The NFL is in full swing for this 2022 season, meaning the injuries are starting to roll in. A lot of players are starting to get nicks and bruises as they adjust to playing live games again. This article is going to focus on fantasy-relevant players whose availability and playing ability are in jeopardy this week. Knowing when to sit a player and when to start them when they have that dreaded “Q” by their name, is what separates wins from losses. Welcome to the Week 4 Fantasy Football Injury Report!
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Sterling Shepard (WR) New York Giants
ACL Tear, Initial Injury: 9/26/2022
The Week 4 injury report starts off with some brutal news for the New York Giants. This organization has seemingly been cursed by bad breaks on the injury front and this hasn’t stopped this season. The longest tenured player on the team, Sterling Shepard, will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. Your heart goes out to player like Shepard. He has battled injuries his whole career and just came back from an Achilles tear last season. As the primary stabilizer in your knee, a complete tear of the ACL takes on average 11.6 months for recovery.
Shepard is OUT the rest of the season and will look to return in 2023. – DROP
Tua Tagovailoa (QB) Miami Dolphins
Back/Ankle Injuries, Initial Injury: 9/25/2022
Arguably the most important injury on this Week 4 report is that of Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa. At this point, you’ve likely seen the play where Tua appeared to suffer a head injury and stumble while getting to his feet. The initial assumption was he was dealing with a concussion. However, the team has since reported he is dealing with a back and ankle injuries. Tua was ultimately able to return after his injury last week, only missing one drive. The exact severity and nature of the injuries has not been disclosed but it is clear that the QB is banged up heading into Week 4.
The Dolphins have the disadvantage of having a short week as they play the Bengals on Thursday night. Miami QB Tuagovalioa is officially listed as questionable for the game after logging two limited participations in practice. More reports have focused on his back injury which explain the injury is not only painful but is affecting his functional ability. He needs to be able to move his back with basically all football movements, especially when rotating his body when throwing the ball. According to Tua, he is planning on being available for this week but he will definitely be limited to some capacity. I don’t think the risk is worth the reward in starting Tua on your team this week.
Tua is dealing with a few nagging injuries that will limit his playing ability on Thursday. – SIT
Jaylen Waddle (WR) Miami Dolphins
Groin Strain, Initial Injury: 9/25/2022
The Miami Dolphins have their QB1 and WR1 (in terms of stats), on the Week 4 injury report. Although it was not made obvious during the game, WR Jaylen Waddle picked up a groin injury last week despite leading the team in receiving yards. The fact that he was able to continue playing suggests that the injury is minor in nature. A groin strain refers to damage to the muscles of the inner thigh. This could involve abdominal muscles, hip muscles, or both. The typical timeline for a Grade 1 (mild damage) injury is 2-3 weeks.
Waddle is being listed as questionable for this Thursday’s game as he participated in two limited practices to end the week. A groin injury affects a player’s ability to quickly change direction and rotate their body for a larger catch radius. Waddle’s status will have to be monitored up until kickoff to see if he is active for this week’s game. The injury and uncertainty at the Dolphins QB position this game make this a tough decision. Waddle has been extremely productive this season and if active should still see a lot of targets. However, it is unlikely that Waddle will be able to be as explosive as he usually is, which is what makes him a special talent.
Waddle is dealing with a mild groin injury and his game status is up in the air. – MONITOR
David Montgomery (RB) Chicago Bears
Knee and Ankle Injury, Initial Injury: 9/25/2022
The Chicago Bears enjoyed a nice win over the Texans last week but did see their starting RB exit the game with an injury. Not much clarity has been provided on Montgomery’s injury. However, we do know he is dealing with knee and ankle injuries and the initial thought is it is not season threatening. Montgomery suffered the injuries in the first quarter and was unable to return to the game. Back up RB Khalil Herbert looked very impressive filling in for Montgomery and should be rostered in all leagues if he isn’t already. Bear’s starting RB Montgomery began the week not participating in practice on Wednesday.
Montgomery is not practicing yet this week and his Week 4 status is up in the air. – MONITOR
Dalvin Cook (RB) Minnesota Vikings
Shoulder Injury, Initial Injury: 9/25/2022
Vikings star RB Dalvin Cook is one of the best backs in the league when healthy. Unfortunately, staying healthy has been difficult for him. Cook was ruled out against the Lions in the fourth quarter of last week’s game. Cook reportedly suffered a dislocated shoulder which is an injury that occurs when the shoulder bone is forced out of it socket. The RB has an unrepaired labral tear, which leads to dislocations as the labrum serves to protect the shoulder joint from excessive movement.
The hope moving forward is that Cook will be able to wear a shoulder harness, and continue playing this season. However, back up RB Alexander Mattison should be absolutely picked up in every league. Due to the labrum already being damaged, this leads to a higher likelihood of another shoulder dislocation and the harness can not 100% prevent this. Cook also began the week not participating in Wednesday’s practice.
Cook dislocated his shoulder and the hope is for him to play with a harness. There is some risk here and Mattison should be on your bench if you have Cook. – MONITOR
Mac Jones (QB) New England Patriots
High Ankle Sprain, Initial Injury: 9/25/2022
New England fans will not be receiving much good news on this Week 4 injury report. Second-year QB Mac Jones left the game against Baltimore late in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury. Unfortunately for him, he suffered a high ankle sprain as opposed to a less severe and more common low ankle sprain. This injury refers to damage to ligaments (syndesmosis) connecting the lower leg bones above the ankle. High ankle sprains require more force in order to occur as opposed to low ankle sprains. This higher level of force equates to more damage being done to the ankle and a longer recovery window needed. Although the initial thought was Jones would be sidelined multiple weeks, the team has not ruled him out yet for this week.
