Rotowire Injury Analysis: Fantasy Football Week 10

Welcome to the week 10 injury report.  Multiple players suffered concussions in last weekend’s games which will be discussed in this edition along with Ben Roethlisberger’s status after suffering a game-ending shoulder injury.

The Concussed Athlete:  I will group four athletes together since they all suffered concussions in this past weekend’s games and include Jay Cutler, Alex Smith, Michael Vick, and Fred Jackson.  If you haven’t been paying attention over the last couple years, concussions have been the hot topic in the NFL and really in all sports because our awareness has greatly increased over the past few years.   Words such as “dinged” or “bell rung” were previously used to describe these injuries in the past but we are now recognizing that these are in fact brain injuries that are leading to symptoms lasting for days and sometimes even longer.  Usually symptoms last 4-7 days and then resolve with an athlete being able to return to play using a graded protocol of slowly increasing their exercise intensity until they are back to full contact.  It is difficult to determine the “severity” of concussions especially if the players are able to walk off the field under their own power.  Even if they are experiencing symptoms in the first couple days, this is expected and still does not determine if they are going to have prolonged symptoms that would potentially keep them out of multiple games.  Of course, having a concussion history would also make it more likely that they will need more time to recover although this has not exactly been proven with studies, it is believed that recurrent concussions lead to lowering threshold for sustaining future concussions and prolonged recovery.  Example: Jahvid Best.  This is why Jay Cutler who has a concussion history may be treated more on the conservative side while Alex Smith who does not have a concussion history may be able to play in the MNF game.  Fred Jackson’s situation is a little different because they have a short week so he will in all likelihood miss this Thursday’s game with the following week uncertain.  Michael Vick’s case is interesting as I believe the Eagles are playing some politics with his injury.  Usually coaches downplay injuries, but instead Coach Reid has "up played" the injury and stated that Michael Vick’s concussion is a severe one which I’m not really sure how they can really make this statement at this time.  If they want to say they think he will miss 1 game at this time, that’s fair enough.  However, to be able to state that he has a severe concussion that will force him to miss several weeks and possible the rest of the season is completely impossible to really be able to say from a medical standpoint.  I guess they don’t really want Vick to be QB afterall and this is a perfect excuse for them.

What does all this mean for your fantasy football team?  Most likely each of these players will miss 1 game although Smith does have a legitimate chance to play next weekend if he doesn’t have any setbacks and is asymptomatic with progression to full contact.  Fred Jackson is out this Thursday and we’ll have to wait and see how he does regarding missing more time.  Michael Vick could also potentially play soon but it sounds like the Eagles have other plans and so this “severe” concussion may mean Vick just played his last game as an Eagle.


Ben Roethlisberger: In the Monday Night Football game, Roethlisberger exited early after sustaining an injury to his throwing shoulder.   Given the mechanism of the injury, a clavicle injury or the joints that it helps to comprise were the likely suspects.  We are used to hearing about a shoulder sprain which refers to the AcromioClavicular (AC) joint, however, Roethlisberger suffered an injury on the other side of the clavicle were it articulate with the sternum.  This injury to the SternoClavicular (SC) joint is not as common but usually does not require surgical intervention.  Ultimately, it depends on how severely the joint was sprained as it could be anywhere from a 1 week injury to a 3 week injury.  Of course, the fact that it is in his throwing shoulder makes it more likely that he will miss 1-2 weeks at a minimum as usually if it’s the non-throwing shoulder, pain is the only limiting factor and be can more easily controlled.

What does all this mean for your fantasy football team?  Let’s keep an eye on how he progresses and when he starts getting back to practice.  I assume he will miss at least 1 game, probably 2 and will give it a shot by the 3rd game.  I don’t foresee him missing more than 3 games though due to this injury so all is not lost.


Jordy Nelson:  Just want to update you all on his status following the bye week which he went into with an old hamstring injury and a new ankle injury that forced him to leave the Packers’ last game.   It appears that he does not have a high ankle sprain as he was back at practice this week already which means he likely had a medial (inner) ankle sprain which are usually pretty quick to bounce back from so this is indeed consistent with his return to practice. 

What does all this mean for your fantasy football team?  As long as he continues to do well with practice, I would feel comfortable with Nelson being successful come Sunday.  The only thing that is still in the back of my mind is how his hamstring is doing.  We didn’t really get to see him test it in the game he got injured and so although he has had now a couple more weeks to rest the hamstring, it is possible he may reaggravate it.  If he is a full participant in a couple practices this week then I would go ahead and put him in your lineup especially with the great matchup against the Lions this week.

Follow me on Twitter @DoctorKenton for more updates/injury analysis in the upcoming games this week.

Wishing all your players quick recoveries,




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