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Week 4 Injury Report (2020 Fantasy Football)

by Jason Katz | @jasonkatz13 | Featured Writer
Oct 5, 2020

The 2020 injury report has been upgraded to include some new features. In addition to covering all of the fantasy-relevant injuries, I will update you on the previous weeks’ injuries. Also, I’ll explain the nature of the injury (if known), provide information on the expected length of each player’s absence, and offer an assessment of the impact on the injured player’s teammates.

With that, I welcome you to the revamped injury report. Football is a violent game, and, unfortunately, players are going to miss time due to injuries. I promise you I don’t want to be here just as much as you don’t, but this is a necessary evil in this game that we love. As always, I hope this list is as short as possible.

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New Injuries

Noah Fant (TE – DEN)
The Broncos’ talented tight end sprained his ankle during Denver’s Thursday night victory over the Jets. Fant is expected to “miss some time.” There is no replacement for the Broncos, especially with their already severely depleted offense — they’re already missing Drew Lock, Courtland Sutton, and Phillip Lindsay. This is a downgrade for their starting quarterback, who you were never starting in fantasy anyway.

Fantasy Value Impact: N/A

Sam Darnold (QB – NYJ)
As if things aren’t bad enough for the Jets, Sam Darnold was thrown to the ground hard on a vicious sack, resulting in Joe Flacco making a brief appearance. Darnold eventually returned to the game, playing through his right shoulder sprain, but Adam Gase said afterward that Darnold is likely going to miss some time. Things really can’t get much worse for this team, but Flacco is barely an NFL player at this point.

Fantasy Value Impact: N/A

DeVante Parker (WR – MIA)
Finally fully recovered from a lingering hamstring strain, DeVante Parker rolled his ankle in the first half of the Dolphins’ loss to the Seahawks. Parker missed a few series, but he eventually returned and had a pretty big game. Parker may be limited in practice, but he’ll be fine.

Fantasy Value Impact: N/A

Mike Evans (WR – TB)
Mike Evans was tackled awkwardly in what looked like it could be a serious knee injury. Evans missed a few plays, but came back and played quite well. He was moving a bit gingerly after each play, which is always concerning. Expect Evans to be limited in practice, but ultimately to play next week.

Fantasy Value Impact: N/A

Austin Ekeler (RB – LAC)
After looking like the Austin Ekeler from pre-Melvin Gordon 2019, it was devastating to see him go down grabbing his hamstring. Ekeler was helped off the field, unable to put any weight on his left hamstring. After the game, Anthony Lynn said it doesn’t look good. It would appear the best-case scenario is a bad strain. At worst, this is a full-blown tear, which would almost certainly end Ekeler’s season. Let’s hope for the best and that we get Ekeler back in a few weeks. Joshua Kelley and Justin Jackson will split snaps for the foreseeable future. Kelley was already universally rostered, but now Jackson needs to be picked up as well. He will be one of this week’s top adds.

Fantasy Value Impact: Joshua Kelley ⬆️⬆️, Justin Jackson ⬆️⬆️⬆️

Nick Chubb (RB – CLE)
Nick Chubb looked to be on his way to a big day before going down in the first half with a knee injury. Chubb looked to be in considerable pain, but he was able to leave the field under his own power. He will undergo an MRI to determine the severity of his injury. It seems highly unlikely that Chubb plays next week, which should boost Kareem Hunt’s value, but Dontrell Hilliard and D’Ernest Johnson saw significant usage after Chubb departed.

Fantasy Value Impact: Kareem Hunt ⬆️⬆️, D’Ernest Johnson ⬆️

Jordan Akins (TE – HOU)
Jordan Akins was having a productive day before a concussion ended his day. Akins will go through the protocol and hope to get cleared in time for Week 5. If Akins can’t go, Darren Fells becomes a desperation streamer.

Fantasy Value Impact: Darren Fells ⬆️

David Johnson (RB – HOU)
I haven’t seen an official report on any injury, but I saw David Johnson moving gingerly on the sideline late in the Texans’ loss to the Vikings. It’s probably nothing, but I thought it was at least worth mentioning. Duke Johnson’s value would not increase at all if DJ misses time because the answer to who replaces DJ would be literally anyone other than Duke Johnson.

Fantasy Value Impact: N/A

Kenyan Drake (RB – ARI)
I’m not exactly sure what happened to Kenyan Drake, but it was all Chase Edmonds in the latter part of the Cardinals’ loss to the Panthers. Kliff Kingsbury did not get into specifics, but he doesn’t believe Drake’s injury is anything major. Fantasy managers should be more concerned with Drake’s horrendous play than what appears to be an insignificant injury.

Fantasy Value Impact: N/A

O.J. Howard (TE – TB)
The Bucs’ best tight end ruptured his Achilles. His season is over. Cameron Brate will assume almost all of O.J. Howard’s snaps, and perhaps Rob Gronkowski will run a few more routes as well.

