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SHOW ME WHERE IT HURTS: Week 7 Injury Fallout

Matt Breida, RB, San Francisco 49ers

Breida left Sunday’s game against the Rams with a left ankle injury on his first carry. He later returned to the game, although he only saw limited action for the remainder of the contest.

Impact

Breida previously injured his left ankle in the Week 5 game against the Cardinals, so it’s fair to wonder if he aggravated the previous injury. Whatever the case, you can add this to the long list of injuries that Breida has battled through this season. His availability for Week 8 is unclear at the moment, so you’ll have to monitor this week’s practice reports. If Breida is forced to miss next week’s game, Raheem Mostert and Alfred Morris would share the load in an excellent matchup against the Cardinals. Mostert would be the preferred option, as he has been very effective with increased usage over the last two weeks, gaining 146 yards on 19 carries during that span. Nevertheless, Morris would still be startable if Breida is out, since Kyle Shanahan has shown a clear preference for using a two-back rotation. If Breida sits, Mostert would be a high-end flex, while Morris would be more of a low-end flex.

 

Bilal Powell, RB, New York Jets

Powell left Sunday’s game against the Vikings with a neck injury in the second quarter. He did not return to the game, and he will undergo further testing.

Impact

The severity of Powell’s injury is unclear at this point, so we’ll need to wait for more information before we’ll know if he’ll be available in Week 8. If he’s unable to play, then Isaiah Crowell will become the primary ball-carrier, with sixth-round rookie Trenton Cannon also getting mixed in as a change-of-pace back. Crowell would be a low-end, volume-based RB2 in a tough matchup against the Bears next week, while Cannon should remain on the waiver wire except in very deep leagues. Cannon, who caught four passes for 69 yards on Sunday, does offer some explosive potential in the open field, but his lack of size (5-foot-11, 185 pounds) makes him an unlikely candidate to take on a large share of the backfield work. Second-year back Elijah McGuire is also eligible to come off IR and return to game action in Week 9, so he could be part of the running back rotation if Powell’s injury keeps him out for multiple weeks.

 

Keke Coutee, WR, Houston Texans

Coutee left Sunday’s game against the Jaguars with a hamstring injury, and he did not return. Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reported that Coutee doesn’t believe the injury to be as serious as his previous hamstring injury, although he also said that he won’t be able to play in Houston’s Week 8 game on Thursday.

Impact

With Bruce Ellington on IR and Coutee himself stating that he won’t be available on Thursday, it will likely be undrafted rookie Vyncint Smith taking on the slot role. Of course, there’s no way you can trust Smith for fantasy purposes, so DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller are the only Houston receivers that should see your starting lineup. Hopkins is an obvious WR1, but Fuller should also be back in the WR2 conversation against the Dolphins. Fuller’s production has dropped considerably with Coutee in the lineup, so the latter’s absence should mean better results for the former.

 

Albert Wilson and Kenny Stills, WRs, Miami Dolphins

Wilson left Sunday’s game against the Lions with a hip injury, while Stills left with an unspecified injury. Neither player returned to the game. Wilson will undergo an MRI and is expected to miss Miami’s Week 8 game against the Texans, and Stills’ status is uncertain.

Impact

Based on early reports, Wilson’s injury appears to be the more serious of the two, although Stills could also have trouble getting healthy with a quick turnaround for Thursday Night Football. If both receivers are forced to miss the game, then Danny Amendola and Jakeem Grant would be the team’s top receivers, with DeVante Parker also possibly returning from his quad injury. None of those players are particularly intriguing fantasy options, but Amendola could be a viable flex play in PPR leagues if you’re desperate. Amendola leads Miami’s wideouts with 38 targets on the season, and his two best games have come with Brock Osweiler at quarterback over the last two weeks. He’s far from a sure thing, but he would be usable in a pinch.

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.