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Understanding the NFL's Injury Report
(per Dr. Bramel)
The injury report released by the NFL is two reports. The first is the Practice Participation report, which lists which injured players practiced and their participation level. It also includes players who rested or missed practice for non-injury-related reasons. The second is the Game Status Report, which gives the probability a player will play, i.e., Questionable, Doubtful, Out. The Practice Participation Report is released every day of the week (Monday through Saturday). The Game Status Report is released with the Friday participation report (Wednesday for Thursday games, Saturday for Monday games).
In this feature, I'll include the Game Status Listing and my expectation of their likelihood of playing.
If you are reading this article on Saturday, make sure you circle back on Sunday morning as more updates trickle in within the next 24 hours
Player | Injury | Game Status Listing | Footballguys Expectation
Current Status on High-Impact Injured Players
Trending Doubtful (Likely Inactive)
Trending Probable (Expected to Play)
Eligible to return from injured reserve
- RB David Montgomery (ribs)
- TE Pat Freiermuth (hamstring - headed to IR)
- QB Justin Fields (thumb)
- RB Roschon Johnson (concussion)
- QB Jimmy Garoppolo (back)
- RB Damien Harris (neck)
Sunday 1:00 PM EST Games
Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns | Shoulder | Questionable | Likely Active
I wish I had a better case, but the Deshaun Watson shoulder saga has been confusing for me. Originally Watson's injury did not seem like anything major. However in the weeks to come, we learned that he was dealing with a subscapularis contusion (a bruise of one of the rotator cuff muscles that specifically aids in throwing).
The good news is that Watson was a full practice participant (FP) on Friday - the first time he's been FP since the injury. Being listed a full participant suggests that Watson was able to make all the throws necessary to play. Based on the information at hand, I would expect Watson to play, but you never know with him...
Sunday Update: Watson is expected to be under center in Week 7.
Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns | Thigh | Questionable | 50/50
Early reports out of Cleveland were that Kareem Hunt was dealing with a "thigh" injury, but the official team website has him listed as questionable with a "Rib/Groin" injury. Assuming that Hunt does not have a rib fracture, the groin injury could be the most limiting.
Typically, RBs miss at least one game with a groin strain, but there seems to be some inconsistencies with Hunt's injury, which leads me to believe it is not a major injury. Hunt seems like a true game-time decision, but I lean toward him playing Sunday.
Sunday Update: Adam Schefter reports that Cleveland has "concerns about his [Hunt] availability. Hunt is try in Week 7 and warm-up with the team but it sounds like he is trending in the wrong direction.
In fantasy line-ups, I would avoid if possible.
Daniel Jones, New York Giants | Neck | Questionable | Likely Inactive
Daniel Jones sat out Week 6 with a neck injury, and heading into Week 7; he is questionable to play. Jones dealt with a neck strain in 2022, although it is unclear if this is the same injury.
Jones was limited all week during practice, which points to him not being cleared for contact just yet. Because of this, I lean towards him missing another week. Anytime a player pops up on an injury report with a neck injury it is a nerve-racking situation, but Giants' HC Brian Daboll is leaving the door open for Jones to return.
I like Jones' chances of playing in Week 8 if/when he is cleared by team doctors for contact.
Sunday Update: The Giants have not made it official yet, but Daniel Jones is expected to sit Week 7.
Hunter Henry, New England Patriots | Ankle | Questionable | 50/50
Hunter Henry was limited during last week's game vs. the Raiders with an ankle injury. Henry briefly left the game but was able to return. However, he played a season-low 62% of snaps.
For most of the week, Henry did not practice before getting in a limited session Friday. With the positional demands that a TE faces, especially one heavily involved in the blocking scheme, I don't like Henry's odds of playing in Week 7. This could be another Mike Gesicki week.
Craig Reynolds, Detroit Lions | Hamstring/Toe | Questionable | 50/50
Craig Reynolds is dealing with a pair of injuries, but how serious they are is unclear. Reynolds does not have a ton of fantasy relevance, but his presence could cap the upside of Jahmyr Gibbs with David Montgomery officially ruled out.
Dan Campbell told reports that Gibbs would handle most of the RB workload in Week 7, which could point to how hampered Reynolds is. I think Reynolds is active on Sunday but maybe on an "as-needed basis."
Sunday Update: Craig Reynolds is expected to play in Week 7.
Sunday 4:05 PM EST Games
DK Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks | Ribs/Hip | Questionable | 50/50
This is the part of the season where the injuries start to pile up. Another player dealing with two separate injuries is DK Metcalf. Metcalf has been nursing a rib injury since Week 2 and has been able to play through it. In Week 6, he picked up a hip injury, which, by video, appeared to be a hip pointer.
