Just like in Week 10, there were some big-time names who went down with an injury in Week 11. As The Fantasy Footballers’ injury analyst and sports physical therapist, the majority of my content will cover injuries in the NFL. All season long, I’ll be recapping the previous week’s injuries and giving a projected timeline for recovery. Let’s look at the biggest injuries from Week 11.
Hip Pointer: Week to week
Trubisky was taken out of the game late in the 4th quarter because of a right hip issue. Early in the first half, he took a hard hit to the outside of his right hip. Despite playing through the injury in the second half, his performance was clearly affected, as he seemed to be in pain when planting on his right leg. A hip pointer is a contusion (bruise) to the tendinous attachment of the muscles around the pelvis. Typical recovery is 1-2 weeks.
Aggravated AC Joint Sprain: Week to week
James Conner entered Thursday Night Football coming off a two-week hiatus while rehabbing a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder, suggesting this is a grade II sprain. This means one of the ligaments that stabilize this joint is torn, but the other is not. He was removed from the final injury report entering the game but that didn’t mean he would be free from re-injury risk. The problem with these AC joint injuries, especially for running backs, is that it’s difficult to predict re-injury. If a player takes one hit to the top of the shoulder, he is likely going to aggravate that injury, as was the case with Conner. For now, his Week 12 availability is in question, and I would expect him to miss one week.
Fractured Hand: Out 3-4 weeks
Mack was having his best game of the year prior to breaking a bone in his hand. He fractured a metacarpal, which is a bone that connects your wrist to your fingers (see below). Mack underwent surgery on Monday for his broken bone and will have hardware placed in the hand to help stabilize the fracture. The rehab after this type of surgery is relatively straightforward, which bodes well for Mack’s recovery. Because of the hardware stabilizing the bone, Mack will be able to return faster than your typical “6-8 week” recovery timeline that is so often associated with fractured bones.
Concussion: Day to day
Two of three starting wide receivers for the Steelers went down with concussions last Thursday night against the Browns. They remain in the concussion protocol and should be considered day to day. Having played on Thursday rather than Sunday, the extra time off will help their chances of returning in Week 12, but the vast majority of players in the concussion protocol miss at least one game. Worth noting, JuJu also picked up a knee injury on the same play where he got hit in the head. A diagnosis right now is unknown, but this certainly warrants monitoring.
Neck Injury and Concussion: Week to week
Tate appears to have escaped a serious injury to his neck. He took an awkward hit to the upper body, casing his head to laterally bend quickly to the side. This can lead to a fracture in the neck, so Tate is fortunate to have escaped with essentially just a sprain. This injury is similar to that of whiplash, so Tate is certainly going to battle stiffness and soreness this week. He’s not a lock to play in Week 12 given the neck injury and the fact that he also suffered a concussion in the same play.
Concussion: Day to day
Much like the Steelers’ WRs, Dorsett is considered day to day after going down with a concussion on Sunday on his TD reception against the Eagles. The recovery process from a concussion is non-linear, so fantasy owners will need to monitor the Patriots’ injury reports this week. As stated above, most players miss at least one week.
Hamstring Strain: Week to week
Tyreek Hill strained his right hamstring in the first quarter on Monday Night Football and didn’t return. A player like Hill, who relies on his speed, will be at an elevated risk of re-injury upon returning to the field because of the way the hamstrings are stressed in the sprinting motion. Expect more testing to be done on Tuesday to determine the severity of the strain, which will determine the recovery timeline for Hill. The fact that Hill was able to walk off the field and to the locker room without a limp indicates this is not a grade III (complete) tear.
Rib Injury: week to week
Williams injured his ribs on Monday night, immediately grabbing for the front of the left side of his torso. Williams immediately clutched for the region of the ribs where there is rib cartilage, similar to the injury of Manny Sanders. Don’t expect much news from the Chiefs this week as far as his availability moving forward given that the team is on bye in Week 12. This sets up well for Williams’ recovery as he’ll have an extra week to recover.
Other players impacted: LeSean McCoy, Darrell Williams