NFL Fantasy: Week 1 injury report
By now, NFL Fantasy fans have heard the awful news coming out of San Francisco about Jerick McKinnon. Entering his first season as a starter, he tore an ACL without contact on the final play of practice.
McKinnon was officially placed on the injured reserve and is done for the year, which means we already have an awful lot of folks looking forward to our Weekly Waiver Wire article tomorrow. Alfred Morris will start Week 1 over Matt Breida, but it is unclear what the workload split will be.
There are other injury concerns, including some rehab updates from 2017. Here are some of the most NFL Fantasy relevant updates for Week 1.
QB Andrew Luck, Colts- foot (not shoulder)
All the “Here we go again!” sighs from Andrew Luck fans proved unwarranted. Luck is a full go in practice this week after being held out for a few days due to a foot injury. He says he is comfortable throwing the ball and moving well. Start him with confidence against the Bengals.
QB Carson Wentz, Eagles (knee)
Wentz is participating in practice but will not start in the season opener Thursday night. Nick Foles will be behind center for at least one game. This is not a setback of any type. Wentz was the only person ever expecting him to be ready for Week 1.
QBs Rodgers, Tannehill, and Watson
Judging from the NFL Fantasy draft board reports, everyone knows Aaron Rodgers and Deshaun Watson are healed up and showing no signs of residual problems from their 2017 season-ending injuries. Watson caught Tom Brady for the QB-2 ADP behind Rodgers. Tannehill is also fine. He could be a streaming option during the season.
WR Alshon Jeffrey (shoulder) and company, Eagles
Alshon Jeffrey has been ruled out for Thursday Night’s season opener. Coach Doug Pederson says he is progressing nicely but is not quite ready for action. Multiple sports outlets report Nelson Agholor is “beat up”. However, his name did not appear on the Eagles’ injury report.
Backups Mack Hollins and Eli Rodgers did not practice. Mike Wallace should be a good streaming option as the healthiest of the receiving corps. He also had a good preseason.
WR Josh Gordon, Browns (hamstring)
Josh Gordon won’t start for the Browns on Sunday but is still expected to see significant playing time. There is little concern about his hamstring, but he is being handled as if he is still in extended preseason mode. Even with limited offensive snaps, Gordon offers a high ceiling. However, his floor could be a bit lower, especially against the Steelers defense.
WR Adam Thielen, Vikings (ankle)
Minnesota isn’t saying much about the twisted ankle that forced Adam Thielen to leave practice late last week. However, he is walking without much difficulty and is expected to be ready to go come Sunday.
WR Devante Parker, Dolphins (finger)
In case you are one of the NFL fantasy owners who took a flier on Parker and another “potential breakout season”, he showed up at practice Monday with a soft cast protecting his broken finger. Kenny Stills and Danny Amendola are better options if you insist on having a Dolphin receiver in your lineup.
TE Eric Ebron, Giants (concussion)
Ebron was spotted on the practice field this week and is expected to be released from the concussion protocol in time to play the season opener against the Jaguars.
TE George Kittle, 49ers (shoulder)
George Kittle’s recovery from the separated shoulder suffered in the 49ers’ first preseason game appears to be going well enough to put him on the field for Week 1. Kittle is expected to be one of Jimmy Garoppolo’s main targets this season. He might split time with Garett Celek in the Niners’ opening game.
TE Jordan Reed, Redskins (toes)
Jordan Reed did not see any playing time in the preseason, but he is ramping up his practice efforts and expects to be the starter on Opening Day. Reed says he feels healthier than he has in years and believes the procedures to shorten his big toes will save him from another injury-riddled year. If he is right, some NFL Fantasy owners are going to look very smart for selecting him at his TE-8 ADP.
TE Delanie Walker, Titans (leg)
Back on the practice field for the first time since limping out of a mid-August practice, Delanie Walker is telling anyone who will listen that he expects to play against the Dolphins. Of course, that decision will be made by Tennessee’s trainers and coaches, but it is a good sign that Walker is practicing. Watch for updates toward the end of the week to be sure. Jonnu Smith would step in if Walker is ruled out.
RB Marlon Mack, Colts (hamstring)
There was no sign of Marlon Mack on the practice field Monday, despite assertions by the team that he made good progress late last week. It looks less likely Mack will be ready and unlikely he will be at full speed come opening day. Jordan Wilkins is the presumptive starter if Mack sits, but playing any Colts runners is a risk until we see if their offensive line gets it together.
RB Rex Burkhead and Sony Michel, Patriots (knees)
Rex Burkhead and Sony Michel both participated in position drills Monday, but there is no update on their status for opening day. Burkhead will be dealing with a slight tear in his knee all season and Michel needed his knee drained recently. Cutting Mike Gillislee and every other running back except James White and Jeremy Hill seems to indicate the Patriots are confident they will have the services of the injured pair. Michel is considered less likely to play in Week 1 due to missed time in the offseason. We need to wait for Bill Belichicks mandatory injury report on Wednesday to get more insight.
RB Chris Thompson, Redskins (leg)
Earlier in preseason, Chris Thompson told a reporter he didn’t expect to be back 100% until November. This week, he says he feels ready to go with a full set of third down packages. Coaches say he looks great. Although he did not play in a single preseason game, Thompson will be out there with Adrian Peterson in Week 1.
LeSean McCoy, Bills (groin, hip)
Bills coach Sean McDermott is on record as saying he will err on the side of caution when it comes to LeSean McCoy’s groin injury, but will that carry over into the regular season? There is a chance McCoy will play in Week 1, but his nagging injury makes Chris Ivory a handcuff McCoy owners need to have.
Jay Ajayi was limited in practice Monday but expects to start Thursday in the Eagles’ season opener. A foot injury kept him out of practice last week. Rumors from Philadelphia indicate coach Doug Pederson plans to forgo the running-back-by-committee approach this season in favor of Ajayi, but Corey Clement could see some snaps if the starter isn’t 100%.
Check back for injury updates and other news that can change your NFL Fantasy strategies later in the week.