Inside Injuries has identified the most important NFL Week 14 injuries to monitor. Below we break down each player’s injury, their likelihood of playing in Week 14, and how the injury may affect their performance.
NFL Week 14 Injuries
Zach Ertz TE, Eagles: concussion
Zach Ertz did not practice Wednesday after suffering a concussion in Sunday’s Week 13 loss. Unless he clears the final hurdle, an evaluation by and independent neurologist, he won’t be on the field for Week 14. Unless he flies through the final steps of the protocol, it’s doubtful that he is ready to go by Sunday. On top of that, Ertz is a High Injury Risk.
Greg Olsen TE, Panthers: foot fracture aggravation
Greg Olsen is practicing in full leading up to Week 14. The tight-end aggravated his surgically repaired foot in Week 12 and sat out last week to get in some additional healing time. It’s looking like the Panthers expect Olsen to be ready for Sunday’s tough matchup with the Vikings. According to the Inside Injuries algorithm, Olsen is almost completely healed, but he remains one week away from his Optimal Recovery Time. He is still an Elevated Injury Risk and his Health Performance Factor is Below Average. Olsen will also be on a snap count, capping his fantasy value for this week. He is a risky play for now.
Charles Clay TE, Bills: knee injury
Clay had been getting in limited practice through the week despite his knee injury, so it was a surprise on Wednesday when he was a DNP. He missed out on some Wednesday practices when he first sustained the knee injury earlier in the year, so the Bills may just be trying to limit his reps even more given how beat up their pass-catchers are right now. Given that he returned to practice on Thursday, we don’t think he’s in danger of missing Week 14.
Chris Hogan WR, Patriots: shoulder injury
The Patriots don’t play until Monday, but it looks like Chris Hogan finally returned to practice on Wednesday and continued to get reps at practice Thursday. He has been out the past five weeks with a shoulder injury, though it’s still not clear exactly what he is dealing with. With Rob Gronkowski suspended for Week 14, Hogan could play a big role if he is on the field. Unfortunately, we don’t think one week of practice is enough to get Hogan back in game-shape after five weeks on the sidelines. He remains two weeks away from his Optimal Recovery Time and is a High Injury Risk.
Sterling Shepard WR, Giants: hamstring injury
Sterling Shepard has dealt with various injuries so far this season including two ankle sprains, migraines, and now a hamstring injury. He rode the stationary bike during practice Wednesday and was listed as a DNP on the injury report, but was able to return to practice on Thursday. Shepard’s injury history makes him a High Injury Risk going into Week 14, and given how tricky hamstring injuries can be, he’s not going to be healthy by Sunday.
Tyrod Taylor QB, Bills: patellar tendon contusion
Tyrod Taylor avoided ligament damage when he got rolled up in Week 13, but he is still dealing with a patellar tendon contusion. It’s no shock that Taylor didn’t practice on Wednesday, and he should be considered on the doubtful side of questionable for Week 14. The quarterback returned to practice on Thursday, but was reportedly moving with a “slight but still noticeable limp.” The Inside Injuries algorithm is calculating a 2-4 week Optimal Recovery Time, so Week 15 is the earliest Taylor could be healthy to return.
Matthew Stafford QB, Lions: hand injury
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford suffered a bruised hand when he was stepped on in last week’s loss to Baltimore. X-rays on his hand came back negative, but Lions coach Jim Caldwell said that Stafford is “not out of the woods, yet.” Stafford was limited at practice on Wednesday and Thursday, but given that every games is now a must-win for the Lions, we would be surprised if he didn’t play through the pain on Sunday. Stafford has proven to be extremely durable in recent years and hasn’t missed a game since 2010. Unfortunately, any throwing hand injury to a quarterback is an issue. Stafford’s accuracy and ball security are the biggest concerns.
Dak Prescott QB, Cowboys: hand injury
Neither Dak Prescott nor the Dallas Cowboys seemed concerned about his availability for Week 14 after taking a helmet to the hand on Thursday. He played through a swollen hand for the second half of Week 13 with ease, and has an extra three days to recover. Like Matthew Stafford, the biggest concerns for Prescott playing on Sunday are going to be his accuracy and ball security.
Kelvin Benjamin WR, Bills: torn meniscus
Kelvin Benjamin returned to practice on Wednesday after suffering a torn meniscus in Week 11. He also got in a limited session on Thursday. The Optimal Recovery Time for Benjamin is 4-8 weeks according to the Inside Injuries algorithm, which means the earliest that he could be healthy to return is next week. If Benjamin plays on Sunday, he is going to be a High Injury Risk. Stability in his knee is going to be the biggest concern.
