Week 8 Injury Report

Can you believe that we are already halfway through the fantasy season? Football season goes way too fast! The week 8 injury report is long but luckily is not full of significant injuries like weeks past. Below, I highlight the key injuries impacting fantasy-relevant players and how they profile to impact fantasy production.

Week 8 Injury Report: Quarterbacks

Jalen Hurts

Injury: Knee injury

Jalen Hurts donned a brace in the second half of Sunday nights commanding victory over the high-powered Miami Dolphins. Hurts played the entire game despite suffering a left knee injury early in the game. I’ve stated before that when a knee injury is so minor, teams often won’t give us the exact tissues that are injured. This is because when injuries are so mild, there may not be enough tissue damage to warrant a diagnosis.

Vague knee injuries tend to behave the same. Pain, maybe some swelling and stiffness, that typically resolves well with a range of motion exercises, ice, and compression and generally does not impact the player’s productivity. With this being Hurts left knee, it is not likely to impact his ability to generate throwing power. Hurts practiced in full on Wednesday.

Expected Return: Week 8

Fantasy Impact: We just witnessed Trevor Lawrence play fine after a similar injury. Hurts is much more of a rusher than Lawrence, so it is possible Hurts rushing upside is capped to some degree, but this is not likely to impact his throwing. Hurts remains a set-it-and-forget-it QB1.

Deshaun Watson

Injury: Shoulder

Watson is on the week 8 injury report as he aggravated his shoulder injury that kept him out for two games in the first quarter of Sunday’s win against the Colts. Watson is dealing with an injury to the subscapularis muscle, which is one of the four rotator cuff muscles and is involved in initiating the transition from the cock back phase to the follow-through phase, as well as holding the arm bone in the shoulder socket when above head (such as throwing).

week 8 injury report

I explained last week how the reports of this being a “contusion” simply cannot be true, and today, we finally have reports that it is, in fact, a rotator cuff injury. It is very rare for the subscapularis to be injured in isolation. While not impossible, this tells us he likely has an injury to other rotator cuff muscles as well, with the supraspinatus and infraspinatus muscles being the most common.

Watson is to undergo an MRI, which will give us more information on a timetable to return. It is too soon to predict if he will need surgery, but we will likely have that information by the end of the week. Surgery would end his season.

Expected Return: TBD

Fantasy Impact: It is unlikely fantasy players will be able to rely on Waton in the next month. If Watson is able to rehab his shoulder successfully, he can be productive again this season.

Jimmy Garoppolo

Injury: Back injury

Garoppolo suffered a back injury in week 6, in which he went to the hospital as a precaution. Jimmy G missed week 7, but should be ready to go week 8. Back injuries can be tricky for any position, especially quarterbacks, with the amount of rotation they undergo when throwing. Pain can inhibit motion, meaning a quarterback may not be able to rotate as much or generate as much power when dealing with a back injury. Sometimes, these feel better when warmed up, but sometimes, they can linger and impact motion.

Expected Return: Week 8

Fantasy Impact: I would expect some loss of throwing power and accuracy if he is dealing with pain during the throwing motion. Garoppolo has not been startable in 1 QB league as is. In 2 QB leagues, he can be considered only if desperate.

Brock Purdy

Injury: Concussion

Purdy reportedly developed concussion symptoms during the flight home after Monday night’s loss to Minnesota. Concussions affect everyone differently, so it is not out of the question that these symptoms truly did not develop until after the game. NFL player’s average return to play after a concussion is 16 days. Purdy will likely not clear the protocol for this week

Expected Return: Week 9-10

Fantasy Impact: While Purdy likely won’t play this week, when he returns, we do not anticipate a decline in fantasy production due to the concussion.

