Wow, where has the season gone. We are already entering Week 9 of the NFL and fantasy playoffs will be here before we know it. There were some major injuries this week that has both offensive coordinators and fantasy managers scrambling. Find the latest injury news and analysis here on the Week 9 fantasy football injury report!
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Week 9 Late Inactives
Aaron Rodgers (QB) Green Bay Packers
Justin Jackson (RB) Los Angeles Chargers
Derrick Henry (RB) Tennessee Titans
Kyler Murray (QB) Arizona Cardinals
Deandre Hopkins (WR) Arizona Cardinals
A.J. Green (WR) Arizona Cardinals
Week 9 1PM Inactives
Dawson Knox (TE) Buffalo Bills
Sammy Watkins (WR) Baltimore Ravens
Odell Beckham Jr. (WR) Cleveland Browns
James Robinson (RB) Jacksonville Jaguars
Latavious Murray (RB) Baltimore Ravens
Blake Jarwin (TE) Dallas Cowboys
Pharaoh Brown (TE) Houston Texans
DeVante Parker (WR) Miami Dolphins
Jameis Winston (QB) New Orleans Saints
Saquon Barkley (RB) New York Giants
Sterling Shepard (WR) New York Giants
Tua Tagovailoa (QB) Miami Dolphins
Noah Fant (TE) Denver Broncos
Calvin Ridley (WR) Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcon’s WR Calvin Ridley was expected to have a break-out year after the departure of fellow WR Julio Jones. Although he has put together a couple of good performances, his season has been negatively impacted by a “personal matter”. It is still unclear what exactly this means but Ridley had missed two of the last three games as a healthy scratch. Ridley recently took to Twitter to share that he needs to “step away” from football and focus on his “mental wellbeing”. I am not going to speculate what is going on here and wish the best for this young man. Ridley has been officially placed on the non-football injury list, and will be out a minimum of three games. It is unclear exactly how long Ridley will be out at this time, but I hope he is off the Week 9 injury report soon.
Ridley is stepping away from the team for an undisclosed amount of time. – SIT/IR
Christian McCaffrey (RB) Carolina Panthers
Hamstring strain, Initial injury: 9/23/21
The Panthers star RB has been a frequent flyer on injury reports these past two years and Week 9 is more of the same. Christian McCaffrey was injured during the Week 3 Thursday Night Football matchup against the Texans. The Panthers will need to be careful with their stud RB as hamstring strains have a high reinjury likelihood. The second injury is also usually more severe and would cause him to miss the majority of the season. For now, it is going to be rookie RB Chubba Hubbard leading the Carolina backfield.
McCaffrey officially made his return to practice on Wednesday, October 6th. Initially, there was some optimism regarding his status and he had a chance to play in Weeks 5 and 6. However, it appears McCaffrey suffered a setback in practice as he was unexpectedly put on the IR last week. Hamstring strains are difficult injuries to return from and should not be rushed back. CMC is out for at least the next three weeks but has the potential to miss even more time than that. The second injury to a hamstring in a short period of time makes recovery much more difficult.
The Panthers have activated their franchise RB this Saturday with hopes he will be able to play this week. After handling some work in practice, the team hopes that the RB will be good to go after being out with a hamstring injury for over a month. McCaffrey will go through a pregame warm up routine as a final test to determine his availability. The Panthers RB is almost always a must start when available but there is concern for reinjury here.
McCaffrey has been placed on IR and will not be available until Week 10. – MONITOR/START
Sam Darnold (QB) Carolina Panthers
Concussion, Initial Injury: 10/31/21
Sam Darnold has had an up and down season so far in his first season away from Adam Gase. He and the team started off great opening up 3-0 but quickly found themselves in a four-game losing skid. After some very forgettable performances from Darnold, he was putting together a quality start last week. However, he suffered a hard hit at the end of a run from a Falcons LB and was ruled out of the game with a concussion. Carolina and XFL legend QB PJ Walker took over for Darnold and solidified the Panther’s victory.