Ameer Abdullah RB, Lions: neck injury
Ameer Abdullah popped up on last week’s injury report with a neck injury on Wednesday. He got in a limited practice session on Friday but was ruled out for Sunday’s game. This week is starting out on a better note with Abdullah getting in another limited practice session on Wednesday, but his availability for Week 14 should still be considered questionable. Neck injuries are always concerning and generally take more than week to fully heal. Abdullah is a High Injury Risk, and given Matthew Stafford’s (hand) questionable status, he should be considered a risky fantasy option for Sunday.
Amari Cooper WR, Raiders: concussion, ankle sprain
Amari Cooper has cleared the concussion protocol, but his sprained ankle is still a concern. He suffered both injuries in Week 12 and sat out last Sunday’s game as he remained in the protocol. Unfortunately, Cooper did not participate in practice on Wednesday. He would need at least one day of practice to be in a position to play in Week 14. The Inside Injuries algorithm is calculating a four week Optimal Recovery Time for Cooper’s ankle sprain, which means he won’t be healthy until Week 16.
Rishard Matthews WR, Titans: hamstring strain
Rishard Matthews returned to a limited practice last Friday but was then ruled inactive for the second week in a row with a hamstring strain. He was on the practice field again on Wednesday of this week and said there’s a “high chance” of him returning for Week 14 against the Cardinals. Matthews’ Optimal Recovery Time is 3-5 weeks, so he will still be an Elevated Injury Risk if he plays this weekend.
Mark Ingram RB, Saints: toe injury
Mark Ingram sat out of practice on both Tuesday and Wednesday but is reportedly expected to play on Thursday against the Falcons despite a toe injury. Being downgraded from limited on Monday to a DNP on Tuesday and Wednesday is extremely concerning, but the Saints don’t seem to be concerned about his availability for the NFC South rivalry game. We aren’t convinced that he’s healthy to play though, especially given his High Injury Risk. A mild, grade 1 big toe sprain requires two weeks of rest to completely heal, so even if he does play, it’s likely that Alvin Kamara could see a slight bump in usage. Ingram also battled toe problems in 2014 and 2016, so this isn’t a new injury for him. That complicates things.
Will Fuller WR, Texans: fractured ribs
Will Fuller missed the past three weeks with fractured ribs but returned to a limited practice on Wednesday. Fuller has reached his three week Optimal Recovery Time, but his injury history still makes him an Elevated Injury Risk. With Bruce Ellington (hamstring) and C.J. Fiedorowicz (concussion) on IR, Fuller’s return could come at a good time for the Texans offense.
Mike Williams WR, Chargers: knee bone bruise
Mike Williams was carted off the field with a knee injury in Week 12 but escaped with a bone bruise. He returned to practice on Wednesday and was cleared to run routes for the first time since his injury. While this is certainly a good sign, he is still not in the clear. The Inside Injuries algorithm is calculating a four week Optimal Recovery Time, and Williams is two weeks away from his healthy to return date.
Adrian Peterson RB, Cardinals: neck injury
Adrian Peterson sat out Week 13 after popping up on the injury report last Wednesday with a neck injury. He has yet to resume practicing, but coach Bruce Arians hasn’t ruled him out for Week 14 just yet. Peterson is a High Injury Risk given his long injury history and is still a week away from his three week Optimal Recovery Time.
Other Injuries to Monitor:
Tom Brady QB, Patriots: Achilles injury
Tom Brady did not practice Thursday, but it follows the same routine from last week where Brady misses the first day of practice but returns for the next two. Keep an eye on this injury as it appears to be lingering, but Brady isn’t in danger of missing Week 14.
Jimmy Graham TE, Seahawks: ankle injury
Jimmy Graham rarely practices on Wednesday and is always on the field on Sunday. This week is no different. As long as he gets in at least one limited practice this week, he’s a go for Week 14.
Kerwynn Williams RB, Cardinals: fractured ribs
Kerwynn Williams played through cracked ribs last week with Adrian Peterson out with a neck injury and will likely do the same thing again this week. He was limited at practice on Wednesday, and he still isn’t completely healed, but the main issue is pain management.
Delanie Walker TE, Titans: ankle injury
Walker is continuously banged up, and this week it’s an ankle injury that has him sidelined at Wednesday’s practice. The other thing about Walker is that he almost always plays through his injuries, which means his Week 14 availability isn’t a concern just yet. Walker suffered a bone bruise in his ankle in Week 7, so this could be an aggravation. Walker is a perpetually High Injury Risk, and therefore always a risky fantasy option.