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Week 5 Injury Report (2020 Fantasy Football)

by Jason Katz | @jasonkatz13 | Featured Writer
Oct 12, 2020

Alex Smith’s triumphant return from injury could be a boost for a struggling Washington offense.

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

Dak Prescott (QB – DAL)
The worst injury of Week 5 was Dak Prescott’s gruesome broken ankle. Prescott immediately called for help and was placed in an air cast before being carted to the locker room. Prescott already underwent surgery to repair the injury. By all accounts, he should be 100% when training camp begins in 2021. Andy Dalton is one of, if not the best backup quarterback in the NFL, but he’s nowhere close to as good as Prescott. Dalton, along with the Cowboys defense, will help keep the fantasy value of the wide receivers afloat, but this is an obvious downgrade for the entire offense.

Fantasy Value Impact: Andy Dalton ⬆️⬆️⬆️, Amari Cooper ⬇️, CeeDee Lamb ⬇️, Michael Gallup ⬇️, Dalton Schultz ⬇️⬇️

Diontae Johnson (WR – PIT)
This is now back to back games where Diontae Johnson left early. First, it was a concussion, which cost him Week 3. The Titans’ Covid outbreak cost him Week 4. Now a back injury cost him Week 5. Back injuries are notoriously tricky to project. In Johnson’s absence, Chase Claypool was the clear primary option in the passing game, ahead of JuJu Smith-Schuster. Claypool wasn’t just the WR1 this week, he had one of the best fantasy games of all time, scoring four touchdowns and pushing 40 points, depending on your scoring system. Regardless of Johnson’s status, Claypool has surely jumped James Washington and earned more snaps. He needs to be rostered everywhere.

Fantasy Value Impact: Chase Claypool ⬆️⬆️

Kyle Allen (QB – WAS)
The best moment of Week 5 came at the expense of Kyle Allen due to an arm/shoulder injury. Alex Smith’s return after what should have been a career-ending leg injury brought a tear to the eye of many. Smith couldn’t muster up a comeback against the Rams, but he is the Football Team’s best quarterback. It remains unclear whether Allen will be given a fair opportunity to start should he be ready for Week 6. An Alex Smith takeover would be a boon for this offense. For now, we wait and see.

Fantasy Value Impact: Terry McLaurin ⬆️, Logan Thomas ⬆️

Sammy Watkins (WR – KC)
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Sammy Watkins strained his hamstring. Watkins exited the game in the second half after pulling up lame. He was ultimately ruled out. Hamstring injuries vary in length and severity. Given Watkins’ history, I would not expect him to play next week, but monitor practice reports to be sure. In Watkins’ absence, Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson will share the vacated snaps.

Fantasy Value Impact: Mecole Hardman ⬆️

A.J. Green (WR – CIN)
Those watching the Bengals game this week (or all-season) would never have noticed an A.J. Green injury. Whether Green plays next week (or ever again) is irrelevant – he is done. This has been obvious for at least two weeks now. Even before straining his hamstring, Green was falling behind Tee Higgins and ceding snaps to Mike Thomas and Auden Tate. It’s over for A.J. Green. He had a fantastic career and I believe he is a Hall of Famer, but he no longer matters. The Bengals are better off with him not on the field. He can be dropped in all formats.

Fantasy Value Impact: Tee Higgins ⬆️⬆️, Joe Burrow ⬆️

Russell Gage (WR – ATL)
On an end zone target, Russell Gage landed hard on his left shoulder and came up holding it limp. Gage missed a handful of snaps but ultimately returned to the game. Expect to see him pop up on the injury report this week, but he shouldn’t miss any time. He’s not a fantasy option anyway as the entire Falcons offense has completely fallen apart.

Fantasy Value Impact: N/A

D.J. Chark (WR – JAX)
Late in the Jaguars’ loss to the Texans, D.J. Chark left the game with an ankle injury. I haven’t seen anything on the severity of it as of this writing. If Chark misses time, Laviska Shenault and Keelan Cole would be the beneficiaries.

Fantasy Value Impact: Laviska Shenault ⬆️⬆️, Keelan Cole ⬆️

Baker Mayfield (QB – CLE)
Very late in the Browns’ win over the Colts, Baker Mayfield took a shot to the ribs. He didn’t miss any snaps but will undergo further evaluation. Mayfield should be fine going forward, but it’s something worth noting.

Fantasy Value Impact: N/A

Dalvin Cook (RB – MIN)
In the third quarter of the Sunday night game, Dalvin Cook pulled up holding his groin after a non-contact injury. While that’s always terrifying, Cook returned to the sidelines after a brief stint in the locker room. He had his helmet on and definitely wanted to get back in the game, but coaches held him out. That has me cautiously optimistic that he can play next week or this will be a short absence. Alexander Mattison is an RB1 for every game Cook misses.

Fantasy Value Impact: Alexander Mattison ⬆️⬆️⬆️

Injury Updates

Noah Fant (TE – DEN)
The Broncos did not play in Week 5 so technically, Noah Fant didn’t even miss a game. However, Fant was expected to be out multiple weeks so a Week 6 return seems unlikely.

