The Next Man Up Injury Report: Week 16

Kyle Allen

Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, it is championship week! Unless your league plays in a little bit of a nontraditional schedule format, this is the biggest week of the year. We all dream of this week while we’re drafting, trading, and making moves on the waiver wire and it is finally upon us. 2020 was highlighted by a global pandemic, NFL rule changes to accommodate it, and crazy schedule changes, but I think I can speak for most of us in saying that I am very thankful that we got to play fantasy football this year!

Whether you’re playing in a championship matchup this week or your league’s toilet bowl, this article serves to help you make informed decisions when tweaking your lineup. As always, if you have a question that isn’t answered in this article, or a question about one of these players, you can always reach out to me on twitter (@kallen_4) or reddit (u/kallen_4)!

*This list excludes players on their bye week, on the COVID list, and players currently on IR who are not eligible to return this week.*

Quarterbacks:

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions

Ribs/Thumb, QUESTIONABLE
Practice Status:
Wednesday- Limited, Thursday- Limited, Friday- Limited
Next Man Up:
Another week of questionable status for Stafford is upon us. He was limited throughout the entire week of practice and still carries a questionable designation, but is expected to suit up and play through his injuries.

Daniel Jones, New York Giants

Hamstring/Ankle, QUESTIONABLE
Practice Status: Wednesday- Limited, Thursday- Limited, Friday- Limited
Next Man Up: The Giants’ starting QB has been limited in practice all week and carries a questionable designation into the weekend. Despite this, the coaching staff has expressed that he is “on track” for a return. However, if Jones misses another week of game action, Colt McCoy will continue to lead the Giants’ offense.

Nick Mullens, San Francisco 49ers

Elbow, OUT/IR
Practice Status: N/A
Next Man Up: The 49ers lost another QB option last week when Mullens injured his elbow. While it is not publicly known exactly how severe the injury is at this time, head coach Kyle Shanahan has shared that he expects Mullens to miss an extended period of time, and rumors of Tommy John surgery have swirled. CJ Beathard stepped in for Mullens in week 15 after the injury and will start against Arizona this week. Franchise QB Jimmy Garoppolo has been designated to return from IR, but is not expected to be available this season.

Alex Smith, Washington Football Team

Calf, Questionable
Practice Status: Wednesday- Limited, Thursday- Limited, Friday- Full
Next Man Up: Alex Smith faced limitations through the week, but according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, has a “decent chance” to make another start this week. With questions surrounding Dwayne Haskins ability on the field and decision making off the field, Washington finds themselves in dire straights at the QB position.

Running Backs:

Chase Edmonds, Arizona Cardinals

Knee/Ankle, QUESTIONABLE
Practice Status: Wednesday- DNP, Thursday- DNP, Friday- Limited
Next Man Up: Edmonds again finds himself limited through the week, including two missed practices early on. He is pushing towards playing on Saturday but will likely be limited at best. Kenyan Drake is expected to carry the majority of the RB workload.

Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers

Quad, Doubtful
Practice Status:
Tuesday- DNP, Wednesday- DNP, Thursday- DNP
Next Man Up: CMC has not practiced all week and carries a doubtful designation into the weekend. It is not expected that the Panthers’ franchise back will see the field this week, which leaves Mike Davis as the bellcow yet again with running mate Reggie Bonnafon still on IR.

Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys

Calf, QUESTIONABLE
Practice Status:
Wednesday- Limited, Thursday- Limited, Friday- Limited
Next Man Up: Elliott suffered a setback on Friday last week and was unable to play in week 15. After a week of limited practice, he now carries a questionable designation for week 16. If he cannot play, Tony Pollard will take the bulk of the RB work after a nice week 15 showing.

Royce Freeman, Denver Broncos

Hip, QUESTIONABLE
Practice Status: Wednesday- DNP, Thursday- Limited, Friday- Limited

Phillip Lindsay, Denver Broncos

Hip/Knee, QUESTIONABLE
Practice Status: N/A
Next Man Up: The Broncos will be without Lindsay, and may miss out on Freeman as well this week. Freeman was able to progress somewhat as the week moved along, but will likely assume nothing more than a complimentary role behind Melvin Gordon.

Jamaal Williams, Green Bay Packers

Quadriceps, DOUBTFUL
Practice Status: Wednesday- DNP, Thursday- DNP, Friday- DNP
Next Man Up: Williams missed all of this week’s practices and is unlikely to play in week 16. Last week, rookie AJ Dillon began to make splashes in place of Williams, but it is still the Aaron Jones show in Green Bay.

Duke Johnson, Houston Texans

Neck, OUT
Practice Status:
N/A
Next Man Up: Johnson has already been ruled out due to a neck injury. This leaves David Johnson as the lead back with Buddy Howell and Scottie Phillips likely backing him up.

