Sunday of NFL Week 13 was (thankfully) a quieter day on the injury front.
Running back Frank Gore suffered a concussion and receivers Brandin Cooks and Tyler Lockett were examined for concussions while running backs Darrell Henderson and Joshua Kelley suffered knee injuries. Quarterback Brandon Allen sustained a chest injury.
Here’s a recap of the biggest injuries to players across the league and how it could impact fantasy football heading into the playoffs:
Brandin Cooks, WR, Houston Texans (head)
Cooks had a scary moment during Sunday’s game against the Colts. The receiver — who has suffered a number of concussions in the past — was evaluated for a concussion during the third quarter of Sunday’s game. He was supposed to take over as the Texans’ No. 1 option with Will Fuller suspended for six games and caught five of eight targets for 65 yards. Keke Coutee — a popular Week 13 waiver add — eclipsed Cooks’ performance and caught eight of nine targets for 141 yards and Chad Hansen caught five of seven passes for 101 yards.
Cooks was eventually cleared for return, indicating the injury was not serious and should not force him to miss any time. That said, Hansen could be an interesting waiver add in deeper leagues with the Texans playing shorthanded.
Frank Gore, RB, New York Jets (concussion)
Gore suffered a concussion on the second play of the Jets’ 12th loss on Sunday and would not return. He finished with one carry for 2 yards and was replaced by Ty Johnson and Josh Adams. Johnson shouldered the majority of the workload and saw 22 carries for 104 yards and a touchdown and caught two passes for 13 yards, while Adams saw eight carries for 74 yards. Gore was expected to see a big role in this game with La’Mical Perine still on injured reserve. If he were to miss time, it appears that Johnson would be the preferred add out of the Jets’ backfield.
Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks (head)
Lockett was evaluated for a concussion early in Sunday’s loss to the Giants after a hard hit by linebacker Devante Downs. He was knocked face down and was tended to on the field before being helped to the medical tent, but was surprisingly cleared for return. He ended the game with six catches on nine targets for 63 yards and should be fine moving.
Darrell Henderson, RB, Los Angeles Rams (knee)
Henderson suffered a knee injury during the second quarter of Sunday’s game against the Cardinals. He finished with three carries for 49 yards and a touchdown and caught two of three targets for 25 yards. In his absence, rookie Cam Akers picked up 21 carries for 72 yards and a touchdown and caught a pass for 22 yards; Malcolm Brown saw just three carries for -3 yards, and a catch for 30 yards. It’s unclear how serious Henderson’s injury is, but Akers should be considered Los Angeles’ main running back. Akers should be rostered in all leagues moving forward.
Brandon Allen, QB, Cincinnati Bengals (chest)
Allen suffered a chest injury during the fourth quarter of Sunday’s loss against the Dolphins. He finished completing 11 of 19 attempts for 153 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Allen was replaced by Ryan Finley, who went 6-for-7 for 40 yards and a touchdown. Allen — who was already subbing for an injured Joe Burrow — isn’t fantasy relevant, but his health does impact other skill position players on the Bengals roster, such as Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd.
Higgins’ and Boyd’s fantasy values had already taken a serious hit with Burrow out, and could be downgraded even further if Finley is named the starter moving forward.
Joshua Kelley, RB, Los Angeles Chargers (knee)
Kelley suffered an ankle injury during Sunday’s embarrassing 45-0 loss to the Patriots. He saw zero carries and caught two passes for 3 yards. Virtually nothing went right for the Chargers during this game, including their anemic rushing attack. Austin Ekeler saw eight carries for 36 yards and caught four of nine targets for 32 yards, while Kalen Ballage saw seven carries for 34 yards and caught three of four targets for 5 yards. It’s unclear what Kelley’s status is moving forward, but the rookie wasn’t siphoning significant workload out of the Chargers backfield prior to this. His injury is mostly a non-factor except in the deepest of leagues.