The ligaments that make up your high ankle play a big role in stabilizing your leg during movement. Additionally, these ligaments take a good amount of time to heal when injured with Grade 1 (mild damage) sprains taking 4-6 weeks to recover. I do not expect Jones to be able to play in this game and to be limited for a few weeks. Patriots QB Brian Hoyer will be the starter in Jones’ absence. I would not recommend either QB to be anywhere near your fantasy roster.
Jones is dealing with a high ankle sprain which typically sidelines players for at least a month. -MONITOR/SIT
Michael Thomas (WR) New Orleans Saints
Foot Injury, Initial Injury: 9/25/2022
It appears Saints WR Michael Thomas couldn’t stay away from the injury report as he returns for Week 4. Thomas suffered a foot injury last week and was ultimately sidelined for the rest of the game because of it. There have not been any reports on the exact nature of the injury but the belief is it is not a major injury. With all this mystery surrounding the injury, what we do know is that Thomas was not a participant in practice on Wednesday to start the week. This is not a good start for his availability this week but we will need more details on his injury before the picture becomes clearer.
Thomas is dealing with an undisclosed foot injury that is keeping him out of practice. – MONITOR
D’Andre Swift (RB) Detroit Lions
Shoulder Injury, Initial Injury: 9/25/2022
The Lions not only suffered a deflating loss at the end of their game last week, but they also lost their starting RB to injury. RB D’Andre Swift reportedly suffered a shoulder sprain that will likely lead to him missing time. There has been no indication on the exact nature and severity of the injury but it is clearly serious enough for the team to be considering a multiple week absence. Swift’s practice status will give us a better indication of exactly how long he will be out due to this shoulder injury. Lions RB Jamaal Williams seems poised to see an increased role this week.
Lions’ HC Dan Campbell said today that RB D’Andre Swift could possibly benefit by taking the next two weeks off to help his shoulder heal, then return after Detroit’s bye to play Oct. 23 against Dallas.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 26, 2022
Swift injured his shoulder and will likely be forced to miss time. – 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. 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 Week 4 injury report may finally include the long-awaited return of Dallas WR Michael Gallup to the field. Gallup went through a “full slate of reps” last week in hopes of making his return Monday night. He was ultimately made inactive after a pregame warmup but his return to full practice last week is a great sign. If he is able to continue with full participation in practice, he should make his debut this week. I think Gallup will get some good opportunities in this Dallas offense, but it may take some time to get on the page with current Cowboys QB Cooper Rush.
Gallup is expected to return this week and should have a productive role in this offense. I would not expect him to be very productive right away in his return. – MONITOR
Dalton Schultz (TE) Dallas Cowboys
PCL Strain, Initial Injury: 9/18/2022
Here is another Cowboy looking to make his return to the field on the Week 4 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 Week 2 and was unavailable for their last drive. The injury has been diagnosed as a PCL strain. This refers to damage to one of the stabilizing ligaments in your knee that especially help when decelerating and cutting.
Schultz’s injury is not expected to bring him a long absence and this was evident in him having a chance to play last week. Ultimately, the team decided to make him inactive following a pregame warm up. He is likely dealing with some mild to moderate damage to the ligament that can take about 2-4 weeks to heal. The fact that Schultz was participating in practice last week already, makes it likely he should continue to progress this week. If the TE is able to continue his practice participation, I would feel confident enough to start him this week.
After being inactive last week despite practicing, Shultz is on a positive trajectory to be in the lineup for Week 4. – MONITOR/START
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 he was quickly ruled out Week 2. 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 last Wednesday since his hamstring injury. After logging two limited practices, he was held out of practice last Friday and ultimately inactive for Week 3. His apparent regression in practice status is worrisome but the fact he returned for another limited practice this Wednesday is a better sign. At this point, Allen will need to string together a few practices in a row and have a full participation before you should roster him. Hamstring injuries can quickly go from bad to worse if a player tries to return too quickly. We will have to monitor how his hamstring responds to the practice reps.
Allen returned to practice but is still questionable for Week 4. – 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. 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.
The Tampa Bay WR finally has had a status change for the team’s Week 4 injury report. Godwin returned to practice in a limited fashion on Wednesday, his first practice since the injury. This a big positive step for Godwin returning to the field. However, hamstring strains are easily reinjured, so we will need to see how his muscle holds up in response to practice. Monitor his practice status this week. At least one full participation will be needed to have confidence in his playing ability for Week 4.
Godwin is dealing with a hamstring injury and finally returned to practice this week. – MONITOR
Zach Wilson (QB) New York Jets
Bone Bruise, Injury Date: 8/12/2022
The young New York Jets QB gave every fan and fantasy owner a scare this preseason. After going down awkwardly after making a cut while scrambling, the internet took over and assumed the worst. Fortunately for Wilson, he only suffered a bone bruise and meniscus tear in his knee and not an ACL tear. He had surgery to remove the injured part of his meniscus and has to give his bone time to heal from the bruise.
The recovery window provided by the team was four to six weeks. After some initial optimism on the chances Wilson starts Week 1, it appears that the ship has sailed. Head coach Robert Saleh has officially ruled out QB Zach Wilson for this week, and Week 4 looks like the new target date. This leaves backup QB Joe Flacco in line for the starting job.
It appears the Week 4 target return date was an accurate one. The young Jets QB returned to practice this week and reportedly says he’s “100 percent ready”. By logging a full participation Wednesday, he may be able to be off the injury report completely in Week 4 and start against Pittsburgh. With a tough matchup against the Steeler’s defense and his first game back, I would advise against starting Wilson this week.
Wilson is expected to start this week but the rust and matchup don’t align for a productive fantasy day. – SIT
A quick reminder of the impact of Fantasy Football players who will be suspended during the 2022 NFL season.