- How should fantasy managers adjust their lineups following injuries to some of the league's key players entering Week 5?
Josh Allen and Mitchell Trubisky join Ben Roethlisberger, Nick Foles, Cam Newton and Drew Brees on our “Passer Injury” list this week. Let’s cross our fingers that the number of injured signal-callers doesn’t continue to grow, because it’s already standing at six.
In addition to Allen and Trubisky, fantasy superstars Davante Adams, Jarvis Landry and Marlon Mack all left their games prematurely due to injury.
There’s a lot to go over, so let’s get to it.
Won’t See Them Again In 2019
No new players to add to this category for the second week in a row. We’ll take small victories where we can!
Might Be A While Before We See Them Again
Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears, shoulder
The third-year quarterback suffered a “slight” labrum tear and a dislocated left shoulder (his non-throwing shoulder) in the first quarter of Chicago’s matchup against the Vikings. Trubisky’s injury will certainly keep him out for multiple weeks, but the good news is he won’t need surgery—it’s probably a three-to-four week injury instead of a season-ender. Keep in mind the Bears play in London in Week 5 and then have a bye in Week 6, so the earliest we may see him back is in Week 7.
Fantasy Impact: With Trubisky sidelined, Chase Daniel took over under center and performed admirably considering the Vikings have a stout defense. Daniel completed 22 of 30 passes for 195 yards and one touchdown. Look for the Bears to lean on running back David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen in the rushing attack and target hog Allen Robinson to maintain his production even without Trubisky at quarterback.
Jamaal Williams, Green Bay Packers, neck
Any time a player has his neck crunched, face-mask screwed off by the medical staff and gets strapped to the backboard, it’s a scary scene. All fans waited with bated breath for that thumbs up from the injured player. Luckily Williams was able to signal he could move his limbs before being carted off the field. Williams has already been released from the hospital, and according to his social media posts he's “doing well.” But due to the seriousness of the injury, it will likely be a few weeks before he’s back on the field.
Fantasy Impact: The Packers will ride Aaron Jones while Williams is out, much to the satisfaction of any fantasy owner that grabbed the Green Bay rusher in the third round of their drafts.
Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers, toe
This is a tricky one… Adams was injured on Thursday night after going off against the Eagles to the tune of 10 catches for 180 yards. If he plays in Week 5 against the Cowboys, it would be about nine days of rest. Problem is, Adams admitted he was in so much pain that he didn’t even want to take his cleats off. I’d love to put him in the “Should be OK” section, and if I had to bet, I’d say he plays in a big NFC matchup vs. Dallas. Then again, do the Packers want to rush their top pass-catcher back into action and risk further injury?
Fantasy Impact: If Adams does play in Week 5 he’ll be less than 100%, that much is certain. If he’s out of action against the Cowboys, look for receivers Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Geronimo Allison and tight end Jimmy Graham to see a bump in targets from quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Should be OK But Expect A Questionable Tag And Limited Practice
Marlon Mack, Indianapolis Colts, ankle
A disappointing performance against the Raiders, Mack had just 39 yards on 11 carries before exiting in the fourth quarter with the ankle injury. The good news (somewhat good news) is coach Frank Reich told the media Mack was not ruled out of the game, but since the Colts were in their hurry-up offense, they decided to go with Nyheim Hines. Why is that only somewhat good news? Well, if you have Mack on your fantasy team, you don’t want to hear the coach saying they wanted to use Hines in their two-minute offense instead of their starting back. But back to the good news ... it seems Mack would have been healthy enough to return to action if needed, which bodes well for his availability against the Chiefs in Week 6.
Fantasy Impact: It will be frustrating to see Mack held out or limited in practice this week but that’s the likely scenario. Indianapolis has fed Mack a lot over the first four weeks. His 72 rushing attempts is tied for sixth-most in the league. So if they do limit his practice reps, so be it. Hines and Jordan Wilkins would take over backfield duties if Mack can’t go. Keep in mind the Colts have a bye in Week 6, so Mack could have two full weeks off if the injury is more significant than originally reported.
Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals, ankle
Not much to go on other than Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury telling the media Kirk is dealing with an ankle injury. The second-year wideout played the entire game except for the final 30 seconds when he limped off the field.
Fantasy Impact: Kirk has been a big part of Arizona’s offense and is fifth in targets among all NFL wide receivers. We’ll check on his status throughout the week but don’t expect to see him in practice until Friday. If he’s forced to miss the cupcake matchup against the Bengals in Week 5, the Cardinals will rely even more heavily on Larry Fitzgerald and running back David Johnson.
In The Protocol
Jarvis Landry, Cleveland Browns
A monster performance against the Ravens (eight catches, 167 yards), Landry was forced out of action early after suffering a concussion. Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard missed one game after his concussion but it’s difficult to compare the brain injury considering there are varying severities. This is Landry’s first documented concussion.
Fantasy Impact: After starting out the season with just 10 catches in three games, Landry rewarded fantasy managers that stuck with him by posting a career-high 167 yards. Antonio Callaway comes off his suspension at the perfect time. If Landry misses any games, Callaway would step in across from Odell Beckham Jr.
T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions
The eighth overall selection in the 2019 NFL draft was up-ended in the third quarter, landed on his head and lost consciousness for about a half a minute. The report around the NFL is the former Iowa star will not land on injured reserve, but the fact that was even being considered is alarming. Before leaving the game, Hockenson caught all three of his targets or 27 yards and a score. The Lions have a bye in Week 5.
Fantasy Impact: Detroit signed Jesse James in the offseason and will use him as its primary tight end while the promising rookie is sidelined.
Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
The second-year quarterback took a brutal helmet-to-helmet hit in the third quarter against the Patriots. He tried to re-enter the game but was officially ruled out with a concussion. Matt Barkley filled in for the injured Allen.
Fantasy Impact: The Patriots' defense was having a field day with the Bills passer, sacking him four times and intercepting three of his 28 attempts. Allen completed just 13 passes for 153 yards. It was a disastrous day for the 2018 seventh overall pick before the concussion added salt to the wound.
Nothing To See Here?
Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, hand
Evans was missing in action for a handful (pun intended maybe?) of the Buccaneers’ series while the team’s medical staff examined his hand. It was reported he had X-Rays but they came back negative. When Evans came back into the game, he torched Rams defensive back Marcus Peters on a 67-yard touchdown.
Fantasy Impact: Evans may have been out-performed by teammate Chris Godwin (12 catches-172 yards-two touchdowns) but saved his stat line with the 67-yard score. It certainly looks as if the hand injury was just a minor scare.
Injured But Not On The Fantasy Radar
Jakeem Grant, Miami Dolphins, hamstring
Dontrelle Inman, Los Angeles Chargers, quad