It’s finally here. Week 1 of the 2020 NFL football season starts tonight, as the Chiefs and Texans kick the year off at Arrowhead! After a short, but turbulent training camp, real football is knocking on the door, and with it, comes injury news.
Before we begin, one quick note about an NFL rule change that is pertinent to injuries and IR use in 2020. There will be no limit on the amount of players who may return from IR designation this season. If placed on IR, players must sit out a minimum of 3 weeks prior to returning. The catch is, if a player is designated to return and begins practicing, they cannot simply be placed back on IR if deemed not ready for the active roster. If a player returns to practice, but is not listed on the active roster for a game within 21 days of their return, the team has to release the player. What this means for fantasy is that an IR designation is not the end of the season, and if a player returns from IR, they are almost certainly ready to play.
Joe Flacco, New York Jets (neck): OUT
Flacco passed his physical, and was seen practicing on a limited basis on Wednesday. He will not be ready for week 1. Sam Darnold is the clear starter for New York.
Marcus Mariota, Las Vegas Raiders (pectoral): OUT, IR
Initially believed to compete with Derek Carr for the starting job in Las Vegas, Mariota has struggled through camp and has now been placed on IR with a pectoral strain. He is eligible to return after 3 weeks, but will likely remain the backup to starter Derek Carr.
David Montgomery, Chicago Bears (groin): QUESTIONABLE
Montgomery was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday. While speaking to the media, teammate Tarik Cohen said, “It’s like it never happened.” If Montgomery is able to continue practicing this week, expect him to play Sunday in Detroit. However, limit expectations as the Bears may limit his workload early to prevent any further overuse injury.
Melvin Gordon, Denver Broncos (ribs): QUESTIONABLE
Gordon has been dealing with a rib injury since the early weeks of training camp. He has been a participant in practice, but it is not known in what capacity. Signs point to Gordon being ready for their week 1 tilt against the Titans.
D’Andre Swift, Detroit Lions (hip): QUESTIONABLE
Swift was a limited participant in Wednesday’s practice. He is expected to be ready for week 1 against the Bears, but a limited snap count may be in line with an already crowded backfield.
Ryqell Armstead, Jacksonville Jaguars (illness): OUT
Armstead is back on the Reserve-COVID-19 list. There is no timetable for his return.
Devine Ozigbo, Jacksonville Jaguars (hamstring): OUT, IR
Ozigbo did not participate in Wednesday or Thursday’s practice. He has been placed on IR, and will not be eligible to return until week 4. This leaves James Robinson, Chris Thompson, and Dare Ogunbowale as the only healthy running backs in Jacksonville.
Damien Harris, New England Patriots (hand): OUT, IR
Harris will begin the season on IR after undergoing surgery to repair a fractured finger. He is eligible to return as early as week 4, but there is no current timetable for his return.
La’Mical Perine, New York Jets (ankle): QUESTIONABLE
Perine suffered a low ankle sprain on September 1st. He did not participate in practice on Wednesday and is questionable for the Jets week 1 divisional matchup with the Buffalo Bills.
Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles (hamstring): QUESTIONABLE
Sanders has been a hot topic this offseason, and he is now known to be dealing with a hamstring injury. He was limited in practice on Wednesday. Head Coach Doug Pederson said that they will be cautious with Sanders, and are likely to limit his snaps until he is 100%. Check for Boston Scott on your waiver wire and scoop him up if possible. He should be an RB2 with upside if Sanders is unable to go against the Washington Football Team.
Rashaad Penny, Seattle Seahawks (knee): OUT, RESERVE/PUP
Penny suffered a torn ACL, along with further damage, to his knee last December and is not yet ready to return to action. He can be activated and begin practicing as early as Week 6. Until his return, the Seahawks will line up with Chris Carson, Carlos Hyde, or rookie Deejay Dallas in the backfield alongside Russell Wilson.
Darrynton Evans, Tennessee Titans (undisclosed): QUESTIONABLE
Evans has missed nearly a week and a half of practice with an undisclosed injury. He is expected to return to practice on Thursday. If he is not limited he is expected to back up Derrick Henry in the Titans backfield.
Russell Gage, Atlanta Falcons (groin): QUESTIONABLE
Gage was limited in Wednesday’s practice due to a groin injury. Gage is currently third on the Falcons receiver depth chart behind Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley. He has appeared in back to back practices, but if he is unable to go for Sunday’s game in Atlanta, receivers Christian Blake and Olamide Zaccheus would be next in line.
