Week 17 NFL Injury News and Updates
If you’re playing in a head-to-head league, you really shouldn’t be deciding your championship in Week 17. Listen, I love to play fantasy sports and have been doing so for over 30 years, but I’m also the first to admit that during the best of circumstances, there is some luck involved in determining who wins a week, a matchup, or a championship. Why play Week 17 where even more luck is involved as some teams won’t play their best players as they will rest until the playoffs? Good luck if you have anyone on Pittsburgh, Kansas City, and Buffalo this week. They may have gotten you this far, but that also may be as far as you go.
The Cards and Rams will play what might be a win and get in game Sunday, but players in this game seem to be dropping like flies. Kyler Murray was leg whipped at the end of the game last Saturday but will play. Still, you’re starting him at your own risk. If he can’t run, his value takes a steep turn in the wrong direction. Chase Edmonds has missed practice with a hip injury. DeAndre Hopkins also has a hip injury that hampered him at the end of the game Saturday. You likely can’t sit him this week, but a big game will be touchdown-dependent. Larry Fitzgerald has a groin problem. You’re not starting him anyway, though.
Julio Jones still isn’t practicing, but the Falcons have yet to rule him out this week. Seriously, what is the point of playing Jones in the last week of the season? I’m surprised the Falcons haven’t taken the decision away from him.
Cole Beasley suffered a knee injury Monday night and almost certainly will not play Sunday. This assumes, of course, that any Buffalo starter plays all that much. The Bills have little to gain by playing to win Sunday. Sure, they can clinch the No. 2 seed in the AFC with a win, but that seed this season doesn’t come with a bye week. Buffalo will have to consider what is more important, trying to eliminate the Dolphins or making sure their best players are well-rested and healthy for the playoffs next weekend.
The Panthers did everyone in the NFC East a favor last week by defeating the Washington Football Team. That may have been their last hurrah, however. The Panthers have shutdown Christian McCaffrey for the season, and Mike Davis has an ankle injury now that could keep him out of the game Sunday. Unless you’re desperate, you’re avoiding this situation Sunday.
Allen Robinson has missed practice time this week due to a hamstring injury. While I don’t want to say there is nothing to worry about here, keep in mind he did follow the same protocol last week and then played Sunday. I would expect the same thing this week.
It looks like Tyler Boyd has recovered from his concussion and will play Sunday. The same goes for Tee Higgins and his hamstring injury. While we may not love their chances to put up big numbers this week, their chances to do so to go up with Brandon Allen behind center and not Ryan Finley.
There are no injuries to report here, but someone on the Dallas 53-man roster did test positive for COVID on Friday. As of this writing, we’re not sure who it is, but make sure you find out who before setting your lineup.
The Lions have also announced the inevitable, and Kenny Golladay will sit out the finale, thus ending his season. Matthew Stafford, however, still wants to play this week. It would probably be smarter, though, for the Lions to have him stay home also. The Lions have no reason to play Stafford, who is dealing with thumb and ankle injuries, but Stafford seems likely to start anyway. The bigger question will be whether or not he finishes.
It looks like Duke Johnson could play this week after missing a game due to a neck injury. He would still play second fiddle to David Johnson, however. Keke Coutee has a foot injury and is likely being managed in practice. He should start Sunday.
Michael Pittman has a concussion but has been a full participant in practice and should be cleared to play Sunday.
James Robinson won’t play again this week, and that is a blow for fantasy owners who were hoping that he could continue his come out of nowhere season. Dare Ogunbowale will start in his place, but this is not the greatest matchup for this dartboard throw. D.J. Chark is also out of this game with a shin injury. Yeah, the Jags aren’t going to win you a championship this week.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs have already stated that Patrick Mahomes and Clyde Edwards-Helaire won’t play in this game. One has to think Travis Kelce will be placed in bubble wrap this week, and the same may be true for Tyreek Hill as well. Le’Veon Bell (knee) and Sammy Watkins (calf) could also be inactive for the Chiefs as this game means absolutely nothing to them.
