Tuesday was a relatively quiet one ahead of Thanksgiving on Thursday, so we’ll use this as a catch-all to round up some important injury situations heading into Week 12. There are a couple in particular that may affect the Thursday slate, which is a big one for daily fantasy players.
The Bears and Lions kick off at 12:30 ET Thursday morning/afternoon, and we have a number of banged-up players on the short week for this one. Biggest of all is Mitchell Trubisky, who took a big hit in last Sunday night’s win over the Vikings and injured his right (throwing) shoulder. After the hit, he attempted one pass, which went for an incompletion. Trubisky has since missed practice Monday and Tuesday. Coach Matt Nagy is labeling the sophomore signal caller “day to day,” while there were conflicting reports on his potential Week 12 availability on Tuesday. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the Bears are “optimistic” Trubisky will suit up, while the Chicago Tribune’s Dan Wiederer later said “plenty of signs” point to Trubisky missing the Turkey Day tilt. After playing late Sunday night and kicking off early Thursday, the Bears are on the shortest week possible that the NFL allows. (Teams are not allowed to play Monday and then Thursday.) It’s going to be tough to get him ready. If Trubisky sits, it’ll be 10th-year pro Chase Daniel getting the nod. Daniel knows the offense well from his days with Nagy in Kansas City, but he would represent a significant downgrade to everyone involved on the Bears Offense. Trubisky’s injury designation will come on Wednesday.
On the other side of the field, the Lions are dealing with knee injuries to both Kerryon Johnson and Marvin Jones. Johnson isn’t going to play, and Jones is looking doubtful after being sidelined Monday and Tuesday. The running back spot is a total mess for the Lions, with one-dimensional veterans LeGarrette Blount and Theo Riddick atop the depth chart. Blount is a two yards and a cloud of dust touchdown-vulture at this point in his career, while Riddick is just a receiver who doesn’t score touchdowns. Zach Zenner is back in the fold and could handle upwards of a dozen carries. None of the three are particularly attractive dart throws on a week only two teams are on bye in season-long leagues. At wideout, Kenny Golladay (179) has ran the most routes of any receiver in the NFL over the last four weeks and has seen a total of 27 targets the last two games. He’s a bona fide WR2.
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In other Thanksgiving slate injury news, Tre’Quan Smith (foot) has been listed as DNP the last two days coming off his 10-157-1 explosion versus the Eagles this past Sunday. The good news is he has until Thursday night to get ready, but the bad news is it’s still a short week. If Smith sits, Keith Kirkwood and Austin Carr would have to pick up the slack, and Brandon Marshall then might even be active. If Smith plays, he would be a total boom-or-bust, high-risk WR3 play in a shootout.
Elsewhere across the league, it sounds like A.J. Green (toe) is going to be back for the Bengals after missing the last two games. He was able to test his toe out in pregame warmups last Sunday in Baltimore, and ESPN’s Josina Anderson later reported Green has a “good chance” to play Week 12 against the Browns. The reeling 5-5 Bengals desperately need Green back; his presence helps everyone on the Cincinnati offense. Tyler Boyd would be back to WR2/3 status, while Joe Mixon wouldn’t have to face loaded boxes. We’ll get another update on Green on Wednesday.
Ryan Tannehill (shoulder) has been sidelined since Week 5, but coach Adam Gase announced the quarterback will be back this week against the Colts. A mere game manager, Tannehill’s return doesn’t really move the needle much, but Brock Osweiler had predictably crashed back to earth in recent games. The good news for Tannehill is he draws a Colts Defense that is 20th in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks and 23rd in pass-defense DVOA. The Colts also operate at the fastest offensive pace in the league and face a ton of plays defensively. That means more opportunity for the Dolphins to accumulate fantasy points. Tannehill is still just a mid-range QB2.
Quarterback & Running Back Quick Slants
The Colts promoted RB Jonathan Williams from the practice squad. It’s a sign they could be dealing with an injury at the position, but we won’t know until Wednesday’s practice report. Nyheim Hines has also really been struggling as the third-down back. … Coach Sean McVay revealed Todd Gurley suffered an ankle tweak in the first quarter of the Monday night showdown with the Chiefs. It played a part in him playing a four-week-low 85% of the snaps. The Rams are on their bye; Gurley will be fine for Week 13 against the Lions. … Sam Darnold (foot) said he feels great coming out of the bye. It sounds like the rookie has a chance to return Sunday against the Patriots.
Wide Receiver & Tight End Quick Slants
Calvin Ridley has been limited in practice Monday and Tuesday with a thigh issue, but he’s fully expected to play against the Saints on Thanksgiving night as an upside WR3. … The Bucs lost breakout TE O.J. Howard to season-ending ankle and foot injuries in the Week 11 loss to the Giants. Cameron Brate will take over as a near-every down tight end and is a great add for the stretch run. … Eagles OC Mike Groh admitted incorporating new WR Golden Tate into the offense has been difficult. Tate did lead the team in targets (8), catches (5), and yards (48) last week in New Orleans, but he did a lot of that in the fourth quarter with the game already well out of hand. … Michael Gallup (personal) is planning to play Thursday against the Redskins. However, he’s not a fantasy option.