Week 16 Fantasy Football Injury Report

Week 16 Fantasy Football Injury Report

The Fantasy Football playoffs roll on, and hopefully, you’re on the train! However, if your season has ended abruptly, have no fear. DFS, Underdog Fantasy, and sportsbooks were created just for these situations. There is still a TON of football to be played, and wherever there’s football, injuries follow. I’m breaking down the BIGGEST Fantasy Football injuries for this week to help YOU gain an edge. Welcome to the Week 16 Fantasy Football Injury Report!

Week 16 Bye Weeks: None, but there are games on Thursday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday this week, so plan accordingly!

Injury news happens fast and can change quickly, so for the most up-to-date news and analysis, follow me on X @SGPNFootballDoc! This article is updated daily until Monday Night Football, so check back in before setting your lineup!

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Week 16 Fantasy Football Injury Report

Week 16 Inactives

Keaton Mitchell (RB) Baltimore Ravens

Ja’Marr Chase (WR) Cincinnati Bengals

Kenny Pickett (QB) Pittsburgh Steelers

Keenan Allen (WR) Los Angeles Chargers

CJ Stroud (QB) Houston Texans

Brian Robinson Jr (RB) Washington Commanders

Zach Wilson (QB) New York Jets

Marquise Brown (WR) Arizona Cardinals

Christian Watson (WR) Green Bay Packers

Luke Musgrave (TE) Green Bay Packers

Greg Dulcich (TE) Denver Broncos

Rhamondre Stevenson (RB) New England Patriots

Trevor Lawrence (QB) Jacksonville Jaguars

Injury: Concussion
Injury Date: 12/17/2023
Expected Recovery Time: 1-2 weeks
Recovery Time to Week 16: 1 week
Replacement Player(s) to Target: Jake Browning (QB) Cincinnati Bengals

Trevor Lawrence is becoming a regular on the injury report this fantasy football season, and Week 16 is no different. The Baltimore Ravens dominated the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday night. Trevor Lawrence entered into the concussion protocol after the game to add insult to injury. He took some hard hits throughout, and despite finishing the game, his availability is in jeopardy this week.

Concussions can be tricky injuries as the symptoms and recovery process can be a bit of a mystery. Dealing with a brain injury, not only can different symptoms present from person to person but also different severity of symptoms. In a typical case, a player will recover from a concussion in 1-2 weeks.

There is a chance Lawrence recovers quickly and begins to feel well enough to practice this week. However, it is hard to tell how he will respond simply based on the injury. Lawrence practiced Friday and I am expecting the team to hold a workout Saturday to allow him to clear protocol and play.

Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence is in jeopardy of remaining in the concussion protocol, but I expect him to clear in time – MONITOR.

Michael Pittman (WR) Indianapolis Colts

Injury: Concussion
Injury Date: 12/17/2023
Expected Recovery Time: 1-2 weeks
Recovery Time to Week 16: 1 week
Replacement Player(s) to Target: Joshua Palmer (WR) Los Angeles Chargers

Concussions seem to be the hot topic for this Week 16 Fantasy Football Injury Report. On his way to a massive day, Colts stud WR Michael Pittman laid out for a ball and took a MASSIVE hit to the head.

The hit was so vicious that not only did it knock Pittman out of the game, but the Steelers safety who hit him has been suspended for the season. The Colts WR is in the concussion protocol, and his availability for this week is in question.

A concussion refers to a disruption in brain function following a direct or indirect hit to the head. This leads to a slower reaction time and impaired decision-making, which are detrimental to players on the field.

A typical recovery timeline for a concussion is 1-2 weeks, but symptoms are often variable from case to case. Earlier this season, almost every player missed at least one game after a concussion.

However, in the past few weeks, we have seen a number of players clear the concussion protocol in time to play the next week. Pittman’s practice participation will be key to monitor.

Colts star WR Michael Pittman is in concussion protocol but cleared it in a few days after an early practice post injury – START. 

CJ Stroud (QB) Houston Texans

Injury: Concussion
Injury Date: 12/10/2023
Expected Recovery Time: 1-2 weeks
Recovery Time to Week 16: 2 weeks
Replacement Player(s) to Target: Jake Browning (QB) Cincinnati Bengals

Houston Texans rookie QB CJ Stroud is BALLIN this season. Both on the field and in the fantasy football streets, the young QB is putting up numbers. Like most guys on a good streak, however, he hit a bump in the road last week.

Not only did he have his worst game of the season against a tough Jets defense, but he also picked up an injury late in the game. Stroud was knocked out of the game in the second half after his head hit the turf hard while being tackled.

CJ Stroud is officially in the NFL concussion protocol. Most players this season have missed at least one game with this injury, BUT recently, we have seen more and more players clear the protocol without missing a game.

