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Inside the Tent - Week 15 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.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of Premium DFS Research. Sign Up Now!


Inside the Tent Updates

Melvin Gordon, RB - Los Angeles Chargers

Gordon obviously wasn't able to play in Week 15 because of the MCL sprain in his right knee. If the game would have been on Sunday, I fully believe he would have been able to play. Video of him running and cutting before the game showed he had confidence in his knee so he should be good to go for Week 16.

James Conner, RB - Pittsburgh Steelers

This one is suddenly very interesting. Initially, I thought Conner would definitely be out for Week 15's huge matchup against the Patriots but he was able to turn in a limited practice on Friday. High ankle sprains can be difficult to come back from while only missing one game but given the situation the Steelers have put themselves in, Conner may try to give it a go. Ultimately though, I think Conner misses another week.

Kerryon Johnson, RB - Detroit Lions

Johnson has been ruled out for the Lions' Week 15 game against the Bills. He is still dealing with a sprained ligament in his knee, likely the MCL. Although he's out this week, he certainly has a possibility of playing next week, or the Lions may be cautious with their running back of the future and let him rest for the rest of the season.

Matt Breida, RB - San Francisco 49ers

Breida was able to practice in a limited fashion on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday which puts him in a good spot to suit up this weekend against the Seahawks but there is still a certain level of uncertainty surrounding this situation. He re-aggravated an existing ankle sprain in Week 13 and he's battled ankle injuries all season long. There are certainly safer plays considering how well the Seahawks have been playing defense.

Odell Beckham Jr., WR - New York Giants

Odell Beckham Jr. has been ruled OUT for Week 15 with a quadriceps contusion. He did not have a setback but it simply wasn't ready for game action. Beckham was not at practice Thursday as he got further evaluation at the Hospital for Special Surgery (yes, that's actually a real place). He may be out next week as well so plan accordingly for that fantasy championship.

Keke Coutee, WR - Houston Texans

Truthfully, if his name wasn't so dang fun to say, I don't think I'd still be updating you guys about him. KeKe did not travel with the team to New York for their game against the Jets and is OUT for Week 15. The Texans have really been committing to the run as of late but DeAndre Hopkins still has a 37% target share (that's a lot).


Week 14 Injury Updates

Ben Roethlisberger, QB - Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Injury: Roethlisberger was held out for the majority of the second half of Week 14's loss to the Raiders and is likely dealing with bruised ribs heading into Week 15. Bones have a blood supply and can become bruised like anything else in the body. Bone contusions often are fairly painful and the main issue is pain control.
  • News: He missed practice on Wednesday but was able to practice in full on Thursday. He will be able to start against the Patriots.
  • Outlook: It's a home game and it's a big one against the AFC rival Patriots for Roethlisberger. Usually, Roethlisberger shows up with big numbers in these situations and the Steelers will likely have to throw to keep up with the Patriots. Start Ben with confidence this week.

LeSean McCoy, RB - Buffalo Bills

  • Injury: McCoy suffered a minor hamstring strain in Week 14 and is questionable for Week 15 as a result. The hamstrings run along the back of the thigh and help athletes both accelerate as well as decelerate. They can become strained if there is a stress placed upon them that is outside their normal limits or they are stretched beyond their normal limits.
  • News: He exited Week 14's game in the first half and was not able to return for the Bills. An MRI was done and he was tagged as "day-to-day" which is a positive.  McCoy did not practice on Wednesday but was able to practice in a limited fashion on Thursday and Friday.
  • Outlook: McCoy is trending in the right direction considering he was able to practice two consecutive days in a limited fashion but if you've read my stuff before then you know hamstring injuries can be reaggravated fairly easily. In the fantasy playoffs, you can't afford a goose egg so tread carefully with McCoy this week.

Spencer Ware, RB - Kansas City Chiefs

  • Injury: Ware was dealing with both shoulder and hamstring injuries from Week 14's slugfest with the Ravens. He likely sprained the AC, or acromioclavicular, joint of his shoulder and suffered a hamstring strain. He did not exit the game in Week 14 so everyone was surprised when he popped up on the injury report heading into Week 15.
  • News: Ware obviously missed Week 15's game in which the Chiefs were beaten at home by the Los Angeles Chargers on TNF. His practice availability coming off the long break will be worth monitoring.
  • Outlook: Given the short week, that could have been the reason that Ware was not able to suit up on TNF. Depending on the severity of the sprain and strain, the longer break may allow him to play in Week 16. Damien Williams was great in Ware's absence and could be on a lot of fantasy championship game rosters.

Isaiah Crowell, RB - New York Jets

  • Injury: Crowell was on the Week 14 injury report with a toe injury and exited the game with a toe injury. The exact injury is unknown at this time.
  • News: Crowell was placed on the IR on Friday, December 14th.
  • Outlook: With Crowell out, Elijah McGuire will likely lead the backfield in Week 15 against the Texans. He could have some value in PPR formats if the Jets fall behind and have to pass in order to play catch-up.

Jordan Reed, TE - Washington Redskins

  • Injury: Reed suffered a right foot sprain during the first quarter of the Redskins' Week 14 loss to the Giants. There are plenty of ligaments that could be sprained in the foot but given his history of toe injuries, that is likely the area of the sprain. He has had surgery on his toes before so these structures may have been weakened and made more vulnerable to future injury.
  • News: Reed has been ruled out for Week 15. He could still possibly be placed on the IR.
  • Outlook: With Reed and fellow pass catcher Josh Doctson out for Week 15, Jameson Crowder and Vernon Davis should be busy this week. With that being said, Josh Johnson will be leading the Redskins this week so this is clearly not optimal.

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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