The first NFL Sunday of the year is in the books, and predictably not everyone made it out unscathed. Let’s take a look at who’s okay, who might be okay, and who’s going to miss some time.
Russell Wilson (SEA): Ankle sprain
It’s really a miracle that Wilson has never missed a game or practice considering some of the offensive line play he’s had to endure. That streak will be put to put to the test after Wilson bent his ankle during a sack in the third quarter by (surprise, surprise) Ndamukong Suh. Wilson didn’t miss a snap, managed to throw the game-winning touchdown pass, and said he’d be alright after the game. However, it was reported that his injury is “significant” and he’s not a lock to play in Week 2. His availability will likely depend on how his ankle responds during the week.
Boykin is an undrafted rookie, so starting him in Los Angeles would obviously not be ideal. If Seattle does sign someone, the obvious choice would be Tarvaris Jackson. Jackson was Seattle’s starter in 2011 and Wilson’s backup from 2013-2015. He got in some legal trouble over the summer but was not prosecuted. Former Seahawks Matt Flynn and Charlie Whitehurst are also free agents. Other former starters on the market include Michael Vick, Josh Freeman, and Jimmy Clausen. It’s fair to say none of those guys would be fantasy-relevant outside of ultra-cheap DFS plays.
Robert Griffin III (CLE): Fractured coracoid bone in non-throwing shoulder
Griffin had said he was “in pain” but would be okay. That is obviously not the case, as Cleveland placed him on injured reserve. Griffin was 12-26 for 190 yards with an interception and 37 rushing yards in Week 1, so hopefully his availability isn’t relevant for your fantasy team.
Next up: Josh McCown
McCown is a high-end backup who could make for an interesting DFS play or a streamer in good matchups for the late-round quarterback crowd. He did have a few big games as Cleveland’s starter in 2015.
Chris Ivory (JAX): Calf strain, unspecified issue requiring hospitalization
Ivory is reportedly in pain, and there’s really no way to predict his recovery time until more specific information comes out about his condition.
Next up: T.J. Yeldon
Maybe “next up” isn’t the correct term, seeing as Yeldon and Ivory were probably going to be in some sort of committee. But as long as Ivory is out, Yeldon is going to see a ton of carries. He saw 25 total touches on Sunday.
Jamaal Charles (KC): Torn ACL
The rumors of Charles missing time turned out to be true. Most players would have returned from an ACL tear at this point, but something is holding Charles back. It’s worrisome, but don’t panic just yet. Keep tabs on Charles to see if he’s cleared for contact in practice.
Next up: Spencer Ware
Last week, both Ware and Charcandrick West were listed as the beneficiaries of Charles’s inactivity. It’s pretty clear we can remove West from that list now. Ware started in Charles’s place and gained 199 yards from scrimmage and scored a touchdown. It looks like there’s no reason to rush Charles back.
Keenan Allen (SD): Torn ACL
Man, this guy just can’t catch a break. It’s another season-ending injury for Allen, who had already caught six passes for 65 yards when he went down.
To be clear, this isn’t really a plug-and-play situation. No one on San Diego’s roster is going to replicate what Allen does. He was on a record-setting pace when he went down last season, and San Diego’s offense was never the same afterward. This could very well end up being a situation to avoid entirely.
Benjamin is intriguing because he was the top receiver in Cleveland in 2015. That experience could land him a bigger part in the offense. His game is nothing like Allen’s, though. Allen’s a big receiver who uses elite route running over athleticism. Benjamin’s a little guy whose pads look too big for him. If he succeeds, it’ll be with deep speed or screens. Benjamin could get more targets by default, but he’s not taking over Allen’s role.
Williams is the better bet to see a huge uptick in usage. He’s a bigger receiver who caught two deep passes on Sunday for 71 yards. He can’t be expected to completely fill in for Allen, but he could be usable. He’s a waiver wire add in all leagues.
Demaryius Thomas (DEN): Undisclosed hip injury
We learned Thomas was getting a second opinion on his hip during the dreaded Sunday morning news drop. Thankfully, it looks like he’s going to be fine. No need to worry unless he ends up missing practices.
Next up: Cody Latimer
Latimer teased us as a sleeper when he was part of a high-octane passing offense. That’s no longer the case. Latimer would be worth a speculative waiver add if Thomas were definitely going to miss time, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. Leave him on the waiver wire for now.
Sammy Watkins (BUF): Complications from foot surgery
Watkins did not re-injure his foot, but he is in a lot of pain. He could miss some time depending on how well he can manage the discomfort. The Bills play Thursday night this week, so we’ll know soon enough if Watkins is going to see some time on the inactive list.
Next up: Robert Woods
Watkins and Woods were the only wide receivers to catch a pass for the Bills on Sunday. It’s not wise to overreact to Week 1, but maybe you don’t want any receiver in this offense except for Watkins.
Mohamed Sanu (ATL): Undisclosed ankle injury
Julio Jones also aggravated his ankle injury, but he downplayed it after the game. Sanu’s injury could be more serious since he was reportedly “limping heavily through the locker room.” Sanu caught five passes on eight targets for 80 yards and a touchdown, which gave the impression he could be a usable player for the rest of the season.
Next up: Justin Hardy
Hardy caught one pass for no yards on Sunday, so he would only be worth adding in a deep league if Sanu is going to miss a significant amount of time.
DeVante Parker (MIA): Hamstring strain
Parker was inactive, and the Dolphins definitely could have used him because …
Next up: Kenny Stills
… Stills dropped a touchdown pass that might have cost Miami the game.
Rob Gronkowski (NE): Hamstring strain
Gronk was a surprise inactive due to the mystery injury he suffered earlier in training camp. He told reporters he was “week-to-week” on Friday. Monitor his practice participation to see if he’s on track to debut in Week 2.
Next up: Martellus Bennett
Bennett had a golden opportunity to turn in a big game filling in for Gronk on Sunday night. He responded with three receptions for 15 yards on five targets. It was not a banner evening for those of us (sadly raises hand) who touted Bennett as a top-five fantasy tight end. It’s just one game, but an extremely disappointing one nonetheless.