While football is back and has the nation excited for its return, the unfortunate truth of the game is that it takes a huge toll on the body and there are often a number of injuries in the early weeks of the season. Aside from the obvious hope that all of these men recover well from their injuries, fantasy football team owners are concerned about how these injuries will affect their team. In case you missed any of the weekend’s big injuries, or are looking for replacements on those teams for the players’ production, we’ve got you covered. Below you’ll find a round up of the biggest injuries from Week 1, followed by the latest prognosis and which player(s) will fill that guys role while they’re out.
Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
Torn ACL– out for year
Robinson was expected to be the top wide receiver target on the Jaguars as he has been in recent years, but that ended Sunday as the wideout reportedly suffered a torn ACL against the Texans. Robinson owners were probably largely hoping that QB Blake Bortles would be somewhat respectable as a starter, but Sunday didn’t leave much hope for that either as Bortles was just 11/21 for 142 yards on the day.
The next two top options are Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns for the Jags, but it looked like Jacksonville’s largely going to focus on running the football and playing defense, thereby minimizing the effect that Bortles and the receivers can have on the game. If looking for replacements, I’d suggest going elsewhere. Maybe someone like Cooper Kupp, who flashed as Jared Goff’s safety blanket on Sunday, may still be available in your league. Or Kenny Golladay in Detroit. But, after Sunday, the Jags passing game seems like a no fly zone.
David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals
Dislocated Wrist- unknown return
This one hurts. If you had the top pick in your draft this year, you likely took Johnson after his ridiculous 2016 season. In Sunday’s game against Detroit, he wasn’t particularly effective on the ground (11 carries 23 yards) but he did have six catches for 68 yards before the injury. Ian Rapoport is reporting that Johnson is a potential IR candidate which is not good news for fantasy owners.
Kerwynn Williams will likely lead a committee in Arizona for the time being, but there’s not much in the way of replacements for a guy like Johnson. Maybe take a flyer on Tarik Cohen of the Bears? He won’t get the majority of the carries in Chi-town, but he is a nice change-of-pace back for the Bears alongside Jordan Howard.
Danny Woodhead, RB, Baltimore Ravens
Hamstring injury– unknown timetable
Woodhead signed with the Ravens in the offseason to be a steadying presence in their uncertain backfield. After Kenneth Dixon went down for the year with a knee injury in camp, Woodhead looked to gain more fantasy value. Instead, he had just four touches against the Bengals before pulling up with a hamstring injury.
These types of nagging injuries have bugged Woodhead the last few years and for now, it looks like Terrance West/Javorius “Buck” Allen will get the majority of touches. Both backs got 19+ carries as the Ravens ran the ball 42 times compared to just 17 passes. Granted, part of that was due to playing with the lead thanks to Andy Dalton’s horrendous five turnover outing, but still. It seems the running game could be a bigger part of the game plan with Flacco still recovering from an injured back. Allen or West could be a good pickup with the Ravens set to face the Browns in Week 2.
Kevin White, WR, Chicago Bears
Fractured scapula– Injured reserve
White has been besieged by injuries throughout his young career to the point where he’s played just six games now in his first three seasons after his injury Sunday. The Bears fear he could need season-ending surgery, which would be unfortunate for White. Moreover, the Bears would then be without their expected top two receivers as Cam Meredith tore his ACL in preseason.
Who does that leave on the Bears as wideout options? Kendall Wright becomes No. 1 by default, with Markus Wheaton, Deonte Thompson and Josh Bellamy as the other options. That’s uh….not ideal, particularly with Mike Glennon at QB.
C.J. Fiedorowicz, Ryan Griffin, TE, Houston Texans
Concussions– week to week
Both of the Texans top two tight ends left their game against the Jaguars with diagnosed concussions. That means entering the protocol and, there’s no telling how long it will take for either of them to clear testing. This is significant for multiple reasons. One, the Texans offensive line looked awful this weekend and having a tight end stay in to help block will likely be needed going forward.
The second reason is that the team looks prepared to now insert rookie DeShaun Watson as the starting QB. Being a rookie, Watson is likely to rely on the tight end more as a security blanket and right now, the starter would be Stephen Anderson, who has never caught a pass in his pro career but, he’s also listed as doubtful due to a concussion. This likely means more targets for DeAndre Hopkins, Braxton Miller and Will Fuller V when he gets healthy, but the Texans passing game, like the Jaguars, is looking to be one to avoid.
Ronald Darby, CB, Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles defense put together an impressive showing on Sunday holding the Redskins offense to just 10 points (the other seven came from a pick six) and forcing Kirk Cousins into three turnovers including a pair of picks. But, they lost top corner Darby in the process to a dislocated ankle. The injury has turned out less serious than feared, but, the Eagles cornerback group still takes a blow. While the Philly front seven should still give opponents fits, the secondary could be more vulnerable making this defense less of a start in fantasy leagues.
Those are the major injuries for this week, be sure to plan your teams accordingly.