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Inside the Tent - Week 16 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

Carson Wentz, QB - Philadelphia Eagles

Wentz is obviously dealing with a fractured vertebra in his back, and it has been reported that Nick Foles will start for the Eagles at home against the Texans in Week 16. This injury should take about 3 months to heal completely, but the Eagles are not putting him on the IR.

Melvin Gordon, RB - Los Angeles Chargers

Gordon was not able to play in Week 15, and Head Coach Anthony Lynn shared with reporters that Gordon would have likely been able to play had the game been on Sunday instead of Thursday. His MCL appears to be ready to go, and he has been a full participant at practice all week. He and the Chargers face a tough Baltimore defense, but given the volume, he is a must-start for championship week.

James Conner, RB - Pittsburgh Steelers

Conner’s high ankle sprain will keep him out another week in Week 16 on the road against the Saints. As I have written in the past, high ankle sprains are often multi-week injuries and are not easy to come back quickly from given the function of the structures involved and the demands of a skill player.

Kerryon Johnson, RB - Detroit Lions

Johnson was placed on the IR on Wednesday, December 19th as a result of an MCL, or medial collateral ligament, sprain in his knee. He will be ready to go in 2019 as the Lions’ primary ball carrier.

LeSean McCoy, RB - Buffalo Bills

It’s looking like McCoy will play in Week 16 after sustaining a hamstring strain and missing Week 15 as a result. Head Coach Sean McDermott said McCoy is, “ready to go” but added, “We’ll see how things go in the game.” Chris Ivory will be active as well so he will spell McCoy as the Bills look to hang with the Patriots on the road.

Spencer Ware, RB - Kansas City Chiefs

Ware has been labeled doubtful for Week 16 against the Seahawks as he recovers from a hamstring strain. In his absence, Damien Williams will once again be the primary back and look to duplicate his Week 15 production. He practiced in a limited fashion all week.

Austin Ekeler, RB - Los Angeles Chargers

Ekeler will not play in Week 16 due to the stinger he suffered in Week 14. Nerves are very sensitive structures and can easily be re-aggravated. It's possible he is able to play next week although the Chargers may decide to let him rest until playoffs.

Odell Beckham Jr., WR - New York Giants

Beckham Jr. is OUT for Week 16 against the Colts as a result of his series of quadriceps injuries. That’s right, I made injury pleural. According to a Facebook post by Beckham, he strained his quadriceps muscle during the Thursday practice leading up to their game against the Redskins. Depending on the severity of the strain, this often takes 3-5 weeks to come back from. Considering he also has a contusion in that quadriceps, we may have seen the last of Odell Beckham Jr. in 2018.

Jordan Reed, TE - Washington Redskins

Reed will not play in Week 16 as a result of his toe injury, likely involving the structures around his big toe considering the injuries and surgeries he has had in the area in the past. It is surprising the Redskins have not placed him on the IR yet.

Week 15 Injury Updates

Todd Gurley, RB - Los Angeles Rams

  • Injury: It's been reported that Gurley is dealing with inflammation in his left knee. If there is inflammation, there is likely an underlying compromise of some type, but at this point, we aren't quite sure of specifics. He was seen on the sidelines with a heating pad on his knee and ultimately only missed a series.
  • News: He was not able to practice all week and reportedly hasn't attempted to run either. Head Coach Sean McVay told reporters on Friday that Gurley will be a game-time decision on Sunday and that the team won't do anything to put him at risk for further injury.
  • Outlook: Considering Gurley wasn't able to practice at all this week and is a game-time decision based on how he looks in pregame, it's tough to trust Gurley this week. There were reports on Thursday that he hadn't run yet, so that is obviously bad news. His status will be covered all weekend, and the Rams play on Sunday at 4:05 PM EST so make a backup plan is in place in case he cannot play.

