Injury Insights

Dr. Edwin Porras shares his insights and brief commentary on recent injuries across the league, including return-to-play timeline, historical factors and more. Sign up for a Fantasy Points subscription using promo code PORRAS22 for 10% off to read more of Dr. Porras’ work.
Matthew Stafford - Throwing Elbow

Since just last night Jourdan Rodrigue reported that Sean McVay denied that Stafford is dealing with previously reported "tendinitis" in his throwing arm. Instead McVay added the quarterback's elbow issue is "more of a baseball thing". At this point the extent of this issue is unknown but the bottom line is that it's a chronic injury that requires close management. If the Rams are monitoring this, you shuold too. In terms of baseball injuries, there are a handful of options and none of them are encouraging. Stafford is more volatile than his peers. This should only minimally impact your perception of Cooper Kupp but this Stafford injury is certainly not nothing.

Christian McCaffrey - Risk

Here's the bottom line - McCaffrey's primary injury risk is due to the most recent ankle sprain and hamstring strain. Those recurrence rate in skill players is 8% for the ankle. After a calendar year, re-injury risk to the hamstring is approximately 5%. There is some inherent risk of soft tissue injuries for McCaffrey based on his workloads and functional demands. The good news is McCaffrey himself has said this summer that he'll listen to his body more closely and has discussed taking days to rest with the coaching staff when needed. For context, another RB being drafted highly who also has a history of ankle and hamstring injuries is Leonard Fournette. McCaffrey's risk for injury this year is no higher than most of his contemporaries.

Gus Edwards - ACL

Edwards is reportedly "further behind Dobbins" in his recovery. This is a difficult report to decipher as Edwards is chronilogically one month behind Dobbins so it is unclear if the report is referring to time or progress in rehab. Whatever the case may be, Edwards is still on the mend and if he isn't off the PUP by the end of August, he's at risk to miss the season opener.

J.K. Dobbins - ACL

Most recent reports from ESPN place Dobbins back by Week One. Given Dobbins will be 12 months from surgery by then, it would actually be a surprise if he isn't active by then. In a worst case scenario, Dobbins is back by Week Four.

Irv Smith Jr. - Finger

Smith Jr. suffered a minor finger injury and reports from the team are that he'll be back by Week One

James Washington - Jones Fracture

Washington has a Jones fracture and reports are he'll be out 6-8 weeks. the soonest return is by Week One. Depending on the specific area that was fractured, this could actually go up to 10 weeks based on the research done on NFL athletes which places him back in early to mid October.

Chris Godwin - ACL

I suppose Kevin Garnett was right when he said anything is possible. Godwin avoiding the PUP is nothing short of an outlier. At just 6 months and three weeks, he's overcoming many odds that are stacked against him. Despite this return, understand this doesn't mean he's totally back and there is objective risk invovled from a re-injury perspective. That means Tampa Bay will almost certainly be extra cautious with him until at least the official 9 month mark in October. The only modern example of a pass-catcher returning to NFL game-action prior to 9 months post-op is Rob Gronkowski who did so in 8 months. Gronk played but for the first month of the season averaged just 52% of snaps and 11 PPR points per game. Reading the tea leaves, the Julio Jones signing indicates the Bucs will undoubtedly take it slow with Godwin who will be just 8 months by Week One of the 2022 season.

Michael Gallup - ACL

I know what you're thinking - but it's unlikely. Gallup is an entire month behind Godwin in terms of rehab and is nowhere near the same athlete. Even if Gallup operates on the Godwin timeline (basically the fastest we've ever seen), that places Gallup starting practice in September and in-game action by October. Gallup still has a way to go.