A concussion refers to a disruption of brain function following a direct or indirect blow to the head. Reaction time and decision-making are typically negatively affected.

Although symptoms can be variable, the expected recovery timeline is 1-2 weeks. Stroud’s practice participation will be key to determining his chances of clearing the protocol this week. There are reports that Stroud’s symptoms may cause him to miss this week, but we shall wait and see.

Texans rookie QB CJ Stroud is in concussion protocol and is trending in the wrong direction – SIT.

Chris Olave (WR) New Orleans Saints

Injury: Ankle Injury
Injury Date: 12/10/2023
Expected Recovery Time: 2-4 weeks
Recovery Time to Week 16: 2 weeks
Replacement Player(s) to Target: Wan’Dale Robinson (WR) New York Giants

The New Orleans Saints are CLEARLY a better team when WR Chris Olave is on the field. They have relied on their defense the past few weeks with him sidelined with an ankle injury. He was injured playing against Carolina two weeks ago and did not play this past week. The expectation is that this will change this week despite playing on Thursday Night.

Saints WR Chris Olave is dealing with an ankle injury that is likely a low or lateral ankle sprain. These sprains refer to damage to the lateral ligaments of the ankle and are much more common than a high ankle sprain. In mild to moderate cases, a player typically returns in 2-4 weeks.

After a short week, there are still some questions about Olave’s availability, but he finally returned to practice on Tuesday. If he is able to practice again tomorrow, I would expect him to try to play on Thursday. He will be limited in his lateral mobility and ankle stability. There is also a decent reinjury risk if he comes back too soon.

Saints WR Chris Olave is battling an ankle injury and has a good chance to return this week – START.

Isiah Pacheco (RB) Kansas City Chiefs

Injury: Shoulder Surgery
Injury Date: 12/3/2023
Expected Recovery Time: 3-4 weeks
Recovery Time to Week 16: 3 weeks

The Kansas City Chiefs have NOT looked like the Chiefs offense we have grown accustomed to watching recently. They have especially struggled to run the ball the past couple of weeks.

This is not a coincidence that it matches up with the absence of RB Isiah Pacheco. He has missed the past two weeks with a shoulder injury, but the team expects him to return this week. Pacheco had surgery on his shoulder in the offseason, and last week, he had another surgery on the same shoulder.

Thankfully, the procedure was just a scope in which the surgeon “cleans up” the shoulder joint. With nothing repaired or reconstructed, the recovery timeline is fairly quick from the surgery.

This allows Pacheco the opportunity to show he is healthy enough to play in practice this week. The nature of Pacheco’s shoulder injury was never revealed, meaning we will have to rely on practice participation to see how he is progressing.

Chiefs RB Isiah Pacheco expects to return one week after shoulder surgery, and there is some optimism he will – START. 

Ja’Marr Chase (WR) Cincinnati Bengals

Injury: AC Sprain
Injury Date: 12/17/2023
Expected Recovery Time: 1-2 weeks
Recovery Time to Week 16: 1 week
Replacement Player(s) to Target: Noah Brown (WR) Houston Texans

The Bengals have played themselves into a nice winning streak despite the loss of Joe Burrow. A good reason the team is succeeding is their stacked WR corps. Unfortunately, their alpha in the group is in danger of playing this week.

Cincinnati WR  Ja’Marr Chase landed hard on his shoulder after a catch, and this led to him being unable to return to the field. He was later diagnosed with a separated shoulder, which refers to an AC Sprain.

The AC joint connects the shoulder to the collarbone and allows for full range of motion, especially overhead. This joint can be injured when a player lands directly on their shoulder or falls on their outstretched hand.

In mild cases, the typical recovery timeline is 1-2 weeks, and most guys play through the pain. This may not be the case here for Chase, as the team will want to make sure he is protected for the long term. Despite being called day to day by his head coach, Chase is yet to practice this week.

Bengals WR Ja’Marr Chase avoided a major injury, but he’s OUT this week – SIT.

Jonathan Taylor (RB) Indianapolis Colts 

Injury: Thumb Injury
Injury Date: 11/26/2023
Expected Recovery Time: 2-4 weeks
Recovery Time to Week 16: 4 weeks
Replacement Player(s) to Target: Ezekiel Elliot (RB) New England Patriots

After a dominant two-TD performance last week, Jonathan Taylor looked like a train that could not be stopped. Unfortunately, this train is off the track and on the Week 6 Fantasy Football Injury Report. After seemingly making it through the game injury-free, it was reported that he was dealing with a thumb injury.

A few hours later, news broke that he would be having surgery this week to repair his injured thumb. Injury specifics have not been released yet, but the team is hoping he only misses a few weeks.

