Heading into Week 3, there were a handful of running backs already ruled out including Leonard Forunette (hamstring), Devonta Freeman (knee), Joe Mixon (knee), Jay Ajayi (back), and LeSean McCoy (ribs). Josh Gordon was inactive but Larry Fitzgerald and Marvin Jones both played through their injuries. Here’s the list of players that went down in Week 3 of the 2018 season.
Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers (ACL)
The 49ers QB and for a brief moment in February, the highest paid player in NFL history reportedly torn his ACL in the team’s Week 3 match-up vs. the Chiefs. Garoppolo was scrambling for a first down when it looked he was going to step out of bounds and avoid contact entirely, but instead tried to run over Chiefs Defensive Back Steven Nelson. That didn’t work out well for Jimmy G who appears to have done the damage when making the plant before Nelson knocked him down.
Fantasy Analysis: This is a HUGE blow to the entire 49ers squad. Getting flashbacks to the start of last season for the 49ers before they traded for Jimmy G…the results were a fantasy disaster for Pierre Garcon and Marquise Goodwin with CJ Beathard under-center and I’m expecting that to be the case for the rest of 2018. In addition to the receivers, tight end George Kittle takes a big hit as do running backs Alfred Morris and Matt Breida.
Tyrod Taylor, Cleveland Browns (concussion)
The Browns original starting QB looked lost on Thursday Night, completely just 4 of his 14 passes for 19 yards before leaving the game with a concussion and a back injury. Baker Mayfield took over, played well, and led the Browns to their first victory since 2016.
Fantasy Analysis: Taylor may clear the concession protocol this week, but Hue Jackson has already named Baker Mayfield the starting QB for Week 4 and we fully expect the rookie to keep that job going forward.
Blaine Gabbert, Tennessee Titans (concussion)
Gabbert started the game for the Titans but left in the 1st Quarter allowing the team’s true starter Marcus Mariota (elbow) to enter the game. Mariota was active for the game but did not start due to his ongoing elbow/nerve issue. Will be interested to see how the Titans QB situation shakes out before their Week 4 match-up vs. the Eagles
Rex Burkhead New England Patriots (neck)
The Patriots Offense couldn’t get anything going against the Lions on Sunday Night and while rookie Sony Michel struggled in just his second professional game, Burkhead, the team’s sole veteran rusher (James White really just a passing down back) left the game in the 4th Quarter with a neck injury and did not return.
Fantasy Analysis: With Burkhead out of commission, the Pats force-fed Michel for the 4th Quarter, almost as if they wanted him to get his feet wet in all facets of the game. It was certainly a different set of play-calling from Josh McDaniels and Tom Brady, but perhaps more due to being over-matched in the trenches and without much of a receiver corps to rely on. Michel was already expected to be the main back for the Pats with Burkhead and White both having their own complimentary roles but with Burkhead’s injury, it is just accelerating Michel’s takeover.
Matt Breida, San Francisco 49ers (Knee)
What appears to be a nasty injury didn’t turn out to be signficant. Breida hyperextended his knee in the 1st Half but only missed one series and was able to finish the game while maintaining his explosiveness.
Fantasy Analysis: He may pop up as limited in practice but fully expect him to play in Week 4.
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (Knee)
Fantasy owners with Barkley on their squad feared for the worst when they saw the Giants 1st Round pick head to the sidelines with a knee injury but were quickly relieved when Barkley reentered the game.
Fantasy Analysis: The injury didn’t appear to be bothersome as Barkley was able to put together a solid outing, rushing for 82 yards and a touchdown on 17 caries while also catching five passes for 35 yards. Wayne Gallman is the clear handcuff as he was the back who entered the game and handled more work while Barkley was resting on the sidelines for a few series. Barkley will likely be on the injury report this week with a knee injury but is fully expected to play in Week 5 vs. the Saints.
AJ Green, Cincinnati Bengals (Groin)
The Bengals star receiver injured his groin in the 1st Half and despite the probable to return tag, Green never reentered the game. He assured the media his groin injury is nothing serious but it is concerning he didn’t see any action after suffering the injury.
Fantasy Analysis: Absolutely something to keep an eye on this week as Green’s practice participation will be telling of his availability for Week 4. Consider him Questionable for the team’s match-up vs. the depleted Falcons secondary.
Anthony Miller, Chicago Bears (Shoulder)
The Bears rookie wide receiver separated his shoulder in Week 3 against the Cardinals. He was able to play through the injury for a few series but ultimately left the game for good in the 3rd Quarter. Fantasy Analysis: Miller is a talented rookie but his fantasy production is capped by Mitch Trubisky’s progression as a QB. For now it seems Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel will remain the team’s starting receivers with Miller now considered week-to-week.
Evan Engram, New York Giants (MCL Sprain)
The Giants playmaker took a shot to the knee and exited the game with a knee injury. MRI results showed no significant damage but he does has a sprained MCL which puts him in the week-to-week category.
Fantasy Analysis: No structural damage to the knee is great news for the second year tight end but he’ll be Questionable vs. the Saints and depending on his pain threshold might not be able too play in Week 4. Look for Rhett Ellison to take over in the starting lineup if Engram is forced to miss time.
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