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Next Man Up: Week 15 Injury Review

With Covid running rampant through the league injuries are even more serious this time of year. @ReflipeWThenuz breaks them all down and the next men up.

Every week players across the NFL suffer injuries. This weekly article will explore the injuries that affect your dynasty squads. We will briefly discuss both the injured players themselves and the players who stand to benefit or suffer as a result. In order to make them easier to follow, we will break down the injuries by division. Without further ado, let us examine the Regular Season Week 15 injuries and the next men up.

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Image ℅ patriotswire.usatoday.com

AFC East:

New England WRs Nelson Agholar and N’Keal Harry were forced from their team’s Week 15 loss with a concussion. Agholor looked noticeably dazed after making an excellent catch holding the ball through contact. Unfortunately, that contact was the root cause of the injury. As for Harry, this is just the latest in a scary string of concussions. Earlier in the season, the former 1st round pick revealed he almost quit football over concussions in the past. I expect Harry to miss some time with this one while Agholor attempts to gain clearance ahead of Week 15. With fellow WR Kendrick Bourne out with Covid, the Patriots are desperately thin at the position. Jakobi Meyers and Gunner Olszewski are currently the only active, healthy WRs on the roster. Look for New England to call up some practice squad players this week. Meyers will operate as a true target hog, with Mac Jones also likely heavily relying on his TEs and RBs.

Image ℅ titanswire.usatoday.com

AFC South:

Tennessee WR Julio Jones was forced from his team’s Week 15 contest with a hamstring injury. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Julio had only just returned from a stint on IR last week after dealing with the very same injury. The future Hall of Famer is simply being betrayed by his body. This comes at the worst possible time for the Titans, who are dealing with a multitude of injuries to key offensive pieces. With fellow WR A.J. Brown already out with his own injury, the Titans will be forced to turn to Nick Westbrook-Ikhine and Chester Rogers as their fop WRs. This is an ugly situation for Ryan Tannehill and the Titans staff.

Tennessee RB D’Onta Foreman suffered a foot injury during the Week 15 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The injury was thankfully minor, and Foreman managed to play through the ailment. The former University of Texas star has been making the most of his latest chance racking up over 100 yards in two of his last three games. The Titans listed Foreman as a full participant in the first practices of the week. Keep an eye out for news about D’Onta as the week progresses. He seems to be in the clean at the moment. However, if he has a setback for some reason, the Titans would be forced to turn to a combination of Dontrell Hilliard and Jeremy McNichols.

Image ℅ steelerswire.usatoday.com

AFC North:

Pittsburgh TE Pat Freiermuth exited his team’s Week 15 victory with a concussion. The former Penn State star has enjoyed a highly successful rookie campaign in Pittsburgh. While this is his second concussion of the year, early reports are that he is doing just fine early in the week. His brother even tweeted that Pat was driving them home from the game afterward. However, when it comes to the concussion protocol, it is anybody’s guess how players and the league will react. With fellow TE Eric Ebron already on IR, the Steelers would be forced to turn to Zach Gentry as their starter until the talented rookie can make it back on the field.

Cincinnati RB Joe Mixon suffered an ankle sprain in his team’s Week 15 victory. This season, the Bengals workhorse has been one of the top RBs in dynasty football. Joe managed to finish the game this past week, but this is a situation that will unquestionably merit some attention as the week progresses. If Mixon cannot suit up in Week 16, the Bengals would turn to former Oklahoma standout Samaje Perine. In a league ravaged by RB injuries, Perine would vault up to a near ‘Must Play’ if Mixon sits. Keep an eye on news out of Cincinnati as the week progresses.

Image ℅ broncoswire.usatoday.com

AFC West:

Denver QB Teddy Bridgewater was carted off the field in Week 15 after sustaining a brutal concussion. The Broncos do not plan on putting Teddy on IR with just a couple of weeks left in the season. This seems to indicate the injury is not as bad as it initially looked. All this aside, it seems near-certain the Broncos will start former 2nd round pick Drew Lock for their Week 16 showdown with the division-rival Raiders. Lock is best left on your bench except in the deepest of Superflex leagues. Lock will be a downgrade for most of the Denver offensive weapons until the return of Teddy Two Gloves.

Los Angeles TE Donald Parham suffered a scary-looking concussion in the Week 15 loss to the Chiefs. Parham struck the back of his head on the turf while attempting to make a TD catch early in the game. The former AAF star has played an interesting role in the L.A. passing attack. If he misses games moving forward, the Chargers may turn to Stephen Anderson or rookie Tre’ McKitty to play alongside veteran started Jared Cook. The latter would be the only player worth playing, as he may see a slight bump in targets until the promising youngster returns to the lineup.

