As we move into Week 4 of the NFL season and get set to turn the page to October, several more big name players suffered injuries, including one player whom many of you may have drafted first overall. Let’s dive into who fell victim to the injury bug in Week 3.
QB Andy Dalton, Chicago Bears – Dalton was listed in this column last week, and he was ruled out fairly early during the week when Coach Matt Nagy said that Justin Fields would start in Week 3. Fields was harassed and punished all game long vs. The Browns as he could only lead the Bears to 6 points while being sacked 9 times. (Kudos to you if you started the Browns defense.) Dalton could be back in Week 4, but reports have said that he, Justin Fields and Nick Foles are all in consideration to start vs. the Lions.
Update! Andy Dalton is listed as DOUBTFUL for Week 4 and Justin Fields will start for the Bears.
RB Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings – Cook missed last Sunday’s win vs. the Seahawks and backup Alexander Mattison filled in nicely for him, rushing for 112 yards and adding 59 more through the air. Cook will be monitored again this week, so keep tabs on his practice status.
RB Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers – Fantasy managers around the world that had the #1 overall pick and selected McCafferey held their breath when he went back to the locker room and then went into full panic when he was ruled out for the game. Hopefully your team was able to survive his departure but if not you have my condolences. Head coach matt Rhule later confirmed that McCaffrey will miss a few weeks with a hamstring injury but will not be place on IR. Chuba Hubbard is next in line to receive carries and will be a popular waiver add as a mid RB2, but Royce Freeman also looks to have an elevated role while McCaffrey recovers.
Update! Christian McCaffrey is ruled OUT for Week 4
RB James White, New England Patriots – White suffered a hip subluxation in the team’s week 3 loss vs. the Saints and reports indicate that he will miss the rest of the season. It’s a huge blow as White has been a stellar PPR machine over the years for the Patriots. Look for some combination of JJ Taylor, Brandon Bolden and Rhamondre Stevenson (Inactive the last two weeks) to aid starter Damien Harris.
WR KJ Hamler, Denver Broncos – Hamler suffered a torn ACL in Sunday’s win against the Jets. A terrible blow for a promising receiving core that already lost Jerry Jeudy back in Week 1 to a severe ankle sprain. Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick will take over as the teams top two targets, but the real “winner” could be breakout candidate Noah Fant who has established a nice rapport with Teddy Bridgewater, and Albert Okwuegbunam.
WR Juju Smith-Schuster – Schuster suffered a rib injury in the Steelers Week 3 loss to the Bengals. He was nothing more than a dart throw WR3 anyway, as the entire Steeler offense is a Claypool. His quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger is looking every bit of 39 years old so downgrade the entire Steeler offense a peg or two (and yes that includes my preseason ROTY pick, Najee Harris.)
Update! Juju Smith-Schuster (ribs) is expected to play in Week 4 against the Greenbay Packers
WR AJ Brown and Julio Jones, Tennessee Titans – The Titans are dealing with not one, but two injuries to their pro bowl receivers. Brown is listed as week to week with a hamstring injury which almost certainly rules him out for Week 4’s matchup against the hapless Jets, while Jones status is “up in the air” with a leg injury (that explains why he only played 6 snaps in the 2nd half on Sunday). Look for the Titans to crowd pile on Derrick Henry’s plate against the Jets, who are fresh off a Dunkin Donut scored against the Broncos.
Update! Both AJ Brown and Julio Jones have been ruled OUT for Week 4
WR Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks – Lockett went down with what looked to be a serious knee injury that had both teams concerned before walking off the field under his own power. Thankfully he managed to avoid a serious injury but expect him to be listed as questionable for Sunday’s NFC West clash with the 2-1 49ers.
WR Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton, New York Giants – Both Shepard and Slayton did not survive the first quarter of Big Blue’s loss to the Falcons. Both suffered hamstring injuries and their status for Sunday vs. the Saints is quite murky. Should both miss Week 4, it would be the perfect time for big name free agent acquisition Kenny Golladay to finally get going.
Update! Both Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton have been ruled OUT for Week 4.
*WR Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals – Higgins did not practice and will miss Thursday’s tilt vs. the 0-3 Jaguars with a shoulder injury. Look For Joe Burrow to lean heavily on rookie sensation Jamarr Chase and Tyler Boyd as well Joe Mixon in the running game.
WR Elijah Moore, New York Jets – Moore suffered a concussion in the Jets 26-0 drubbing at the hands of the Broncos and was subsequently placed in Concussion protocol. The Jets offense is virtually zero right now and is void of any reliable fantasy starters.
RB Elijah Mitchell, San Francisco 49ers – Head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters that it’s a matter of pain tolerance when it comes to Mitchell playing in Week 4. Mitchell has been able to practice in a limited capacity so this may come close to the wire when it comes to game time. Mitchell is listed as QUESTIONABLE heading into Sunday’s kick-off.
Update! Elijah Mitchell is not expected to play Week 4 per ESPN’s Adam Schefter
WR Curtis Samuel, Washington Football Team – Samuel has been activated off of IR and looks to play in Week 4 against the Atlanta Falcons.
WR Russell Gage, Atlanta Falcons – For the second game in a row wide receiver Russell Gage has been ruled OUT for Week 4 as he continues to deal with a knee injury.
RB Darrell Henderson, Los Angeles Rams – Head coach Sean McVay stated that Henderson will play against the Cardinals in Week 4. Henderson has been dealing with a rib injury.
WR Chase Claypool, Pittsburgh Steelers – Claypool was the last man standing last week after Johnson and Juju picked up injuries in Week 3 but now Claypool will miss Week 4 as he picked up a hamstring injury in practice this week.
TE Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccanneers – The Bucs are expected to miss Rob Gronkowski for a “few weeks” per Adam Schefter. Gronk took a shot to the ribs against the Rams and while x-rays came back clean a second MRI scan revealed fractured ribs. Cameron Brate and/or OJ Howard are expected to stand in for Gronkowski while he is out. Gronk has been ruled OUT for Week 4.
Other QUESTIONABLE players: QB Lamar Jackson (back), QB Carson Wentz (ankle), TE George Kittle (calf), Tyler Lockett (hip), Josh Jacobs (ankle), Antonio Gibson (shin), Melvin Gordon (rib/lower leg)