- Josh Allen – The Bills’ first-round rookie QB remains out with the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) sprain in his throwing elbow. This was always the expectation as he hasn’t thrown at all since the injury happened two weeks ago. Look for Allen’s status to be updated next week.
- Sony Michel, New England Patriots – Michel got his left knee bent awkwardly underneath a defender last week against the Bears. The injury looked nasty when it first happened, but fortunately, Michel’s MRI showed no structural damage. It’s worth noting here that Michel’s injury is to the same knee that he injured in college, with his imaging showing “bone on bone.” If you follow my work, you know that I hate that term because the imaging doesn’t always correlate to the athlete’s ability to play and be effective. I will say, however, recurring injuries to the same knee could potentially shorten the career of a running back. In the short term, Michel is likely to sit for Monday Night Football. However, he could be back as early as next week.
- LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills – Shady McCoy exited Week 7 with a concussion and remains in the league’s concussion protocol. He’s been practicing, so I do expect him to be available for Monday night against the Patriots. However, the return to the field after a concussion is never a linear process, as setbacks can easily happen. Look for a final word regarding McCoy on Sunday.
- Royce Freeman, Denver Broncos – The former Oregon Duck has been ruled out with a high ankle sprain. Freeman injured the ankle last Thursday night against the Cardinals. He didn’t practice at all this week and could be headed for a multi-week absence. Phillip Lindsay should be in line for more work with Devontae Booker filling in more on third downs.
- Dalvin Cook (Minnesota Vikings) and Leonard Fournette (Jacksonville Jaguars) – Two of the top running backs in dynasty, Dalvin Cook and Leonard Fournette, are both going to be out this week as they attempt to recover from their respective hamstring strains. Reports indicate that it’s likely the Vikings shut Cook down until Week 11 and the Jaguars keep Fournette out until Week 10.
- Marlon Mack, Indianapolis Colts – Mack exploded onto the fantasy scene last week, putting up 159 total yards and two TDs on the ground and through the air. Fantasy owners have a dream matchup with Mack going against the Raiders, but he’s listed as questionable this week with an ankle injury. He practiced on Wednesday and then was downgraded to ‘DNP’ on Thursday, which is never a good sign. However, he returned to a full practice on Friday, so despite the questionable tag, expect Mack to play on Sunday.
- Matt Breida, San Francisco 49ers – Breida continues to be featured on this article week after week. Some fantasy analysts, myself included, were hesitant of Breida heading into the season because his size and body type don’t necessarily fit the prototypical ‘workhorse’ role. It appears this concern may be valid, given that Breida has dealt with a myriad of injuries all season. He aggravated his high ankle sprain last week and admitted himself that he’s playing at less than 100%. Breida got in a limited practice on Friday, so he has a shot to play again. He’s always a guy who pushes to play when injured, so don’t expect a final decision until Sunday morning. If he sits, Raheem Mostert is virtually a must-start against a Cardinals defense who can’t stop anyone on the ground this season.
- Chris Thompson, Washington Redskins – Thompson has missed the last two weeks as he deals with a rib and knee injury. Throughout the entire injury process, Thompson has been practicing in a limited fashion, but he just hasn’t been well enough to go when it comes to game time. Thompson’s chances of suiting up for Week 8 are much better as the feeling around the league is that he will be active for the team’s game against the division rival New York Giants.
- Marshawn Lynch, Oakland Raiders – ‘Beast Mode’ may be done in the NFL for good after he recently was sent to the IR with a groin injury. Lynch underwent surgery in Philadelphia with Dr. Meyers, who is an expert surgeon for treating core muscle injuries. Despite the team calling the injury a groin injury, it’s unclear exactly what’s going on. A core muscle injury is sort of a ‘junk term’ and can range from a hernia to an abdominal muscle injury. It’s worth noting that when Lynch was finishing his time in Seattle, he underwent surgery for a similar injury, making it two surgeries in just a few years. This injury could be the thing that sends Lynch into retirement for good this time. Doug Martin and Jalen Richard will take over as the team’s running back tandem.