A concussion refers to a mild traumatic brain injury that leads to disruption of the brain. This disruption causes the brain to process information slower and have difficulties reacting to the environment. Concussion recovery is very variable and dependent on the player. The NFL’s concussion protocol is very clear cut and Darnold’s participation in practice will reveal his playing chances this week.
Darnold has officially cleared the league’s concussion protocol and is able to start this week. However, he still has a questionable injury designation due to an undisclosed shoulder injury. Expect Darnold to be limited if he is able to start for Carolina.
Darnold cleared concussion protocol but is questionable to start due to a shoulder injury. – MONITOR/SIT
Dak Prescott (QB) Dallas Cowboys
Calf Strain, Initial Injury: 10/17/21
The Cowboy’s last play of Week 6 ended with a game winning touchdown pass, but it was not all good news. Dallas’ QB Dak Prescott injured his calf on this last throw and was originally very confident he would be fine to return in Week 8 after the bye week. However, he has been diagnosed with a calf strain and this seems to be the case as it often is. Prescott had limited practices throughout the week and was questionable coming in to the Sunday night game. After pre-game warmups, Dak has officially been ruled out for tonight.
A calf strain refers to damage to the musculature of a player’s lower leg. These injuries can be aggravating as they are easily reinjured and the second injury is typically more severe. The average recovery timeline is 2-3 weeks for a mild grade 1 strain. It sounds like Dak was close to playing last week but must not have felt 100%. This is a smart move by the Cowboys as they are airing on the side of caution and not risking this becoming a season lingering injury.
After sitting out last week, Dak has returned to practiced as a full participant and is on track to start this week.
Prescott is expected to play this week barring any setbacks. – START/MONITOR
Aaron Rodgers (QB) Green Bay Packers
Rodgers tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week and is OUT for Green Bay’s big matchup against the Chiefs. It has come to light recently that Rodgers is unvaccinated and will not be able to return until Saturday, November 13th. The Packers will turn to young QB Jordan Love this Sunday.
Rodgers is out this week with COVID-19. – SIT
Tyrod Taylor (QB) Houston Texans
Hamstring Strain, Initial Injury: 9/19/21
Poor ATS legend Tyrod Taylor. His up and down career suffers another setback as he injured his hamstring during a TD run against the Browns in Week 2. The injury is being reported as significant after testing, leading to an extensive injury timeline. Taylor is looking at about a four to six-week recovery period with moderate damage to his hamstring. Hamstring injuries are troublesome as they also tend to linger and reinjure easily. This limits Tyrod’s ability to make plays with his legs and throw the ball efficiently due to reduced lower body power. With Tyrod out multiple weeks, it will be the rookie Davis Mills’ turn to be the starting QB for the mighty Houston Texans.
In an update to Tyrod’s status for this Week 9 injury report, he reportedly returned to practice last week. In addition, head coach David Culley said that when healthy, Taylor is the starting QB for the Texans. It seems that this is true as Tyrod is reportedly expected to start this week against Miami. After having a week to test his hamstring out in practice, that provides more confidence in his ability to perform on the field. I’m not fully endorsing starting Tyrod in a 1 QB league, but he was productive to start the year and should be well rested.
Tyrod Taylor is expected to start this week. – MONITOR/START
Michael Thomas (WR) New Orleans Saints
Ankle Surgery, Initial Injury: 8/13/20, Surgery: June 2021
Let’s finish this Week 9 injury report with the diva of the group. After a disappointing 2020 season due to an ankle injury, the general consensus was that Thomas was going to have offseason ankle surgery in the offseason and there would be no lingering effects going into the 2021 season. Of course, things didn’t go as planned and he had the surgery done in June, basically guaranteeing he would miss the start of the 2021 season.