James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars

Ankle, QUESTIONABLE
Practice Status: Wednesday- DNP, Thursday- DNP, Friday- DNP
Next Man Up: One of the darlings of fantasy football in 2020, James Robinson, who likely appears on a large percentage of championship rosters, may not be available for the year’s most important week. He has been unable to practice all week due to an ankle injury, but still carries a questionable designation. If he is unable to go, the Jaguars backfield will likely be a mixed bag of Dare Ogunbowale, Devine Ozigbo, and Laviska Shenault.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs

Ankle, OUT
Practice Status: N/A
Next Man Up: CEH will be sidelined due to an ankle injury suffered in week 15. The Chiefs will roll with Le’Veon Bell and Darrell Williams as the two headed attack in the backfield this week. Neither pose highly reliable fantasy options, but Bell will likely be the lead back.

Cam Akers, Los Angeles Rams

Ankle, OUT
Practice Status: N/A
Next Man Up: Cam Akers makes yet another rookie RB that will miss week 16 with an ankle injury. After leaving week 15 with a high ankle sprain, he has already been ruled out, which leaves the Rams with a committee of Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown for week 16.

Damien Harris, New England Patriots

Ankle, QUESTIONABLE
Practice Status:
Thursday- Limited, Friday- Limited
Next Man Up: Harris has been limited again in practice this week. Due to the Patriots not playing until Monday night, savvy fantasy managers would be wise to look elsewhere in week 16 in case Harris does not play. James White and Sony Michel will likely lead the Patriots RB room if Harris is unavailable.

Raheem Mostert, San Francisco 49ers

Ankle, OUT/IR
Practice Status: N/A
Next Man Up: After lobbying for more money at the beginning of the year and suffering multiple injuries throughout, 2020 comes to an end with Mostert being placed on injured reserve. This move leaves Jeff Wilson as the starting RB in San Francisco with Jerick McKinnon and Tevin Coleman likely to be mixed in.

Ronald Jones, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Finger/COVID IR, OUT
Practice Status:
N/A
Next Man Up: Jones will miss his second week in a row due to a finger injury and being placed on the COVID list. Leonard Fournette should lead the charge again for Tampa’s backfield with LeSean McCoy and rookie Ke’Shawn Vaughn providing changes of pace.

Antonio Gibson, Washington Football Team

Toe, Questionable
Practice Status:
Wednesday- Limited, Thursday- Limited, Friday- Limited
Next Man Up: After missing missing the last two weeks due to a turf toe injury, it appears Antonio Gibson is trending in the right direction for week 16. Historically speaking, limited practices throughout the week bode well for RBs with turf toe injuries, although he could be limited if he does play. J.D. McKissic will likely continue to see an increase role if Gibson is out or limited.

Wide Receivers:

Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals

Groin, QUESTIONABLE
Practice Status: Wednesday- DNP, Thursday- DNP, Friday- Limited
Next Man Up: The tenured vet, Fitzgerald, was out of practice for the first 2 days this week but was able to turn in a limited performance on Friday. While he has been far from a fantasy star this year, should Fitz miss week 16, KeeSean Johnson is likely to take on his work as the third receiving option in Arizona.

Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons

Hamstring, OUT
Practice Status:
N/A
Next Man Up: Fantasy managers face yet another week without Jones in the playoffs. After battling a hamstring injury through the latter part of the season, Atlanta will be without Jones, leaving Calvin Ridley as the clear #1 receiver and Russell Gage likely to assume the #2 role for the time being.

Dez Bryant, Baltimore Ravens

Hamstring/Ankle, QUESTIONABLE
Practice Status: Wednesday- DNP, Thursday- Limited, Friday- Full

Marquise Brown, Baltimore Ravens

Hamstring/Ankle, QUESTIONABLE
Practice Status: Wednesday- N/A, Thursday- DNP, Friday- Full
Next Man Up: Both Bryant and Brown were able to turn in full practices on Friday despite limitations earlier in the week, but they still carry questionable designations into the weekend. If either or both miss week 16 or have limitations, Willie Snead IV and Miles Boykin will likely see increased roles.

John Brown, Buffalo Bills

Ankle, IR Eligible
Practice Status: N/A
Next Man Up: Brown is expected to be ready to go for week 16, but he has yet to be activated from IR. The Bills do not play until Monday night, so it is likely that Buffalo will wait to activate him until Monday. If he is unable to play, Cole Beasley and Gabriel Davis will continue to handle the majority of the receiving work behind Stefon Diggs.

