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Inside the Tent - Week 14 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 guys, the readers! I'm Aaron Burger, a third-year Doctor of Physical Therapy student, graduating in May. About a year ago, I decided to combine my love, fantasy football, with what I've been learning for three 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 breaking NFL news and updates.

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Inside the Tent Updates

Mitch Trubisky, QB - Chicago Bears

Trubisky is set to start for the Bears on Sunday at home against the Rams. He was dealing with a right shoulder injury, but the exact structure involved had not been reported. His labrum, rotator cuff, or shoulder ligaments could have been involved. He practiced fully all week and will be under center in a great NFC matchup.

Melvin Gordon, RB - Los Angeles Chargers

Gordon has been announced OUT against the Bengals in Week 14. He is ailing from a sprained right MCL, or medial collateral ligament in his knee, and could be out two or three more weeks realistically. Look for Jusin Jackson to get more work this week as Austin Ekeler has been getting a larger workload than usual.

Chris Thompson, RB - Washington Redskins

Thompson rushed three times for three yards and caught three of his five targets for 18 yards in the Redskins' loss to the Eagles in Week 13. This season has been quite the disappointment for Thompson and also for those who drafted him. Look for Thompson to bounce back in 2019 depending on who is under center for the Redskins.

Kerryon Johnson, RB - Detroit Lions

Johnson was not able to practice at all this week due to a sprained ligament in his knee. He has not played since Week 11 but could be back next week for the second round of the fantasy playoffs. Sprains are obviously easy to reaggravate though so hopefully he can stay on the field.

Keke Coutee, WR - Houston Texans

Coutee is a game-time decision for the Texans against the Colts on Sunday. He reaggravated his hamstring strain against the Titans in Week 12. If you have other options, they will be much safer than Coutee this week.


Week 13 Injury Updates

James Conner, RB - Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Injury: Conner suffered a right high ankle sprain in the Steelers' Week 13 loss to the Chargers. He had his foot bent awkwardly as he was being tackled by a defender which puts the ligaments on a stretch. High ankle sprains commonly involve the anterior tibiofibular ligament which connects the shin bone (tibia) and the bone that runs along the outside of the leg (fibula) just above the ankle. These sprains typically require a few weeks for return to play.
  • News: He was not able to practice this week and was announced OUT on Tuesday by Head Coach Mike Tomlin. Following the game on Sunday night, Tomlin told reporters that the injury was only a contusion which proved to be false but he most likely just didn't know the severity of the injury at the time he was interviewed.
  • Outlook: With Conner out this week and possibly for the fantasy playoffs, look for a heavy dose of Jaylen Samuels with Steven Ridley getting work here and there. Samuels is the more dynamic back which plays into the Steelers scheme. He will likely be on the field more which means more targets and rushing attempts.

Matt Breida, RB - San Francisco 49ers

  • Injury: Breida aggravated his existing ankle sprain in warmups on Sunday and then injured it further during the game itself, eventually leaving the game altogether. The injury is likely a lateral ankle sprain affecting the outside of the ankle and the structure involved is likely the anterior talofibular ligament. This is the ligament most commonly affected in lateral ankle sprains.
  • News: It was announced on Monday that Breida would miss Week 14 against the Broncos.
  • Outlook: With Breida officially out, look for Jeff Wilson to handle the brunt of the work for the 49ers. He showed flashes last week with Breida sidelined and could make for an appealing fantasy playoff sleeper if Breida is out next week as well. Kyle Shanahan running backs have been good fantasy backs and Wilson could be next in line during the fantasy playoffs.

Odell Beckham Jr., WR - New York Giants

  • Injury: Beckham is dealing with a quad contusion, or bruise. When an athlete is dealing with a contusion, the pain and swelling can make it difficult to perform to the best of their abilities. Their explosion and ability to put all their weight on the affected extremity may be decreased.
  • News: It was reported Saturday that Beckham will not travel with the team to Washington and therefore will be out for Week 14. This is quite the surprise as he was not on the team's injury report on Friday although he was limited in practice.
  • Outlook: With Beckham out, the Giants will likely lean on rookie Saquon Barkley and Sterling Shepard against the Redskins. Evan Engram has been quite the disappointment this year but he was able to practice in full on Thursday and Friday after another hamstring strain. This could be a Saquon Barkley game. Beckham should be back next week.

A.J. Green, WR - Cincinnati Bengals

  • Injury: It seems Green may have unfortunately returned too quickly from his toe injury as he reaggravated the same foot in Week 13. He attempted to start his route once the play started and immediately fell to the ground in pain and pointed to his foot. Green likely tore the ligaments surrounding his big toe and will need surgery to stabilize the joint so he can make a full recovery for 2019.
  • News: Green was officially placed on the IR on Wednesday, December 5th.
  • Outlook: With Green out, the Bengals will return to featuring John Ross and Tyler Boyd. Outside of Joe Mixon, this offense does not instill fear into opponents and they face a tough Chargers defense this week. Green will be ready for OTAs in the spring.

Emmanuel Sanders, WR - Denver Broncos

  • Injury: Sanders tore his Achilles tendon on Wednesday at practice. The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscles including the gastrocnemius, soleus, and plantaris to the foot and allows athletes to push off from the ground during running and jumping activities.
  • News: He was officially placed on the IR on Wednesday as well.
  • Outlook: With Sanders out for the rest of the year, expect more targets to go Courtland Sutton and Daesean Hamilton's way. Hamilton is primarily a slot receiver so there is definitely some appeal there. Sutton is more of a vertical threat compared to Hamilton so he has the higher ceiling. This will be a lengthy recovery for Sanders and he could miss some time in 2019.

Greg Olsen, TE - Carolina Panthers

  • Injury: Olsen ruptured the plantar fascia in his right foot on Sunday. The plantar fascia is the thick band on the bottom of the foot that helps to support the foot. Microtrauma, or repetitive stress, can make this structure more likely to rupture which is likely what happened to Olsen given his recent history of right foot ailments dating back to 2017. He could have been compensating due to the injury he was playing through which in turn put more stress on the plantar fascia.
  • News: He was placed on the IR on Wednesday, December 5th.
  • Outlook: This injury carries a recovery time of 2-3 months but he was also playing through an aggravation of his Jones injury from a year ago and didn't rule out surgery for that following the season. Given the interaction of these two injuries, it could definitely affect his rehab and the timeline he'll have to follow to get back onto the field in 2019 if he is able. Ian Thomas will once again serve as the tight end for the Panthers and has some appeal in a lackluster set of tight ends in 2018.

Give me a follow on Twitter at @FFAchesAilments - Check back next week and all season for insight regarding fantasy's biggest injuries!


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