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Wait, you thought it was going to end?
Injuries continue to pile up in the NFL, and we are only in Week 5. Or, depending on how you look at it, already in Week 5. Either way, you’d have to be very, very lucky to go five weeks without someone on your roster suffering some type of injury. By now, you are well aware of what we do in this column, so let’s get right to it.
Tomorrow is football, after all.
Foster fought through his nagging hamstring last week, but played just 39 snaps, carrying the football just eight times for six yards. He made up for it a bit with seven grabs for 55 yards. Things are looking more promising this week, as he’s already listed as probable, compared to a game-time decision last week. We’ll probably still see a bit of Alfred Blue again, but Foster shouldn’t be in and out as much as last week. He was limited during both Thursday and Friday’s practices.
As for his teammate, Johnson left Sunday’s win against Buffalo late with an apparent ankle injury. After the game, he stated that the injury wasn’t serious and that he’d be ready for Week 5, but he didn’t practice at all on Friday. It could just be for precautionary reasons, but he’s officially listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Cowboys. Keep an eye on this, but luckily, the game kicks off at 1 o’clock. If he isn’t able to go, DeAndre Hopkins would get all of the looks, while tight end Garrett Graham would see an uptick in production in a dream matchup.
This is a bit trickier.
Head coach Jim Caldwell stated that Calvin could sit Sunday’s game against the Bills, but the Detroit Free Press reported that Johnson is expected to play. Welp. On Sunday, Calvin was used as a decoy, playing few snaps, but escaped the game without suffering any setbacks. Calvin could very well play, but we’ve seen this from him quite a bit. He’ll play, but clearly isn’t 100 percent and has a below average game. Still, if he is active, you can’t bench him. You’ll feel a lot worse starting him and he falters than you would benching him and he goes off. Another early game, so we’ll know ahead of lineup lock.
Meanwhile, running back Joique Bell has already been ruled out for this game with a concussion. The good news is that he is progressing through the concussion protocol and has already been cleared for physical activity, so he should be good for Week 6. Also, Theo Riddick has been ruled out for this game, so Reggie Bush should be one of the week’s leaders in snaps, for sure. Buffalo is currently surrendering seven receptions per game to opposing backs, the second-most in the NFL. Bush, meanwhile, is hauling in 4.5 balls per game. He’s a top-12 running back play this week.
Ben Tate, Cleveland Browns (knee)
Another interesting one, as Tate is listed as probable, but he has some second thoughts about his status. He considers himself more as questionable, according to Mark Kay Cabot. He wants to see if there is any swelling on Saturday before he 100 percent declares himself active. Assuming he plays, the Browns already stated that he’ll open the game as the starting running back, but we will definitely see some of Isaiah Crowell, who is listed as the number two back on the depth chart. It’s a good matchup for both guys, as Tennessee is surrendering the ninth-most fantasy points per game to opposing backs and five rushing touchdowns thus far.
Eric Decker, New York Jets (hamstring)
Decker didn’t practice again on Friday and is once again listed as questionable for this Sunday, but looking more like a game-time call. The Jets play at four, making this even more annoying for fantasy owners. The last time he was a game-time call, the Jets said they would use him sparingly, but he still went out and caught a touchdown pass. Hamstring injuries are easy to tweak and aggravate, so Decker is definitely a risky play once again in Week 5.
Both Carolina backs are listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game against the Bears. Carolina recently signed Chris Ogbonnaya for some running back depth, but it appears that Darrin Reaves will draw the first start. The Panthers have stated that they will use a hot hand approach. All three backs will get early work against the Bears exploitable run defense, but which ever guy seems to be riding the momentum will likely see the most snaps. It’s an ugly situation for fantasy, but if you are desperate and had to choose one, I’d go with Reaves. He’s easily the most explosive of the bunch.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the significant injuries:
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