Metcalf was pretty limited all week. He did not practice Wednesday and Thursday before getting in limited reps on Friday. The hip pointer injury mostly comes down to pain tolerance and is historically not an injury that limits players. I'd chalk up the limited reps this week to veteran rest and feel good about his chances of playing Week 7.
Sunday Update: DK Metcalf is a true game-time decision. Reports indicate he is going to see how he feels in pre-game warm-ups. I still lean towards him playing.
Zach Charbonnet, Seattle Seahawks | Hamstring | Questionable | Likely Inactive
Zach Charbonnet has not practiced all week with a hamstring injury. Seattle has listed the rookie RB as Questionable for Week 7, but it is likely closer to doubtful since he has not practiced. Additionally, RBs, on average, miss 2.8 weeks with hamstring injuries. This is Ken Walker III's backfield in Week 7.
Sunday Update: Per Adam Schefter, Charbonnet is not expected to play.
Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers | Hamstring | Questionable | Likely Active
Fresh off Injured Reserve (IR), Diontae Johnson is in line to start in Week 7. The real question is: Should you start him?
On average, WRs post-hamstring strain increases by 0.5% - meaning it's basically unchanged. Filtering out WRs who missed 4+ weeks, we see a bigger decline, on average, 18% fewer points. This could point to players being a little rusty upon return.
Given all the bye weeks, there is a chance you do not have a lot of other good options. For that reason, I think you start Johnson this week.
Sunday Update: Diontae Johnson is officially active.
Sunday 4:25 PM EST Games
Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers | Hamstring | Questionable | 50/50
All signs point to Aaron Jones suffering a setback with his hamstring injury. After missing Weeks 2-3, Jones played in Week 4 before missing the next week with the same injury. Coming out of the Week 6 bye, Jones still does not appear to be 100% as he was limited all week.
Looking at historical comps, RBs who suffer a hamstring injury setback typically miss another 2-3 weeks. I think Jones has a better chance to play next week, but Week 7 does not look great.
Sunday Update: Per Adam Schefter Aaron Jones is expected to play.
Monday Night 8:15 PM EST Game
Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers| Shoulder | Questionable | Likely Inactive
Deebo Samuel has not practiced all week following his Week 6 injury, where, by video, he appeared to sustain an AC Joint sprain. Fantasy managers have seen multiple WRs sustain this type of injury, and all of them have missed at least one week. It's good that Samuel has an extra day to heal, as the 49ers play Monday night. However, I still do not like his odds to suit up.
Even if I am wrong, I think avoiding Samuel is a good play. I have talked about this before, but when Samuel plays through injury, he scores, on average, 24% fewer fantasy points compared to his healthy average. Samuel is a player I am avoiding in most formats.
Sunday Update: Kyle Shanahan told reporters Saturday that Deebo Samuel has a hairline fracture in his clavicle and he will be out until at least till after the 49ers' bye. Expect a similar timeline to that of an AC joint sprain - Week 10 is not a lock but, Samuel should be able to return around Week 10-12.
Christian McCaffrey, San Francisco 49ers| Oblique | Questionable | Likely Inactive
Another 49er who has not practiced all week is the RB1 in fantasy football - Christian McCaffrey. McCaffrey is dealing with an oblique injury, something that is largely tied to overuse/heavy workload. With an oblique injury, cutting, turning, and changing direction are all painful. These are all things that make McCaffrey special.
I think the all-pro RB could play through this injury, but given his injury history, his importance to the 49ers offense, and a bye week upcoming, it makes sense for the 49ers to step in and briefly shut him down. I am not optimistic he will play the next two weeks.
Sunday Update: The Christian McCaffrey situation is tricky. McCaffrey was able to log a limited practice Saturday and as reports start to trickle out of 49er's camp it sounds like McCaffrey is trending toward playing.
San Francisco has McCaffrey listed as questionable, and they will not make an official ruling on his availability until closer to game time. Unfortunately, most fantasy football managers have to make a decision today about whether they leave McCaffrey in their line-ups.
I've been vocal about my skepticism around McCaffrey. I am still not 100% convinced that McCaffrey will be dressed come Monday Night but even if he is, prepare for the possibility of limited snaps which in turn will lead to a capped ceiling.
On average skill position players with a core/abdomen injury have a 23% decrease in fantasy football production with evidence of lingering effects. After a core injury, skill position players also experience a 19% decline in fantasy points over a 3-game sample. There's a chance both Elijah Mitchell and Jordan Mason have relevance this week.
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