It's time for Week 5 Injury Analysis. There were a number of injuries although a few of them don't need a lot of analysis. Feel free to comment about the posts or to ask about other players you're interested in that were not listed below.
Robert Griffin III: Let's start with probably the biggest storyline of the past weekend because of two reasons….the impressive RGIII got injured and he suffered a concussion which has been the most talked about type of injury in the history of the NFL. I guess we can try to look on the bright side and say at least he wasn't carted off the field, but ultimately it's really hard to say what his timeline is. Concussions are pretty challenging in that we still don't really know what causes some people to be seemingly more susceptible to concussions and why some people seem to take longer to rid themselves of concussive symptoms. In order to return, the player must follow a graded protocol slowly increasing their activity every 24 hour period and as long as there are no setbacks, usually a player can return technically within 1 week making it possible that RGIII could play this weekend. However, given his value to the franchise I would be surprised if he was starting come Sunday but let's see what the week brings.
What does all this mean to your fantasy football team? RGIII will be back, just keep an eye on his status and don't be too surprised if he sits a week out. You should only start getting nervous if he comes back sustains another concussion shortly after or if you hear that he is experiencing symptoms and had to leave practice. Be patient.
Matt Cassell: I am not sure that writing about Cassell is necessary given that he has not been a fantasy star this year however the same applies to him as it does RGIII with regards to how he will have to progress in order to return. The biggest questions though are whether he'll be returning to a starting role or a backup role.
What does all this mean to your fantasy football team? Probably not a whole lot and realistically if he is your starting QB, your team is not doing too well. I would like to comment though that I am glad Chiefs right tackle Eric Winston made his statements about how the crowd acted when Cassell went down with his head injury. While we sometimes get caught up in the game and winning and how our fantasy players are doing, it's always good to be reminded that these players are actually people and have lives and their health or lack thereof when they sustain these injuries should not be something that we cheer for especially when they're down on the field.
Alex Smith: Smith managed to throw for over 300 yards and 3 touchdowns but then an injury report stated that he had a sprained middle finger on his throwing hand. Obviously a quarterback needs to be able to grip the football with a lot of strength in order to throw accurately and this injury could definitely impact him in this upcoming week. Do I think he will miss the game? Probably not, but do I think they may run more and not pass as much? Probably yes.
What does all this mean to your fantasy football team? If you have a different QB to roll with this weekend, I'd recommend it but stay tuned and we'll see how he does in practice this week.
Troy Polamalu: Mr. Head and Shoulders made his return yesterday after having a nagging calf injury. This return didn't last too long as he appeared to significantly reaggravate it again. I can't say enough about how bad these muscle strains can be and it's an especially bad sign when it gets reaggravated like Polamalu did on Sunday. The Pittsburgh Steelers' defense just isn't the same without him.
What does all this mean to your fantasy football team? I guess if you don't have a defense at all, it's not a bad idea to play the Steelers but really they are a shell of a defense without their captain in Polamalu. It looks like he just bought himself a sideline ticket for at least another few weeks after reaggravating his calf and it's not easy to feel confident that he will return again without having further issues this season. Stay clear of the Steelers' defense.
Ben Tate: Tate sat out this past week due to a "toe injury" that is not being labeled turf toe but it might as well be because it's acting just like it. He tried to play in week 3 and 4 and obviously his numbers showed there was something wrong, now we are told there is a toe injury and he's being held out of games. If it looks like turf toe and smells like turf toe, it probably is turf toe. This can be a nagging injury caused by disruption of the ligaments in the big toe and could potentially sideline him for a few weeks. The good thing for fantasy owners is that Arian Foster is healthy so it shouldn't really be upsetting you too much as his value right now isn't the greatest.
What does all this mean to your fantasy football team? Not a whole lot right now unless you were trying to spot start him as a flex player. Hopefully he lets it heal over the next 3-4 weeks so that if anything does happen to Foster, he is ready to be inserted as a fantasy monster for your team. Keep your fingers crossed as now you need 2 things to happen for your preseason "sleeper" pick to come true.
Cedric Benson: I think the writing is on the wall but I figured I would write about Benson because there is some discussion that he will have surgery on his Lisfranc injury and may return later in the year. I would tell you that you shouldn't waste a roster spot on Benson and sadly it's time to say goodbye as these are nasty injuries and I don't see him returning anytime soon to help your team.
What does all this mean to your fantasy football team? It's always sad to say goodbye but you have to let go sometimes, you had a good run and it sounded great that the Packers would actually have a true running back but the fat Lisfranc has sang.
Ryan Williams: Williams did something last weekend that very few people can say they've done…..he fractured his coracoid process. I'm sure most of you don't know what this is (which is why google images was invented) but it is a bony process on the front of your scapula and is very rare to actually fracture and takes a significant amount of force to suffer this injury. Nonetheless, he somehow managed to do this which will end his season as the Cardinals placed him on injured reserve.
What does all this mean to your fantasy football team? We all know what has to be done.
Follow me on Twitter @DoctorKenton for more updates/injury analysis in the upcoming games this week.
Wishing all your players quick recoveries,