Allen Robinson II

Hamstring, QUESTIONABLE
Practice Status:
Wednesday- Full, Thursday- DNP, Friday- Limited
Next Man Up: Robinson popped up on the injury report in the middle of the practice week with a hamstring injury. He was held out on Thursday, but was able to handle a limited practice on Friday. While the improvement is encouraging, and the coaching staff has expressed the expectation that he will play, RObinson is still listed as questionable. Darnell Mooney and Anthony Miller will assume increased rolls should Robinson be limited at all.

Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals

Concussion, OUT
Practice Status: N/A
Next Man Up: After suffering a concussion early in Cincinnati’s week 15 win over the Steelers, Boyd will be held out of week 16. This leaves the Bengals with veteran AJ Green and rookie Tee Higgins leading the receiver room.

Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions

Hip, OUT
Practice Status:
N/A
Next Man Up: 2020 will go down as the lost year for Kenny Golladay and likely stain his reputation for many fantasy managers. Marvin Jones has been a great receiving option both for Detroit and for managers looking for a high upside flex option in his absence, and should continue to be in championship week facing a mediocre Tampa Bay secondary.

Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs

Hamstring, QUESTIONABLE
Practice Status: Wednesday- DNP, Thursday- Limited, Friday- Limited
Next Man Up: Hill was seen receiving treatment on his hamstring during the game in week 15 and the ailment clearly carried over into week 16. He was held out of practice on Wednesday but turned in limited practice on Thursday and Friday. While it is unknown if the Chiefs will rest Hill or not this weekend, it is important to consider the risk for limitation if he does play. Should KC choose to rest their WR1, Mecole Hardman will likely assume much of his role with Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robinson continuing to provide larger targets for Patrick Mahomes

Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers

Hamstring, QUESTIONABLE
Practice Status: Wednesday- DNP, Thursday- DNP, Friday- Limited
Next Man Up: Allen was able to squeak in a limited practice to close out the week and carries a questionable designation into the weekend. Jalen Guyton has emerged as a viable flex option of late, but it will be difficult to rely on him as a reliable one in a must win matchup.

DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins

Hamstring, QUESTIONABLE
Practice Status:
Wednesday- Limited, Thursday- Limited, Friday- Limited
Next Man Up: Same thing, different week for Parker. Limited all week in practice, questionable heading into Sunday. Should he miss another week, Lynn Bowden and Mack Hollins will likely lead the way for Miami with Preston Williams on IR and Jakeem Grant questionable as well.

Golden Tate, New York Giants

Calf, OUT
Practice Status: N/A
Next Man Up: The Giants may get Daniel Jones back, but he will be without one of his better receiving options as Tate has already been ruled out. Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton will act continue to lead the Giant’s receiving attack from the WR position.

Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers

Hamstring, OUT
Practice Status:
N/A
Next Man Up: Head coach Kyle Shanahan has stated that Samuel will miss the last two weeks of San Francisco’s season due to a hamstring injury. Luckily San Francisco will get George Kittle back this week leaving the star TE and Brandon Aiyuk as the top receiving options for third string QB CJ Beathard in week 16.

Terry McLaurin, Washington Football Team

Ankle, DOUBTFUL
Practice Status: Wednesday- DNP, Thursday- DNP, Friday- DNP
Next Man Up: McLaurin was held out of practice throughout the week and is doubtful for week 16’s matchup with Carolina. This leaves Washington with Cam Sims as their leading healthy receiver and J.D. McKissic likely to see an expanded receiving role.

Tight Ends:

Dan Arnold, Arizona Cardinals

Back, QUESTIONABLE
Practice Status: Wednesday- N/A, Thursday- N/A, Friday- Limited
Next Man Up: Arnold’s status is in question for Saturday with a back injury that popped up in practice this week. With fellow TEs Maxx Williams and Darrell Daniels also questionable, it is unlikely that Kyler Murray will target the TE position often this week. DeAndre Hopkins will likely be the beneficiary of any vacated red zone and short yardage work.

Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins

Shoulder, QUESTIONABLE
Practice Status:
Wednesday- Limited, Thursday- Limited, Friday- Limited
Next Man Up: After a full week of limited practice from Gesicki, he is expected to be ready to go on Sunday. If he suffers any setbacks Durham Smythe figures to start at TE for Miami again.

Remember, injury status is a moving target and the majority of these situations are liable to change between now and game time this weekend. Keep an eye on your roster, and monitor the official injury reports closely as the week comes to an end. When in doubt, play the healthy player, and remember, the best ability is availability! That concludes the week 16 injury report, if you have any questions or comments, please reach out to me via twitter (@kallen_4) or reddit (u/kallen_4). Good luck this week––and Merry Christmas!

Kyle Allen – Injury Writer/Editor
Ride or Dynasty
Twitter: @kallen_4
Reddit: u/kallen_4