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Inside the Tent - Week 13 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 13 against the Browns. He should be back in Week 14. Look for the Steelers to continue to ride Benny Snell Jr. and Jaylen Samuels.

Marlon Mack, RB - Indianapolis Colts

  • Mack will once again be out in Week 13 against the Titans as he recovers from a fractured metacarpal in his hand. He will likely be back in Week 15 or Week 16. With Mack out, Jonathan 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.

Adam Thielen, WR - Minnesota Vikings

  • Thielen has been out with a hamstring strain since Week 9 when he re-aggravated his original hamstring strain from Week 7. The Vikings are coming off their bye and face the Seahawks who own the other NFC Wild Card spot. I believe this is the week we finally see Thielen back out there but of course there is always risk of re-injury with soft tissue injuries. The Vikings were extra cautious to allow for proper healing this time around though.

JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR - Pittsburgh Steelers

  • JuJu Smith-Schuster has been ruled OUT for Week 13 with a knee injury. The exact structure involved is unknown but he's been seen with a brace indicating that a ligament is likely involved. The original injury occurred on the same play in which he sustained his concussion against the Browns.

Austin Hooper, TE - Atlanta Falcons

  • Hooper was out for Week 13 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.


Week 13 Injury Updates

Julio Jones, WR - Atlanta Falcons

  • Injury: Julio Jones sustained a sprained AC joint in Week 12 when he landed on his shoulder. This is the classic mechanism of injury for an AC joint sprain. The AC joint is short for  acromioclavicular joint and this is where the clavicle meets the shoulder blade. As usual, there are three grades of sprains: Grade I, Grade II, and Grade III. Jones likely sustained a Grade I sprain.
  • News: Jones obviously did not play on Thanksgiving against the Saints. He was able to participate in warm ups though so it seems like he was at least close to playing.
  • Outlook: He should be able to suit up in Week 14, just in time for the fantasy playoffs. With him back, targets should decrease for Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage.

Zach Ertz, TE - Philadelphia Eagles

  • Injury: Ertz sustained a hamstring strain in Week 12. The hamstring group is on the back of the thigh and allows the knee to flex and the hip to extend. Just like sprains, muscle strains have three grades as well: Grade I, Grade II, and Grade III. Ertz likely sustained a Grade I strain which is the least serious.
  • News: Ertz is officially questionable for Week 13 against the Dolphins. The Eagles did promote a TE from the practice squad which may mean Ertz won't be able to go. There is optimism around the Eagles that he will play but they likely won't need him against the Dolphins and they have Dallas Goedert.
  • Outlook: If he sits, Goedert is obviously a must start and Alshon Jeffrey will see more targets. Also, with Jordan Howard out, look for Miles Sanders to get more run.

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