Week 4 Fantasy Football Injury Report
Last week it was the QBs finding their way onto the injury report. This week it’s the WRs turn to take over the injury spotlight. It’s getting to the point in the season where mismanaged injuries on your squad can derail the year. Luckily, we have you covered here at SGPN. Let’s take a look at the fantasy football relevant injuries heading into NFL Week 4.
A.J. Brown (WR) Tennessee Titans
Hamstring Strain, Initial Injury: 9/26/21
Week 3 was pretty much the worst case scenario for both A.J. Brown and his fantasy owners. The Titans WR was poised for a breakout week after a lackluster start to the season. Unfortunately, he exited the game in the first quarter with a hamstring strain and did not return. Brown is currently considered week to week and I would be surprised if he plays a significant amount against the lowly Jets.
Hamstring strains refer to damage to the muscle on the back of our upper leg. These injuries are very difficult to manage as they have a high reinjury risk and can linger throughout the season. A mild strain usually takes two to three weeks to fully recover, while a moderate strain takes over four weeks. The Titans have a favorable matchup against the dismal Jets next week, so the risk of playing Brown this week seems unrealistic. Tennessee WRs Julio Jones and Chester Rodgers would see a boost in targets if Brown is unavailable this week.
It is unlikely the Titans risk playing Brown this week against the Jets but monitor the situation for updates on the injury severity. – SIT/MONITOR
Sterling Shepard (WR) New York Giants
Hamstring Strain, Initial Injury: 9/26/21
Just a brutal blow for a Giants team that has been a GIANT disappointment this season. Shepard has been the team’s leading pass catcher to begin the year and a very productive fantasy football WR. Shepard left the game in the first quarter, and was unable to return which is not a good sign regarding his injury severity. Reports from the Giants are saying it is too early to tell the chances Shepard plays against the Saints this week. Unless Shepard was very lucky and came away with only a very minor injury, I would expect him to not be a full-go this week.
The Giants are in more of a desperation mode than most teams at this point, but it would still be a big risk to play Shepard too early. Hamstring strains have a high reinjury risk and usually take multiple weeks to recover. The Giants WR’s lower body power would be compromised until his hamstring heals fully, limiting his ability. The Giants currently have two WRs (see Darius Slayton below) dealing with hamstring injuries. Giants WRs Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, and Collin Johnson would find themselves as the team’s top pass catchers in Shepard and Slayton’s absence.
Shepard’s hamstring strain will likely at least keep him out this week, but the situation should be monitored. – MONITOR/SIT
Christian McCaffrey (RB) Carolina Panthers
Hamstring strain, Initial injury: 9/23/21
The Panthers star RB has found himself on the injury report again this year. McCaffrey was injured during the Thursday Night Football matchup against the Texans. He was ruled out of the game quickly with hamstring strain but the good news is that the Panthers have announced he will not be heading to the IR.
This news means that his hamstring injury is minor. However, even minor hamstring injuries usually take two to three weeks to heal. The Panthers will need to be careful with their stud RB as hamstring strains have a high reinjury likelihood. The second injury is also usually more severe and would cause him to miss the majority of the season. For now, it is going to be rookie RB Chubba Hubbard leading the Carolina backfield. The no IR is an encouraging sign that we should Mccaffrey back on the field within the next month, barring any setbacks.
McCaffrey is expected to be out a couple weeks but should return within a month. – SIT/MONITOR
Darius Slayton (WR) New York Giants
Hamstring Strain, Initial Injury: 9/26/21
Wide receivers and hamstring injuries seem to be the leagues newest trend. Like his teammate Sterling Shepard, Slayton exited his last game early in the first quarter with a hamstring strain. The Giants WR was unable to return to the game which leads to a negative outlook on his chances of playing this week. The Giants have claimed it is too early to tell Slayton’s availability likelihood at this point in the week. Hamstring strains are not injuries that heal quickly and are likely to reinjure if the player returns too soon. WRs Kenny Golladay and Collin Johnson would look to take over Slayton’s deep threat role in the Giants offense.
