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NFL Fantasy: Early injury report

When DeShone Kizer practically handed the ball to Khalil Mack for a pick-six at the end of the first half last night, you could read the minds of Green Bay Packer fans. NBC’s cameramen captured the dazed faces in Lambeau Field and it told the story.

But it wasn’t the disaster most of us feared. Aaron Rodgers emerged from the locker room for the second half with barely a limp and tell-tale lump next to his left knee. He would write another page of his legendary tale with a three-touchdown comeback on a braced knee that made him even more vulnerable to the blistering Chicago Bears’ pass rush that knocked him out of the first half.

NBC’s announcers chastised the Bears for not keeping up the pressure on the less-mobile quarterback. Rodgers gave credit to his offensive line for keeping him on his feet. The end result was Green Bay 24- Chicago 23.

However, Rodgers still needs an MRI today to see what kind of damage was concealed by his performance. His legend will grow if we find out he led the second-half comeback with a torn ligament or two. Disaster can still be in the future of Rodgers’ NFL Fantasy owners and the Packer faithful.

He won’t be alone on the MRI line. Here are the rest of Sunday’s notable injuries:

RB Leonard Fournette, Jaguars- hamstring

Leonard Fournette was quietly averaging 4.5 yards-per-carry and already caught three passes midway through the second quarter when he came up rubbing his hamstring. Sideline footage showed trainers helping Fournette stretch, but he did not return to the game.

Afterward, coach Doug Marrone and Fournette both seemed optimistic about Fournette’s availability against the Patriots in Week 2. Marrone said Fournette has “had this type of injury before and knows how to manage it”, leading to speculation that his chronic ankle woes were the real culprit. We’ll have to watch Jacksonville’s injury and practice reports all week.

RB Jeremy Hill, Patriots – knee

Jeremy Hill took a hit to the knee in the second quarter against Houston and was immediately ruled out for return. Hill was the wildcard in the Patriots’ backfield with his NFL Fantasy value predictions ranging from emergency-backup to 2016 LeGarrette Blount-type numbers. We await MRI results on Hill.

WR Doug Baldwin, Seahawks- knee (no… the other one!)

Seattle’s Doug Baldwin already told reporters and the NFL Fantasy world he would probably never be 100% this season as he recovered from a knee injury.

Now, he has two knee injuries after spraining an MCL on the opposite side. He had only one target and no catches when he left the game. The early diagnosis will be verified by MRI. If it is just an MCL sprain, don’t panic-sell. Baldwin could be back sooner than later.

WR DeSean Jackson, Buccaneers- concussion

Hopefully, DeSean Jackson will remember his performance Sunday as well as Tampa Bays fans will. His fifth catch of the day gave him 146 yards to go along with two touchdowns. Unfortunately, he landed face-first into the turf, sustaining a game-ending concussion.

Jackson was immediately entered into the concussion protocol, which will limit his practice time. He has a good chance of being cleared for Week 2, but owners should check there are no complications.

WR Marquise Goodwin, 49ers, quad

Marquise Goodwin left Sunday’s game against Minnesota with a quad injury. Although he returned later with a neat wrap job, quads can be a nuisance. Keep an eye on the injury report during the week to make sure the MRI or practice-field findings don’t diminish his NFL Fantasy value for Week 2.

QB Marcus Mariota, Titans- elbow

Marcus Mariota’s hand went numb after taking a hit to the elbow in Sunday’s game. He returned for a while, but ultimately yielded the field to Blaine Gabbert. Coach Mike Vrabel made the move after Mariota threw his second interception.

Whether he blamed that tipped pass on Mariota’s injury or was just being cautious, Mariota said he felt fine by the end of the game. He expects to play next week.

TE Delanie Walker, Titans- ankle

Television cameras caught Delanie Walker’s leg bent at an unnatural angle in relation to his foot, prompting television analyst Chris Carter to blurt out his diagnosis of a “dislocated ankle or maybe a broken leg”. We could almost sense Carter wincing and recoiling as he spoke.

Real medical personnel supported Carter’s assessment by immediately placing Walker’s lower leg in an air cast and carting him to the locker room. Jonnu Smith could be your starting Titan tight end for a while.

TE Greg Olsen, Panthers- foot

Greg Olsen missed most of the game against Dallas after injuring the same foot he broke last season. Olsen appeared in the sideline with a walking boot and crutches but offered no comment on the injury or how much time he will miss.

Carolina does not have an experienced tight end on the roster to back up Olsen.

RT Seantrel Henderson, Texans- ankle

Offensive linemen don’t usually make my early injury list, but losing Seantrel Henderson for the season will have an impact on the rest of the Houston Texans’ offense. The team confirmed Henderson has an ankle fracture.

Deshaun Watson was harassed consistently by the Patriots’ pass rush Sunday. Losing Henderson Sunday led the team to shift their left tackle to the right side and put a rookie at left tackle. We’ll have to see if a week of practice solidifies their play for Week 2 in front of Watson.

We’ll update injuries later in the week, so be sure to check back!