Week 11 Fantasy Football Injury Report: NFC

With five weeks remaining until the start of the fantasy playoffs, it’s officially crunch time! This is the time of the season when every roster move matters. It is as vital as ever to be up to date on injuries and how they may impact this week and the weeks coming. The week 11 fantasy football injury report is loaded! Several key players were injured in week 10, and several more attempt to return in week 11. 


Kyler Murray

Week 11 fantasy football injury report

Murray missed week 10 due to a hamstring injury. Backup Colt McCoy led the Cardinals to a victory over the rival LA Rams and may have to do it again as Murray is at risk of missing week 11.

I wrote at length last week about how a hamstring injury impacts Murray in two ways. In short, obviously, a hamstring injury will slow down a running quarterback. Murray, who averages 6.5 carries for 40 yards a week, would likely have fewer designed runs drawn up for him. Additionally, if it is his right hamstring, this will impact power generation when throwing. When a player throws, the power starts from the ground up, meaning the push-off from the leg. With a hamstring injury throwing power can be impacted.

The Cardinals play Monday night against division rival San Fransisco, who is 9th in the league against quarterbacks. This creates a challenge for fantasy players. If you roll the dice with Murray, you must have Jimmy Garoppolo or Colt McCoy rostered and ready to pivot. 

Matthew Stafford

Stafford is on track to return to play in week 11 after missing week 10 with a concussion. He was a full participant on Wednesday, and there is no reason to expect his concussion to impact his play this week.

Running Backs

Khalil Herbert

The rising star in Chicago’s backfield will be out until at least week 16 due to a hip injury. Herbert suffered the injury on the final kick return of the game, which begs the age-old question, how hard is coaching? Why the hell do you have a running back who is a significant part of your offense returning kicks? This is almost as stupid as leaving Cooper Kupp in the game when you are down 17 with one minute left (referencing week 8).

There is no report on what Herbert’s hip injury is, making it hard to dissect. Clearly, it is enough that he won’t be ready for four weeks; otherwise, he would not have been placed on the IR. A labrum injury similar to Ja’Marr Chase is possible, as well as a strain of the hip flexor or groin muscles. I won’t speculate at this time, though. If we get more information, I will break down his injury.

Regarding his rest-of-season outlook, Herbert is worth hanging on to, depending on your situation. If you need the roster space, sure, drop him. But if you have an IR spot available or have a team that is a lock for the playoffs, he could be valuable in week 17. It will be hard to trust him in week 16 since this is the first week he is eligible to play, and running backs often see a smaller workload in the first game after injury. But if he plays in week 16 and looks healthy, he could be a serviceable option in week 17, the fantasy championship. This is, of course, for the right situation.

Ezekiel Elliot

Week 11 fantasy football injury report

Elliot, returning from an MCL sprain and quad bruise, was limited in practice to start the week. Dallas squares off against Minnesota’s 10th-ranked rushing defense this week. If Elliot plays, he will be tough to trust.

The MCL injury is likely close to healed at this point, as he will be over three weeks out by Sunday. MCLs have a good blood supply and thus heal well. Studies on professional soccer players have shown that 71% return to their prior level of play, putting little doubt Elliot will get back to his pre-injury self. The concern, however, is returning to the pre-injury level takes time. Only 36% of NFL running backs produce fantasy stats at or above their pre-injury level in the first game after an MCL injury, In fact, they average 3.1 points below their pre-injury baseline!

Week 11 fantasy football injury report

The data above on how RBs do when returning from an MCL, Minnesota possessing a solid rush defense, and Tony Pollard’s emergence in the backfield make Elliot hard to trust. 

Leonard Fournette

Fournette suffered a “hip pointer” in week 10 but should be ready to go in week 12 after Tampa Bay’s bye. A hip pointer is a vague term but often refers to a bruise of either the glute muscles or the part of the hip bone called the iliac crest. Bruising can cause inhibition of the muscles in the area and pain. Pain itself inhibits function. The good news is when the pain and swelling subside, there is no real structural damage, and players can play just fine. 

Wide Receivers

Cooper Kupp

Fantasy football’s sweetheart Cooper Kupp shows up on the week 11 fantasy football injury report. Kupp will be out several weeks after undergoing Tight Rope surgery for his high ankle sprain today. Kupp will spend four weeks on the IR and may be able to return after.

