NFL Injury Report: November 26
Michael A. Stein recaps the injury news heading into Week 13 and offers up potential return timetables and suggestions for replacement players for fantasy football.
All things considered, this was a tame week in the NFL with respect to new injuries. Sure some players got banged up and may even miss some time, but fantasy GMs did not lose any elite players that would be catastrophic to their chances in Week 13. By this point in the season, GMs should hopefully have accumulated enough roster depth and flexibility to be able to sustain losing a player at any position. The waiver wire is awfully thin but you should still be scouting teams’ roster depth to plan ahead in the event someone goes down with an injury. So without any further ado, let’s take a look at some of the walking wounded in the fantasy football emergency room.
Carson Wentz (QB-PHI)
It has been a real struggle for Carson Wentz and the Eagles over the past few weeks as Philadelphia has been decimated by injuries to their offense. This has taken its toll on Wentz who looks like a shell of his former self from the past couple years. He is without Jordan Howard , Alshon Jeffery , DeSean Jackson and Darren Sproles who have all succumbed to various injuries. Wentz even joined the fray as he suffered a bruised right hand in Sunday’s loss to Seattle. The good news is that it should not affect his availability for Week 13 when the Eagles take on Miami. This could be the perfect elixir for Wentz who should be able to throw the ball at will regardless of who is on the field.
Matthew Stafford (QB-DET)
Stafford has been out for a few weeks with a fractured back, but the Lions have not indicated that they will shut him down for the season. Detroit just lost to the lowly Redskins, so at this point there is nothing left to play for at all. The Lions have not officially ruled Stafford out for the Thanksgiving game against the Bears, but it is safe to assume he will not be on the field. Look for Jeff Driskel to line up under center again on Turkey Day.
Chase Edmonds (RB-ARZ)
The Cardinals have reconstructed their backfield throughout the season thanks to various injuries and lack of production from David Johnson . Chase Edmonds burst onto the scene earlier this year when he was given an opportunity to play while Johnson was injured, but Edmonds himself sustained a hamstring injury and has been out for the past few weeks. Since then, the Cardinals acquired Kenyan Drake who has had significantly more playing time than Johnson over the past couple games. Now Edmonds appears on the way back as he returned to practice on Monday. He could be activated for Week 13, but we will need to make sure he does not have any setbacks during the week. Fantasy GMs will want to monitor this situation because Edmonds would only be a flex option given the timeshare that Arizona would have with their running backs.
Devonta Freeman (RB-ATL)
The good news for Devonta Freeman ’s fantasy owners is that he is expected to return to practice this week. The bad news is that Atlanta plays on Thanksgiving Eve which is too quick of a turnaround for him to get back on the field. Freeman has missed the past few weeks with a foot injury he sustained in Week 10, and his backup Brian Hill has done little to endear himself to fantasy GMs. The only saving grace is that GMs who will make the playoffs should have him back for Week 14. Hill is not a good fantasy option this week against a Saints team that will be looking to avenge their stunning upset loss to Atlanta from a couple weeks ago.
Golden Tate (WR-NYG)
The Giants have become a doormat in the NFL as they are currently on a seven-game losing streak after being defeated by the Bears in a very winnable game. One of the few positives to take away from the game was Golden Tate ’s impressive touchdown late in the fourth quarter to bring the Giants within five points. Unfortunately, Tate sustained a head injury on the play and was placed in the league’s concussion protocol. He has been very productive in the seven games he has played catching 36 passes for 450 yards and four touchdowns. The Giants just cannot keep all of their offensive weapons on the field at the same time. Tate’s status is up in the air for next week’s game against Green Bay as he will need to be cleared from the protocol and show that he is not symptomatic before being active in Week 13.
Hunter Renfrow (WR-OAK)
The Raiders were completely dismantled by the Jets on Sunday, and they lost Hunter Renfrow to a rib injury to make things even worse. Renfrow has been respectable for Oakland catching 36 catches for 396 yards and two touchdowns in his rookie season. Injuries to the ribs are typically dictated by a player’s pain tolerance, so it is completely plausible that he will be active for next week’s showdown with the Chiefs. Kansas City’s defense has been susceptible this year, so Renfrow could be a deep WR3 or Flex option for Week 13.
Evan Engram (TE-NYG)
Giants tight end Evan Engram missed his second consecutive game with a foot injury. His absence was glaring on Sunday as he would have been a big factor late in the game as the Giants attempted to come back from a 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter. Engram has dealt with various injuries throughout his career which has rendered him a fantasy risk. His presence on the field can only help Daniel Jones’ development as he tends to get mismatches against opposing linebackers. Engram should be a high-end TE1 but he cannot stay on the field long enough to deserve that status. He would be a great option next week if he can return against the Packers in Week 13.
Eric Ebron (TE-IND)
The Colts have been besieged by injuries all year and now they have lost tight end Eric Ebron for the season. Ebron will need surgery on both of his ankles so the Colts will place him on injured reserve. This means that Indianapolis will turn to Jack Doyle as the team’s primary tight end making him a viable TE2 option the rest of the way. Ebron had an incredible 2018 season in which he caught 14 touchdown passes, but he was unable to come close to replicating that production in 2019. Ebron can be dropped from all leagues and finishes the season with 31 receptions for 375 yards and three touchdowns.
David Njoku (TE-CLE)
The Browns have been hot over the past few weeks and could be getting even healthier as tight end David Njoku is working his way back. He has only appeared in two games as a result of fracturing his wrist back in September. Njoku did return to practice last week but was not cleared to return against Miami this past weekend. The Browns will not want to rush him back as their offense has been clicking on all cylinders. Expect Njoku to get another week of rest before possibly returning in Week 14.
Paul Richardson (WR-WAS)
The Redskins actually won a game this weekend but lost one of their primary wide receivers in the process. Paul Richardson had been dealing with a hamstring injury but managed to take the field against the Lions. However, he re-aggravated the injury and was forced from the game before halftime. Richardson has been a bust as a free agent for Washington as he only has 28 catches for 245 yards and two touchdowns. He was already losing snaps to Kelvin Harmon before this and now Washington will likely want to continue giving Harmon the playing time as they spend the rest of the season evaluating players for next year. Richardson can be dropped in all league formats.
Albert Wilson (WR-MIA)
Dolphins wide receiver Albert Wilson sustained a rib injury on Sunday and was forced from the game. He took a violent hit to his head but did not appear to sustain a head injury. Wilson is a big playmaker, but he is not in an offense that is capable of hitting big plays. Miami’s offense has been decimated by injuries along with suspensions and trades. Wilson would seem to have an opportunity to step up and be a primary target for Ryan Fitzpatrick , but he only has 20 catches for 117 yards and one touchdown. He does not belong on anyone’s roster in standard leagues.
Jadeveon Clowney (DL-SEA)
The Seahawks were without defensive linemen Jadeveon Clowney this past weekend against the Eagles, but that did not seem to matter much in terms of the game results. Clowney has been everything Seattle hoped for when they acquired him from Houston prior to the regular season has he has 25 tackles along with three sacks, one interception, three forced fumbles and one fumble return for a touchdown. He missed the game against Philadelphia with a hip and/or core injury. The plan moving forward is for Clowney to receive treatment in advance of Week 13 and hope that he feels ready to return next Monday night against Minnesota. Fantasy GMs in IDP leagues may want to have an alternative ready to go in case Clowney needs more time to recover.