Week 14 Fantasy Football Injury Report: NFC

The last week of the regular season is here! This is the last chance to make the playoffs or lock up the first round bye. Fantasy players must be tuned into the week 14 fantasy football injury report this week to get the right lineup in place. Last week, a number of big name players got injured. Let’s dive into the impact of injuries on week 14.

Week 14 Fantasy Football Injury Report: Quarterbacks

Jimmy Garoppolo

The latest reports on Jimmy G’s left foot state that he will not need surgery. It’s believed he has multiple fractures, all of which will heal naturally. This indicates that the fractures were non-displaced, meaning the broken fractures of the bones stay within the alignment of each other, allowing healing. This also suggests that the bones injured have an adequate blood supply.

While this bodes well for Garoppolo, he still has an uphill battle to be ready for the playoffs. Playoffs start in five weeks, and typical bone healing calls for 4-6 weeks, but when it’s the foot and multiple fractures, this can be longer.

Week 14 Fantasy Football Injury Report

Garoppolo will be immobilized in either a boot or cast for at least four weeks, if not longer. Immobilization leads to stiffness and weakness of the associated joints. Stiffness and weakness will take some time to resolve after discontinuing the immobilization phase. It will take Garoppolo a few more weeks of rehab to run and cut, let alone play football.

For fantasy, Garoppolo’s season is over. In reality, the Niners would have to make a deep playoff run for him to have a chance to play.  

Matthew Stafford

Updates on Stafford’s injury came out this week, and we learned the super bowl champion is dealing with a spinal cord contusion. This sounds terrifying, but depending on the severity, it may not be. We knew Stafford was dealing with leg numbness following his injury, this diagnosis explains it. 

A spinal cord contusion is swelling within the spinal cord that pushes against part of the cord. The swelling compresses the area of the cord it pushes on, creating symptoms. Symptoms will be dependent on the part of the spinal cord affected. Within the spinal cord, three main sensory tracts go from the periphery (away from the spinal cord, usually limbs) to the brain. They are called ascending tracts since they send the sensory stimulus from the periphery up to the brain.

A spinal cord contusion is different than a spinal cord injury. A spinal cord injury is often permanent. As the swelling from the contusion subsides, symptoms resolve, and people return to normal. We can expect Stafford to make a full recovery. He has, however, been placed on the IR, and the Rams have nothing to play for this season, so there is no reason for him to play again this year.

Week 14 Fantasy Football Injury Report: Running Backs

Kenneth Walker

Per Pete Carrol, Walker is dealing with an “unusual” foot injury. Carrol states that Walker jammed his ankle, and is dealing with a strain to the top, inside portion.

I broke this down yesterday in a post. While nobody ever knows what the hell Pete Carrol is talking about, my best interpretation is that this is an ankle impingement. The term “strain” indicates injury to a muscle or tendon, whereas “sprain” is a ligament. If Pete is using the correct medical terminology, I believe Walker has a strain of either the extensor digitorum longus or extensor hallucis longus muscles. These muscles help point the foot upward and control pronation and supination.  

Week 14 Fantasy Football Injury Report

If I am right, this is not a major issue long term. Pain and swelling may be present and need to be managed, but overall function should not be impacted after pain and swelling subside. I expect Walker to be limited in practice, and we will have to monitor reports for his outlook. Long term I do not expect this to impact his performance. As of Wednesday, Walker has a chance to play.

D’Andre Swift

Hello old friend. A welcomed name to the injury report, D’Andre Swift has returned with another ankle sprain. It is unclear if this is an aggravation of his previous sprains this season or a whole new injury. He practiced in a limited capacity Wednesday, so hopefully, he can go this weekend.

We know that previous ankle sprains increase the risk of a future sprain. The ligaments injured with an ankle sprain have a significant sensory role and help with proprioception. Proprioception is a term for our bodies awareness of where it is in space without looking. A runner must have great proprioception to plant and cut on a dime. When these ligaments are injured from previous injuries, proprioception is lost, and the stability of the ankle is compromised. Rehab can help mitigate these consequences but cannot always compensate to 100%.

An ankle sprain will impact lateral agility, which is Swift’s game. Detroit has limited Swift’s workload as he has dealt with these injuries this season. The lack of volume will frustrate fantasy owners with this injury.   

Mark Ingram

Ingram will miss 4-6 weeks with an MCL tear. With the expected timeline of 4-6 weeks, this is likely a grade II injury. This means swelling, partial tearing of the ligament, and joint laxity (excessive mobility). The swelling and laxity impact ability to play. If swelling persists, the knee becomes stiff and weak. With laxity, the knee becomes unstable and is prone to buckling and caving inward.

Running backs average missing 3.1 games and perform poorly when they return from an MCL injury. This isn’t relevant as he will not be back for the rest of the fantasy season. 

D’Onta Foreman

Foreman is dealing with an undisclosed foot injury and a rib injury. Carolina is coming off their bye, and there were no reports of his injuries before this week, meaning they are likely minor.

The foot injury could impact his lateral agility and running power. Foreman is a tough downhill runner, so agility is not such an issue, but if he can generate power, that would be a problem.

Week 14 Fantasy Football Injury Report

We have talked in depth about rib injuries. For a running back, the ribs are particularly impactful. The lats and pecs attach to the ribs, which are very important for protecting the ball. When these muscles contract (to hold onto the ball), they pull on the ribs. When injured, this hurts a lot! The obliques are abdominal muscles that attach to the ribs. They contract and pull on the ribs when bracing for impact and help rotate the body when running. Again, when contracting and pulling on an injured rib, this hurts!

Runners also take hits to the ribs all the time. This also hurts! Ultimately rib injuries come down to pain tolerance. We will continue to monitor Foreman’s status through practice this week.

Week 14 Fantasy Football Injury Report: Wide Receivers

Rondale Moore

Rondale Moore did not practice Wednesday as he deals with a groin injury suffered in week 11. Receivers average missing 1.5 games with a groin injury, but multiple have missed up to five games.

The groin helps stabilize a runner while on one leg and can aid in cutting when pushing off the inside leg (right leg to cut right). Despite its size and strength, an injury to the groin is easy to compensate for, which is why we don’t see a significant decline in fantasy points when players return from this injury.

If Moore suits up this week, don’t expect his injury to limit him. The challenge with starting Moore is that both DeAndre Hopkins and Marquise Brown will also be suiting up. The three have yet to all play together this season. 

Quez Watkins

The Eagles slot receiver suffered an AC joint injury on Sunday. Watkins practiced in a limited capacity on Wednesday, which bodes well for his week 14 outlook.

Week 14 Fantasy Football Injury Report

An AC joint injury is an injury to the joint between the acromion (part of the shoulder blade) and the clavicle (collar bone). The AC joint typically has minimal but significant motion. With an injury, it either moves too much or not enough. The motion at the AC joint is important for elevating the shoulder, which is required for catching high balls.

On average, receivers only miss 1.4 games due to an AC joint injury. However, they see a decline of 1.9 fantasy points, with only 20% meeting or exceeding their pre-injury average. 

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