Estimated Return Time: 2-3 weeks
Course of Action: Hold

Sam Darnold (QB – NYJ)
Joe Flacco started in place of Sam Darnold in Week 5 and the Jets lost again. It doesn’t matter when Darnold returns; the Jets are the worst team in football and are the favorites to draft Trevor Lawrence.

Estimated Return Time: 1-3 weeks
Course of Action: Leave on waivers

Austin Ekeler (RB – LAC)
We are one week into the 4-6 week timetable on Austin Ekeler’s return from a hamstring tear. There’s no guarantee he returns at all. Joshua Kelley and Justin Jackson will continue to share the work in Ekeler’s absence.

Estimated Return Time: 5-7 weeks
Course of Action: Hold or trade for healthy players if you need to win now

Nick Chubb (RB – CLE)
A sprained MCL is typically a 4-6 week injury. Nick Chubb is out at least two more games as he was placed on IR, but as we saw with Raheem Mostert this past week, it is possible to beat that timeframe. For now, we can tentatively expect Chubb to return when first eligible. Kareem Hunt is an elite RB1 for as long as Chubb is out. D’Ernest Johnson does not matter.

Estimated Return Time: 2-3 weeks
Course of Action: Hold

Cam Newton (QB – NE)
With Cam Newton asymptomatic, he can return to action as soon as he records consecutive negative tests. The Patriots and Broncos did not play in Week 5. Assuming the Patriots avoid an outbreak, Newton is likely to return for a game he otherwise would have missed. That didn’t help fantasy managers in Week 5, but it helps the Patriots in Week 6.

Estimated Return Time: Week 6
Course of Action: Hold

Dallas Goedert (TE – PHI)
The Eagles’ best tight end is on IR with an ankle injury. He will be out for at least two more games, but may not return when first eligible. The Eagles are headed towards what could be a lost season and may play it safe with their long term tight end. Dallas Goedert shouldn’t cost you a roster spot, but if he is, you can consider letting him go.

Estimated Return Time: 3-5 weeks
Course of Action: Hold/Drop if no IR spot

Drew Lock (QB – DEN)
Both the Patriots and Broncos may benefit from their game being postponed a week as it seems likely that Drew Lock, who was on the wrong side of questionable to return in Week 5, may be ready to go Week 6. Lock is nothing special, but he’s better than Brett Rypien. His return helps Jerry Jeudy at least a little bit.

Estimated Return Time: This week or next week
Course of Action: Leave on waivers

Sterling Shepard (WR – NYG)
Turf toe has cost Sterling Shepard two games and he is out for at least one more. Updates on Shepard have been scant, but we have no reason to believe he won’t be able to return when first eligible in Week 7. Shepard wouldn’t hurt a Giants offense struggling to find a playmaker.

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

Christian McCaffrey (RB – CAR)
Do the Panthers care about Christian McCaffrey’s return? Of course. He’s a person and we all want him to be healthy. Does he matter for the success of their team? Not even a little bit. The Panthers were 0-2 with McCaffrey and have won three straight without him because the running back position does not matter. Nevertheless, McCaffrey will obviously be a welcome addition to fantasy rosters when he is ready. It seems unlikely he will immediately resume his previous role given the nature of his injury and Mike Davis’ performance, but some McCaffrey is better than no McCaffrey.

Estimated Return Time: 2-3 weeks
Course of Action: Hold

Chris Godwin (WR – TB)
After missing two games with a hamstring strain, Chris Godwin should be ready to go this week. Godwin would’ve had a chance to play last week if the game was on Sunday, but there was no way he would be ready for Thursday night. Tom Brady will be glad to see Godwin return and he could be angry coming off a loss to his nemesis, Nick Foles.

Estimated Return Time: This week
Course of Action: Hold

Zack Moss (RB – BUF)
The Bills’ rookie running back was supposed to return last week but still hasn’t made it back onto the field. In his absence, Devin Singletary continues to command the lion’s share of the touches. Even after Moss returns, expect that to continue as the Bills offense is rolling and Moss was horrible during his limited appearances. Moss is not a fantasy relevant player.

Estimated Return Time: 1-2 weeks
Course of Action: Leave on waivers/Drop if necessary

Julio Jones (WR – ATL)
Julio Jones has tried to play through his hamstring injury too many times and now he is paying for it. Julio has not given it a chance to heal, so it is lingering. Julio did not practice all week but still wasn’t ruled out until game time. He should sit out another week as, unlike A.J. Green, he is not done, so it would behoove the Falcons to look out for Julio’s long term health in a lost season. Even if Julio does play this week, there’s no guarantee he makes it through the game.

Estimated Return Time: 1-3 weeks
Course of Action: Hold

Davante Adams (WR – GB)
Unlike the Falcons, the Packers did the right thing with Davante Adams’ hamstring strain. They sat him out in Week 4 knowing that would give him the Week 5 bye to get back to 100%. It would be shocking if Adams didn’t return in Week 6.

Estimated Return Time: This week
Course of Action: Get him in your lineup!

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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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