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SHOW ME WHERE IT HURTS: Week 10 Injury Fallout

It wasn’t a horrible week, but there were still a handful of receivers who suffered injuries, including one who could be out for the season. Here’s everything we know about those injuries, along with the fantasy impact:

Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams

Kupp left Sunday’s game against the Seahawks with a left knee injury in the fourth quarter. It was a non-contact injury that he suffered while running a route, and he did not return to the game. After the game, head coach Sean McVay said, “I don’t think it’s very good,” and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that there is concern that it could be a torn ACL. Kupp will undergo an MRI on Monday.

Impact

We’ll have to wait for the MRI results to know the definitive diagnosis, but if concerns of a torn ACL prove to be correct, then Kupp’s season will be over. That would be a big blow to the Rams offense, which uses three receivers on almost every play. If Kupp is sidelined, then second-year wideout Josh Reynolds would take his spot in the starting lineup, while Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods would continue to be focal points of the passing game. Since Kupp has already missed two games this season, we do have some data on the Rams offense without him. Take a look at the table below, which includes the stats of the other Rams wideouts with and without Kupp:

Brandin Cooks Robert Woods Josh Reynolds
Per-Game Average with Kupp 5.5 catches 93.0 yards 0.38 TDs 5.0 catches 98.6 yards 0.38 TDs 0.4 catches 5.8 yards 0.00 TDs
Per-Game Average without Kupp 3.5 catches 77.0 yards 0.50 TDs 5.6 catches 77.0 yards 0.00 TDs 2.0 catches 29.5 yards 1.00 TDs

Note: Rushing stats are included in the yardage and touchdown averages.

While Cooks and Woods have both averaged over 90 yards per game with Kupp in the lineup, they have surprisingly been less productive without him, averaging 77 yards in the two games he has missed. Still, it’s a small sample size that shouldn’t be overvalued, so I expect both players to remain high-end WR2 options. Meanwhile, Reynolds has only averaged two receptions and fewer than 30 yards in the games Kupp has missed, so he’s still not a viable fantasy option unless you’re hoping to get lucky with a touchdown.

Of course, the potential loss of Kupp would also negatively affect quarterback Jared Goff. Goff has averaged 330 passing yards in the eight games Kupp has played this season, but he has only averaged 249 passing yards in the two games Kupp missed. However, Goff is in a dynamic offense and is averaging over two touchdowns per game both with and without Kupp, so he should continue to put up QB1 numbers.

 

Marvin Jones, WR, Detroit Lions

Jones left Sunday’s game against the Bears with a knee injury in the third quarter. He suffered the injury when he was trying to catch a pass, and he did not return to the game.

Impact

The Lions have not released any information regarding Jones’ injury, so we may have to wait for this week’s practice reports before we’ll know the severity. If Jones is forced to miss Week 11 against the Panthers, then Kenny Golladay would become the clear No. 1 receiver, with T.J. Jones, Brandon Powell, and possibly Bruce Ellington also getting mixed in. Golladay — who caught six of 13 targets for 78 yards and a touchdown on Sunday, after catching only six passes on seven targets over the previous three games combined — would likely be forced back into a high-volume role if Jones can’t play. Given his talent, you can rate him as a WR2 in that scenario. As for the other receivers, none of them have proven to be usable fantasy commodities thus far, so it’s probably best to leave them on the waiver wire. However, if you’re really in a pinch, then sixth-year running back Theo Riddick — who has been getting snaps in the slot — could be a viable flex option in deeper PPR leagues.

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.