Fantasy News  

 

Week 3 injury roundup: Wentz returns to depleted Eagles

Print
  • By Jason B. Hirschhorn
More Columns >

Week 3 marks the return of Carson Wentz, the MVP-caliber quarterback who sat out the Philadelphia Eagles' magical Super Bowl run last season with a torn ACL. Wentz didn't receive medical clearance for contact until this week, but head coach Doug Pederson has already announced the third-year signal-caller as his starter for Sunday's tilt with the Indianapolis Colts.

Fantasy players must weigh the risk of rust against a favorable matchup. The Eagles possess one of the best supporting casts in the NFL, including a deep receiving corps, a multi-faceted offensive backfield, and a stable offensive line. Meanwhile, only two weeks separate the Colts defense from a humbling performance against the Cincinnati Bengals. Of course, Wentz hasn't played a live snap since Dec. 10 of last year, and it could take him several weeks or perhaps the entire season to regain his previous form.

While Wentz Watch has officially ended, the injury news doesn't seem as straightforward elsewhere.

Aaron Rodgers (knee) - The Packers officially listed Aaron Rodgers as questionable to play, but the two-time MVP will indeed suit up for Sunday's matchup with Washington. While he wore a bulky brace over his knee last week, he didn't hesitate to run when the situation called for it. Rodgers also gets one of his top weapons -- running back Aaron Jones -- back this week.

LeSean McCoy (ribs) - A rib injury has clouded LeSean McCoy's outlook for Sunday's road game against the Vikings, though the Pro Bowl running back did practice in a limited capacity so far this week. Chris Ivory would see the biggest uptick in workload if McCoy cannot play, but whoever starts faces a difficult challenge against a stout Minnesota run defense (188 combined rushing yards, no touchdowns).

T.Y. Hilton (quad), Jack Doyle (hip) - Fresh off a dominant performance against Washington (seven receptions for 83 yards and a touchdown), Colts wideout T.Y. Hilton didn't practice Wednesday or Thursday with a quad injury. For his part, Hilton dismissed the injury as "nothing to worry about" on Thursday, suggesting that the Colts simply held him out of practice early in the week as a precaution. Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis offense need Hilton to have a fighting chance against the Eagles' robust defense. Meanwhile, Jack Doyle's hip injury will keep him sidelined on game day. His absence should funnel more targets towards tight end Eric Ebron.

Leonard Fournette (hamstring) - Leonard Fournette remains on the injury report for the second consecutive week with a hamstring injury, but he appears on track to play in a favorable matchup with the Titans. The Jaguars managed just fine without Fournette during their upset of the Patriots last week, with T.J. Yeldon (10 carries for 58 yards, two catches for 13 yards) seeing most of the work in his stead. Once Fournette returns to the lineup, expect him to see the lion's share of the carries, making Yeldon a fantasy afterthought.

Jay Ajayi (back), Darren Sproles (hamstring), Alshon Jeffery (shoulder) - Though Wentz returns to action this weekend, the Eagles will take the field without a bevy of key offensive playmakers. Running back Jay Ajayi appeared on his way to a multi-score performance last week before a back injury sidelined him during the first half. Sproles, who tweaked his hamstring in practice, didn't even make an appearance. On Friday, Philadelphia ruled both out for Week 3. That leaves Corey Clement, who the team listed as questionable but should play, who should see double-digit touches for the second consecutive week. As for Alshon Jeffery, it appears he will miss another game. The wideout has yet to receive clearance for contact.

Dalvin Cook (hamstring) - Despite the Vikings and Dalvin Cook downplaying his hamstring injury shortly after last Sunday's game, the second-year running back will not suit up against the Bills. That leaves Latavius Murray as the go-to option in Minnesota and an attractive waiver-wire addition in leagues where he remains available.

Marquise Goodwin (thigh, quad) - It remains unclear whether Marquise Goodwin, officially listed as questionable, will suit up Sunday against the Chiefs. Goodwin has served as San Francisco's top receiver when healthy, leading the team in targets (6.6 per game) and receiving yards (60.1) last season. The emergence of tight end George Kittle and the arrival of wideout Dante Pettis could cut into that production, and Pierre Garcon will continue to attract targets. Still, the matchup with Kansas City's secondary could mean a big day for Goodwin if he plays.

Josh Gordon (hamstring) - Having only arrived in Foxborough on Tuesday, Josh Gordon faced significant hurdles towards contributing in the Patriots' upcoming game against the Lions. A lingering hamstring issue hasn't helped matters, with Gordon officially listed as questionable to play. The former Browns wideout could become a significant piece of New England's offense at some point this season, but he looks like a risky proposition this week.

Marcus Mariota (elbow) - After elbow discomfort kept Marcus Mariota on the sidelines in Week 2, the third-year quarterback took most of the reps in practice on Thursday and Friday. Titans coach Mike Vrabel said the team will "take the next 24 hours to make a decision" on Mariota's availability for Week 3. Naturally, his health has a direct effect on the Titans' skill-position players, especially wideouts Corey Davis and Rishard Matthews. At least until Mariota returns to the field, either represents a risky proposition for fantasy players.

Devonta Freeman (knee) - Devonta Freeman's knee injury will cost him another game, this one a critical NFC South tilt with the Saints. The Falcons have one of the deepest backfields in the league, and Tevin Coleman finds himself in position for upwards of 20 touches. Freeman should return in the not-too-distant future. Until then, Coleman remains a must-start running back.

Doug Baldwin (knees) - Seahawks coach Pete Carroll described Doug Baldwin as "further away" from returning than the team's other injured stars, a strong sign that the wideout could remain sidelined for multiple weeks. At a minimum, Seattle will play without him Sunday against the Cowboys. Baldwin's absence had shifted targets over to wideouts Tyler Lockett and Brandon Marshall (11 targets each over two weeks) as well as rookie tight end Will Dissly (10).

Print