Week 3 Fantasy Football Injury Report

Week 3 Fantasy Football Injury Report

The NFL season is in full swing, and teams are beginning to separate themselves. To make sure your fantasy football team isn’t left at the bottom of the standings, you have to stay on top of things. With the constantly changing nature of the NFL and 32 teams to keep track of, it can become overwhelming. Luckily for you, I’ve got you covered on the fantasy relevant injury news and how you should be interpreting it. Welcome to the Week 3 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 X @SGPNFootballDoc! Additionally, this article updates daily until Monday Night Football, so check back in before setting your lineup!



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Week 3 Fantasy Football Injury Report

Week 3 Inactives

Saquon Barkley (RB) New York Giants

Logan Thomas (TE) Washington Commanders

Bryce Young (QB) Carolina Panthers

Anthony Richardson (QB) Indianapolis Colts

Odell Beckham Jr. (WR) Baltimore Ravens

Justice Hill (RB) Baltimore Ravens

Austin Ekeler (RB) Los Angeles Chargers

Jamaal Williams (RB) New Orleans Saints

Zay Jones (WR) Jacksonville Jaguars 

Jaylen Waddle (WR) Miami Dolphins

Richie James (WR) Kansas City Chiefs

Saquon Barkley (RB) New York Giants

Injury: Ankle Injury
Injury Date: 9/17/2023
Expected Recovery Time: 2-3 weeks
Recovery Time to Week 3: 4 days
Replacement Player(s) to Target: Kendre Miller (RB) NO 

The New York Giants completed a 21 point comeback in the final moments of their game last week. It was not all rainbows and sunshine, however, as their best player in RB Saquon Barkley, suffered an injury on their last drive. Barkley took a handoff up the middle and got his leg caught under a defender while being tackled. He suffered an “ordinary” ankle sprain and finds himself on the Week 3 Fantasy Football Injury Report.

The Giants RB is dealing with damage to the lateral ankle ligaments due to the foot rolling inwards. These ligaments serve to help stabilize the foot and deal with unstable surfaces. There was an initial injury timeline provided of three weeks, and the team has stated that he is progressing faster than it was expected. Based on this, I expect Barkley to be dealing with a grade 2 or moderate low ankle sprain.

Saquon is officially out for the game on Thursday night with less than a week of recovery time. This is a smart move by the Giants, as the risk of further damage is not worth it for one game. There is a chance he could make a return next week for Monday Night Football, but his practice participation will need to be monitored. When he does return to the field, his balance and cutting ability will be challenged with this injury.

Saquon Barkley is OUT this week but does have a chance to return in the next two weeks – SIT. 

Anthony Richardson (QB) Indianapolis Colts

Injury: Concussion
Injury Date: 9/17/2023
Expected Recovery Time: 1-2 weeks
Recovery Time to Week 3: 7 days
Replacement Player(s) to Target: Brock Purdy (QB) SF

The former Florida Gators QB Anthony Richardson got off to a GREAT start last week, rushing for two TDs early on. Unfortunately, just like his time at Florida, Richardson found himself on the sidelines with an injury. On his second TD run, Richardson hit his head hard on the turf as he was being tackled. He was identified to perform a concussion screen and was quickly put into the concussion protocol.

A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury that leads to disruption in the function of the brain. Regarding football, the brain is vital to processing information quickly and helping players to react. The recovery timeline for this injury is a bit tricky as there is a wide variability in symptoms and how long they last. Research has shown that most NFL players return to playing in less than seven days from injury.

The NFL has improved its handling of concussions and has its own five-step standardized concussion protocol. The first day players are able to return to practice if they are progressing through the protocol is Thursday, which is why Richardson not practicing Wednesday is not a big deal. His practice status will be a clear indication if he is able to play this week, but these injuries typically do not last longer than two weeks.

Colts QB Anthony Richardson has been ruled OUT with a concussion – SIT.

Nick Chubb (RB) Cleveland Browns

Injury: Knee Dislocation + Multi-ligament Tear
Injury Date: 9/17/2023
Expected Recovery Time: 12-15 months
Recovery Time to Week 3: 7 days
Replacement Player(s) to Target: Jerome Ford (RB) CLE (yes, even with Kareem Hunt)

This is by far the saddest news on the Week 3 Fantasy Football Injury Report. Cleveland Browns all-world RB Nick Chubb suffered a gruesome injury on Monday Night Football. While he wrapped up high, he took a low hit right on his knee, which caused it to dislocate and tear the majority of his knee ligaments. This was a brutal scene in which the injury looked so bad they didn’t even broadcast the replay (check my X if interested).

Chubb was carted off the field, and shortly after, he was confirmed to be out for the season, which we all already knew. His knee was hit so hard and in a vulnerable spot that it caused the ligaments holding his bones in place to tear and the bones to shift out of position. This is a pretty rare injury in the knee and requires major surgery to repair. The full details of the surgery will likely not be released until months later, but Chubb has a very long recovery road ahead of him.

Browns RB Nick Chubb has now suffered a second MAJOR left knee injury and will take over a year to recover – DROP :(.

Amon Ra St. Brown (WR) Detroit Lions

Injury: Turf Toe
Injury Date: 9/17/2023
Expected Recovery Time: 2-3 weeks
Recovery Time to Week 3: 7 days
Replacement Player(s) to Target: Josh Reynolds (WR) DET

The Detroit Lions offense has not had much trouble putting up points this year. A big reason for this is their stud WR1 in Amon Ra St. Brown. Unfortunately, he suffered an injury that kind of went under the radar last week as he returned to the game. St. Brown was being tackled when the front of his foot got caught in the ground and was forced into hyperextension. This led to an injury to the main joint of the big toe, which is also known as turf toe.

