- Stephania Bell, Fantasy Sports
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Here's a look at some key injuries in the fantasy football world that we'll be following ahead of Week 5 of the NFL season.
C.J. Spiller (ankle) and Fred Jackson (knee), RBs, Buffalo Bills: Spiller came into the Week 4 contest fresh off a quad injury but practiced daily leading up to the game, hinting at a swift recovery. By the second half of Sunday’s game, however, Spiller had another ailment. With the Bills’ next contest slated for Thursday, just four days later, Spiller is now dealing with an ankle injury and sat out practice Monday.
Spiller has indicated that he hopes to play in Week 5, not an unreasonable possibility given that he returned to Sunday’s game after the injury. However, the short turnaround doesn't allow much recovery time, and even Spiller said he’d like to get to 80-85 percent to be well enough to play. It begs the question as to just how much fantasy owners can expect from what will certainly be a less-than-fully-healthy Spiller, if he takes the field. “The last two games I haven’t even completed a half,” Spiller noted, according to the Bills’ official website.
As for Jackson, he sustained a sprain of the medial collateral ligament (MCL) in his right knee. This is not a first for Jackson, who suffered a Grade 2 MCL sprain in the same knee last December and ended up missing the Bills’ final three games. "I sprained my MCL again, but it's not as significant [as in the past]," Jackson said. He did practice on a limited basis Monday and expects to be ready to go by Thursday night. Both running backs will enter Thursday’s game at less than 100 percent and on short rest, not an ideal scenario.
Darren McFadden (hamstring) and Marcel Reece (knee), RBs, Oakland Raiders: Another team, another tandem of running backs impacted by injury. McFadden injured his hamstring in the first half of Sunday’s game and the sight of him in street clothes in the second half made it clear he would not return. Reece injured his knee in the same game, but a subsequent MRI indicated his is a non-surgical situation. Coach Dennis Allen has not given any hints as to whether he expects either or both backs to be available this week, saying it’s “too early to speculate.” That won’t stop fantasy owners from speculating about the possible scenarios they’ll have to contend with if both RBs sit out, which includes the prospect of Rashad Jennings taking the lead.
Alfred Morris, RB, Washington Redskins (ribs): Morris gingerly exited the field Sunday and looked to be in a fair amount of discomfort on the sideline. The injury was reported as a rib contusion and Morris did not return. X-rays were reportedly negative but even the absence of a fracture does not necessarily diminish the pain associated with a bruising shot to the ribs. Morris admitted to being “a little tender,” and perhaps the greatest point in his favor is that the Redskins have a bye in Week 5. Given his level of discomfort, he very well could have been forced to sit this week out. Expect little in the way of updates on Morris over the next seven days, as the primary focus for him is likely to be rest. Look for news once pregame practices and injury reports resume for the Redskins in advance of Week 6.
Santonio Holmes, WR, New York Jets (hamstring): Holmes has been a little slow to get started this season in his return from Lisfranc surgery, and it’s going to get even slower. Holmes injured his hamstring in Sunday’s game and it looks as if it’s going to sideline him for an extended period. ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini reports the Jets will sign veteran wide receiver David Nelson in anticipation of Holmes missing extended time.