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Fantasy Football Injury Updates: DeAndre Hopkins, James Robinson, Jameis Winston (2021 Fantasy Football)

by Skyler Carlin | Featured Writer
Nov 1, 2021
Jameis Winston

We are nearing the halfway point in the 2021 NFL season, and injuries, unfortunately, remain a constant around the NFL. With Halloween now behind us, and the holiday season approaching us, my on early Christmas wish is for no more injuries to occur for the rest of the season. When it comes to fantasy football, it’s vital to pay close attention to injuries to try to gain an edge over our opponents. Following an action-packed football weekend, here are injury updates from Week 8 and how we should manage each injury situation.

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New Injuries

Sam Darnold (QB – CAR)
The Carolina Panthers were able to escape with a win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, but Sam Darnold made an early exit for the second straight week. After leaving Week 7 due to being benched by Matt Rhule, Darnold took a hit to the head against the Falcons, forcing him to be placed in the league’s concussion protocol. Darnold was unable to return as P.J. Walker would replace the former first-round pick in the fourth quarter. For Darnold to be able to suit up in Week 9, he’ll need to make enough progress to clear the NFL’s concussion protocol. Carolina will host the New England Patriots next Sunday.

Jameis Winston (QB – NO)
The New Orleans Saints were already down Taysom Hill, and now Jameis Winston could be set to miss time for them under center. In the first half of Sunday’s showdown with his former team in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Winston scrambled out of the pocket on a third down. While being tackled by the arm sleeve — which was called a horse collar — Winston twisted his leg awkwardly, causing him to injure his knee. Winston was carted off of the field and would not return to the game. Trevor Siemian would fill in for Winston in Week 8. Following the game, Sean Payton considered Winston’s knee injury ‘significant,’ meaning that it could be a potentially season-ending injury.

James Robinson (RB – JAC)
It was another loss for the Jacksonville Jaguars, who saw their star running back leave the game in the first half. James Robinson came up limping after running into something on the sideline versus the Seattle Seahawks. Robinson would be diagnosed with an ankle ailment, and he would fail to return to the game. Jacksonville could have elected to keep Robinson sidelined due to the lopsided score. But if Robinson is prompted to miss any time, Carlos Hyde would be the next man up for the Jaguars.

Damien Williams (RB – CHI)
The Chicago Bears are already without David Montgomery in the backfield, and Damien Williams left Sunday’s game early. Williams left the game with a knee injury and was unable to return. Rookie Khalil Herbert has been playing well in recent weeks amid the injuries the Bears have endured at the running back position. Herbert had another semi-productive game in Week 8 against the San Francisco 49ers, so until Montgomery returns, it appears it will be Herbert’s job moving forward. We’ll know later in the week whether Montgomery or Williams will be able to rejoin the backfield ahead of next Monday night’s game versus the Pittsburgh Steelers.

DeAndre Hopkins (WR – ARI)
Entering Thursday night’s game against the Green Bay Packers, DeAndre Hopkins failed to log a practice, but he still managed to suit up for the Arizona Cardinals. During Arizona’s first loss of the season, Hopkins would reaggravate the hamstring injury that caused him to miss practice. To the dismay of Kliff Kingsbury, Hopkins re-entered the game himself without the coaching staff giving him the green light. At the least, Hopkins will have extra time to get healthy ahead of a Week 9 matchup with the 49ers.

Rob Gronkowski (TE – TB)
The Buccaneers were without Antonio Brown on Sunday, but they got Rob Gronkowski back on the field following a four-game absence. However, the future Hall of Famer would leave Sunday’s game against the Saints early with back spasms. It’s not a positive sign to see Gronkowski get hurt again in his first action since Week 3. That being said, the Buccaneers do have their bye week in Week 9, allowing the veteran tight end to get healthy moving forward. If Gronkowski is still injured coming out of the bye week, then O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate would see expanded roles in the offense.

Injury Updates

Dak Prescott (QB – DAL)
Before the Dallas Cowboys had their bye week in Week 7, Dak Prescott led the team to a win over the Patriots. Prescott delivered a game-winning touchdown pass to CeeDee Lamb to give the Cowboys a 5-1 record. During the pass to Lamb, Prescott suffered a calf strain, and he would be limited in practice in Week 8. With Dallas having a commanding lead in the NFC East, and plenty of season to go, Prescott was held out in Week 8 against the Minnesota Vikings. Despite Prescott’s absence, Cooper Rush was able to help the Cowboys extend their record to 6-1 on the season. Seeing that Prescott was very close to playing in Week 8, I’d expect him to be back in Week 9 versus the Denver Broncos.

Zach Wilson (QB – NYJ)
Zach Wilson was unable to finish last week’s game versus the Patriots with a knee ailment. The good news for the rookie signal-caller is that the New York Jets didn’t place him on injured reserve, so he won’t need to miss a minimum of three weeks. On the other hand, Mike White – Wilson’s backup – performed exceptionally well in Week 8 en route to throwing for 405 yards and three touchdowns to defeat the Cincinnati Bengals. Given White’s performance on Sunday and New York’s current record, they won’t rush Wilson back this season.

Miles Sanders (RB – PHI)
Unlike Wilson, Miles Sanders was placed on injured reserve for the Philadelphia Eagles. Sanders was injured in Week 7 and ceded touches to Boston Scott and Kenneth Gainwell upon his absence. Everyone (including myself) hoped to see Gainwell earn the majority of the touches, especially with his receiving ability. On the contrary, Gainwell would have a quiet game in Week 8 while Scott and Jordan Howard combined for 117 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns against the Detroit Lions. With Nick Sirianni coaching the Eagles, it will be a headache trying to dissect Philadelphia’s backfield, even when Sanders returns to the field.

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Skyler Carlin is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Skyler, check out his archive and follow him @skyler_carlin.

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