First and foremost, I want to take a second to pray for the continued recovery of Bill’s safety Damar Hamlin. This terrible accident that occurred Monday is a great reminder to appreciate your loved ones. I also wanted to commend the efficient, timely, and life-saving work of the emergency medical team. Resuscitating a player while the whole world is watching is no easy feat.
Alright, ladies and gentlemen, it’s Week 18; let’s get weird. With a wide variety of playoff and draft pick scenarios playing out, this makes for quite an unpredictable week. Like college football bowl season, motivation and player availability will be key. Some teams have a lot to play for, while others are already looking forward to next season. The way teams handle injuries will differ across the league. For the most up-to-date injury news and analysis, welcome to the Week 18 Fantasy Football Injury Report!
Note: This injury report will be updated until the conclusion of Week 18. For the most current injury news and analysis, follow me on Twitter @SGPNFootballDoc!
MORE SGPN FANTASY FOOTBALL CONTENT
Week 18 Fantasy Football Injury Report
Week 18 Inactives
Skyy Moore (WR) Kansas City Chiefs
Tua Tagovailoa (QB) Miami Dolphins
Mike White (QB) New York Jets
Lamar Jackson (QB) Baltimore Ravens
Tyler Huntley (QB) Baltimore Ravens
JK Dobbins (RB) Baltimore Ravens
Mark Andrews (TE) Baltimore Ravens
Jonnu Smith (TE) New England Patriots
Julio Jones (WR) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Justin Fields (QB) Chicago Bears
Nick Foles (QB) Indianapolis Colts
Daniel Jones (QB) New York Giants
Brian Robinson (RB) Washington Commanders
James Connor (RB) Arizona Cardinals
DeAndre Hopkins (WR) Arizona Cardinals
Colt McCoy (QB) Arizona Cardinals
Teddy Bridgewater (QB) Miami Dolphins
Pinky Dislocation, Initial Injury: 1/1/2023
The Miami Dolphins can’t catch a break at QB. The Week 18 injury report doesn’t provide much hope in that department. Dolphins QB Teddy Bridgewater threw a game-changing pick-six last week. To add injury to insult, he also dislocated his pinky finger upon releasing the ball. He hit his finger on the helmet of a defender and was unable to return to the game.
A dislocated finger refers to the bones being forcibly moved out of their normal positions. This results in pain, swelling, and some loss of function of the finger. This does not have to be a long recovery, but typically it takes about 3-6 weeks to heal fully. It is almost certain that Bridgewater’s pinky on his throwing hand will not be 100% by Sunday. However, there is a small chance it may be functional enough to play through.
The news early on in the week does not look too promising. The Dolphins signed veteran QB Mike Glennon to the team, and Bridgewater is still unable to throw the ball. He is having trouble gripping and holding the ball with his pinky finger. It is very important that all your fingers are functioning on your throwing hand to control the ball. I would not trust a limited Bridgewater in my lineup if he does try to play.
Miami QB Teddy Bridgewater is dealing with a dislocated pinky and is unlikely to perform well this week. – SIT
Elijah Mitchell (RB) San Francisco 49ers
MCL Sprain, Initial Injury: 11/27/2022
Since Kyle Shanahan arrived, the San Francisco 49ers have had one of the most frustrating RB rooms in terms of fantasy. Whether it is due to injuries, trades, or simply questionable usage, it always seems to be a mystery. Well, the Week 18 injury report may add another RB into the mix.
49ers RB Elijah Mitchell came into the year as the likely starter but quickly went down with an MCL injury in Week 1. After missing some time, he recently returned and began splitting time with newly acquired RB Christian McCaffrey. Although frustrating to fantasy owners, this split backfield was a solid long-term answer, as CMC has been dealing with some knee inflammation.
