There’s no point in dancing around it: Week 7 dropped a rather hefty grenade on fantasy rosters as far as injuries are concerned. And with names ranging from Darren McFadden to Matthew Stafford to Beanie Wells hobbling off into the infirmary, there’s an unruly stack of medical reports to review. Let’s begin:
Darren McFadden left in the first quarter with a sprained foot and didn’t return. No word on the severity of this injury as of late Sunday night, but McFadden’s Week 8 bye comes at an ideal time. Michael Bush (17 rush, 99 yds) is the clear beneficiary if Run DMC is unable to go coming out of the bye.
Matthew Stafford suffered knee and ankle injuries late, and had a “noticeable limp” in the locker room after Sunday’s loss to the Falcons, according to MLive.com. Stafford says he was going to attempt to return to the game if the Lions had gotten the ball back, but he never got that chance. Meanwhile, ProFootballTalk.com reports that Stafford is headed for an MRI on Monday, which should clarify his outlook. Shaun Hill immediately becomes a viable start in fantasy leagues if Stafford ends up missing time.
Beanie Wells (12 rush, 42 yds) left with a sprained right knee and didn’t return. Sometimes injuries that are initially called knee sprains end up being something worse, but we won’t know Beanie’s outlook until he undergoes an MRI (and yes, the right knee is the one that was surgically repaired prior to last season). Passing down specialist LaRod Stephens-Howling made significant noise with a 73-yard touchdown catch after Wells left, but Alfonso Smith (5 rush, 17 yds, TD) is likely to take over as the lead back if the Cardinals’ RB1 does indeed miss time.
Tim Hightower (17 rush, 88 yds) suffered a potentially serious knee injury, with ESPN 980’s Chris Russell reporting that the Redskins “strongly believe” that he tore his ACL (we’ll know for sure after an MRI on Monday). Ryan Torain was an afterthought on Sunday (2 rush, -5 yds), but he appears likely to get another chance at the lead back role now. And given Mike Shanahan’s dastardly backfield whims (not to mention Torain’s injury history), Roy Helu should be stashed away in most formats.
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Willis McGahee (18 rush, 76 yds) fractured his hand in Sunday’s comeback win over the Dolphins. No word as of Sunday night how much time McGahee might miss, but Knowshon Moreno (7 rush, 28 yds; 2 rec, 10 yds) should be vacating waiver wires en masse this week, with Lance Ball (6 rush, 14 yds) potentially deserving consideration in deeper formats.
Speaking of fractured hands, Santana Moss broke a bone in his left hand in Sunday’s loss to Carolina, with ESPN 980’s Chris Russell reporting that he’s likely to miss 3-4 weeks. Jabar Gaffney (4 rec, 68 yds) and Fred Davis (6 rec, 80 yds, TD) both stand to benefit, with Anthony Armstrong (1 rec, 9 yds) surfacing as a name to watch in deeper leagues.
Mark Ingram had the most productive game of his young career (14 rush, 91 yds), but limped off in the fourth quarter with what was initially being called a bruised right heel. Ingram wasn’t able to put much weight at all on his leg as he walked off, and though X-rays reportedly came back negative, it’s possible that this is an injury that will cost him some time. Pierre Thomas (7 rush, 43 yds; 5 rec, 68 yds) would quickly see a significant spike in value, with the already valuable Darren Sproles (10 rush, 82 yds, TD; 6 rec, 19 yds, TD) getting additional carries as well.
The Bucs lost Earnest Graham (torn Achilles’) for the rest of the season. The good news for LeGarrette Blount’s fantasy owners is that Tampa’s top RB has a Week 8 bye to get healthy, and won’t have to fight Graham for carries when he returns. In the meantime, Blount’s fantasy owners should potentially consider adding Kregg Lumpkin as insurance, though Lumpkin (8 rush, 15 yds; 6 rec, 37 yds) didn’t do much to inspire confidence in his readiness to produce.
