Just like in Week 12, there were some big-time names who went down with an injury in Week 13. As The Fantasy Footballers’ injury analyst and sports physical therapist, the majority of my content will cover injuries in the NFL. All season long, I’ll be recapping the previous week’s injuries and giving a projected timeline for recovery. Let’s look at the biggest injuries from Week 13.
Bruised Ribs and Knee Injury: Day to day
There wasn’t much news regarding these injuries for Darnold, but on Monday morning, Adam Gase spoke to the media and reported that Darnold is being evaluated for bruised ribs and a lingering knee issue (per ESPN’s Rich Cimini). It’s difficult to speak to the knee injury given that Darnold hasn’t missed a game since returning from mono earlier this season. However, the bruised ribs are worth monitoring, as this will be a pain tolerance issue. For a quarterback, bruised ribs can be tough because some your core muscles attach on the ribs, especially those that help to rotate your torso at a high velocity (such as during the throwing motion). Darnold is banged up and will likely be on the Jets’ injury report, but he should play in a juicy matchup against the Dolphins in Week 14.
Right Hand Contusion: Day to day
Mayfield took a deep shot to Odell Beckham on Sunday, and when he stepped into the throw, his hand made contact with a Steelers’ defensive lineman’s helmet. Immediately grabbing for the right thumb/wrist area, Mayfield was taken to the locker room for x-rays, which were negative. He returned to the game with a glove on his right hand, which helps with grip and management of swelling. Baker is definitely going to battle soreness and some swelling early in the week, but he should be able to start in Week 14. I would expect Baker to play with a glove on his right hand to assist with gripping the football.
Right Shoulder Injury (Diagnosis Unknown): Week to week
Cook exited early in the second half with a right shoulder injury and was taken to the locker room for x-rays, which were negative. He did return to the sideline but didn’t return to the game after being listed as questionable to return. Upon exiting, Cook was holding his arm dangling by his side and internally rotated, a position patients will hold when they suffer a stinger, a traction nerve injury to the bundle of nerves exiting from the neck going into the shoulder. This results in weakness of the shoulder girdle musculature, which often results in the arm going limp and dangling by the athlete’s side. If this is what’s going on with Cook, he’s not a lock to play in Week 14, as a nerve injury has a wide range of outcomes when talking about recovery timeline. A mild injury takes a few days to a week to heal, while a more severe injury could take upwards of a month, as we’ve seen with Jordan Howard.
Left Knee Injury/Hamstring Injury: Likely out multiple weeks
Early in the second half, Williams took a carry to the left side of the line on a sweep, planted on his left leg and immediately fell to the ground with a non-contact knee injury. This is being described as a right hamstring strain, which is shocking to me. I don’t understand why no one is talking about Williams’ left knee injury, which clearly is a serious issue. When he plants on his left leg, his knee buckles (note: this video can be graphic if injuries make you queasy – video here). I have serious concerns that Williams’ 2019 season is over given the nature of his injury. The way his leg buckles and pivots to the side is a concern for an ACL injury and/or an LCL injury. Look for more details soon.
Left Lower Leg Injury (Achilles): Likely out for the year
Kalen Ballage was carted to the locker room in the first half on Sunday against the Eagles with a left lower leg injury. He entered the week on the injury report with an Achilles injury, and it appears that Ballage tore the Achilles tendon in his left leg. Achilles tendinitis is a predisposing factor for a full-blown Achilles tear, and it appears that’s the case for Ballage. The team has not yet confirmed this as the definite injury, but trainers immediately examined the back of Ballage’s heel where the Achilles is located (as seen in this image from the Miami Herald). At this point, it seems to be just a matter of time before team announces the injury as an Achilles tear.
Other players impacted: Patrick Laird
Left Quad Contusion: Day to day
Cooper took a hit to the front of his knee, causing his knee to hyperextend. He briefly exited but returned to log a reception just a few plays later. The Cowboys ordered a precautionary MRI for their star WR, but his MRI came back clean without structural damage. This should be considered a bone bruise between the back of the kneecap (patella) and the front of the thigh bone (femur). Cooper could play in Week 14, but he’ll likely be limited in practice this week. It’s a situation to monitor, as a bone bruise typically requires multiple weeks to heal. It doesn’t mean he won’t play, but he’s unlikely to be at 100%.
Fractured Knee: Out for the year
Rodgers exited early on Sunday with a knee injury, which has now been confirmed as a fracture in his knee. This is likely a tibial plateau fracture, which is an injury to the cartilage and/or bone that lines the top of the shin bone (inside the knee joint). With T.Y. Hilton struggling to return from his calf injury and Devin Funches and Eric Ebron on IR, the Colts playmakers are hurting. It will be helpful for Jacoby Brissett and the entire offense if they can get Parris Campbell and Marlon Mack back in the lineup. Both of these players are recovering from a fracture in their hand.
Concussion: Day to day
Olsen took a hit to the head on Sunday versus the Redskins and immediately went limp, fumbling the football. This is known as “posturing” and is often scary to see live on the field. Fortunately for Olsen, however, he regained consciousness quickly but was ruled out shortly after with a concussion, to no one’s surprise. The vast majority of players miss at least one game with the concussion protocol, but we’ll see how he progresses throughout the week.
Right High Ankle Sprain: Out for the year
Hockenson’s injury came on Thanksgiving late in the game when his right ankle got caught under a defender while being tackled along the sideline. He was unable to put weight on the ankle, crawling to the sideline before exiting for the rest of the game. After the game, he was seen with a walking boot and using crutches, with additional reports indicating he was using a scooter for mobility (non-weight bearing on his right leg). This is a nasty injury, one that could take multiple months to heal. With the Lions out of playoff contention, Hockenson won’t play again this season.
I learned something in our fantasy football group chat this morning. It was a conversation…