As we enter the final week of the fantasy season for many leagues, there is great uncertainty surrounding the status of players all across the league. While contenders hope to clinch playoff berths, teams that have been eliminated are more likely to play it safe when it comes to their banged-up players, and that can cause some last-minute scrambling for fantasy managers.
In an effort to prepare for that, here’s a look at the updated status of some players dealing with injuries ahead of the Week 16 kickoff
The San Francisco 49ers face the Cardinals in an NFC West showdown but they could be without multiple key members of the offense. As has become commonplace for this Niners team, multiple starters left last week’s game with injuries. This include QB Nick Mullens and RB Raheem Mostert. On Tuesday, the team announced Mullens would require elbow surgery, ending his season and keeping him out of action for the entire offseason. With Mullens done, QB C.J. Beathard will get the start against Arizona. That wasn’t the end of the moves at quarterback though as San Francisco also placed backup QB Josh Johnson on the COVID list, signed former first-round pick QB Josh Rosen away from Tampa Bay and designated QB Jimmy Garoppolo to return from the injured reserve. While Garoppolo will get some practice in, he is not expected to play in the team’s final two games. At this point, we have no idea who will enter 2021 as the starting quarterback in San Francisco.
Another high-ankle sprain has landed Mostert on the injured reserve list, ending his season. The team could get TE George Kittle back after missing a large chunk of the season with a foot injury. Finally, WR Deebo Samuel did not practice Tuesday as he continues to deal with a hamstring injury. Don’t count on using Samuel in your fantasy title game.
Other Injury Updates
Cardinals RB Chase Edmonds missed practice with ankle and knee injuries. Edmonds played well last week despite dealing with the same injuries and even saw more work than starting RB Kenyan Drake. … The Saints designated WR Marquez Callaway to return from the injured reserve. … The Chiefs placed LB Anthony Hitchens on the reserve/COVID-19 list. … Saints WR Tre’Quan Smith missed practice due to the ankle injury he suffered against the Chiefs on Sunday. … Raiders QB Derek Carr was limited with a groin injury. The assumption was Carr would miss the final two games of the regular season, but HC Jon Gruden is leaving the possibility open that Carr plays this week. … WR Kenny Golladay missed another practice with hip and contract issues. His season is certainly over. … The Buccaneers are expected to be without RB Ronald Jones once again in Week 16. Jones remains on the COVID list and the timeline for him to be activated and return to the field simply isn’t realistic. Expect another heavy workload of RB Leonard Fournette. … Dolphins WRs DeVante Parker (hamstring), Jakeem Grant (hamstring) and TE Mike Gesicki (shoulder) were all limited in Tuesday’s practice after missing last week’s game. Each has a reasonable expectation to return to the field this week. … Packers RB Jamaal Williams (quad) missed practice. … Vikings RB Alexander Mattison is in the concussion protocol and is a long shot to play on Christmas day. … Vikings veteran TE Kyle Rudolph (foot) missed another practice. … TE Hunter Henry and WR Keenan Allen were absent from Chargers practice. … Steelers HC Mike Tomlin suggested RB James Conner, dealing with a quad injury, could be available to play this week. … Steelers TE Eric Ebron did not suffer organ damage and should be available to play this week.
Haskins Status in Doubt
After being spotted and pictured in social media posts in a strip club without a mask, Washington QB Dwayne Haskins is potentially facing league punishment. Haskins apologized for his poor decision-making on Twitter before deleting his account. Regardless of your stance on the virus or even wearing masks, Haskins put his own status in doubt by violating league protocols. Haskins could be suspended up to four games by the league and there was even some discussion about Washington releasing their former first-round pick. With veteran QB Alex Smith still recovering from a calf injury, it is unclear who will be under center for the Football Team when they face the Panthers in Week 16.
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Gordon Suffers Setback
WR Josh Gordon was eligible to return to the field this week and had a chance to even play for the Seattle Seahawks in the final two regular season games. Instead, it was reported that Gordon had suffered a setback in his battle with substance abuse and failed the terms of his conditional reinstatement. Officially, Gordon remains indefinitely suspended but there is a strong likelihood he never plays in an NFL game again.