Week 6 Fantasy Football Injury Report: NFC

Another week down, another season-ending injury. Overall, week five was lighter on injuries than weeks past, but there is still plenty to talk about. As always, the week 6 fantasy football injury report will recap the major injuries from week five and cover players looking to return in week six.

week 6 fantasy football injury report: QBs

Jameis Winston

This is the same story as it has been the past few weeks. The Saints starting QB missed his second consecutive game last week as he allows his four lumbar fractures to heal. The time off from throwing and being hit should have allowed these fractures to heal enough, so they do not cause pain with every throw.

Bone healing typically takes 4-6 weeks. If Jameis takes the field this week against Cincinnati, he will be about three weeks removed from his most recent game action, which is when the clock for healing should start. These fractures are not completely healed at this point but may be beyond the acute inflammatory phase, where the pain is most pronounced. This means he should feel well enough to move in the pocket and throw normally. However, one bad hit could re-aggravate these fractures. 

Baker Mayfield

Week 6 fantasy football injury report: Baker Mayfield

Mayfield is dealing with a high ankle sprain on his right ankle. Mayfield is expected to miss some time, and will be undergoing further testing to determine how long. This being his right ankle is significant. Being a right-handed thrower, he generates the power for his throw by pushing off his right leg.

With a high ankle sprain, there is a gapping of the tibia and fibula bones of the shin. Typically, these bones are secured snuggly to each other by various ligaments. This close approximation allows the foot and ankle to be rigid when pushing off the ground, allowing force generation. When these bones are gapped from one another due to a high ankle sprain, the foot and ankle are not as rigid when pushing off the ground, making it harder to generate the same force.

We often hear reports of a high ankle sprain being a 4-6 week injury. This is not always the case. In fact, quarterbacks average missing 1.9 games due to this injury, and their fantasy statistics are not hindered when they return. 

Dak Prescott

Prescott hopes to return from a right thumb fracture on Sunday night against the division-rival Eagles. As discussed last week, the bone should be healed at this point. The challenge will be his ability to regain enough strength and dexterity to grip the ball proficiently.

As he was recovering from surgery, he likely wore a cast or brace for several weeks that did not allow his thumb to move. This immobilization causes stiffness and quick atrophy of the hand muscles. This range and strength are not hard to regain but take a few weeks of rehab. I expect he is strong enough to play, but he may not be 100%, and we may see him struggle with ball security and accuracy. 

Aaron Rodgers

Rodgers popped up on the injury report on Wednesday due to a thumb injury. Coach Matt LeFleur says they are not concerned about his availability in week 6. The thumb is vital in gripping a football and allowing a quarterback to throw accurately. It does not appear very serious now, but we will continue to monitor it. 

week 6 fantasy football injury report: RBs

Rashaad Penny

Week 6 fantasy football injury report: Rashaad Penny

The former first-round pick has struggled to stay healthy throughout his career. Unfortunately, Penny has suffered another season-ending injury. Penny fractured his fibula on Sunday and will undergo season-ending surgery. In Penny’s absence, expect rookie Ken Walker III to take the lead in this backfield.

This rehab typically takes about four months, and he should be ready to go for camp next season. The concerns going forward will be the difficulty regaining full ankle range of motion. After surgery, he will be in either a boot or a cast for about six weeks. This will cause tremendous stiffness, and often full range is never achieved. Chronic stiffness in the ankles makes it difficult to absorb shock with walking and running and can contribute to soft tissue injuries down the road. This is a concern for a player who has already dealt with his share of injuries. 

D’Andre Swift

The Lion’s star has missed the past two games due to both ankle and shoulder injuries. The Lion’s have a bye this week, and Swift should be close to 100% when they return in week 7.

James Conner

Conner left Sunday’s game against the Eagles due to rib injuries. Coach Kliff Kingsbury reported that it does not appear serious, meaning no fracture occurred. This is good news for Conner, but the rib injury still provides a challenge to suit up and play effectively next week against Seattle.

The ribs are highly involved in every motion we do as humans, especially athletic motions. The action of breathing, which is performed 12-20 times/minute at rest, and much more frequently with exercise, causes the ribs to expand and recoil. In the presence of a rib injury, this alone hurts. Many major muscles involved in athletics attach to the ribs. Of these, the pecs, the lats, and the obliques are the big strong muscles that are highly involved in running, blocking, catching, and maintaining stability when getting hit.

Conner’s ability to play will be related to his pain tolerance. Arizona may choose to put Conner on a snap restriction to reduce the likelihood of this injury worsening. 

week 6 fantasy football injury report: WRs

Michael Thomas

Thomas, whom I declared my league winner before the start of the season, has missed the past two games due to turf toe. A report from Adam Schefter on Sunday stated that New Orleans is aiming at a week six return for their big-bodied receiver.