Daniel Jones

Injury: Neck injury

week 8 injury report

Jones continues to progress through rehab for his neck injury, which was reportedly referring to his shoulder. This is not a rare phenomenon; in fact, I see this almost daily in my practice, and it does not always indicate significant injury. To date, there are no reports of any disc or nerve issues, and Jones is likely just dealing with stiffness that makes it difficult to turn his head to scan the defense. Practice this week will tell us if he is on track to play.

Expected Return: Week 8

Fantasy Impact: When Jones has enough range of motion to play, I do not expect his neck to limit his production at all.

Baker Mayfield

Injury: Knee

Mayfield is listed as questionable for Thursday night’s game. The 28-year-old played on 100% of snaps on Sunday, indicating this is likely minor. It is unclear which knee is affected, but either way, should not impact his play on Thursday night.

Expected Return: Week 8

Fantasy Impact: Minor knee injuries typically will not impact a quarterback’s production.

Ryan Tannehill

Injury: High ankle sprain

Tannehill continues to rehab his high ankle sprain, the same one that he had the tightrope procedure for last season. Tennessee appears to be preparing for rookie Will Levis to get his first career start in week 8, indicating they do not believe Tannehill will be ready. Quarterbacks average missing 2.5 games with high ankle sprains.

Expected Return: Week 10+

Fantasy Impact: While quarterbacks, on average, do not see a hit on fantasy production coming off of high ankle sprains, this is Tannehill’s right ankle, meaning the one that he pushes off for throw power. This would have the potential to impact his ability to put velocity on the ball.

Week 8 Injury Report: Running Backs

Saquon Barkley

week 8 injury report

Injury: Elbow hyperextension

Barkley hyperextended his elbow early in Sunday’s game, but returned and finished the game. This type of injury should not influence his production whatsoever. The elbow is not a weight-bearing joint, and he would need to have the perfect hit to re-aggravate this injury.

Expected Return: Week 8

Fantasy Impact: As an upper-body injury with little to no increased risk for re-injury, this will not impact Barkley’s fantasy output.

Austin Ekeler

Injury: Ankle sprain

Ekeler picked up a minor ankle sprain on Sunday but returned and finished the game. This is different than the high ankle sprain he missed several weeks with. Practice reports will provide us with detail on the severity, but since Ekeler was able to finish the game, this is unlikely to impact him.

Expected Return: Week 8

Fantasy Impact: While running backs average a decline of 10% in fantasy production in the first game after an ankle sprain, Ekeler’s does not appear serious, and he is a dominant force. Do not hesitate to start him.

Raheem Mostert

Injury: Ankle

Mostert did not practice Wednesday due to an ankle injury. Mostert finished the game Sunday night with no reports of injury, so it is unclear if this is a real concern or a rest day. Monitoring practice reports throughout the week will be vital.

Ankle sprains can impact a runner’s ability to change direction and carry a high recurrence rate of up to 26%.

Expected Return: Week 8-9

Fantasy Impact: Running backs, on average, see a decline of 11% in fantasy production in the first game after an ankle sprain. For Mostert and this high-powered offense, this is not enough to bench him, assuming he plays.

Jerome Ford

Injury: High ankle sprain

Ford suffered a classic high ankle sprain from a “hip drop” tackle that the NFL is trying to eliminate. You can see the defender latches onto Ford’s side and drop, landing on the outside portion of Ford’s ankle.

Ford’s high ankle sprain is not believed to be serious. With mild high ankle sprains, we typically do not see a tremendous “gapping” of the tibia and fibula bones. This means that stability of the ankle is largely maintained, and the ability to get back on the field depends on regaining range of motion and getting pain down.

Expected Return: Week 9-10

Fantasy Impact: Surprisingly, on average, running backs do not see a hit on fantasy production when they return from high ankle sprains. This is especially true when they are minor. When Ford returns, he can be trusted.

Roschon Johnson

Injury: Concussion

Johnson has not yet been able to clear the concussion protocol, causing him to miss two games. Another week should allow him enough time to return.

Expected Return: Week 8

Fantasy Impact: We do not expect any decline in production after a concussion.

