The season hasn’t even started yet, but here we are with a Fantasy Football injury report.
We’ve heard of the guys recovering from off-season issues, but information has been out concerning them all summer.
What’s new are the guys pulling up lame during training camp, of which there are already plenty. Today we can focus on some of the bigger names landing on the injury report so far in camp.
With preseason games starting up in earnest this weekend, expect even more bumps and bruises to begin appearing on our injury updates going forward.
Since many of you have not yet drafted, quite a bit of this information could impact your decision-making going into draft day. We’ll try to give a little insight into how serious these injuries are and some things to consider with your upcoming draft. Let’s take a look at who’s already on the shelf and how this impacts Fantasy Football strategy as we move into Week 1 of the preseason.
Geno Smith, New York Jets
Really? Some sort of disagreement in the Jets locker room led to Smith getting sucker-punched by Ikemefuma Enemkpali, a linebacker that is not the sort of guy you want punching you. Enemkpali broke Geno’s jaw in two places and it will take six to 10 weeks to heal. Todd Bowles, the new Jets head coach called the altercation “very childish.” I would agree here. Either way the Jets don’t have to worry about starting their underperforming first rounder at least to start the season. Enter Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Harvard alum that just keeps getting chances in this league. This might actually be an improvement Fantasy-wise for the Jets receivers, so Enemkpali might have inadvertently helped Fantasy owners.
Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals “so-called” 20 touch back is already dinged up as we move toward the first preseason game. He returned to practice on August 10th after missing the better part of a week due to a hamstring problem. Don’t count on this being the last time he shows up on the injury report this season.
David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals
Johnson has been sidelined most of camp so far with a hamstring issue as well. If he hopes to steal some touches from Andre Ellington, he needs to get involved during the preseason. He will also inevitably get playing time once Ellington gets injured again.
Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons
A gimpy hamstring has sidelined Freeman as he battles for the lead back role in Atlanta. This doesn’t sound serious but losing reps during camp while fighting for a starting job is. Missing a couple weeks is looking realistic right now. Fortunately, Tevin Coleman is his main competition, see below.
Tevin Coleman, Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons rookie running back is also nursing a sore hamstring. Both Falcons are believed to have grade one level strains so a couple weeks is probably what we are looking at here as well. If either could have stayed healthy they would have had ample opportunity to seize the job. As it stands a timeshare could ensue during the beginning of the season until one steps ahead of the other. Let’s hope for Fantasy’s sake that one eventually does take the lion’s share of the workload.
Fred Jackson, Buffalo Bills
Adding to the theme with running backs is Jackson, also with a strained hammy. He should also be out a couple weeks.
Duke Johnson, Cleveland Browns
Add one more to the hamstring list as running backs get in shape. The Browns rookie has an opportunity to take the reigns in Cleveland as management has publicly shown displeasure with his competition in the backfield. Johnson needs to get healthy, get some reps, and show something on the field to move into the pole position in this race. While he will sit out the first preseason game, Johnson should be back shortly after.
— Evan Silva (@evansilva) August 9, 2015
Darren McFadden, Dallas Cowboys
This is Darren McFadden we are talking about. He’s making it easy for Joseph Randle to assume the lead back role as he nurses his hamstring. The Cowboys say he could get back to practice after the first preseason game. What’s the over/under on how long before he’s back on the injury report?
Arian Foster, Houston Texans
I hope you didn’t draft Foster in round one of your super early draft. Maybe the league will let you take a mulligan. In the biggest news so far out of camp, Foster tore his groin and required surgery to fix it. Initial reports indicated this was a three to six month injury. However, newer reports are suggesting he could miss significantly less time, more like six weeks. Keep an eye on this as Foster could actually come at a huge discount if his recovery time is much less than originally reported. Chris Polk and Alfred Blue look to benefit from Foster’s absence, however long it is. Our own Sarah Lewis wrote about Foster’s injury more in depth. Check it out here.
Michael Floyd, Arizona Cardinals
Floyd suffered a gruesome sounding injury at camp when three of his fingers were dislocated and actually broke through his skin of his hand. He needed surgery to fix the problem and while there are estimates of three-to-five weeks, there is no solid timeframe for his return. At this point label him as highly questionable for at least the first couple weeks of the season. John Brown will get a chance to take the second wideout spot for the Cardinals and should be bumped up draft boards accordingly.
Marqise Lee, Jacksonville Jaguars
Another hamstring injury has pushed Lee to the trainer’s table. He looks to be out for multiple weeks and is developing the dreaded “injury-prone” label already in his second year. This opens the door for Allen Hurns, who you may remember as the next coming of Jerry Rice and waiver wire darling through Week 1 of last season.
Brandon LaFell, New England Patriots
LaFell remains day-to-day as he recovers from a foot injury. He should be back for preseason games at some point and ready for the start of the real season.
Martavis Bryant, Pittsburgh Steelers
Bryant had a minor procedure done on his elbow a week ago and now has had his cast removed. He could be the Steelers jump ball, goal-line type receiver if he can solidify himself into the starting lineup. If he can do this, Bryant should be Fantasy relevant this year.
DeSean Jackson, Washington Redskins
After landing hard during practice, Jackson has been diagnosed with sprained AC joint and slightly separated shoulder. He should actually only miss a week or two as it heals and be ready to finish up the preseason.
Larry Donnell, NY Giants
Donnell is suffering from tendonitis in his Achilles and has not yet been cleared for full activity after tossing his walking boot. The Giants seem to think he’s good for Week 1 but you will want to see him get some reps first.
Shaun Suisham, Pittsburgh Steelers
One preseason game down and we’ve already got a player out for the season. Suisham tore his left ACL while attempting to make a tackle and will be out for the year. Notice to all NFL kickers: DO NOT attempt to tackle other players, particularly during the preseason. Just walk to the sideline and wait for the play to be over after kicking the ball. This does open a Fantasy points generating opportunity on a high-powered offense for whoever gets the job going forward.
Hopefully your draft strategy was not overly reliant on Shaun Suisham. Best of luck in your drafts and we will see you next time for the fantasy football injury report.
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