Julio Jones, Austin Ekeler, NFL Injury Statuses and Fantasy Impact for Week 5

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistOctober 9, 2020

Tampa Bay Buccaneers nose tackle Vita Vea (50) is driven off the field after being injured in the second half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears in Chicago, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

NFL teams are dealing with a number of injuries in the early portion of the 2020 season, which is testing depth charts across the league.

Fantasy football managers are experiencing the same thing.

With that in mind, here is a roundup of some of the major injuries as Sunday's Week 5 action approaches.

  • Lamar Jackson, QB, BAL: Practiced Friday and questionable for Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals
  • Julio Jones, WR, ATL: Missed practice Wednesday and Thursday
  • Austin Ekeler, RB, LAC: Placed on injured reserve
  • Vita Vea, DT, TB: Head coach Bruce Arians said Vea will likely miss the rest of the season with a broken leg
  • Tyron Smith, LT, DAL: Out for the season
  • Alshon Jeffery/DeSean Jackson, WRs, PHI: Both out for Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Larry Ogunjobi, DT, CLE: Out for Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts
  • Greedy Williams, CB, CLE: Out for Sunday's game against the Colts
  • Eli Apple, CB, CAR: Out for Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons
  • Anthony Castonzo, OT, IND: Out for Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns
  • Darius Leonard, OLB, IND: Out for Sunday's game against the Browns
  • Austin Jackson, OT, MIA: Placed on injured reserve
  • Jamal Adams, S, SEA: Out for Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings

The fact that Lamar Jackson practiced Friday is welcome news and suggests he will likely take the field for the AFC North clash against the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium. Julio Jones is more of a concern, and fantasy managers may have to wait until Sunday before making a decision about including him in their lineups.

If Jones doesn't play, look for Calvin Ridley to put up WR1 numbers, while Russell Gage will surely see an uptick in targets. Todd Gurley may even see more carries if the Falcons shift away from the aerial attack without Jones.

Joshua Kelley should be the primary back for the Los Angeles Chargers with Ekeler sidelined. That makes him worthy of at least flex consideration.

It is clear injuries have become a major storyline, with players such as Christian McCaffrey (ankle), Saquon Barkley (ACL), Michael Thomas (ankle) and Nick Bosa (ACL) missing significant time or done for the year.

Managers who are able to work through the absences via the waiver wire will likely find themselves atop the standings at the end of the regular season.