The Saints will be without their number one receiver for at least the first six weeks of the regular season as Thomas was placed on the Injured Reserve (IR). On the injury front, the surgery should improve his route running and run after catch ability. Michael Thomas is not a WR you are going to be able to depend on to get you to your fantasy playoffs this year. However, he may help you win in the playoffs IF things go according to plan this time.
It looks like we are going to have our first full season member of the injury report. It has been reported that Thomas has suffered a new and different ankle injury in his rehab to return to the field. He has now been ruled out for the season and will play zero snaps this year. There is a reason he was on my Top 5 Most Worried list this year!
Thomas is out for the season after suffering a new ankle injury. – DROP
Derrick Henry (RB) Tennessee Titans
Foot surgery, Initial Injury: 10/31/21
Derrick Henry has been shattering opposing defenses, rushing records, and the stat sheet. Unfortunately, it has been announced that he suffered an injury that will shatter fantasy managers’ hearts. This is by far the biggest injury on this Week 9 report, and it can be league-altering in my opinion. The Titans running back is the heart and soul of this Tennessee offense and many fantasy teams across the globe.
Henry reportedly suffered a Jones fracture and will undergo surgery this week. A Jones fracture refers to breaking the base of your pinky toe and is a fairly common injury in the NFL. Wide recovery timelines have been reported ranging from six to twelve weeks but eight is likely a realistic goal. The bone needs proper healing time and this is an injury that can reinjure if Henry is rushed back to the field. The Titans RB should not be limited once the bone is healed, but whether that happens before the fantasy season is over is another story.
Henry will be undergoing foot surgery this week and will likely be out for around two months. – IR
Jameis Winston (QB) New Orleans Saints
ACL Tear, Initial Injury: 10/31/21
The New Orleans Saints currently sit in second place in the NFC South and are coming off a huge win against the Buccaneers. After much uncertainty this offseason, it seems like the Jameis experiment was working and the team was headed in the right direction.
Unfortunately, the Saints will have to carry on without their newfound starting QB. Jameis Winston was injured in last week’s game with a significant knee injury, having to be carted off the field. It has been confirmed that he has torn his ACL and suffered some MCL damage. These are major knee stabilizing ligaments, and this injury will require surgery. Winston’s season is done and it may be Taysom Hill’s team after all if he can recover from his concussion.
Winston has torn his ACL and will be out the rest of the season. – DROP
Rob Gronkowski (TE) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Back Spasms, Initial Injury: 10/31/21
Fan-favorite Rob Gronkowski finally made it off the injury report last week, just to return in Week 9. After missing the last four games with fractured ribs and a punctured lung, Gronk was able to suit up last week. Unfortunately, he was not able to last very long in his return. He injured his back in Tampa Bay’s second offensive series and was later ruled out of the game. There have not been reports regarding the severity of the injury but typically these do not result in multi-week absences. With Gronk just coming off a pretty serious trunk injury, his status will need to be monitored to get an idea of how bad this new injury is.
Gronk injured his back in his return to the field and will need to be monitored this week. – MONITOR
James Robinson (RB) Jacksonville Jaguars
Bruised Heel, Initial Injury: 10/31/21
James Robinson is one of the last players the Jaguars wanted to see on this Week 9 injury report. With one win on the season, Robinson has been one of the few bright spots on this team. The Jags RB was pushed out of bounds on a run and collided with a piece of equipment on the sidelines. He was originally ruled out with an ankle injury but he has been diagnosed with a bruised heel and seems to have avoided a major injury. If this truly is a superficial injury as stated, Robinson should be good to go once the swelling and pain go down. Robinson is not expected to miss much time at all and is questionable for this week. Should Robinson be unable to play, RB Carlos Hyde would be in line for an increased role.
