Fantasy Football Injury Updates: Patrick Mahomes, Darren Waller, Josh Jacobs (2021 Fantasy Football)
The 2021 NFL season is flying by as we are almost done with the first seven weeks of the regular season already. We’re beginning to see the contenders separate themselves from the pretenders as the season progresses. Unfortunately, injuries remain a constant across the league. With quite a few injuries taking place to notable players in Week 7, here is how we should handle each situation in fantasy football.
Patrick Mahomes (QB – KC)
The Kansas City Chiefs are an absolute mess on both sides of the ball, falling to 3-4 on the season following a loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 7. We’ve seen the defense struggle throughout the season, but it was the offense that was dreadful on Sunday as Patrick Mahomes exited in the fourth quarter with an apparent head injury. Mahomes took a knee to the helmet after scrambling out of the pocket. After the game concluded, Andy Reid shared that Mahomes cleared the concussion protocol and he’ll be fine heading into Week 8.
Zach Wilson (QB – NYJ)
Early in the first half of Sunday’s lopsided loss to the New England Patriots, Zach Wilson went down with a knee injury. Wilson was originally given a questionable tag to return to the game, but with the New York Jets down by plenty of points, the Jets ruled him out to begin the second half. Mike White entered the game in relief of Wilson. The rookie signal-caller will undergo an MRI on Monday to see the extent of his knee injury. It’s already been tough to trust the weapons on the Jets in fantasy football, so an injury to Wilson likely wouldn’t change their value much moving forward.
Josh Jacobs (RB – LV)
Josh Jacobs was on his way to a decent game versus the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday before suffering a chest injury. At the beginning of the second half, Jacobs was ruled out for the rest of the game. Jacobs had six attempts for 29 yards and a score, along with three receptions for 39 yards. Kenyan Drake saw the bulk of the backfield work with Jacobs ruled out, with Jalen Richard getting minimal snaps behind Drake. At the least, the Raiders believe Jacobs avoided a serious injury. If Jacobs were to miss any time for the Las Vegas Raiders, Drake becomes an RB2/flex option until Jacobs is able to return, especially given Drake’s usage in the passing game.
Miles Sanders (RB – PHI)
What was said about Jacobs could be said about Miles Sanders. Sanders had six carries for 30 yards before leaving with an ankle ailment in the first half. Despite being listed as questionable to return, Sanders would be ruled out to begin the second half. Kenneth Gainwell was an increased role once Sanders exited the game, and he would be the running back to have on the Eagles if Sanders is forced to miss time.
Darren Waller (TE – LV)
Just days before Sunday, Darren Waller popped up on the injury report for the Raiders due to reportedly suffering an injury on Friday in practice. Waller is dealing with an ankle injury and after going through pre-game warmups on Sunday, it was determined that he wouldn’t be able to suit up. Foster Moreau saw increased playing time with Waller sidelined for Las Vegas. The Raiders have a bye week in Week 8, so Waller will have an extra week to get healthy. But if Waller is unable to return following the bye week, then Moreau would be a viable waiver wire option if you are in need of aid at tight end.
Jonnu Smith (TE – NE)
The Patriots had no trouble taking care of business versus the Jets in Week 7, defeating them 54-13 at home. While New England was rolling on offense, Jonnu Smith left the game with a shoulder injury. Smith would be ruled out by the Patriots in the second half. New England could have kept him out of the game due to the massive lead they possessed. Hunter Henry has been seeing his role increase for the Patriots in recent weeks, giving Smith a smaller role. People that had confidence in Smith emerging as a fantasy star this season (including myself) have been disappointed by the results thus far.
Baker Mayfield (QB – CLE)
Since early in the season, Baker Mayfield has been playing through a partially torn labrum. Mayfield reaggravated his labrum in Week 6 against the Arizona Cardinals after taking a hit. Due to the extent of the injury, Mayfield was inactive for the Cleveland Browns in their win over the Denver Broncos on Thursday Night Football. Besides his labrum injury, it was discovered that Mayfield also has a broken bone in his shoulder. It remains to be seen if Mayfield can return to the field in Week 8 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Case Keenum would get his second consecutive start if the Browns deem Mayfield unfit to play with the extent of his shoulder ailment.
Russell Wilson (QB – SEA)
Russell Wilson sustained a finger injury in Week 5 against the Los Angeles Rams after hitting his hand. Wilson underwent surgery and was placed on injured reserve, which will force him to miss a minimum of three weeks. It is reported that Wilson has his sights on returning in Week 10 following a bye week for the Seattle Seahawks. The veteran quarterback of the Seahawks had the pin removed from his finger this past week, putting him on track to achieve his goal of playing as soon as Week 10. Geno Smith will continue to replace Wilson under center in Seattle until Wilson gets the green light to rejoin the starting offense.
Kareem Hunt (RB – CLE)
The Browns are dealing with a slew of injuries, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Nick Chubb has been dealing with a calf injury in recent weeks, causing him to miss two straight games for Cleveland. In relief of Chubb in Week 6, Hunt suffered a calf injury himself that forced him to be carted off of the field. Hunt was placed on injured reserve, which means he will miss at least three games with the injury. D’Ernest Johnson played well in place of Hunt in Week 7 against the Broncos. Johnson would be a useful fill-in option at running back if Chubb is unable to return in Week 8. However, if Chubb can return to action, then Johnson could see a minimal role in the offense moving forward.
Odell Beckham Jr. (WR – CLE)
Ahead of their Thursday night win over the Broncos, the Browns received good news with Jarvis Landry as he was able to return from a stint on injured reserve. Aside from Landry, Odell Beckham Jr. was battling through a shoulder injury that forced him to be listed as questionable for Week 7. Beckham would be able to show enough in pre-game warmups to give it a go, but he would reaggravate his shoulder during the game. The electric wideout would return to the game after exiting for a brief time, so it doesn’t appear he worsened his shoulder ailment. It will be worth keeping an eye on Beckham throughout the week to see if he appears on the injury report again.
Whether you’re new to fantasy football or a seasoned pro, our Fantasy Football 101: Strategy Tips & Advice page is for you. You can get started with Starting Your Own Fantasy Football League or head to a more advanced strategy – like What is the Right Amount of Risk to Absorb on Draft Day? – to learn more.