Posted by Tom Christ

Week 8 Injury Report

October 27, 2023

We sit about halfway through the fantasy season, and this year has been unpredictable, to say the least. This week, we don’t have any season-ending injuries to discuss, but the week 8 injury report is still full of relevant injuries with the potential to influence fantasy matchups. Read below for an in-depth analysis!

Can you believe that we are already halfway through the fantasy season? Football season goes way too fast! The week 8 injury report is long but luckily, it is not full of significant injuries like weeks past. Below, I highlight the key injuries impacting fantasy-relevant players and how they profile to impact fantasy production.

Week 8 Injury Report: Quarterbacks

Jalen Hurts

Injury: Knee injury

Jalen Hurts donned a brace in the second half of Sunday nights commanding victory over the high-powered Miami Dolphins. Hurts played the entire game despite suffering a left knee injury early in the game. I’ve stated before that when a knee injury is so minor, teams often won’t give us the exact tissues that are injured. This is because when injuries are so mild, there may not be enough tissue damage to warrant a diagnosis.

Vague knee injuries tend to behave the same. Pain, maybe some swelling and stiffness, typically resolves well with a range of motion exercises, ice, and compression and generally does not impact the player’s productivity. With this being Hurts left knee, it is not likely to impact his ability to generate throwing power. Hurts practiced in full all week and is ready to go.

Expected Return: Week 8

Fantasy Impact: We just witnessed Trevor Lawrence play fine after a similar injury. Hurts is much more of a rusher than Lawrence, so it is possible Hurts rushing upside is capped to some degree, but this is not likely to impact his throwing. Hurts remains a set-it-and-forget-it QB1.

Deshaun Watson

Injury: Shoulder

Watson is on the week 8 injury report as he aggravated his shoulder injury that kept him out for two games in the first quarter of Sunday’s win against the Colts. Watson is dealing with an injury to the subscapularis muscle, which is one of the four rotator cuff muscles and is involved in initiating the transition from the cock back phase to the follow-through phase, as well as holding the arm bone in the shoulder socket when above head (such as throwing).

week 8 injury report

I explained last week how the reports of this being a “contusion” simply cannot be true, and now, we finally have reports that it is, in fact, a rotator cuff injury. It is very rare for the subscapularis to be injured in isolation. While not impossible, this tells us he likely has an injury to other rotator cuff muscles as well, with the supraspinatus and infraspinatus muscles being the most common.

Watson will attempt to rehab his shoulder, which will likely take several weeks to a month. If rehab is unsuccessful, he will need season-ending surgery.

Expected Return: TBD. Likely will miss a month at minimum.

Fantasy Impact: It is unlikely fantasy players will be able to rely on Waton in the next month. If Watson is able to rehab his shoulder successfully, he can be productive again this season.

Jimmy Garoppolo

Injury: Back injury

Garoppolo suffered a back injury in week 6, in which he went to the hospital as a precaution. Jimmy G missed week 7, but has returned to full practice and will play in week 8. Back injuries can be tricky for any position, especially quarterbacks, with the amount of rotation they undergo when throwing. Pain can inhibit motion, meaning a quarterback may not be able to rotate as much or generate as much power when dealing with a back injury. Sometimes, these feel better when warmed up, but sometimes, they can linger and impact motion.

Expected Return: Week 8

Fantasy Impact: I would expect some loss of throwing power and accuracy if he is dealing with pain during the throwing motion. Garoppolo has not been startable in 1 QB league as is. In 2 QB leagues, he can be considered only if desperate.

Brock Purdy

Injury: Concussion

Purdy reportedly developed concussion symptoms during the flight home after Monday night’s loss to Minnesota. Concussions affect everyone differently, so it is not out of the question that these symptoms truly did not develop until after the game. NFL player’s average return to play after a concussion is 16 days. Purdy appears to be progressing quickly through the concussion protocol and has a legit shot to play this week.

Expected Return: Week 8-9

Fantasy Impact: We do not anticipate a decline in fantasy production due to the concussion.

Daniel Jones

Injury: Neck injury

week 8 injury report

Jones continues to progress through rehab for his neck injury, which was reportedly referring to his shoulder. This is not a rare phenomenon; in fact, I see this almost daily in my practice, and it does not always indicate significant injury. To date, there are no reports of any disc or nerve issues, and Jones is likely just dealing with stiffness that makes it difficult to turn his head to scan the defense. However, Jones does not appear to be progressing as quickly as the Giants had hoped and has been ruled out for week 8.

