Amari Cooper WR, Raiders: concussion
Cooper took a vicious hit in the middle of the field Sunday and was knocked out. He went up for a high pass and was hit in the head by Darian Stewart, who came flying in and was flagged for unnecessary roughness. You could see Cooper’s body go limp as he hit the turf. The cart came out for him but he was able to walk gingerly off of the field under his own power. Cooper seems to avoided a neck injury, but he is in concussion protocol. Right now Inside Injuries is calculating a three week Optimal Recovery Time.
Doug Martin RB, Buccaneers: concussion
Martin took a hit at the end of the Bucs opening drive and briefly left the game. He returned for four more rushes but wasn’t out there on the final drive of the half. Martin was placed in concussion protocol and did not return to the game. Martin must be cleared by an independent neurologist before taking the field in week 13. He does not have a history of concussions, but it’s no guarantee he can recover in time to play against the Packers.
Just eight weeks after surgery to stabilize his foot fracture, Greg Olsen was activated from IR. We said before the game that his snaps would be limited and he needed more time to get back into game shape. At an Elevated Injury Risk, he continues to be vulnerable to foot problems.
Well, Olsen didn’t last into the second half. He experienced soreness in his foot, and it wasn’t worth the risk of putting him back in. X-rays after the game were negative, so he did not suffer another fracture. It is very possible that the soreness is normal and there isn’t a more serious problem, but he still could need multiple weeks to continue to recover after aggravating his injury.
Damien Williams RB, Dolphins: dislocated left shoulder
As Williams was tackled, he braced his fall with his left arm. The hit caused his shoulder to dislocate. He immediately grabbed near his pectoral and was in a lot of pain. When the shoulder dislocates, it can damage the ligaments and cartilage in the shoulder. An MRI will be needed to determine if any long-term damage was caused that requires surgery. Even if he avoided a tear, he will need multiple weeks to recover. Right now Inside Injuries is calculating a four week Optimal Recovery Time, but that will increase if the MRI shows a more serious injury.
If he does return later this season, Williams could need to wear a brace to protect his shoulder. This would decrease the risk of making his injury worse, but it would also impact his play. With limited shoulder mobility, he can’t be as involved in blocking or receiving. He would also have a harder time carrying the ball with his left hand.
Mike Williams WR, Chargers: knee bone bruise
In the Thanksgiving day game, Williams suffered a scary-looking knee injury. Initially the fear was a torn ACL. Thankfully all ligaments are intact, but he is dealing with a bone bruise in his knee. While this injury isn’t nearly as serious and does not require surgery, it still comes with a four week Optimal Recovery Time. Playing through a bone bruise is extremely painful, and the risk of injury increases because it can lead to additional damage.
Williams was already at an Elevated Injury Risk, mainly due to the back injury that forced him to miss the preseason and the first five games of the regular season. Now he is High Risk. While this won’t end his season, it should keep him out for multiple weeks. He isn’t worth a spot on any fantasy rosters.
Paxton Lynch QB, Broncos: ankle sprain
Paxton Lynch’s return as the Broncos’ starting QB didn’t exactly go as planned. He struggled through three quarters of play, then his day ended with a non-contact ankle injury. Lynch believes he previously tweaked the injury on an earlier play, and then he made it worse when he rolled out on the third down play. He left the stadium in a walking boot.
Lynch will now be out for 2-4 weeks with a high ankle sprain, but it will take 4-6 weeks to fully recover. Trevor Siemian is back as the started for the Broncos.
Lynch was unavailable in the first half of the season due to a shoulder injury he suffered during the preseason.
Devonta Freeman RB, Falcons: concussion
Freeman suffered a concussion in week 10 and has missed the last two games. He returned to practice last week, getting in two limited sessions. Because he has not been cleared, there are two possibilities. Either his symptoms recurred or the independent neurologist wasn’t available for a final evaluation to clear him. Freeman must get in a full practice without any symptoms before he will pass concussion protocol.
Tevin Coleman has done a nice job filling in, but the Falcons are better when they have both of their running backs available. With the league’s toughest schedule to finish out the season, they want both of their backs healthy and available down the stretch.
Jameis Winston QB, Buccaneers: right shoulder injury
Winston is finally making strides in his recovery from a right shoulder injury. Winston was initially hurt in week 6 and tried to play through it, but it wasn’t getting better and it showed in his play. An MRI showed some damage to his shoulder, but nothing is structurally wrong. He has not played since week 9. Two weeks ago, Winston received a PRP injection, and his shoulder is responding well. He could try throwing at practice this week, and if he is able to do so without any pain, a week 13 or 14 return is realistic. We initially gave Winston a 4-6 week Optimal Recovery Time, and he is on track to return within that window.
Rishard Matthews WR, Titans: hamstring strain
Matthews was a late addition to the injury report last week, never a good sign. He injured his hamstring on Thursday and did not practice Friday. Matthews was ruled out on Sunday morning. Hamstring strains are very tricky, and three days is not enough time to recover from even the slightest strain. He dropped to an Elevated Injury Risk with a Below Average Health Performance Factor. If he returns to practice this week, then his numbers should improve. For now we have given him a three week Optimal Recovery Time. He won’t necessarily miss 3 games, but his hamstring will continue to be a concern until late December.