The Training Room: Week 12 Injury Updates
During a party that was supposed to be all about thanksgiving and celebration, we had to deal with the onslaught of injuries. Brutal. But more seriously, I had a great Thanksgiving and I hope you all did the same. I was able to spend some well-deserved time with my family and recharge my batteries. This time of year is always a reminder of how important family and friends are.
However, you are not here to talk about turkey. You want to hear about the injuries from this last week of games because again this week there were a lot of them. This time of year is usually difficult as we limp, sometimes literally, to the finish line. If you’re still in the playoff race, give thanks, dust yourself off, and regroup. Here are the injuries from week 12 of the NFL season.
By AndrÃ© Swift, RB Detroit the Lions
Injury: right shoulder injury (possible AC joint sprain)
Recovery schedule: 2-3 weeks
Potential replacement (s): Jamaal williams
Nothing ruins Thanksgiving like an injury to one of the top 10 running backs. Unfortunately, that’s what happened at the start of the game on Thursday. Andre Swift landed hard on his right shoulder in the Lions game against the Chicago Bears and did not return. There is no official word but its mechanism of injury corresponds to a sprained AC joint (a common injury for NFL RBs). Looks like Detroit is forecasting Swift will be out for the next few weeks, which would fit the schedule for that injury: three weeks. Because Swift essentially has an extra week to recover after a Thursday game, there’s a chance he could play Week 15, but the following week in Atlanta might be more realistic.
Darren waller, TE Las Vegas Raiders
Injury: left knee injury
Recovery schedule: likely return to week 13
Potential replacement (s): Foster Moreau
Another big potential Thanksgiving injury was Darren Waller’s left knee injury. Waller came out in the first half and did not return after half time. Per video, there were fears of an MCL sprain, but on Friday we were informed that Waller had a computer tape strain. To be honest, this is a weird diagnosis because you can’t sprain or strain your IT group. It’s more likely that Waller has some sort of bruise on the outside of his left knee. A return in week 13 is likely at this time.
AJ Brown, WR Tennessee Titans
Injury: rib contusion – placed on IR
Recovery schedule: 4 weeks (3 weeks in IR plus a week off)
Potential replacement (s): Chester roger, Nick Westbrook-Ikhine
This one is a bit confusing. After receiving reports that AJ Brown did not have a broken ribs, I was optimistic about his chances of playing in Week 12, but here we are. On Saturday, the Titans put Brown on IR. AJB has struggled with a plethora of injuries this season (hand and knee) so I can’t help but wonder if Tennessee thought it would be best to shut down their star for a few weeks and help them recover because it is unusual to see someone put on IR for a rib contusion. Hopefully Brown can dress up when he’s eligible for Week 16.
Justin Champs, QB Chicago Bear
Injury: rib fracture
Recovery schedule: 2-3 weeks
Potential replacement (s): Andy dalton
Speaking of ribs, when I wrote about Justin Fields’ rib injury last week, I indicated that there might be some concern about a fracture. Thusday Ian Rapoport confirmed my concern. There are reports that Fields will be ready for Week 13, but for a QB throwing almost any possessions, a broken rib is a painful injury. I wouldn’t be surprised if Fields missed another week or two.
Ezekiel Elliot, RB Dallas cowboys
Injury: bruise on the knee
Recovery time: 3 weeks
Potential replacement (s): Tony Pollard
Ezekiel Elliot has been treating a knee injury all year round and it is now rumored that Dallas is considering giving Elliot some time to rest and recover from that injury. Elliot’s ankle injury last week surely didn’t help with his knee problem and the combination of the two likely factored into his limited playing time. Tony Pollard equaled his share of the season-high snap on Thursday. Bone bruises require rest to heal completely. It wouldn’t be shocking to see Elliot be away for a few weeks. From what we already know, Pollard is flex-worthy every week. If Elliot ran out of time, Pollard would flirt with the RB1 level.
