NFL Injury Report: November 1
Michael A. Stein recaps the injury news heading into Week 9 and offers up potential return timetables and suggestions for replacement players for fantasy football.
The NFL trade deadline has come and gone which means that many fantasy leagues’ deadlines have expired, or soon will as well. GMs need to be proactive when it comes to obtaining roster depth or making a bold move to put your team in position to contend for a playoff berth. Injuries are one of the prime factors that determines what moves are to be made, so it is imperative to stay updated and in tune with ongoing developments. So without any further adieu, let’s take a look at some of the walking wounded in the fantasy football emergency room.
Patrick Mahomes (QB-KC)
Despite all the optimism over Patrick Mahomes practicing this week, he is still going to be held out at least another game. The Chiefs are not going to take any chances rushing him back, so expect Matt Moore to get another start this week against Minnesota. Mahomes should be back on the field next week when Kansas City takes on Tennessee in Week 10, so GMs will have to be patient and tread water for another week. This will be a tough matchup for Moore as the Vikings have a very good defense. Kansas City has not run the ball well this year, so expect the Vikings to focus on shutting down Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce .
Adam Thielen (WR-MIN)
Fantasy GMs will get a big boost this week with Adam Thielen returning from a one-game absence. He missed last week’s game with a hamstring injury, but he is set to return for Week 9 in a showdown with the Chiefs. Thielen has been red hot over his past three games catching four of his six touchdowns on the season. Minnesota should be able to exploit Kansas City’s defense so look for Thielen to have a big game as a bona fide WR1. GMs might be a little concerned that he has only been practicing in a limited capacity this week, but the Vikings had previously indicated that they expected him to return for this week’s game.
Odell Beckham , Jr. (WR-CLE)
OBJ was limited in practice this week with a groin injury but he is fully expected to play on Sunday against Denver. Beckham has been a huge disappointment along with the rest of the Browns as he has been limited to just 34 receptions for 488 yards and one touchdown. Fantasy GMs may have to wait another week for a breakout game from him because he will be going against a solid Broncos secondary. Beckham has lost WR1 status for now because two months’ worth of mediocre production warrants such a demotion. He should still be in fantasy lineups but expectations have to be lowered for him at this time.
James Conner (RB-PIT)
The Steelers backfield could be a vacuous hole this week as James Conner remained out of practice on Thursday. He is dealing with a shoulder injury and could potentially be held out of Sunday’s game against the Colts. Jaylen Samuels is set to return after missing the past several weeks so he could be in line for a heavy dose of snaps, especially since Benny Snell is also out after undergoing surgery. GMs should follow up for more updates over the weekend because Conner is a must-start if he is active, and Samuels would be a must-start if Conner is inactive.
T.Y. Hilton (WR-IND)
Fantasy GMs should be concerned about Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton who missed practice on Thursday. He is suffering from a calf injury and is trending in the wrong direction heading into this week’s game against Pittsburgh. Hilton had been limited in practice on Wednesday so missing practice the next day is not a good sign. He is a must-start when healthy as he has 32 catches for 360 yards and five touchdowns thus far. However, he has been battling injuries all season and has been limited to just six games. GMs should lower expectations for Hilton this week because he will have a difficult matchup at less than 100% against the Steelers secondary.
Cam Newton (QB-CAR)
Kyle Allen will get at least one more start for the Panthers this week against Tennessee as the team announced that Cam Newton is still not ready to return. Newton has been out for several weeks with a foot injury so Allen will make his sixth straight start. He was highly effective over his first four games but took a step backwards last week suffering his first loss as a starter when the Panthers were demolished by San Francisco. The Panthers will assess the situation on a fluid basis, as Newton’s eventual return will depend on both his physical health as well as Allen’s performance.
