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Fantasy Football Injury Review: Week 9

by Eric Petty
Nov 5, 2016

Delanie Walker

Delanie Walker’s practice injury could have owners scrambling

Now that the NFL injury report has eliminated the designation of “probable,” the questionable tag will include players who are anywhere from 50-to-99 percent likely to play. With this new development, you will definitely need to check here every week before locking your lineups to make sure that you don’t get burned by a player whose injury status you miscalculated. I will use a combination of Injury Science and my experience as a Doctor of Physical Therapy to give you a more precise description of whether you can trust these players on your fantasy roster.

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Ben Roethlisberger (PIT): Meniscus Injury

My feelings on the Roethlisberger knee injury have not changed much since the night of the injury. On that night, I forecasted a week return no later than Week 10, and it appears that this will be the case. I fully expect Roethlisberger to be healthy enough to be at least 80% of his normal self in this game. Keep in mind that meniscus injuries are one of the more recurring conditions, so don’t be surprised if this injury pops its head up at some point during this game or later in the season. Those invested in Roethlisberger should take this as par for the course, as Roethlisberger seems to always be one play away from ruining your lineup. I do not believe that Roethlisberger is returning early at all, as 2-to-4 weeks was always my prognosis. The 4-to-6 week timeframe is an old trick that healthcare professionals use from time to time; under promise and over deliver. I expect a fully healthy Ben Roethlisberger to take the field this week and the 20% that I expect him to be lacking would be in the areas of conditioning and possibly his biomechanics and footwork. Roethlisberger owners will have to keep their fingers crossed that his excess weight doesn’t usher in a new injury or cause a recurrence of this injury, but overall I think Roethlisberger is a fairly safe bet to start and finish the game.

LeSean McCoy (BUF): Strained Hamstring

I wrote last week that the wise move would be for McCoy to take this week off, enjoy the bye week and come back fresh in Week 11. This is not what the Buffalo Bills have chosen to do, and all I can say is that I don’t agree. If I am a McCoy owner, I am handcuffing McCoy and looking for other running backs on the waiver wire. I simply don’t think they are playing this right and I wouldn’t be surprised if McCoy ended up with a more severe hamstring injury, or even a totally separate injury. Playing through injuries does not only put the injured structure at risk but it puts the other structures that are compensating for that area at risk. Rex Ryan strikes me as a gambler, and it appears he is gambling with the season by putting McCoy on the field in Seattle. I am not a football coach, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn once, and this simply just doesn’t make sense to me.

Ty Montgomery (GB): Sickle Cell Trait

The word is that Montgomery will play this week, but fantasy owners should still be considerate of his condition. The sickle-cell trait grossly means that the player has a dysfunction with his red blood cells and therefore has deficits with carrying oxygen to his body. Many of these guys have to sit out for Denver trips because high altitude means there is even less oxygen in the air. Although this game will be played in Green Bay, there will still be times when there is less oxygen for Montgomery, and that will be when he is tired. I would expect that the Green Bay Packers will want to avoid pushing Montgomery too hard after this issue kept him off the field last week. This may not mean much for seasonal players, but I am sure DFS players want that production ceiling as high as can be. I think Montgomery will soon be back to his norm, but with the sickle-cell trait always lurking, I wouldn’t count on Montgomery being the guy to run the clock down or get the garbage time work.

Carlos Hyde (SF): Acromioclavicular Joint Injury

I am not sure why Hyde won’t just come out and say that he is not playing. He has basically hinted at this in every interview I’ve read. Some guys look at pain like it is just the tough factor that needs to be considered, but I look at pain as a vital sign. I wouldn’t send a football player on the field with an extremely high heart rate or a temperature of 103 degrees, therefore I wouldn’t send a player on the field who is at risk for severe pain levels. I understand football is a contact sport as I did play in high school and a little in college, but at the NFL level you cannot walk on the field wondering how bad and injury will hurt when you get hit or when you fall on it, as Hyde has mentioned several times this week. If Hyde takes the field, it will likely be short-lived and ball security would be a big concern for me. My guess is he will sit this one out and be ready next week as this is usually an injury you want to give 2-to-4 weeks to recover.

Travis Benjamin (SD): PCL Sprain

The PCL injury is not nearly as common as the ACL, but in many ways it is just as important. Despite its importance, it can be compensated for by muscles around the knee. In fact the ACL can be compensated for too. Generally speaking the ACL stops the lower leg from translating forward, while the PCL stops it from translating backward. In addition to ligaments stopping these translations or movements in either direction, we have muscles that also help maintain the proper joint alignment. In the case to the PCL, we have the quadricep muscle which can chip in and hold the lower leg from translating backward, and for the ACL we have the hamstrings that can similarly support the ligament in its role. All of this to say that Benjamin should be okay with this injury as long as his muscular counterparts chip in and protect his PCL from further injury. I have heard that Hall of Famer Thurman Thomas played much of his career without an ACL using some of the compensatory mechanisms I just described here. Benjamin should not be pushed to these extremes as his PCL should heal even as he continues to play. Fantasy owners may want to take a week and make sure his mechanics and speed haven’t taken a hit, but my guess is he is good to go.

Delanie Walker (TEN): Groin Strain

This is bad news for Walker as he appeared to have just gotten over his hamstring strain. With a groin injury this late in the week, fantasy owners will need to find another option. Groins and hamstrings are like best friends, and neither should be fooled with. I would expect Walker to miss this game or underperform. Like most soft tissue and muscular injuries, I would start the three-week countdown now, as this may be the length of time you will have to endure without Walker in your lineup. Hopefully, further reports show that this was maybe less serious than initially reported, but at this time, it doesn’t look good to me.

If I did not cover a player that you are interested in, contact me @DrPettyIRD before the game.

Good Luck!


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Dr. Eric Petty is a Physical Therapist who is taking his talents from the treatment room to help fantasy owners. You can find more of his work at his site, The Injury Report Doctor, and you can follow him @DrPettyIRD.

Injuries, NFL