Taylor missing only two games seems like the best-case scenario, and there is a real chance he finds himself on the IR. Taylor has yet to return to practice, and his return timeline is still a mystery. For now, it’s Zack Moss time.

Colts RB Jonathan Taylor’s thumb surgery has kept him out multiple weeks, but he will return this week – START. 

Tyreek Hill (WR) Miami Dolphins

Injury: Ankle Sprain
Injury Date: 12/10/2023
Expected Recovery Time: 2-4 weeks
Recovery Time to Week 16: 2 weeks
Replacement Player(s) to Target: Wan’Dale Robinson (WR) New York Giants

Tyreek Hill is the BEST fantasy football player this season. Part of his success is his ability to stay on the field, but this is in jeopardy as he finds himself on the Week 16 Fantasy Football Injury Report.

All of Miami held their breath as Tyreek Hill injured his ankle while being tackled on Monday night. Initially, the injury appeared to be serious as Hill clearly was in a lot of pain and having a hard time moving around.

He eventually made his way to the sideline, where he spent the next two quarters with the trainers.

After coming out of the locker room late to begin the second half and seemingly ruled out of the game, Tyreek Hill surprisingly returned. He made some nice catches and appeared to be moving around well on the ankle.

There are still a few concerns here. The first is that based on the injury mechanism, there is a good chance he’s dealing with a high ankle sprain. A high sprain is more serious than a typical low ankle sprain and takes longer to fully recover.

As Hill expresses below, he has also been dealing with ankle issues for the past several weeks now. His ankle ligaments are likely not fully healed, meaning the chance for reinjury is elevated.

I have no doubt Hill will lobby to play this week. However, just because he is out there does not mean he will be 100%.

Dolphins WR Tyreek Hill is dealing with an ankle sprain that will limit him, but he’ll likely play through it – START.

Nico Collins (WR) Houston Texans

Injury: Calf Strain
Injury Date: 12/10/2023
Expected Recovery Time: 1-3 weeks
Recovery Time to Week 16: 2 weeks
Replacement Player(s) to Target: Wan’Dale Robinson (WR) New York Giants

Already the second Texans player on this Week 16 Fantasy Football Injury Report, WR Nico Collins follows his QB. In line for an increased role with the absence of Tank Dell, Collins did not last very long. He suffered a calf injury in the first quarter last week and was ruled out quickly.

The young WR Nico Collins is dealing with a calf strain that appears to be minor. A calf strain refers to damage to the calf muscle, and in mild cases, it typically takes 1-3 weeks to heal. These injuries are tricky as they do carry a moderate reinjury risk if a player returns too soon. For this reason, players typically miss about two games with this injury.

The calf plays a big role in explosive lower body power, so I would expect Collins’ acceleration and jump ball ability to be limited this week if he does play.

Texans WR Nico Collins is dealing with a calf strain and is expected to play this week – JUDGEMENT CALL. 

Keaton Mitchell (RB) Baltimore Ravens

Injury: ACL Tear
Injury Date: 12/17/2023
Expected Recovery Time: 10-12 months
Recovery Time to Week 16: 1 week
Replacement Player(s) to Target: Ty Chandler (RB) Minnesota Vikings

Now for the most devastating injury on the Week 16 Fantasy Football Injury Report. Electric rookie RB Keaton Mitchell is lightning in a bottle on the field. He’s also been the spark plug to this Baltimore Raven’s backfield.

Unfortunately, Mitchell will need to provide a boost from the sidelines for the rest of the season. After breaking a tackle on a run last week, the young RB awkwardly hyperextended his knee, which led to the knee buckling and him collapsing. The brutal-looking injury is located in my tweet below, but as a heads-up, it isn’t pretty.

My initial fears were sadly quickly confirmed. Mitchell tore his ACL and will miss the rest of the season. The ACL is a major stabilizing ligament in the knee, and it requires season-ending surgery when torn.

Typically, the recovery timeline is 10-12 months, meaning there is a good chance he will still be limited by the start of next season. Even when he does play, RBs typically see a dip in production in the first year post-injury.

It can take up to TWO YEARS for players to regain their normal movement ability.

Ravens rookie RB Keaton Mitchell tore his ACL and is OUT for the season – DROP. 

Josh Jacobs (RB) Las Vegas Raiders

Injury: Quad Strain
Injury Date: 12/10/2023
Expected Recovery Time: 2-4 weeks
Recovery Time to Week 16: 1 week
Replacement Player(s) to Target: Tyjae Spears (RB) Tennessee Titans

Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, on the Raiders’ offense worked last week. There are not many ways a shutout can get worse for an offense, but leave it to the Raiders to find a way. Starting RB Josh Jacobs injured his leg late in the game and missed the final few drives.

