After a couple quiet weeks on the season-ending injury front, Week 5 took a massive toll on big name players around the league. From J.J. Watt to Odell Beckham, Jr., we have the breakdown of all the important injuries to watch this week.
Chicago Bears @ Baltimore Ravens
The Bears head to Baltimore in pretty good shape, with only Kyle Long, Nick Kwiatoski, and Hroniss Grasu considered questionable. However, wide receiver Markus Wheaton apparently suffered a groin injury during that practice session, forcing him out for Sunday. Long’s ankle injury also bears (no pun intended) monitoring, as his absence would certainly be felt against the Ravens’ brutal front seven.
Baltimore, on the other hand, continues to suffer serious injuries seemingly every week. In their match-up against Oakland in Week 5, they lost running back Terrance West and guard Matt Skura, neither of whom is playing versus Chicago. Defensive tackle Carl Davis returned to limited practice with a thigh injury, as did Brandon Williams who has yet to return from a foot injury that was initially deemed “short-term”. However, both players appear doubtful. The Ravens have been resting corner Jimmy Smith, who is dealing with a sore Achilles, and outside linebacker Tim Williams missed Thursday with a thigh issue. As if that was not enough, wide receiver Jeremy Maclin has been limited by a shoulder injury.
Fantasy Impact: Rookie QB Mitch Trubisky is making his road debut against a vaunted Ravens defense, but they will likely be without some key pieces in the middle. If that is the case, look for a big game from running backs Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen, as they try to take some weight off Trubisky’s shoulders. On Baltimore’s side, with West out, Javorius, aka Buck, Allen and Alex Collins are both intriguing flex options as they should get a wealth of touches.
Cleveland Browns @ Houston Texans
Myles Garrett made his NFL debut in Week 5, recording two sacks, but most importantly, he stayed healthy. Linebacker Jamie Collins is set to make his return from a concussion this week, instantly giving the Browns a boost. Their biggest concern is on the offensive side of the ball, where linemen J.C. Tretter and Shon Coleman are dealing with some ailments, though neither is expected to miss the game.
Poor J.J. Watt. This dude is one of the nicest, most generous guys in the league, and now his season is over due to a tibial plateau fracture in his leg. Watt is obviously crushed by this most recent setback, but it also leaves the Texans thinner defensively. They are already without Whitney Mercilus due to a torn pec, and Jadeveon Clowney has been hampered with a knee injury. Corner Jonathan Joseph is still not practicing due to a groin injury, and he is doubtful for Sunday.
Fantasy Impact: Cleveland’s defense is a decent pick-up for folks whose original D is on a bye or otherwise struggling (see Houston). Do not expect rookie QB Deshaun Watson to put up big numbers, but a high volume of touches could give a boost to running back Lamar Miller.
Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings
Running back Ty Montgomery practiced fully all week, and he is set to return from a one-week absence due to broken ribs. While they are both limited participants, tackles David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga should be good to go. The problem for Green Bay could be the depth of their defense as backup linebacker Ahmad Brooks is doubtful, and Joe Thomas has been ruled out. Reserve corner Kevin King is also doubful, while starting safety Morgan Burnett will not suit up.
It seems the Vikings rushed Sam Bradford back into action too quickly, as he was a sitting duck against Chicago’s defense. He has already been ruled out, meaning Case Keenum will get another start this week. Wideout Stefon Diggs and center Nick Easton are also out, while safety Andrew Sendejo is questionable.
Fantasy Impact: Minnesota’s offense will struggle without Diggs, but that means tight end Kyle Rudolph is set to get more looks from Keenum. Jerick McKinnon is a top waiver option, as he got the majority of carries last week with Dalvin Cook done for the season. Although the Vikes boast a strong defense, Ty Montgomery should do some damage this week after a week of rest for his ribs.
Detroit Lions @ New Orleans Saints
The Lions are one of the more fortunate teams this year when it comes to injuries, but they got some bad news this week. Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata will miss at least the next eight weeks with an elbow injury, and he was officially placed on IR. The good news is that only Kenny Golladay and Paul Worrilow are doubtful to play, but Detroit has overcome worse. Matt Stafford was a bit limited this week, but his status is not in question.
New Orleans is nearly at full strength, too, so injuries are not a major factor for them.
Fantasy Impact: Without Ngata plugging up the middle, the Saints could lean on Alvin Kamara a bit more heavily this week. Since Adrian Peterson is gone, he was almost certainly get more touches.
Miami Dolphins @ Atlanta Falcons
It is looking more and more like the Dolphins will be without receiver DeVante Parker who has not practiced this week with an ankle injury. Corners Xavien Howard an Byron Maxwell are both questionable, while Jordan Phillips is set to make his return following a three-game absence due to an ankle ailment.
Coming off their bye week, Atlanta seems mostly healthy with the exception of kicker Matt Bryant. Bryant has been dealing with a back injury, and he is officially questionable.
Fantasy Impact: Parker was one of the few players Jay Cutler seemed to have any chemistry with, but he will be forced to make a connection with Jarvis Landry if Parker cannot play. Look for Landry to have a big day in PPR leagues. Keep an eye on Bryant who is one of the best kickers in fantasy if he is healthy.
New England Patriots @ New York Jets
Headlining New England’s injury report is tight end Rob Gronkowski who was a surprising scratch last week. It appears he is more certain this week, declaring himself ready to go. On the other hand, safety Eric Rowe seems doubtful with a groin injury.
The Jets cannot afford to go into this game unhealthy, but running back Bilal Powell and defensive end Muhammed Wilkerson are both questionable. Fortunately, running back Matt Forte will play after recovering from knee and turf toe injuries, as will defensive end Kony Ealy who is battling a shoulder issue.
