The NFL has been absolutely spectacular to start the year. It is giving us all the drama, heartbreak, and suspense that we can ask for. Unfortunately, it is also giving us a bunch of key injuries and testing the depth of our fantasy football rosters. With a lot of confusing news and guesses being thrown out there, I will help provide some guidance on the injury front. Welcome to the Week 3 Fantasy Football injury report!
Note: This injury report will be updated until the conclusion of Week 3. For the most current injury news and analysis, follow me on Twitter @SGPNFootballDoc!
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Justin Herbert (QB) Los Angeles Chargers
Damaged Rib Cartilage, Initial Injury: 9/15/22
Let’s start off this Week 3 injury report with arguably the most important player to his team. Los Angeles Chargers QB Justin Herbert went down after suffering a big hit in last week’s game. Herbert was able to return to the field after the injury and even led a late backdoor cover TD drive. However, after the game, it was found that Herbert is dealing with damage to his rib cartilage.
The cartilage around your ribs is meant to protect your rib bones and lungs. Although it is better to injure your cartilage than fracture a rib, this is still a very painful injury. Not only is it going to be painful every time Herbert rotates his torso too far or laughs too hard but this injury is going to take months to fully heal. There is little blood flow that gets to this cartilage which delays healing time. The good news is that as long as Herbert can tolerate the pain, he should be able to play. His Week 3 status is definitely in question and his practice status will have to be monitored. However, this should not be a long absence for the young Chargers QB.
Justin Herbert is on the field throwing passes. More than we saw him doing yesterday. #BoltUp pic.twitter.com/rKfUeJasue
— Bridget Condon (@BridgetCondon_) September 22, 2022
Monitor his practice status but if he’s active, he’s likely your best QB option rostered. – MONITOR
Michael Pittman (WR) Indianapolis Colts
Quad Strain, Initial Injury: 9/14/22
The Colts offense looked miserable in Week 2. Everyone in Indy is hoping their lead WR is off the injury report and on the field for Week 3. WR Michael Pittman was a late addition to the injury report last week after suffering a quadriceps strain in practice. This injury means that Pittman’s muscle on the front part of his upper leg is damaged. The quadriceps plays a big role in controlling a player’s dynamic stability which helps them cut and run routes.
Colts head coach Frank Reich is reportedly hopeful it will be a short-term injury but this will depend on how he tolerates practice. Muscle strain injuries are always a concern for reinjury due to the healing muscle not being as strong as normal muscle. I would expect Pittman to still be limited this week if he does play. However, if he is on the field I expect him to still see a lot of targets due to the lack of playmakers amongst Colt’s pass catchers.
Monitor his practice status and expect Pittman to be limited if he does play. – MONITOR
Michael Gallup (WR) Dallas Cowboys
ACL tear, Initial Injury: 1/2/2022
The Dallas Cowboys have been hit with some unexpected bad news on the injury front this off-season. After taking some hits to their WR group and Oline, the Cowboys figured they would have to deal with their WR2 being out to start the season. However, Dallas WR Michael Gallup may not be sidelined as long as originally expected. Suffering an ACL tear near the end of a season almost guarantees you will miss some games the following year. While I still think he will miss some time, the signs out of Cowboys camp point to this being less than originally expected.
An ACL tear typically takes NFL players around 11.5 months to fully recover and return to playing. Gallup will only be 9 months in his recovery once Week 3 hits. Earlier in the offseason, I was expecting him to miss at least the first four to six games. It seems Dallas has other ideas, as Gallup has surprisingly been moved off the PUP to start the season after passing his physical.
The Cowboys may finally receive some positive news on the injury report for Week 3. WR Michael Gallup is expected to go through a “full slate of reps” this week in hopes of making his return Monday night. Although I would expect him to be limited some this first week, Gallup is a great option to snag off any waiver wires. He will immediately become a top option in an offense in search of playmakers. For Week 3 specifically, Dallas WR Noah Brown may be the better option due to his chemistry with backup QB Cooper Rush.
