Whew. That was close. Everyone good? Everyone alright? You ok there, Mad Cap? What about you? That’s good to hear. Very good to hear, indeed. Last week was quite the buzz saw; six teams on BYE, plenty of injuries and a positive Covid test or two. It was a rough one, to be sure. Yet, somehow we all made it through. However, there is no rest for the weary! The midway point of the season approaches; it is now time to batten down the hatches, so to speak. For championship contenders, the playoff push has already begun.
Fortunately, Week 8 features only two teams on BYE, the Ravens and the Raiders. Unfortunately, the week started off shaky concerning player health. The Packers were without Davante Adams and Allen Lazard on Thursday Night due to Covid protocol. During the win over the Cardinals, Green Bay lost tight end Robert Tonyan to an ACL tear, ending his season. Not to mention Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray tweaked his ankle. Some might view this as a bad omen, but its really just your average lead in for the weekly Infirmary Report… Let’s dive in.
RB Malcolm Brown– MIA (Quad), RB Darrynton Evans– TEN (Knee)
Not much to see here, folks. And that’s a good thing. Nobody wants the Injured Reserve bouncing like a club on a Saturday Night. That said, Dolphins running back Salvon Ahmed becomes interesting here after the Brown news. He is currently the lone man behind Gaskin and should be rostered in all formats. There is also the possibility of Miami adding another back; perhaps they get in on the Marlon Mack sweepstakes. Until that happens, Ahmed remains, at least somewhat, relevant.
WR Michael Gallup– DAL (Calf), WR Jerry Jeudy– DEN (Ankle), TE Albert Okwuegbunam– DEN (Hamstring), WB Tyrod Taylor– HOU (Hamstring)
There are a handful of players designated to return from injured reserve, though it doesn’t appear as though any on the list will hit the field this week. Jeudy has the best chance, as he was cleared to return last week. However, the second year wideout missed practice Friday due to soreness which is a concern after he’s been practicing the last two weeks. There’s a chance he suits up Sunday, but he may need another week yet. His return would certainly be a welcome addition to a struggling Broncos team.
TE Dawson Knox– BUF (Hand), WR Terrace Marshall Jr.- CAR (Concussion), RB Chris Evans– CIN (Hamstring), WR Donovan Peoples-Jones– CLE (Groin), WR DeSean Jackson– LAR (Trade Request), QB Taysom Hill– NO (Concussion), QB Zach Wilson– NYJ (PCL), RB Tevin Coleman– NYJ (Hamstring), RB Miles Sanders– PHI (Ankle/Foot), TE Eric Ebron– PIT (Hamstring), WR Antonio Brown– TB (Ankle), WR Julio Jones– TEN (Hamstring), WR Curtis Samuel– WAS (Groin), WR Dyami Brown– WAS (Knee)
There’s a first time for everything, and that includes an addition to the Infirmary due to a “Trade Request”. That’s right. The Rams and Jackson have decided to part ways and the veteran will sit out until that deal is done. This isn’t too surprising, given Jackson has done little the past few weeks. The Rams must also be quite comfortable with the rest of the wideout group, particularly Van Jefferson, to be willing to move on from the former Pro-Bowler. Jefferson ran 42 routes and garnered seven targets last week, season highs in both categories. This news may be more about the youngster, then Jackson himself.
Knox being out for Buffalo certainly hurts Josh Allen and the Bills; his 2021 campaign has been a strong one, thus far. Aside from a Week 5 explosion against the Chiefs, the yardage hasn’t quite been there for Knox. But the touchdowns have; he’s recorded five in the season to this point. The fact that the team hasn’t placed him on IR is a good sign that he won’t be out long. The same goes for Wilson, despite the Jets trading for veteran Joe Flacco. Not that it matters much for fantasy purposes. With Ebron out, rookie Pat Freiermuth takes the lead tight end spot. In week six, he totaled seven receptions off of seven targets for 53 yards. A similar game with an added touchdown would go a long way.
