There were more big injuries in Week 4. As always, injuries play a crucial role when it comes to constructing our fantasy lineups. Here’s the status of players with the most interest to the fantasy community after the second weekend of NFL games:
Jay Cutler, QB Bears – Cutler is considered week-to-week with his thumb injury. Brian Hoyer has played well in Cutler’s absence. He led the Bears to a win over the Lions on Sunday. Bears coach John Fox said Hoyer could keep the starting job even when Cutler is healthy. Cutler may have played his last game in Chicago.
Cam Newton, QB Panthers – Newton suffered a concussion in Sunday’s loss to the Falcons. Panthers coach Ron Rivera said he has no idea if Newton will be ready for Week 5. Newton is in the NFL’s concussion protocol and will need to get cleared. Carolina plays Tampa Bay on Monday night, so Newton has the luxury of one extra day to get clearance this week. If Newton can’t go, Derek Anderson will get the start against the Buccaneers dumpster fire defense.
Carson Palmer, QB Cardinals – Palmer left Sunday’s game against the Rams with a concussion. The Cardinals play the 49ers on Thursday night this week, so Palmer will only have three days to get cleared. Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said he’ll be cautious with Palmer considering the team is playing on a short week but on Monday he was more optimistic that Palmer could play. Drew Stanton will be under center against the 49ers if Palmer doesn’t get cleared.
Trevor Siemian, QB Broncos – Siemian has a sprained AC joint in his left non-throwing shoulder. The Broncos have listed him as day-to-day. Pro Football Talk reported Siemian could miss a game or two but Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said the team expects to have him for Sunday’s game against the Falcons. If Siemian can’t play, rookie Paxton Lynch will get his first career start.
Tevin Coleman, Falcons – Coleman has sickle cell trait and is unsure if he’ll be able to play in Sunday’s game at Denver. Players with sickle cell trait like former Steeler Ryan Clark have issues playing in Denver’s high altitude. Even if Coleman is active on Sunday, his touches are likely to be limited. Expect Devonta Freeman to take on a heavier workload this week.
Matt Forte, RB Jets – Forte was seen on a cart headed to the Jets X-ray room following Sunday’s loss to the Seahawks. If Forte is forced to miss time, Bilal Powell will take over as the Jets starting running back. Powell caught six passes and gained 80 total yards on Sunday.
Chris Johnson, RB Cardinals – Johnson left Sunday’s game against the Rams with a groin injury. He missed Monday’s practice. With the Cardinals playing on a short week, Johnson is looking highly questionable to face the 49ers. If he’s inactive, David Johnson will see even more touches with Andre Ellington serving as his primary backup.
Doug Martin, RB Buccaneers – Martin missed his second straight game with a hamstring injury. He’s likely to miss Monday’s game against the Panthers as well. The Buccaneers have a bye in Week 6, so Martin is hoping to return then. Charles Sims will continue to start and handle most of the touches. The Buccaneers running game has been abysmal this season.
Dwayne Washington, RB Lions – Washington is dealing with a sprained foot and ankle. He left Sunday’s game against the Bears in the second quarter and never returned. Washington was expected to see more carries last week but the injury derailed that plan. The Lions are hoping Washington won’t miss any time. If he does, Zach Zenner will see an expanded role in Detroit’s offense.
Dez Bryant, WR Cowboys – Bryant missed Sunday’s game against the 49ers with a bone bruise in his knee. The injury was originally believed to be worse, so there’s a chance Bryant may suit up against the Bengals. If not, the trio of Brice Butler, Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley will once again share targets from Dak Prescott. Butler led the Cowboys with nine targets against the 49ers.
Eric Decker, WR Jets – Decker is dealing with a shoulder injury. He missed Sunday’s game against the Seahawks and it was reported that the Jets considered putting him on IR. Decker doesn’t anticipate returning to full health this season and he may not be back at all. Quincy Enunwa will take over as the Jets No. 2 receiver for as long as Decker is out.
Sammy Watkins, WR Bills – The Bills placed Watkins on IR because of his nagging foot injury. He’s out until at least Week 12. Watkins could still need surgery which would obviously cost him the rest of the year. It’s looking more and more like we won’t see Watkins back on the field until 2017.
Kevin White, WR Bears – White left Sunday’s game against the Lions with an ankle injury. He had an MRI on Monday. Bears coach John Fox didn’t provide an update on White. He should be considered questionable for Sunday’s game versus the Colts. Eddie Royal will start and see more targets if White is unable to go this week.
Zach Ertz, Eagles – Ertz said the MRI on his displaced rib came back clear and he expects to play this week. He hasn’t played since Week 1. If Ertz is active he’ll be a high-end TE1 play against a Lions defense that allows the most fantasy points to tight ends after four games.
Antonio Gates, TE Chargers – Gates missed his second straight game on Sunday with a hamstring injury. He’s not expected to play this week against the Raiders either. Hunter Henry will once again draw the start if Gates is out. Henry has nine receptions for 133 yards and a touchdown in two games filling in for Gates.
Julius Thomas, TE Jaguars – Thomas missed Sunday’s game against the Colts with an elbow injury. He’ll have the Jaguars bye week to get healthy.