Thanksgiving is here! The holiday’s are a joyful time, and they signal crunch time in fantasy football. The playoff bracket is beginning to take shape, and fantasy football players are making their final roster adjustments to make a run. This week we will see three classic Thanksgiving day games, so players must be up-to-date on the week 12 fantasy football injury report early!
WEEK 12 FANTASY FOOTBALL INJURY REPORT: Quarterbacks
Initial reports suggested Fields dislocated his left shoulder in Sunday’s game against the Falcons, but subsequent reports are conflicting.
During Monday Night Football Adam Schefter reported that Fields did not dislocate his shoulder, and other reports have also stated this. Many believe Fields suffered a shoulder “separation,” a fancy way of saying an AC joint injury.
A review of the injury suggests a shoulder separation vs. dislocation. The AC joint (shoulder separation) is vulnerable when a player lands directly on the side of their shoulder. In the video below, Fields lands directly on his shoulder. A dislocation commonly occurs when the back of a player’s shoulder is hit (by another player or the ground), often when the arm is extended to the side.
An AC joint injury is advantageous compared to a dislocation. Dislocations have high recurrence rates. Baker Mayfield dealt with multiple dislocations last season, and Dalvin Cook has dealt with many over the past two seasons. With this being Field’s left shoulder, he should be able to play the remainder of the season, pending the severity of the injury. With AC joint injuries, the standard grading scale includes six different degrees of injury, with grades IV-VI often requiring surgery. At this time, it does not sound like Field’s injury will require surgery.
Stafford suffered another concussion on Sunday, his second in three weeks. Subsequent concussions often lead to a longer time for full recovery, and Stafford may miss a few games. With Ram’s season spiraling out of control, it is hard to imagine them rushing him back to play.
Murray missed his second straight game due to a hamstring injury. With Arizona set to go on bye in week 13, it will be interesting to see if they choose to sit Murray in week 12 against the Chargers.
On the surface, a hamstring injury to a quarterback would not seem to be such a big deal. However, a closer look at the hamstring’s function tells a different story. Even for a pure pocket passer, if the injury is to the quarterback’s back leg, this could impact power generation for the throw. Throw power always comes from the ground up, meaning the back leg has to push violently off the ground to create force. With a hamstring injury, this is harder to do.
A running quarterback like Murray will also see their top-end speed impacted. Arizona loves to run Murray, who averages 6.5 carries for 40 yards this season. Many of these are designed runs, which is one of Murray’s major advantages in fantasy. I expect fewer designed runs if Murray returns at less than 100%. If he is at or near 100%, they may continue to allow him to do his thing running the ball.
WEEK 12 FANTASY FOOTBALL INJURY REPORT: Running Backs
Fournette suffered a “hip pointer” in week 10, and after the week 11 bye is expected to be ready. A hip pointer is a bruise to the glute muscles or the part of the hip bone called the Iliac Crest. You rest your hands on this prominent bone when holding your hips.
A bruise creates local swelling, which is painful and can impact muscle function. This is what makes it hard to play with. The good news is that swelling does not always last long and that with a hip pointer, there is no real damage. As soon as the swelling subsides, the pain resolves, muscle function should return to normal. Fantasy players with Fournette should not be concerned that this injury will impact his play.
WEEK 12 FANTASY FOOTBALL INJURY REPORT: Wide Receivers
Brown, returning from a mid-foot fracture, was able to practice last week but ultimately did not play. A previous article discussed his injury at length, and sitting last week was likely the right move. It’s tough to return to high-level athletics right after a foot fracture. The foot takes on so much force; thus, the bone that’s healing does too.
Kingsbury has stated that if Brown plays in week 12, it will be with limited snaps. It is also worth considering the Cardinals have a week 13 bye. Sitting Brown one more week to allow two more weeks of rest would be the safer option.
While Brown likely is not 100% this week, by weeks 14-15, the start of the fantasy playoffs, he should be close.
Moore injured his groin on the second play of the game Monday night and never returned. Kingsbury has put his Week 12 status in doubt. Arizona has a week 13 bye, so Moore should have two weeks to recover.
A groin injury does not impact fantasy performance very much. Its role functionally is to help stabilize while on one leg, help push the leg backward, and pushes the leg inwards. When cutting, an athlete usually cuts by pushing the leg outward, not inward. Therefore while the groin is involved in all athletic motions, it. It is not the primary muscle for many. This is likely why we only see a decline of 0.3 fantasy points in the first game after a groin injury for receivers.
