Inside the Medical Tent: Week 4
Updated: Nov 1, 2022
by Andrew Leduc, & Brian Scott, MEd, PA-C, ATC-Ret. September 30, 2022
We saw firsthand Thursday night what can happen when a player is mishandled inside the medical tent to kick off week 4. You cannot convince me that Tua did not have a concussion Sunday. I pray for him after what we saw last night. From a less serious perspective, but the reason you are all here, let’s look at some fantasy implications. Teddy Bridgewater is a good backup to have who has run into some bad luck in his career with injuries. I have a hard time believing he will be able to allow both Hill and Waddle to hit ceilings, though. If I had to guess, we will see more games where one gets close to their ceiling than the other.
Let’s bring in Brian Scott to help us decipher some of this week’s injury concerns across the league. We will touch on some big names with some big implications. Make sure you keep an eye on the beat writers and practice participation. Do not forget that there is a game in London this week, so set your lineups Saturday night if needed.
Andrew Leduc: What can you tell us about the tightrope surgery Mac is considering?
Brian Scott, MEd, PA-C, ATC-ret: He has a severe high ankle sprain, and it sounds like they have recommended surgical treatment. As a provider, when I hear this, it makes me think that surgery is the way to go. Most surgeons who are recommending tightrope surgery are usually recommending it because they know it’s the best option. It’s one of the better surgeries that we do and has good long-term results. I feel the benefits far outweigh the negatives. Unfortunately, this will mean a long road to recovery, probably at least 6-8 weeks. I’m not sure if the timetable changes much without surgery, but the surgery definitely provides more reassurance and stability.
Prognosis: As a local in New England, I know the talk that has been going around. It sounds like the team may be pushing for the surgery, and Mac Jones may be hesitant about it. There has been the belief that it was not as serious a sprain as first believed and that he has been trying to play all week. From what I have heard, though, that is highly unlikely. I am more in line with what Brian has to say on this. I expect him to be out at least four weeks and maybe as long as eight weeks. Brian Hoyer will be the starter while trying to avoid going 0 for 12 in his last 12 starts. All pass catchers for the Patriots take a big hit here.
Andrew Leduc: It seems the Lions may be considering holding Swift out until after their Week 6 BYE. What are you seeing with his current status?
Brian Scott, MEd, PA-C, ATC-ret: He’s been playing through a low ankle sprain since the start of the season and then had a shoulder sprain (AC joint) that he incurred this past weekend. Both injuries are manageable and can be played with, which is what Swift has done with regard to the ankle. However, it was been reported by some that he reactivated the ankle again this past weekend. Given the fact that they have a Week 6 bye, it wouldn’t be unreasonable for them to sit him. However, he’s also young, and his production still remains high, as well as his value. We could see him try to play through this until the bye week.
Prognosis: Since talking with Brian, Swift has been ruled out officially. This does not come as a surprise. Jamaal Williams is a very capable backup, though, and should find some good fantasy success in Swift’s absence. I see him being able to slide into your running back two conversations easily this week.
Andrew Leduc: A separated shoulder took him out of the game Sunday. It seems he will play, but what is the likelihood of re-injury?
Brian Scott, MEd, PA-C, ATC-ret: Dalvin Cook dislocated his shoulder this past weekend. According to multiple reports, he has a history of this happening on several different occasions. The problem with these types of injuries is that once you have multiple dislocations, the risk of dislocating goes exponentially higher each time, and it can happen with much less trauma. Each time the shoulder pops out of the joint, you risk further damaging the structures that help stabilize the joint, thus eventually requiring more extensive surgery and longer recovery. He’ll likely be playing with a brace if he does suit up, but this could come to a point in the season where they might wanna consider removing him completely and addressing this once and for all. Some players in the past have been able to play through this and then had surgery in the off-season, but being a skilled position running back that can be an extremely tall task to accomplish.
Prognosis: Once again, news has come out since the conversation. Dalvin Cook has been removed from the injury report and is a full-go for Sunday. This was always the expectation, but if you grabbed Alexander Mattison in case Cook missed time, I would hold on to him for a while. Mattison is one of the most serviceable backups in the league. Given this injury and Cook’s injury history, he very well may save you for a week or two.
Andrew Leduc: Did Allen get enough rest last week to be able to put the hamstring in the past, or is this something he will be dealing with all year?
Brian Scott, MEd, PA-C, ATC-ret: He’s been dealing with a hamstring injury for the past several weeks but fortunately did have an extended rest due to a Thursday night game in Week 2. You can’t fault any team for treating hamstring injuries very cautiously at the beginning of the season when it’s one of your skill position players who is also an important part of your team’s offense. This could come down to a game-time decision, so pay very close attention to local and beat reporters. Also, watch his status and participation in practice throughout the week to see how much he ramps up his activity heading into the weekend. If treated well early, then it should not linger into the season, but if this hasn’t adequately healed, then it could plague him for quite some time.
Prognosis: As a Keenan Allen owner, I have been happy to see his participation in practice this week be consistent. I have confidence he will suit up this week and return to the bright first half he got off to in week one. Mike Williams and Josh Palmer are great pieces, but I think it is clear this offense still needs the one-two punch of Ekeler and Allen to be at its best. Start him without hesitation this week if he plays.
Andrew Leduc: Is it realistic to expect Montgomery to play this week?
Brian Scott, MEd, PA-C, ATC-ret: He was injured in the first quarter of the Bears game this past weekend. He had his ankle rolled up. At first glance, people thought it might’ve been a knee injury, but it turns out that it was an ankle injury. They haven’t released many details about exactly what the injury is, only that he’s listed as day-to-day, but they also haven’t ruled out a possibility that he could go on IR. Watching the video, it looks to me like he might’ve sustained a high ankle sprain, although probably not as severe as Mac Jones. Sometimes with that type of mechanism, the knee can also be involved, which may also be limiting him, but it’s hard to tell with little information out there. I doubt will see him this week, but we should have more information as the week progresses.
Prognosis: As expected, David Montgomery has already been ruled out this week. Khalil Herbert will step in as the main back and is more than capable of handling the role. He is slowly reaching the tier that Alexander Mattison and Tony Pollard have created. I see Herbert being able to withstand solid flex value this week with the upside of running back two for your teams.
What we have this week is a problem in the NFL. Miami has severely mishandled the situation with Tua and has quite possibly put his career in jeopardy. I am not sure who is specifically to blame, but I am sure an upcoming lawsuit will find someone to point the finger at. What we can hope will come out of this is better protection and advocating for these players and their safety. Something needs to change, and I thought we had already had this realization. Obviously, the NFL needs to be reminded again. This may be a game for all of us, but in the end, we are betting on these men’s lives sometimes. Remember that when getting angry about a player sitting because of injury.
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