- The arrival of midseason brings the possibility of players placed on short-term IR returning to the field. A few such players should be on the fantasy football radar.
Week 9 was thankfully quiet on the injury front, with just one significant fantasy player leaving his game due to injury. Week 10 brings the possibility of players who were placed on IR before the season or back in September making their season debuts. Let's check in on where they all stand in this week's Fantasy Football Injury Report.
Dez Bryant, WR, Cowboys
Injury: high ankle sprain
Bryant rolled his ankle attempting to make a catch in the fourth quarter of the Cowboys Week 9 win over the Chiefs and suffered what looked to be a high ankle sprain. Early reports are that the injury is minor, but high ankle sprains can be difficult to return from, even if they are of the minor variety. The main issue with a high ankle sprain is that the ligaments compromised not only stabilize the ankle joint, but they stabilize the part of the leg just above the ankle since that is where they are located. Any type of twisting, cutting or pushing off the leg creates increased strain to the those tissues, which is why it can be difficult to return from a high ankle sprain compared with a sprain involving the lower ligaments near the foot. Keep a close eye on Bryant’s availability for practice this week and make sure he’s trending in the right direction. I think he’s headed toward a game-time decision. If the ankle is bothering him, the likelihood of him being effective goes down significantly.
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Eddie Lacy, RB, Seahawks
Injury: strained groin
Lacy suffered a groin strain in the second quarter last week and did not return. Groin strains can be multi-week injuries, but even if the strain is not significant, the fact the Seahawks play the Thursday night game this week makes it unlikely Lacy is available. I’d consider Lacy week-to-week at this point, and with this crowded backfield, he could be the odd man out even when he does finally get healthy.
Danny Woodhead, RB, Ravens
Injury: strained hamstring
Woodhead returned to practice last week after spending nearly the entire season on IR due to a hamstring injury sustained on the first drive of the season. Although the Ravens have a Week 10 bye, now is the time to add Woodhead if you haven’t done so, as he’ll likely be the primary receiving back for the Ravens when they face the Packers in Week 11. There is always concern about a player who has been sidelined for as long as Woodhead has with a soft tissue injury, but I would expect Woodhead to step right into the offense and be productive immediately.
Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Vikings
Injury: dislocated knee
The fact that we’re even talking about Bridgewater at this point after the dislocated knee he sustained last year is remarkable. Bridgewater will be activated onto the active roster this week and will be eligible to play starting this week. Although it sounds like Case Keenum will continue as the starter for the time being, the Vikings clearly feel confident enough in Bridgewater’s recovery to have him as the backup quarterback. I’d temper expectations for Bridgewater when he finally does make his debut, but he’s got upside that could help a fantasy team down the stretch.
Dede Westbrook, WR, Jagaurs
Injury: core muscle surgery
Core muscle surgery refers to a procedure to repair an injury that has occurred either in the lower abdominal or the groin region. The majority of those muscles attach in and around the pubic bone, with forceful contraction of those muscles causing discomfort. Westbrook has been designated to return from the IR, giving the Jaguars a 21-day window to either put him on the active roster or keep him on IR. It is looking more and more likely that Westbrook will return to the Jaguars this week, and could be a nice boost to an offense that is struggling to throw the ball downfield. Westbrook is likely not a player being targeted so he could end up coming fairly cheap if you’ve got the room to stash him on your bench.