Back for more injury analysis following all of the Week 2 games. As always, comments are welcomed and if there are any questions about the players below or if you have questions about players I did not address then you can also leave that in the comments and I'll try to discuss them. Let's get started...
Aaron Hernandez: Hernandez was helped off the field last week after sustaining an ankle sprain that looked an awful lot like it was going to be a fracture or a high ankle sprain. X-rays were negative, and Hernandez was then seen in a walking boot with crutches which would lead everyone to believe it was in fact a high ankle sprain. However, we are now being told it is a "low" ankle sprain. I'm not sure if they mean it was on the lower side of the high ankle or if they are just trying to be optimistic, but the mechanism of injury and the way he was treated with the boot and crutches makes it very peculiar to be just of the low ankle variety. He definitely didn't roll his ankle to a classic lateral (outer) low ankle sprain is out of the question. On the inner side of the ankle is the large, strong deltoid ligament that rarely is significantly injured and it would be rare that an injury to this portion of his ankle would be an automatic 4-6 weeks as they quickly told the media. It just all doesn't seem to add up right now but either way, they've declared he isn't coming back in the next couple weeks so if you have him on your team, you should be picking up a replacement.
What does all this mean to your fantasy team? You should expect him to be out for at least 1 month and I wouldn't be surprised if it is longer. Whatever his injury truly is, you never want to see a player with a boot and crutches after a game. It just isn't a good sign. Keep checking in with more updates on his status when all the talk about if he's coming back returns in mid-October.
Ahmad Bradshaw: The Giants running back Bradshaw was forced to leave last Sunday's game due to a neck injury that he sustained in the first half. After having X-rays (which were negative), he could be spotted on the sidelines which to me means he escaped a significant injury and things look good for him to return in the next couple of weeks. While neck sprains can range from being very severe to more mild, I don't think we would have seen Bradshaw on the sideline if he was in a lot of pain or if his neck motion was severely limited. While I think he will take week 3 off, I wouldn't be surprised at all to see him a game-day decision for week 4.
What does all this mean to your fantasy team? For this week, it doesn't look good obviously but I wouldn't be too concerned with Bradshaw missing multiple weeks. I think there is really potential for him to be back in Week 4 and would think it is very likely to be back in Week 5.
Jamaal Charles: Last weekend, we saw Charles on get 6 carries. This suddenly made all of his owners fear that they were going to have to relive the nightmare of last season when their top 3 pick went down with an ACL injury. Well, this wasn't so bad but it's definitely not good at least for the short term if you're a Jamaal Charles owner. It's a little comical when there have been multiple reports saying that it's nothing to really be worried about because Coach Romeo Crennel said he was just being cautious since Charles was having soreness in his knee. This is never a good sign when you are having soreness in your surgically repaired knee. While I agree that it may not be actually pain from reinjury to the repaired ACL and may be due to fatigue of some of the muscles surrounding the knee, it still is concerning. It is even more concerning to fantasy owners especially in the short term because you absolutely know that they are going to be keeping a very close eye on Charles and any little tiny fraction of soreness that he has is going to be dealt with conservatively as this is their star running back who took an entire year off to get to this point and it would be foolish to just let him run wild with just some "soreness in his knee".
What does all this mean to your fantasy team? Until Charles proves that his "soreness" is not an issue, it's going to be a risky play week to week. I'm not saying that you should necessarily be benching a guy with this much talent, but I'm saying combined with likely trailing against the Saints and the fact that you have 2 other running backs in KC that didn't do too badly last week and the fact that we are dealing with "soreness" makes me a little less confident in his fantasy value.
Matt Forte: When I was watching this game, it had high ankle sprain written all over it. He had an eversion ankle injury with some rotational component that is the mechanism leading to these awful injuries. But, after initially saying it was a high ankle injury, they now have retracted that statement and are going with the low ankle injury. This is great news for Forte and his owners. He was not needing a walking boot nor crutches and while it seems like Week 3 will be a stretch for him to play especially when you have a fully capable Michael Bush back there, I don't know if I'd count him out for Week 4. Should definitely be seeing him by Week 5 from the looks of it.
What does all this mean to your fantasy team? It wasn't like you were dropping this guy anyway, but at least I can maybe calm your anxiety when I say expect him to miss 1-2 weeks and then be right back in there….of course if he comes back sooner they chance of reinjury only increases.