Expected Return: Week 9

Fantasy Impact: When Jones has enough range of motion to play, I do not expect his neck to limit his production at all.

Ryan Tannehill

Injury: High ankle sprain

Tannehill continues to rehab his high ankle sprain, the same one that he had the tightrope procedure for last season. Tennessee appears to be preparing for rookie Will Levis to get his first career start in week 8, and Tannehill has been ruled out. Quarterbacks average missing 2.5 games with high ankle sprains.

Expected Return: Week 10+

Fantasy Impact: While quarterbacks, on average, do not see a hit on fantasy production coming off of high ankle sprains, this is Tannehill’s right ankle, meaning the one that he pushes off for throw power. This would have the potential to impact his ability to put velocity on the ball.

Week 8 Injury Report: Running Backs

Saquon Barkley

week 8 injury report

Injury: Elbow hyperextension

Barkley hyperextended his elbow early in Sunday’s game, but returned and finished the game. This type of injury should not influence his production whatsoever. The elbow is not a weight-bearing joint, and he would need to have the perfect hit to re-aggravate this injury.

Expected Return: Week 8

Fantasy Impact: As an upper-body injury with little to no increased risk for re-injury, this will not impact Barkley’s fantasy output.

Austin Ekeler

Injury: Ankle sprain

Ekeler picked up a minor ankle sprain on Sunday but returned and finished the game. This is different than the high ankle sprain he missed several weeks with. Ekeler has not been on the injury list this week and will play in week 8.

Expected Return: Week 8

Fantasy Impact: While running backs average a decline of 10% in fantasy production in the first game after an ankle sprain, Ekeler’s does not appear serious, and he is a dominant force. Do not hesitate to start him.

Raheem Mostert

Injury: Ankle

Mostert did not practice Wednesday due to an ankle injury but did log limited practices on Thursday and Friday. Ankle sprains can limit a runner’s ability to change directions. Mostert’s injury, however, appears very minor, as he was able to finish the game Sunday night.

Ankle sprains can impact a runner’s ability to change direction and carry a high recurrence rate of up to 26%.

Expected Return: Week 8

Fantasy Impact: Running backs, on average, see a decline of 10% in fantasy production in the first game after an ankle sprain. For Mostert and this high-powered offense, this is not enough to bench him, assuming he plays.

Kenneth Walker

Injury: Calf injury

Walker did not practice Wednesday or Thursday but was removed from the injury list on Friday. This is interesting. His inability to practice at all on Wednesday and Friday tells us that this injury is not nothing. Calf injuries are challenging. The calf is a highly powerful muscle that is involved in acceleration, sprinting, and changing direction. When injured, it is difficult to get to top speed. Calves also carry a high recurrence rate.

Expected Return: Week 8

Fantasy Impact: While running backs, on average, do not see a decline in fantasy production after a calf injury, only 25% meet or exceed the pre-injury baseline in the first game after injury. In fact, if you remove Jeff Wilson Jr’s 2020 performance, running backs average a decline of 23% fantasy points in the first game back from a calf injury. Still, the running back landscape is dreadful; you may still need to start a slightly handicapped Walker.

Jerome Ford

Injury: High ankle sprain

Ford suffered a classic high ankle sprain from a “hip drop” tackle that the NFL is trying to eliminate. If you watch the play, you can see the defender latches onto Ford’s side and drop, landing on the outside portion of Ford’s ankle.

Ford’s high ankle sprain is not believed to be serious. With mild high ankle sprains, we typically do not see a tremendous “gapping” of the tibia and fibula bones. This means that stability of the ankle is largely maintained, and the ability to get back on the field depends on regaining range of motion and getting pain down. Ford was able to practice on Friday, but it is still unclear if he can go on Sunday.

Expected Return: Week 8-9

Fantasy Impact: Surprisingly, on average, running backs do not see a hit on fantasy production when they return from high ankle sprains. This is especially true when they are minor. When Ford returns, he can be trusted.

Zack Moss

Injury: Heel/elbow

The heel injury is the one that would impact his ability to play and play well. A heel injury is actually a fairly non-specific diagnosis. There are two main things that could be happening here.

