 6. Kirk has practiced in a limited capacity this week but he is not expected to play on Sunday against the Bengals. Kirk is nothing more than a WR4 or WR5 right now but he does have potential to break out as Kyler Murray continues to develop at quarterback.
Wayne Gallman (RB-NYG)
Gallman was dealing with a neck injury this week causing him to be limited in practice. However, there is no cause for concern about his status for Week 5 as he prepared to get his second consecutive start. Gallman provided tremendous production last week against the Redskins rushing for 63 yards and a touchdown while also catching six passes for 55 yards and another touchdown. He will be facing a much tougher defense in the Vikings this week so fantasy GMs should temper expectations. Saquon Barkley has been amping up his rehab and is likely going to return much quicker than originally anticipated. Gallman’s window of value is quickly closing so GMs should attempt to milk everything they can out of him.
Michael Gallup (WR-DAL)
The Cowboys’ offense has been prolific thus far and they will get a boost this weekend when Michael Gallup likely makes his return after a two-week absence. Gallup had a minor surgical procedure a couple weeks ago and has been limited in practice this week. Both Gallup and the Cowboys have indicated that he will be on the field against the Packers for Week 5 which does present a difficult matchup as Green Bay’s defense has been stingy all season. Gallup accumulated 13 catches for 226 yards in the first two games of the season but he will need to show he is healthy before fantasy GMs can trust him as one of their three starting wide receivers.
Terry McLaurin (WR-WAS)
McLaurin practiced in a limited capacity on Thursday as he attempts to work his way back from a hamstring injury that caused him to miss last week’s game against the Giants. It looks like he is trending in the right direction towards playing this week, but the Redskins may be better off keeping him out against the vaunted New England defense. Washington’s offense is a complete disaster and the quarterback situation is completely up in the air. While McLaurin has been a pleasant surprise thus far, he is not a good fantasy option for Week 5 even if he does manage to take the field.
Josh Allen (QB-BUF)
Bills’ quarterback Josh Allen is still in the league’s concussion protocol so his status for Sunday’s game against Tennessee is in serious jeopardy. We should know more by the end of Friday but fantasy GMs should assume that Allen will not be playing. This means that Matt Barkley would get the start and Buffalo would rely heavily on their running game. Tennessee’s defense/special teams is a solid streaming option this week, especially if Barkley is under center for Buffalo.
Stephen Gostkowski (K-NE)
Veteran kicker Stephen Gostkowski ’s season is now officially over as the Patriots have placed him on injured reserve with a hip injury. Despite making seven out of eight field goal attempts, he struggled mightily with extra point attempts as he missed four out of 15 already. New England has brought in journeyman kicker Mike Nugent to do the kicking this week.