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SHOW ME WHERE IT HURTS: Week 1 Injury Fallout

Here is a list of all of the fantasy-relevant Week 1 injuries, along with the fantasy impact:

Marlon Mack, RB, Indianapolis Colts

Mack left Sunday’s game against the Jaguars with a right ankle injury in the second quarter. He had to be carted off the field, and he did not return to the game. After the game, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that the Colts fear that Mack has a torn Achilles tendon.


If the reports of a torn Achilles are true, then Mack is likely to be sidelined for the rest of the season. That would be a tough blow to the Colts running game, but it would open up more work for rookie Jonathan Taylor and third-year pass-catching specialist Nyheim Hines. Taylor, who had nine carries for 22 yards and six catches for 67 yards on Sunday, is likely to be the main early-down option in Mack’s absence. He is a powerful runner with sub-4.4 speed, and he was extremely productive when given a big workload at the University of Wisconsin. Mack’s injury easily vaults Taylor into top-20 territory moving forward, with top-12 upside due to the rookie’s talent and the team’s excellent offensive line. Hines — who had seven carries for 28 yards and a touchdown on Sunday, as well as eight catches for 45 yards and another touchdown — should be in the flex conversation, especially in PPR leagues. Colts quarterback Philip Rivers heavily utilized his running backs in the passing game when he was with the Chargers, so it is reasonable to infer that he will pepper Hines with several targets each game. Hines is worth a pickup if he’s available on your waiver wire.


Le’Veon Bell, RB, New York Jets

Bell left Sunday’s game against the Bills with a hamstring injury in the second quarter. He suffered the injury when he awkwardly attempted to catch a downfield pass. He returned to the field in the second half, but he was quickly removed from the game when it was clear that he wasn’t fully healthy. He did not return to the game after that point, and the Jets have not provided any updates on his injury status.


It’s unclear if this injury will force Bell to miss time, but he struggled with hamstring tightness in late August as well, so there is reason to believe that this could be more than a one-week issue. For now, you should keep an eye on the injury reports. If Bell misses Week 2 against the 49ers, then the Jets backfield will consist of veteran Frank Gore and third-year back Josh Adams. It’s hard to feel excited about either of those options against San Francisco’s sturdy defensive front, so it’s best to look elsewhere unless you’re in a very deep league. If you really need a warm body in your running back spot, you can consider Gore to be a top-40 option against his former team, while Adams should be left on waivers. If Bell’s injury turns out to be a long-term issue, then rookie Lamical Perine could also work his way into the running back rotation. Perine hasn’t practiced over the last two weeks due to an ankle injury, but he’s worth a stash in deep leagues if you have an empty IR spot.


Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints

Thomas left Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers with an ankle injury in the fourth quarter. He suffered the injury on a running play when his foot got pinned under Latavius Murray, who was in the process of getting tackled. Thomas limped off the field, but he was walking normally on the sideline shortly after that, and he appeared fine in the locker room after the game.


It appears that Thomas avoided a major injury, but you should still monitor the practice reports this week to see how his ankle is holding up. If Thomas is forced to miss Week 2 against the Raiders, then Emmanuel Sanders figures to be the team’s top wideout, although running back Alvin Kamara and tight end Jared Cook are also likely to see their fair share of targets. Kamara and Cook should be deployed as top-10 options at their positions regardless of Thomas’ health, while Sanders would be elevated to top-40 status with a Thomas absence, making him a flex consideration.

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.