On Wednesday, Baker Mayfield was ruled out of the Thursday Night Football game in which the Cleveland Browns defeated the Denver Broncos 17-14. Mayfield was ruled out after suffering his second dislocation of the season on his non-throwing left shoulder. However, it was what Mayfield said before the Thursday Night game that spoke to the seriousness of his injury.
The Tampa Buccaneers Rob Gronkowski left Sunday’s Week 3 loss to the Los Angeles Rams after taking a hard, legal hit to the ribs. He went to the locker room but later returned to the game after his radiographs or x-rays were negative for a fracture. However, he did not look the same following his return and only registered one more catch finishing his day with four receptions for 55 yards.
On Sunday, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick suffered a hip subluxation after taking a hard hit early in the second quarter. Fitzpatrick was replaced by Taylor Heinicke and was later ruled out. Fitzpatrick had an MRI of his right hip which confirmed the initial diagnosis. He was later placed on the injured reserve and early reports are that he will be out 6-8 weeks.
Earlier this week, Tashan Reed of The Athletic reported that Las Vegas Raiders’ running back Jalen Richard sustained a foot injury after returning from the COVID-19 list and will be out indefinitely. The report had zero mention of what injury Richard suffered but to be immediately labeled as “out indefinitely” I have to assume it was fairly severe. Plus, foot injuries for skill position players are never a good thing as we have seen in the recent Carson Wentz saga and with Joe Mixon in season’s past.
Our hearts dropped this week as Vikings’ star Wide Receiver Justin Jefferson went down hard onto his left shoulder. Jefferson then left practice and was seen holding his wrist to support his shoulder. A classic sign of clavicle or collarbone injury. Thankfully, we didn’t have to speculate long as only a few hours later, Adam Schefter reported that Jefferson “has a sprained AC Joint” and it was considered “nothing serious, per source, but there would be further testing this weekend.” So right away, that tells us that Jefferson had an immediate radiograph or x-ray and it was determined that he did not fracture his collarbone which would have knocked him out for 6-8 weeks.
Well, it happened. Eagles rookie wide receiver DeVonta Smith left practice on Monday with an apparent knee injury. Smith had an MRI which helped diagnose him with a sprained MCL in his knee. According to reports, the injury is considered minor and he is only supposed to be out “a couple of weeks” per Ian Rapoport.
As @DFF_Joemem mentioned in his rapid reaction article, we got the news that Michael Thomas underwent a second ankle surgery in June and likely won’t be ready to go to start the NFL season for the New Orleans Saints. This would be his second ankle surgery of the off-season as he already had surgery in January following the NFL season after sustaining a high-ankle sprain in Week 1 of the 2020 season. The above is what we know for certain. What we don’t know is what exactly transpired this off-season, what exact surgeries Thomas had, and why he waited so long to have his surgery, putting his 2021 season in serious doubt. But, we can begin to put together a rough outline given his injury timeline that can help fantasy owners decide what to do with Thomas for both redraft and dynasty.
Within the last month, we received the news that promising San Francisco running back Jeff Wilson Jr. tore his meniscus at team facilities on May 20th. Coach Kyle Shanahan later reported that “Jeff got hurt sitting down in a chair in the locker room and he got out of it and his knee got in an awkward position”. Just a flukey injury but one that makes these NFL players seem a little more human. Wilson and team staff elected to go forward with a meniscal repair surgery vs a meniscectomy allowing us to discuss the differences in return to play between the two.
Saquon Barkley (RB-NYG), as we all know, tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and meniscus in his right knee in Week 2 (September 20th) of the 2020 NFL season. It was a devastating injury for the consensus top-five fantasy player, an injury that would land him on the IR for the remainder of the season. However, most assumed that he would be back to 100% by the start of the 2021 season and this assumption was reflected in his fourth overall fantasy ranking in half-point PPR. An assumption, that I like to call the Adrian Peterson effect or “The AP Effect” for short.
I think at this point we are all well aware of how unwanted a high ankle sprain diagnosis is for our fantasy football superstars. No injuries are good injuries when you are competing for fantasy football championships, but high ankle sprains have been a death sentence in recent years. Why? Well to understand why it derailed the fantasy football seasons of Michael Thomas, Raheem Mostert, and Christian McCaffrey in 2020, we need to better understand high ankle sprains.