Turf toe is an injury to the ligaments or tendons on the bottom side of the big toe. These ligaments and tendons are stressed with walking and running when the big toe extends up to 90 degrees. The constant stress on these tissues is why this injury often lingers. It was a good move to rest Thomas these past two weeks to allow this injury to heal before returning to the field. Ligaments and tendons typically take 21-28 days to heal, and Thomas will have had exactly 21 days between games.

This type of injury can impact top-end speed and agility, neither of which is what Thomas’s game is built off of. Therefore I don’t expect this injury to affect his fantasy output much. 

Amon-Ra St. Brown

The Lion’s star returned to play in week five but only logged a 32% snap rate and 3.8 fantasy points. As of today, there are no reported setbacks from Sunday’s game, and his limited snap rate was likely planned. The Lions have a bye this week, and St. Brown should return to his normal snap rate in week seven. 

Chris Olave

The Saint’s breakout rookie wide receiver somehow hung onto the ball for a touchdown while his head slammed into the ground. This one was an obvious concussion based on the impact.

The good news for Olave is as of Wednesday, he was in stage 3 of 5 in the NFL’s concussion protocol. Olave is currently on track to play if he continues to progress smoothly. Olave has been playing very well, and there is no reason to expect his performance to be impacted by this injury.

Jarvis Landry

Landry missed week five due to an ankle injury. We will have to continue to monitor practice reports this week to check his availability for Sunday against the Bengals. Receivers see a small decline in fantasy output when they return from an ankle sprain. With Landry being a low end WR4 anyway, fantasy players may not want to start him this week.

Kadarius Toney

Week 6 fantasy football injury report: Kadarius Toney

New reports last week stated that Toney is now dealing with injuries to both hamstrings. He returned to practice Wednesday, and it was reported that he injured his other hamstring on Thursday. This has been a season from hell for the second-year receiver, who cannot seem to keep his hamstrings healthy.

Fantasy players will continue to be frustrated with Toney as they recognize the immense talent and opportunity for him if he can return to the field. Whenever Toney does return, receivers are negatively impacted by hamstring injuries in their first game back, averaging 2.4 points below their pre-injury average, with only 28% meeting or exceeding the pre-injury baseline in the first game back.

Toney’s game is built on speed and agility. These traits stress the hamstring the most. The load on the hamstring increases dramatically from 80-100% of a sprint. With Toney being a burner, he is likely to be slowed down by this injury when he returns. 

Julio Jones

Julio did not play in week five as he dealt with setbacks from the PCL injury he sustained in week 1. We have talked in the past about how this type of injury is not going actually to heal. The rehab and recovery from this injury is pain and swelling management to allow him to get back on the field. The PCL itself is not going to “heal.”

Since the PCL will not truly heal, it is common to have setbacks like this. It is unpredictable how frequent setbacks will occur and how long they will keep Jones out. Tampa has made it clear they are looking at the season-long picture with the management of Jones’s injury. Fantasy players should lower their expectations for the future hall-of-famer for the near future. 

week 6 fantasy football injury report: TEs

Kyle Pitts

Week 6 fantasy football injury report: Kyle Pitts

Pitts’s insufferable season continued this week as he missed week five due to a hamstring injury. Coach Arthur Smith does not think this will be a long-term injury for Pitts, but fantasy managers should have some concerns.

Hamstring injuries impact a player’s top-end speed. Top-end speed is exactly what separates Pitts from the rest. When he returns, he may be slowed down a bit, and we know that previous hamstring injuries increase the risk of another injury by 2.7x. Tight ends score 1.8 fantasy points below their pre-injury average in the first game back. 

Taysom Hill

The Saint’s do-it-all player was listed on Wednesday’s injury report due to a rib injury. Despite this, Hill practiced in a limited fashion, suggesting the injury is minor. We have seen multiple players play through rib injuries with differing successes this season. Chargers QB Justin Herbert looked impacted by a rib injury earlier in the season, and Hill’s teammate Alvin Kamara looked somewhat hindered. Both players mentioned above had rib cartilage fractures, which can be very painful. We do not currently know the status of Hill’s rib injury, but it appears minor, making it less likely to impact his game. 

Dalton Schultz

Schultz has now logged back-to-back goose eggs since returning from a PCL injury. In week five, Schultz left the game due to a re-aggravation of this injury. As mentioned above with Julio Jones, this type of injury does not actually “heal”; therefore, these re-aggravations are common. Fantasy players will have to monitor practice reports, but it may be wise to look for other options at tight end for a few weeks until Schultz can prove he can be a useable tight end. 

Logan Thomas

Thomas is dealing with a calf injury that forced him to miss week five. Washington plays on Thursday, and Thomas has already been ruled out.

The calf injury will impact top-end speed, agility, and jumping, non of which are Thomas’s game. Thomas uses his big body to create separation from his defenders. This is why tight ends don’t see a significant dip in fantasy production when they return from this injury, scoring only 0.6 points below their pre-injury average.  

More information

For more information, check out our injury pages! The week six fantasy football injury report for the AFC will come out shortly. We discuss each player’s outlook on our weekly podcast and daily updates on twitter!

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