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Inside the Tent - Week 5 NFL Injury Insight

It feels like Week 4 was the week of hamstring strains. Star running backs Dalvin Cook and Leonard Fournette were limited in Week 4 because of their hamstring injuries and T.Y. Hilton wasn't able to suit up for Thursday Night Football because of his hamstring strain. Also, on his way back to prominence both on the field and in your fantasy lineups, Tyler Eifert suffered an unfortunate, gruesome injury to his ankle. Week 5 has some awesome matchups and should be fun to watch but read below to see if your players will be active or not!

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 updates.

Editor's Note: All you early birds can get a full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our Draft Kit, In-Season tools and over 150 days of Premium DFS. Sign Up Now!


Inside the Tent Updates

Joe Mixon, RB - Cincinnati Bengals

Mixon was not active against the Falcons in Week 4 but was able to run and cut in the practices leading up to it. That was promising news for Mixon owners and made him a prospect to return in Week 5. With him practicing limited Wednesday and Thursday, that is looking more probable by the day. The second-year man from Oklahoma had arthroscopic surgery to clean up his knee joint as well as repair a small meniscus tear. If Mixon is feeling ready and convinces the coaches he can contribute, Mixon will be a nice spark to an already buzzing offense.

LeSean McCoy, RB - Buffalo Bills

McCoy rushed five times for 24 yards and caught three of six targets for 13 yards. Although he was able to get back on the field after missing a game due to a crack in his rib cartilage, he wasn't able to make an impact thanks to the anemic nature of the 2018 Buffalo offense. I personally don't feel great about McCoy's prospects this season but you can't drop him given his volume alone.

Devonta Freeman, RB - Atlanta Falcons

Freeman is set to play this week against the Steelers according to Coach Dan Quinn. Freeman told media members, "I'm in tune with my body and myself, so I know when I can be me. I'm comfortable enough to get out there. I feel good. I feel explosive. I'm ready to run." This should be a high scoring game so with Freeman back and healthy, he should be locked into your lineups.

Jay Ajayi, RB - Philadelphia Eagles

Ajayi totaled 18 touches gaining 70 on the ground and adding another 11 through the air. He is likely still dealing with a fracture in his back but it's all about controlling the pain at this point. He will be once again ready to roll at home against Minnesota.

Doug Baldwin, WR - Seattle Seahawks

Baldwin returned in Week 4 after recovering from a Grade II MCL sprain. He was reported to be out 2-4 weeks and he made it back in two. We must not forget that Baldwin was limited in training camp due to "knee soreness." Baldwin is not getting younger so his status should be monitored all year.

Alshon Jeffery, WR - Philadelphia Eagles

Wow. Alshon looked GOOD. He looked like himself; high pointing a ball in the end zone on the way to catching eight balls for 105 yards and a TD. I guess we can bury any thoughts that Jeffery would have some rust to knock off after missing the first three weeks.

A.J Green, WR - Cincinnati Bengals

Green brought in four of eight targets for 78 yards and the game-winning touchdown. So much for that groin/pelvis injury! Green owners rejoice as the Bengals actually have a very good offense this year in Bill Lazor's second year as offensive coordinator.

Evan Engram, TE - New York Giants

Engram left Week 3's matchup with a sprained MCL. It was diagnosed as a Grade II sprain, sidelining Engram for 2-4 weeks. The MCL is a ligament that runs along the inside of the knee, adding stability and preventing inward collapse. Engram will miss at least one more game but could miss Week 6 as well.


Week 5 Injury Updates

Ezekiel Elliott, RB - Dallas Cowboys

  • Injury: Elliott is reportedly dealing with a minor sprained ankle and bursitis in his knee. The vast majority of ankle sprains are a result of the foot turning inward. This is known as an inversion sprain. Bursitis is the inflammation of a bursa, which is a fluid-filled sac within joints to reduce friction. If the inflammation can be controlled week to week this shouldn't be an issue.
  • News: Jerry Jones told media members on Monday that he expects Elliott to play in Week 5. This was confirmed on Wednesday when Elliott himself told reporters he's “good” for this week. He turned in full practices all week.
  • Outlook: Elliott could be in for a great week against the Texans. The Cowboys offense obviously flows through Elliott and he has been more involved in the passing game lately which is welcome news to his owners. RB1 numbers coming for him this week.

Leonard Fournette, RB - Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Injury: Fournette aggravated his hamstring strain in Week 4 against the Jets. As I’ve said before, hamstring injuries are known to linger and prevent an athlete from reaching their top speed.
  • News: He was ruled out for Week 5 on Wednesday by Head Coach Doug Marrone.
  • Outlook: Considering Fournette missed two games when he was sidelined for this hamstring the first time, I can see him missing at least Week 6 as well. The Jaguars have competent running backs behind Fournette in T.J. Yeldon and Corey Grant so he should take his time coming back.

Dalvin Cook, RB - Minnesota Vikings

  • Injury: Cook continues to deal with the hamstring strain that has plagued him all season. He only got 10 rushes for 20 yards and frustrated fantasy owners everywhere who thought he could be trusted.
  • News: He was able to get some reps in on Friday but was unable to practice Wednesday or Thursday. It’s not looking promising for the second-year man out of Florida State to suit up this week. He will likely be a game-time decision so you should definitely have a backup plan in place.
  • Outlook: If Cook sits this week, he should be ready to go Week 6 against Arizona. Hamstring strains need time to heal and Cook might’ve pushed it a little by coming back this past week. His status and practice participation should continued to be monitored.

