Injury Status: Divisional Round Games

Thu Jan 14 10:31am ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer

The good news is we don’t have a lot of injuries for this week’s round of the playoffs. There are a few key players banged up, though, so not all teams are dealing with a full roster. This shouldn’t come as a big shock, but it still is disappointing. You always want to see teams as healthy as possible. And we still have a team that we aren’t sure who starts at quarterback. It is almost fitting for this year, though. Let’s just hope nothing else too crazy happens before the games this weekend.

Ronald Jones, RB, Bucs. Jones hurt his quad before last week’s game and didn’t play a snap. He is out of practice to start the week but has a chance to get some practice in before the week is out. The Bucs aren’t ruling him out just yet. Keep an eye on the practice notes for the latest. If Jones can’t go, Leonard Fournette starts for Tampa.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Chiefs. Edwards-Helaire has been limited in practice to start the week, which is a good sign for him to return from his ankle and hip injuries. He should make his return to the starting lineup as long as he doesn’t have a setback before the week is out. 

Sammy Watkins, WR, Chiefs. Watkins is battling a calf injury and up in the air to play right now. He is out of practice for now. The Chiefs aren’t ruling him out just yet but it doesn’t look good right now. If he can’t play, Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson get more playing time for the Chiefs.

David Njoku, TE, Browns. Njoku has a hamstring injury and is out of practice right now. He is up in the air to play. Njoku probably isn’t worth the risk even if active. He has an injury and is doing little when on the field, playing behind Austin Hooper.

Latavius Murray, RB, Saints. Murray has a quad injury and left last week’s game early with the injury. He is out of practice, which isn’t a great sign for him to play this week. The Saints are calling him up in the air, meaning he is likely a game-time decision. Murray would serve as the top backup for Alvin Kamara if he is healthy enough to play. 

Cooper Kupp, WR, Rams. Kupp has a knee contusion, which knocked him out of last week’s game. He is not practicing right now. The Rams seem fairly confident Kupp will be healthy enough to play, but nothing is certain right now. Keep an eye on the player notes for the latest on Kupp. But for now, consider him a pretty good bet to play in the Rams big game.

John Wolford, QB, Rams. Wolford injured his neck on a big hit last week and had to go to the hospital. That is never a good sign, having to go to the hospital. But the Rams aren’t ruling him out just yet. He is out of practice to start the week, but would likely start for the Rams if he can recover from his injury before the game. But for now, look for Jared Goff to start, meaning the Rams likely go with a run-heavy approach offensively. 

Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at jeff@rtsports.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.

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Player Notes
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Justin Ellis Mar 4 9:23pm ET

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Davon Godchaux Mar 4 6:13pm ET

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Josh Gordon Mar 4 4:43pm ET

Seattle Seahawks WR Josh Gordon was released Thursday, March 4.

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Phillip Lindsay Mar 4 4:40pm ET

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Stephen Weatherly Mar 4 4:03pm ET

Updating a previous report, free-agent DE Stephen Weatherly (Panthers) agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the Minnesota Vikings Thursday, March 4, worth $2.5 million. The deal can be worth as much as $3 million with incentives.

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Shelby Harris Mar 4 3:33pm ET

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Justin Simmons Mar 4 3:13pm ET

Denver Broncos impending free-agent S Justin Simmons' agent has had contract talks with the Broncos, and general manager George Paton said the goal is to sign Simmons to a long-term contract this offseason.

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Ben Roethlisberger Mar 4 2:33pm ET

Updating a previous report, Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger signed a restructured contract Thursday, March 4. He agreed to reduce his pay to $14 million from $19 million in the final year of his contract and spread the cash payment through 2022, per source. The moves lowered his cap hit to $15 million in 2021, giving the team more flexibility.

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Ben Roethlisberger Mar 4 2:30pm ET

The Pittsburgh Steelers officially signed quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to a new contract for the 2021 season on Thursday. ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Roethlisberger willingly reduced his pay to $14 million from $19 million in the final year of his deal, spreading his cash payment through 2022, according to a source. The move lowered Pittsburgh's salary cap hit by over $15 million, allowing them to make other moves to remain as competitive as possible. Big Ben was initially set for an exorbitant cap hit of $41.25 million. The 39-year-old will have one more shot at a championship and will likely retire after the 2021 season. Pittsburgh's offense could lose wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster this offseason and Roethlisberger is pretty injury prone, so he'll mostly be targeted as a fantasy backup as he heads into what will likely be his final NFL season.

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Larry Fitzgerald Mar 4 2:13pm ET

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald could return for an 18th season with the team, but head coach Kliff Kingsbury said Thursday, March 4, that the wide receiver's status remains a mystery. 'I don't know anything,' Kingsbury said in a news conference, adding it's been honor to work with Fitzgerald and hopes he plays five more years.

Fantasy Spin: Once an annual locked-in WR2, Fitz hit career season lows across the board last season at age 37 with 54 grabs for 409 yards and one TD and is off the fantasy radar outside of deeper leagues if he does play in 2021.

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Russell Wilson Mar 4 1:53pm ET

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Ben Roethlisberger Mar 4 1:33pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger on Thursday, March 4, signed a restructured contract with the team and will return for an 18th season. Terms of the new deal were not immediately available. 'We are excited we were able to come to an agreement with Ben Roethlisberger on a new contract for him to return to the Steelers in 2021,' general manager Kevin Colbert said in a story posted on the team's website. 'We know that Ben can still play at a high level and do special things for this team. Our goal remains the same - to put together a roster that will compete for another championship. We are happy that Ben will be one of our leaders to help us accomplish that goal.'

Fantasy Spin: Roethlisberger's return boosts the fantasy value of the team's pass-catchers, but Big Ben's own fantasy value at age 39 is now in the mid-QB2 range.

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Desmond Trufant Mar 4 1:33pm ET

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Allen Robinson Mar 4 1:03pm ET

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Fantasy Spin: Robinson's 12.4 yards-per-catch average in Chicago (three seasons) has dipped from his 14.1 average from his four seasons in Jacksonville, but he's caught 53 more passes in one fewer season with the Bears. The bottom line is that Robinson possesses one of the league's strongest all-around WR skill-sets and is a legit fantasy WR1 if he can finally get better QB play.

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Fantasy Spin: Kelce is fantasy gold. He has been a top-two fantasy tight end in each of the last five seasons and shows no signs of slowing down. He's a legit top-25 pick as the first non-RB or WR off the board in drafts.

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Deshaun Watson Mar 4 11:20am ET

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Wil Lutz Mar 4 11:00am ET

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Stephen Weatherly Mar 4 10:13am ET

Free-agent DE Stephen Weatherly (Panthers) agreed to an undisclosed deal with the Minnesota Vikings Thursday, March 4.

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Thomas Davis Mar 4 9:53am ET

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