Posted by Tom Christ

Week 9 Fantasy Football Injury Report

November 4, 2023

It’s the week of the quarterback! We lost Kirk Cousins, who was playing the best football of his life, and we have several other big-name QBs on the week 9 injury report. It’s do-or-die time in fantasy, and the week 9 injury report below is an essential read if you want to position yourself for a playoff run!

Week 9 Injury Report: Quarterbacks

Josh Allen

Injury: Shoulder

Josh Allen initially appeared on the week 9 injury report but has since been removed. Allen missed practice Wednesday as he nursed an injury to his right (throwing) shoulder but is good to go this week. Allen was first reported to be dealing with a shoulder injury in week 6 but has not missed a snap and has averaged 31.2 points between weeks 7-8. Of course, a major injury that impacts range of motion or strength of a throwing shoulder would impact the ability to drive the ball down the field accurately. However, until we have word that his injury got worse in week 8 (of which he went 31/40 for 324 yards and two TDs), I am not ready to be concerned about his week 9 status.

Expected Return: Week 9

Fantasy Impact: Allen has already played through this, averaging 31.2 points since his injury. At the moment, this is not a concern.

Kirk Cousins

Injury: Achilles tear

week 9 injury report

Sadly, Cousins is on the week 9 injury report with a season-ending injury. Kirk Cousins is the latest victim of the most devastating sports injury, the Achilles tear. Cousins tore his right Achilles, and the laterality is important here, as a right-handed quarterback creates throwing power by pushing off the right leg.

Traditionally, this is a 9-12 month rehab in which athletes almost never regain full strength and power of the affected calf. In fact, studies show that a year removed from surgery, the affected calf averages being 10-30% weaker than the unaffected.

It will be interesting to see if Cousins undergoes the same advanced surgical technique that Aaron Rodgers underwent, in which we have seen Rodgers is clearly ahead of schedule. Even if Cousins does undergo this newer procedure that supports a more aggressive rehab, he still will not return until 2024 due to the timeline, as well as this being his right Achilles, whereas Rodgers injured his left.

Expected Return: 2024

Fantasy Impact: Cousins season is over. For 2024, while he can eventually get to full production levels, I would expect him to lose some of his power initially as the right calf continues to regain strength.

Kyler Murray

Injury: ACL

week 9 injury report

Murray has been progressing through rehab after undergoing ACL surgery on January 3rd, 2023. Murray will be just over 10 months post-op by Sunday, which is realistic to play, though it appears Arizona wants to give him one more week, as rookie Clayton Tune has been announced as the starter.

While quarterbacks traditionally don’t see a major hit on fantasy production after an ACL tear, Kyler profiles differently than most QBs before him. Kyler is a tremendous passer, and his passing will likely pick up right where it left off. It’s his rushing that will lag behind. Let’s consider that running backs see a 35% decline in fantasy production the entire first year after an ACL tear.

Expected Return: Week 10

Fantasy Impact: Kyler will be difficult to trust starting in the first several games he plays. Not just the injury, which will curb his rushing upside, but this team is not good.

Matthew Stafford

Injury: Thumb UCL sprain.

No stranger to injuries, Stafford is on the week 9 injury report. The UCL is a ligament in the thumb that supports the thumb and keeps the joint stable. When injured, this creates pain and swelling, which can impact grip strength, as well as instability within the thumb joint that can lead to dislocations if severe enough. This type of injury will be managed with taping, and when minor enough, this can get the job done. McVay states that Stafford is day-to-day, which would indicate a grade I injury at worst. Grade I injuries show little to no “laxity” or loss of stability. Therefore, the ability to play is purely getting pain down and strength back up, which will be challenging in one week. The Rams elevated quarterback Dresser Winn from the practice squad, typically indicating that Stafford is not expected to play.

Expected Return: Week 9 or 11 (week 10 bye)

Fantasy Impact: If Stafford plays in week 9, I would expect some difficulty gripping, leading to accuracy and fumbling issues..