Unfortunately, Shanahan had to figure out a new RB plan going forward as Mitchell injured his MCL again in Week 13. Initially thought to be a mild injury, it was actually found to be more serious with a grade 3 strain of his MCL. An MCL strain refers to damage to a ligament located on the inner (medial) knee that has a major role in lateral (side-to-side) stability.
After a six-week recovery from his injury, Mitchell finally returned to practice this week. His practice window was opened, and the team may decide to activate him off of IR for Week 18. This may become relevant as fellow RB Christian McCaffrey missed Wednesday’s practice with a mild ankle sprain.
Mitchell is practicing this week and will play in his first game off of IR. – START
Deebo Samuel (WR) San Francisco 49ers
MCL and Ankle Sprain, Initial Injury: 12/11/2022
This Deebo Samuel injury was a brutal blow for fantasy managers expecting to rely on the stud WR. The good news was the Deebo injury looked much scarier than the end result. The bad news was that he will still miss the rest of the fantasy football season.
After suffering a scary-looking tackle, Samuel was carted off with a knee and ankle injury. Despite initial fear of a severe injury, he has been diagnosed with an MCL and ankle sprain.
An MCL sprain is damage to a ligament on the inner (medial) knee. The MCL has a major role in lateral (side-to-side) stability. This injury comes with a fairly quick recovery timeline. For mild sprains, 1-2 weeks is the typical recovery window, and for moderate sprains, it’s 2-4 weeks.
The 49ers WR returned to practice last week, but that does not mean he will be off the Week 18 injury report. Despite practicing in full on Wednesday, Samuel cautioned that he will not rush back. He states he will only return if he is “100 percent ready to go”. Deebo’s run after the catch and route-running ability could still be hindered due to lateral instability in his knee and ankle. However, based on his comments, if he plays this week, he will not be limited at all.
Deebo Samuel returned to practice and is off the injury report for this week. – START
Christian McCaffrey (RB) San Francisco 49ers
Low Ankle Sprain, Initial Injury: 1/1/2023
The San Francisco 49ers are taking over the Week 18 injury report. Luckily for them, it is mostly in a positive light. 49ers RB Christian McCaffrey missed practice Wednesday with a “mild” ankle sprain. The injury was not disclosed until after the game, as McCaffrey played most of the game. The fact he was able to finish the game last week is an encouraging sign of his Week 18 availability.
A low or lateral ankle sprain refers to damage to the ligaments of the lateral ankle. These are usually damaged by a person’s foot rolling inward under their ankle. A typical recovery timeline for a mild low ankle sprain is between 1-3 weeks. In a favorable matchup against the Cardinals, I can’t imagine San Francisco will push him too far this week. McCaffrey’s balance and stability will be hindered until his ankle fully recovers. The possible return of RB Elijah Mitchell could also lead to a lower-than-normal performance on Sunday.
McCaffrey is dealing with a mild low ankle sprain but will play this week. He is likely to split carries however. – JUDGEMENT CALL
Tony Pollard (RB) Dallas Cowboys
Thigh Injury, Initial Injury: 12/25/2022
The Dallas Cowboys, surprisingly, still have a lot to play for this week. With the #1 seed and NFC East still in reach, the Week 18 injury report brings positive news. Cowboys explosive RB Tony Pollard was a full participant in practice on Wednesday. Pollard missed last week’s game due to a thigh injury he picked up in Week 16. He is likely dealing with some type of quadriceps contusion or muscle strain. The injury appears to be minor, as only a week of rest has the RB back to practicing fully. Monitor his practice status for the week, but all signs indicate Pollard playing this week.
Pollard is back to practice and expected to play against a Commanders team with low motivation. – START
Jalen Hurts (QB) Philadelphia Eagles
Shoulder Injury, Initial Injury: 12/18/2022
The one-time MVP favorite remains on the injury report for Week 18. Philadelphia Eagles QB Jalen Hurts is dealing with a shoulder injury he suffered against the Bears.
He got landed on by a Bears defensive lineman, with most of the force directed at his throwing shoulder. Hurts finished the game, but reports have surfaced that the injury may cause him to miss some time.
