Injury Update: Concerns About Steelers Antonio Brown and Falcons Julio Jones
The Latest Key Injury Insights from insideinjuries.com
LeSean McCoy RB, Bills: fractured ribs
McCoy is practicing this week (as a limited participant) after sustaining rib cartilage fractures in Week 2. Though he’s only a limited participant, it still suggests he’s on track to suit up for Week 3. The Inside Injuries algorithm has calculated a 5 week Optimal Recovery Time, which means McCoy really shouldn’t play over the next few weeks. Playing through rib injuries generally comes down to pain tolerance. McCoy is certainly a workhorse, but ball security and drops could be an issue, especially since he will have to wear extra padding. The Vikings defense will surely target McCoy in his weak spot.
Leonard Fournette RB, Jaguars: hamstring strain
Fournette returned to practice this week, which is a step in the right direction. Our Optimal Recovery Time is 2 weeks, so Fournette could be ready to go for Week 3, though he won’t be 100%. Hamstring injuries are highly recurrent, so he will still be at risk of aggravating the injury for the next few weeks. Fournette entered the season an Elevated Injury Risk due to concerns over his foot and ankle, and now he's High Risk.
Larry Fitzgerald WR, Cardinals: hamstring strain
The Cardinals are fully expecting Larry Fitzgerald to play in Week 3, but a Wednesday DNP had us concerned. Luckily, Fitzgerald was upgraded to limited on Thursday. The veteran wide receiver certainly doesn’t need a full week of practice in order to play, but hamstring injuries can linger. At 35, Fitzgerald is already at a higher injury risk, and large muscle strains can take a while to heal. We are projecting a 2 week Optimal Recovery Time for a mild strain, which means Fitzgerald won’t be healthy for Week 3.
Antonio Brown WR, Steelers: calf injury
Antonio Brown’s calf injury is very concerning. Brown suffered a partially torn calf muscle at the end of last season and missed 4 weeks (the absolute MINIMUM recovery time) before returning. A quad muscle injury bothered Brown in the preseason, a sign that his durability could be a problem this season. Brown is now a High Injury Risk. He won’t be healthy for at least 3 weeks. By playing through the injury he is only going to make it worse and cause it to linger even longer.
Julio Jones WR, Falcons: calf injury
Julio Jones is almost always dealing with some sort of injury, so it was only a matter of time before he wound up on the injury report. This time it’s his calf. Jones has dealt with various lower body injuries over the years, including knee, ankle, and foot injuries. He is now a High Injury Risk, and our 3 week Optimal Recovery Time means he won’t be 100% for Week 3. Jones has missed plenty of practices in his career, but back-to-back DNPs this week before he returned on Friday is a little concerning.
T.J. Yeldon RB, Jaguars: ankle injury
Jacksonville’s running back corps is looking thin going into Week 3. Taking over for Fournette’s duties as the No. 1 back, T.J. Yeldon picked up an ankle injury in Week 2. Yeldon was upgraded to a limited participant on Thursday after a DNP on Wednesday, which means he’s trending in the right direction. Yeldon will need 2 weeks to get back to 100%, but it’s possible he plays Week 3.
Others to Monitor:
T.Y. Hilton WR, Colts: quad injury
Hilton returned to practice on Friday as he battled a quad injury. With a 3 week Optimal Recovery Time he won't be at his best.
Giovani Bernard RB, Bengals: knee injury
Bernard has been limited at practices until he was upgraded to full on Friday, so looks like he will be healthy enough to play on Sunday. He is an Elevated Injury Risk.
Evan Engram TE, Giants: ankle injury
Engram is dealing with an ankle injury. It doesn't sound too serious, and he should be able to play week 3.
Case Keenum QB, Broncos: knee injury
The Broncos should have Keenum under center on Sunday despite their QB missing early week practice time with a knee injury. It will affect his mobility, but not enough that he can't play.
Kelvin Benjamin WR, Bills: hip injury
Benjamin's knees have long been an issue (he tore his ACL in 2015 and his meniscus in 2017), but now he is battling a hip injury. After a full practice Thursday Benjamin is expected to play, but we warned before the season that he is at a higher risk than most players of getting hurt.
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