Michael Thomas - Ankle

The Michael Thomas saga has extended two years now. After going AWOL the summer of 2021, Ian Rapaport of NFL Network reported Thomas "could require a second surgery for a new and separate injury to the same ankle". That report was in late 2021. Another plausible (unconfirmed) scenario is that an initial "tight rope" procedure was not a complete success. If that's the case, the next logical step would be a more extensive procedure that requires approximately 6-9 months of rehab and recovery. *If* Thomas did have this procedure in late 2021 or early 2022, the timeline adds up with where we believe Thomas is in his rehab. The FantasyPoints team wishes nothing but the best for Michael Thomas' health first and foremost. Secondarily, his good health could lead to a massive fantasy football advantage given the ambiguity that's driving his ADP down. Make no mistake - this situation is an absolute mess and Thomas is the most volatile veteran WR in 2022. There's no gurantee this theory is right or wrong - but it does seem this outcome could have been much, much worse.

Tee Higgins - Labrum repair

Higgins evidently had a labrum repair in March linked to a September injury. Typically these injuries require a 5-6 month recovery placing Higgins on the bubble to be ready for Week One. At this point the expectation is he'll be ready but his participation in camp will be telling.

Odell Beckham Jr. - ACL (Re-tear)

Beckham's redemption tour in LA was unfortunately short-lived. He re-tore his ACL during the Super Bowl and per reports had surgery the week of 2/14/22. It's worth noting that there are dozens of potential reasons his ACL re-tore and any speculation that the second surgery altered his career trajectory are unlikely. Usually 9 months is the bare minimum for players returning from a first time ACL. However, many medical teams tack on another month for a revision. Assuming OBJ's team follow that rule of thumb, the soonest we could see OBJ on the field is late December.

James Robinson - Achilles

Reports from multiple sources place Robinson back in training camp "at some point". That would be approximately 7 months post-op. The average time to return to unrestricted sport for NFL athletes post-achilles repair is 8.9 months. For that reason it isn't unreasonable to see Robinson be eased in very slowly and look a step behind. It's critical to remember that this injury is anything but a quick fix and Cam Akers serves as a reminder that return to play is not the same as return to perform.

Logan Thomas - ACL

Thomas came out and said that he sustained damage to the ACL/MCL/LCL and meniscus. That last part is crucial to rehab timelines as procedures to the meniscus typically require 2-4 weeks of non-weight bearing immediately postop which can delay rehab. Given his 12/17/21 surgery date and the information we have, Thomas will be hard-pressed to make his 2022 debut before Week 3 or 4 at the absolute soonest. Anything before that is unlikely.

Travis Etienne Jr. - Foot

Depending on where Etienne goes in drafts, he can be a steal. Factors working in his favor are high draft capital, athleticism, a backfield to himself, and an entire year to rehab the injury. Factors against him are the fact he's essentially still a rookie, potential left over hardware still in his foot, and a historical drop in offensive production post-op Lisfranc. There's some reason to have confidence in Etienne but he shouldn't be viewed as a blue chip RB quite yet. If he produces hig-end RB2 numbers, that's a win in his first year back from this injury.

Dak Prescott - Ankle/shoulder

Prescott had a stepwise increase in participation this week and is looking to be active in Week 9. There is minimal to moderate volatility associated with this calf strain due to some risk of re-injury. Don’t let it scare you too terribly bad but the risk is still non-zero until he gets through this week.

Cam Akers - Achilles

Akers' comback in such a quick period of time was by no means something to shrug off. But his playoff efficiency numbers (bottom three in EPA/attempt, points above replacement, expected points added above average, and points earned/play) further illustrate the stark difference between return to play and return to perform. Even the most ardent Akers supporters must ackknowledge that although there's no historical precedent that he can't return to elite stardom, there's certainly no data to support that he will. In fact, all return to performance data post-op achilles is bleak to say the least. Drafting Akers with the hopes he'll reach top 12 status is more of a gamble than playing the probabilities.

Jameson Williams - ACL

Jameson is coming off ACL surgery on 1/13/21. Exactly nine months from then is 10/13. This is his earliest possible return. Depending on the extent of the damage and/or his overall progress in rehab this could be extended another 2-6 weeks. Any time prior to 9 months is when the risk for reinjury is at its highest so expecting a 100% Williams by early September would be extremely risky. Possible? Sure. Probable? Absolutely not.

