Week 1 Fantasy Football Injury Report

Week 1 Fantasy Football Injury Report

We’re back, baby. This is NOT a drill. The NFL season is here! It’s Week 1, so we’re all feeling great about our fantasy football teams, no matter what BS draft grade you received. Step 1 is over with your draft. Now, it’s up to you to manage your team to a championship. Knowing how to handle your player’s injury situations gives you the edge you need to lift the trophy at the end of the season. Let me help you get there. Welcome to the Week 1 Fantasy Football Injury Report!

Injury news happens fast and can change quickly, so for the most up to date news and analysis, follow me on Twitter @SGPNFootballDoc!

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Week 1 Fantasy Football Injury Report

Week 1 Inactives

Travis Kelce (TE) Kansas City Chiefs

Cooper Kupp (WR) Los Angeles Rams

DJ Chark (WR) Carolina Panthers

John Metchie III (WR) Houston Texans

Christian Watson (WR) Green Bay Packers

Cooper Kupp (WR) Los Angeles Rams

Injury: Hamstring Strain

Injury Date: 8/1/2023

Reinjury Date: 8/31/2023

Expected Recovery Time: 2-3 weeks

Recovery Time to Week 1: 10 days (~1.5 weeks)

Injury Update

The Week 1 Fantasy Football Injury Report kicks off with a former league winner in WR Cooper Kupp. The Rams pass-catcher was looking to return to fantasy glory this season after an injury-riddled year. Unfortunately, his 2023 campaign is off to a rocky start as he is dealing with hamstring issues.


Kupp originally suffered a mild hamstring strain near the start of training camp. The hope was that with over five weeks until Week 1, he would be good to go for the season. Unfortunately, hamstring injuries are the most burdensome injuries in the NFL for a reason. Hamstring injuries carry a high reinjury rate and are difficult to recover from. The injury often feels better before the muscle is fully recovered, leading to players returning too soon.

As with most soft tissue injuries, reinjury is devastating as there is an injury to already damaged tissue. Kupp is likely just as frustrated as his fantasy managers, as he even flew out to Minnesota last week to see a hamstring specialist. At this point, the Rams WR has been ruled out for Week 1. The Rams have stressed this being a long-term play, so I would not expect Kupp back until about Week 5-6.

Rams WR Cooper Kupp is dealing with hamstring issues and has been placed on IR, meaning he will miss at least the first 4 games – IR

Travis Kelce (TE) Kansas City Chiefs

Injury: Knee Injury

Injury Date: 9/5/2023

Expected Recovery Time: 2-3 weeks

Recovery Time to Week 1: 2 days

Injury Update

The next injury on this Week 1 Fantasy Football Injury Report is every fantasy manager’s worst nightmare. You finish your draft, and you’re feeling great knowing you drafted Travis Kelce and didn’t have to stress the TE slot all season. Then, BAM, you get the news that Kelce went down with an injury TWO DAYS before Week 1.

I feel your pain, friends, and I’ve got some good news and bad. Starting with the bad, with only two days to recover, it is unlikely Kelce will be effective IF he plays Thursday. A bone bruise, in the simplest of terms, is damage to the bone, causing a bruise or inflammation response. This leads to lots of swelling and tenderness, which is what Kelce is dealing with in his knee.

On the other hand, the good news is this is likely a short-term issue. Although there is some damage to the bone, it appears minimal in this case, and players can return fairly quickly. With 12 days of recovery until Kansas City’s Week 2, I would expect Kelce to be a much bigger factor there. He’s officially listed as questionable for Week 1, but don’t expect much from the stud TE.

Chiefs TE Travis Kelce is officially OUT for Week 1, but expect him good to go Week 2 and on – SIT

Terry McLaurin (WR) Washington Commanders

Injury: Turf Toe

Injury Date: 8/21/2023

Expected Recovery Time: 2-3 weeks

Recovery Time to Week 1: 20 days (~3 weeks)

Injury Update

Every year there is an ongoing debate on whether teams should play their starters in the preseason. Well, consider this next injury some support for coaches to leave their star players on the sidelines. Commanders stud WR Terry McLaurin was injured in Week 2 of the preseason as Washington was trying their best to end the Ravens preseason win streak. Unfortunately, McLaurin suffered a turf toe injury that lands him on this fantasy football injury report in Week 1.

