While rankings and projections are beneficial, few things are more important in fantasy football than following injury updates. Injuries not only impact the player in question but the teammates and the offenses around them. Here’s an update on some critical injury reports to watch and their fantasy football impact.
Let’s go through the injuries currently impacting quarterbacks. Monitor these situations throughout the week and have contingency plans, if necessary.
Sam Darnold, Carolina Panthers
Sam Darnold is currently in the NFL’s concussion protocol. If he can get cleared, he will start Sunday. If not, it will be P.J. Walker.
Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
Kyler Murray sprained his ankle on the second-to-last play of the Cardinals’ Week 8 loss to the Packers. He was noticeably limping, and according to Jay Glazer of FOX, it is a 1-3 week injury. Murray may play this week, but his mobility will undoubtedly be limited. Practice reports will be telling.
Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
Cooper Rush led the Cowboys to an impressive victory Sunday night in Minnesota. Dak Prescott could have played and would have played had the game been later in the season or the playoffs. On Monday, head coach Mike McCarthy said he expects Prescott to be a full participant at practice this week. I’d be surprised if he didn’t start on Sunday against the Broncos.
Tyrod Taylor, Houston Texans
Tyrod Taylor was close to returning last week, but the Texans elected to hold him out one more week. Taylor is fully expected to be activated from IR and be reinstated to his starting role for this week’s tilt against the Dolphins. However, nothing is official until it’s official, so we await word from the Texans.
Zach Wilson, New York Jets
Mike White led the Jets to an epic upset victory over the Bengals. He will start Thursday night. However, Zach Wilson has not been placed on injured reserve, which suggests the Jets think he can return in Week 10.
Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints
Jameis Winston tore his ACL on Sunday and is done for the season. Trevor Siemian will start for now, but as soon as Taysom Hill returns, it stands to reason he would assume the starting role.
Which running backs are dealing with injuries that may affect their game status? Let’s see which RB committees are hobbled heading into Week 9.
Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans
The seemingly indestructible Derrick Henry sustained a Jones fracture, a fracture of the fifth metatarsal in his foot. Henry had surgery Tuesday morning and is unlikely to play again this season. However, he has a great chance to return for a potential Titans playoff run. Expect Adrian Peterson to handle early-down carries and Jeremy McNichols to be the passing-down back.
This is the same injury previously sustained by Julio Jones, Julian Edelman, and Kevin Durant and comes with a high risk of re-injury, especially if Henry comes back too soon.
Elijah Mitchell, San Francisco 49ers
Head coach Kyle Shanahan said Elijah Mitchell would be limited this week due to bruised ribs. He should be fine, but monitor practice reports to be sure.
James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars
Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that James Robinson escaped serious injury. He’s day-to-day with a foot injury that head coach Urban Meyer described as a bruised heel. At this point, it’s entirely possible he plays on Sunday.
Damien Williams, Chicago Bears
Damien Williams exited in the first quarter of the Bears’ loss to the 49ers with a knee injury. Williams was already not fantasy-relevant.
Khalil Herbert remains the Bears’ primary running back regardless of Williams’ status.
How are the fantasy-relevant wide receivers dealing with injuries? Let’s see which pass catchers may require a Plan B for Week 9’s action.
Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys
Prior to catching the game-winning touchdown, Amari Cooper was spotted on the sideline massaging his hamstring. Given that he was able to return to the game, it seems like he’ll be able to play through it. Nevertheless, expect Cooper to be limited at practice this week.
Corey Davis, New York Jets
Corey Davis injured his hip at practice last Thursday and did not play on Sunday. On Monday, head coach Robert Saleh declined to rule out Davis, giving him a chance to play.
T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts
T.Y. Hilton was concussed in the Colts’ loss to the Titans Sunday. As a result, with the team playing on a short week, he’s out Thursday.
Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers
Head coach Kyle Shanahan said Deebo Samuel would be limited this week with a calf issue. Nonetheless, he’s not at risk of missing this week’s game.
Are there any tight end injuries we need to be concerned about? The TE market is already thin, so if you have a TE on this injury report, your alternatives will be grim in all likelihood.
George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers will start the three-week clock to activate George Kittle from IR this week. Kittle could be activated as early as this week, but we have no indication on how likely that is at this time.