Giovani Bernard, RB - Cincinnati Bengals

  • Injury: Bernard was injured at the end of the Bengals’ win against the Falcons in Week 4. The diagnosis is a sprained MCL which is short for medial collateral ligament. The MCL runs along the inside of the knee and helps to add stability to the knee and prevent inward collapse.
  • News: He missed Wednesday’s practice which no one batted an eye at, thinking he was just taking a rest day. Then, he missed Thursday and some eyebrows were raised. It was then reported Friday that he will be out Week 5 and he is dealing with a sprained MCL.
  • Outlook: The impact of this news on the Bengals is abated with the coming home party of Joe Mixon. Mixon’s workload should be heavy in Bernard’s absence with Mark Walton spelling Mixon when he needs a breather.

T.Y. Hilton, WR - Indianapolis Colts

  • Injury: Hilton, like seemingly everyone else in the NFL, is dealing with a hamstring strain. He injured the hamstring in the fourth quarter against the Texans after also injuring his chest in the first quarter.
  • News: Obviously, Hilton didn’t play in Thursday Night’s game against the Patriots and the Colts missed his deep ball threat.
  • Outlook: Hopefully missing Thursday’s game puts Hilton in a good position to play Week 6 against the Jets. If you’ve been reading my stuff, you know already that hamstring strains can be troublesome and can linger past the week the player misses. Hilton’s practice availability next Wednesday will be worth checking in on.

Will Fuller, WR - Houston Texans

  • Injury: Fuller was sidelined this week with a, you guessed it, hamstring strain. The hamstrings are on the back of the thigh and help athletes accelerate as well as slow down. Hamstring strains can be pesky to come back from considering how much they are relied on during a football game.
  • News: He turned in limited practices all week so that should make owners optimistic that he will be able to suit up Sunday night against the Cowboys. If I had to guess, he will be out there in Week 5 but may not be 100%. He could have his snap count dropped a little or may just not be as explosive down the field like he usually is.
  • Outlook: The Cowboys’ defense has looked impressive this season at times and Deshaun Watson could be scrambling all day to avoid the pass rush. With Fuller’s skill set though, he just needs one or two plays to break loose to deliver good fantasy value.

Geronimo Allison, WR - Green Bay Packers

  • Injury: Allison is dealing with a concussion and is questionable for the Week 5 matchup against the Lions. Concussions are obviously the blunt force trauma to the brain from a hit to the head.
  • News: He was in the league’s concussion protocol all week and was not able to practice at all this week. This makes me pessimistic about his Week 5 prospects although he could still be cleared to play.
  • Outlook: With Cobb already out, if Allison can get through concussion protocol and suit up in Week 5 he will likely see an increased target share. If he is out, expect Marquez Valdes-Scantling to replace Allison and could be a sneaky FLEX play this week,

Tyler Eifert, TE - Cincinnati Bengals

  • Injury: Eifert fractured his ankle in Week 4 against the Falcons. The tibia, or the shinbone, meets the fibula and the multiple bones of the foot to make up one of the many joints of the ankle.
  • News: Just by watching the game we knew Eifert was dealing with a serious leg injury. He was tackled and had his leg rolled up on by the defender and it just snapped essentially. Eifert was placed on the IR on Friday and will likely undergo surgery to regain stability in his ankle.
  • Outlook: I was truly hoping I didn't have to write about Eifert this season. He's an incredible talent and was starting to gain some traction this year. This injury is unfortunate and the Cincinnati tight end situation is unclear at this point. Tyler Kroft was the man last year when Eifert was out but this year, C.J. Uzomah could be the one seeing the majority of the targets at tight end for the Bengals.

O.J. Howard, TE - Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Injury: Howard, like Evan Engram, is dealing with an MCL sprain. The MCL is a ligament on the inside of the knee that helps to add stability and prevents inward collapse. When a ligament is sprained, it is stretched beyond its normal length and can partially tear causing future laxity.
  • News: It is being reported that Howard will be out 2-4 weeks and with the Buccaneers bye coming in Week 5 he could only miss one game if his recovery goes well. Given the 2-4 week timeline, it can be inferred that Howard is likely dealing with a Grade II sprain.
  • Outlook: With Howard out, Cameron Brate becomes the TE to own in Tampa Bay just like previous years. He already has a solid rapport with Jameis Winston so after the Week 5 bye he will be a viable fantasy option.

Will Dissly, TE - Seattle Seahawks

  • Injury: Ouch is all I have to say about this one. Dissly suffered a torn patellar tendon in Week 4 against the Cardinals. The patellar tendon connects the kneecap (patella) to the shinbone (tibia) and helps the quadriceps muscle to be more efficient in extending, or straightening, the knee.
  • News: Dissly is obviously out for the year and can be dropped in all formats including redraft and dynasty.
  • Outlook: Nick Vannett is in line to handle starting TE duties until Ed Dickson returns for the Seahawks. The Seahawks offense is not as prolific as years past so there isn’t much value here. Although, given the current state of fantasy tight ends, anything goes at this point.

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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