Fantasy Football Injury Updates: Jerry Jeudy, Raheem Mostert, Brandon Aiyuk (2021 Fantasy Football)
We saw a ton of high-flying action in Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season, but unfortunately, some players got hurt. Coming into this week, Dak Prescott, Carson Wentz, and Saquon Barkley were all dealing with notable injuries for their respective teams. All three of them suited up and played anyway. Prescott even showed us that he’s still an elite quarterback on Thursday Night Football. With Sunday’s slate of games now completed, here are the notable injuries that will have a lasting effect in fantasy football.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB – WAS)
Ryan Fitzpatrick suffered a hip injury from a hit that caused him to fumble in the first half of Washington’s home opener. He could not return to the game and was diagnosed with a hip subluxation ahead of an MRI on Monday. The journeyman quarterback is expected to miss some time for Washington, which will force Taylor Heinicke to start under center until the veteran can return. I don’t think Fitzpatrick’s injury will majorly affect the weapons on the Football Team, so keep firing up Antonio Gibson and Terry McLaurin with confidence.
Pro Football Doc has a breakdown of the injury and what to expect here.
Raheem Mostert (RB – SF)
It was a bit of a surprise to see the 49ers list rookie Trey Sermon as a healthy scratch, which led many to expect Mostert to dominate touches in the backfield on Sunday. Although he averaged 10 yards per attempt on his first two carries, Mostert made an early exit due to a knee ailment. Fortunately, it doesn’t seem to be an ACL issue for the injury-plagued Mostert, who may or may not have been able to return if the game was closer in the first half. Regardless of whether Mostert misses time, I’d check to see if Elijah Mitchell is available in your leagues, especially with Sermon getting scratched in Week 1.
Jerry Jeudy (WR – DEN)
Jeudy got off to a blazing start in his sophomore season with the Denver Broncos. He had hauled in six of his seven targets from Teddy Bridgewater for 72 yards before sustaining an ugly ankle injury in the second half. Given how bad the injury looked at first glance, the fact that Jeudy has been diagnosed with a high-ankle sprain is positive news. Jeudy is expected to miss over a month for the Broncos, making Courtland Sutton Denver’s No. 1 wideout. I also expect Tim Patrick and KJ Hamler — mainly Patrick — to see more playing time. Noah Fant should also get a boost in the passing game.
Michael Gallup (WR – DAL)
Amid the shootout we saw on Thursday night, Michael Gallup exited the game early for the Cowboys with a calf strain. Gallup is slated to miss somewhere between three to five weeks, which is unfortunate for such an explosive offense. With Gallup sidelined for multiple weeks, more targets should funnel through Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb. Also, Dalton Schultz could see an expanded role in the offense at the tight end position. If you’re absolutely desperate in deeper leagues, Cedrick Wilson may be worth picking up since he’s in such a high-octane passing attack.
Saquon Barkley (RB – NYG)
There isn’t much to say about Barkley after Week 1, but I want to speak about his progress as he returns from a torn ACL. Barkley suited up for the New York Giants on Sunday, but he received a limited workload, as expected. The former first-round pick finished with 11 total touches for 27 yards in New York’s double-digit loss to Denver. The Giants have a quick turnaround in Week 2 as they take on Washington on Thursday Night Football. It remains to be seen if Barkley’s workload will increase in New York’s second game or if it will be more of the same.
Odell Beckham Jr. (WR – CLE)
Before the Cleveland Browns took the field on Sunday, the team ruled Odell Beckham Jr. out after going through pre-game warmups. With Beckham returning from a torn ACL from last season — and with not much practice time in the offseason — the Browns are being cautious with their Pro Bowl wide receiver. Even when Beckham does return, I expect Cleveland to ease him into the offense until he looks comfortable on the field again. If Beckham is sidelined for another week, we saw rookie Anthony Schwartz catch three of his five targets for 69 yards on Sunday. Jarvis Landry should also see an uptick in targets in Week 2 against the Texans if Beckham can’t play.
Brandon Aiyuk (WR – SF)
We already knew that Brandon Aiyuk was dealing with a hamstring injury in the weeks leading up to San Francisco’s first game versus Detroit. However, it was apparent from the start of Week 1’s game that the 49ers are uncertain of his current role in the offense. Aiyuk failed to log a single target in Sunday’s game and barely saw the field. The more alarming development is that Trent Sherfield assumed the No. 2 spot at wide receiver and caught a touchdown. It’s apparent that Aiyuk’s hamstring injury, and apparently his declined play in training camp, has led to him losing his starting spot — at least for now. Deebo Samuel is the San Francisco wide receiver you want in fantasy right now.
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