Q: When will David Johnson and Carson Palmer be back?
A: Week 10 is the earliest David Johnson can return because of the IR rules, but Week 12 is a more realistic target. Johnson is out of his cast and can work on his conditioning, but he has not done much upper body work yet. Johnson will need a few weeks of intense rehab and upper body strengthening before he can return to practice. Once he is back on the practice field, he will need around two weeks to work his way back. His blocking ability and pass-catching will be affected if he returns too soon. Wrist strength will also impact ball security, so he shouldn’t return before it improves.
Carson Palmer may be ready to return soon after Johnson. Palmer underwent surgery to stabilize a left wrist fracture earlier in the week. Because the injury is to his non-throwing arm, six weeks is a realistic target. That would put him back under center around Week 13. A right arm fracture could have ended his season. Now the Cardinals have a chance to get their veteran quarterback and most explosive weapon in David Johnson back for a final playoff push.
Q: Why was Jameis Winston able to play through his AC sprain but Golden Tate wasn’t?
A: We got a lot of questions about Winston and Tate’s injuries because they are both AC sprains. Winston was able to play through the injury just one week later, and he played very well. His injury came with an Optimal Recovery Time of just two weeks because it was a grade 1 injury. He is already back as a Low Injury Risk.
Tate’s injury is grade 2-3 in severity, so he needs longer than two weeks to recover. Tate had a Week 7 bye but his arm was still in a sling over the weekend. He was limited at practice on Wednesday and hopes to suit up on Sunday, but he needs more time to get healthy. While a shoulder injury should affect a quarterback more than a wide receiver, it is still very painful to play through and affects the ability to reach for a pass. Tate’s injury is much more serious. If he does play this weekend, his shoulder will limit him on the field.
Q: Is Charles Clay close to returning?
A: Clay underwent knee surgery two weeks ago after suffering a meniscus tear and moderate MCL sprain. Inside Injuries calculated a grade 3 knee injury, which comes with an Optimal Recovery Time ranging from 3-7 weeks depending on how invasive the surgery was. Clay remains a High Injury Risk with Below Average projected performance. It’s too soon for him to return, and he could still be multiple weeks away. Clay has yet to practice and should need two weeks to work his way back once he is cleared. He has a long history of knee issues, so his recovery may take longer than normal.
Q: How much time is Delanie Walker going to miss?
A: The bye week is coming at a great time for the Titans. Walker entered Week 7 with concerns over his calf, then left with an ankle injury. He had to be helped off of the field and was seen on crutches and in a walking boot after the game. After undergoing many tests, he has been diagnosed with a bone bruise.
While it is a better diagnosis than ligament damage and shouldn’t linger once it heals, it is a very painful injury. It comes with an Optimal Recovery Time anywhere from 2-6 weeks depending on the severity. The Inside Injuries algorithm indicated that he can return to the field in three weeks. Even so, Walker remains a High Injury Risk and a Risky Fantasy start. Walker is a tough guy who often plays at less than 100 percent. Look for him to do the same in Week 9, but keep expectations in check.
Download the Inside Injuries app for more injury advice and fantasy analysis on every player in the NFL!