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SHOW ME WHERE IT HURTS: Week 11 Injury Fallout

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

Marlon Mack, RB, Indianapolis Colts

Mack left Sunday’s game against the Jaguars with a right hand injury in the third quarter. He did not return to the game. After the game, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Mack fractured his hand and that he will have scans to determine if surgery is necessary. Schefter also reported that Mack will not play against the Texans on Thursday night.

Impact

It seems certain that Mack will be sidelined for at least one game, but if he needs surgery, then he will be out for an extended period of time. No matter how long Mack is out, it will likely be a combination of Nyheim Hines, Jonathan Williams, and Jordan Wilkins sharing the backfield during that time period. With Wilkins inactive against the Jaguars due to an ankle injury, it was Williams who took over as Mack’s backup, carrying the ball 13 times for 116 yards. If Wilkins is sidelined again in Week 12, then Williams would be in the top-30 conversation at the running back position. But if Wilkins plays, then the backfield touches would be difficult to predict, rendering all of the team’s running backs unusable.

 

Auden Tate, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

Tate left Sunday’s game against the Raiders with a neck injury in the fourth quarter. He suffered the injury when he was hit from behind during a catch, and he had to be carted off the field. He gave a thumbs up to the crowd as he was placed on the cart, but he was quickly ruled out for the rest of the game.

Impact

We don’t know the severity of Tate’s injury at this point, but it looked scary on the field, and the need for a cart certainly casts doubt on his future availability. If he is sidelined for any amount of time, then Alex Erickson will likely start opposite Tyler Boyd, although John Ross is also eligible to return from IR in Week 14. In any case, it’s difficult to trust any Bengals receiver with Ryan Finley as the quarterback, so you’re better off steering clear of the situation.

 

James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Conner left Thursday’s game against the Browns with a right shoulder injury in the second quarter. He appeared to aggravate the AC joint injury that had sidelined him for the previous two games, and he did not return to the game against the Browns.

Impact

It’s unclear if this is a serious setback for Conner or if the Steelers were simply being cautious with him. For now, you’ll have to keep an eye on Pittsburgh’s injury reports to see if his status improves throughout the week. If Conner can’t play in Week 12 against the Bengals, then Jaylen Samuels would once again be the team’s starting running back, with Trey Edmunds also likely to get significant work. Neither player has been particularly impressive in Conner’s stead, but Samuels would still be a top-20 option in PPR leagues because of his usage in the passing game. Edmunds is merely a flex consideration for leagues with 16+ teams.

 

JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson, WRs, Pittsburgh Steelers

Smith-Schuster and Johnson both left Thursday’s game against the Browns after suffering concussions. Both players were helped off the field and taken to the locker room, and Johnson appeared to be bleeding from the ear. Neither player returned to the game, and they are both in the concussion protocol.

Impact

Both players will have to clear the five-step protocol in order to play against the Bengals in Week 12. If neither of them is able to make it back for that game, then second-year wideout James Washington would become the team’s No. 1 receiver. That hasn’t been a particularly valuable role this season, but in a good matchup against the Bengals, Washington would be a top-40 WR option. This scenario would also make Vance McDonald a borderline TE1 in 12-team 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.