Welcome to the Week 14 Injury Analysis. I assume all leagues are either continuing or starting playoff games next week so it will be important to know what you should do about the few players that suffered more significant injuries in last weekend's games. As always, feel free to leave comments about players I did not discuss or if you have comments on my analysis.
Robert Griffin III: Last weekend it looked like RG3 had his season ended when his leg violently swung in the air after taking a big hit and surely appeared that he would have a significant knee injury. Somehow he escaped with only an apparent Grade I LCL injury. Most people are familiar with the MCL (medial collateral ligament) injury that is on the inner part of the knee and this is much more common because it occurs when someone takes a hit to the outside of their knee. However, the LCL (lateral collacteral ligament) is another ligament stabilizer of the knee but is located on the outer part of the knee and is less commonly injured because it is more difficult to get hit on the inner part of the knee or to hyperextend the knee which is what RG3 did when he suffered his injury. As I have discussed in a previous report when discussing Fred Jackson's LCL injury earlier in the year, many times it is not just the LCL that is injured and the other structures of the posterolateral corner of the knee are also injured as well. Somehow RG3 was running again at practice with a knee brace today and although he has not participated in contact drills, it appears that he is going to be able to give it a shot on Sunday. There is no doubt that he will probably be less effective as his mobility will hampered and it will be interested to see how he does if he takes any hits with his foot planted causing more stress on his knee but I would be surprised if he did not suit up given the fact that the Redskins who were once "just evaluating talent" for next year are actually in position to make the playoffs if they finish the season strong.
What does all this mean for your fantasy football team? If you have RG3 as you quarterback, unless you have a stud to plug into your lineup then you should go with RG3 and hope for the best. I wouldn't expect a career day but he could still put up solid numbers….just don't count on his rushing yards to be a factor. And a quick note to RG3 if he's reading, you need to take care of your body and hit the turf sooner feet first in the form of a slide otherwise I don't know how long of a career you're going to be able to have given the fact that you sustained a concussion earlier this year and you had a near miss with this knee injury.
Ahmad Bradshaw: Bradshaw suffered a knee sprain in last weekend's game but tried to come back into the game and fight thru the injury but was unable to do very much and also opened the door for Wilson who put on a performance that impressed anyone who was watching the game….and he even held onto the ball which we know made Tom Coughlin very happy. Bradshaw is considered day-to-day with his knee sprain and there is not much more detail being provided about which ligaments were injured and the severity. With this said, knee sprains usually take a few weeks to heal unless they are very mild. On the other hand, Wilson performed so well and the Giants know how important Bradshaw is to the team if they plan to go deep into the playoffs that I don't think they will push Bradshaw to play if he is not ready.
What does all this mean for your fantasy football team? I wouldn't count on a big day from Bradshaw. He may suit up (although I don't think that he will) but I don't think he will be very effective or that he will get more than 10 touches on the day making his upside very low. Wilson looks to be the back to have for this weekend's games and unfortunately for Bradshaw owners, if Wilson continues to shine then this will certainly cut into Bradshaw's potential for the remainder of the season.
Dez Bryant: During the Cowboy's win against the Bengals, Bryant suffered a fracture of this left index finger. It doesn't look good when you're seeking second opinions on whether you can play thru the injury or need surgery to avoid permanent damage to the finger. Even if Bryant does try to play, last time I checked it's pretty challenging to make catches with a broken index finger. Expect Bryant to serve more as a decoy of throws into his body as he will definitely not be a hands specialist the rest of the season no matter what option he chooses regarding management of this finger.
What does all this mean for your fantasy football team? Bryant should not be started in this upcoming week's game because he may not even play and if he does I would imagine it would be more of a decoy role. Plus, before you put your fantasy playoff hopes in his hands, you'll definitely want to see if Romo can even get the ball in them.
Fred Jackson: Jackson sustained another knee injury last weekend and this one seems to be the nail in the coffin to end his season. While his MCL injury will not require surgery and probably will be healed in 3 weeks, the season is almost over and will not allow for any return to the lineup.
What does all this mean for your fantasy football team? It's C.J. Spiller's backfield now and his turn to prove he should be the lead back for the 2013-2014 season.
Follow me on Twitter @DoctorKenton for more updates/injury analysis in the upcoming games this week.
Wishing all your players quick recoveries,