Tennessee’s acquisition of Julio during the offseason hasn’t paid dividends for the team as of yet. The star wideout has been banged up all season and has done little when he’s been on the field. Tennessee is rolling right now, and getting back a healthy Jones at some point would be a boon to the squad. With Sanders sidelined for Philly’s Week 8 matchup against the Lions, the door of opportunity swings wide open for rookie Kenny Gainwell.
The youngster has already established a role for himself and has been productive. Boston Scott will get some work, but make no mistake; this is the Gainwell show until Sanders’ return. And maybe even beyond.
WR Corey Davis– NYJ (Hip)
This is setting up perfectly for a Mike White breakout game… (Who?)
WR Odell Beckham – CLE (Shoulder), QB Dak Prescott– DAL (Calf), RB D’Andre Swift– DET (Groin), RB Jamaal Williams– DET (Thigh), WR T.Y. Hilton– IND (Quad), RB Austin Ekeler– LAC (Hip), WR DeVante Parker– MIA (Hamstring/Shoulder), TE Jonnu Smith– NE (Shoulder), WR Kendrick Bourne– NE (Shoulder), WR Deonte Harris– NO (Hamstring), RB Saquon Barkley– NYG (Ankle), WR Kenny Golladay– NYG (Knee), WR Kadarius Toney– NYG (Ankle), WR Sterling Shepard– NYG (Hamstring), TE Evan Engram– NYG (Calf), TE Rob Gronkowski– TB (Ribs), WR Cam Sims (Hamstring)
Ah. The weekly Swift/Williams-are questionable-but-will-likely-suit-up tradition. Does anyone else get a boy who cried wolf vibe here? They’ll likely suit up, but don’t count on that always being so. Speaking of traditions, the Giants are building one of their own. Damn near the entirety of the offense has been on the report, as of late. While Toney and Shepard seem to have a good chance to play, the opposite is true of Barkley and Golladay. Poor Daniel Jones. It feels as though he’s been fine at times, but his 66.7-percent True Passer Rating (No. 27 at the position) is even more damning when coupled with the teams Receiver Target Separation of 2.03 (No. 8).
Speaking of vibes, the one in the Chargers locker room after their Week 6 loss to the Ravens can’t have been a good one… Surely after the BYE week they are feeling more positive. Or perhaps they were, until Ekeler was added to the injury report late in the week. That’s never a good sign. However, reports indicate it was due to soreness and he’s likely to play. If he misses, Justin Jackson becomes an obvious play but don’t forget about Joshua Kelley. While rookie Larry Rountree began the season as the No. 3 back, it’s been Kelley the past two weeks. He’s a worthy flier if Ekeler should miss any time. Don’t forget about the potential in that player profile…
Should Beckham miss, it probably doesn’t matter much. Brady would surely love to have Gronk back, particularly with AB sidelined. Chances are the Bucs will roll regardless. Hilton on the other hand, would greatly benefit Carson Wentz with an appearance. And blah, blah, blah. We know the highlighted name on the list is the quarterback of America’s team. Prescott is dealing with a calf injury he suffered at the end of Dallas’ Week 6 victory against the Patriots. Sure, the BYE week helped, but this is still a dicey situation. Every viable fantasy producer on the offense takes a massive hit if Cooper Rush is suddenly the starting signal caller for Sunday Night’s prime time game in Minnesota. If Rush starts, BENCH THEM ALL!!! Maybe that’s too harsh. Temper expectations at the very least.
The fantasy football playoffs are approaching fast. For those fortunate enough (and savvy enough) to be in contention, there is no time to slack. No bit of information to be missed. No doubt fantasy managers are doing all that they can to fortify their squads and be prepared. Lucky for them, articles such as The Infirmary exist to assist. Make sure to tune in next week. Oh, and to all parents; don’t forget about the Halloween candy tax. A necessary evil for the children, but truly a parental right. Happy Halloween!!!