Saquon Barkley - Ankle

Here we go again? Here we go again. Barkley disappointed in 2021 - there's no denying that. However, recency bias erases the fact that despite playing just 48% of snaps in Week One, Barkley was tied for RB9 overall in PPR formats from Weeks 1-4. Before the fluke ankle injury (in which he stepped on a defender's ankle) Barkley was well on his way to smash his 2021 ADP despite the ACL tear. After the ankle injury in Week Five, Barkley's usage was way down and in an honest moment he did not look good. Although another injury for a RB is potentially around the corner, the greater picture Barkley has painted since his days at Penn State make him the absolute nuts anchor RB in the third round. Fantasy football is about process. The process to trust Barkley was just as correct last year as it is in 2022.

Robert Tonyan - ACL

Tonyan's earliest return to full activity is August 5th. Depending on the extent of the damage and/or his overall progress in rehab this could be extended another 2-6 weeks. However, it's very realistic for him to be ready by Week One.

John Metchie III - ACL

Metchie had surgery on December 10th. That means that in an ideal world his soonest return is September 10th. That's exactly 9 months on opening day. Depending on the extent of the damage and/or his overall progress in rehab this could be extended another 2-6 weeks.

Robert Woods - ACL

Woods' exact return date is gray as there are no reports of the extent of damage or the surgery date. Playing it conservatively based on his injury date, he could be cleared by 9/1/22 at the earliest. Depending on the extent of the damage and/or his overall progress in rehab this could be extended another 2-6 weeks.

Jameis Winston - ACL

Winston had surgery the week of 11/11/21 meaning his projected release date from rehab and reconditioning is approximately mid-August. Reports of using a brace and limping at this point in his rehab are normal. Barring a setback or unforeseen circumstances Winston should be ready by Week One.

Derrick Henry - Foot

Tennessee's medical staff is going by the book and didn't fully release The King until 11 weeks post-op from this Jones fracture. Aftet 10 weeks post-op, re-injury rates take a precipitpous drop which is why that mark is relevant. For reference, Deebo Samuel returned from his own Jones fracture after 15 weeks. This isn't apples to apples, though, as there are several different types and severities of these injuries. Still, Henry hasn't seen an NFL snap in nearly three months and it's really hard to believe he'll be playoff shape. Personally, I would sprinkle Henry into a small amount of cash games because he's in a class of his own and there isn't much precedent for this caliber of athlete. Overall though, Henry is primarily a tournament play this week.

Leonard Fournette - Hamstring

Fournette has sat out the last month or so since a hamstring strain and reports are that he's practicing in full. He'll likely be back this week with RoJo out. He's moderately volatile.

Darrel Williams - Toe

Williams is still not recovered from this toe injury and he's unlikely to be over it this season.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire - Shoulder

CEH will more than likely play this week after practicing in full this week.

Breshad Perriman - Hip/Abdomen

Perriman is doubtful for this week.

Ronald Jones - Ankle

Jones is out this week.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling - Back

MVS hasn't practiced this week and is doubtful for Sunday.

Jimmy Garoppolo - Right thumb/right shoulder

Jimmy G hasn't been healthy since the thumb issue and is now dealing with a right shoulder injury. Make no mistake, he's banged up. However, that offense has never ran through him so expectations simply go from meh to mehhhh.

Najee Harris - Elbow

Harris was a full participant at the end of this week and should be ready to roll tonight.

Antonio Brown - Ankle

Brown is active after tweaking his ankle in practice. If he can tweak it at half speed, there's an increased probability he'll tweak it at full speed. He's highly volatile.

Mike Evans - Hamstring/COVID

Evans is active and it's unlikeley you have better options in season long but he's highly volatile this week. Cash players beware.

