Welcome to the dreaded injury report. Professional football is a violent game, and your fantasy players are going to miss time because of it. While the vast majority of you no longer care about injuries as your fantasy season is over (hopefully ending in a championship), I’m still here reporting on who went down in Week 16.
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Jordy Nelson (WR – GB)
Jordy Nelson played on Saturday night, but there was no Festivus miracle for the Packers. Instead, a team already operating without its top receiver, Davante Adams, lost it’s number two man as well. Nelson departed early with a left arm/shoulder injury and in a lost season, there just isn’t any reason to expect him to return for a meaningless Week 17 game. Expect a lot of Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison.
Joe Mixon (RB – CIN)
The Bengals’ rookie star in the making had just returned from a two-week absence due to a concussion when he was again forced out of action, this time due to an ankle injury. Giovani Bernard took over the lead role and put up a monster performance, mostly on fantasy benches. It is unfortunate as we can only assume that Joe Mixon would have had a similarly huge game had he been able to stay healthy. With the Bengals just playing for pride at this point, it seems unlikely that they would gamble with the health of their future star in a meaningless Week 17 game. Bernard should get another heavy workload in the season’s final week.
DeMarco Murray (RB – TEN)
DeMarco Murray suffered a far more serious injury in Sunday’s close loss to the Rams. Murray went down with a knee injury that Mike Mularkey said “doesn’t look good.” It is likely that Murray at least sprained, if not tore something in his knee. With Murray looking every bit finished this season and heading into free agency in 2018, he cannot afford to not be healthy to start next season. It is entirely possible that we’ve seen the last of DeMarco Murray. Derrick Henry will give us a preview of what the 2018 Titans will look like in a must-win Week 17 contest against the league’s best defense.
Evan Engram (TE – NYG)
It is rare that a rookie TE performs well at all. Evan Engram has already had one of the best rookie TE seasons of all time. Unfortunately, it ended prematurely with a rib injury. Engram exited the game and did not return. This late in the season, there is simply no reason for teams to ask players to battle through injuries. There is also no reason for Engram to play in Week 17.
Melvin Gordon (RB – LAC)
Melvin Gordon injured his ankle late in the Chargers’ way too narrow victory over the Jets. We will know more about the extent of the injury later in the week, but the Chargers will do everything in their power to have Gordon ready to go in a must-win Week 17 contest with the playoffs on the line. I tentatively expect Gordon to be out there.
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Jason Katz is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Jason, check out his archive or follow him @jasonkatz13.