Fantasy Impact: If Gronk is healthy, you play him. That is just plain and simple.
San Francisco 49ers @ Washington Redskins
It looks like San Fran may be without their super expensive fullback Kyle Juszczyck this week due to a back injury. On the bright side, they could see the return of Eric Reid and Reuben Foster, and they need all the help they can get.
The Redskins will likely be without running back Rob Kelley again, and they have dealt with his absence using a mix of Samaje Perine and Chris Thompson. Safety Deshazor Everett is doubtful, too, while left tackle Trent Williams is questionable.
Fantasy Impact: Carlos Hyde was the only viable fantasy option in San Francisco, but his value is downgraded if Juszczyck cannot play. For Washington, the running back by committee mode makes all of their backs less playable regardless of format.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Arizona Cardinals
Tampa Bay has already ruled out linebacker Kwon Alexander as well as starting safeties T.J. Ward and Keith Tandy. On the bright side, linebacker Lavonte David and defensive end Robert Ayers are both questionable along with guard Ali Marpet who has been fighting an illness.
If that looked bad though, wait till you see Arizona’s injury list…A whopping 13 players appeared on that list this week, including corner Patrick Peterson, right tackle Jared Veldheer, and defensive lineman Corey Peters. The Cards receivers have also been banged up, with Josh Brown and J.J. Nelson both missing time. However, at this point, the only player ruled out for Sunday is reserve defensive tackle Olsen Pierre.
Fantasy Impact: If the Cardinals can get healthy at receiver, they should find some room to work this week against a short-handed Tampa secondary. The holes in the Bucs defense make Palmer a decent spot start if your QB is on a bye.
LA Rams @ Jacksonville Jaguars
LA is counting on safety Lamarcus Joyner to make his return this week after being a limited participant, but he is officially questionable along with linebacker Mark Barron. Falling more on the doubtful side of things is corner Troy Hill who did not practice at all this week.
Meanwhile, the Jags have ruled out center Brandon Linder due to an illness, but they are looking healthy otherwise.
Fantasy Impact: Both of these teams are exceeding expectations, and both have a few fantasy studs. Running backs Todd Gurley and Leonard Fournette are must-starts despite the match-up, but injuries should not be a major factor in this game.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Kansas City Chiefs
Pittsburgh lost in shocking fashion to the Jags last week, and it will not get any easier on the road against the last undefeated team in the league. However, health appears to be on their side with Marcus Gilbert returning at right tackle after a three week absence. Guard Ramon Foster should also be okay though he missed all week with a back injury.
Despite starting 5-0, the Chiefs now have a major injury concern due to wide receiver Chris Conley’s torn Achilles. However, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, and Justin Houston were all participants on Friday, meaning they are likely being considered questionable for Sunday. Consider safety Steven Terrell doubtful with a concussion.
Fantasy Impact: It would be a huge blow to the Chiefs if either Kelce or Hill cannot play, especially since Conley is done for the year. Keep an eye on these two fantasy studs as you go to set your lineup. Although health is not an issue, be wary of starting Ben Roethlisberger after a career-high five picks last week.
LA Chargers @ Oakland Raiders
It looks like wide receiver Mike Williams may finally be ready to make his debut for the Chargers, and they desperately need him to come along quickly. The rest of the report is pretty quiet as Joe Barksdale, Jatavis Brown, and Branden Oliver are all questionable.
Derek Carr is not human. Despite fractures in his back that were expected to sideline him for two to six weeks, Carr is no longer on the Raiders injury report. Wideout Amari Cooper was a full participant on Friday, as was guard Gabe Jackson. Although he was limited all week, corner David Amerson is considered questionable. The same cannot be said for corner Gareon Conley who was ruled out again due to a shin injury.
Fantasy Impact: With Carr back in the fold, the Raiders can achieve a more balanced attack, instantly boosting the value of Cooper, Michael Crabtree, and Marshawn Lynch. If you are in a dynasty league, it is worth taking a flyer on Williams, but temper your expectations.
New York Giants @ Denver Broncos
In their Week 5 loss to the LA Chargers, the Giants suffered injuries to nearly all of their wide receivers. First, Sterling Shepard sprained his ankle, then Brandon Marshall joined in a few plays later with an ankle injury of his own. Shortly thereafter, Dwayne Harris went down with a foot injury. The nail in the coffin came in the fourth quarter, though, when Odell Beckham, Jr. suffered a devastating ankle injury. As it stands, Marshall and Beckham both need ankle surgery, Harris needs foot surgery, and all three are done for the year. Shepard is out this week along with linebacker Jonathan Casillas, defensive end Olivier Vernon, running back Paul Perkins, center Weston Richburg, and defensive end Romeo Okwara. Safety Landon Collins is questionable with an ankle injury, too, making you wonder if the Giants need new cleats or something.
To add insult to injury, the Broncos are coming off a bye week, and they are healthy. Only Paxton Lynch and Cody Lattimer have been ruled out at this point.
Fantasy Impact: Another top-five pick bites the dust in a downright brutal year. With Beckham out, owners will need to hit the waiver wire in hopes of finding anyone who can come close to his productivity. Word of advice – do not start anyone other than Wayne Gallman for the Giants.
Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans
Spoiler alert: Andrew Luck is out again. But in all seriousness, he is throwing more, which is a good sign. Indi will also welcome back Jack Doyle this week, as well as corners Quincy Wilson and Nate Hairston.
Corey Davis is out again for Tennessee, along with safety Johnathan Cyprien. However, Marcus Mariota has made strides towards playing. So did tackle Tayor Lewan, who is considered day to day.
Fantasy Impact: Keep an eye on Mariota this week, as his status is still a bit uncertain. Other than that, health should not factor into this game on a grand scale.