Aaron Jones, RB - Green Bay Packers

  • Injury: Jones sprained his right MCL, or medial collateral ligament, in Week 15. The MCL runs along the inside of the knee and helps to add stability as well as prevent excess inward movement. Depending on the severity, these can take a few weeks to months to heal. Thankfully, Jones only sprained his MCL and avoiding a tear or rupture.
  • News: He told reporters it felt like the injury he suffered last year which was also an MCL sprain. Jones was placed on the IR on Tuesday, December 18th.
  • Outlook: Once again, Jones was very efficient this year, boasting a 5.5 yards per carry average. He should be the No.1 running back as the Packers return for workouts in the Spring and is an early round target in redraft leagues. With Jones out, Jamaal Williams is the man for Green Bay for the last two games. He found some success last season with Jones out, so he is worth a play if you are willing to risk during championship week.

Lamar Miller, RB - Houston Texans

  • Injury: Miller suffered a left ankle sprain, and thankfully it is not believed to be a high ankle sprain. He got rolled up on while following a rushing attempt and left the field in pain. The ligaments on the outside of the ankle can become sprained when they are stretched beyond their normal limits. Athletes can play with lateral ankle sprains with the support of tape or a brace if they are not severe. He was on the sidelines for the second half but did not log a snap.
  • News: He was able to log limited practices this week which is a good sign, but he may not be 100% by this weekend. He is officially questionable.
  • Outlook: Miller should be able to play in some capacity this weekend but to what extent is to be determined. He probably will get the majority of the carries, but Alfred Blue and possibly D'Onta Foreman will get some run.

Julio Jones, WR - Atlanta Falcons

  • Injury: Jones suffered what was initially thought to be a rib injury during the Falcons' home win against the Cardinals during the first half on a touchdown catch and then played sparingly during the second half. It was later divulged that he actually suffered a hip injury. There are plenty of structures to injure in the hip, and the details of the injury have not been released.
  • News: Jones was able to practice in a limited fashion on Friday and is a game-time decision for Week 16.
  • Outlook: I believe this is my first time writing about Julio this year which is a good thing for him. Jones is one of those players who always seems to be on the injury report, but he is more often than not out there on Sunday. I believe this will once again be the case. Although, with the Falcons out of playoff contention, they could be more cautious with their star wideout.

Keenan Allen, WR - Los Angeles Chargers

  • Injury: Allen suffered a hip pointer, or contusion, against the Chiefs in Week 15. He dove for a ball in the end zone, almost making the catch, and then headed to the sidelines. He attempted to come out for one play but was obviously hobbled and was held out for the rest of the game. A contusion is simply a bad bruise that can affect several layers of soft tissue structures where the impact occurred.
  • News: Allen has participated in workouts all week and was able to practice in a limited fashion on Wednesday and Thursday. NFL Network's Steve Wyche reported, " I’ve been given every indication that he will be playing." Head Coach Anthony Lynn made it seem like Allen may be a game-time decision, and the Chargers play on Saturday night so be sure to stay informed.
  • Outlook: It seems like Allen is going to in fact play in Week 16 but the role he will have remains to be seen. He could be a decoy to open up looks for Tyrell Williams and Mike Williams, or he could resume his normal role. If he can keep his pain under control and avoid reaggravation of his hip pointer, he could have an okay game. The matchup could be better as the Chargers play the Ravens, but if Allen plays, he's going to be in your lineup.

Tyler Boyd, WR - Cincinnati Bengals

  • Injury: Boyd suffered a sprained MCL, or medial collateral ligament, in Week 15. The MCL runs along the inside of the knee and helps to add stability as well as prevent excess inward movement. It is being reported as a "low-grade" sprain which means he could be out anywhere from 2-4 weeks.
  • News: As of Friday, he has been ruled out for Week 16. I would not be surprised if the Bengals shut him down for the year, even if he is ready to go for Week 17.
  • Outlook: Boyd had somewhat of a breakout year in 2018 and is an intriguing option for 2019, especially in PPR formats.

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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