Christian mccaffrey, RB Caroline Panthers
Injury: inversion sprain of the left ankle
Resumption schedule: IR – end of season
Potential replacement (s): Chuba hubbard, Ameer Abdallah
I’m really sick of writing about Christian McCaffrey, but here we are again. In the second quarter of Sunday’s game, McCaffrey had his left ankle rolled by a Miami defender, a classic mechanism for a sprained inversion ankle. The Panthers put McCaffrey in IR on Monday, which means his season is over. Luge has been tough the past two seasons for McCaffrey, hopefully he can get back in shape in 2022.
Miles sanders, RB Philadelphia Eagles
Injury: sprained right ankle (inversion sprain)
Recovery schedule: 0-3 weeks
Potential replacement (s): Boston Scott, Kenneth Gainwell
Unfortunately, after spending the last three weeks in IR with a sprained right ankle, Miles Sanders again injured his right ankle. The good news is Sanders was able to return to action, but Philadelphia used an RB committee with Boston Scott hitting Sanders two to 13 in the second half. Limited practice is expected for Sanders this week with a chance he will miss a game or two.
Jalen hurts, QB Philadelphia Eagles
Injury: left foot / ankle injury
Recovery schedule: 0 weeks
Potential replacement (s): Gardner Minshew
After the game we learned that Jalen Hurts was hampered by a left ankle injury. Examining the tape, it looks like Boston Scott stepped on Hurts’ left foot causing the injury. Expect Hurts to be questionable this week, but given that he was able to finish the game, his chances of playing in Week 13 are good. Hurts’ mobility could be affected by this injury, which could be a problem for fantasy managers, given that over 44% of his fantasy points come from his rushed production.
Dan Arnold, TE Jacksonville Jaguars
Injury: right knee injury (nonspecific)
Recovery schedule: unknown
Potential replacement (s): James O’Shaughnessy
Dan Arnold injured his right knee on Sunday and did not return to the game. It’s hard to see on the video, but based on the way it was approached, I’m worried about a sprained MCL that could lead to a 3-4 week lack.
Randall Cobb, WR Baie Verte Packers
Injury: strained groin
Recovery schedule: 2-4 weeks
Potential replacement (s): Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Allen Lazard
In the midst of a huge, fantastic performance, Randall Cobb injured his groin and was immediately ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Rams. Quick withdrawal is never a good sign. Typically, the WRs miss three games with groin strain.
Melvin gordon, RB Denver Broncos
Injury: left hip
Recovery schedule: 0-2 weeks
Potential replacement (s): Javonte williams
Melvin Gordon injured his left hip in the first postponement of the game on Sunday, but missed minimal time before returning to action. After that injury, Gordon and Javonte Williams’ touch distribution was equal to 17 each. Follow the training reports this week for Gordon, but I don’t expect him to miss a moment.
Dalvin cook, RB Minnesota Vikings
Injury: dislocation of the left shoulder
Recovery schedule: 3 weeks – end of season possible
Potential replacement (s): Alexandre mattison
Dalvin Cook had to be hauled off the field after what was later confirmed to be a dislocated left shoulder. It can be a difficult injury for a running back. Cook has a history of right shoulder injuries more recently, but his left shoulder problems date back to his high school days. With a dislocated shoulder, a labral tear is likely but not always the case. If Cook has a torn labrum, it would require surgery to repair it. It’s possible Minnesota will wait until the offseason, but at 5-6 the Vikings’ playoff odds look grim and it’s possible they’ll stop it. If the plan is to bring Cook back, he could do it in 2-3 weeks (most likely the latter).
Deebo Samuel, WR San Francisco 49ers
Injury: groin injury
Recovery schedule: 2-4 weeks
Potential replacement (s): Jauan Jennings, Trent Sherfield
Wide receiver Deebo Samuel, or should I say running back Deebo..wait no wide receiver (check boxscore) running back? You understand the basics. Samuel also suffered a groin injury on Sunday night. Deebo seems visibly upset after the fact but that doesn’t always indicate the severity of the injury. At the post-match press conference, Deebo told reporters he would have an MRI but was “not too worried.” As I mentioned above, these injuries can take an average of three weeks to heal, but they’re volatile and vary (think Curtis Samuel this season). Hopefully Deebo is able to come back after a short absence and give back fantastic value. On average, groin tension results in an 18% drop in fantasy output when the player returns, which would still have Samuel in the low-end WR1 lineup … I mean the low-end RB1 lineup.