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SHOW ME WHERE IT HURTS: Week 4 Injury Fallout

With Greg Olsen, Delanie Walker, Evan Engram, and Jack Doyle all experiencing multi-week injuries, the 2018 season has yielded a wasteland at the tight end position. Unfortunately, there were four more fantasy-relevant tight ends who got injured this week, and at least two of those injuries appear to be serious. Here’s everything we know about those injuries (among others), along with the fantasy impact:

Tyler Eifert, TE, Cincinnati Bengals

Eifert left Sunday’s game against the Falcons with a right ankle injury in the third quarter. He suffered the injury when his leg bent awkwardly as he was getting tackled. Multiple sources have reported that his ankle is broken, that he will undergo surgery, and that his season is likely over.

Impact

Despite Cincinnati’s attempts to keep their star tight end healthy, it looks like he will have an extended absence once again. With Eifert out, fourth-year players C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Kroft will take most of the snaps at tight end. Kroft had a string of fantasy-relevant games last season, but Uzomah has out-snapped him in every game this season. That makes both players impossible to trust, so they are best left on the waiver wire.

 

T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts

Hilton left Sunday’s game against the Texans with a chest injury, returned to the game, then exited again with a hamstring injury. The hamstring injury kept Hilton out for the remainder of the game. After the game, head coach Frank Reich said that Hilton’s injury is “probably not good” for Indy’s Week 5 contest against the Patriots on Thursday night.

Impact

Reich’s comments suggest that Hilton is likely to miss at least one game due to his hamstring injury, but you should keep an eye on the practice reports to see if his prognosis changes in the next few days. If Hilton can’t play, then Andrew Luck’s next-favorite targets — Eric Ebron and Ryan Grant — would likely get more work. Ebron currently leads the team with 30 targets and three receiving touchdowns, making him a solid TE1, especially if Jack Doyle remains sidelined. Grant, who has 18 catches for 188 yards and a touchdown on the season, would be a deep-league flex option. With Hilton, Doyle, and Marlon Mack all potentially being sidelined on Thursday, rookie pass-catching back Nyheim Hines could also earn starting value in deeper leagues.

 

Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots

Gronkowski left Sunday’s game against the Dolphins with a right ankle injury in the third quarter. He was listed as questionable to return, but he did not re-enter the game.

Impact

The Patriots have not given any indication of the severity of the injury, but Gronkowski’s Week 5 availability could be in question since the team plays on Thursday night. If Gronkowski is forced to sit, then seventh-year tight end Dwayne Allen could be New England’s only healthy option at the position (third-string tight end Jacob Hollister has missed the last two games with a chest injury). Allen has only caught 11 passes for 82 yards since he arrived in New England at the beginning of last season, so it’s hard to imagine him being a reliable option, even if Gronkowski is out. Unless you’re in an extremely deep league, it’s best to leave him on the waiver wire.

 

Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

Fournette left Sunday’s game against the Jets with a hamstring injury in the second quarter. He was originally listed as questionable to return, but he was later downgraded to out.

Impact

The severity of Fournette’s injury is unknown at this point, but the nature of the injury is concerning since he also missed the previous two games with a hamstring injury. With Fournette getting ruled out, T.J. Yeldon gained 100 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns against the Jets. Yeldon should be rostered in any league with 10+ teams, as Fournette’s injury could continue to nag at him in the coming weeks. If Fournette is ruled out against the Chiefs in Week 5, then Yeldon can be deployed as an RB2 option.

About Jay Devineni

A journalist by trade, Jay is in St. Louis and still a loyal Rams fan. He earned a Master's Degree in Journalism from Columbia University and is a published sports writer.