With a high ankle sprain, the tibia and fibula bones are pulled apart, creating a sprain to the ligaments that hold them together. This creates instability in the ankle joint and pain. Instability and pain make pushing off to run, cut, or jump challenging.

Week 11 fantasy football injury report

With the tight rope procedure, the surgeon drills two holes in each of these bones and essentially loops a rope through the holes to pull the bones closer together. That is a simplified description, but you get the point. With the bones held closer together by the rope, the ligaments can heal, and the ankle can regain its stability.

Tua returned to play 28 days after undergoing the tightrope procedure in college. Tua had a few distinct advantages, though. When he had the surgery, Tua was 20 years old, and Kupp is 29. Tua is a quarterback, requiring much less running and cutting; Kupp is a receiver, requiring a lot of running and cutting. Tua was playing for a National Championship, and Kupp likely will be playing for nothing in four weeks.

Earlier this week, before announcing his surgery, I wrote about how I felt Kupp likely would not return until week 16. I still believe this to be the case, even with the tightrope procedure. Being on the IR, he is out until at least week 14. While Tua returned in four weeks, I outlined above the differences between his and Kupp’s cases. While this surgery likely speeds up his return to play the timeline, why would they rush back their star if the Rams are playing for nothing? Fantasy players need to see if they can get anything for Kupp in a trade. 

Marquise Brown

Rumors are beginning to swirl about Hollywood’s return to play after he was designated to return from the IR this week. Coach Kingsbury says there is a chance he plays on Monday night, but fantasy players should be cautious.

I wrote at the time of his injury about his outlook. Fractures take 4-6 weeks to heal, and they come with extra complications when it is to a foot bone. His foot was immobilized in a cast or boot for much of the past four weeks to allow healing. Along with immobilization comes stiffness and weakness. Brown is just now at four weeks after injury, so healing is present but not 100%. He is likely just beginning full weight bearing without a boot and is now starting to regain mobility and strength.

Mobility and strength decline FAST when immobilized. There is no chance Brown is at 100% yet, and likely won’t be for 2-3 more weeks. He is tempting to play soon, especially with teammate Zack Ertz unfortunately, being out for the rest of the season. Still, I express caution in expectations for Hollywood over the next month. He could, however, look like himself just in time for fantasy playoffs. 

AJ Brown

Brown came up lame in the first drive on Monday night but still logged 78% of snaps. Dealing with an apparent ankle sprain, Brown does not seem to be in danger of missing week 11. Receivers see a mild decline of 1.4 fantasy points after an ankle sprain. To a player of AJ Brown’s caliber, this is a non-factor. You can start with confidence. 

Tight Ends

Zach Ertz

Ertz is on the week 11 fantasy football injury reports as a second opinion on tight end Zach Ertz knee confirmed that he will need to undergo season ending surgery.

The Cardinals have not revealed what Ertz’s injury is yet, but initial testing did not suggest an ACL injury. ACL field tests called the Lachman’s, and Anterior Drawer tests are typically reliable. Numerous other tissues in the knee would require season-ending surgery. A PCL repair, meniscus repair, tibial plateau fracture, and sometimes even a severe MCL sprain would require surgery with lengthy rehabs. We don’t know what Ertz is dealing with, but his season is over.

Dallas Goedert

Similarly to many players above, the Eagles have not told us what Dallas Goedert’s shoulder injury is. Despite this, he is on IR and out for at least four weeks.  

Looking at the video, the defender falls on the back of the top part of Goedert’s shoulder, while the defender’s arm is on the bicep area of his upper arm bone. This could create a mechanism of dislocation of his shoulder. We also see him having difficulty moving his left shoulder, a common phenomenon with dislocations.

Should dislocations often also lead to labrum tears. The labrum helps hold the shoulder in the socket, so naturally, the labrum tears when dislocated. If this is the case, this is not necessarily season-ending. Dalvin Cook has had many shoulder dislocations over the past two seasons and continues to play. We will have to wait for more information on Goedert’s status. If he returns after four weeks on the IR, he should be serviceable compared to any tight end on waivers and absolutely should not be dropped in any format. 

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