• Tua Tagovailoa‘s scary head injury: The second-year quarterback suffered a concussion that induced a fencing response.
• Jonathan Taylor likely to miss Week 5: The Indianapolis Colts RB injured his ankle after a fumble in the fourth quarter. It appears Taylor may have sustained the dreaded high-ankle sprain and will likely miss Week 5 as a result.
Estimated Reading Time: 4 mins
An NFL player's injury status can have a significant effect on both real-life and fantasy football. Maybe most importantly at this time of year — at least for some — is that injuries heavily influence fantasy football rankings and start/sit decisions.
Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa suffered a concussion, which induced a fencing response in the second quarter of their Thursday night match-up with the Cincinnati Bengals. There is a lot of controversy as to whether or not Tagovailoa should have been playing in the first place after what looked like a concussion the previous week. Tests have come back clean and he is currently in the five-step concussion protocol. He has extra time due to when the Dolphins schedule but because he potentially suffered two concussions in five days, I would not be surprised if he missed Week 5. I believe the right thing to do is give him some time to let his brain fully heal due to the risk of second impact syndrome
Bengals TE Drew Sample injured his knee in the second quarter. He already underwent surgery and will miss several months. WR Tee Higgins suffered a minor ankle injury during the opening drive of the game. Higgins went on to have a monster game, and I expect him to play in Week 5 with no limitations.
Buffalo Bills WR Jamison Crowder injured his ankle in the third quarter. I believe he suffered a high-ankle sprain, which carries an average return to play of four-to-six weeks. WR Isaiah McKenzie sustained a head injury in the third quarter as well. He will likely be placed in the five-step concussion protocol. His ability to progress will determine his availability for Week 5.
Baltimore Ravens RB Justice Hill suffered a hamstring injury in the fourth quarter — a Grade 1 would require a one-to-three week recovery, a Grade 2 needs four-to-eight weeks, and a Grade 3 necessitates a two-to-three month recovery. The injury severity will determine Hill’s availability.
Washington Commanders WR Jahan Dotson injured his hamstring in the fourth quarter. This is a brutal soft tissue injury for a skill player. Grade 1 typically requires a one-to-three week recovery. It is important he is fully healthy when he returns, as the recurrence rate is 20-25%.
Dallas Cowboys WR Noah Brown injured his neck in the fourth quarter. He was favoring his arm, which leads me to believe he may be dealing with a stinger. If so, then there is a good chance he will be ready for Week 5.
Detroit Lions WR Quintez Cephus injured his foot in the third quarter. It is unclear the specific injury or severity but from the sounds of his coach, he could miss some time. Cephus will undergo further testing Monday.
Tennessee Titans WR Treylon Burks was carted off the field with a foot injury in the fourth quarter. I am concerned he is dealing with a mid-foot sprain or fracture. The worst-case scenario would be a Lisfranc injury. Burks will undergo further examination on Monday to determine the injury and severity. I believe he will miss Week 5 and possibly more.
Indianapolis Colts RB Jonathan Taylor suffered an ankle injury when he fumbled late in the game. The replay showed Taylor‘s ankle getting rolled up, which is a common mechanism for a high-ankle sprain. Even if he escaped with a low ankle sprain it will be extremely hard for him to be ready for the Colts' Thursday night game.
New York Giants QB Daniel Jones suffered an ankle injury in the third quarter. I believe he suffered a high-ankle sprain, and four-to-six weeks is the average timeline for return to play. QB Tyrod Taylor suffered a concussion shortly thereafter. He will enter the five-step concussion protocol. He has a chance to be ready for Week 5, pending his progression through the protocol.
New England Patriots QB Brian Hoyer suffered a concussion in the first quarter. He will enter the five-step protocol and has to clear it to play in Week 5. TE Jonnu Smith suffered an ankle injury in the second quarter. He did not return, but the specific injury and severity are unclear. Smith will undergo further testing Monday.
Denver Broncos RB Javonte Williams suffered a potentially serious knee injury in the third quarter. The replay showed William’s knee hyperextending and shifting laterally. My main concerns are a bone bruise and a meniscus PCL or ACL tear. He will undergo further testing on Monday, but I fear he is going to miss significant time.
Update: Williams' MRI revealed that he suffered a torn ACL in addition. to a torn LCL and posterior lateral corner. Research shows the return-to-play rate is 64% for NFL players, but return to preinjury levels is just 30% for those suffering a multi-ligament knee injury.