Every NFL season, there is at least one week that is defined by injuries, and unfortunately, it seems like Week 2 was that week this season, as we had a number of big names exit with injuries Sunday.
While Baker Mayfield, Matthew Stafford, and Derrek Carr were all able to play through their injury scares without issue, all in all, four different starting quarterbacks were unable to finish their games during the 1 p.m. window Sunday. Elsewhere, the 49ers injury issues in the backfield continued, while the AFC North lost a couple of No. 1 wide receivers.
Here’s everything you need to know about from Sunday’s games, and we’ll be updating this story with any other injuries from the later games:
Every single 49ers RB got hurt
Well, not everyone — Trenton Cannon escaped unscathed. However, Elijah Mitchell suffered a shoulder injury on a goal-line carry in the fourth quarter that pushed JaMycal Hasty into a lead role. Hasty managed three straight runs to open the next drive before suffering an ankle injury, which opened the door for rookie Trey Sermon — who promptly suffered a concussion on his very first carry of the game.
Hasty and Sermon were unable to return to the game, while Mitchell gutted out the final two drives, rushing three times for 10 yards after his injury. Mitchell was the clear lead back in this game notwithstanding the injuries, rushing 17 times, albeit for just 42 yards while adding two catches for 11 yards. He would have had a better Fantasy day, but he had a touchdown overturned by replay on the play where he suffered the shoulder injury.
We’ll see what all of these injuries mean throughout the week, but all three should be considered questionable for Week 3 against the Packers. The 49ers, of course, already lost their starting running back, Raheem Mostert, in Week 1 after just a few plays. This has been an ongoing issue for the 49ers over the years. Whoever ends up running for them tends to look pretty good, but they’ve also had trouble keeping their runners healthy. If Hasty or Sermon is available in your league, they’ll be worth adding just in case one of them ends up being the one who is able to play next week, though you have to assume if Mitchell is active, he’ll continue to be the lead back.
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There were QB injuries everywhere
- Carson Wentz (ankle) — Did not return — Wentz suffered the injury on an awkward hit by Aaron Donald, and while he went to the sidelines and tried to gut it out, coach Frank Reich told reporters the ankle stiffened up immediately and made it impossible for Wentz to play through it. Jacob Eason replaced him, and he will likely be the starter if Wentz does have to miss time — which would be bad news for the Colts offense in Week 3 at the Titans. Wentz hasn’t played particularly well, but Eason’s five attempts — he went 2 for 5 with 15 yards and an interception — Sunday were the first of his career. And, with Sam Ehlinger out with a knee injury, the Colts will likely have to add a veteran in case Wentz isn’t able to go.
- Andy Dalton (knee) — Did not return — Dalton tried to fight through his injury as well, but he wasn’t able to. Reports indicate the team does not believe it to be an ACL tear, but the fact that was in question does seem to indicate this might not be just a short-term thing. Rookie Justin Fields came into the game to replace Dalton and had his ups and downs, going 6 for 13 for 60 yards and an ugly interception, while rushing for 31 yards on 10 carries — though he did have 35 on seven carries before kneeling three times to end the game. If Dalton has to sit out Week 3 against the Browns, Fields would be worth considering as a streamer for that matchup, and would be worth adding in all leagues because he has huge potential as a rusher. He’ll be the top target on waivers among quarterbacks.
- Tua Tagovailoa (ribs) — Did not return — Tagovailoa will undergo an MRI to determine the severity of the injury Monday, but he was diagnosed initially with bruised ribs. Hopefully that’s all it is, but we’ll find out more in the next couple of days. The problem is, no matter whether it is Tagovailoa or backup Jacoby Brissett in there, there isn’t a lot to be optimistic about with this Dolphins team as long as their offensive line remains as big of an issue as it is. They’ve had tough matchups against the Patriots and Bills to open the season, but from what we’ve seen so far, you have to be pretty pessimistic about their chances even against the Raiders in Week 3. Jaylen Waddle might be the only startable player on this whole offense.
- Tyrod Taylor (hamstring) — Did not return — Taylor tweaked the injury on his rushing touchdown, then aggravated it on his final pass attempt of the first half and was unable to return to the game. He’ll have an MRI to determine the severity of the injury, but NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport is already reporting he won’t be able to play in Week 3 against the Panthers — that game is on Thursday night, and rookie third Davis Mills will likely start in his place. It’s going to be very hard to trust anyone in that offense though Brandin Cooks now has 14 catches for 210 yards and a touchdown through his first two games, and just seems to be good with whoever his quarterback is.
Other notable Week 2 Fantasy injuries
- Darrell Henderson (ribs) — Did not return — Henderson was once again playing a significant role before the injury, picking up every touch for the Rams backs and dominating snaps just like he did in Week 1. However, staying healthy has been an issue for Henderson in his career, and now he has to deal with this ahead of Week 3 against the Buccaneers. He rushed for 53 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries, with three catches for 29 yards before the injury, and it would be hard to bench him in Fantasy given how much work he is getting if he is able to play. Sony Michel came into the game and rushed for 46 yards on 10 carries after Henderson’s injury, but would likely be just a low-end starting RB for Fantasy purposes if Henderson is out.
- Diontae Johnson (knee) — Did not return — Johnson might have had the most aggravating injury of the day, since his came as time expired with the Steelers down by nine — it was an utterly meaningless play. He has played very well to start the season, with his nine catches for 105 yards giving him 14 for 141 and a touchdown through two games, with 22 targets. Hopefully, the injury isn’t too serious heading into Week 3 against the Bengals, but we’ll have to watch this one this week. If Johnson does have to miss time, JuJu Smith-Schuster figures to be the primary short-area target for Ben Roethlisberger, who is once again leaning on short throws heavily. Chase Claypool would likely also see a bump in Fantasy value, and he would probably have more upside than Smith-Schuster — but also a lower floor.
- Jarvis Landry (knee) — Did not return — Landry is thought to have suffered a sprained MCL, and he’ll probably have an MRI in the coming days to confirm the severity of the injury. It’s good to know this isn’t a worst-case scenario, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to worry about here. Depending on the severity of the sprain, Landry could be looking at a multi-week absence. That’s bad news for a team that is already missing Odell Beckham (knee), with no real sign of when he might return. With Landry missing much of the game, the Browns threw just 21 passes Sunday against the Texans, with 16 targets going to tight ends or running backs. Expect that to continue if both Landry and Beckham are out, at least until someone like Rashard Higgins or Donovan Peoples-Jones steps up.
- Nico Collins (shoulder)/Danny Amendola (hamstring) — Did not return — The Texans receiving corps was already shallow before these injuries. If Collins and Amendola are forced to miss time, Anthony Miller would likely be active and might actually figure into the game plan. However, with Mills starting, there won’t be anyone in this offense worth trusting for Fantasy beyond Cooks, no matter who is active.