Emmanuel Sanders - Knee

Sanders is OUT this week.

Calvin Ridley - Mental Well-being

Gamers are probably wondering what Ridley's status is up to this point but the reality is nobody has any idea. First and foremost, the hope is Ridley gets the help he needs. Don't drop him in any leagues and send good vibes his way.

Chris Carson - Neck

Carson will presumably be back by Week 1 of 2022 but his condition is highly, highly volatile.

Adam Thielen - High Ankle

Thielen is active this week and will be at risk for a 20% production dip in week one post high ankle sprain.

Travis Kelce - COVID

Kelce did not clear COVID protocols and will be OUT.

D'Andre Swift - Shoulder

Swift, as expected, is OUT.

DJ Moore - Hamstring

Moore is active and highly volatile this week.

Joe Mixon - Ankle

Mixon was LP at practice this week. This is a decent sign he'll be active barring a setback. He's moderately volatile this week.

Julio Jones - Hamstring

Julio is not on the injury report but he's simply not startable after suffering yet another hamstring setback.

A.J. Brown - Chest

Brown has been designated to return this week. The severity is unknown and there's a chance Brown is being rished back due to Julio's up and down health. He's moderately volatile this week.

Elijah Mitchell - Knee

Mitchell has been ruled out this week.

Zane Gonzalez - Undisclosed

Gonzalez has been ruled out. Get him out of your lineup and get out of whatever league requires kickers today.

Lamar Jackson - Ankle

Per Adam Schefter, Jackson has a bone bruise and he is unlikely to play today.

Tony Pollard - Foot

Pollard is reportedly on a significant snap count. You'll need some high-leverage touches and a lot of luck for Pollard to pay off this week.

James Conner - Ankle

Conner is active this week. He only practiced once this week but the Cardinals must be confident in him given that Eno Benjamin is a healthy scratch. Conner is moderately volatile regardless.

Chase Edmonds - Ankle

Edmonds is officially active. He might have some trouble getting it going after a long lay off, but he's probably healthier than Conner at this point.

Jaylen Waddle - COVID

Waddle is on the COVID list and will miss this week.

Austin Ekeler - High Ankle

Ekeler's workload will reportedly be limited today. You have to start him and hope he falls into the endzone.

Michael Carter - High Ankle

Expect about a 20% drop in production (based on averages) for Carter in his return.

DeAndre Hopkins - Leg

Hopkins will miss the rest of the regular season with a "sprained knee".

Kareem Hunt - High Ankle

Hunt will be out in Week 15. Be sure and make plans for Week 16 as well considering this looked to be a mild to moderate high ankle/eversion ankle sprain. Fingers crossed it's not.

Mark Ingram II - COVID

Ingram is on the COVID list and will miss this week's action.

Alvin Kamara - MCL

Kamara will make his return this week just in time as Mark Ingram is on the COVID list.

Mike Williams - COVID

Williams, unvaccinated, is a close contact to Allen and reports are that he's likely OUT for Sunday.

Keenan Allen - COVID

Keenan Allen is on the COVID list and his status is up in the air this week. He's still got an outside shot to play so monitor this one.

Ezekiel Elliott - Multi

The reports are that Zeke will not be healthy "for another three to four weeks". This is a nightnare and Dallas obviously would have benefited from sitting him a week or two.

Dalvin Cook - Shoulder Dislocation

Jeremy Fowler is reporting that Dalvin Cook will play. In season long leagues, you have to fire him up. He's untouchable in cash, though as the reinjury rate for these injuries is > 50%. This one is cut and dry. The more times he dislocates, the greater the chance of yet another recurrence. This isn't necessarily a surprising move in and of itself as chronic dislocators will tell you. However, this does make Cook incredibly risky. Laslty, there is a chance Cook gets a very reduced workload in order to test the waters.

Kyler Murray - Ankle

Murray is back this week. He's less volatile than Hopkins but he's also unlikely to hit a ceiling without some luck.

