Q: Is Andrew Luck going to play this year?
A: Luck experienced excessive soreness after throwing last week and received a cortisone injection. It is normal to experience some soreness when coming back from surgery, but the injection is an indication that this is not ordinary soreness. This is a major step back for the QB.
While it won’t necessarily end his season, it’s a setback that could keep Luck out until December. It actually would benefit Luck to play in a few games if he is healthy enough, so I don’t think it is wise for the Colts to go ahead and shut him down for the year. In reality, the goal now is to have him healthy and strong at the start of next season, but a few appearances in 2017 would be beneficial. If nothing else, it would be confirmation that he is healthy and ready for 2018. Plus, it would serve as a nice confidence booster for both Luck and the Colts.
Q: Is there any chance that Aaron Rodgers can return later in the season?
A: There is, but it may not be worth it if the Packers aren’t in the playoff hunt. Rodgers will undergo surgery to repair a right clavicle fracture. A plate and screws will be inserted to stabilize the collarbone. In 2013 he suffered the same injury to his left side and returned in seven weeks. This one is to his throwing side and it appears to be a more serious fracture. So 8-10 weeks is a more realistic recovery time with this injury.
We won’t have a clear picture of his recovery time until after surgery. There are a few different methods that come with varying recovery times. If it is an eight-plus week recovery time (which it definitely should be), that would sideline Rodgers through at least Week 14. With just a few weeks left in the season, returning to the field would be a risk not worth taking unless a playoff spot was on the line. Even then it may not be worth risking the health of their quarterback.
Q: It looks like Jameis Winston will play, but how effective can he be?
A: Winston was limited at practice on Wednesday and did everything but throw. He’s their franchise quarterback, and with three years of experience, he doesn’t need to take any risks with his throwing shoulder by taking unnecessary reps. The time off is far more valuable. But an AC sprain can be very painful to play through, especially for a quarterback. If he takes any big hits to his right side or lands on his shoulder, his day could quickly be over. Deep balls will be especially painful, but even short passes won’t be comfortable.
If you have other Fantasy options at quarterback this week, go with them over Winston. He will likely play, but his Below Average Health Performance Factor is an indicator that he won’t be anywhere near 100 percent.
Q: Will Leonard Fournette be good to go on Sunday?
A: The Jaguars were quick to call Fournette’s ankle injury a minor sprain even though he did not return to the game on Sunday. It may be a grade 1 injury, but his history of foot and ankle injuries make this a much bigger concern. Once a player has repeat injuries to the ankle, the ligaments get stretched out, leaving them at a greater risk of future injuries. Fournette has been one of the most explosive running backs this season, but this ankle injury is going to slow him down. How much remains to be seen.
Fournette did not practice on Wednesday and needs to get in a few limited practices this week in order for us to be confident that he will suit up. He just moved to a High Injury Risk for week 7. If he does play, it won’t take much to force him out of the game again.
Q: Could Teddy Bridgewater beat Sam Bradford back on the field?
A: Bridgewater’s comeback so far has been incredible. Just over a year removed from a dislocated knee and multiple ligament tears, he is back on the field practicing with his teammates. There are plenty of concerns that remain, but so far things are progressing well for Bridgewater. The Vikings have 21 days to add him to their active roster or place him on IR, so his progress will be closely monitored over the next few weeks.
At this point, Bridgewater has a much better chance of getting cleared than Sam Bradford. After missing a month with a bone bruise in his knee, Bradford made a brief return but never looked comfortable. He was replaced in the first half by Case Keenum, who remains the Vikings starter. The Vikings then finally admitted that there are other concerns for Bradford. He has twice torn the ACL in his left knee, leaving him with chronic problems such as scar tissue buildup, cartilage damage and arthritis. With a new recovery time of at least five weeks, it’s going to be awhile before we see Bradford back on the field. It may be serious enough to end his season or even threaten his career.
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