If there's such a thing as a silver lining when it comes to injuries, it’s that both Tyreek Hill and Damien Williams have a bye in Week 12 and thus have plenty of time to heal. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for players like Marlon Mack and JuJu Smith-Schuster, who are in serious doubt for this week’s slate of action.
Let’s get to it.
Might Be A While Before We See Them Again
Marlon Mack, Indianapolis Colts, hand
The Colts running back was having one of his best outings of the year before exiting the game with a broken hand. Mack eclipsed the 100-yard mark for the first time since Week 5 and hit pay dirt for the first time since Week 8. Unfortunately, he’ll be out for the foreseeable future after undergoing a procedure to secure the broken bones in his hand. Mack is currently RB12 on the year.
Fantasy Impact: With Mack out of action and Jordan Wilkins ruled inactive (ankle), Indianapolis turned to Jonathan Williams to carry the load in their backfield. Williams had a very impressive day, rushing for 116 yards on 13 carries while adding a 31-yard reception. Mack won’t be able to play in Week 12 against the Texans (Thursday night) and if Wilkins is once again ruled out, Williams could be in line for another big workload against Houston.
Auden Tate, Cincinnati Bengals, cervical strain, concussion
The Bengals wide receiver was carted off the field during the team’s matchup against the Raiders but signaled a thumbs up alerting fans/family/teammates he was able to move his extremities. That’s always a great sign! Unfortunately, Tate’s injury will keep him out of action for at least Week 12, but likely much longer. Not only is he dealing with a cervical strain (fancy way of saying a muscle pull in his neck) but he also has a concussion. The pass-catcher has performed admirably despite playing on a bad Bengals squad. He has 483 yards on 34 catches.
Fantasy Impact: Considering there’s no sign of A.J. Green ever playing in 2019, the Bengals are now very thin at wide receiver. Tyler Boyd, Alex Erickson and Stanley Morgan are the remaining healthy players at the position. Cincinnati will likely bring someone up from the practice squad.
Should be OK but expect a questionable tag and limited practice
Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs, hamstring
It’s been a rough road riddled with injuries for Hill in 2019. Hill missed four games at the start of the season with a clavicle injury and now came up limping in the first quarter of the team’s Monday night game in Mexico. After a deep incompletion on Kansas City’s first drive, Hill immediately grabbed his hamstring and limped to the sidelines. He didn’t return to action.
Fantasy Impact: Without Hill in the lineup, Patrick Mahomes turned to Sammy Watkins, Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson in three-receiver sets. Luckily Kansas City is on a bye in Week 12, giving Hill nearly two weeks to recover.
Damien Williams, Kansas City Chiefs, ribs
The Monday night matchup in Mexico was not too kind to the Chiefs' playmakers. In addition to losing Hill, the Chiefs also played without Williams, who suffered a rib injury in the first half. Rib injuries can be tricky depending on the severity. We won’t know more until the team releases his test results, but considering the Chiefs have the week off, Williams should be ready for Week 13.
Fantasy Impact: Without Williams for most of the game, Kansas City turned to Darrel Williams and LeSean McCoy to take over in the backfield.
Emmanuel Sanders, San Francisco 49ers, ribs
The 32-year-old wide receiver was questionable heading into Week 11 with a rib injury he suffered in Week 10, but he surprisingly was in action against the Cardinals. He lasted about midway through the game before aggravating his rib injury and leaving the field. Sanders caught three passes for 33 yards before his premature exit.
Fantasy Impact: With Sanders out of action and George Kittle ruled inactive, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo locked onto rookie Deebo Samuel for most of the game. Samuel caught eight of his 10 targets for 134 yards, his second consecutive week with eight catches and over 100 yards. The 49ers are poised for a playoff run and need Sanders healthy for the postseason, but with a crucial game in the NFC against the Packers in Week 12 and the Seahawks nipping at their heels for the lead in the NFC West, Sanders may not have the luxury of resting to get back to 100% health.
James Conner, Pittsburgh Steelers, shoulder
It was a short-lived appearance for the Steelers rusher, as Conner entered the game with a nagging shoulder injury and left early after aggravating the injury. Word out of Pittsburgh seems to indicate Conner’s status for Week 13 is up in the air.
Fantasy Impact: With Conner out of action, Jaylen Samuels handled most of the backfield duties and scored a touchdown on one of his five catches. If Conner is out, Samuels would be a must-start against a bad Bengals defense.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers, knee/concussion
Though his knee injury is not expected to force a multi-week absence, Smith-Schuster isn’t trending in the right direction for Week 12. Originally it was reported he was dealing with a concussion—which he is—but the team also revealed he injured his knee on the same play in which he suffered the brain trauma. The third-year wideout was spotted with a “bulky” brace on his knee and is now being listed as “uncertain” for the team’s Week 12 AFC North bout against the Bengals.
Fantasy Impact: As weird as it may sound, it may be better for fantasy players to have Smith-Schuster ruled out so they won’t be faced with the difficult decision of starting him. The Steelers playmaker has been a disappointment this season through no fault of his own. Losing Ben Roethlisberger destroyed any chance of Smith-Schuster meeting preseason expectations. Add in Smith-Schuster’s toe injury from Week 1, and now a knee and concussion, and fantasy football players would love to have that moment back when they announced the Steelers receiver as their second-round draft pick. Considering Diontae Johnson is also dealing with a concussion, quarterback Mason Rudolph may only have James Washington and Johnny Holton as his only healthy wide receivers.
Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears, hip pointer
Sometimes you have to report on an injury even if you don’t believe one exists. That’s what we are dealing with when it comes to the Bears' third-year quarterback. Chicago head coach Matt Nagy says Trubisky suffered a hip pointer at the end of the second quarter, yet played for most of the second half before being taken out of the game with around four minutes left in the fourth. With the team down 10 points, suddenly Chase Daniel entered the game. Was Trubisky benched? Nagy says no, he simply took out the quarterback because of the hip pointer. But then why did he continue playing another two-and-a-half quarters? That’s a question we won’t ever get an answer to as Nagy seems to be sticking with his story.
Fantasy Impact: By now, Trubisky isn’t being considered for fantasy teams except in two-quarterback formats. If the hip pointer indeed keeps him out of action, players like Allen Robinson and Tarik Cohen would get downgraded with Chase Daniel under center.
Expected Back in Week 12 … Hopefully:
TY Hilton, Indianapolis Colts—Calf
Brandin Cooks, Los Angeles Rams—Concussion
Sterling Shepard, New York Giants—Concussion
Evan Engram, New York Giants—Foot
George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers—Knee/ankle
Not Expected Back in Week 12:
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions—Back
Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons—Foot
Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons—Knee
In the Protocol
Josh Hill, New Orleans Saints
Phillip Dorsett, New England Patriots
Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers
More Advice From SI Fantasy
—Jaime Eisner’s waiver wire pickups: Randall Cobb, Jonathan Williams, Jacob Hollister and more
—Frankie Taddeo’s droppables, with some big-name players you shouldn’t feel bad about cutting
—Frankie Taddeo’s Week 11 superlatives look at the best and worst of last week