Editor’s Note: Injuries are a huge part of winning and losing each year in fantasy leagues. Staying abreast of the injury situations is key as knowing what to expect from your players health-wise in the short term can help you make educated decisions in managing your team. Lucky for us, we have a Doctor in the house. Dr. Scott Peak is an ABPN board certified neurologist and neuro-oncologist. He is also a dynasty football addict and a Senior Writer for Dynasty League Football. He’s excited to lend his expertise in medicine with hopes he may help the DLF Team and its followers better understand medical conditions and injuries that may impact NFL players and dynasty football owners.
If you have a question for The Dynasty Doctor, just click here. Please remember The Dynasty Doctor is geared towards questions regarding medical science, injuries to players and their collective impact in fantasy football. Stay tuned each week as we’ll post his thoughts each and every Tuesday.
Dez Bryant, WR DAL
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Bryant sustained a foot injury in the 4th quarter and was taken back to the locker room. The injury is reportedly a fracture in the fifth metatarsal bone (Jones fracture or similar). Recovery from metatarsal fractures typically starts at eight weeks, although Jones’ fractures can stretch out to three months or longer. Union of bone is critical and can be carried out by surgically implanting a large screw, sometimes with a bone graft to facilitate healing. Part of the recovery is tracking when bone has completely healed and that, unfortunately, takes a few weeks or months. X-rays, CT scans and/or bone scans can help confirm adequate bone union. It’s important not to rush back too quickly from this injury and risk re-injury to the surgically repaired fracture. Reports have varied from 4-6 weeks for Bryant, to eight weeks. I think the minimum will be eight weeks if it is a Jones’ fracture, but it could be longer depending on how long it takes the bone to fully heal. Fortunately, surgery has been associated with proper bone union, with studies describing successful results in 94% of athletes. This may be a great time to acquire Dez from nervous owners in dynasty formats. His ability to contribute to fantasy football teams in 2015 will depend on how quickly he recovers from surgery, but it seems reasonable to expect Bryant to return at some point in the 2015 season.
DeSean Jackson, WR WAS
Jackson injured his left hamstring and left the game after getting one target and zero fantasy points. Hamstring injuries can be a problem early in the year, and for players like Jackson who rely on vertical speed, the risk is a bit higher. Hamstrings can be stretched too far in full sprint with excessive quadriceps action. Most hamstring injuries are grades 1 or 2 (80%), and return to sport has been described as 1-3 weeks depending on severity and response to treatment. Severe hamstring injuries (grade 3) can require a much longer recovery (three months or longer). Current reports are Jackson could be back in three weeks, so it seems his injury is more a grade 1 or 2 injury, and that is reassuring.
TY Hilton, WR IND
Hilton injured his left knee and reports are it is only a bruise. X-rays are negative and that would suggest no fractures. Hilton described himself as “alright” after the game. An MRI is on tap and that will evaluate soft issue and ligaments. Hilton had seven receptions for 88 yards on 14 targets. If Hilton misses time, Donte Moncrief may be the biggest beneficiary as he posted six receptions for 46 yards and one touchdown on 11 targets. Andre Johnson looked every bit his 34 years age, and the all-but-forgotten Moncrief gets a bump. This doesn’t appear to be a long-term injury and I don’t think it adversely impacts Hilton’s dynasty value.
Derek Carr, QB OAK
Carr sustained an injury to his right hand, which happens to be on the side of his throwing arm. He finished with just seven completions on 12 attempts, for 61 passing yards and one rush for eight additional yards. Matt McGloin replaced him. Oakland Raiders Head Coach Jack del Rio noted x-rays were negative after the game. MRI results are consistent with a bruised thumb. It’s possible Carr could return as soon as week two, but monitor his practice participation before inserting him into your lineups.
Mike Evans, WR TB
Like Jackson, Evans has a hamstring injury and missed game one. Unlike Jackson, Evans has had a nagging hamstring injury sustained in game two of the preseason. Head coach Lovie Smith called the injury minor at the time, and he’s had three weeks to recover. Evans was reportedly close to playing and his chances of returning in week two are reasonably good. Re-injury is a risk, with reports anywhere from 6% to as high as 34%. Re-injured hamstrings can be even worse than the original injury and this is likely the reason why extra caution is being applied for Evans. Still, he should be very close to returning and hopefully he’ll suit up in week two.
Andre Ellington, RB ARI
Ellington injured his right knee (a non-contact injury) and it is being called a posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) sprain. PCL sprains are grades 1 to 4, depending on the degree of laxity in the joint and whether other ligaments are involved (LCL, MCL or ACL). Rehabilitation can take 4-6 weeks for lower grade injuries, but higher grade injuries (grades 3 to 4) may require surgery and take much longer (three months or more). Initial reports are he could miss 2-3 weeks and this would be consistent with a lower grade injury. Still, PCL injuries can take more time to heal, and it’s entirely possible Ellington could miss longer than three weeks. Ellington had 12 carries for 69 yards and one touchdown, with one reception for seven yards. Chris Johnson managed ten carries for 37 yards. David Johnson was the star of the show, with one reception for 55 yards and a touchdown. Either Johnson would be good waiver wire pick-ups if Ellington misses significant time. I’m not a fan of Ellington in dynasty and I think he’s proven to have significant durability issues.
Josh McCown, QB CLE
McCown isn’t likely to be a starter for anything but maybe 2QB superflex leagues. McCown suffered a concussion and will be enrolled in the NFL concussion protocol. He will need to advance through all stages of the protocol, resolve concussion-related symptoms and be cleared by medical staff before returning to play. Most concussions recover within a week, although some athletes can have a prolonged recovery, especially those with a previous history of head injuries. Johnny Manziel may get his shot and if he’s available in 2QB leagues, scoop him up. Manziel had 13 completions on 24 attempts, 182 passing yards, one touchdown, one interception and, most importantly, 35 yards rushing.
Delanie Walker, TE TEN
Walker left the game with a hand injury. He had a solid game with three receptions for 43 yards and a touchdown on three targets. X-rays were negative, but Walker had a cast on his right hand after the game. Monitor his practice participation and be prepared to have a back-up plan just in case he is rendered inactive before kick-off.
Luke Kuechly, LB CAR
Kuechly sustained a concussion and, like McCown, will be enrolled in the NFL concussion protocol. Hopefully he will be back next week but he will need to be cleared by medical staff. If Kuechly misses time, Thomas Davis may get tackles funneled in his direction. Davis had seven solo tackles, two tackles for loss and one pass defended against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Terrell Suggs, LB BAL
Suggs tore his Achilles tendon and is out for the year. This is his second torn Achilles tendon and may spell the end for Suggs fantasy value in IDP leagues, as he will be a 33 -ear old coming off Achilles tendon injuries to both lower extremities since 2012. Suggs is a reasonable player to drop if other options are available on waivers.
- Dynasty Capsule: Carolina Panthers - February 3, 2017
- The Dynasty Doctor: CJ Anderson - January 25, 2017
- The Dynasty Doctor: Week 15 - December 20, 2016
How does the long-term prognosis differ between a Jones fracture and other metatarsal breaks? Is there a significant difference in the recurrence rates? I learned a lot from your earlier explanations of full vs. partial Achilles tears (and even benefited a bit). As a Dez owner, I’m not even thinking of shopping him based on what I know so far and can probably manage this season without him, but I’m on the alert for signs it may be wise to move on.