Tyrod Taylor

Injury: Rib injury

Taylor was transported to a local hospital after suffering a rib injury on Sunday. Taylor was released from the hospital on Monday and is week-to-week, but the Giants have not revealed the extent of his injury. Taylor was likely sent to the hospital out of precaution for penetration of the lung field, which could cause a pneumothorax (collapsed lung) or internal bleeding into the lungs. The hospital will run various tests to rule these conditions in/out and likely wanted to observe for several hours to ensure no delayed internal bleeding was occurring.

Taylor’s quick release from the hospital is encouraging. Being listed week-to-week tells us that this is likely more than a bruise. He may be dealing with a fracture of either the bone or cartilage. More information is likely to come throughout the week.

Expected Return: Week 10-11

Fantasy Impact: Giants starter Daniel Jones will be back before Taylor returns. In the event Taylor returns first, this injury could certainly impact his ability to power the ball down the field and would impact his fantasy production.

Kenny Pickett

Injury: Ribs

week 9 injury report

Like Taylor above, Pickett left Sunday’s game with a rib injury. Pickett’s injury is not as serious as Taylor’s, as Pickett was not sent to the hospital and is ready to play Thursday night.

Rib injuries can really impact throwing, as we saw last year with Justin Herbert. The ribs must undergo motion when the torso rotates (like when throwing), and several key throwing muscles attach to the ribs. The pecs, lats, and obliques are strong muscles that rotate the torso and move the arm during the throwing motion. These muscles all attach to various parts of the ribs and will pull on the rib when contracting. In the presence of a rib injury, this hurts and can impact a thrower’s ability to generate power and accuracy!

Expected Return: Week 9

Fantasy Impact: Rib injuries are challenging for quarterbacks. Rib injuries limit throwing power and can influence accuracy as well. Expect a dip in production, specifically throwing down the field.

Daniel Jones

Injury: Cervical disc injury

week 9 injury report

The Giants finally revealed Jones was dealing with a disc injury causing weakness in his left arm. This is characteristic of disc injuries due to the disc material compressing the nerves supplying arm muscles. This occurs when the lower cervical discs (C5-T1) are affected, not the higher ones. Nerves from C5-T1 segments of the spine supply the muscles of the shoulder and arm. This weakness is called “myotomal weakness” and is NOT true muscle weakness; it is purely due to the message from the nerve to the muscle being disrupted. Think of it like your cell phone when you are in a rural area; the phone is not functioning properly because the signal is poor; there is nothing wrong with the phone itself.

Cervical discs are one of my favorite things to treat clinically. Severity dictates the course of healing. A major disc herniation will usually need surgery to resolve. Clearly, that is not the case with Jones, as he has just been cleared for contact and will play in week 9. Jones appears on track to play in week 9, but the re-injury risk is certainly present.

Expected Return: Week 9

Fantasy Impact: Being his left (non-throwing) side, this should not impact Jones’s production. Re-injury risk is elevated, though.

Week 9 Injury Report: Running Backs

Saquon Barkley

Injury: High ankle sprain

No, this is not a new injury and not a recurrence. Saquon is on this list purely because he admitted that he is still dealing with the high ankle sprain, and he stated it will likely affect him all season. This is simply how moderate-high severity high ankle sprains function.

When a high ankle sprain is bad enough, the tibia and fibula bones shift away from each other due to injury of the syndesmosis tissue that holds them together. While treatment is designed to help re-approximate the bones, allowing the syndesmosis to heal, this rarely happens perfectly. I have personally worked with NFL players who had a high ankle sprain years prior and still experience the effects of it.

This may impact his ankle range of motion, strength, and stability for the rest of the season. However, this does not necessarily impact his fantasy value, but his per-touch efficiency likely won’t be what we are used to this year. For reference, Barkley has logged three straight double-digit fantasy outputs since returning in week 6; however, he has averaged <4 yards per carry.

Past high ankle sprains can also influence mechanics in the ankle that can influence injury either at that ankle or up the chain into the knee, hip, and back. Ankle range of motion deficits is an independent risk factor for sports injury. This is NOT me predicting that Saquon will get injured again this year or telling you to trade him; I am simply stating that the medical research and my own clinical experience support that this high ankle sprain is a risk factor for future injury.