Although he was unproductive (1 catch for 5 yards), the fact he returned to the game tells me he is likely dealing with a minor or grade 1 turf toe. The recovery timeline is typically 2-3 weeks, but the player usually plays through the pain before it is fully healed. It remains to be seen if St. Brown plays this week, but I am expecting him to be limited for 2-3 weeks.

St. Brown’s sprinting and acceleration ability decreases as they require the big toe joint to properly push off the ground. Turf toe also carries a moderate reinjury risk and lingers throughout the season if there is not enough recovery time. It is sometimes better for a player to sit out one or two weeks to fully recover and reduce the chance of a reinjury significantly. St. Brown not practicing to start the week may be a sign this is his game plan.

Lions WR Amon Ra St. Brown is dealing with a mild turf toe that can linger if he is not careful – MONITOR.

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Jaylen Waddle (WR) Miami Dolphins

Injury: Concussion
Injury Date: 9/17/2023
Expected Recovery Time: 1-2 weeks
Recovery Time to Week 3: 7 days
Replacement Player(s) to Target: Tank Dell (WR) Houston Texans

Jaylen Waddle joins this list as the second concussion on the Week 3 Fantasy Football Injury Report. While going up for a catch, Waddle was unfortunately hit in the head by a defender coming in for the tackle. He was immediately removed from the game and ruled out for the remainder of it. A concussion leaves the brain in an energy crisis where it makes it difficult to quickly process and react to things.

Typically, a concussion is caused by a direct head trauma, like helmet-to-helmet contact, which is what makes them so common in football. They are so prevalent that the NFL created a five-step standardized concussion protocol to help the player rehab from their injury and not return too soon. Most players return from a concussion in a week, but others will miss a game and return in two weeks. It is based on a player’s level of symptoms, which are very variable with this injury.

Keeping an eye on Waddle’s practice status for the rest of the week will be the best indication if he is playing or not. A full practice is required before being able to clear the concussion protocol. Also, whenever he does return, his reaction time and catch radius may be limited temporarily. Additionally, there is an elevated injury risk following a concussion. Players are 2.35 times more likely to suffer a subsequent MSK injury.

Dolphins WR Jaylen Waddle is in concussion protocol and is OUT this week – SIT.

Aaron Jones (RB) Green Bay Packers

Injury: Hamstring Strain
Injury Date: 9/10/2023
Expected Recovery Time: 2-3 weeks
Recovery Time to Week 3: 2 weeks
Replacement Player(s) to Target: Kyren Williams (RB) Los Angeles Rams

After a mediocre first half in Week 1, the Green Bay Packers seemingly remembered they had a great RB in their backfield. Aaron Jones came alive, and on his way into the end zone for his second TD, he unfortunately pulled up, grabbing the back of his leg. It’s the classic sign of the dreaded hamstring strain. This refers to damage to the muscle in the back of the upper leg, which is the big power generator for your legs.

Hamstring strains are difficult injuries to rehab as they carry a high reinjury risk, especially in the first two weeks after the injury. The good news here is that the injury appears to be a more mild injury. A grade 1 or minor hamstring strain typically takes 2-3 weeks to fully recover.

Jones has been unable to participate in any practice since the injury. However, he has been spotted working on the side with a helmet on. After missing last week, it remains uncertain if Jones will suit up this week, but he is limited with a high reinjury risk if he does. His acceleration and big play ability would be most affected here.

Packers RB Aaron Jones has practiced this week and has a chance to play but is likely limited with an injury risk – SIT if able (risky play). 

Austin Ekeler (RB) Los Angeles Chargers

Injury: Ankle Injury
Injury Date: 9/10/2023
Expected Recovery Time: 1-3 weeks OR 3-6 weeks (injury type dependent)
Recovery Time to Week 3: 2 weeks
Replacement Player(s) to Target: Joshua Kelley (RB) LAC

Los Angeles Chargers RB Austin Ekeler is a clear fantasy football favorite, so it hurts to have him on the injury report again in Week 3. Due to his fantasy production and the fireworks in their Week 1 game, this is an injury that was not the most obvious. Late in the third quarter, Ekeler was tackled (video below) and was forced to leave the field with a bit of a limp. He returned to the game, but only for four snaps, and was clearly limited.

Due to the lack of a clear video of the injury and the Chargers keeping things close to the vest, there is some mystery to Ekeler’s ankle injury. He is most likely dealing with either a low (lateral) ankle or high ankle sprain. Based on his lack of practice so far, it is looking like this may be a high ankle sprain for Ekeler. If he is unable to practice the rest of this week, the concern for his season production will grow significantly.

A low ankle sprain refers to damage to the lateral ankle ligaments when the foot rolls inwards. In mild cases, a player can return to play in 1-3 weeks, and most guys are able to play through it with some ankle taping. However, a high ankle sprain is a more serious injury in which the ligaments that stabilize the lower leg bones are damaged. These injuries take closer to 3-6 weeks to fully recover.

Chargers RB Austin Ekeler is dealing with a likely high ankle sprain, limiting multiple weeks – SIT.

Short-Term Injured Reserve

These players will miss a minimum of 4 games.

Cooper Kupp (WR) Los Angeles Rams
Diontae Johnson (WR) Pittsburgh Steelers
Chase Edmonds (RB) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Noah Brown (WR) Houston Texans
Evan Hull (RB) Indianapolis Colts
Tre’Quan Smith (WR) New Orleans Saints
Kenny McIntosh (RB) Seattle Seahawks
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

Season Ending Injured Reserve

These players will miss the entire season.

JK Dobbins (RB) Baltimore Ravens
Aaron Rodgers (QB) New York Jets

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 

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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