Just because it’s Week 1 does not mean everyone is healthy going into Sunday. With so many rosters shaken by the postponement of the Tampa Bay/Miami game, staying up to date about your options is vital. Listed below are names listed on this week’s NFL injury report with a few tips on who you may target as short-term handcuffs.
Andrew Luck (IND) – Shoulder – Hardly a surprise, but worth noting. An MVP candidate the last time he was healthy, Luck will be on the sideline as Scott Tolzien leads a questionable Colts squad.
Cam Newton (CAR) – Shoulder – Carolina has been extremely cautious with Newton’s shoulder over the past few weeks. Still considered questionable for the new season, he is expected to play against San Francisco. Christian McCaffrey and Jonathan Stewart will try and take their share of the load as Newton is unlikely to be too involved in the run game.
Limited But Playing: Tyrod Taylor (BUF); Joe Flacco (BAL); Carson Palmer (ARI); Blake Bortles (JAC)
T.J. Yeldon (JAC) – Hamstring – Jacksonville’s former second rounder remains questionable for Sunday’s game as his hamstring continues to plague him. There is no doubt that Leonard Fournette will be the feature back for the Jaguars, but Yeldon’s experience and potential in the passing game make him an important change of pace back.
Thomas Rawls (SEA) – Ankle – The ankle injury that plagued Rawls’ preseason has fought its way into the games that matter. Rawls is still considered the starter ahead of Eddie Lacy, but the deep stable of backs may not have much patience if he is struggling to play at full speed.
Limited But Playing: Matt Forte (NYJ); Bilal Powell (NYJ); LeSean McCoy (BUF); Danny Woodhead (BAL); Jeremy Hill (CIN); Zach Zenner (DET); Frank Gore (IND); Jamaal Charles (DEN)
Markus Wheaton (CHI) – Finger – One of the Bears’ many offseason acquisitions at receiver saw his training camp derailed by a finger surgery. Cameron Meredith is out for the season and expectations are high for Wheaton opposite Kevin White. Kendall Wright is filling in as the number two for the short-term with no true No. 1 going into the year. He is considered questionable entering the weekend.
Jamison Crowder (WAS) – Hip – Washington’s depleted offense (compared to last season) will likely see a heavy reliance on Jamison Crowder early in the year. The small slot receiver is one of Kirk Cousins’ few returning targets and he’s proven to be a reliable set of hands. Ryan Grant is expected to step in as the “third” receiver with Josh Doctson playing outside along with Terrelle Pryor.
Chester Rogers (IND) – Hamstring – Indianapolis’ passing attack takes another hit with Rogers officially being ruled out for the season opener. After shipping off Phillip Dorsett for Jacoby Brissett, the Colts will see Kamar Aiken as the third option (just ahead of Quan Bray and Matt Hazel). Expectations are low for any offense in the IND/LAR matchup.
Tyler Lockett (SEA) – Knee – Seattle’s reliance on Doug Baldwin may continue with Tyler Lockett questionable for Week 1. The Seahawks shipped Jermaine Kearse to New York and Paul Richardson is yet to establish himself as a complementary option. Lockett is primed for improved opportunity this year, but he needs to find time on the field first.
Odell Beckham Jr. (NYG) – Ankle – While it remains unclear as to whether or not Beckham will play, it is evident that he will not be 100% on Sunday. Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shepard will be the favorite targets if Beckham is unavailable. Even if he does suit up, he may be utilized as more of a decoy than a true threat.
Limited But Playing: Jordan Matthews (BUF); Jeremy Maclin (BAL); Breshad Perriman (WR); Tyler Boyd (CIN); Kenny Britt (CLE); Larry Fitzgerald (ARI); DeAndre Hopkins (HOU); Braxton Miller (HOU); Amari Cooper (OAK); Josh Doctson (WAS); Tavarres King (NYG); Dontrelle Inman (LAC); Demaryius Thomas (DEN)
Limited But Playing: Tyler Eifert (CIN)
Sebastian Janikowski (OAK) – Back – Injuries wear on players with age no matter the position. Now 39 years old, Janikowski enters 2017 with back issues and is questionable for Week 1. Expectations are that he will play against the Titans. If he is unavailable, there is not presently another place kicker on the roster and punter Marquette King is the holder.
Other Players of Note
Kyle Long (CHI) – Ankle – Chicago’s 3x Pro Bowler and former All-Pro guard was limited in practice this week as he nears a return from his ankle injury. Long is a vital part of the Bears’ line and his absence may result in tough sledding for Jordan Howard between the hash marks. Cody Whitehair continues to be a versatile filler with production all across the line of scrimmage.