NFL Week 15 Injury Report: Who Will Play, Who Will Sit?
With this being Week 15, almost all fantasy leagues will be in some sort of playoff format this weekend. For the majority of leagues, this will be the semifinal round.
Every injury has to be analyzed and dissected with a fine-tooth comb, as you’ll want the most healthy and optimal lineup for playoff success.
This is crunch time with every decision being critical. That being said, here are 10 players who are battling the injury bug and what their prognosis for Week 15 looks like.
Danny Amendola, St. Louis Rams
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After sitting out the last two games with a foot injury, it appears that Danny Amendola is going to give it a try this weekend when the St. Louis Rams host the Minnesota Vikings.
Although Amendola will be going up against a vulnerable pass defense in the Vikings (who allow 236.7 passing yards per game), Amendola is just too risky to start this week. Bear in mind this is not a risky proposition from a health standpoint. It’s more based on the opinion that Amendola is just a fringe/flex play to begin with.
The safe route is to take a wait-and-see approach with Amendola before you can start trusting him again.
Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins
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Robert Griffin III’s injury is without a doubt the most pressing injury facing fantasy players in the playoffs.
Reports are surfacing saying that Griffin III might give it a go this weekend in the Washington Redskins’ game against the Browns, although he hasn’t participated in taking first-team reps.
This situation is just too dicey to handicap. RGIII is no doubt one tough cookie and one who wants to be out there with his team as they vie for a playoff berth. It will all come down to how RGIII is feeling on Sunday, as he’ll truly be a game-time decision.
If you’re an RGIII owner, obviously you have studied this news carefully and have safeguarded your team by picking up an ample backup if in fact Griffin III does not play. My gut tells me RGIII’s long-term future will not be put in jeopardy to play in this game, despite the game having playoff implications for the Redskins.
Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders
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After missing the previous four weeks and then playing in last week’s game against the Denver Broncos, Darren McFadden reinjured his ankle upon his return last Thursday night. However, McFadden is being labeled as probable to play this week against the Kansas City Chiefs.
With the news of McFadden being listed as probable, that should be your cue to get him in your lineups immediately for this fantastic matchup. Defense will be optional in the Oakland Raiders’ game with the Chiefs. The Chiefs are 27th against the run, allowing 131.2 rushing yards per game.
Unless you are super deep at running back, McFadden is an ideal No. 2 running back or at the very least a flex option to rely on this week.
Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys
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Dez Bryant’s left index finger has been the talk of the fantasy world for the last week.
Bryant’s finger is indeed broken and in need of surgery. However, Bryant will likely push through and play with the pain in the hopes that he and the Dallas Cowboys can make a drive for the playoffs.
While the actions of Bryant are admirable, I can’t see Bryant being an effective receiver with one of his hands heavily bandaged. Plus, with a matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers and their No. 1-ranked pass defense (allowing just 169.2 passing yards per game), Bryant may be an ideal candidate to sit this week.
I give Bryant credit for toughing it out, but that doesn’t mean you have to be so valiant about playing him.
Ahmad Bradshaw, New York Giants
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According to the New York Post, Ahmad Bradshaw has already been declared out for Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons with a sprained knee.
Bradshaw’s pain will be rookie David Wilson’s gain. Now that Bradshaw is definitively ruled out, Wilson should get the bulk of carries in Sunday's contest with the Falcons. Hopefully, Bradshaw owners locked up Wilson off the wire, as this is a perfect example of why you should always handcuff your studs.
Wilson will have the pleasure of running against a mediocre Falcons run defense, which allows 127 rushing yards per game (23rd in the league). Suffice to say, sit Bradshaw and start Wilson with confidence.
Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons
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Roddy White has been an iron man in the NFL, as he has never missed a game in his entire NFL career. So it comes as a bit of a surprise that he is being listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the New York Giants after missing three days of practice with a knee injury.
The thinking here is that White will tough it out, as the Falcons will look to wrap up home-field advantage in a key NFC game with the Giants. The injury is being treated as a game-time decision, and obviously, you’ll wait for the final word before making any decisions.
My prediction is White will play and pile up some nice stats against a weak and battered Giants secondary, which allows 252.8 passing yards per game (27th in the league).
Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs
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This comes as no shock, but Dwayne Bowe has been officially ruled out for this weekend’s game with the Raiders with a rib injury.
In fact, Bowe is a prime candidate to drop at this point for more helpful options off the wire.
Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
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Rob Gronkowski, who was supposed to miss the rest of the regular season, is ramping up his rehab and has been spotted jogging at practice this week; giving the impression that he may suit up this weekend when the New England Patriots participate in another statement game with the San Francisco 49ers.
Considering how well the Patriots are doing without him and with the Patriots more concerned with having him ready for their playoff run, Gronkowski should be viewed as doubtful to play in Sunday’s game.
If he somehow was able to play, you would immediately insert him into your lineups, but that doesn’t seem like a scenario that will play out on Sunday night.
Cecil Shorts, Jacksonville Jaguars
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After suffering a concussion a couple of weeks ago, it appears Cecil Shorts has passed all tests and will be back in uniform for the Jacksonville Jaguars' tilt with the Miami Dolphins.
Shorts would instantly make for an intriguing play as a No. 2 WR or flex play, as he’ll be up against a suspect Dolphins defense that gives up 250.6 passing yards per game (25th in the league).
So, as long as Shorts gets clearance on Sunday—which appears to be the case—you should feel confident in rolling with this breakout receiver.
Jonathan Stewart, Carolina Panthers
Another player who has been ruled out this week is Jonathan Stewart.
It’s not like you’re missing a lot with Stewart out, as the Carolina Panthers are getting dreadful rushing production from their backs in Stewart and DeAngelo Williams.
Besides, the Panthers have a tough matchup this Sunday with the San Diego Chargers, as the Chargers boast the No. 4-ranked rushing defense (allowing 92.5 rushing yards per game while only giving up five rushing scores on the year). So, even if you have Williams handcuffed to Stewart, this is not the week to roll with a Panthers’ back.
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