Slayton relies on his hamstrings as a deep threat WR and would be unlikely to play this week. – SIT/MONITOR
K.J. Hamler (WR) Denver Broncos
ACL Tear, Initial Injury: 9/26/21
The Denver WR room received another blow this week to another talented young WR. Hamler joins his teammate Jerry Jeudy on the IR after tearing his ACL in Week 3. Hamler will miss the rest of the season with this injury. ACL tears are serious knee injuries that can take a year or more to fully recover from. With the Broncos down both of their top slot WR options, look for TE Noah Fant to have an increased role in the offense. WRs Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick will also see an increased role.
Hamler is out for the rest of the season with an ACL Tear. – DROP/IR
JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR) Pittsburgh Steelers
Rib Injury, Initial Injury: 9/26/21
The Steelers have an injury to add to their insulting loss to the Bengals in Week 3. WR JuJu Smith-Schuster left the game and was unable to return with a rib injury. At this point, JuJu is considered day to day with bruised ribs as X-rays showed a negative result for a fracture. This is good news for the Steelers, however, fractures can be easily missed the first time around. Dolphins QB Tua is now headed to the IR with a rib fracture after initially being diagnosed with bruised ribs.
If the injury is truly bruised ribs, JuJu has a good chance of being able to play in Week 4. It is a painful injury that can limit a player’s catch radius but is able to be played through. Steelers WRs Chase Claypool and James Washington would see a fantasy booster of Smith-Schuster was unavailable this week.
JuJu has a good chance of playing this week with bruised rib, but monitor throughout the week. – MONITOR/START
Scotty Miller (WR) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Turf Toe, Initial Injury: 9/26/21
The Bucs WR suffered a turf toe injury during his Week 3 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams. The injury is being reported as severe and that the WR will miss a substantial amount of time. Turf toe refers to damage to the ligaments of the big toe that happens with the toe is pushed too far back. This injury has a high reinjury likelihood and with this level of damage, the IR seems inevitable. Miller was filling in for WR Antonio Brown who was out with COVID so this shouldn’t have a major fantasy impact.
Miller is likely headed to the IR with a turf toe injury. -DROP/SIT
James White (RB) New England Patriots
Hip Subluxation, Initial Injury: 9/26/21
The Patriots RB was carted off in his Week 3 matchup with a leg injury. The injury is being called a hip subluxation, which is the same injury Washington QB Ryan Fitzpatrick suffered. The injury refers to the hip bone being forced partially out of the hip socket. There has been no timetable given by the team yet but he is very likely to end up on the IR. This is a painful and serious injury that can sometimes require surgery to repair. White will be out numerous weeks and possibly the rest of the season. Patriots RBs Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson will see an increased work load in White’s absence.
The Patriots RB will miss at least multiple weeks with his hip injury, possibly the rest of the year. – IR/DROP
Giovanni Bernard (RB) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
MCL Sprain, Initial Injury: 9/26/21
The Tampa Bay RB seems to have avoided a serious injury against the Rams last week. He is currently regarded as day to day with a “slight” MCL sprain. The MCL is a ligament of the knee that helps to control a players side to side stability. This is the most commonly injured ligament in the knee and usually does not require very long for recovery. This injury can affect a player’s route running and cutting ability depending on severity. Bernard has cemented himself as the pass catcher out of the RB group as he saw a leading 33 snaps last game. His status should be monitored this week but he has a good chance at playing in Week 4.
Bernard has a good chance of playing this week, but his status should be monitored. – START/MONITOR
Elijah Moore (WR) New York Jets
Concussion, Initial Injury: 9/26/21
The rookie WR is currently in the concussion protocol from a hit he received in Week 3. A concussion refers to a mild traumatic brain injury and leads to disruption in the function of the brain. The duration of symptoms is highly variable but research has shown most players return in less than seven days to playing. Moore’s status will need to be monitored closely this week as concussion protocol makes it pretty clear if the player is available or not. Jets WR Keelan Cole should see a target boost is Moore is unable to play this week.
