Fantasy Football Injury Updates: Dalvin Cook, Darrell Henderson, Diontae Johnson (2021 Fantasy Football)
It would be nice to have a short list of injuries each week of the season, but Week 2 was littered with unfortunate injuries across the NFL. Multiple quarterbacks sustained injuries that could sideline them for a specific amount of time on Sunday. Besides a few starting quarterbacks, other notable names are banged up following the riveting action in the NFL in Week 2. Let’s look at the new injuries we saw in Week 2 and how we should manage these injuries in fantasy football.
Tua Tagovailoa (QB – MIA)
The Miami Dolphins could not post any points in Week 2 versus the Buffalo Bills, in large part due to Tua Tagovailoa exiting the game in the first half. Tagovailoa suffered a rib injury after taking a hit from a defender that would force him to miss the rest of the game. The extent of Tagovailoa’s rib injury is unknown, but we should get more information after he undergoes an MRI on Monday. Jacoby Brissett replaced Tagovailoa once he left the game, and if Tagovailoa is forced to miss any time, Brissett would likely start in Week 3 against the Las Vegas Raiders. All of the offensive players in Miami’s offense would take slight hits in their value until Tagovailoa returns.
Carson Wentz (QB – IND)
It was a back-and-forth game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Indianapolis Colts in Week 2, with the Rams emerging victorious in the end. In the second half of the game, everyone held their breath in Lucas Oil Stadium as Carson Wentz had his ankle twisted awkwardly while being hit by Aaron Donald. While Wentz underwent ankle surgery in the offseason, the injury he sustained on Sunday is a new issue. Frank Reich uttered that Wentz had his ankle rolled on ‘pretty good’ and that the quarterback would undergo an MRI on Monday. Jacob Eason would be set to replace Wentz under center unless the Colts elect to manufacture a trade for someone out there *Cough cough* Nick Foles *Cough cough*.
Andy Dalton (QB – CHI)
Andy Dalton went to the locker room twice in Week 2 versus the Cincinnati Bengals due to a knee injury. Following a close win for the Chicago Bears, Matt Nagy shared that he believes Dalton avoided an injury to his ACL, which would be positive news. Rookie Justin Fields came in for Dalton and would struggle in his limited action on the field. The Bears will have more information on Dalton’s knee ailment on Monday after he undergoes an MRI. If Dalton is sidelined for any period of time, fans in Chicago will finally get their wish for Fields to get the nod for the Bears. Fields’ first career start could come in Week 3 versus the Cleveland Browns on the road.
Tyrod Taylor (QB – HOU)
The offense of the Houston Texans has been a pleasant surprise with Tyrod Taylor operating it, but the veteran signal-caller would miss the entire second half of the contest in Week 2. Taylor has been diagnosed with a hamstring injury ahead of his MRI on Monday. With the Texans set to play on Thursday Night Football versus the Carolina Panthers, Taylor has already been ruled out of that game. That means that rookie Davis Mills will draw the start for Houston in Week 3. Mills replaced Taylor on Sunday and would struggle to the tune of eight completions on 18 attempts for 102 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Brandin Cooks is off to an impressive start this season, but if Mills is his quarterback, then there’s a chance we see his production take a slight decline until Taylor can come back.
Dalvin Cook (RB – MIN)
It was an absolute shootout between the Minnesota Vikings and the Arizona Cardinals in Week 2. The Vikings would miss a game-winning field goal as time expired, giving them an 0-2 start to the season. To make matters worse, Dalvin Cook exited in the second half with what Mike Zimmer described as an ankle sprain. Cook was able to play on Minnesota’s final drive of the game, but it will be worth monitoring how his ankle feels as practices occur throughout the week. With Cook having injury concerns throughout his career, it’s never good to see him pick up any injuries. We should get an update on Cook’s status ahead of a matchup with the Seattle Seahawks in Week 3.
Darrell Henderson (RB – LAR)
The Rams showed an ability to run the ball again with Darrell Henderson on Sunday in their victory over the Colts. Henderson was the workhorse for Los Angeles, running it 13 times for 53 yards and a touchdown. He also added three receptions for 29 yards as a receiver. But in the second half of Sunday’s game, Henderson suffered a rib injury that would cause him to miss the fourth quarter. The Rams are already without Cam Akers for the season, so an injury to Henderson is less-than-ideal. However, the team did trade for Sony Michel, who can fill in for Henderson if he’s forced to miss time. Michel could be the starter when Los Angeles squares off with Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 3.
Elijah Mitchell/Trey Sermon/JaMycal Hasty (RB – SF)
Everyone was scrambling in the days leading up to Week 2 to discover who would be the go-to running back for the San Francisco 49ers. Elijah Mitchell drew the start amid the season-ending injury to Raheem Mostert, while Trey Sermon and Jamycal Hasty also saw some snaps. All three of San Francisco’s backs sustained injuries on Sunday in the team’s win over the Philadelphia Eagles. Mitchell is dealing with what is being described as a stinger injury to his shoulder, Sermon is in the concussion protocol, and Hasty suffered an ankle injury. While stinger injuries can heal quickly, we may see recently-signed Trenton Cannon get some work in the backfield if Sermon and Hasty are sidelined.
Jarvis Landry (WR – CLE)
The Cleveland Browns are already without Odell Beckham Jr. until he can make his debut this season, and now they could be without Jarvis Landry. Landry exited Sunday’s game with a knee injury in the first quarter, leaving the Browns extremely shorthanded at the wide receiver position. The veteran wideout will undergo an MRI on Monday to find out the extent of his knee ailment. If we find out that Landry will be sidelined for at least a game, any of Anthony Schwartz, Donovan People-Jones, Rashard Higgins, David Njoku, Austin Hooper, or even Demetric Felton could see an expanded role in the offense.
Diontae Johnson (WR – PIT)
The offense of the Pittsburgh Steelers has looked lifeless in the first two weeks of the season. At the end of Pittsburgh’s disappointing loss to the Las Vegas Raiders at home in Week 2, Diontae Johnson appeared to have suffered a leg injury on the final play of the game. There haven’t been any updates on Johnson yet, but we should get more information soon. If Johnson misses time, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Chase Claypool would see boosts in their usage while James Washington would be inserted as the No. 3 wide receiver.
Laviska Shenault (WR – JAC)
It was discovered late on Sunday night that Laviska Shenault would be undergoing an MRI on his shoulder on Monday. The second-year wideout sustained the injury at some point during Sunday’s loss to the Denver Broncos. Shenault had a rough outing in Week 2 as he finished with -3 receiving yards on seven targets for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Given how Jacksonville uses Shenault, he’s going to take a ton of hits, so injuries are definitely a concern. With the Jaguars facing the Cardinals in Week 3, Jacksonville could need to lean on D.J. Chark and Marvin Jones Jr. more in the passing game if Shenault is sidelined.
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