He is likely dealing with a quadriceps strain, referring to damage to the muscle in his upper leg. These injuries typically take a few weeks to heal and are tough to play with right away. At this point, Jacobs is not participating in practice and is officially questionable to play.

Raiders RB Josh Jacobs ia practicing in a limited fashion but I do expect him to attempt to play. – MONITOR.

Rhamondre Stevenson (RB) New England Patriots 

Injury: High Ankle Sprain
Injury Date: 12/3/2023
Expected Recovery Time: 4-6 weeks
Recovery Time to Week 16: 2 weeks
Replacement Player(s) to Target: Ezekiel Elliot (RB) New England Patriots 

The Week 16 Fantasy Football Injury Report rolls on with ANOTHER high ankle sprain. During the absolute snooze fest in Week 13, Patriots RB Rhamondre Stevenson injured his ankle and was carted off.

Unfortunately, the defender landed on the outside of his ankle while his foot was planted, leading to a high ankle sprain. This injury refers to damage to the ligaments holding the lower leg bones together.

This area located just above the ankle is responsible for lower leg shock absorption and stability. This is a difficult injury to come back from, but it does seem the sprain is fairly mild, as there was no fracture or talks of surgery.

However, even in mild cases, it typically takes 4-6 weeks for a player to fully recover. This is especially true for the RB position, which has to rely on their cutting ability and run after catch.

Stevenson has yet to return to practice, and I don’t expect to see him back this week.

Patriots RB Rhamondre Stevenson is dealing with a high ankle sprain that will likely cause him to miss multiple weeks – SIT.

Aaron Rodgers (QB) New York Jets

Injury: Achilles Tear
Injury Date: 9/11/2023
Expected Recovery Time: 10-12 months
Recovery Time to Week 16: 15 weeks
Replacement Player(s) to Target: Jordan Love (QB) Green Bay Packers

After a badass patriotic entrance, New York Jets QB Aaron Rodgers was quickly greeted with darkness. Just FOUR snaps into an incredibly hyped season, Rodgers completely tore his Achilles tendon, and it was over.

The Achilles tendon connects your calf muscle to your foot and requires surgery to repair. Rodgers now turns his sights to 2024 as he is looking at about a 10-12 month recovery window.

Although around 30% of players never return to playing after an Achilles tear, QBs do tend to come back at a higher rate. The good news is that the injury occurred to his left leg, which is his lead-throwing leg and does not require as much power as his back leg. More bad news: We have another year of watching Zach Wilson try to play quarterback.

Well, well, well. Just 79 short days later, Aaron Rodgers officially had his 21-day practice window opened. What does this mean? He has been medically cleared to begin football activities as part of his ramp-up process.

The Jets will have three weeks to decide if he is healthy enough to be activated off IR or miss the rest of the season. It does NOT mean he is cleared to play football and is nowhere near 100%.

I do NOT believe Rodgers will play another snap this season. Tune into this week’s Degen Docs to hear why (link above).

New York Jets QB Aaron Rodgers lasted just four snaps before tearing his Achilles, and his season is officially over as predicted – DROP.

Top Waiver Wire Targets

Ty Chandler (RB) Minnesota Vikings
Parker Washington (WR) Jacksonville Jaguars
Wan’Dale Robinson (WR) New York Giants
Chase Brown (RB) Cincinnati Bengals
Hunter Henry (TE) New England Patriots
Noah Brown (WR) Houston Texans
Joshua Palmer (WR) Los Angeles Chargers
Jake Browning (QB) Cincinnati Bengals 
Tucker Kraft (TE) Green Bay Packers

Short-Term Injured Reserve

These players will miss a minimum of 4 games.

Skyy Moore (WR) Kansas City Chiefs
Luke Musgrave (TE) Green Bay Packers 
Michael Thomas (WR) New Orleans Saints
Salvon Ahmed (RB) Miami Dolphins
Zach Ertz (TE) Arizona Cardinals
Evan Hull (RB) Indianapolis Colts
Kenny McIntosh (RB) Seattle Seahawks
Justin Shorter (WR) Buffalo Bills
Jelani Woods (TE) Indianapolis Colts

Season Ending Injured Reserve

These players will miss the entire season.

Anthony Richardson (QB) Indianapolis Colts
Tank Dell (WR) Houston Texans 
Justin Herbert (QB) Los Angeles Chargers
Mike Williams (WR) Los Angeles Chargers
Kirk Cousins (QB) Minnesota Vikings
Kendrick Bourne (WR) New England Patriots
Daniel Jones (QB) New York Giants
Joe Burrow (QB) Cincinnati Bengals
Deshaun Watson (QB) Cleveland Browns
Cam Akers (RB) Minnesota Vikings
Nick Chubb (RB) Cleveland Browns 
JK Dobbins (RB) Baltimore Ravens 
Aaron Rodgers (QB) New York Jets

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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