As of now, it sounds like Moore will miss week 12 but has a chance to be ready for week 14 after the bye. He should be close to 100% reliable at that time.
The Giant’s receivers cannot catch a break this season. Rookie Wan’Dale Robinson tore his ACL on Sunday. This came as Robinson was enjoying a nine-catch 100-yard breakout game. Robinson will undergo surgery and miss the rest of the season.
At this time, the only structure we know is injured the ACL. If this holds, this bodes well for his ability to be ready at the start of next season. The beginning of next season is a little under ten months away. With ACL tears, we like to see at least nine months of rehab before returning to play. Returning in under nine months significantly increases the risk of a re-tear of the graft.
This season, we saw three receivers return in a similar or shorter time frame. Robert Woods tore his ACL in week 10 (one week before Robinson) and was ready to go in week one. Chris Godwin tore his ACL in week 15 and returned in week one (38 weeks post-op). Michael Gallup tore his ACL in week 17 and returned by week four (39 weeks post-op).
While these players all returned in a time frame that bodes well for Robinson, none have played very well from a fantasy standpoint. At the time of this writing, Robert Woods is the WR 74, Godwin the WR 47, and Gallup the WR 97 in half-point PPR scoring. Additionally, Godwin suffered a hamstring injury in his first game returned.
Re-tear of the ACL is not the only concern when returning from ACL surgery. Rates of other lower body injuries, especially hamstrings, are also increased in the first season. Unfortunately for Robinson, the ACL impacts players’ performance in the subsequent season.
Robinson remains a high-upside player in dynasty leagues. He is only 21 years old and has a bright future ahead. Players typically return to 100% in the second season back from ACL (think Saquon this year), and his youth will be a major benefit.
Great news out of Detroit, in the midst of a three-game win streak, rookie 1st round pick Jameson Williams has been designated to return off the IR.
Williams tore his ACL on January 10th, 2022, putting him over ten months removed from surgery now. As mentioned above with Wan’Dale Robinson, we like to see at minimum nine months of rehab before returning to sport. I admire Detroit’s patience in allowing their high-capital receiver the necessary time to rehab before returning to play. To play, Williams had to demonstrate that his surgical leg is within 90% of the non-surgical leg in various tests (95% is ideal). These include quad and hamstring strength testing, various single-leg balance tests, and single-leg hop tests, and he must demonstrate proper speed, quickness, etc.
With Detroit on a three-game win streak, they currently sit two games out of the final wildcard spot and hope Williams can give them a spark. It is unclear if Williams will play on Thanksgiving or if they will give him another week or two. While seeing him nearing a return is nice, fantasy players should be cautious with expectations. Receivers average a decline of 4.7 fantasy points in the first game after an ACL and a continued decline of 2.2 in the second and third games after an ACL injury. Compounded on the decline in points seen is that Williams is a rookie with no NFL experience, is learning a new offense, and needs to develop chemistry with his new quarterback. I love Williams long-term, but I will be surprised if he makes a major impact this year.
Week 12 Fantasy Football injury report: tight ends
Pitts somehow got away with only an MCL injury on a scary-looking hit on Sunday. This type of hit often leads to a multi-ligament injury involving the ACL and PCL.
Current reports are that only the MCL is implicated. Unfortunately, surgery is on the table. Surgery being thrown around is interesting. MCLs often don’t require surgery unless severe enough. Either way, Pitt’s is on the IR and will be out until week 17 at the earliest. Yes, thats right, fantasy championship week.
The MCL helps stabilize the inside of the knee joint, preventing it from caving inward. This is imperative for cutting, a huge part of an athletic tight ends game. If no surgery is performed, conservative care initially protects the healing tissue while regaining ROM. Stiffness and swelling are major deterrents to playing and must be normalized. With a severe injury, this could take weeks. When swelling and stiffness improves, he must regain strength, single-leg stability, and explosiveness.
Tight ends historically do not play well in the first game after an MCL injury, averaging 3.9 points below their pre-injury baseline. This season Pitt’s is averaging a measly 6.2 ppg (half-point PPR). Pitt’s can be dropped in most redraft formats.
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