Expected Return: Week 9

Fantasy Impact: Saquon has already shown that he can still produce for fantasy players.

Travis Etienne

Injury: Ankle

I’m not sure Etienne even needs to be on the week 9 injury report since the Jag’s have a bye. Etienne suffered a minor ankle injury in the first half on Sunday but returned to put up a huge game. His ability to return and play well suggests this injury is minor and should not be a problem going forward.

Expected Return: Week 10 (bye week 9)

Fantasy Impact: RBs, on average, see a decline of 10% in fantasy production in the first game after an ankle sprain, but Etienne has already shown that this injury did not hinder him, and he will have the bye week to rehab.

Damien Piece

Injury: Ankle sprain

Pierce has been ruled out for week 9 as he tends to an ankle injury. As a downhill runner, this would be less likely to impact him than it would a shifter back, which should be kept in mind for next week.

Expected Return: Week 10

Fantasy Impact: Running backs see a dip of 11% in fantasy production in the first game after an ankle sprain

Emari Demercado

Injury: Toe

Demercado will not play in week 9 as he has a toe injury. The toe is the final part of the lower limb touching the ground at push-off when running, cutting, jumping, or anything athletic. As such, the big toe must undergo up to 90° of motion and must take on several times the body weight in force. As you can imagine, injury to the big toe can impact a player’s willingness to load and push off through the toe, which, of course, impacts athleticism.

Mild toe injuries are no problem. Moderate-severe toe injuries can be a major problem. We will track Demercado’s status next week. If he can play next week, then the rest of the season’s concern goes down. If he misses another game, we begin to become concerned.

Expected Return: Week 10

Fantasy Impact:

Week 9 Injury Report: Wide Receivers

Deandre Hopkins

Injury: Toe

Hopkins did not practice this week and finds himself on the week 9 injury report ahead of the Titan’s Thursday night game against the Steelers. Toe injuries are variable; some are a big problem, but this year, we’ve seen Calvin Ridley, Terry McLaurin, and Amon-Ra St. Brown all play just fine after returning from toe injuries. With Hopkins logging limited practices earlier this week, Wednesday’s absence may be a veteran rest day. Hopkins is a savvy veteran who does not need to practice to be productive.

Expected Return: Week 9-10

Fantasy Impact: With a short week and not much along the front of practice reports or videos, it’s difficult to assess if this toe injury will be a factor or not. We will look out for reports in the hours leading up to the game for a better idea.

Drake London

Injury: Groin

London exited Sunday’s game with a groin injury. The groin is a collection of muscles on the inside of the hip that helps stabilize when on one leg and also aids in creating power when running. Groin injuries carry recurrence rates as high as 18% but often do not negatively impact production. This is because the location of the groin on the inside of the hip means it does not have a significant role in lateral agility, as players typically push off the outside leg, utilizing the glute muscles on the outside of the hip. London has been ruled out for week 9.

Expected Return: Week 10. Receivers average missing 1.5 games.

Fantasy Impact: Receivers, on average, see no decline in fantasy production when they return from a groin injury.

Puka Nacua

Injury: Knee swelling

This is vague, and Nacua failed to log more than a limited practice this week. Swelling is common in the knee. When the injury is minor, it’s not too hard to get the swelling down, range of motion restored, and the function back, but sometimes these can linger. Being limited in practice all week tells us that Nacua will not be at 100% in week 9. A below 100% Nacua can likely still be productive with Stafford at QB, and as such, Nacua’s fantasy outlook this week is directly linked to Stafford’s availability.

Expected Return: Week 9

Fantasy Impact: With Nacua below 100%, his ability to separate from defenders may be compromised. As such, his fantasy value hinges significantly on whether or not Matthew Stafford plays. If Stafford sits, Nacua becomes a risky start.

Curtis Samuel

Injury: Toe

Samuel was ruled out for week 9 with a toe injury. Rivera initially stated that Samuel is dealing with “soreness,” but clearly his injury is more than just soreness if he will be missing time. Toes are ticky. Mild toe injuries are not a problem, and players return and play well with little re-injury risk. When toe injuries are moderate-severe, they significantly impact push-off, therefore acceleration, and top-end speed, and have high recurrence rates. Not playing this week is not a good sign, but next week’s status will tell us a lot more information. If he sits next week as well, we will begin to become concerned.

