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Inside the Tent - Week 12 NFL Injury Insight

At RotoBaller, we can't stress enough the importance of keeping up with injuries and playing your best lineup week after week. Players are going to get injured, that's an unavoidable fact. What's avoidable though is making the wrong roster decisions based on the injuries surrounding your fantasy squad. If you want to dominate your leagues and win some dough in daily contests, you have to be proactive with injury research.

That's where I come in to serve you, the readers! I'm Aaron Burger, a Doctor of Physical Therapy in Pittsburgh, PA. About two years ago, I decided to combine my love, fantasy football, with what I've been learning for years now, injuries and the human body. Each week, I'll be checking in on fantasy's biggest injuries to keep you informed.

Be sure you also have RotoBaller bookmarked and follow us on social media to catch all the latest NFL news and updates.

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Inside the Tent Updates

James Conner, RB - Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Conner is dealing with an AC, or acromioclavicular, joint sprain. This is the joint where the clavicle, or collarbone, meets the shoulder blade via a bony protrusion known as the acromion. There are 3 types of sprains: Grade I, Grade II, and Grade III. Considering he did not have surgery, which would be required for Grade III, he is likely dealing with a Grade II sprain. Conner re-aggravated his AC joint sprain in Week 11 against the Browns on Thursday night. As we often talk about, soft tissue injuries can easily be re-aggravated if they are not given the full time to heal. James Conner is once again OUT for Week 12 against the Cincinnati Bengals. He should be back in Week 13 or 14 at the latest. 

Adam Thielen, WR - Minnesota Vikings

  • Thielen has been out with a hamstring strain and this bye week should allow for the final healing to take place. Look for Thielen to be active in Week 13.

Tyler Lockett, WR - Seattle Seahawks

  • Lockett was dealing with compartment syndrome following a hit to the outside of his lower leg in Week 11 against the 49ers. Compartment syndrome can occur when there is bruising and swelling under the skin which compresses on blood vessels and nerves. When severe, this requires surgery to relieve pressure under the skin by draining fluid and blood. Thankfully, the Seahawks had a bye in Week 11 and this allowed for the swelling to subside. Lockett should be good to go for Week 12 after turning in limited practices all week which is always a good sign. There is certainly risk of re-injury, especially if he gets hit in the same area, which will likely have extra padding.

Austin Hooper, TE - Atlanta Falcons

  • Hooper is out for Week 12 with an MCL sprain in his left knee that he sustained in Week 10. He will likely be back for Week 14 or Week 15. The Falcons take on the Bucaneers this weekend so without Hooper look for Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley to have nice days receiving-wise.


Week 12 Injury Updates

Marlon Mack, RB - Indianapolis Colts

  • Injury: Mack sustained a fractured metacarpal in Week 11 against the Jaguars. Metacarpals are the longer bones in the hand. What's significant is that he had surgery to stabilize the fracture and also that it occurred on his right hand.
  • News: He obviously missed Week 12 against the Texans but should be back Week 15 or Week 16. The surgery he underwent was successful and there's a small risk of re-injury if he sustains a blow to that area.
  • Outlook: With Mack out, Johnathan Williams once again ran the table against the Texans and it's clear he's the more talented back compared to Jordan Wilkins. Look for the Colts to continue to ride Williams down the stretch considering his fresh legs and burst.

JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR - Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Injury: JuJu sustained a concussion in Week 11  but that isn't the injury that's keeping him out in Week 12 vs. the Bengals. After the game last Thursday, JuJu was spotted with a brace on his knee. Reports revealed that he sustained the injury on the same play as the concussion. In the video, it's tough to see which ligament or structure was stressed.
  • News: JuJu wasn't able to practice all week and has been ruled OUT for Sunday. If he has a ligament sprain (MCL, LCL, ACL, PCL), it could be a few weeks until he sees the field again.
  • Outlook: With JuJu sidelined, James Washington and Diontae Johnson will carry the load for a depleted wide receiver group. The Steelers offense, without James Conner as well, will likely struggle to move the ball even against a sub-par Cincinnati defense.

Tyreek Hill, WR - Kansas City Chiefs

  • Injury: Hill sustained a hamstring strain on Monday night. The hamstring muscle group is on the backside of the thigh and helps the hip to extend, knee to flex, and assists in acceleration/deceleration. When the hamstrings are strained, they are simply stretched past their anatomical limits. Hill's strain is likely a Grade I strain which is the least severe.
  • News: He underwent an MRI to determine the severity of the strain and it was deemed minor, supporting the Grade I tag.
  • Outlook: Hill tried to come back into the game on Monday so he is mentally ready to come back. Unfortunately, hamstring strains are very susceptible to re-injury so if he does not take the necessary time to rest and rehabilitate he could be out even longer than 2-4 weeks. The Chiefs have a bye in Week 12 so hopefully he will be able to return for Week 13.

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