Despite the questionable decision to have McLuarin in the game deep in the second quarter, it seems Washington may get away mostly unscathed. He is dealing with a mild turf toe injury, which typically takes 2-3 weeks to recover from. Turf toe refers to an injury to the main joint of the big toe, which allows you to push off when running.

This injury carries a moderate reinjury risk and can linger throughout the season if not managed properly. We typically see this more when a player tries to rush back too soon while in season. McLaurin recently returned to practice and was upgraded to a full participant on Thursday. I expect him to suit up Week 1 with minor limitations and be 100% healthy by Week 3. The injury scare and recent Jahan Dotson hype has made McLaurin a great buy at his current fantasy value.

Washington WR Terry McLaurin is progressing well through his turf toe. Expect him active Week 1 and 100% by Week 3. – START

Breece Hall (RB) New York Jets

Injury: ACL and Meniscus Tear

Injury Date: 10/23/2022

Expected Recovery Time: 10-12 months

Recovery Time to Week 1: 320 days (~10.5 months)

Injury Update

One of the biggest questions of this offseason is surrounding the health of Jets RB Breece Hall. The second-year RB showed some great flashes last year before suffering a torn ACL in Week 7. This leaves him with right around 10.5 months before Week 1 of the 2023 season to make his return. Typically a player takes around 11 months to return to playing, so it would not be unbelievable for Hall to be available for Week 1.

However, players, especially skill position guys, have a hard time adjusting to the playing speed of the NFL upon their return. Your ACL is a major stabilizing ligament in your knee and critical in a player’s change of direction ability. It can take up to two years before a player can regain their normal movement patterns before their injury. Also, higher lower-body injury rates are associated with players returning from an ACL tear in the first year.

So far, nothing indicates that Hall will be able to step right in and pick up where he left off last season. If you are taking a player in the first three rounds of your draft, you need to be confident they can provide consistent production. With just 26 days until the Jets’ first game, Hall was finally activated off the PUP and returned to practice in a limited role.

Although good news, he returns to an RB room that just added Dalvin Cook in free agency. Both New York and I realize it may take several weeks into the season before Hall can consistently produce in the backfield. He also has only been able to practice in a limited capacity to this point. With no preseason work or full live reps yet, expect more Cook carries early on.

Breece Hall will likely be active Week 1, but don’t expect much volume or production wise – SIT

 Zack Moss (RB) Indianapolis Colts

Injury: Broken Arm

Injury Date: 7/31/2023

Expected Recovery Time: 5-6 weeks

Recovery Time to Week 1: 41 days (~6 weeks)

Injury Update

Here is an injury that some of you may be wondering how it made the list as “fantasy relevant.” Well, with Colts RB Jonathan Taylor on the PUP list, this leaves a gaping hole in the Indianapolis backfield. The guy I think has the best shot to fill this role is RB Zack Moss, who is getting healthy at the right time.

Moss suffered a broken arm early on in training camp but has been progressing in the right direction. With about six weeks of recovery time, this should give him just enough time to be ready for Week 1. The Colts current RB1 returned to practice this week and should be in for a big role. He earned double-digit carries in the last four games of the 2022 season after JT went down with an injury. In a bit of a surprise, Moss has been downgraded to doubtful and is not expected to play Week 1.

Colts RB Zack Moss is back at practice but is doubtful for Week 1 – SIT

Jaylen Waddle (WR) Miami Dolphins

Injury: Midsection Injury

Injury Date: 8/9/2023

Expected Recovery Time: 2-3 weeks

Recovery Time to Week 1: 32 days (~4.5 weeks)

Injury Update

The Week 1 Fantasy Football Injury Report rolls on with Miami Dolphins WR Jaylen Waddle. This has been an injury situation that has some mystery to it. Waddle went down with what is being called a “midsection” injury in early August. There was always optimism that this was not a serious or long-term injury, but there was never much detail provided about what the injury actually was.

After three weeks of missed practice and my concerns for Week 1 growing, Waddle finally returned to practice this week. I think we can all take a collective sigh of relief with this one. With a “midsection injury,” most likely Waddle is dealing with bruised ribs or a mild oblique strain. With just over a month from the initial injury, both of these injuries should be healed by Week 1.