Gallup is expected to return this week and could be a nice waiver wire adds for the future. – ADD IF AVAILABLE/SIT THIS WEEK
Gabriel Davis (WR) Buffalo Bills
Ankle Injury, Initial Injury: 9/17/22
Another surprise late addition to the injury report was Bills WR Gabriel Davis. Davis landed on the injury report for Saturday’s practice as “limited” after suffering a non-contact ankle sprain in practice. Although there has been no reports disclosing the type of ankle sprain, since Davis was questionable last week, it is likely a low ankle sprain. This type of sprain has a much better prognosis and quicker recovery time than the dreaded high ankle sprain.
A low ankle sprain refers to damage to the lateral ankle ligaments, due to the foot rolling inwards. This typically happens when a player tries to make a cut and their ankle is in an unstable position. The recovery timeline for a Grade 1 (mild injury) is 1-3 weeks, while a Grade 2 (moderate injury) is 3-6 weeks. Due to Davis even having a chance of playing only two days after injuring his ankle, he is likely dealing with a Grade 1 ankle sprain. His cutting and balance ability will be tested but he does have a good chance to play this week.
Monitor Davis’ practice status but this injury has a short recovery period. – MONITOR
Trey Lance (QB) San Francisco 49ers
Broken Ankle, Initial Injury: 9/18/22
Now time for the most unfortunate story on this Week 3 injury report. Second-year San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance suffered a gruesome injury against Seattle last week. He suffered an ankle fracture and had ligament damage to the ankle. He had season-ending surgery this week and will miss the remainder of the season. Just a brutal blow for the young QB who has played very few games in the last few years. Lance will be on track to return to the field next year but his 2022 season is over.
Lance is out for the year with an ankle fracture. – DROP
James Conner (RB) Arizona Cardinals
Ankle Injury, Initial Injury: 9/18/22
Arizona Cardinals RB James Connor brings a bit of mystery to the Week 3 injury report. What we do know is that Conner injured his ankle and was forced to leave last week’s game in the second half. The severity and type of ankle injury have not been disclosed. After not practicing Wednesday, Conner was spotted at practice on Thursday this week. His level of participation in practice is unknown at this time but the fact he is out there so soon means he is likely dealing with a low ankle injury. This would be a much better case than a high ankle sprain. Connor would be expected to be back either this week or next week with a mild low ankle sprain as believed. His practice status this week will give us a better idea of his availability and ability come Sunday.
Conner is dealing with an ankle injury and is questionable for this week. – MONITOR
Dalton Schultz (TE) Dallas Cowboys
PCL Strain, Initial Injury: 9/18/22
The Dallas Cowboys find themselves as frequent flyers on this Week 3 injury report. Despite pulling out a shocking win versus Cincinnati last week, it wasn’t all good news for Dallas. Starting TE Dalton Schultz suffered a knee injury late in the game last week and was unavailable for their last drive. The injury has been diagnosed as a PCL strain. This refers to damage to one of the ligaments in your knee that help to stabilize the knee especially when decelerating and cutting.
Schultz is seen as questionable for this week’s game and the injury is not expected to bring him a long absence. He is likely dealing with some mild to moderate damage to the ligament that can take about 2-4 weeks to heal. Schultz is participating in practice and hopes to progress to full participation and play on Monday night. He would not be 100% if he plays this week but monitors his practice status. Two full participation in practice would increase my confidence level in him.
Schultz is questionable this week and his practice progression will determine if he plays. – MONITOR
Keenan Allen (WR) Los Angeles Chargers
Hamstring Strain, Initial Injury: 9/11/2022
Chargers reliable WR Keenan Allen had to exit the game in Week 1 with a hamstring injury. The severity of the injury is still unknown but with the quick turn around he has already been ruled out for Thursday night. A hamstring strain refers to damage (tear) to the muscle in the back of the upper leg. Your hamstring plays a big role in generating the power in your legs that allows you to jump and sprint. Allen will need to be careful in his recovery as these injuries tend to be burdensome due to their high reinjury rate. His practice status next week will give us a better idea of a recovery timeline.
