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SHOW ME WHERE IT HURTS: Week 11 Injury Fallout

Here is a list of all of the fantasy-relevant Week 11 injuries, along with the fantasy impact:

Joe Burrow, QB, Cincinnati

Burrow left Sunday’s game against Washington with a left knee injury in the third quarter. He suffered the injury when he got sandwiched between two defenders after throwing a pass, and he stayed on the ground in pain for some time. He was eventually carted off the field, and he did not return to the game. After the game, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the initial diagnosis is a torn ACL with the possibility of additional damage. He will have an MRI to confirm the diagnosis, and his season is expected to be over.

Impact

This is a brutal end to a strong rookie season for Burrow, and his injury positions second-year quarterback Ryan Finley as Cincinnati’s starter for the remainder of the season. In three starts last year, Finley completed only 47.1 percent of his passes for an average of 158 passing yards per game, throwing two touchdowns and two interceptions during that stretch. It’s certainly possible that Finley has improved in Year 2, but if his play on Sunday is any indication, the Cincinnati offense will be difficult to trust going forward. Giovani Bernard should remain in the Top 25 conversation among running backs due to the dearth of options at the position, but all of the team’s wideouts should be significantly downgraded. Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins will still be ranked as flex options, but they’ll be in the 30-35 range rather than the Top 20 territory that they’ve occupied thus far.

Rex Burkhead, RB, New England

Burkhead left Sunday’s game against Houston with a right knee injury in the third quarter. He suffered the injury when he took a hit to the knee on a third-down carry. He had to be carted off the field, and he did not return to the game. After the game, The Athletic’s Jeff Howe reported that the team fears that Burkhead tore his ACL. He will get an MRI to confirm the diagnosis.

Impact

If the fears of an ACL tear are confirmed, then Burkhead will miss the remainder of the season. That will leave Damien Harris and James White as the team’s top running backs, although Sony Michel – who was a healthy scratch for Sunday’s game – could make his way back into the lineup. As always, it’s impossible to predict exactly how New England will deploy their running backs, but White appears to be the biggest beneficiary of Burkhead’s injury since he is the only pass-catching specialist left on the roster. Harris may also see a few extra carries per game, but don’t be surprised if those go to Michel instead. For now, Harris should be considered a Top 25 option, while White is in the Top 30 conversation with added value in points per reception (PPR) leagues.

JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Pittsburgh

Smith-Schuster left Sunday’s game against Jacksonville with a foot/toe injury in the fourth quarter. He suffered the injury when he stepped on a penalty flag that was unexpectedly thrown in front of him, and he immediately came up limping. He did not return to the game, although ESPN’s Brooke Pryor reported that Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin doesn’t believe the injury to be serious.

Impact

It sounds like Smith-Schuster avoided major injury, although his status is still worth monitoring since Pittsburgh has a short turnaround for the Thanksgiving night game against Baltimore. If Smith-Schuster is forced to miss that game, Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool would be the unquestioned top options in Pittsburgh’s passing attack, which would place them both in the Top 15 discussion. James Washington could also see a significant uptick in snaps in that scenario, although he would still be ranked outside of starting territory.

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.