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Image ℅ giantswire.usatoday.com

NFC East:

New York WR Sterling Shepard suffered an Achilles injury in his team’s loss to the Cowboys and has been placed on season-ending IR. The former Oklahoma standout has dealt with a veritable slew of injuries throughout his time in New York. The injury could potentially spell the end of his time in Big Blue. The Giants have Kadarius Toney on the roster and have an out in Shepard’s contract after this season. With Toney himself coming back from injury, the Giants will pair their 1st round pick with Kenny Golladay and Darius Slayton as the top WR group.

Washington RB Antonio Gibson was in and out of his team’s lineup in Week 15 while dealing with a toe injury. The former Memphis standout has put up consecutive disappointing outings while struggling to the finish line in 2021. A TD saved his day in Week 15. The talented former Memphis standout draws another division opponent next week at Dallas. Keep an eye on Gibson throughout the week. If, for some reason, he misses any game action, Washington would be forced to turn to Jared Patterson with JD McKissick already on IR.

Image ℅ sports.yahoo.com

NFC South:

Tampa Bay WRs Chris Godwin and Mike Evans were both injured in their team’s deflating Week 15 loss to the Saints. Godwin, in particular, suffered a brutal injury and will miss the rest of the season. It was initially thought he merely sprained his MCL and had a chance to return for the playoffs. However, further testing revealed the devastating news he had torn his ACL and will miss the rest of the year. With fellow WR Mike Evans also getting banged up with a hamstring injury, the Bucs may be extremely short-handed down the stretch. Antonio Brown looks to be returning from a league-imposed suspension and could be forced into the no.1 spot depending upon the recovery of Evans. Tampa will also look to Tyler Johnson and Scottie Miller to help fill the void left by the injuries to their talented starting duo. Keep an eye on news out of Tampa as there are a lot of moving parts here and this lineup will certainly change moving forward.

Buccaneers RB Leonard Fournette was also forced from his team’s Week 15 loss. Playoff Lenny suffered a serious enough injury that his team has already placed him on IR, hoping he will return for the NFL playoffs. However, this does nothing for his dynast managers, who will be without their RB1 for the championship weeks. With fellow RB Gio Bernard also on IR, the Bucs will turn to former 3rd round pick Ke’Shawn Vaughn and the recently signed Le’Veon Bell. Vaughn could be an interesting play in the next couple of weeks if you have the stomach for the risk.

Atlanta WR Tajae Sharpe suffered a foot injury in his team’s Week 15 loss to the 49ers. Atlanta is already criminally thin at the WR position. Matt Ryan and company will be forced to look to Olamide Zaccheaus, Christian Blake, Frank Darby, and company to play alongside Russell Gage. In reality, the Falcons will likely funnel more looks to their dynamic TE’s Kyle Pitts and Hayden Hurst. They will also continue to run their offense through offensive weapon Cordarrelle Patterson. Outside of Gage, none of these WRs is a recommended play this late in the season.

Image ℅ bearswire.usatoday.com

NFC North:

Chicago WR Jakeem Grant was knocked from his team’s Week 15 loss to the Vikings with a concussion. The diminutive dynamo has been an interesting fill-in for absent RB Tarik Cohen as of late. If you were using Grant in return yardage leagues, it might be necessary to look elsewhere. With Allen Robinson missing a ton of time this season, the Bears have been looking high and low for a running mate for 2nd-year standout Darnell Mooney. Damiere Byrd is clearly not the right guy. The Bears will likely look to their deep TE room punctuated by Cole Kmet and Jimmy Graham along with their talented RB stable of David Montgomery, Khalil Herbert, and Damien Williams to bolster the passing game.

Image ℅ seahawkswire.usatoday.com

NFC West:

Seattle RB Rashaad Penny was briefly knocked from his team’s Week 15 contest with a back injury. The former 1st round pick could return in short order and appears to have avoided any further missed time. However, a player with Penny’s injury history is always worth monitoring when they suffer even the slightest bump or bruise. Keep an eye on news out of Seattle as the week continues. The Seahawks are determined to let Penny carry the load down the stretch to see if he is worth resigning after sinking such an early pick in him, to begin with.

Thank you for reading this article! Please be sure to join the #Nerdherd, so you don’t miss out on any of the amazing things we have to offer @Dynastynerds.com. Use my promo code DynastyHolliday for a 15% off discount. You will get rankings, extra podcasts, and access to our rookie film room. For just a couple of bucks more, you can get access to our revolutionary DynastyGM tool. So much for so little, why miss out on all the fun. Also, you absolutely must check out our new mock draft tool. Find it in your Apple & Android app stores. Follow me @ReflipeWThenuz for more dynasty content and other musings.

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