Keaton Mitchell

Injury: Hamstring

week 8 injury report

Mitchell injured his hamstring in week 7, and may miss a few weeks. Hamstring injuries impact the ability to hit top speed and carry high recurrence rates. Mitchell is not a huge part of the Baltimore offense, so the Ravens will likely have no reason to rush him back.

Expected Return: Week 10

Fantasy Impact: Running backs see no decline in fantasy production when they return from a hamstring. Mitchell is not fantasy-relevant at this point.

Week 8 Injury Report: Wide Receivers

DK Metcalf

Injury: Hip

Metcalf missed week 7 with a hip injury. The detail of his hip injury has not been shared, but any hip injury can impact a player’s ability to change direction. Metcalf is a down-the-field threat and a big body but has never been an elusive receiver. Hip injuries more commonly affect lateral agility, more so than straight line speed, favoring Metcalf’s playing style.

Expected Return: Week 8

Fantasy Impact: Receivers, on average, do not see any hit on production when returning from hip injuries. Couple this with Metcalf’s playing style as a big body and deep threat; this injury should not hinder his production as much as it would a slot receiver. If he plays, you start him.

Tyreek Hill

Injury: Hip

Unlike Metcalf above, Tyreek Hill’s unique speed and agility is what makes him great. The agility, in particular, is what has the potential to be affected by a hip injury. Hill played the entire game Sunday, so it is certainly possible that his absence from practice on Wednesday was more precautionary than a true injury, and monitoring his participation throughout the week will be critical.

Expected Return: TBD

Fantasy Impact: While receivers, on average, do not see a dip in fantasy production after hip injuries, Hill’s other worldly speed and agility could be affected, which could pose a threat to his league-leading 22.9 points per game. However, he is so goddamn good that you don’t even consider benching if he plays.

Jaylen Waddle

Injury: Back injury

Waddle missed some time during Sunday night’s loss to Philadelphia with a back injury but was able to finish the game and logged a limited practice Wednesday. Back injuries can be tricky, as they often will flare up the day after injury. Back injuries can impact the ability to twist the torso, which a receiver must frequently do to adjust and catch balls.

Most of the time, these injuries do better after getting warmed up. We will continue to monitor Waddle throughout the week, but at this time, he does not appear at risk for missing week 8.

Expected Return: Week 8

Fantasy Impact: Back injuries typically feel better when the player is warmed up. As long as Waddle is able to go, I do not anticipate this hindering his fantasy stat line.

Chris Godwin

Injury: Neck

Godwin is on the week 8 injury report as he is dealing with an unspecified neck injury ahead of the Thursday night matchup against the Bills. When unspecified, as Godwin’s is, it typically tells us that this is not a fracture or disc injury, as those are easily diagnosed and usually reported as such. Godwin is likely dealing with stiffness and soreness and possibly with associated range of motion limitations. These symptoms are typically not hard to get under control enough to play. Tampa plays Thursday, however, giving him less time to get ready, but we do have the luxury of pivoting him out of our lineups if he does not play.

Expected Return: Week 8-9

Fantasy Impact: If able to play, this should not influence Godwin’s stat line.

Josh Palmer

Injury: Knee

Palmer missed Wednesday’s practice with a vague knee injury. Palmer played on 98% of snaps in week 7, so this may be nothing more than soreness or a veteran rest day. True knee injuries can cause swelling, leading to pain and stiffness, which would impact the ability to change direction when running routes. Typically, though, if very minor, this does not impact production.

Expected Return: Week 8

Fantasy Impact: If Palmer is able to practice this week, I would not anticipate this injury limiting his production.

Christian Watson

Injury: Knee

Watson went down on Sunday with a scary-looking knee injury but appears to have avoided anything major. He practiced in full on Wednesday and is not at risk of missing week 8. With him practicing in full, this clearly is not a major injury that would hinder production.

