- Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles – Wentz’s 2018 season will again come to an early end, as the team is shutting him down. The news surrounding Wentz may seem like it is coming out of nowhere, but he’s been battling back soreness off and on since Week 7. This week, news broke that he’s dealing with back spasms, which isn’t an injury – it’s a symptom which signals a more serious injury. The muscles that attach onto the spine will spasm in an effort to protect the spine when there is an underlying issue at hand. That issue for Wentz is a stress fracture in his back, which is an injury that takes a long time to develop. This type of fracture to the vertebrae won’t require surgery, as rest and rehab are the necessary approaches. Wentz faces about a 10-12 recovery timeline, so he is expected to be ready for off-season OTAs. This injury should not scare dynasty owners, as there isn’t a long-term consequence of this…as long as it’s handled appropriately the first time around. Nick Foles will start the final 3 weeks of the season.
- Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers – Newton has been listed on the Panthers’ injury report with a right shoulder injury since Week 8 and hasn’t gotten in multiple full practices since Week 9. Since being listed on the injury report, Newton’s play has suffered significantly. From Weeks 1-11, Cam is the QB5 on the season. From Weeks 12-14, he’s the QB18. Moreover, from Weeks 1-9, he averaged 9.1 rushes per game, but from Weeks 10-14, he’s averaging just 4.6 rush attempts per game. Cam is playing through injury, and his numbers back this up. I went back and watched every throw from the past two games, and I’m concerned with what I see. When there’s pressure, and the pocket collapses, his arm angle changes, and he’s throwing the ball into the feet of his receivers. Remember, Cam had off-season rotator cuff repair surgery in March of 2017. He hasn’t ruled out off-season surgery. Look for Newton’s final injury designation after the Panthers’ Saturday practice.
- Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions – Stafford has been battling back soreness for the past month or so, and he finds himself on the injury report once again. He practiced in a limited fashion all week and is questionable for Sunday against the Bills. It’s been a disappointing season for Stafford and the Lions.
- Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens – Joe Flacco injured his hip in Week 9 and hasn’t seen the field since. However, he’s going to be active for Week 15 given that he was a full participant in practice all week. He’ll back up Lamar Jackson, who has already been named the starter versus the Bucs.
- David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals – Johnson popped up on the injury report this week with a quad injury, forcing him to miss practice on Wednesday, something that Johnson hardly ever does. However, he returned to practice later in the week and was removed from the team’s final injury report. He’ll be fine for Sunday’s game versus the Falcons.
- LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills – Shady McCoy exited Week 14 early with a hamstring strain and didn’t return. He was quickly ruled out by the medical staff after exiting, making this injury seem like it’s a bit more serious than not. Typically, if these soft tissue injuries are less serious, the team will wait to rule a player out and give him a chance to return. However, McCoy got in a limited practice on Thursday and Friday, giving him a chance to play on Sunday. He’s listed as questionable. If he can’t go, Chris Ivory should handle the vast majority of touches.
- James Conner, Pittsburgh Steelers – Conner was ruled out for Week 14 with a high ankle sprain. His status for Sunday against the Patriots is up in the air, but if I owned Conner, I’d plan to be without his services for the fantasy semi-finals. He didn’t practice on Wednesday or Thursday but did return to practice on Friday. The Steelers would be smart to hold Conner out for another week, as his risk of re-injury is greater if he returns this week.
- Kerryon Johnson, Detroit Lions – Johnson is out once again for Week 15, as he will miss his third straight game. He injured his knee, suffering what appeared to be a PCL sprain during the team’s Week 11 game against Carolina and hasn’t played since. He hasn’t practiced since the injury occurred, and there’s no update from the team regarding Johnson. At this point, the Lions should probably just shut him down and get him ready to go for their off-season program.
- Isaiah Crowell, New York Jets – Crowell has been battling a foot and toe sprain for the last couple of weeks. He was questionable heading into Week 14 with the same injury but exited early after aggravating the injury. He was seen in a walking boot this week and has subsequently been placed on injured reserve, ending his season. Elijah McGuire has a legitimate shot to show this Jets front office what they have in the former Ragin’ Cajun. McGuire will get the start on Saturday against the Texans.
- Rashaad Penny, Seattle Seahawks – Penny injured his knee on Monday night against the Vikings and got a precautionary MRI early in the week, which didn’t show any structural damage. The rookie has been ruled out for Week 15, but he could return in Week 16. Chris Carson should handle a huge workload on Sunday against the Niners.
- Matt Breida, San Francisco 49ers – Breida aggravated his ankle during pregame warmups in Week 13 and didn’t play in Week 14. It appears as though the week of rest did a lot for Breida, who is listed as questionable against the Seahawks. He practiced in a limited fashion on Thursday and Friday, and barring a setback, he is expected to be active. Breida is a guy who has been pushing to play all season, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he is active. This injury certainly carries a decent risk of aggravation (as we saw two weeks ago), making him difficult to trust.
