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NFL Week 3 Injury Report

Quarterbacks

  •  Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles – He’s back! Wentz will make his return in Week 3 against the Colts after rehabbing his left knee all offseason. He went down late last season with a torn ACL and LCL in his left knee, but he has been cleared for contact. Wentz will look to jump start a Philly offense that has looked anything but explosive through two weeks.
  • Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers – Rodgers impressed fantasy owners, myself included, last week after basically playing on one leg. He injured his left knee in Week 1 against Chicago and played with a brace on the knee in order to protect it. He’s clearly not 100%, and I don’t expect that to change for a very long time, especially if he continues to play through pain. Regardless, Rodgers will likely suit up again, but he’s questionable heading into Week 3. Look for a confirmation on Sunday morning, but I do expect Rodgers to gut it out once again.
  • Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans – Mariota took a direct hit to the inside of his throwing elbow in Week 1, forcing him to exit the game. After the game, Mariota explained that he was dealing with numbness in his hand and difficulty gripping the ball, and this weakness lingered into Week 2. He was active last Sunday, which may have been misleading for fantasy owners, but he was just ready for an emergency backup situation. After practicing more this week, I expect Mariota will be out there and start in Week 3, but owners will definitely need to monitor pregame reports to be sure.
  • Case Keenum, Denver Broncos – Keenum showed up on the injury report on Wednesday with knee soreness, but his absence from practice was strictly a veteran rest day. After returning to practice for the rest of the week, he will be fine for Week 3 and is expected to start.

 

Running Backs

  •  Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals – The Bengals will be without their starting RB after Mixon injured his knee during Week 2 against the Ravens. He recently underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove a piece of debris from the knee. This is likely a surgery to remove a broken piece of cartilage in the knee joint, which can lead to irritation, soreness, and swelling. The recovery after this type of surgery is pretty quick, so I expect Mixon to be back in action in about 2-3 weeks. In the meantime, Gio Bernard will get the start.
  • Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings – Cook left Week 2 early with “hamstring cramps” and didn’t return. He won’t play in Week 3 either after already being ruled out. Reports out of Minnesota seemed positive, but Cook missed practice all week, so this may be more serious than not. Hamstring strains always make me nervous for a player who relies on speed and explosiveness to be effective. Given that Cook didn’t practice at all this week, there’s no guarantee he’s back for Week 4. Latavius Murray is a very strong play against the Bills in Week 3.
  • Davonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons – Devonta Freeman will not play once again in Week 3 after missing Week 2 with a knee injury. He left Week 1 early against the Eagles after taking a hit to his knee and hasn’t done much since. He’s dealing with a significant bone bruise in the same knee that he injured at the end of 2017. Freeman sprained the MCL and PCL in his knee and did not undergo surgery. MCL injuries heal extremely well without surgery, and the PCL is typically treated non-surgically as well, but it is more likely to be a lingering issue due to the fact that there is a bit of laxity in the knee. Freeman may pop up on this weekly article frequently throughout the season.
  • LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills – The lone fantasy relevant player for the Bills left Week 2 with fractured rib cartilage. He may play in Week 3, but he has a miserable matchup against the Vikings. If he does play, this is going to be a pain tolerance issue, and I expect the medical staff in Buffalo to utilize injections for pain control and have McCoy wear a flak jacket for extra padding. Regardless, this is going to be an injury that Shady likely struggles with for several weeks, as this is probably the most painful injury for a running back to play through.
  • Marlon Mack, Indianapolis Colts – Mack has been ruled out for Week 3 after returning last week from a hamstring injury that kept him out almost all of the preseason. This time around, Mack is listed on the injury report with both a hamstring and foot injury. It’s quite possible Mack aggravated his hamstring injury, which as we know, can be a lingering injury for several weeks in a row. Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines will split work against a stout Eagles run defense.
  • Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville Jaguars – Fournette left Week 1 with a strained hamstring and didn’t return, nor did he play in Week 2. As we know, the greatest risk for reinjury after a hamstring strain is during the first two weeks back from injury, so it’d be smart for the Jags to sit Fournette for another week as to not let this injury linger throughout the year. Regardless, Fournette got in limited practices all week so he’s at least trending in the right direction for fantasy owners. Expect a final decision regarding his availability to come on Sunday morning. Worth noting, teammate, T.J. Yeldon, has been banged up with an ankle injury, so the team may be more likely to play Fournette.
  • Jay Ajayi, Philadelphia Eagles – Ajayi played just two snaps in the first half of the team’s Week 2 loss to the Bucs as he dealt with back soreness and spasms off and on. There have been virtually no updates regarding the specifics of Ajayi’s injury, but this is what happens when you own Ajayi – he finds himself on the injury report far too often. Regardless of what’s going on, the Eagles will be without Ajayi against the Colt as he’s already been ruled out. Corey Clement will get the start in relief and is a rock solid option this week.
  • Darren Sproles, Philadelphia Eagles – The veteran is out for Week 3 with the same hamstring injury that kept him off the field in Week 2. As stated above, with Ajayi also sitting in this game, Corey Clement, Wendell Smallwood, and rookie, Josh Adams, will round out the running back core.

 

Wide Receivers

 

  • Marquise Goodwin, San Francisco 49ers – Goodwin left Week 1 early with a quadriceps contusion, which forced him to sit in Week 2. His practice activity did increase as the week went by, so he’s got a chance to play on Sunday. He’s going to be a game time decision, but I’m hesitant to put Goodwin in my lineup given that he relies so much on his speed and explosiveness. His quad contusion could limit these attributes.
  • Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals – Larry Legend will play in Week 3 despite being listed on the injury report with a hamstring injury. He exited Week 2, but all reports indicated that removing him from the game was precautionary, as the game was already in hand for the Rams against a terrible Cardinals team. Fitzgerald is about as reliable as they come as he frequently plays through minor injuries such as this.

 

 

Tight Ends

 

  • Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts – Doyle has been ruled out for Week 3 against Philadelphia with a hip injury after not practicing at all throughout the week. Eric Ebron becomes a very interesting option after recording a receiving TD from Andrew Luck each of the past two weeks.
  • Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots – Gronk was added to the Patriots injury report on Thursday with an ankle injury. I always hate seeing a guy added to the injury report in the middle of the practice week, but reports from Foxborough are positive. Gronk will be out there in Week 3, and fantasy owners have nothing to worry about. NFL’s Ian Rappaport stated there’s “nothing to worry about.” I agree, Rapsheet. I agree.
  • Evan Engram, New York Giants – Engram rolled his ankle late in the team’s Week 2 loss to the Cowboys, but he will play in Week 3. The Giants limited his reps in practice this week, which is not surprising as they attempt to keep him healthy for game action. He may play with extra tape on the ankle, or possibly a brace for some support, but in general, concerns from me are minimal heading into Sunday.

 


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About Matthew Betz

I'm a sports and orthopedic physical therapist currently working in Burlington, VT. I've been a sports fan my entire life and when I became a PT, I decided to combine my two passions into one awesome hobby. My goal is to provide injury analysis and information so that you can win your next dynasty title. Follow me on twitter: @TheFantasyPT