By The Hudsonian, Joshua Hudson
Not as backbreaking as in week’s past, but still not a great week for injuries. Let’s highlight the big ones.
OT Joe Thomas (CLE) – I don’t usually highlight defensive players or even offensive linemen, but this particular injury deserves some recognition. Thomas has played every snap of his career since being drafted in 2007. That’s 10,363 snaps. Even Cal Ripken Jr. is impressed. Thomas tore his triceps tendon and will miss the remainder of the season. This is another huge blow to the league as Thomas is arguably the league’s best offensive tackle. Get well soon big guy. This does zero favors to the Browns struggling offense, in particular RB Isaiah Crowell.
QB Carson Palmer (ARI) – Already down their superstar running back, the Cardinals will now be without their starting quarterback for at least the next eight weeks. Palmer broke his arm on Sunday against the Rams. This is a blow to the Cardinals as a whole and really hurts their skill players in terms of production. Going forward, the Cards will likely lean heavily on RBs Adrian Peterson and Andre Ellington, the latter as a safety valve for QB Drew Stanton, and WR Larry Fitzgerald, as his routes are typically underneath anyway. Still, downgrade Fitz to a low-end WR2. Peterson and Ellington are nothing more than FLEX plays until we see how the offense will operate with Stanton at the helm.
QB Jay Cutler (MIA) – This makes a second Dolphins’ QB to go down this year. Cutler cracked two ribs during Sunday’s game. With the Dolphins playing Thursday night, Cutler will miss that game, barring a miracle. I don’t think this hurts the fantasy value of WR Jarvis Landry much, as his routes are typically underneath, but I would be fading DeVante Parker until Matt Moore shows me he can throw it downfield consistently. Kenny Stills did well towards the end of the game in which Parker was inactive, but Moore is a backup for a reason folks. Ajayi and Landry are the only ones you’re relying on going forward.
WR Mike Wallace (BAL) – Wallace left Sunday’s game early with a concussion, further depleting the Ravens’ receiving corps. Flacco is hurting for weapons, but even when Wallace and Jeremy Maclin play, no one in the Ravens’ passing game can be classified as even a consistent FLEX option. Monitor this if you’re desperate for WR help.
RB DeMarco Murray (TEN) – Add another ailment to the Titans’ starting RB. He was questionable leading up to game time with a hamstring injury but toughed it out and was moderately effective. Then he bruised his shoulder. Lucky for him, the Titans are on a bye in Week 8, so he has plenty of time to rest up. I wouldn’t worry too much.
RB Andre Ellington (ARI) – Ellington didn’t practice all week and was ruled out for Sunday’s trip to London with a quad injury. They have a bye in Week 8, so don’t fret. After getting zero fantasy points in Peterson’s return to fantasy relevance, two straight zeros doesn’t bode well for him going forward. Don’t drop him – did you see how bad the Cardinals’ RBs were at catching the football? – and let’s see how new QB Drew Stanton utilizes him going forward.
RB Jay Ajayi (MIA) – Ajayi has dealt with some knee pain throughout the season, but add in an elbow injury now as well. It doesn’t seem too serious, but with the Dolphins playing on Thursday this week, it’s good to keep an eye on this as things can change in a hurry.
TE Delanie Walker (TEN) – Walker suffered an ankle injury during overtime of the Titans win over the hapless Browns on Sunday. Early reports suggest it’s more of a bone bruise than a sprain. With the Titans off in Week 8, Walker should be fine come Week 9, but keep an eye on this. If Walker misses any time, look for Jonnu Smith to take on a bigger role and be a nice matchup play against the Ravens, who allow almost 15 fantasy points per game to opposing TEs.
OT Jason Peters (PHI) – Another stud left tackle suffered what looks to be a season-ending injury. Peters suffered a major knee injury Monday night and was carted off the field. Initially, it was reported that Peters tore both his MCL and ACL. Now reports are coming in that he did in fact suffer an injury to his MCL, but that his ACL is in tact. An MRI on Tuesday will confirm, but he’s going to miss the rest of the season and this is a huge blow to QB Carson Wentz, who currently leads the NFL in TD passes. The Eagles seem to be in good shape with the quality of depth on their offensive line, but it’s hard to replace one of the best left tackles in the NFL over the last decade.
Club Fantasy wishes all of these players a speedy recovery, not because we as fantasy players need them in our lineups, but because their absence likely hampers their team, and most of all, their families. Get well soon everybody.