- Odell Beckham, New York Giants – Beckham is out for Week 15 after missing Week 14 as well. The Giants’ franchise player is dealing with a quad contusion, which he originally suffered on the last play of the game in Week 12 against the Eagles. When a muscle has a contusion, a hematoma develops in the muscle, which can lead to pain, stiffness, and weakness. His injury may have been aggravated in Week 13 or during practice, as details right now are scarce. There’s got to be some concern though over his injury, after he saw a doctor at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City earlier this week. OBJ may not play again in Week 16.
- Allen Robinson, Chicago Bears – Robinson is listed on the injury report this week with a hip injury. He’s questionable heading into Sunday but was upgraded to a full practice on Friday, so I do expect him to be available versus the Packers.
- Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos – The rookie out of SMU found himself on the injury report with a quad injury this week, forcing him to miss practice on Wednesday. However, the got in a limited practice on Thursday and a full practice on Friday. Sutton will be fine for the team’s Saturday night game against the Browns, and I expect him to play his full allotment of snaps.
- Bruce Ellington, Detroit Lions – Ellington has been ruled out for Week 15 with a strained hamstring. He didn’t practice at all this week.
- Keke Coutee, Houston Texans – Coutee has been dealing with a hamstring injury for the majority of the year and his hamstring troubles continue here in Week 15. He has been ruled out for their Saturday matinee versus the Jets in New York. Coutee has been practicing in a limited fashion, so he’s got a legit chance to get back on the field for Week 16. Demaryius Thomas is in a good spot this week and has a chance to provide some nice fantasy numbers against a Jets team giving up the 7th most fantasy points to wide receivers.
- T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts – Hilton injured his right shoulder in Week 13 versus the Jaguars in what appeared to be an AC joint injury and was listed as questionable heading into Week 14. He played and in doing so, injured his ankle. He is once again questionable for Week 15, but this situation looks a bit more ominous for Hilton. Luck’s number one receiver didn’t practice at all this week and is heading for a game-time decision versus the Cowboys. Hilton is expected to test the ankle in pregame warmups, so owners relying on Hilton for the fantasy semi-finals will need to check his status at 11:30 EST on Sunday morning.
- Dante Pettis, San Francisco 49ers – The rookie out of Washington has been impressive over the second half of the season. However, he’s listed on the team’s injury report with a foot injury, which caused him to be limited in practice on Thursday and Friday. Late week additions to the injury report are typically concerning, but there is nothing here to suggest Pettis will sit in Week 15. I expect him to play without limitation.
- Marquise Goodwin, San Francisco 49ers – Like his teammate, Goodwin was also added to the injury report on Thursday with a calf injury. Unlike Pettis, I am a bit more concerned about Goodwin’s ability to perform on Sunday against the Seahawks because of this soft tissue injury. He could easily stress the calf while sprinting and pushing off, a movement crucial for a guy with Goodwin’s skillset. He’s questionable, and owners relying on Goodwin need to double check his status before kickoff.
- Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings – Diggs almost missed last week against the Patriots with his knee injury but did play through some soreness and swelling. He woke up with swelling in the knee on Sunday morning but the medical staff did a great job of getting him ready to go for their Week 13 matchup. Diggs is likely still battling some soreness and occasional soreness so it’s no surprise to see him on the injury report again for Week 14. Owners who are hoping to start Diggs will want to double check the injury report Saturday afternoon, as the Vikings play the Seahawks on Monday night. He’s been limited so far, and I’d expect a third straight limited practice on Saturday as the team limits his practice reps.
- Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks – Baldwin has been playing through injury all season, and that doesn’t change as we look forward to Week 15. He was ruled out last week with a hip injury and is once again dealing with that same hip and groin injury that’s plagued him for the past few weeks. He got in limited practices on Thursday and Friday, so he is expected to play, albeit at less than 100%. Look for a final report regarding Baldwin’s status on Sunday morning.
- DeSean Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jackson has been dealing with a thumb injury for the past few weeks and won’t play again in Week 15. Reports this week indicated that Jackson is still having a lot of pain with attempting to grip a football. Don’t expect to see DJax for the rest of the season.
- Josh Doctson, Washington Redskins – Doctson remains in the concussion protocol and is listed as questionable for Week 15. He didn’t practice at all on Wednesday or Thursday. I expect him to be ruled out prior to Sunday.
- Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins – It’s been incredible that Reed hasn’t been in this weekly article more frequently throughout the year given his track record. However, his 2018 season is likely over after he suffered a foot sprain that is expected to cost him multiple weeks. The team has yet to place him on injured reserve, but this is certainly going to cost him multiple games. Reed had off-season surgery on his toes, making the risk of injuring his foot and/or toes much higher. It took nearly three months, but it appears that has happened. Vernon Davis will start for the ‘Skins on Sunday.