- Bilal Powell, New York Jets – Powell suffered a serious neck injury last week and is now on IR. Head coach, Todd Bowles told reporters that his injury is more serious than that of teammate, Quincy Enunwa, who also sustained a season-ending neck injury last year. Powell is currently dealing with a bulging or herniated disc, which requires surgery to avoid any long-term nerve damage. Hopefully, Powell will be able to return to the field next season, but this remains to be seen. Worth noting here, Elijah McGuire is set to return from his broken foot next week and could immediately see work alongside Isaiah Crowell.
- Theo Riddick, Detroit Lions – Riddick didn’t practice at all this week and has been ruled out for Week 8 with a knee injury. It’s his second straight missed game and the fact that he hasn’t practiced at all indicates this could be a situation where he’s out again next week. Details regarding Riddick’s knee injury are unknown but look for an update regarding his practice status next week. Kerryon Johnson will again be a focal point for the Lions this week in Riddick’s absence, opening the door for Johnson to get more third down work.
- Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams – Cooper Kupp is set to miss his second straight game while he rehabs a sprained MCL. There’s a chance that Kupp will be able to return to the lineup next week, as his grade 2 MCL sprain carries a 2-4 week timeline. For reference, Evan Engram missed three games while O.J. Howard missed just two games.
- Josh Gordon, New England Patriots – Gordon continues to be limited in practice throughout the week with his hamstring injury from a few weeks back, but there’s no reason to be concerned heading into Monday Night Football. He’s played each of the last three weeks and is now playing more than 90% of offensive snaps. He will play this week, as the Pats are simply limiting his reps in practice.
- Allen Robinson, Chicago Bears – Robinson has been dealing with a groin injury for the past two weeks, but he has yet to miss a game. He played last weekend through the injury and was clearly affected. ‘ARob’ caught just one ball for four yards last week. He missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday but got in a limited practice on Friday. He will test in pregame warm-ups and be a game-time decision. Even if he plays, I’m avoiding him if at all possible in my lineups.
- Robby Anderson, New York Jets – The Jets’ deep threat is doubtful for Week 8 with an ankle sprain. Given that this was described as a high ankle sprain, it’s very possible he misses multiple weeks. Plan to be without Anderson for at least this week and potentially beyond.
- Paul Richardson, Washington Redskins – Richardson sat last week with a knee injury, but he appears to be on track to play this week after getting in some limited practices this week. He’s been battling a knee and shoulder injury for much of the year but has been a serviceable WR3/4 when active. Look for a final word regarding Richardson on Sunday morning, but I do think he will be available.
- Geronimo Allison and Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers – The second and third wide receivers for Aaron Rodgers have both been dealing with hamstring injuries for the last few weeks, with Cobb missing more time than Allison. Allison was removed from the team’s injury report and will play, but Cobb is listed as questionable. Look for a final designation on Sunday regarding Cobb.
- Torrey Smith, Carolina Panthers – Smith injured his knee last week and has been ruled out for Week 8. You likely weren’t starting Smith in fantasy football, but I included him on this list because of the fact that D.J. Moore should see some more targets this week. Friendly reminder – he was the first wide receiver taken in the NFL Draft in April. He’s one of my favorite buy lows after a slow start to his rookie campaign.
- Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots – Shockingly, Gronk popped up on the injury report last Saturday with back spasms and did not travel with the team to Chicago for their game against the Bears. The thought process around the team is that his injury isn’t expected to be serious, but he’s certainly worth monitoring over the weekend for fantasy owners. Gronk has a history of multiple back surgeries in his career, so I’m definitely keeping my eyebrows raised until he’s back on the field. I predict that Gronk will play, but don’t be surprised to see him draw the questionable tag on Saturday. If he sits, I think Chris Hogan is a sneaky play this week.
- Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts – Doyle has been out since getting injured in Week 2 with a hip injury. He sustained a subluxation of his hip joint, which basically is a small dislocation where the bone ‘slips’ out of the joint and quickly comes back into place. It’s no surprise he’s been out this long given his injury, but he’s finally ready to get back out there after he was removed from the team’s final injury report heading into Week 8.
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