- Looking at the prognoses for Sony Michel, Melvin Gordon and other injured fantasy football stars.
Sony Michel left the Patriots’ win over the Bears early after suffering a knee injury, while Melvin Gordon was a surprise inactive in the Chargers’ win over the Titans in London, which messed with the fantasy lineups of owners who slept in on Sunday. How long will those two, as well as the other fantasy-relevant players who suffered injuries in Week 7, be on the shelf? We’ll give you the injury nuts and bolts, provided by 4for4’s Russell Manalastas, a physical therapist and strength coach based in New York, and the fantasy spin to go with them, in the SI.com Training Room for Week 8.
Sony Michel, RB, Patriots
Injury: Sprained knee
Injury take: Michel’s left knee twisted awkwardly on a tackle in the win over the Bears, and had to be helped off the field. Add in the fact that he had a procedure on the same knee before the preseason, and Michel’s recovery process becomes a bit more complicated. Still, Adam Schefter reported that there is no structural damage to the knee, and that while the rookie out of Georgia could miss time, the team does not believe it is a serious injury. With that being said, I’d say there’s very little chance that Michel suits up for Week 8, even with the Patriots playing on Monday night.
Fantasy spin: The good news is that, unless the early reports are wrong, Michel shouldn’t miss much time. Just grin and bear it, Michel owners. He should be back for you soon. In the meantime, James White becomes even more of a slam-dunk play than he already was.
Melvin Gordon, RB, Chargers
Injury: Strained hamstring
Injury take: The Chargers were smart in resting Gordon in Week 7 in to prevent him from aggravating a lingering hamstring issue. With the Chargers on bye week this week, Gordon will have three full weeks of rest of his hamstring, which should hopefully help get him back in gear in advance of the team’s Week 9 game against the Seahawks. Take a look at what Leonard Fournette and Dalvin Cook have dealt with this season, and it’s easy to understand why the Chargers decided that discretion is the better part of valor. We’ll check back in on Gordon after the team’s bye.
Fantasy spin: By time the Chargers take the field again in Week 9, it’ll have been nearly a month since Gordon saw live action. Hopefully, that’s long enough to put the hamstring issue in his rear-view mirror. If it isn’t, Austin Ekeler would be a must-play in that Week 9 game with the Seahawks.
LeSean McCoy, RB, Bills
Injury take: McCoy exited Sunday’s game against the Colts when he took a big hit in the first quarter. He was later ruled out of the game with a concussion and is now going through the league’s protocol. He’ll remain day-to-day until we get a clearer picture as to his symptoms and when he’s able to at least start doing some light activity. The good part is that the Bills don’t play until Monday night, so he’ll have an extra day to potentially gain clearance for Week 8, which typically bodes well for a player’s availability.
Fantasy spin: While the Bills playing on Monday night does give McCoy an extra day to recover and make it through the protocol, it also makes him a bit of a risk from a fantasy perspective. There’s a chance he’ll be a game-time decision, which could leave fantasy owners staring down a zero in a running back or flex spot if McCoy ultimately cannot play. Grab Chris Ivory if you can, which will give you a fallback option should McCoy sit this one out.
Keke Coutee, WR, Texans
Injury: Strained hamstring
Injury take: Coutee has already been ruled out for Week 8, partially because the Texans play on Thursday night. That’s not too much of a concern (except for owners who wanted to play him this week, of course) as that guarantees Coutee at least two full weeks to get healthy for Week 9. However, strained hamstrings do have a tendency to require one or two weeks of recovery time at the minimum before the athlete can even test out the strength of the leg. This is one that could linger beyond this week.
Fantasy spin: Coutee was listed among our Week 8 Droppables for the very reason Russ mentioned at the end of his injury take. He’ll return in Week 8 in a best-case scenario, and even when he does he’ll be fighting for targets behind DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller. This is not someone you should feel you need to hold onto as you’re making your waiver claims this week.