RB Week 9 injury report could have some fantasy football execs panicking as they look ahead to the weekend. With six teams bye, managers might be concerned to see the likes of Jonathan Taylor, D’Andre Swift and Derrick Henry all listed.
Let’s take a look at the latest NFL injury updates for these three fantasy options, and examine the progress of Cordarelle Patterson, Chuba Hubbard and James Conner in Week 9.
RB injury report in week 9
Please note that the exercise status listings are as follows: DNP – did not participate, LP – restricted participant, FP – full participant.
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Jonathan Taylor, IND | Ankle (DNP)
After injuring an ankle during Sunday’s game, Indianapolis Colts RB Jonathan Taylor was a non-participant in Wednesday’s practice. Concerns about that injury don’t appear to be as serious as those about the sprained ankle that cost Taylor two games earlier in the season.
In his media availability, head coach Frank Reich described this as tweaking, saying Taylor wasn’t 100% and that The team will be monitoring him throughout the week and see where he is. That kind of leaves us in limbo regarding Taylor’s availability against the New England Patriots in Week 9.
MORE: Fantasy Injury IR Updates Week 9
When Taylor is active it becomes hard not to start him in fantasy formations. However, we have no real idea how many snaps he’ll play or how effective he’ll be. In many ways, it might actually be easiest for fantasy managers when he’s seated. Although there are six teams going head-to-head this week, by this point, most fantasy rosters are already pretty thin.
With Taylor absent, the Colts have a combination of Deon Jackson, Zack Moss, Phillip Lindsay, D’vonte Price and Jordan Wilkins available. The final three of these are on the practice team, so they’ll either need to be bumped or signed by 4:00 p.m. ET on Saturday.
Jackson would have the most imaginative stat of the group as he would have flex stat in 12-team leagues, especially with all the bye weeks. When Taylor missed two games in Weeks 5 and 6, Jackson had 25 rushing attempts for 104 yards with a rushing touchdown. He added 108 receiving yards on 14 receptions and 14 targets.
D’Andre Swift, DET | Shoulder/Ankle (DNP)
It was somewhat of a surprise to see D’Andre Swift fail to attend the Detroit Lions’ Wednesday practice session. Swift played into Week 8 after being in full training all week.
During head coach Dan Campbell’s media availability, he said of Swift, “feels better now than last week so that’s a good sign.” Campbell added that the Lions would see Swift work throughout the week and that “he’ll be better.” Either that’s an elaborate smokescreen from Campbell, or Wednesday’s non-participation for Swift is as much a rest and maintenance day as anything to worry about.
We’ll need to monitor Swift’s status throughout the week to see if he’ll play on Sunday. Chances are if he does play he’s still limited and has a split role with Jamaal Williams. It’s tough not starting Swift when he’s active, but it feels like a very booming situation with him right now.
If Swift is out, then Williams is a must in all leagues. Meanwhile, Craig Reynolds will likely provide Williams with the backup but would have limited value.
Another surprising name in the RB Week 9 injury report is RB Derrick Henry of the Tennessee Titans. After a monster game against the Houston Texans, Henry is listed as a restricted competitor with a foot injury. While this is likely a rest and maintenance situation, Henry missed several games last season with a foot injury.
Mike Vrabel didn’t seem too concerned about Henry’s injury, which is another positive sign. Most of the time, this is just something to raise an eyebrow at and keep an eye on. It would not be a surprise to see Henry removed from the injury report next Friday.
Cordarrelle Patterson, ATL | Knee
We won’t officially see Cordarrelle Patterson on the Atlanta Falcons’ injury report until they activate him from injured reserve (IR). That may not be until Saturday, so we may not be able to track his progress on a daily basis. However, it was good to see Patterson returns to the practice field on Wednesday. The Falcons now have 21 days to activate it from the IR.
We didn’t receive any further updates on Patterson’s status from head coach Arthur Smith ahead of practice. However, after the practice, Patterson spoke to the media and shared this with reporters he is 90%. Barring one setback, we should expect to see Patterson on the field in Week 9.
MORE: RB Red Zone attempts in Week 9
The next question is: how much will he play? The combination of Tyler Allgeier and Caleb Huntley has done a solid job in his absence. While both weren’t always spectacular, they did enough to merit a role in the future. Combine that with the Falcons likely looking to bring Patterson back into game action and it could be a rough week for his fantasy managers.
Despite a nice matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers, it might be wise to wait another week for Patterson before he’s thrown back into the starting lineup.
James Conner, ARI | Ribs (LP)
The Cardinals held a walkthrough practice session behind closed doors today, so this is a prospective injury report. James Conner being listed as restricted after being downgraded to a non-participant last Friday is a positive step.
Conner hasn’t played since Week 5 but was a surprise gametime decision for the Thursday night soccer matchup in Week 7. Though he ultimately didn’t dress, the hope was that it meant he would be back soon. However, after suffering an apparent setback late last week, we’re in the dark as to its current status.
The Cardinals will be hoping to get Conner back this week, but fantasy managers should be cautious. While the matchup is good, we could easily see Conner sharing time with Eno Benjamin and even Keaontay Ingram.
It would be a surprise if the Cardinals throw in Conner straight back after a three-week injury layoff. What makes Conner such a difficult fantasy asset to judge is that he’s often a touchdown-dependent producer. So once he falls into the end zone, he can have a successful fantasy performance. Conner should return to a goal line on his return but starting him would be a dangerous move.
If Conner misses the game, Benjamin is a 12-team flex option. Meanwhile, Ingram has 16 teams under consideration after Darrel Williams was placed on IR this week.
Chuba Hubbard, CAR | knuckles (LP)
After missing Week 8 with an ankle injury, Chuba Hubbard was back in training to open Week 9. Hubbard appeared to have his first attempt at regaining the lead in Carolina after Christian McCaffrey left. However, D’Onta Foreman found the end zone three times in his absence last week, which changed the picture slightly.
Provided he has no setbacks, Hubbard should be on track to play this weekend. The key will be how much the Carolina Panthers bring him into the game if Foreman continues to play well. Hubbard’s presence on Sunday would cloud things over for Foreman’s fantasy manager.
Ultimately, it would be difficult to trust Hubbard this week, whether he’s acquitted on Friday or a game decider. If Hubbard misses the game, Foreman is a serious starting option in all league sizes.
Damien Harris, Nebraska | disease (DNP)
Damien Harris opened Week 9 listed as a non-participant on the New England Patriots injury report. While the situation can only be viewed as an illness, over the past two weeks we have seen that illness designations have been quite disruptive.
Both Darrell Henderson and Davante Adams struggled to overcome illness-related issues in Week 8 so Harris shouldn’t be taken for granted at this point in how he plays and sees a lot of touching.
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We have to see how the situation develops. If Harris is fully cleared by Friday, the Patriots backfield should be in a situation similar to last week’s. When Harris is out or limited, Rhamondre Stevenson is an indispensable starting value in all league sizes.
JD McKissic, WHAT | neck (DNP)
Neck injuries for running backs are never ideal. However, from a fantasy perspective, the impact seems minimal. Antonio Gibson appears to have played a significant part in the receiving role. McKissic has been a small part of the offense for the past few weeks and has all but lost his fantasy value at this point.