Week 16 NFL Injury News and Updates
First off, let me start by wishing you and everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday season. If you’re playing this weekend in your fantasy championship, good luck. I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t think the NFL would get this far. Granted, they made sure they did by refusing to move any games, but they still got the job done. Congratulations to them also. One piece of news. This column is being written about 12-16 hours earlier than normal. Although Friday is Christmas, teams will still practice, and there will be further updates, both good and bad.
Chase Edmonds not only is still dealing with that ankle injury, but he’s also got a knee injury to boot. Now he’s practicing in a limited fashion, but if he doesn’t go Saturday, Kenyan Drake becomes a must just about everywhere if he isn’t already.
Julio Jones still isn’t practicing and once again looks unlikely to play Sunday. At this point, you have to wonder why the Falcons just don’t’ shut him down for the season. Why not let that hamstring injury heal completely for the 2021 season.
Marquise Brown missed practice Thursday due to a knee injury. It is unknown at this time how severe the injury is. Brown has been on fire of late, but this may slow down that progression. Proceed with caution here should you decide to start Brown, that is, assuming he plays.
Stefon Diggs was thought to have suffered a serious foot injury in the game Saturday versus the Broncos. It turns out that it wasn’t so bad, and Diggs is good to go Monday versus the Patriots.
Stop me if you head this before, but once again, Christian McCaffrey is listed as doubtful to play Sunday. Once again, why would coach Matt Rhule even want him to? The season is over; get CMC fully rested and healthy for next season.
Allen Robinson was added to the injury report Thursday with a hamstring injury. This is concerning because he was a full participant in practice Wednesday, which would seem to mean that he suffered the injury in that practice. We love the matchup for Robinson this week and are likely to start him as long as he starts for the Bears.
Tyler Boyd has yet to practice this week due to a concussion. Boyd suffered the concussion going up for a reception and then having his head hit the ground. It’s anyone’s guess if he can play Sunday, but perhaps it doesn’t matter anyway as it’s not like he has an A-list quarterback throwing to him.
Ezekiel Elliott is questionable to play Sunday due to that calf injury. Elliott has stated that the calf feels better, and he thinks he can play. The problem is Zeke hasn’t been particularly good this season, healthy or not. Fantasy players would just be better off if he is out for the game, and then they can just start Tony Pollard. If Zeke is active, then you really can’t start either player.
Phillip Lindsay is still dealing with hip and knee injuries and is questionable at best to play Sunday. It would seem that Lindsay will have to show the coaching staff that he is good to go during the walkthrough Saturday to have a chance to play. This shouldn’t matter to fantasy owners as you don’t want to start him either way.
Matthew Stafford is listed as questionable with the rib injury, but we all know he’s going to play Saturday. Kenny Golladay won’t, however. That’s not a shock. Golladay is just another player that should be shut down but hasn’t yet for whatever reason.
Green Bay Packers
Aaron Jones picked up a toe injury during last week’s game versus Carolina. It’s not expected to be severe but has kept him limited in practice this week. Jones should play Sunday night but perhaps will have his snaps monitored. The immediate backup for Jones, Jamaal Williams, is also dealing with an injury, this one a quad issue. Williams hasn’t practiced this week, which would seem to indicate he won’t play. A.J. Dillon may see a few more snaps than usual this week.
Duke Johnson has a neck injury that could cause him to miss the game Sunday, but that’s okay; you don’t want to use him now that David Johnson is back anyway.
James Robinson now has an ankle injury that is causing him to miss practice this week. Robinson has stated that he wants and expects to play, but one would think he will have to practice either Friday or Saturday to do so. Robinson is also on the verge of setting a rookie rushing record by an undrafted player in his first year.
Kansas City Chiefs
Clyde Edwards-Helaire is unlikely to play in either of the last two games for the Chiefs due to hip and ankle injuries. That means Le’Veon Bell is a start in most leagues but keep your expectations in check. Bell has looked a step slow in back to back seasons now. Tyreek Hill missed practice Wednesday and was limited Thursday due to a hamstring issue. Hill is expected to be just fine for the game Sunday. You’re starting him against a woeful Falcons secondary.