Allen practiced for the first time on Wednesday since his hamstring injury. It was limited participation and Allen reportedly said he’s “got a shot” to play this week. We will have to see how his hamstring responds to the practice load and his practice status in the next few days will present a clearer picture. I would still be planning for another option at WR over Allen for this week.
Allen returned to practice but is still questionable for Week 3. – MONITOR
Chris Godwin (WR) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Hamstring Strain, Initial Injury: 9/11/2022
The good news for Bucs WR Chris Godwin is that his surgically repaired ACL seems to hold up well in Week 1. He completed a fast recovery and was productive in the first half of the game. However, when players come back from a significant injury in a shorter period of time, this increases the likelihood of suffering another injury. Godwin was ruled out of the second half with a hamstring injury of which the severity is currently unknown. What we do know is he didn’t practice Wednesday this week and I’m not sure the Bucs will want to rush him back from a second injury. With these injuries often becoming reinjured and suffering more damage, it might be best if Godwin is not in the lineup this week.
Although the severity of the injury has not been announced by the team, Godwin’s lack of practice is concerning. To this point, he has not participated in practice in any fashion since the injury. Again, hamstring injuries are not something to rush but mild injuries typically trial a limited practice in 1-2 weeks post-injury. Continue to monitor the Tampa Bay WR’s practice status but the longer he is out, the more I am concerned.
Godwin is dealing with a hamstring injury and has not returned to practice. – SIT
George Kittle (TE) San Francisco 49ers
Groin Injury, Initial Injury: 9/5/2022
San Francisco’s star TE George Kittle started off Week 1 in the worst way. He injured his groin at practice last Monday and was unable to practice last week. Both the nature of the injury and his practice status is very concerning for his early season availability. Groin injuries refer to an injury to the muscles connected to a player’s pelvis (inner hip or core). These injuries carry high reinjury risks and are difficult to rehab. It severely hampers a player’s ability to run routes and shrinks their catch radius.
There is more optimism on the injury report for Kittle heading into Week 3. He returned to practice in a limited fashion last week and has continued limited practices early this week. This is frustrating for fantasy managers but groin injuries can not be rushed and take time to recover. It is typical for a player to try to return too soon and then have it derail their season. Kittle still has a few more chances to bump up to a full practice participation and should not be trusted in your lineup until then.
Kittle has returned to practice but only in a limited fashion to this point. – MONITOR
JK Dobbins (RB) Baltimore Ravens
ACL Tear, Initial Injury: 8/28/2021
JK Dobbins has received A LOT of hype this offseason, particularly from the fantasy football community. I am not among those simply expecting Dobbins to come back and have an amazing year. I actually think the Ravens backfield will be a headache for fantasy owners this season with a good Oline and stable of capable RBs. Dobbins suffered not only an ACL tear but also damage to his LCL ligament. Both ligaments serve to stabilize the knee in different planes of motion, and multi-ligament injuries tend to complicate recovery. More damage to the knee comes with more concern for the player to return to their pre-injury playing level quickly.
It appears my hypothesis has come true as Dobbins has been one of the most frustrating cases on this Week 3 injury report. However, a return to the field should be coming soon. For the first time since his ACL tear last season, Dobbins was a full participant in practice last week. Although he was made inactive by the team for Week 2, he has continued full practice participation this week. I think the Ravens are trying to make sure he is 100% ready physically and mentally before putting him on the field. It’s a good move but at this point, Baltimore is still keeping everyone in the dark about Dobbins’s status for Week 3.
Dobbins is practicing fully but still has not been declared game ready by the team. – MONITOR
A quick reminder of the impact of Fantasy Football players who will be suspended during the 2022 NFL season.