WR Deebo Samuel | Left high ankle sprain / Left MCL sprain | Week-to-week | Out week 15 | Target Week 17++
Kyle Shanahan told reporters Samuel's left leg injury was "likely a high ankle sprain" without any obvious broken bone on x-ray.
Video replays of Samuel's injury show a violently torqued lower leg. Though an MRI and re-evaluation exam on Monday will ultimately define Samuel's return timetable, the mechanism of Samuel's injury suggests a mid to high-grade sprain.
Expect a minimum 3-4 week absence with the Niners targeting a playoff return for Samuel. He's unlikely to be available during the fantasy playoff weeks.
Monday update: The Niners said Samuel has an MCL sprain and ankle sprain. They expect him to return during the regular season.
The combination of injuries, even if lower grade, is still likely to require multiple weeks of rehab. A return during the regular season may mean a limited set of snaps for conditioning in Week 18 before the playoffs. Do not expect Samuel to return to a full workload during your fantasy playoff weeks.
QB Lamar Jackson | Left PCL sprain | Week-to-week | Doubtful Week 15 | Target Week 16++
Adam Schefter and others reported Jackson's knee injury was a PCL sprain. Most initial estimates have Jackson's timetable in the 1-4 week range.
PCL sprains -- even lower-grade injuries -- can be tricky to predict. The ligament may be loose or stiff longer than expected, regardless of what the MRI suggests. Baltimore plays in Cleveland on Saturday this week and there's not much optimism Jackson will be ready.
If Jackson doesn't return to limited work on Wednesday, expect the Ravens to hold him out until Week 16.
RB Saquon Barkley | Neck injury | Day-to-day | Probable Week 15
Barkley told reporters he suffered a "stinger" during practice on Thursday. The team limited his Friday practice, and his status was reportedly still in doubt on Sunday morning. That's unusual for a stinger. If an athlete's symptoms haven't improved within a few minutes of the injury, it often takes days to weeks for a full recovery.
It's possible Barkley misspoke, or the Giants were showing extra caution with their lead back. Either way, he was cleared to play on Sunday, and there is no indication he'll be limited in the coming weeks. Watch for any evidence of a setback in practice but expect Barkley to be ready for a full Week 15 workload.
RB Ken Walker III | Right ankle injury | Day-to-day | Questionable Week 15
Details from Pete Carroll on Walker's injury have been confusing. Last week, Carroll said Walker was dealing with a soft-tissue injury on the inside of the foot and described the condition as rare. After Sunday's game, Carroll told reporters the condition is an "old injury" Walker had "been through...in years past." A review of Walker's college injuries reveals only a left ankle sprain in 2021.
Carroll said Walker remains day-to-day, and it was too soon to know whether he'd be available for Thursday night's home game against the Niners.
WR Tee Higgins | Hamstring strain | Day-to-day | Questionable Week 15
Higgins was limited in practice with recurring hamstring soreness last week but not on Cincinnati's final game status report. He was on the field for the game's third offensive snap but did not return.
Zac Taylor said Higgins tweaked his hamstring during pregame warmup, and the team elected to hold him out. It's unclear whether Higgins aggravated the strain or the team chose to be cautious. Taylor told reporters Higgins was available for red zone packages if needed.
Practice participation will be critical for Higgins this week. If he returns to limited work on Wednesday, he'll have a chance to be full strength and see his pre-injury targets in Week 15. Missed practices could hint at a multiple-week absence.
Monday update: Tom Pelissero reports the Bengals are still evaluating Higgins after yesterday's aggravation. Zac Taylor said the team would see how Higgins feels on Wednesday. He's trending doubtful for Week 15.
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