Jalen Hurts - Ankle

Hurts will not play in Week 13.

Darrell Henderson Jr. - Thigh

As mentioned in the Injury Report, Henderson is trending in the right direction but because of the mysterious nature of this injury, he's moderately volatile in DFS.

Deebo Samuel - Groing

The Niners confirmed Deebo will miss 1-2 weeks with a groin issue. If he returns too soon, he's at high risk for re-injury.

Miles Sanders - Ankle

Sanders appears to have injured the right ankle again in his first game back. This is an exacerbation and there's a chance it's more serious than the Eagles are letting on. Insuluate yourselves even if this ends up being a minor setback.

Marquise Brown - Thigh

Brown should have no issues putting up his usual numbers (from a health perspective) this week.

Corey Davis - Groin

Davis is OUT.

Aaron Jones - MCL

Tom Pelissero reports there's "some optimism" Jones plays. Clincially, this isn't out of the realm of possibilities and considering the Packers want all hands on deck, Jones might actually play. Re-injury is in the cards but more relevant is volume concerns. If you absolutely need points, it might be wise to go with a safer choiece. If you're in need of a big swing, slide Jones into a flex spot and hope for the best.

CeeDee Lamb - Concussion

Lamb has an outside (very outside) chance to play on Thursday but make plans to be without him in Week 12.

Nick Chubb - COVID

Nick Chubb was activated from the COVID list but there's some concern that he was actually symptmatic given how long he's been out. He's moderate to highly volatile in Week 11 as a result. Monitor reports through Saturday.

Chase Claypool - Toe

Claypool is moderately volatile unless it's for tournaments. In tourneys, let it rip.

Amari Cooper - COVID

JaMycal Hasty - Ankle

This could be a recurrence of the high ankle from earlier this year as he's not practiced two days in a row. Elijah Mitchell would benefit greatly from his absence.

Antonio Gibson - Ribs

Gibson, after a bye week, is back on the injury report with a shin injury. Still highly volatile ROS.

Dawson Knox - Hand

He'll be back with minimal volatility.

Damien Harris - Concussion

Both Harris and teammate Stevenson are in concussion protocol. They're truly questionable for Sunday as neither practiced on Friday. Make alternative plans.

Rhamondre Stevenson - Concussion

Both Stevenson and teammate Harris are in concussion protocol. They're truly questionable for Sunday as neither practiced on Friday. Make alternative plans.

Zack Moss - Concussion

Moss cleared concussion protocol and is moderately volatile in Week 10.

David Montgomery - Knee

Montgomery should be active for MNF per Ian Rappaport.

George Kittle - Calf

The reports are that Kittle will be on a pitch count. Still, you have to start the star tight end in most formats except DFS.

Sam Darnold - Shoulder

Darnold is active but hard to trust.

Tua Tagovailoa - Finger

Apparently Tua will be active only for emergency purposes today. Adjust accordingly.

Jerry Jeudy - High ankle

Jeudy didn't suffer any setbacks to our knowledge in his first game back. As expected, it was not a ceiling game but targets were evenly distributed which is a great sign moving forward.

Darren Waller - Ankle

Presumably Waller will be available in Week 9 as he was a game time decision prior to the bye week.

Russell Wilson - Finger

Jeremy Fowler confirmed this is basically worst case scenario and Wilson will miss at least one month. They'll check in again at the one month mark, but all of the literature shows at least 6-8 weeks is necessary for adequate healing.

Kadarius Toney - Oblique/COVID Ramp up

Toney is highly volatile due to teh mysterious nature of his designation.

Sterling Shepard - Hamstring

Shepard carries moderate to high volatility this week until he can prove this won't recur.

Alex Collins - Groin

Collins was downgraded to DNP this week due to this groin strain. This obviously isn’t going away any time soon and might be (yet again) Rashaad Penny week.