For more information on concussions and their effect on NFL players find a quick video here
#NFL Concussion Overview Video
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— Sebastian Fearon DPT, PT, CSCS, TSAC-F (@SGPNFootballDoc) September 27, 2021
Moore is currently in concussion protocol and his status will need to be monitored. – MONITOR
Rob Gronkowski (TE) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Rib Injury, Initial Injury: 9/26/21
The veteran TE briefly exited the game last week to get X-rays done on his ribs after a hard hit. The X-rays came back as negative and he was able to return to the game and record a catch. Gronk is currently said to have bruised ribs and is likely to play next week. With a matchup against his former team on deck, I think there is a very good chance his plays. Bruised ribs can limit a player’s mobility and catch radius but is an injury that is commonly played through.
Barring any setbacks, Gronk is likely to play against the Pats this week. – START/MONITOR
Tua Tagovailoa (QB) Miami Dolphins
Rib Injury, Initial Injury: 9/19/21
The Dolphins young QB was hit in the ribs and knocked out of the game in the first quarter in Week 2. It was a scary sight for Tua-believing Dolphins fans, as the QB was carted off the field and was unable to return to the game. After initial reports of no structural damage, it has been announced that after further testing, Tua does have fractured ribs.
Tua has officially been placed on IR and would likely miss multiple weeks with this injury. The recovery timeline is normally three to eight weeks with this injury, depending on the severity of the fracture. This is a painful injury, that will limit his mobility and will discourage him from taking hits. Dolphins backup Jacoby Brissett will be taking over the starting QB position during Tua’s absence.
Tua has fractured ribs and been put on IR. – SIT/DROP
Jarvis Landry (WR) Cleveland Browns
MCL Sprain, Initial injury: 9/19/21
Cleveland WR Jarvis Landry suffered a knee injury in the first quarter of his Week 2 game against the Texans. Landry was unable to return to the game but it appears a severe injury was avoided. An MRI revealed a mild MCL sprain that will limit him for a few weeks. Landry has been officially placed on the short-term IR and will miss at least three weeks. An MCL injury refers to damage to the inner part of your knee and is key in side-to-side knee stability.
This injury usually comes with a two to three-week recovery timeline. This injury would limit the WR’s route running and run after catch ability due to lack of knee stability until properly healed. Cleveland WR’s Donovan Peoples-Jones and Odell Beckham Jr., who is slated to return this week, would see a bump in value in Landry’s absence.
Landry will miss at least three weeks after being placed on the short-term IR. – SIT
Tyrod Taylor (QB) Houston Texans
Hamstring Strain, Initial Injury: 9/19/21
Poor ATS legend Tyrod Taylor. His up and down career suffers another setback as he injured his hamstring during a TD run against the Browns in Week 2. The injury is being reported as significant after testing, leading to an extensive injury timeline. Taylor is looking at about a four to six week recovery period with moderate damage to his hamstring. Hamstring injuries are troublesome as they also tend to linger and reinjure easily. This limits Tyrod’s ability to make plays with his legs and throw the ball efficiently due to reduced lower body power. With Tyrod out multiple weeks, it will be the rookie Davis Mills turn to be the starting QB for the mighty Houston Texans. Be careful what you wish for kid.
Tyrod Taylor will miss multiple weeks with moderate damage to his hamstring. – SIT/DROP
Nico Collins (WR) Houston Texans
Shoulder Injury, Initial Injury: 9/19/21
The Texans WR’s rookie campaign has hit a speed bump as he suffered a shoulder injury early in his Week 2 game. The specifics of the injury was not disclosed but it is being reported that he is expected to miss three to four weeks with this injury. Texans WRs Brandin Cooks, Anthony Miller and Danny Amendola, who is questionable Thursday with a thigh injury, receive a mild target boost without Collins.
Collins has been placed on IR with an undisclosed shoulder injury and will miss at least three weeks. – SIT
Jerry Jeudy (WR) Denver Broncos
High Ankle Sprain, Initial Injury: 9/12/21
It was a scary sight in Week 1 when the Denver WR got tackled with his ankle pinned under him and was carted off the field. Thankfully, he did not break his ankle which was initially feared and the X-rays came back negative. Jeudy did still suffer a high ankle sprain which is a significant injury in itself. High ankle injuries are much worse than the common low ankle sprains that we more typically see.