1) A bruise. This would be as simple as having time to rest to let the bruising subside but also could feel better when warmed up.

2) Achilles tendon/plantar fascia injury. I group these together because the fascia from the calf/Achilles complex meets the plantar fascia, and together they can cause heel pain. Treatment here is a little more stubborn than a bruise; however, this type of injury usually feels better when warmed up, but sucks when walking/running cold and after exercising.

Either way, heel injuries can usually be managed and played through as long as the pain is down. Not practicing Friday may actually just be the Colt’s way of letting him feel better before playing Sunday, but we will see.

Expected Return: Week 8-9

Fantasy Impact: I would not expect either injury to impact his per-play production; however, Jonathan Taylor is fully back in the picture.

Roschon Johnson

Injury: Concussion

Johnson has cleared the concussion protocol and will play this week.

Expected Return: Week 8

Fantasy Impact: We do not expect any decline in production after a concussion.

Keaton Mitchell

Injury: Hamstring

week 8 injury report

Mitchell injured his hamstring in week 7, and may miss a few weeks. Hamstring injuries impact the ability to hit top speed and carry high recurrence rates. Mitchell is not a huge part of the Baltimore offense, so the Ravens will likely have no reason to rush him back.

Expected Return: Week 10

Fantasy Impact: Running backs see no decline in fantasy production when they return from a hamstring. Mitchell is not fantasy-relevant at this point.

Week 8 Injury Report: Wide Receivers

DK Metcalf

Injury: Hip

Metcalf missed week 7 with a hip injury. The detail of his hip injury has not been shared, but any hip injury can impact a player’s ability to change direction. Metcalf is a down-the-field threat and a big body but has never been an elusive receiver. Hip injuries more commonly affect lateral agility, more so than straight-line speed, favoring Metcalf’s playing style. Metcalf practiced this week and will play.

Expected Return: Week 8

Fantasy Impact: Receivers, on average, do not see any hit on production when returning from hip injuries. Couple this with Metcalf’s playing style as a big body and deep threat; this injury should not hinder his production as much as it would a slot receiver. If he plays, you start him.

Tyreek Hill

Injury: Hip

Unlike Metcalf above, Tyreek Hill’s unique speed and agility are what makes him great. The agility, in particular, is what has the potential to be affected by a hip injury. Hill played the entire game Sunday, so it is certainly possible that his absence from practice on Wednesday was more precautionary than a true injury, and he returned to practice Thursday and Friday and was cleared to play.

Expected Return: Week 8

Fantasy Impact: While receivers, on average, do not see a dip in fantasy production after hip injuries, Hill’s otherworldly speed and agility could be affected, which could pose a threat to his league-leading 22.9 points per game. However, he is so goddamn good that you don’t even consider benching if he plays.

Jaylen Waddle

Injury: Back injury

Waddle missed some time during Sunday night’s loss to Philadelphia with a back injury but was able to finish the game and logged a limited practice Wednesday. Back injuries can be tricky, as they often will flare up the day after injury. Back injuries can impact the ability to twist the torso, which a receiver must frequently do to adjust and catch balls.

Most of the time, these injuries do better after getting warmed up. Waddle has been cleared to play in week 8.

Expected Return: Week 8

Fantasy Impact: Back injuries typically feel better when the player is warmed up. I do not anticipate this hindering his fantasy stat line.

Diontae Johnson

Injury: Hamstring

Johnson played in week 7 after missing 4 games with a hamstring injury. Johnson gave us a scare not practicing Thursday but returned on Friday and is ready to play this week. Hamstrings do impact top-end speed, which is why we see receivers so affected by hamstrings. Johnson’s playing style, however, favors his ability to perform despite the hamstring. Johnson is a short-route possession savant. This means he does not run as far down the field usually and, therefore, does not as frequently get to his top speed where the hamstring is most loaded.

Expected Return: Week 8

Fantasy Impact: I do not expect this to limit Johnson’s production at all

Josh Palmer

Injury: Knee

Palmer missed Wednesday and Thursday’s practice with a vague knee injury and logged a limited practice Friday. True knee injuries can cause swelling, leading to pain and stiffness, which would impact the ability to change direction when running routes. Typically, though, if very minor, this does not impact production.