Las Vegas Raiders
Derek Carr does not have an injury designation this week, so it would seem that he is over his groin injury. Funny thing, however, the Raiders have yet to say that Carr will start this week. It’s probably just gamesmanship, but something worth watching. Henry Ruggs was taken off COVID-IR. Ruggs will play for the Raiders but shouldn’t for your fantasy team.
Los Angeles Chargers
Keenan Allen will once again be a game-time decision due to a hamstring injury. Allen burned fantasy owners last week with the same designation and had one whole catch for 17 yards. Start him at your own risk. Hunter Henry is out this week after he was placed on COVID-IR.
Los Angeles Rams
Cam Akers is out this week with an ankle injury. The Rams are playing it coy with announcing who will start, Malcolm Brown, Darrell Henderson, or both. Henderson would seem to be the odds on favorite here, but that’s just an educated guess.
DeVante Parker is questionable to play due to a hamstring injury. We love the matchup, but this is not a passing team, not with Tua Tagovailoa behind center, not yet. I’d let Parker sit either way. Mike Gesicki is in a different situation, though. Gesicki has a shoulder injury, but if he starts for Miami, he starts for me.
New England Patriots
Damien Harris is listed as questionable with an ankle injury. Harris would be a risky start even if he does play, and I’m not waiting around until Monday night to find out.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints are having some serious problems at wide receiver. They put Michael Thomas on injured reserve due to that ankle injury as they want him to be 100% healthy for the playoffs. This week, they had to put Tre’Quan Smith on COVID-IR. Emmanuel Sanders is now a must-start as he has to see just about every target after Alvin Kamara.
New York Giants
Daniel Jones is practicing, but unlike last week where he practiced but wasn’t going to start, this week he is expected to start for the G-men. It doesn’t matter; you’re not using him. You’re not using Golden Tate either, who missed practice Thursday with a calf injury.
James Conner has practiced in full this week and is expected to play Sunday versus the Colts. You would have to be desperate to use him. Conner will need touchdown deodorant to have a good fantasy day. The Steelers aren’t passing the ball well, the offensive line doesn’t run block very well, and the Colts are one of the better defenses in the league.
San Francisco 49ers
The injuries continue for the 49ers. Nick Mullens is out for the season and will likely need Tommy John surgery. This means C.J. Beathard will start. Yeah, no thank you. Raheem Mostert is also done for the season due to yet another ankle injury. Jeff Wilson and Jerick McKinnon will hand the rushing load with a sprinkle of Tevin Coleman thrown in. I’d rank them in that order, but none better than a flex play. There is good news, though. George Kittle will return to play Saturday but be careful. The 49ers have already let it be known that Kittle’s snaps will be monitored. Still, unless you have a top option, I’m likely starting him.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Ronald Jones is out once again due to the finger surgery and being on COVID-IR. Leonard Fournette is once again your starter and will be a low-end RB2 this week.
The Titans continue to monitor the practice time of A.J. Brown due to his ankle injury, but he will play Sunday. Yeah, we said the same thing last week also. Jonnu Smith didn’t practice Thursday due to a knee injury. This came after a full practice Wednesday. We don’t know if the injury is new or if Thursday was just a maintenance day. We’ll need to see what happens Friday and Saturday to know for sure.
Washington Football Team
Where do we begin here? The quarterback, of course. Dwayne Haskins has taken the first-team reps with Alex Smith off to the side. Still, Smith will get the start if he can prove he’s healthy by game time Sunday. Haskins had another faux pas this week after being caught on video with strippers and not wearing a mask. You can bet Washington would like to throw him overboard, but they have to make sure someone can start Sunday. You’re not starting either in fantasy, though. Terry McLaurin has missed back-to-back practices with an ankle injury and is another game-time decision. Antonio Gibson has been limited in practice this week due to a toe injury. Any or all could play or could sit Sunday. Start at your own risk. Washington may push the limits here as a win, and a Giants loss would clinch the NFC East.