For the first time in over three months, we didn’t have a Thursday night NFL game to begin the weekend slate.
Championship Week Injury Woes
No, we haven’t fast-forwarded to the NFL playoffs but for many fantasy leagues, Week Sixteen is the title game as months of preparation finally pay off. In most fantasy playoff games, lineup decisions are easy as the players who have carried teams to the playoffs are locked in, but that might not be the case this week due to injuries.
Vikings RB Dalvin Cook left the team’s Week Fifteen game with a shoulder injury and was unable to return. After some early-week positive reports, Cook is now trending towards missing the Vikings matchup against the Packers. Cook did not practice on Thursday and a report from NFL.com suggests Cook is in danger of missing the Vikings Week Seventeen game, as well. Minnesota drafted RB Alexander Mattison in the spring and he has played well when called upon this season. Unfortunately, he is also dealing with an injury. A bum ankle kept Mattison out of last week’s game and has cost him practice time this week. With Cook and Mattison both looking iffy for Week Sixteen, third-string RB Mike Boone could be in line for a full workload. Boone took over for Cook last week and scored a pair of touchdowns. As if possibly losing Cook for fantasy title games was not bad enough, the Vikings play on Monday night, giving fantasy players a very difficult decision as lineups are set.
The Buccaneers passing offense has been a huge boost to many fantasy players this year and QB Jameis Winston along with WRs Mike Evans and Chris Godwin may have helped teams make it to Week Sixteen. Unfortunately, it appears as if Winston will be without his top pass-catchers. After his Week Fifteen hamstring injury, the Buccaneers finally placed Evans in the injured reserve list, officially ending his year. They did the same for rookie slot WR Scotty Miller, who left the Bucs Week Sixteen game with a hamstring injury. Finally, Godwin suffered the same injury, though the team has yet to officially rule him out. For the remainder of the year. Godwin has yet to return to practice after leaving last week’s game and will miss the team’s Week Sixteen game against Houston. With the trio out, Winston will be passing the ball to WRs Breshad Perriman and Justin Watson, along with TE O.J. Howard.
While most around the Cowboys organization suggest QB Dak Prescott will be just fine for the team’s must-win game against the Eagles, there is growing concern about Prescott’s shoulder. The Cowboys starter was limited in Wednesday’s practice as backup QB Cooper Rush took most of the snaps. Prescott did confirm he would start against Philadelphia and claimed his shoulder was “getting better” but Prescott will reportedly not throw until Saturday.
Jets veteran WR Demaryius Thomas (knee/hamstring) didn’t practice Thursday…Giants TE Rhett Ellison (concussion) was limited at practice, evidently a setback from his full participation on Wednesday…Eagles WR Nelson Agholor (knee) missed another practice and looks headed towards a third straight missed game…Panthers WR Curtis Samuel popped up on the injury report with a knee issue and was limited in practice. Samuel is still expected to play in Week Sixteen…Bengals RB Joe Mixon was added to the injury report as a calf issue kept him limited at practice…Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) got in a full practice and should return in Week Sixteen…Jaguars WR D.J. Chark (ankle) was limited at practice and looks like to return after missing last week…Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston (thumb/knee) is questionable for Week Sixteen, though he is expected to play after getting in a full practice…Lions RB Bo Scarbrough (ribs) was limited at practice…Titans WR Corey Davis (ankle) was limited in practice…Titans RB Dion Lewis (ankle) was added to the injury report and was limited…Eagles rookie WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (foot) was limited in practice. Although he’s struggled, his absence would further deplete an already barren Philly receiver corps…Broncos rookie TE Noah Fant (shoulder) was limited in practice…Chiefs RB Damien Williams was limited with a rib injury. Williams has missed the past three games as the Chiefs backfield has struggled to produce…Rams K Greg Zuerlein (foot) missed practice on Thursday and is questionable for Sunday. The team also gave K Brett Maher a tryout, a signal that Greg the Leg could miss this week…Cardinals WR Christian Kirk (ankle) was limited in practice…Titans RB Derrick Henry (hamstring) did not practice Thursday, though he is still expected to play against the Saints in Week Sixteen…
Although he has not yet been activated from the injured reserve list, the expectation is that the Lions will have RB Kerryon Johnson (knee) back on the field in Week Sixteen. Johnson was quoted as saying he “hopes” to play this week….Texans WR Will Fuller (hamstring) is listed as questionable for Week Sixteen, but looks good to go for Week Sixteen against the Buccaneers…Texans RB Carlos Hyde (ankle) is questionable for Saturday’s game against Tampa Bay…Dealing with knee and shoulder injuries, the Patriots listed WR Julian Edelman as questionable for Week Sixteen’s game against Buffalo, who shut down Edelman when they met earlier in the year…Raiders rookie WR Hunter Renfrow looks set to return in Week Sixteen after missing three straight games…Rams TE Gerald Everett missed the past three games with a knee injury but will be activated in Week Sixteen after being removed from the injury report. His return hurts TE Tyler Higbee, the top-scoring fantasy tight end the past three weeks…Vikings WR Adam Thielen (hamstring) is not on the Minnesota injury report…