Updated: Saturday, Aug. 3, at 3:50 p.m. EDT
In what feels like a flash, several notable fantasy football options are on the mend, and gamers are forced to alter draft boards with somewhat incomplete information. This is a recap of the last few days of training camp injuries.
Once the preseason begins, we’ll return with a comprehensive update for all injured offensive weapons — along with players returning from injury — as we get into the heart of fantasy draft season.
Tops on the list, Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green‘s sprained ankle was deemed more serious after an MRI revealed torn ligaments that go beyond what is typically found a run-of-the-mill sprain. Green is expected to miss six to eight weeks. On the short end, he could miss Week 1. At worst, prepare to be without Green for three games. What complicates this even more, however, is Green is learning a new offense, so he could be quite behind upon his return. Timing may be a problem early on. Green is a WR2 at this point in fantasy drafts.
Update: Green will miss several weeks of the regular season after undergoing an ankle procedure, although there seems to be some optimism from Bengals camp that he could be back after juts a game or two.
NEW – Andrew Luck sat out of minicamp practices with a lingering calf strain that has held him back in training camp. He has done some limited work in 7-on-7 drills but will rest at least a few days, per head coach Frank Reich. It’s unlikely we’ll see much, if any of Luck in the preseason. He definitely will sit out of the first and last games. For now, be cautiously optimistic. If this injury extends into the final week of August, it’s time to become officially worried. Three months is a long time for a strain, and a fourth month would be something closer to alarming than worrisome.
Julian Edelman suffered a fractured thumb and will not miss any regular-season time, barring a setback. In the event of such an incident, gamers will be hard-pressed to find out about it with the way the Patriots keep injuries close to the vest. At any rate, he shouldn’t be of any concern in fantasy drafts, and gamers can continue to snag him as an underrated No. 2 in point-per-reception setups.
Like the Patriots, Bill Belichick disciple and Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel is generally mum on injury news. Running back Derrick Henry broke out over the final five games of 2018 and is poised to be the workhorse over the course of 2019. His workload could be in question after being spotted wearing a walking boot following the Friday, July 26, practice. Vrabel originally said Henry was day-to-day, but then updated the response to say there isn’t a timetable. Keep an eye on Henry’s practice status as the Titans are in the midst of implementing a new offense this summer. It’s too early to move Henry down the draft board more than a few spots.
Update: Henry is expected to miss roughly two weeks of training camp and doesn’t appear to be in danger of sitting out of Week 1 play.
Also the victim of the ever-popular fractured thumb, New York Giants receiver Sterling Shepard will miss several weeks in training camp and possibly the entire preseason, if the Giants are looking to be overly cautious after a rash of setbacks at the position. Shepard says he’s good to go at any point and even made the catch on the play that caused the injury. Just like with Edelman, don’t count on Shepard missing time into the regular season. He may wear a splint into the early part of the year, though, which is something he’ll tinker with as Week 1 approaches. Shepard remains a WR3 in most fantasy formats.
Update: Shepard has practiced in a yellow jersey, meaning he cannot be contacted, nor can he catch a pass. However, it is encouraging that he’s not missing reps.
Oakland Raiders wideout Antonio Brown (foot) wound up spending two days on the Active/Non-Football Injury list before passing his physical and practicing Sunday, July 28. The Raiders have yet to disclose the nature of his injury. All that matters now is he is back on the field.
Update: Brown has missed two days of practice with an undisclosed foot injury that has head coach Jon Gruden calling the situation “disappointing.” Brown’s whereabouts were unknown until it was reported that he had left camp to see a specialist. Brown posted pictures of blisters on his Instagram page. Gamers should tread carefully until this situation is resolved. He’s a midrange WR1 until we see more reason to be concerned.
Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) was activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list Friday, July 26. He should be back to his normal self in no time, and fantasy owners can bank on another stellar campaign.
NEW – Wide receiver Tyreek Hill left practice Tuesday, July 30, with a bruised thigh after a collision with cornerback Bashaud Breeland. The star Kansas City Chiefs wideout may miss a few days of practice but is fully expected to be fine in no time.
NEW – Baltimore Ravens rookie receiver Marquise Brown made his practice debut after a Lisfranc foot surgery sidelined the speed demon prior to the NFL draft. He’s being eased back into the mix and will have some catch-up to do after missing all of the offseason prep work. Baltimore’s passing game is hampered by Lamar Jackson, but it doesn’t take much for Hollywood Brown to let his wheels do the work. He has fringe WR4 potential in deeper fantasy setups.
Calvin Ridley suffered a hamstring injury that has the Atlanta Falcons’ second-year receiver listed as “day-to-day” by the coaching staff. The injury is not believed to be of concern. Given the nature of hamstrings, expect the coaches to take it easy on Ridley for the foreseeable future. Don’t bother adjusting him on draft boards just yet.
NEW – Chicago Bears rookie receiver Riley Ridley also has a hamstring injury, and there’s no timetable for his return after missing five straight practices as of Aug. 1. He’s not expected to be a fantasy factor in 2019 anyway, barring an injury to someone ahead of him on the depth chart.
Of much less importance, Giants wideout Corey Coleman was pushing for the No. 3 gig but will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. He didn’t necessarily have value of his own, but a whirlwind of injuries and suspension have rocked the Giants in the opening days of camp.