Steven Jackson: Jackson suddenly disappeared from last week's game which left everyone wondering what was going on as there didn't appear to be a play that he was injured on. Well, we now are being told that he had strained his groin and according to Fisher he could have returned to the game. Now I don't know if Fisher's comments are really true, but it does reinforce the concern one needs to have with groin strains and that is that when you're on the sideline and not using that strained muscle, things feel great. Yea, I can return to the game no problem……until you return to the game and make a side step around someone and realize you've just now worsened your injury and are done for the day. A couple things are a little concerning for his groin injury in regards to whether or not he will play this weekend and it's not that he told 101 ESPN that an MRI taken on his injured groin turned out "positive" (instead of negative in that there was no tear noted). The fact that they even felt he needed an MRI on his groin goes to show this was not just a minor strain. I know that these professional athletes and medical teams have access to any study and imaging test all the time, but the fact that they felt an MRI would be useful just goes to show that he must have been pretty sore after the game. The other thing is just that Jackson has been plagued by strains throughout his career and these can be nagging injuries especially if he tries to push it too soon.
What does all this mean to your fantasy team? I would be weary to start him this weekend unless you don't have any good backups or he is practicing in full and you've had a chance to talk this one out with Jackson. Remember, even if he is listed as active, there is still that good chance he will reaggravate the injury and disappear for the rest of the game.
Ryan Mathews: Is this weekend really going to mark the return of Ryan Mathews? From the moment he fractured his clavicle and had it surgically repaired, I said he would be back in Week 4 with Week 3 really being the earliest possible return. Well, the Chargers are trying to push the envelope and get him back in there sooner. I don't personally think this is really the greatest decision especially after they actually had a good effort last week running the ball and this week against the Falcons they are going to likely have a to use their air attack more often. Two things that we will have to wait and see what happens are can he take hits and not have pain in that clavicle and even reinjure it and also can he hold onto the ball and not fumble it away secondary to issues with the clavicle injury. These all remain to be seen.
What does all this mean to your fantasy team? I know you're eager to get Mathews into your lineup but you might want to take one week to let him show what he can do rather than just toss him right in but it's really what mindset you have and if you want an all or nothing scenario, this is definitely one of those.
Jeremy Maclin: Well I was right last week in saying Maclin would play and he even caught a touchdown….unfortunately that was his only catch and he left the game after reaggravating his hip pointer injury. This week is another tough call. It probably wouldn't be a bad idea if the Eagles chose to sit him for a week and let him recover a bit more so that this doesn't become a weekly problem, especially for his fantasy football owners.
What does all this mean to your fantasy team? It's going to be your choice as a fantasy owner. I'm not even sure that Maclin will play….as I think he could play but they might just give him a week's rest and also as we saw last game, there's no guarantee that he doesn't leave the game with reinjury. So if he was on my team, I would give him the break and start someone else this week and hope to use him in Week 4.
Greg Jennings: The Packers did exactly what they needed to do, give Jennings the extra week of rest to allow his groin injury to heal up while going out and dominated the Chicago Bears. Seems like they got to have their cake and eat it too. Jennings has now been at practice and I'd expect him to be ready to go for Week 3.
What does all this mean to your fantasy team? Whenever you're dealing with a groin injury, you're never out of the woods especially when you haven't played in a game since your injury. So there is definitely a chance he could reaggravate the injury but I think you have to start him in your lineup this week. Most teams wouldn't even have given him the week off but having a Thursday night game made this decision a lot easier so he now has had 2 full weeks which will make him a great play this weekend.
Fred Jackson: Just to update you on his status, things are looking the best they could look for Jackson from an injury standpoint as they have stated he will not need surgery (I guess this is good news although I don't know that this was very likely in the first place) and he can resume some workouts. I still think he's at least a few weeks away from any kind of return but maybe it won't be a couple months after all. The biggest problem that Fred Jackson is still facing is……C.J. Spiller. If Spiller continues to play the same in the coming weeks, there will be no rush to get Jackson back out there.
What does all this mean to your fantasy team? Be patient and hold onto Fred Jackson but hope that Spiller stops being so productive otherwise it won't really matter if Jackson is healthy or not to be worthy of a start on your team.
Follow me on Twitter @DoctorKenton for more updates/injury analysis in the upcoming games this week.
Wishing all your players quick recoveries,