Dynasty Rookie Injury Concerns: Quarterback

Jeff Mueller

When on the clock, you want to make sure to have covered all of your bases regarding each prospect. You have likely dug deep into film breakdowns, analytical models, collegiate production, landing spots, vacated targets, and much more. Often, injuries are left out of the equation, yet can be that final piece of the puzzle to help you avoid drafting an injury-riddled question mark over a healthy stud prospect. There are several key names from this quarterback class that I want to touch on.

Note: If your favorite prospect (or another prospect you’re targeting in drafts) is not on this list, he does not carry any significant injury history to be discussed and can be drafted with confidence.

Anthony Richardson, Florida

  • 2018 – Right Knee, meniscus tear, 0 games missed
  • 2018 – Right shoulder injury, 0 games missed
  • 10/3/19 – Right AC sprain, four games missed
  • 3/11/21 – Hamstring strain, spring practices
  • 9/11/21 – hamstring strain, two games missed
  • 10/30/21 – concussion, 0 games missed
  • 11/5/21 – Right knee sprain, two games missed
  • 11/27/21 – Right knee sprain, meniscus tear, one game missed
  • 12/11/21 – Right knee surgery, cleared in March, 0 games missed
  • 9/10/22 – Ankle sprain, 0 games missed
  • 9/17/22 – Hamstring strain, 0 games missed
  • 9/24/22 – Left shoulder injury, 0 games missed

Anthony Richardson carries one of the highest injury profiles in the 2023 class, having suffered multiple soft tissue injuries and knee and shoulder sprains. While concerning, the good news is that he has not suffered any significant long-term injuries, such as an ACL tear or other significant tear. The bad news is that he has suffered recurrent injuries across three seasons in which he barely played (22 games in three seasons, with 12 in his last season).

Which injuries should we be most concerned about? He has suffered recurrent right knee injuries, including (per his report to interviews) multiple meniscus tears, which eventually led to surgery to repair, as well as recurrent hamstring strains. In theory, these would be concerning for continued recurring risk by some. Still, I would say we have to look at two objective facts: 1) he was able to play through 12 games this past season with minimal limitations and only a mild hamstring strain early in the season that didn’t cost him any games as a full-time starter, and 2) if NFL teams show no concern about his medicals through the entire combine screening process and he winds up drafted within the top five picks (projected to go in the top three currently), then we shouldn’t be concerned about his health long term regarding these past injuries. It’s easy to over-analyze past injuries when it appears to be a high amount on paper; however, if he has only suffered one significant injury (meniscus that required surgery) with no significant concerns more recently over the last year as a full-time starter, we have to have the ability to look beyond the “on paper” risk. Of note, soft tissue injuries (specifically hamstring strains) have roughly a 38% recurrent injury rate, with around a 12% same-season reinjury rate. However, that number continues to drop with every season past the last injury date (view Deebo Samuel as an example of that). Despite his extensive injury history, I’m not overly concerned about Richardson and wouldn’t recommend fading him for it.

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Will Levis, Kentucky

  • Foot Injury (10/1/22), foot or ankle sprain, missed one game and limited rest of season
  • Left Middle Finger Fracture (10/1/22), continued playing through the fracture
  • Left AC Sprain (10/15/22), missed zero games, limited rest of season

Levis had quite a rough year in 2022, quite possibly due to the rough transition to new OC Rich Scangarello but also possibly due to the injuries he suffered. Look at the photos; Levis suffered quite the middle finger fracture yet continued to play in the game. Same with the left AC sprain, which can be incredibly painful any time he takes a hit, especially if he fell onto his left side where the tissue sprained. The most significant factor was his foot injury, which he notably stated in late December that he still was only 85% healthy or so regarding the foot injury, a decent two months after the injury occurred. He was producing reasonably well early in the season but notably regressed significantly, coincidentally starting when these injuries occurred. The good news is that he is fully healthy entering the NFL draft, and these injuries shouldn’t linger into his NFL career—draft with confidence regarding his injury history.

Hendon Hooker, Tennessee

  • ACL Tear (11/19/22), left knee

Hooker, unfortunately, suffered a season-ending ACL tear in his left knee, ending his college career and likely leading to a hit to his NFL draft stock if any teams have injury concerns for his longevity in the league. Considering he will probably be drafted in round two or three as a backup and developmental prospect, you should be able to draft him as a cheaper option in superflex options. He will likely be able to suit up as a backup by week one of the 2023 seasons, with plenty of time to get entirely up to speed coming off of his ACL tear. Once he has an opportunity to start, the risk will be reduced, and his rushing upside should return with minimal future reinjury risk.

jeff mueller
Dynasty Rookie Injury Concerns: Quarterback