Week 15 NFL Injury News and Updates
Last week I moaned and groaned about missing the playoffs in one league by .23 points. This week I was on the opposite side. I came into the Monday night game down 18.24 points with only Kareem Hunt left to play. I pretty much thought I was toast, then what do you know? Hunt goes off for two touchdowns, and I end up winning fairly easily. Fantasy is like that; it can infuriate you one week and then fill you with joy the next. Sort of like my children. Just kidding, maybe.
Chase Edmonds has an ankle injury but did practice Friday and should play Sunday. That being said, he is running behind Kenyan Drake again as the latter has found his game over the past month.
Julio Jones once again won’t play Sunday. This will put more pressure on Calvin Ridley to come up big in the passing game for the Falcons to move the ball. Ridley has a foot injury of his own that has seen him limited in practice this week but should play Sunday.
Just when you thought the Ravens were over their COVID problems, along comes Marquise Brown, who was put on the COVID-IR earlier this week. That’s the bad news; the good news is that if he continues to test negative, he should still be a go-to play Sunday. Brown has now scored a touchdown in three straight games and is likely a start for your fantasy team this week should he be cleared to play.
Once again, Christian McCaffrey is unlikely to play this week. At this point, you have to wonder if it’s just smarter for the Panthers to shut CMC down for the remainder of the season. I mean, what’s the point right now of bringing him back for two meaningless games at the end of this season? Shut him down and get him healthy for next year. Curtis Samuel made a surprise appearance on the injury report this week due to a hamstring injury. At this point, it still looks like he will play Saturday, but his reps could be limited.
Tight end Austin Hooper has a neck injury that has seen him limited in practice this week. You may be better off finding another TE this week, if possible, even if Hopper were to be able to start.
Ezekiel Elliott once again has a calf injury and once again should play Sunday, but even when healthy hasn’t been very productive this season. Before Mike McCarthy took over as head coach, Elliott only had six games in his career as a Cowboys with less than 50-yards rushing. If Elliott were to rush for less than 50-yards Sunday, it would be his sixth game this season with that mark. If you can, I’d avoid Elliott this week. It’s not all his fault at the offensive line is decimated, and no one is worried about Andy Dalton going over the top, but Elliott isn’t helping matters.
The Broncos are a little beat up in their run game as both Melvin Gordon (shoulder), and Phillip Lindsay (hip) are questionable to play this week. While this is concerning, both are expected to play. I’m not starting Lindsay, but Gordon could be a flex play. Gordon is touchdown-dependent, however.
As stated above with McCaffrey, the same applies to Kenny Golladay. Wouldn’t the Lions be better off at this point just shutting him down as well for the remainder of this season? This might especially be true if Matthew Stafford is out this game with both thumb and rib injuries. Even if Stafford does play, you’re starting any Lion here at your own risk.
Green Bay Packers
It’s all about Allen Lazard again. Lazard plays but still isn’t completely healthy. We love the matchup but would be careful here. Yes, I said the same thing last week about Lazard and possibly the week before also as even the Packers admit they have been monitoring his snaps.
David Johnson has been activated off of COVID-IR, but this is not the game to start him in unless you have no other choice. Duke Johnson has a neck injury that could keep him out Sunday, but that shouldn’t matter as you don’t want to start him. Someone you might want to start is Brandin Cooks, who is expected to return from a neck injury, and although the matchup is not great, he is the last man standing in this wide receiver corps and should see more than his fair share of targets.
James Robinson is dealing with a knee injury that has limited him in practice the past couple of weeks but once again will play Sunday. Robinson doesn’t have the greatest of matchups versus Baltimore but is still an RB2 this week.
Los Angeles Rams
Robert Woods has a thigh injury that has seen him practice sparingly this week. The Rams play the Jets this week; while Woods is expected to play, the team may elect to play it cautious with Woods and not have him play his normal allotment of snaps as it isn’t like they can’t beat the Jets without him.
The Dolphins aren’t loaded with skill position players as it is; the last thing they can afford are injuries to any of them. Salvon Ahmed is questionable with a shoulder injury. Ahmed isn’t great, but he’s the best that Miami has. DeVante Parker is also questionable due to a hamstring injury. I’ll move on here as Parker is just not as valuable with Tua Tagovailoa behind center. However, someone Tua does like to throw to is Mike Gesicki, but he’s dealing with a shoulder injury that originally was thought to be fairly serious. Gesicki, however, was seen catching passes Thursday, a sign that he could play Sunday.
New England Patriots
The Patriots play the Dolphins Sunday. I’m going to like the under in this game for just about everything and everybody. Damien Harris has an ankle injury and James White a foot injury. While both of them should play, you’re starting them at your own risk.
New Orleans Saints
In somewhat of a surprise, Drew Brees, he of the hundred broken ribs and collapsed lung, is expected to start Sunday. The question may be, how many snaps will he play, and will Taysom Hill play a bigger role. The Saints are feeling the pressure of losing their grip on the No. 1 seed in the NFC and maybe rushing things a bit here. Still, you’re likely starting Brees if you have him. Michael Thomas is a worry as he has yet to practice due to his ankle injury. Originally it was thought that maybe the Saints were giving him a maintenance day, perhaps not.
New York Giants
Daniel Jones is practicing, but the rumors are picking up that he still may not start Sunday. Why? Jones proved last week that he couldn’t play well if he can’t move and that hamstring injury is still preventing him from scrambling, both in and out of the pocket. The Giants’ receiving corps is barely startable with Jones behind center; they are benched if it’s Colt McCoy.
New York Jets
Jamison Crowder is questionable to play with calf injuries, but it doesn’t matter; you don’t want to start anyone on the Jets this week.
James Conner has a quad injury and missed practice Thursday. Conner is a conundrum. You want to start him this week versus one of the worst teams in the NFL in the Bengals, but Conner has been terrible, and the Steeler’s offensive line has looked terrible at run blocking. The bottom line is it’s not worth waiting on Conner if you don’t have Benny Snell to back you up Monday.
San Francisco 49ers
Shocking that the 49ers are beat up again. Raheem Mostert has an ankle injury and will play Sunday but perhaps have his snaps limited. Too bad as the Cowboys are horrific at stopping the run. Deebo Samuel won’t play due to a hamstring injury, which makes Brandon Aiyuk a must-start.
Chris Carson has been limited in practice with a foot injury but will play Sunday.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Ronald Jones would seem unlikely to play this week after undergoing surgery on his finger and being placed on the COVID list. If he is out, Leonard Fournette start. He’s not an automatic must for your fantasy team, though, as the Falcons have been much better versus the run since they made their coaching change.
The Titans continue to monitor the practice time of A.J. Brown due to his ankle injury, but he will play Sunday.
Washington Football Team
The big news here is that Alex Smith won’t play Sunday, and Jameis Winston will start behind center for WFT. What does this mean? Winston will have to lead the WFT to the playoffs, at least this week. If he can do so, it would go a long way towards rehabilitating his image as a bust of a first-round pick last season. Antonio Gibson is also expected to be out this week as he is still trying to recover from his toe injury.