Expected Return: Week 8

Fantasy Impact: Watson avoided anything major. Practicing in full tells us this is not holding him back in any way.

Zay Jones

Injury: Knee

Jones missed practice again Wednesday as he continues to rehab his knee injury. While Jacksonville has not provided specifics of his injury, missing two games and not practicing to start this week tells us this isn’t nothing.

Knee injuries can impact a receiver’s ability to change directions while running routes and run after catch. Jones’s situation is different than Watson’s above, as Jones’s missed time tells us his injury is more severe than Watson’s. We will continue to monitor practice reports throughout the week, but at this time, caution should be practiced when considering starting Jones.

Expected Return: Week 8-9

Fantasy Impact: Having missed two weeks and missing practice to start this week, Jones clearly would not be at 100% if he suits up Sunday. Fantasy players should practice caution when considering starting Jones this week.

Juju Smith-Schuster

Injury: Concussion

Juju is no longer on the injury report as he has cleared the NFL’s concussion protocol.

Expected Return: Week 8

Fantasy Impact: We do not anticipate any decline in fantasy production after a concussion.

Week 8 Injury Report: Tight Ends

TJ Hockenson

Injury: Foot injury

Hockenson is on the week 8 injury report as he injured his foot in Monday night’s game but was able to return and finish the game. The TE4 on the year did not practice Wednesday.

Foot injuries are tough, and we hope to gain more detail as the week progresses. The foot must take on tremendous forces when planting to change direction. Pain or instability (if the injury is serious enough) makes it very hard to change direction and push off when sprinting. Protective taping or shoe inserts can help provide support and can be effective when the injury is minor enough.

While we don’t have full details on Hockenson’s injury, of course, the main concern would be if it is a Lisfranc injury. We don’t always know if a foot injury is severe enough to warrant surgery right away. Rashod Bateman last season tried to rehab and return after a mid-foot injury, only to worsen the injury, requiring surgery. Let’s hope that’s not the case with Hockenson.

Expected Return: Week 8-9

Fantasy Impact: A foot injury will likely slow down a tight end’s ability to get down the field. Hockenson is one of the more athletic tight ends, so this could curb his yardage total. Hockenson is also 6’5 248lbs and will still be able to utilize his size in the middle of the field and the red zone. While his yardage total may take a hit, he should still be productive enough to start.

Luke Musgrave

Injury: Ankle injury

Musgrave is on the week 8 injury report and did not practice Wednesday due to an ankle injury. Musgrave was seen using a walking boot after the game, which sometimes indicates more serious ankle injuries.

The Packers have not told us if this is a lateral ankle sprain or a high ankle sprain. Either type has the potential to impact his ability to change directions, with high ankle sprains being much more impactful. Tight ends average missing 4.7 games due to high ankle sprains and only 1.5 games from lateral ankle sprains.

Expected Return: TBD

Fantasy Impact: Musgrave is the TE24 on the year. Regardless of whether this is a high or lateral ankle sprain, it is enough to keep him out of your lineups.

Dawson Knox

Injury: Wrist injury

Knox will be undergoing wrist surgery this week which will keep him out for an undetermined amount of time. The type of surgery and tissues repaired will dictate his timeline, and this information has not yet been provided.

Expected Return: TBD

Fantasy Impact: As an upper body injury, whenever Knox returns, this injury does not profile to impact his fantasy production.

Gerald Everett

Injury: Quad injury

Everett suffered a quad injury on Sunday and missed Wednesday’s practice. Quads are very strong, powerful muscles that are highly involved in sprinting, cutting, blocking, and jumping. Tight ends average missing one game, and the recurrence rate hovers around 10% in the medical literature.

Expected Return: Week 8-9

Fantasy Impact: With the quads being such an impactful muscle on athletic function, we see tight ends average a decline of 20% in fantasy points when they return from injury. As the TE17 on the year, you don’t even consider starting Everett when he returns.

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