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SHOW ME WHERE IT HURTS: Week 16 Injury Fallout

We’re coming to the end of the fantasy season, and hopefully you don’t play in a league where Week 17 matters. However, for those unfortunate few who are playing in Week 17, we’ve still got you covered on the injury front. There thankfully weren’t too many injuries this week, but there are a handful of players to monitor. Here’s everything we know about the injuries from Week 16, along with the fantasy impact:

Demaryius Thomas, WR, Houston Texans

Thomas left Sunday’s game against the Eagles with an Achilles injury in the fourth quarter. He suffered the injury while blocking on a wide receiver screen, and he had to be carted off the field. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Thomas is believed to have torn his Achilles, although he’ll undergo further tests to confirm the initial diagnosis.

Impact

If the reports of a torn Achilles prove to be true, Thomas’ season will be over, and his status for 2019 could also be in question. That’s an unfortunate development for one of the most consistent receivers in recent memory, and it will likely push fourth-year wideout DeAndre Carter into a full-time starting role. Carter was second on the team (after DeAndre Hopkins) in targets, receptions, and receiving yards on Sunday, and he could once again find himself in a high-volume role in Week 17. However, he’ll have a tough matchup against the Jaguars, and the potential return of Keke Coutee — who has missed the last four games with a hamstring injury — could also muddy the waters. At this point of the season, Hopkins is the only Texans wideout you can trust in your starting lineup.

Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans

Mariota left Saturday’s game against the Redskins with a stinger injury on his throwing arm in the second quarter. He was listed as questionable to return, but he did not re-enter the game. After the game, Titans head coach Mike Vrabel said that Mariota is “still being evaluated.”

Impact

At this point, it’s unclear if Mariota’s stinger is related to his previous injuries or if it will affect his Week 17 status, so you’ll need to monitor the practice reports this week. If Mariota is forced to miss the game, then eighth-year quarterback Blaine Gabbert would get the start against the Colts. Gabbert led Tennessee to a comeback victory on Saturday, but he doesn’t have the athletic ability of Mariota, which means that the whole Titans passing game would have to be downgraded. Corey Davis is ultimately the only Titans pass-catcher you can start, and even he would rank outside the top 30 if Gabbert is under center.

Dante Pettis, WR, San Francisco 49ers

Pettis left Sunday’s game against the Bears with a left knee injury in the second quarter. He grabbed his knee after he went down on a short catch, and he remained down on the field for a few minutes. He required assistance to limp off the field, and he was eventually ruled out for the game. After the game, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said that Pettis suffered an MCL injury.

Impact

The severity of Pettis’ injury is unknown at this point, but his inability to walk under his own power is not a great sign. With only one game left and nothing to play for, the 49ers seem likely to rest Pettis in Week 17 so that he will have the entire offseason to recover. With Marquise Goodwin suffering a minor Achilles injury near the end of Sunday’s game, the 49ers could be without their top two wideouts against the Rams this week. If that’s the case, Kendrick Bourne, Trent Taylor, and Richie James would be the likely starters, although none of them are appealing fantasy options. Bourne would be the preferred play if you’re absolutely desperate, but tight end George Kittle will probably continue to garner the lion’s share of the targets.

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.