Fantasy Value Impact: Rob Gronkowski ⬆️, Cameron Brate ⬆️

Josh Allen (QB – BUF)
Josh Allen went to the locker room in the first half with a left wrist issue, but he returned without missing a snap. He’s fine.

Fantasy Value Impact: N/A

Cam Newton (QB – NE)
The first fantasy relevant player to actually contract coronavirus is Cam Newton. We will likely be provided updates on how Newton is progressing with the virus throughout the week. He’s out tonight, and he will likely miss the Patriots’ Week 5 game as well. However, if he remains asymptomatic, the protocol for a return to action is five consecutive days of no symptoms and then two consecutive negative tests. That leaves the door ajar for a Week 5 return. If he doesn’t experience any symptoms, but he still tests positive, he won’t be able to return until he has those consecutive negative tests. If he ultimately develops symptoms, then the most likely scenario would be a return in Week 7 or later. That’s because Newton would need his symptoms to subside for 72 hours, and he’d need three consecutive negative tests afterward. Hopefully, Newton remains asymptomatic, which would allow him to likely return Week 6 with Week 5 being an absolute best-case scenario.

Estimated Return Time: 1-4 weeks
Course of Action: Hold

Injury Updates

Dallas Goedert (TE – PHI)
The Eagles placed Dallas Goedert on short-term IR. He’s expected to miss several weeks. Zach Ertz will remain a target monster, as the Eagles don’t have healthy pass catchers.

Estimated Return Time: 3-4 weeks
Course of Action: Hold

Drew Lock (QB – DEN)
Brett Rypien started his first career game last week against the terrible Jets and won, but the Broncos would definitely prefer Drew Lock to return. He’s reportedly 50-50 to play in Week 5, which leas me to believe that he’ll sit out at least one more week.

Estimated Return Time: 1-2 weeks
Course of Action: Leave on waivers

Jimmy Garoppolo (QB – SF)
Nick Mullens is unfathomably bad at football. He had what felt like one good half, and suddenly, he leapfrogged the far superior C.J. Beathard to replace an injured Jimmy Garoppolo in 2018. With the 49ers losing exclusively due to poor quarterback play, Garoppolo should return in Week 5. If he can’t, Beathard is going to start.

Estimated Return Time: 1-2 weeks
Course of Action: Hold or add as a borderline QB1

Raheem Mostert (RB – SF) and Tevin Coleman (RB – SF)
Tevin Coleman remains on IR, and he isn’t going to return for at least another two weeks. Raheem Mostert is tentatively expected to return this week, but monitor practice reports to see if that comes to fruition. If he doesn’t return, it shouldn’t be much more than another week.

Estimated Return Time: 1-2 weeks
Course of Action: Hold Mostert, but Coleman likely has no value as he will remain behind McKinnon

Sterling Shepard (WR – NYG)
Sterling Shepard remains on IR and will miss at least two more weeks. Turf toe can be tricky, but Shepard is likely to return when first eligible in Week 7.

Estimated Return Time: 2-3 weeks
Course of Action: Hold or drop if necessary

Christian McCaffrey (RB – CAR)
Two games without Christian McCaffrey, two wins for the Panthers. There is no doubt that McCaffrey is immensely better at football than Mike Davis. There is also no doubt that McCaffrey means nothing to the Panthers’ chances of winning games. Regardless of that fact, he will return to mostly his full role when he’s healthy. High ankle sprains are notoriously tricky and with the Panthers having a ton of money invested in CMC, expect them to be careful with him.

Estimated Return Time: 2-4 weeks
Course of Action: Hold

Cam Akers (RB – LAR)
A rib injury has kept Cam Akers out of his last two games, but he shouldn’t be out much longer. There’s a chance Akers returns this week and immediately resumes his part of the committee with Malcolm Brown. Akers’ return would render Darrell Henderson completely irrelevant because the Rams hate Darrell Henderson.

Estimated Return Time: 1-2 weeks
Course of Action: Hold

Chris Godwin (WR – TB)
With the Bucs playing on Thursday night, Chris Godwin is almost certainly going to be held out one more game. The good news is that Godwin should be ready to return in Week 6.

Estimated Return Time: 2 weeks
Course of Action: Hold

Diontae Johnson (WR – PIT)
After sustaining a concussion, Diontae Johnson was already trending towards playing without missing a game before a coronavirus outbreak postponed the Steelers’ contest with the Titans. He’ll be good to go against the Eagles in Week 6.

Estimated Return Time: 1 week
Course of Action: Hold

Zack Moss (RB – BUF)
Despite practicing in a limited fashion all week, Zack Moss was inactive for the Bills’ win over the Raiders. Moss should be able to return this week, but he’s off the fantasy radar due to the combination of Devin Singletary‘s good play and Moss displaying no football acumen whatsoever during his appearances thus far.

Estimated Return Time: 1 week
Course of Action: Hold or drop if necessary

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Jason Katz is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Jason, check out his archive or follow him @jasonkatz13.

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