Expected Return: Week 8-9

Fantasy Impact: With no practice on Wednesday or Thursday and a limited practice on Friday, I would expect this injury to slow Palmer down if he can play through it. We may see a reduced snap rate. Quentin Johntson breakout incoming?

Christian Watson

Injury: Knee

Watson went down on Sunday with a scary-looking knee injury but appears to have avoided anything major. He practiced in full all week and is not at risk of missing week 8. With him practicing in full, this clearly is not a major injury that would hinder production.

Expected Return: Week 8

Fantasy Impact: Watson avoided anything major. Practicing in full tells us this is not holding him back in any way.

Zay Jones

Injury: Knee

Jones is out again this week with a vague knee injury. While Jacksonville has not provided specifics of his injury, missing three games tells us this isn’t nothing.

Knee injuries can impact a receiver’s ability to change directions while running routes and run after catch. Jones’s situation is different than Watson’s above, as Jones’s missed time tells us his injury is more severe than Watson’s. We will continue to monitor practice reports throughout the week, but at this time, caution should be practiced when considering starting Jones.

Expected Return: Week 9

Fantasy Impact: Practice reports next week will give us insight to Jones true health and, therefore, his ability to play at his peak level.

Juju Smith-Schuster

Injury: Concussion

Juju is no longer on the injury report as he has cleared the NFL’s concussion protocol.

Expected Return: Week 8

Fantasy Impact: We do not anticipate any decline in fantasy production after a concussion.

Week 8 Injury Report: Tight Ends

TJ Hockenson

Injury: Foot injury

Hockenson is on the week 8 injury report as he injured his foot in Monday night’s game but was able to return and finish the game. The TE4 on the year did not practice Wednesday but has since been cleared to play in week 8.

Foot injuries are tough, and we hope to gain more detail as the week progresses. The foot must take on tremendous forces when planting to change direction. Pain or instability (if the injury is serious enough) makes it very hard to change direction and push off when sprinting. Protective taping or shoe inserts can help provide support and can be effective when the injury is minor enough.

While we don’t have full details on Hockenson’s injury, of course, the main concern would be if it is a Lisfranc injury. We don’t always know if a foot injury is severe enough to warrant surgery right away. Rashod Bateman last season tried to rehab and return after a mid-foot injury, only to worsen the injury, requiring surgery. Let’s hope that’s not the case with Hockenson.

Expected Return: Week 8

Fantasy Impact: A foot injury will likely slow down a tight end’s ability to get down the field. Hockenson is one of the more athletic tight ends, so this could curb his yardage total. Hockenson is also 6’5 248lbs and will still be able to utilize his size in the middle of the field and the red zone. While his yardage total may take a hit, he should still be productive enough to start.

Luke Musgrave

Injury: Ankle injury

Musgrave is on the week 8 injury report and did not practice Wednesday or Thursday due to an ankle injury and is officially questionable for week 8. Musgrave was seen using a walking boot after the game, which sometimes indicates more serious ankle injuries.

The Packers have not told us if this is a lateral ankle sprain or a high ankle sprain. Either type has the potential to impact his ability to change directions, with high ankle sprains being much more impactful. Tight ends average missing 4.7 games due to high ankle sprains and only 1.5 games from lateral ankle sprains.

Expected Return: Week 8-9

Fantasy Impact: Musgrave is the TE24 on the year. Regardless of whether this is a high or lateral ankle sprain, it is enough to keep him out of your lineups.

Dawson Knox

Injury: Wrist injury

Knox has been placed on the IR and will be undergoing wrist surgery this week, which will keep him out for an undetermined amount of time. The type of surgery and tissues repaired will dictate his timeline, and this information has not yet been provided.

Expected Return: TBD

Fantasy Impact: As an upper-body injury, whenever Knox returns, this injury does not profile to impact his fantasy production.

Gerald Everett

Injury: Quad injury

Everett suffered a quad injury on Sunday and missed Wednesday’s practice but did log a full practice Friday. Quads are very strong, powerful muscles that are highly involved in sprinting, cutting, blocking, and jumping. Tight ends average missing one game, and the recurrence rate hovers around 10% in the medical literature.

Expected Return: Week 8-9

Fantasy Impact: With the quads being such an impactful muscle on athletic function, we see tight ends average a decline of 20% in fantasy points when they return from injury. As the TE17 on the year, you don’t even consider starting Everett when he returns.

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