Davante Adams (WR-GB)
Fantasy GMs still do not have any clarity on Adams’ situation yet but the good news this week is that he finally practiced in pads. This is the first bit of good news for Adams since he suffered the toe injury in a Thursday night game against the Eagles. However, it is still up in the air whether he will be able to take the field this weekend against the Chargers. GMs should follow up for more updates over the weekend and be ready to plug him back in the lineup as a WR1 if he is given the green light.
DeSean Jackson (WR-PHI)
Continuing the trend of wide receivers looking to return from lengthy absences, DeSean Jackson could be back on the field this weekend for the first time since Week 2. He has been out for almost two months with an abdominal injury but could make his return against a struggling Bears team. Jackson would be a welcome addition to the Eagles offense and should immediately be put back in fantasy lineups if he is activated.
Dede Westbrook (WR-JAX)
Westbrook has been dealing with a shoulder injury for the past several weeks and he had to be removed from last week’s game against the Jets. He has been limited in practice this week and is considered questionable for Sunday’s game in London against Houston. Westbrook has had a pedestrian season thus far with 32 catches for 383 yards and one touchdown. He would be only be a WR3 at best if he does play. Look for Chris Conley and D.J. Chark to see increased targets if Westbrook is unable to take the field.
Adrian Peterson (RB-WAS)
The Redskins have had a miserable season consumed with turmoil and awful production on the field. Future Hall of Fame running back Adrian Peterson is really the only source of offense the team has but he has been hobbled by an ankle injury the past couple weeks. He was able to play last Thursday against Minnesota and has been held out of practice this week to allow for some additional rest. It seems unlikely that he would not be able to play this week against Buffalo, but he is not a great fantasy option going against a very good Bills defense who should feast on whichever quarterback is under center for Washington. Peterson is a low-end Flex option at best this week.
Chase Edmonds (RB-ARZ)
The Cardinals backfield has been decimated by injuries as Chase Edmonds was held out of Thursday night’s game against the 49ers. He had done a serviceable job filling in for the injured David Johnson , but now Edmonds is dealing with a hamstring injury of his own. This is what led to Arizona trading for Kenyan Drake who scored a touchdown in his Cardinals debut Thursday night. Edmonds is expected to miss a couple weeks with this injury so look for Drake to be the best option in Arizona’s backfield while he and Johnson remain inactive.
Eric Ebron (TE-IND)
Colts tight end Eric Ebron missed practice on Thursday with an ankle injury and now his status for Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh is in jeopardy. Ebron has not been able to replicate the success he had last year with Andrew Luck as he has been held to 16 catches for 232 yards and three touchdowns thus far. Jack Doyle could be a sneaky streaming option this week if Ebron is unable to play.
Joe Flacco (QB-DEN)
It is incredulous that John Elway has been unable to solve the quarterback situation in Denver over the past decade as the carousel continues to turn. Joe Flacco was this year’s experiment and it has not gone well as the veteran signal caller has thrown for 1,822 yards along with six touchdowns and five interceptions. He is going to be sidelined for up to six weeks with a bulging disc in his neck and his time under center for Denver is likely done for the season. Brandon Allen will likely get the start this week but rookie Drew Lock could also see some playing time later this year when he gets activated off injured reserve. Neither are viable fantasy options and GMs should target the defenses of Denver’s opponents from here on out.
Delanie Walker (TE-TEN)
Titans tight end Delanie Walker continues to miss practice as he is dealing with an ankle injury he suffered a couple weeks ago. It seems highly unlikely that he will play this week against the Panthers so GMs should consider Jonnu Smith as a streaming option, especially since he is coming off a week where he caught a touchdown pass.
Benny Snell (RB-PIT)
The Steelers are dealing with a plethora of injuries in their backfield. Backup Benny Snell will likely miss a few weeks after undergoing surgery on his meniscus. Snell had been playing in lieu of Jaylen Samuels who has missed the past several weeks with a knee injury, but there is a chance he could return this weekend against the Colts. With John Conner also banged up, Pittsburgh could be turning to Trey Edmunds for some snaps depending on Samuels’ availability.