These type of injuries lead to not only more playing time missed but also are more likely to lead to a chronic issue. The timetable currently being reported is four to six weeks, but I would expect closer to six weeks of missed time. This injury is going to affect Jeudy’s route running and cutting ability moving forward in the season. Denver WR’s Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick will look to fill in Jeudy’s big role in the offense.
Jeudy is going to miss significant time with a high ankle sprain and his fantasy production will be affected the majority of the season, especially the first eight to ten games- IR/DROP
Michael Gallup (WR) Dallas Cowboys
Calf Strain, Initial Injury: 9/9/21
The Cowboys potent offense received a significant blow as one of their top WRs suffered a calf injury in their game against the Bucs. Gallup has already been put on the short term IR and was given a timetable of three to five weeks to return to playing. A calf strain means that there has been damage to muscles in the back of a player’s lower leg. These injuries, like hamstring strains, have a tendency of lingering and can reinjure if not given enough time to properly heal. Gallup will have a difficult time accelerating and jumping with this injury due to the muscle not being as powerful. Fellow WRs Lamb and Cooper were already must starts but should see an increase in targets with Gallup sidelined.
Gallup is on the short term IR with a calf strain and I would not expect solid fantasy football production until closer to Week 6 for the WR- SIT/IR
Curtis Samuel (WR) Washington Football Team
Groin Injury, Initial Injury: 6/2/21, Short-term IR
Curtis Samuel is being placed on the short term IR due to recently aggravating his groin injury. Samuel had missed over three months of practice with this injury and will be missing AT LEAST the first three weeks of the regular season. With how this injury has progressed I wouldn’t be surprised for him to miss closer to six to eight weeks and would not expect much production from Samuel in the early half of the season. Rookie WR Dyami Brown and WR Adam Humphries both see their fantasy stock raise with this news.
Tre’Quan Smith (WR) New Orleans Saints
Hamstring Injury, Initial Injury: 8/3/21, Short-term IR
One of the Saints projected top WRs coming into the season, Tre’Quan Smith has been placed on the short-term IR with a hamstring injury that he suffered at the beginning of August. Expect a bump in WR Marquez Callaway’s targets in the early part of season with both Saint’s WRs Smith and Thomas on the IR.
Michael Thomas (WR) New Orleans Saints
Ankle Surgery, Initial Injury: 8/13/20, Surgery: June 2021
Let’s start with the diva of the fantasy football injury report. After a disappointing 2020 season due to an ankle injury, the general consensus was that Thomas was going to have ankle surgery in the offseason and there would be no lingering effects going into the 2021 season. Of course, things didn’t go as planned and he had the surgery done in June, basically guaranteeing he would miss the start of the 2021 season.
The Saints will be without their number one receiver for at least the first six weeks of the regular season as Thomas was placed on the Injured Reserve (IR). On the injury front, the surgery should improve his route running and run after catch ability. Michael Thomas is not a WR you are going to be able to depend on to get you to your fantasy playoffs this year, but he may help you win in the playoffs IF things go according to plan this time.
Rashod Bateman (WR) Baltimore Ravens
Core Muscle Surgery, Initial Injury: 8/10/21, Surgery: 8/13/21
Rookie WR Rashod Bateman’s career got off to a rough start as he was injured in training camp while attempting to make a cut during a route. The injury was deemed severe as he underwent core muscle surgery three days later. Bateman was placed on the short-term IR to begin the season, making him eligible to return Week 4.
This injury was caused by quick sudden movements, AKA running routes, and it will take a significant amount of time for Bateman to feel comfortable running routes at full speed. Let’s remember that the Ravens just spent a first round pick on Bateman, I wouldn’t expect them to rush him back before he is 100% ready.
This injury report will be updated until Week 4 ends. Make sure to stay up to date on all the latest injuries this season over on Twitter @SGPNFootballDoc !
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