Welcome to the Week 13 Injury Analysis. Last weekend did not have many significant injuries to discuss other than Jordy Nelson reaggravating his hamstring. Therefore, I will dedicate the majority of this week's analysis to some education about concussions since there are several players trying to recover from this ailment including Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy while new players including Cecil Shorts of the Jaguars have been sidelined after suffering a concussion.
Jordy Nelson: Unfortunately Nelson left last weekend's game after reaggravating his hamstring. I can't say I predicted this to happen, but I definitely suggested this as a real possibility even after he suffered an ankle injury that forced him out of the lineup a few week's back. In my Week 10 Injury analysis when Nelson was scheduled to come back for Week 11 games, I wrote "The only thing that is still in the back of my mind is how his hamstring is doing. We didn't really get to see him test it in the game he got injured and so although he has had now a couple more weeks to rest the hamstring, it is possible he may reaggravate it." There's nothing to do about it now other than to recognize that the Packer's are going to play it safe and with Jennings back and the Packers sitting pretty to make the playoffs again, they will surely avoid risking Nelson coming back too soon.
What does all this mean for your fantasy football team? I expect Nelson to be out at least this week's game and probably the following week. We could maybe see him return in 3 weeks but continue to follow how they choose to manage him and if they continue to win the Packers could even hold him out longer to ensure he's go-time for playoffs.
LeSean McCoy: I'm going to discuss McCoy's concussion recovery because it serves as a good way to explain the process of return to play from concussions that the NFL has adopted. According to Zach Bowman of the Philadelphia Inquirer, McCoy is now in "Phase 3" of the concussion recovery protocol. To help you understand what "Phase 3" means, it's important to provide you with some background information. In Zurich, Germany in 2008, a group of specialists met for a 3rd time to draft a set of guidelines titled "Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport" in which they outlined a gradual return-to-play protocol after a player suffers a concussion. These guidelines state that after an athlete is completely symptom-free at rest, they can gradually increase their activity level with each 24-hour period increasing in intensity as long as they remain symptom free in which they can return to sport by the time they graduate to the 5th phase. These phases include:
Phase 1: light aerobic exercise
Phase 2: sport-specific exercise (running at full intensity, etc)
Phase 3: non-contact training drills
Phase 4: full contact practice, participate in normal practice activities
Phase 5: return to sport
It's important to note that if symptoms return during any of the phases, the athlete should return to the previous asymptomatic phase and resume the protocol again.
Therefore, McCoy has been able to participate in non-contact drills right now without any symptoms but has yet to attempt full contact practice which is obviously a big step when returning from a head injury. Keep an eye on his status throughout the rest of the week.
What does all this mean for your fantasy football team? It's still hard to predict if McCoy will make a return this week and my gut tells me he will miss Sunday's game but we'll see if he progresses in practice later this week. There's one thing for sure, the Eagles season is over so there's no rush for McCoy to rush back.
Follow me on Twitter @DoctorKenton for more updates/injury analysis in the upcoming games this week.
Wishing all your players quick recoveries,