Matt Ryan had a scary moment when LT Will Svitek stepped on his ankle, but was able to return. It’s certainly possible that the ankle will swell up, but Ryan should be fine given that he has a well-timed Week 8 bye.
Adrian Peterson (24 rush, 175 yds, TD) limped off with an ankle injury in the fourth quarter, but was able to return. Fantasy owners will want to keep a close eye on practice reports in case the ankle swells up, but hopefully AP will be fine for an extremely appealing matchup against the Panthers next week.
In a cruel twist for anyone who threw Marshawn Lynch into the lineup as a bye-week replacement, the Seahawks RB aggravated a back injury just before kickoff. Leon Washington (7 rush, 39 yds; 4 rec, 10 yds) out-produced Justin Forsett (8 rush, 23 yds) in Lynch’s absence, but neither would be much more than a deep league flex option against the Bengals in Week 8.
Joseph Addai (hamstring) made an unlikely return on Sunday, but left in the first quarter after aggravating his injury. It’s unclear how serious the aggravation was, but clearly Addai rushed it back (and it likely made the decision to sit him easier given that the Colts were trailing 21-0 after the first quarter). With Addai out, Delone Carter had a breakout game of sorts (10 rush, 89 yds, TD, fumble lost), though he did so in a game that was almost entirely garbage time.
On a positive note, the Houston Chronicle reports that Andre Johnson (hamstring) ran routes at close to full speed during Friday’s practice. This doesn’t guarantee that Johnson will be back for Week 8, as Gary Kubiak said that “there’s still another step for [Johnson] to take” before the Texans activate him, but it certainly seems plausible that Johnson could take that step during the upcoming week.
Other injury notes: Ryan Mathews (13 rush, 39 yds; 4 rec, 26 yds) was dealing with a thumb injury on Sunday, but was able to play through it … Percy Harvin left Sunday’s game with an apparent aggravation of his rib injury … Shonn Greene appeared to suffer a non-contact ankle injury in the second half, but re-entered and looked fine afterward … Hines Ward left with an ankle injury, which meant increased looks for Antonio Brown (7 rec, 102 yds) and Emmanuel Sanders (5 rec, 46 yds, TD) … Mohamed Massaquoi sustained a concussion … The Raiders lost Kevin Boss to a concussion … In addition to being rendered irrelevant by DeMarco Murray, Tashard Choice left with a shoulder injury … Ben Watson sustained a concussion, which could boost the short-term appeal of Evan Moore (4 rec, 35 yds) as a bye-week fill-in … Packers reserve RB Alex Green left with a leg injury … Damian Williams (1 rec, 5 yds) sat out the second half, with the Nashville Tennessean reporting that he got the wind knocked out of him and had a headache … LaDainian Tomlinson was unable to finish Sunday’s game due to an illness … Falcons FB Ovie Mughelli left in the fourth quarter with a potentially serious knee injury … Jacob Tamme left in the second quarter with a head injury … Chris Cooley won’t need more surgery on his troublesome knee.
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Defense/offensive line injuries: Texans FS Danieal Manning (fractured left fibula) will reportedly miss at least a month and could be done for the year, a major loss for Houston’s secondary … Chargers LG Kris Dielman sustained a concussion, and LT Marcus McNeill left due to neck pain … Vikings RG Anthony Herrera was able to return after a knee injury, but was visibly limping … Seahawks CB Walter Thurmond III (cracked left fibula) will miss the rest of the season … Rams RT Jason Smith was carried off with what the Rams are calling a strained neck and possible concussion … Titans LB Barrett Ruud sustained a “burner” in his shoulder, but beat writer Terry McCormick reports that the injury isn’t serious … Redskins MLB London Fletcher left with a hamstring injury … Browns RG Shawn Lauvao left with a knee injury … Bucs FS Tanard Jackson came up with a hamstring injury, and MLB Mason Foster aggravated an ankle injury … Bucs reserve lineman Jeremy Zuttah (who was filling in for Jeff Faine) left with a knee injury.
Note: For a complete breakdown of all the key happenings from Week 7, check out Chris Wesseling's The Morning After column on Monday.