Fantasy Football Injury Updates: Joe Mixon, Dalvin Cook, David Montgomery (2021 Fantasy Football)
Is there any way the NFL can just turn injuries off? We continue to see injuries happen to notable players across the league, and Week 4 sadly wasn’t an exception. There were multiple running backs to sustain injuries over the last week of football. In addition to a few starting running backs, a couple of quarterbacks suffered injuries on Sunday. Amid all of the injuries that happened in Week 4 of the 2021 NFL season, let’s look at the information we know about each ailment and how we should adjust in fantasy football.
Jimmy Garoppolo (QB – SF)
The Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers went into halftime on Sunday tied at seven with little offense from either side. It was announced in the second half that rookie Trey Lance would be replacing Jimmy Garoppolo for the 49ers. While some believed it was due to the uninspiring play from Garoppolo, San Francisco shared that the veteran quarterback had a calf injury that prevented him from starting in the second half. In the post-game press conference, Garoppolo iterated that he believes his calf injury will only keep him out a ‘couple of weeks.’ So unless Garoppolo’s diagnosis is wrong, Lance will make his first career start in Week 5 versus the Arizona Cardinals.
Teddy Bridgewater (QB – DEN)
Teddy Bridgewater was under duress against the Baltimore Ravens in the first half of Sunday’s contest. Following a big hit he took on the Denver Broncos’ final drive of the first half, it was reported that Bridgewater was being evaluated for a concussion during halftime. Drew Lock would replace Bridgewater in the second half, putting him in a rough position in his first action of the season. Bridgewater was ruled out for the rest of the game in the second half, meaning that he will need to clear concussion protocol before returning in Week 5. The offensive weapons on the Broncos would see a downgrade in production if Lock were to be the starter in Denver.
Joe Mixon (RB – CIN)
On Thursday Night Football, it was a battle of the cats, with the Cincinnati Bengals squeaking out a narrow win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Joe Mixon played a major role in Cincinnati securing a victory, scoring a rushing touchdown in the second half. On the Bengals’ final drive of the game, Mixon wasn’t present on the field due to what was described as an ankle injury by Zac Taylor. Taylor didn’t seem overly concerned with Mixon’s ankle, which is positive news entering Week 5. It will be important to monitor Mixon’s practice status in the coming days. Chris Evans and Semaje Perine will likely split the backfield workload if Mixon is forced to miss any time.
Dalvin Cook (RB – MIN)
People with Dalvin Cook in fantasy football were elated to hear that the All-Pro running back would be returning to the field after missing Week 3 for the Minnesota Vikings. While it was great to see him return, Cook would exit Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns due to an ankle ailment. Even though Cook would return to the game in the fourth quarter, it’s far from ideal to see him suffer another injury in his first week back on the field. Given Cook’s potential of re-injury, it will be important to keep tabs on his practice status leading up to Week 5. Alexander Mattison will be in line for the majority of the backfield touches if Cook is sidelined again.
David Montgomery (RB – CHI)
The offense of the Chicago Bears showed signs of life in Week 4, with Justin Fields making his second career start against the Detroit Lions. While Fields performed admirably better than he did in Week 3, it was David Montgomery that was causing fits for Detroit’s defense. In the second half of Chicago’s win over their division rivals, Montgomery would be taken to the locker room for what looked like a knee injury. Montgomery was ruled out of the game in the fourth quarter, and Matt Nagy was unable to give an update on Montgomery’s injury after the game concluded. Damien Williams, Montgomery’s backup, also suffered an injury on Sunday, so we will need to pay attention to any updates that happen early in the week.
Amari Cooper (WR – DAL)
The Dallas Cowboys suffered an injury scare early in their win over the Carolina Panthers in Week 4. Amari Cooper exited with a hamstring ailment and was listed as questionable to return. However, Cooper would return to the game and finish with three receptions, 69 yards, and a touchdown. Seeing that Cooper could return and be his usual self is a positive sign for the veteran wideout. At the same time, with it being a hamstring injury, we will want to monitor Cooper throughout the week in practice.
Will Fuller (WR – MIA)
Will Fuller made his debut for the Miami Dolphins in Week 3 versus the Las Vegas Raiders. Fuller had another quiet outing in his second game with the Dolphins before exiting with a hand injury. Fuller was brought in to be a deep threat for the Dolphins, but injuries to the offense in Miami have prevented him from performing as he did a season ago for the Houston Texans. Jaylen Waddle, DeVante Parker, and Mike Gesicki would see slight boosts in fantasy football if Fuller misses any time for the Dolphins.
Logan Thomas (TE – WAS)
The Washington Football Team was able to get Curtis Samuel back on the field in Week 4, but they may be losing another one of their weapons. Early in Sunday’s win over the Atlanta Falcons, Logan Thomas was visibly frustrated as he went to the sideline after a play in the first quarter. Thomas would quickly be ruled out for the rest of the game with a hamstring injury. Hamstring injuries can be tricky for players as they are easy to aggravate. We will get a better grasp on whether or not Thomas plays in Week 5 by seeing if he practices in any fashion in the upcoming week.
Andy Dalton (QB – CHI)
Fields has started in two straight games for the Bears due to Andy Dalton being sidelined with a knee injury. While Fields looked much better than he did in Week 3 in Week 4, Nagy has remained adamant about Dalton being the starter in Chicago if he’s healthy. Nagy said that before Fields showed poise in Week 4 against the Lions, so that could be subject to change. Dalton was inactive in Week 4, but if he makes progress towards returning to the field this week, we could see an interesting decision made by the Bears. For fantasy purposes, we saw what Darnell Mooney and Allen Robinson‘s value could be with Fields under center.
Christian McCaffrey (RB – CAR)
The offense of the Panthers still goes through Christian McCaffrey, but he sustained a hamstring injury in Week 3 against the Texans. McCaffrey was unable to play in Week 4 as Carolina would suffer their first loss of the season to Dallas. There’s a chance that McCaffrey can return in Week 5, but a more likely outcome seems like a return in Week 6. At the very least, McCaffrey wasn’t placed on injured reserve, which is a good sign for a near return to the field. Chuba Hubbard would likely see the bulk of the backfield touches in Week 5 if McCaffrey is in street clothes for the second consecutive week.
A.J. Brown/Julio Jones (WR – TEN)
It was a nightmare-ish week for the Tennessee Titans in Week 4. Not only did A.J. Brown go down with an injury in Week 3 that caused him to miss Sunday’s game versus the New York Jets, but Julio Jones would also appear on the injury report with a leg injury that would prevent him from playing. With a shorthanded receiving corps, the Titans would fall to the Jets in overtime, giving New York their first win of the season. While Brown could miss more games, it will be interesting to see if Jones can return to the field in Week 5. Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, Chester Rogers, and Josh Reynolds would see expanded roles in the passing game if Brown/Jones are unable to suit up for a second straight week.
Sterling Shepard/Darius Slayton (WR – NYG)
As for the other New York team, the New York Giants were able to escape with an overtime win over the New Orleans Saints in Week 4 despite being undermanned at wide receiver. Both Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton were out with hamstring injuries. Neither of them were placed on injured reserve, meaning that their returns could happen sooner rather than later. The Giants hope to have both Shepard and Slayton back in the offense in Week 5 against their NFC East foes in the Dallas Cowboys. If Shepard and Slayton are out again, Kadarius Toney, John Ross, and Evan Engram would see boosts in the aerial attack.
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