Robinson suffered a bruised heel and seems to have avoided a major injury. He should be back this week or next week. – MONITOR/START
T.Y. Hilton (WR) Indianapolis Colts
Concussion, Initial Injury: 10/31/21
Colts WR TY Hilton is another player who can’t seem to find his way off the injury report, and Week 9 is no different. Last week, Hilton went up for a pass and came down hard, hitting his head on the turf. He was diagnosed with a concussion and has already been ruled out for the Colts’ Thursday night game. Hilton spent the first five games of the season on IR due to surgery on his neck likely to fix an issue with his vertebral disc. He was also out for Week 7 due to an injury to his quadriceps.
With only three days before the Colts’ next game, this did not leave enough time to clear the concussion protocol. Concussions refer to a brain injury that interrupts normal brain functioning and processing. Recovery from a concussion is highly variable and dependent on a number of factors. Two weeks should be enough time for Hilton to return to the field but his recent neck surgery could hinder his progress. Hilton’s practice status will need to be monitored moving forward.
Hilton has been ruled out of the Thursday night game with a concussion. – SIT
Damien Williams (RB) Chicago Bears
Knee Injury, Initial Injury: 10/31/21
When Bears starting RB David Montgomery went down with an injury, it seemed RB Damien Williams was set to fill in. After putting together a pair of nice performances, Williams’ control of the backfield was derailed due to COVID. He tested positive for COVID-19 and missed the required 10 days for unvaccinated. By the time he returned his role in the backfield was greatly diminished with rookie RB Khalil Herbert taking the reigns.
To make matters worse, Williams was injured on his second carry of the game, finishing the day with minus-three yards. There is currently not a lot of information regarding his knee injury, other than it was serious enough for him to not return to the game. With Herbert impressing and starter David Montgomery returning soon, it looks like Williams missed his chance for significant playing time. His status will need to be monitored regarding his game status availability this week.
Williams left last week’s game with a knee injury and should be monitored. – MONITOR/DROP
Jalen Reagor (WR) Philadelphia Eagles
Lateral Ankle Sprain, Initial Injury: 10/31/21
The Philadelphia Eagles receive good news by way of the Week 9 injury report. Coming off their thrashing of the Detroit Lions, it appears one of their top receivers suffered only a minor injury. Jalen Reagor injured his ankle while diving to the goal line in the first quarter of last week’s game. He was able to walk off the field but was then carted to the locker room.
It appears the cart was precautionary as Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni is hopeful it is only a minor ankle sprain. Reagor sprained his lateral ankle while making a cut to dive for the endzone. Lateral ankle sprains are very common injuries that occur when the foot and ankle roll inward. Typically for mild strains, the recovery timeline is only one to two weeks, so there is a chance he plays next week. His practice status should be monitored to gauge the likelihood of him being available for Week 9.
Reagor suffered a mild ankle sprain and should return soon, possibly this week. – MONITOR
Chris Boswell (K) Pittsburgh Steelers
Concussion, Initial Injury: 10/31/21
Another concussion for the Week 9 injury report. The Steelers in attempting to get cute and catch the Browns napping tried a fake field goal before the half. Not only was the play unsuccessful, but it led to their kicker being ruled out for the remainder of the game with a concussion. Boswell is now in the concussion protocol and it remains seen if he will play this week. His practice status will need to be monitored during the week but he is the only kicker on the roster currently. It should be made clear if he will not be able to play due to practice and the Steelers acquiring another kicker.
Boswell is in the concussion protocol and has a chance to play this week. – MONITOR
Russell Wilson (QB) Seattle Seahawks
Finger Surgery, Initial Injury: 10/7/21
For the first time in his 10 year career, Russell Wilson will not be starting an NFL regular-season game. That really is an incredible feat for a guy who means so much to his football team. The Los Angeles Rams ruined this streak after Wilson injured his middle finger on a Rams player’s helmet. The injury was on his throwing hand and found severe enough to require surgery, which he underwent the next day. The surgery revealed injuries to two separate joints on his finger.