Despite a training camp scare, WR Jaylen Waddle is back on track for another solid season – START

George Kittle (TE) San Francisco 49ers

Injury: Adductor/Groin Strain

Injury Date: 8/10/2023

Expected Recovery Time: 2-4 weeks

Recovery Time to Week 1: 31 days (~4.5 weeks)

Injury Update

The San Francisco 49ers are receiving some good news just in time, it seems. Leading up to Week 1, they were facing the very real possibility of traveling to Pittsburgh with Nick Bosa and George Kittle on the sidelines. Luckily for 49ers fans, Bosa has been paid, and TE George Kittle returned to practice today.

On the Kittle front, we’re not totally out of the woods yet. The star TE picked up a minor groin strain early on in training camp that was originally thought only to keep him out a week or so. One week became two, however, and concern started to grow. Kittle was able to return briefly, but he was then ruled out again after not feeling totally recovered. The setback is cause for concern.

Groin injuries are a bit of an umbrella term that could refer to damage to muscles of the inner hip, abdomen, or both. In this case, Kittle is dealing with a strain of his inner hip muscles, and it is limiting his cutting and change of direction ability. These injuries come with a moderate reinjury risk and can linger if not fully healed before playing. If Kittle does play Week 1, I would consider him limited and at an elevated injury risk.

TE George Kittle has returned to practice but is still limited and not over his groin injury – SIT

Mark Andrews (TE) Baltimore Ravens

Injury: Quad Strain

Injury Date: 8/23/2023

Expected Recovery Time: 2-4 weeks

Recovery Time to Week 1: 18 days (~2.5 weeks)

Injury Update

Mark Andrew’s mystery injury has FINALLY been revealed! Thank goodness for the return of team injury reports! Baltimore Ravens star TE has been dealing with a previously undisclosed injury for two weeks now. The team remained confident he would be back for Week 1, but after missing six straight practices, everyone was losing faith.

Andrews returned to practice this week on a limited basis. He is dealing with a mild quad strain, which typically takes 2-3 weeks to heal. His practice participation will be a good indication of how he is feeling, but I expect him to play this week. That being said, the Ravens are playing the lowly Texans, and I’m not expecting a huge Week 1 performance from Andrews.

Between game script and injury rehab, I expect Andrews to play but not get his typical volume – SIT if able, but good to go for Week 2

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Kadarius Toney (WR) Kansas City Chiefs

Injury: Meniscectomy (Meniscus Removal Surgery)

Injury Date: 7/23/2023

Surgery Date: 7/25/2023

Expected Recovery Time: 4-6 weeks

Recovery Time to Week 1: 47 days (~6.5 weeks)

Injury Update

Chiefs WR Kadarius Toney has been quite the polarizing character in his short NFL career. He’s shown that when he’s on the field, he has the potential to be a game-changer. The problem is he’s not shown an ability to stay on the field and consistently produce. Toney has only played 19 games in two seasons and racked up less than 200 receiving yards last regular season.

The Kansas City WR again finds himself on the fantasy football injury report for Week 1. Toney suffered a meniscus tear on the first day of training camp and had surgery on his knee two days later. There are a few treatment options for a meniscus tear, and Toney underwent a meniscectomy procedure. This is a surgery that simply removes the damaged cartilage from the knee.

This procedure comes with a relatively short recovery timeline of only 4-6 weeks. However, once that piece of meniscus is removed from the knee, it is gone forever. The meniscus serves as protective and stabilizing cartilage for the knee. This procedure is good for Toney’s Week 1 availability but bad for his long-term knee health. Just another reason he’s on my Do NOT Draft List.

Chiefs WR Kadarius Toney is off the injury report for Week 1, but I’m betting he will be back soon! – START… at your own risk

Joe Burrow (QB) Cincinnati Bengals

Injury: Calf Strain

Injury Date: 7/27/2023

Expected Recovery Time: 2-4 weeks

Recovery Time to Week 1: 45 days (~6.5 weeks)

Injury Update

The Week 1 Fantasy Football Injury Report rolls on with some good news coming out of Cincinnati. The NFL world seemingly stopped on July 27th when news broke that Bengals QB Joe Burrow had to be helped off the field with an injury. Burrow was rolling out of the pocket in practice and went down after suffering a calf injury (see below). The good news is that the injury occurred in the first week of training camp and not anytime later.

