Fantasy Football Injury Updates: Kyler Murray, Trevor Lawrence, Ezekiel Elliott (2021 Fantasy Football)
What a weird week it was in the NFL in Week 9. Quite a few of the teams considered to be Super Bowl contenders lost this week, with the Los Angeles Rams being the latest to lose on Sunday night to the Tennessee Titans, who were without Derrick Henry (RB – TEN). Injuries remained an unfortunate occurrence around the NFL at the halfway point of the season. The remaining weeks are crucial for fantasy football; here are the notable injuries within the past week and how we should handle them moving forward.
Kyler Murray (QB – ARI)
Kyler Murray came away with an ankle injury on Thursday Night Football in Week 8. The initial thought by the Arizona Cardinals was that Murray’s injury wasn’t going to cost him any time on the field. However, as the week progressed, the Cardinals altered their stance as Murray would be extremely limited in practice ahead of Sunday’s game with the San Francisco 49ers. After being a game-time decision, Murray would be ruled out, with Arizona realizing that there’s plenty of games to go, so risking an injury to their franchise quarterback wasn’t necessary. Colt McCoy (QB – ARI) replaced Murray in Week 9, but Murray should return in Week 10 versus the Carolina Panthers.
Trevor Lawrence (QB – JAC)
The Jacksonville Jaguars were able to achieve the massive upset of defeating the Buffalo Bills in Week 9. Trevor Lawrence exited early with an ankle injury during the contest, only for him to return to the game after C.J. Beathard (QB – JAX) replaced him for a few plays. The rookie signal-caller would be diagnosed with a low-ankle sprain after the game. We’ll have to wait and see if Lawrence misses any practice time ahead of Jacksonville’s upcoming matchup with the Indianapolis Colts in Week 10. Beathard will be in line to start for the Jaguars if the team elects to take a cautious approach with Lawrence.
Chase Edmonds (RB – ARI)
Injuries are beginning to mount up for the Arizona Cardinals, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Besides Murray and DeAndre Hopkins (WR – ARI), Chase Edmonds left Sunday’s game against the 49ers on the first series of the contest with an ankle injury. Edmonds would fail to return to the game, allowing James Conner (RB – ARI) to handle the majority of the workload for the Cardinals for the rest of the game. If the injury forces Edmonds out for any period, Conner would become a solid RB2 until Edmonds can return to action.
Ezekiel Elliott (RB – DAL)
It was an ugly showing for the Dallas Cowboys in Week 9 as they would fall to the Denver Broncos 30-16 at home. Ezekiel Elliott was on the sideline with his knee wrapped in the first half of the game. Elliott would return to the game, and he would even remain in the contest when the Cowboys were down 30-0 in the second half. When the practice week begins, it will be worth monitoring his status for Dallas. Even though Elliott could play through the injury, Tony Pollard (RB – DAL) would elevate to fringe RB1 level with Elliott missing time.
Damien Harris (RB – NE)
Damien Harris has been running the ball well for the New England Patriots this season, but week nine could leave his status questionable. Harris suffered a head injury in Sunday’s win over the Panthers, and he was unable to return to the contest. Rhamondre Stevenson (RB – NE) also left the game in the second half with a head injury. Brandon Bolden (RB – NE) would handle the majority of the backfield duties with Harris and Stevenson out of the game. So if Harris and Stevenson miss any games, Bolden may be worth a waiver wire add, especially with his usage in the passing game.
Devontae Booker (RB – NYG)
The New York Giants were able to take down the Las Vegas Raiders at home in Week 9, in large part due to the contributions from Devontae Booker. Booker, who is seeing an increased workload amid Saquon Barkley (RB – NYG)‘s absence, totaled 125 yards on 20 touches. Amid his productive outing, Booker would leave with a hip injury, leaving the bulk of the touches for Elijhaa Penny (RB – NYG). Following New York’s win, Booker exclaimed that he isn’t concerned with his hip issue. Seeing that Barkley is nearing a return for the Giants, Booker’s role in the offense will take a hit in the coming weeks. But until that happens, Booker is worth inserting in your lineups as an RB2 or flex play.
Zack Moss (RB – BUF)
The Bills had a forgettable performance in Week 9 versus the Jaguars, losing by 9-6 on the road. Zack Moss has been leading the backfield in touches in recent weeks, but he would appear in the medical tent due to a head injury. Moss will need to clear the league’s concussion protocol before returning to the field for the Bills. If Moss misses at least a week of action, Devin Singletary (RB – BUF) would see a massive boost in his usage in Week 10 against the New York Jets.
Sam Darnold (QB – CAR)
Sam Darnold would sustain a head injury in Week 8 for the Panthers in their victory over the Atlanta Falcons. While P.J. Walker (QB – CAR) would replace Darnold in Week 8, Darnold would return to practice late in the week, allowing him to start on Sunday versus the Patriots. Despite being able to play in Week 9, Darnold would mightily struggle against New England, throwing another three interceptions, increasing his season total to 11 interceptions. The question is whether the Panthers continue to lean on Darnold or bench the former first-round pick due to his struggles.
DeAndre Hopkins (ARI – WR)
Along with Murray, Hopkins was a game-time decision for the Cardinals in Week 9 against the 49ers. Hopkins would join Murray in being ruled out, but Arizona could still escape with an easy win over San Francisco despite being shorthanded. The All-Pro wideout reaggravated a hamstring injury in Week 8 against the Packers after inserting himself back in the game without informing Kliff Kingsbury. After getting a week off, Hopkins could make his return in Week 10 against the Panthers.
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