The Seahawks QB suffered both a Mallet finger injury and a PIP dislocation. Mallet finger refers to when the tendon on the very end of your finger is partially or fully torn. This prevents you from being able to fully straighten your finger and accurately throw a football. In addition, Wilson’s joint in the middle of his finger was found to be dislocated or forced out of place. A variable timeline has been given due to this being a rare double injury to one finger. Expect Wilson to be out a month but his progress should be monitored after about three weeks. Wilson is headed to the IR as expected and the earliest he can return is Week 10.
Wilson suffered two serious finger injuries but will return later this season. – SIT/IR
Chris Carson (RB) Seattle Seahawks
Neck Injury, Initial Injury: Preseason (Long Term Issue)
In a bit of surprise, Seattle’s starting running back made his way onto the injury report last Tuesday ahead of their Thursday night game. Initially, it was unclear how serious of an issue this would be but at this point, Carson has not practiced in two weeks and will miss his second straight game. There have also been talks about possibly putting Carson on the IR with this neck issue. A clear diagnosis has not been given but Carson is likely dealing with a disc issue in his neck. These types of injuries take a while to get under control and often require surgery or weeks of rehab to be fully treated.
This clearly has been bothering Carson for some time as the Seahawks running back was on the Week 1 injury report with a neck injury. He was able to fully practice that week and started all four games earlier in the year but he appears to have aggravated the injury in practice. Back up Alex Collins was a must-add for Carson fantasy owners last week and continues to be if available. Collins has provided a spark for this backfield and is in line to take over the starting duties until Carson returns.
Carson has been placed on the IR and will miss multiple weeks at least. – SIT/IR
JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR) Pittsburgh Steelers
Shoulder Dislocation, Initial Injury: 10/10/21
Juju may have played his last snap for the city of Pittsburgh. In the second quarter of the game against the Broncos, he took a hard hit to his shoulder and instantly walked off the field. The Steelers WR dislocated his shoulder and required season-ending surgery. Let’s not forget that Smith-Schuster tested the free agency market before signing just a 1 year deal with Pittsburgh. Juju will have to work hard this off-season to build some stability in his shoulder as dislocations can become a chronic issue for players. Luckily for the Steelers, WRs Chase Claypool, Diontae Johnson, and James Washington are all capable playmakers.
Juju is out for the rest of the season after shoulder surgery. – DROP
Curtis Samuel (WR) Washington Football Team
Groin Injury, Re-injured: 10/10/21, Initial Injury: 6/2/21
Another player I have been concerned about for a while joins the Week 9 injury report. Washington’s offseason addition Curtis Samuel cannot seem to kick this groin issue. The speedy WR originally injured his groin back in June and took several months off before returning to practice. A week before the season started, he reinjured his groin again and started the year on the IR. I tried to warn y’all but this was the first BAD sign. Last Sunday, Samuel suffered another setback, aggravating his groin injury and being held out of the game.
A groin injury limits a player’s ability for a quick change of direction movements due to damage to the inner hip muscle. As a shifty and speedy receiver, Samuel will need his groin to be at full strength for a productive season. Groin injury also comes with a high reinjury risk, which is what we are seeing here. At this point, this injury is unlikely to go away any time soon and I would look for other fantasy options. Washington WR’s Terry McLaurin and Adam Humphries will see a boost in targets as some of the only healthy options left.
Samuel has again reinjured his groin and his health should not be trusted. – DROP/SIT
Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB) Kansas City Chiefs
MCL Sprain, Initial injury: 10/10/21
The Cheifs young RB has gotten off to a rough start this year, much like his team. After seeing his workload diminish, he now has a knee injury to deal with. Clyde Edwards-Helaire (CEH) had to be helped off the field after injuring his knee against Buffalo. He was found to have suffered an MCL sprain that was significant enough to land him on the IR.
An MCL injury refers to ligament damage to the inner part of your knee and is key in side-to-side knee stability. This injury usually comes with a two to three-week recovery timeline. An MCL sprain would limit the RB’s route running and change of direction ability due to lack of knee stability until properly healed. Kansas City veteran RBs Darrel Williams and Jerrick McKinnon will look to carry the load in CEH’s absence.