Expected Return: Week 10

Fantasy Impact: If he is unable to play in week 10, concern for this to linger all season will begin to grow.

Kendrick Bourne

Injury: ACL tear

As if the New England Patriots season couldn’t get any worse, they just lost receiver Kendrick Bourne for the season with an ACL tear. Bourne’s season is over, and traditionally, receivers struggle in the first year after an ACL tear.

We know there are four key factors that influence a player’s readiness for week one of the following season. Let’s review how Bourne stacks up:

  • Age: At 28, age is not working in Bourne’s favor, but is not working against him
  • Time from surgery to week 1: A surgical date has not been set yet. If Bourne gets surgery within the next week, he will have roughly 10 months until week 1. That timeline is reasonable to be ready in week one, but ideally, we would like a few more weeks.
  • Number of tissues repaired: At this time, reports only suggest an ACL tear. This works in his favor.
  • Freak Athlete?: No

Expected Return: 2024

Fantasy Impact: WRs typically struggle in the first year after an ACL. Bourne, who has never been elite, will likely not be fantasy-relevant for much of 2024.

Devante Parker

Injury: Concussion

Parker has been ruled out for week 9 due to his concussion.

Expected Return: Week 10

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

Josh Palmer

Injury: Knee injury.

Palmer entered week 8 with a vague knee injury and appeared to have aggravated it briefly, though was able to return to the game. Knee injuries, regardless of the tissue involved, can make it challenging to change direction and run crisp routes. Knees are also prone to swelling, and Palmer’s ability to suit up Monday night will come down to pain and swelling management and ensuring he has proper strength and stability.

Expected Return: Week 9-10

Fantasy Impact: We just saw Palmer struggle coming off a knee injury, tallying only 3.9 half-PPR points. He may be in for a similar struggle if he suits up.

Wan’Dale Robinson

Injury: Knee

Robinson continues to deal with nagging knee injuries. He has been removed from the injury report and will play in week 9. Still, knee injuries impact agility and change of direction, which is Robinson’s game. I’d expect this to slow him down a little this week.

Expected Return: Week 9

Fantasy Impact: Robinson is not fantasy-relevant at this time. Any existing injury does not help his fantasy stock for week 9.

Week 9 Injury Report: Tight Ends

Darren Waller

Injury: Hamstring

Waller suffered yet another hamstring injury. The 31-year-old has missed 17 games in his career due to hamstring injuries. Hamstrings impact top-end speed, as the load on the biceps femoris (one of the hamstring muscles) increases by 67% when reaching top-end speed. Because of this, hamstring injuries are most common in pass catchers, especially the more athletic ones.

Waller has stated that he expects to miss multiple weeks and has been ruled out for week 9. Tight ends average missing 2.3 games. The recurrence rate is very high, with an existing hamstring injury increasing the risk for a subsequent one by 5x in the same season. Waller will be at elevated risk for the remainder of the year.

Expected Return: TBD

Fantasy Impact: While re-injury risk is high, tight ends, on average, do not see a drop in fantasy production in the first game back from a hamstring injury.

Gerald Everett

Injury: Hip/Quad

Everett missed week 8 with a hip and/or quad injury. Both will impact a player’s ability to create lower body power, whether that be blocking, reaching top-end speed, changing direction, or jumping. With a week to rehab, Everett is on track to be ready in week 9.

Expected Return: Week 9

Fantasy Impact: Tight ends average a dip of 19% fantasy production and 7% snap rate in their first game back from quad injuries. Best to hold Everett out this week if he suits up.

Taysom Hill

Injury: Hip

Hill was limited in practice Wednesday as he deals with a hip injury but has been removed from the injury report and will play. As mentioned above, with Everett, hip injuries can slow players down, but this sounds minor and should not impact Hill’s production

Expected Return: Week 9

Fantasy Impact: Hill’s outlook is the same every week, completely unpredictable. This injury makes it no different.

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