Cordarelle Patterson, Chicago Bears (knee):
Patterson was limited in practice on Wednesday with a knee injury. It is unclear what exactly the injury is or it’s extent, but a limited practice despite a new diagnosis is encouraging. Patterson was projected to receive some work at both running back and wide receiver if David Montgomery was unable to play in week 1. Keep an eye on the Bears official injury report for updates on both.
KJ Hamler, Denver Broncos (hamstring): QUESTIONABLE
Hamler notably missed out on the combine due to a hamstring injury. He also missed the majority of training camp. The Broncos have not placed him on IR, which points to their belief that he will not need to miss more than 3 weeks. However, head coach Vic Fangio said that Hamler is highly questionable for their Monday matchup with the Titans.
Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos (shoulder): QUESTIONABLE
Sutton suffered an apparent right shoulder injury after landing awkwardly on his right arm making a diving catch on Thursday. He was immediately taken to the locker room with Broncos training staff for evaluation. He will be undergoing an MRI to determine the extent of the injury. Keep an eye on the Broncos’ injury reports for more information.
Kenny Golladay & Danny Amendola, Detroit Lions (hamstring): QUESTIONABLE
Both Amendola and Golladay were limited in practice on Wednesday with hamstring injuries. Neither wideout missed time during training camp, and it is thought that they are both being limited as a precautionary measure. Head Coach Matt Patricia is notoriously mysterious with injury designations, so it is not surprising that we have so little information. If either Golladay or Amendola miss time, Quintez Cephus and Marvin Hall would be next in line.
Brandin Cooks, Houston Texans (quadriceps): QUESTIONABLE
Cooks was held out of practice on Tuesday and limited on Wednesday. The quest to become the second player in NFL history to earn 1,000 receiving yards for 4 separate teams may have to wait. He is currently questionable and will be a game time decision for this week’s Thursday Night Football season opener. Kenny Stills should move up into a greater role, should Cooks miss time.
Mike Williams, Las Angeles Chargers (shoulder): QUESTIONABLE
Williams was limited in practice on Wednesday due to an AC joint sprain. He was initially expected to miss most of September. Head Coach Anthony Lynn stated that Williams will be a “game-time decision”.
Preston Williams, Miami Dolphins (knee): QUESTIONABLE
Williams tore his ACL last season after a hot start, and is in the final stages of recovery. He has looked great in camp, but the Dolphins have limited his workload to prevent any overuse injury. He is expected to suit up for Sunday’s divisional matchup against New England, but may have a limited snap count.
DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins (hamstring): QUESTIONABLE
For the first time in two weeks, Parker returned to practice. He practiced in a limited capacity with a compression sleeve on his left leg. It will not be clear if Parker will be ready for week 1 until the Friday injury report is released. If he is unable to take the field, Isaiah Ford and newly acquired Lynn Bowden Jr. will be called upon to fill in the gaps.
Julian Edelman, New England Patriots (knee): QUESTIONABLE
Edelman is currently listed as eligible despite the consensus belief that he will be more than ready for week 1. His workload was managed throughout camp, and he practiced in limited fashion on Wednesday.
Golden Tate, New York Giants (lower body): QUESTIONABLE
Tate sat out nearly a week before turning in limited practices on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Giants do not play until Monday, and the expectation is that Tate will be ready to go. However, keep in mind that we most likely will not know his status until after the majority of week 1 has been played. I recommend placing him in a flex spot, or starting a known healthy player in his place this week as a precaution.
Alshon Jeffery, Philadelphia Eagles (foot): QUESTIONABLE
The inevitable Alshon Jeffrey injury report is here. Jeffrey is still in the process of recovering from a modified Lisfranc surgery that cost him the majority of last season. He did not practice on Wednesday and I would be surprised if he plays in week 1.
Jalen Reagor, Philadelphia Eagles (shoulder): QUESTIONABLE
Reagor practiced on Wednesday in a limited capacity. He seems to be well ahead of his initial week-to-week injury status, as I discussed on episode 69 of the RoD podcast. Several teammates commented on his play since returning, one saying, “He’s not practicing like he won’t play on Sunday.” Keep an eye on the final injury report as Reagor has generated a lot of buzz at Eagles camp.
Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers (hamstring): QUESTIONABLE
The rookie, Aiyuk, was unable to practice on Wednesday, which was expected according to head coach Kyle Shanahan. Shanahan said they will give Aiyuk the opportunity to get practice time on Thursday and Friday, and if he is good to go, he will play in week 1. Keep an eye on the 49ers injury report for more.
Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers (foot): QUESTIONABLE
Samuel is in the latter stages of recovering from a Jones fracture, which he suffered prior to training camp. While he has been working out independently in his recovery efforts, and is expected to practice in some limited capacity this week, he has yet to get full clearance from 49ers medical staff. He is listed as questionable at this time, but I would be surprised to see Samuel play this week in a full capacity.
Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (hamstring): QUESTIONABLE
Evans did not practice on Wednesday and was not spotted on the field during practice on Thursday, although he was seen working with team trainers away from the team. Missing two consecutive days of practice is never ideal, especially considering Evans missed time at the end of last season with a hamstring injury. Head coach Bruce Arians said that Evans is a game-time decision at this time.
A.J. Brown, Tennessee Titans (undisclosed): QUESTIONABLE
Brown missed two practices last weekend, but has resumed stretching with the team and participating in a limited fashion at practice. Brown is listed as questionable for Monday’s week 1 finale against Denver. Again, keep in mind Brown’s game is the last of the week, if he is a game time decision, it may be wise to start him in the flex and have a backup plan in place.
Trey Burton, Indianapolis Colts (calf): OUT, IR
Burton has been placed on IR due to a calf injury. The earliest he is eligible to return is week 4. Jack Doyle will remain the starter and primary pass catching tight end in Indianapolis, with Mo-Alie Cox and Noah Togiai backing him up.
Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins (glute): QUESTIONABLE
Gesicki was held out of practice on Saturday, but has practiced in limited capacity since. The Dolphins are limiting him as more of a precautionary measure, as they expect him to shed his injury designature before Sunday’s opener against New England.
Eddy Pineiro, Chicago Bears (groin): OUT, IR
The Bears placed their kicker on IR on Tuesday following a groin injury. He is eligible to return in week 4 at the earliest. Cairo Santos is expected to be called up from the practice squad to handle kicking duties until Pineiro can return.
Danielle Hunter, Minnesota Vikings (neck): OUT, IR
Hunter has been placed on the IR with a neck injury. He can return as early as week 4, but it is unknown how much time Hunter will miss.
Derek Barnett, Philadelphia Eagles (hamstring): QUESTIONABLE
Barnett has been dealing with injuries throughout training camp. He initially has a sprained ankle, but now faces a hamstring injury. He was a limited participant in Wednesday’s practice and is questionable for week 1.
Vernon Butler, Buffalo Bills (hamstring): QUESTIONABLE
Butler is expected to be an integral part of the Bills front 7 rotation this season. He is currently dealing with a hamstring injury that led to a limited practice on Wednesday. He is questionable for Sunday, but expected to play.
Khalil Mack, Chicago Bears (knee): QUESTIONABLE
Mack was limited in practice on Wednesday due to a knee injury. He has not missed any time during camp and it is unknown how the injury occured. It is suspected this could just be the Bears giving Mack time to rest. Keep an eye on the team’s official injury report as the week progresses.
Sean Lee, Dallas Cowboys (sports hernia): OUT, IR
The oft-injured Lee has been placed on IR due to a sports hernia. It is not yet known what his time table for return is, but he can return in week 4 at earliest.
Bradley Chubb, Denver Broncos (knee): QUESTIONABLE
Chubb suffered a torn ACL in week 4 of last year. He has been strategically limited in camp to reduce strain on his healing knee, and he may be limited in games to begin the season. Head coach Vic Fangio has stated that they will monitor Chubb’s snap count, but they expect him to play in week 1.
Von Miller, Denver Bronco (ankle): OUT, IR
The Broncos star linebacker suffered a superior, peroneal retinaculum tear, an uncommon, but treatable injury. Essentially the tendon which runs along the outer part of the ankle behind the tibia and attaches to the outer aspect of the midfoot, has dislocated and torn. This injury usually carries a 5-6 month recovery time, but some professional athletes have recovered as quickly as 3 months. This means we could see Miller later this season, but he has a long road ahead of him.
Blake Martinez, New York Giants (hand): QUESTIONABLE
Martinez has been participating in individual drills during the beginning of the week and is expected to begin participating in team drills soon. He has been dealing with a foot injury for several weeks, but it is encouraging to see him on the field well ahead of the Giants’ week 1 matchup. Martinez is currently listed as questionable, but his status should be clarified when the Giants release their injury reports later in the week.
Remember, injury status is a moving target and the majority of these situations are subject to before the weekend. Keep an eye on your roster, and monitor the official injury reports closely. When in doubt, play the healthy player, and remember, the best ability is availability! That concludes the week 1 injury report, if you have any questions or comments, please reach out to me via Twitter: @kallen_4!
Kyle Allen-Injury Writer/Editor
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