The young Kansas City RB is on IR with an MCL sprain. – SIT/IR
Logan Thomas (TE) Washington Football Team
Hamstring Strain, Initial Injury: 10/3/21
Washington survived an offensive shootout in Atlanta last week without one of their top targets. The converted tight end Logan Thomas limped off the field on the team’s first possession of the game and was unable to return. Thomas injured his hamstring in a non-contact injury while running upfield. Hamstring strains are tricky injuries that require at least two weeks to recover from.
These injuries have a high reinjury rate which often causes a more severe injury than the original. Hamstring strains can linger throughout the season will limit a player’s running and jumping ability. Thomas has been placed on the IR and is expected to miss four weeks. This move means there has been some substantial damage to his hamstring and returning to play in four weeks seems optimistic.
Thomas is dealing with a hamstring strain and has been placed on IR – DROP/IR
DJ Chark (WR) Jacksonville Jaguars
Ankle Fracture, Initial Injury: 9/30/21
This Week 9 report contains an added injury to the insult that is Jacksonville Jaguars football. Last Thursday night, their big-play WR D.J. Chark was rolled up on by a fellow teammate and had to be carted off the field. Unfortunately, Chark fractured his ankle, which will require surgery and likely end his 2021 season. With the Jags looking abysmal, there is no reason for them to risk bringing back their young WR this year. Fellow WRs Marvin Jones Jr. and Laviska Shenault should see a boost in targets for the rest of the season.
Chark’s season is likely over with a fractured ankle. – DROP
Will Fuller (WR) Miami Dolphins
Broken Finger, Initial Injury:10/3/21
Will Fuller’s Miami career is off to a rocky start after missing the first two games for non-injury reasons and getting hurt early in Week 4. The Miami WR broke his finger while attempting to make a diving catch on an underthrown ball. He was immediately ruled out of the game and is now expected to miss “ a few weeks”. A broken bone is going to take about six weeks to fully heal normally but there is a possibility he returns closer to the four-week mark. His recovery timeline will be up to how much Fuller and the Dolphins want to risk a reinjury. The Dolphins are fairly healthy at WR otherwise, with DeVante Parker and Jaylen Waddle leading the way.
Fuller broke his finger and will likely be out four to six weeks. – IR/SIT
Maxx Williams (TE) Arizona Cardinals
Knee Injury, Initial Injury: 10/10/21
Just as the TE was becoming a big part of this Arizona offense, his season is likely over. Maxx Williams suffered a gruesome knee injury last Sunday and the belief is it is a season-ending injury. No official word has been given yet but should be soon. Feel free to wait for clarification but best case this will be a multiple-week absence.
Williams likely suffered a season-ending knee injury. – DROP/MONITOR
Quintez Cephus (WR) Detroit Lions
Broken Collarbone, Initial Injury: 10/10/21
The Lions can ill afford any name added to the injury report for Week 9, especially a bright spot in their dismal passing offense. Quintez Cephus has emerged as Detroit’s WR1 and vertical deep threat this season. The big body receiver had been a productive and reliable target for QB Jared Goff. Unfortunately, Detroit can’t seem to have nice things as the promising young WR will miss an extended amount of time.
Cephus’ shoulder was driven down hard into the ground on a tackle last week and he broke his collarbone. The bone is going to take at least six weeks to heal but could very likely take two full months. He would then have to be slowly worked back into contact as the bone is vulnerable during the healing period. The Lions will turn to WR’s Amon-Ra St. Brown, Kalif Raymond, and KhaDarel Hodge to fill the void. These pass catchers are all unproven so it is hard to say which one Goff will trust if any.
Cephus broke his collarbone and will have an extended absence, maybe the rest of the season. – DROP/IR
This injury report will be updated until Week 9 ends. Make sure to stay up to date on all the latest injuries this season over on Twitter @SGPNFootballDoc!