Los Angeles Chargers
Not only is Hunter Henry still on COVID-IR, but Keenan Allen was placed on the list this week. Allen is out Sunday, while Henry seems unlikely to play also. If you’re looking for an underpriced DFS play, perhaps Jalen Guyton or Tyron Johnson are the players for you.
Los Angeles Rams
Remember up top when I mentioned all of the injuries the Cardinals have for this game. The Rams pretty much said, hold my beer. Jared Goff is out at least this week after undergoing surgery for a thumb injury. Cooper Kupp is unlikely to play after being placed on COVID-IR. Cam Akers has a high ankle sprain that should keep him out of the game, but the team may rush him back because Darrell Henderson is on injured reserve with an ankle injury of his own, and Malcolm Brown has a shoulder injury that is limiting him. Good luck John Wolford. Who is he, you ask? That’s your starting quarterback this week.
There will be no Ryan Fitzpatrick to the rescue this week for the fish as he was placed on COVID-IR. They better hope Buffalo doesn’t care about this game. DeVante Parker, who has missed the past two games with a hamstring injury, is a game-time decision at best for Sunday. Parker is a talent, but the Dolphins passing game isn’t going to impress this week.
Dalvin Cook doesn’t have an injury but will miss this game due to a death in the family. Alexander Mattison will start in his place should he be recovered from his concussion; if not, Ameer Abdullah and Mike Boone are your likely starters.
New England Patriots
Damien Harris seems like a good bet to miss his third straight game Sunday with an ankle injury.
New York Giants
The Giants are a bit of a mess going into a do or die and pray game versus the Cowboys on Sunday. Daniel Jones will play but, according to him, still won’t have his normal mobility. Perhaps this is the truth, perhaps it’s gamesmanship, who knows. The receiver corps has issues as well. Golden Tate seems like he won’t play after missing practice with a calf injury. Sterling Shepard is limited with a rib injury, and the same with Evan Engram and his toe. Even if both do play, they certainly won’t be anywhere near 100%.
New York Jets
The Jets took a couple of hits to their run game this week when Frank Gore was placed on IR with a lung injury, and La’Mical Perine was placed on COVID-IR. This leaves a couple of DFS long shots left in Ty Johnson and Josh Adams.
Either the Cowboys or Giants will be big Philadelphia fans Sunday night. The Eagles have some bumps and bruises, however. Miles Sanders has been limited with a knee injury. DeSean Jackson has missed practice this week with an ankle injury. This could be maintenance or a setback as he just returned from IR due to an ankle injury. Dallas Goedert has a calf injury that has seen him absent from practice this week. All of these players are highly questionable.
The Steelers don’t mention anyone on the injury report, but anyone who they believe has even a runny nose isn’t likely to see much playing time Sunday in a meaningless game outside of playoff seeding.
It’s the run game again that is banged up for Seattle. Chris Carson is limited with a foot injury, and Carlos Hyde missed practice with an illness Thursday (no word yet if COVID related). Carson is expected to play Sunday.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs seem to be getting healthier at the running back position. Ronald Jones was activated from COVID-IR and will start Sunday. Leonard Fournette is dealing with a rib injury and probably could play, but they may be kept out to get him as healthy as possible for the playoffs.
Washington Football Team
Anyone who doesn’t play for WFT on Sunday night must be badly injured as this is a win and get him game. Alex Smith is doing more in practice Friday but is still highly questionable to start Sunday night, and if he can’t go, Taylor Heinicke would start after the team released Dwayne Haskins. Antonio Gibson returned last week after missing a few games with a toe injury but now hasn’t practiced this week. This would seem to indicate a setback with the toe. The WFT lists him as questionable to play. Terry McLaurin is much like Gibson in that he missed practice all week with an ankle injury but is questionable to play. You’re not playing anyone on offense on WFT on Sunday as we don’t know who will play or what percentage of health they are truly at.