Nic Civale is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and former NCAA Division I athlete. This week’s NFL Injury Report focuses on fantasy-relevant players who are likely to miss multiple weeks, and how to handle their absences. A large part of roster strategy is knowing what to expect from your players, so let’s take a deep dive into this week’s most relevant long term injuries.
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Week 10 NFL Injury Report
Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers
Much to the chagrin of many fantasy managers, Christian McCaffrey has found his way back on the injury report heading into Week 10. It appears McCaffrey has sprained his AC joint vs the Kansas City Chiefs. The Panthers may have surprised the reigning Super Bowl winners with a game that remained within reach until late in the 4th quarter. McCaffrey was certainly used to his full capacity after missing 6 games earlier this year with an ankle injury, totaling 28 touches by land and by air for 151 yards and 2 TD’s.
The AC joint injury does not appear to be season-ending at this point in time, and team sources say they expect McCaffrey to miss at least 1 game. The early prognosis would suggest to expect him back in Week 11 or 12. He obviously must be kept on your roster at all costs. AC joint injuries often indicate a sprain of the acromioclavicular (AC) ligament, which holds the joint together. With a sprained or even an achy AC joint, this may limit the amount of shoulder flexion McCaffrey can generate, making it hard to reach overhead and come down with a pass. With an accurate QB like Bridgewater, there shouldn’t be many of these situations.
McCaffrey is well known as one of the toughest competitors in the league. Any opportunity he has to block, make a tackle after a turnover, or duck his shoulder down into a would-be tackler, will likely be taken advantage of. It’s his grit and determination that may exacerbate this AC joint injury upon return. If the shoulder experiences any type of set-back in his return to play, it will be interesting to see if the Panthers decide to hold their expensive RB out the rest of the season to allow him to get back to 100%. Only time will tell; we should have more information on CMC’s recovery and return heading into the Week 11 practices.
Despite this possibility of re-injury, there is no doubt that CMC is a must play when healthy; not many decisions to make here, hold the fort down for a couple weeks, and plug him back in ASAP.
Preston Williams, WR, Miami Dolphins
Preston Williams was fun to watch on Sunday vs. the Arizona Cardinals as he reeled in 4 catches for 60 yards. The most notable play of the day, however, was bittersweet for the talented young receiver. Williams actually looked like a dolphin, as he hurdled two Cardinal defenders into the end zone for a touchdown. Unfortunately, the landing caused a right foot injury that has yet to be described as anything more specific.
There haven’t been many clarifying public reports about the severity or nature of the injury, but Williams has been listed on the Miami IR. He will be sidelined at least 3 weeks. More inauspiciously, he was carted off the field, which is never good to see for foot injuries.
It appears the injury may have been caused by Williams landing on his right foot in what would be described as a position of inversion. This is where the arch of the foot gets pressed into the ground and the toes point outward. It is uncommon for an inversion sprain to occur, and we can only hope this unnatural motion didn’t cause some sort of fracture.
At this point we don’t know the severity of the injury, and since Williams is not a must-keep receiver, he is droppable at this time. Unless he is not costing you anything in an extra IR slot, it’s time to let the young receiver go. If it was meant to be (and the injury allows a return after 3 weeks on the IR), he will come back to you- as an excellent option for a playoff streamer!
Side note- Some have ventured to claim that Christian Wilkins’ celebration caused the injury, as he jumped on Williams’ back during his muted touchdown dance. There is no way to confirm if that did, or did not made things worse, but Williams was clearly hobbled prior to this occurring.
If you enjoyed Nic’s Week 10 NFL Injury Report, make sure to check the rest of our Week 10 Analysis for more help in optimizing your lineups.
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