Week 4 injury watch: Doug Baldwin returns from 2-week absence

At least thus far, the 2018 season hasn't played out as well as the Seahawks had hoped.

With a withered defense, an underwhelming offensive line, and Russell Wilson under constant duress, Seattle has dropped two of its three games and doesn't have an obvious path towards improvement. The season remains young, but the team needs to improve significantly in several areas in order to correct their trajectory.

But the Seahawks did receive some good news this week. Top wideout Doug Baldwinwill return after missing the last two weeks with a knee injury. Baldwin can't jumpstart the offense by himself. However, he gives Wilson a trusted target at a time when Will Dissly and Brandon Marshall, both in their first year with Seattle, combine for nearly a third of the team's total targets. Even at less than 100 percent, Baldwin can help the Seahawks' passing game strike a better balance.

That comes as a welcome development for fantasy players, who must navigate byes for the first time in 2018. Week 4 removes two teams, Carolina and Washington, from their lineups. Meanwhile, a bevy of injuries to star players could further reduce the fantasy firepower this week.

Bengals: A.J. Green (pelvis), Joe Mixon (knee) - Though star wideout A.J. Green missed some of Week 3's tilt with the Panthers, he returned to practice in full Thursday and shouldn't have any meaningful limitations this Sunday. Joe Mixon falls on the other end of the injury spectrum, missing practice all week and officially listed as out for Sunday's tilt with the Falcons.

Bills: LeSean McCoy (ribs) - The Bills pulled off the upset of the season without LeSean McCoy in the lineup, trampling Minnesota 27-6 on the road. Few expect them to pull off another road victory against the NFC North, but this time they might have McCoy back in the lineup. McCoy told reporters on Wednesday that he plans to play against the Packers, though Buffalo will make that determination closer to game time. If he can't go, journeyman Chris Ivory expects to see most of the workload.

Chargers: Keenan Allen (knee, tooth) - Officially listed as questionable, Keenan Allen could miss his first game of 2018. Head coach Anthony Lynn says the Chargers just want to take a "cautious" approach to Allen's health, but the team's near-constant battle with the injury bug casts doubt on the wideout's availability for Sunday. If he can't play, second-year receiver Mike Williams and running back Melvin Gordon, the latter of which ranks second for Los Angeles with 24 targets on the year, can expect to see more work in the passing game.

Colts: Jack Doyle (hip), Marlon Mack (hamstring) - Jack Doyle will miss another week with his hip injury, leaving Eric Ebron atop the tight-end depth chart. The news doesn't look as promising with Marlon Mack after Indianapolis promoted Jeremy McNichols from the practice squad. The team officially listed Mack as questionable to play.

Eagles: Jay Ajayi (back), Alshon Jeffery (shoulder, illness), Darren Sproles (hamstring) - Jay Ajayi's wait has ended. The running back came off the injury report this week and will suit up against the Titans. Unfortunately for Darren Sproles, his return won't come for at least another seven days after missing practice this week. Only Alshon Jeffery's Week 4 availability remains unclear. The wideout practiced in full on Wednesday before missing the next two days with an illness. The Eagles officially list him as questionable.

Falcons: Devonta Freeman (knee) - The Falcons will play another game without Devonta Freeman, but the star running back made progress in his recovery. The Falcons upped Freeman's workload this week, suggesting his knee shouldn't keep him out much longer. Until he returns, Tevin Coleman should continue to receive double-digit touches as he leads Atlanta's backfield against a capable but not overwhelming Bengals defense.

49ers: Matt Breida (knee), Alfred Morris (knee) - Despite suffering a scary non-contact knee injury last Sunday, Matt Breida has a decent chance to suit up this week against the Chargers. The running back participated fully in practice Thursday and Friday, and the 49ers designated him as questionable. That could prove a big break for San Francisco as Alfred Morris popped up on the injury report this week with a knee injury of his own. Like with Breida, the team listed Morris as questionable.

Jaguars: Leonard Fournette (hamstring) - The Jaguars have now played two straight games without their workhorse running back, and it remains unclear whether that streak will extend to three. Leonard Fournette participated in practice on a limited basis this week, not dissimilar to his involvement in the lead-up to the Titans game. T.J. Yeldon, who last week totaled 69 yards from scrimmage and registered his first receiving touchdown on the year, would once again see the majority of the work if Fournette sits.

Lions: Golden Tate (hip) - Golden Tate surprisingly popped up on the injury report on Friday after practicing in full each of the previous two days. The Lions don't lack for offensive firepower, with Marvin Jones Jr. and Kenny Golladay giving quarterback Matthew Stafford a dangerous deep-threat combination. Still, the offense would suffer without Tate, who ranks second on the team with 11 receiving first downs.

Packers: Randall Cobb (hamstring), Aaron Rodgers (knee) - Just as a week ago, the Packers listed Aaron Rodgers as questionable to play. However, for the first time since injuring his left knee, Rodgers participated in a practice besides the team's Saturday walkthrough. Not only does that indicate that he will suit up against the Bills, but the extended plays and scrambling that typify his game should start to return in the near future. Meanwhile, Randall Cobb looks much closer to a 50-50 proportion after missing Friday's practice altogether.

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