Kenny Golladay - Knee

Golladay hasn't practiced yet and this 2-4 week injury seems to be dragging into the latter portion. This is no surprise given New York's conservative management style. Plan on Golladay after the bye week.

William Fuller V - Finger

Fuller is still another 1-2 weeks away.

Latavius Murray - High ankle

Strangely, many of you degenerates are asking about Murray. He's got a high ankle sprain and given he hasn't been placed on the IR, he can likely return in Week 8 or 9 barring a setback.

Davante Adams - COVID

Adams was placed on the COVID list today and is highly unlikely to play on Thursday.

Rashaad Penny - Calf

Few careers have rarely been more sporadic or littered with bad luck than Penny's. Now that Alex Collins is banged up and Chris Carson is on the IR, this could finally be a time for the former first round pick to show something.

Jarvis Landry - MCL

Mary Kay Cabot reports that Landry's TNF status will likely hinge on how he feels after two consecutive practices. If active, he might be eased in but volatility is low.

Baker Mayfield - Shoulder

Baker was finally ruled out for TNF and this is not looking good rest of season. He'll almost certainly need surgery if the labrum tear is indeed as large as he makes it seem. Clincally, Mayfield would really benefit from a short-term IR stint but there's no telling what Cleveland will do. He's highly volatile ROS.

Daniel Jones - Concussion

This is Jones' first documented concussion and he'll need to clear protocol before Sunday. The mode of missed time after first time concussions is zero weeks.

Rashod Bateman - Groin

Batemane will be eased in slowly today more than likely.

Jamaal Williams - Hip/Illness

Williams was downgraded to DNP on Thursday because of a hip injury. This is something to monitor because if he's out, Swift is going to be the (admittedly chalk) slam dunk on Sunday.

Damien Williams - COVID

Williams is on the COVID list making it virtually impossible for him to be actice on Sunday. Khalil Herbert is the next man up.

Samaje Perine - COVID

Perine will need to clear COVID protocols after a positive test before Sunday which will be difficult to do.

Dallas Goedert - COVID

Goedert is on the COVID list and is highly unlikely to be available by Thursday,

Curtis Samuel - Groin

This is a dangerous game Washington continues to play with Samuel. A third recurrence now almost gurantees surgery is being discussed. Fade Samuel in all formats until further notice.

Josh Jacobs - Toe/Ankle

Jacobs is a game time decision. If active, he'll be highly volatile. It might be wise to be ready to swap with Peyton Barber.

Darius Slayton - Hamstring

OUT for Week Four.

Laviska Shenault Jr. - Shoulder

He practiced in full on Wednesday and is looking to be active with min-moderate volatility.

Danny Amendola - Hamstring

The veteran will be out 2-3 weeks.

Ben Roethlisberger - Pectoral/chest

Big Ben said this injury to his non-throwing arm bothered him during Week Two. He says he doesn't know when the injury occured. This sounds like a potential soft tissue strain from over-stretching of the muscle during contact. Its unlikely to keep him out but if he's admitting it's a problem, it's tough to start him as he's moderately volatile and has looked every bit of 39 years old.

Giovani Bernard - High ankle

Two full practices in a row. Min-mod volatility due to the "minor" high ankle sprain.

Trey Lance - Finger

Lance shed the splint today and was participating in non-throwing drills. He's progressing well from this minor finger injury and it shouldn't be a problem moving forward.

Joe Burrow - ACL/MCL/PCL/Meniscus

Burrow looks on track to start Week One. It's not unreasonable to expect a skittish Burrow until he gets settled in. That could mean more three-step drops and dump offs than we're used to. Burrow needs to show he's mentally over the injury.

Stefon Diggs - Knee

The Diggs knee injury has been a bit mysterious but it seems that he will be just fine as he is already back at practice. No need to worry.

Justin Jefferson - AC Joint

Suffering a grade II AC joint sprain, Jefferson should take the time to heal up and be ready by Week One. Very minimal concern for re-injury.