This allowed for over six weeks of recovery time and for Burrow to not be rushed in his rehab. A calf strain can be a tricky injury to come back from on a tight timeline. It carries a moderate reinjury risk as it can be a difficult injury to gauge. Players often feel good at a low intensity quickly, and this creates a false hope that they are ready for full speed when, in reality, they are not. When this injury occurred, the Bengals were able to take their time with their QB and ramp him up appropriately.

My initial reaction was that Burrow would be good to go by Week 1 without limitations. This appears to be the direction Burrow is heading as he returned to practice last week and has looked sharp. Draft away, and I’m expecting another Top 5 QB Fantasy Football finish for Joe Brrr.

Bengals QB Joe Burrow is well on his way to overcoming his calf strain. Expect a full go for Week 1 – START

Jaxon Smith-Njigba (WR) Seattle Seahawks

Injury: Broken Wrist

Injury Date: 8/22/2023

Expected Recovery Time: 4-6 weeks

Recovery Time to Week 1: 19 days (~2.5 weeks)

Injury Update

We are rounding out this Week 1 Fantasy Football Injury Report with rookie WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba. It is never ideal to kick off your NFL career with an injury, but that is the cards Smith-Njigba has been dealt. After his best play of the preseason, the Seahawks WR suffered a broken wrist after being tackled from behind. He underwent surgery to repair the bone under three weeks ago.

Typically, wrist fractures come with an expected recovery timeline of 4-6 weeks. The Seahawks themselves expected him to miss at least three weeks, putting his Week 1 status in jeopardy. However, it appears their tune has changed as head coach Pete Carroll told reporters he expects JSN to be active in Week 1.

Smith-Njigba was able to return to practice last week and catch passes with a small brace on his wrist. In my opinion, playing him in Week 1 is a bit risky, but the team surgeon must have cleared him for this to happen. With no defined role yet in the offense, I would bench JSN for Week 1, but now expect him to be full go by Week 2 or 3.

In a bit of a surprise, Seahawks WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba is expected to play this week, but I’m not convinced he’s 100% yet – SIT

Jerry Jeudy (WR) Denver Broncos

Injury: Hamstring Strain

Injury Date: 8/24/2023

Expected Recovery Time: 3-6 weeks

Recovery Time to Week 1: 17 days (~2.5 weeks)

Injury Update

The Denver Broncos WR room has been quite unlucky this offseason. Projected starting WR Tim Patrick went down with an ACL tear early in training camp, and now fellow starting WR Jerry Jeudy picked up an injury near the end. A few weeks ago, Jeudy was running an end-around in a joint practice when he grabbed his right leg and had to be carted off the field. Although not a season-threatening injury as originally feared, Jeudy is dealing with a Grade 2 or moderate hamstring strain.

Although not an injury that typically requires surgery, hamstring strains are scary fantasy football injuries to face. A hamstring strain refers to damage (tear) to the muscle in the back of the upper leg, and the hamstring is the powerhouse of the lower body. It plays a big role in a player’s acceleration and jumping ability. The scariest aspect of this injury lies with its high reinjury rate, especially the first few weeks after returning to the field.

There is some good news for the Broncos WR, as he did not start the season on the PUP list or short-term IR. This means that the team is hopeful he will return within the first four weeks of the season. At this point, Jeudy has returned to practice but only in a limited capacity. The Broncos have listed Jeudy as questionable for Week 1 but I think it would be a mistake for him to play due to the high reinjury risk. For the right price, he can be a valuable piece, but I wouldn’t expect much before Week 4.

Broncos WR Jerry Jeudy is dealing with a moderate hamstring injury which will likely limit him until Week 3-4. – SIT

Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List

These players will miss a minimum of 4 games.

Jonathan Taylor (RB) Indianapolis Colts 

Kyler Murray (QB) Arizona Cardinals  

Jalen Guyton (WR) Los Angeles Chargers 

Short-Term Injured Reserve

These players will miss a minimum of 4 games.

Justin Shorter (WR) Buffalo Bills

Jelani Woods (TE) Indianapolis Colts

Keaton Mitchell (RB) Baltimore Ravens

Kyle Phillips (WR) Tennessee Titans

Tyquan Thornton (WR) New England Patriots

Jeff Wilson Jr (RB) Miami Dolphins

Commissioner Exempt List 

Players are unable to play or practice until allowed off the list.

Hassan Haskins (RB) Tennessee Titans – Aggravated Assault Charges

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