Philadelphia could not clinch the #1 seed without their starting QB these last two weeks. This increases the pressure for Hurts to try to play, but the Eagles may still exercise caution. The Eagles need a win against the Giants if they want to secure the #1 NFC seed.
The Eagles have not disclosed exactly what type of injury he is dealing with, but it is most likely an AC sprain. These injuries can be played through but are painful and do negatively affect a player’s throwing ability temporarily. On the other hand, these injuries typically heal in 2-4 weeks, depending on the severity. After returning to practice last week, Hurts is continuing limited participation. The expectation is that he will play this week, but Hurts logging a full practice is needed to increase confidence. Hurts may still be slightly limited, but this is an injury that is often played through at a high level.
Hurts has practiced all week and is likely to start this week. It is worth monitoring still at this point however, as no decision has been made. – MONITOR
Derrick Henry (RB) Tennessee Titans
Hip Injury, Initial Injury: 12/24/2022
The most surprising news from last week’s injury report came out of Tennessee. The Titans faced the Cowboys Thursday night and had nothing to play for. Their playoff chances come down to this week, and they chose to play it safe. Mike Vrabel responded by seemingly resting any player with an injury designation.
Unfortunately, stud RB Derrick Henry was among this long list of players. He is dealing with an undisclosed hip injury that will likely keep him sidelined this week. The nature of the injury hasn’t been disclosed, but it does not appear too serious.
It appears the Week 18 injury report confirms Henry’s hip injury is mild. He has already logged two full practices this week and is fully expected to play this week. Coming off a week of rest, I fully expect Henry to be ready to perform in this pseudo-playoff game.
Henry is practicing fully and will likely perform well this week. – START
Tua Tagovailoa (QB) Miami Dolphins
Concussion, Initial Injury: 12/25/2022
Tua Tagovailoa has been one of the most talked about players this season. Unfortunately, a big reason for this has been his injury concerns. It’s safe to say that seeing Tua on the injury report with ANOTHER concussion is not what anybody wanted.
A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury that leads to disruption in the function of the brain. It hinders the speed and ability of players to process the information on the playing field. Research has shown that most NFL players return to playing in less than seven days from injury. However, this changes when multiple concussions have been suffered in a short period of time.
Due to the increased health concern with multiple concussions, Tua may have been shut down. He was quickly ruled out last week and has not returned to practice. The Dolphins do not seem to be factoring him into the QB situation for Week 18. Backup QB Teddy Bridgewater injured himself as the starter last week and may leave Miami on QB3. There is a strong chance we do not see Tua for the rest of the regular season.
Tua is still not practicing, and all signs indicate him being inactive this week. – SIT
Lamar Jackson (QB) Baltimore Ravens
PCL Strain, Initial Injury: 12/4/2022
Dynamic Baltimore QB Lamar Jackson remains on the injury report for Week 18. Ravens fans and fantasy owners alike held their breath a few weeks ago as Jackson had to be helped off the field. He suffered a knee sprain and was quickly ruled out of the game. Tests revealed that Lamar suffered a PCL strain and is being referred to as “week-to-week.”
The PCL is a stabilizing ligament in your knee that is often injured by another player running into the back of a player’s knee. The strain appears to be mild, as the team’s initial recovery window was between 1-3 weeks.
With a capable backup in QB Tyler Huntley and already squarely in the playoff picture, it is unlikely the Ravens will rush to bring Jackson back. He will want to be fully able to trust his knee before returning to the field, as he relies on his legs so much to operate effectively.
As of Wednesday, Lamar is still not practicing. This is his 13th straight missed practice. There is real cause for concern at this point. The Ravens are not providing any injury updates, and Lamar not being under contract next year could be affecting this. The expectation at this point is that Huntley will be starting at QB this week.
The Ravens QB has not practiced yet this week and is unlikely to play. – SIT