ProFootballDoc: Week 7 Fantasy Friday Injury Issues and Unknowns

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The Eagles should have won going away after dominating in first downs 27-17 but needed a late, come-from-behind rally against the Giants after wasting too many red zone opportunities. The bottom line is they won and are in first place in the NFC East with just two wins. Star WR DeSean Jackson just made it back from a multi-week hamstring injury and now looks to be out for a few weeks with a high ankle sprain after being injured on a punt return.

Here are the top 10 fantasy issues and unknowns headed into the weekend.

1) Raiders O-line – The entire Raiders starting offensive line is on the COVID list. Right tackle Trent Brown tested positive and will be out this week at least, but the other four starters were placed on the list as “high risk.” This means a minimum five-day stint in quarantine. Fortunately, they play at home. Otherwise they would not be traveling and playing. With the new “home field advantage,” the rest of the starters still have a chance to come off the list and play. The game has been moved up to the afternoon and out of Sunday night to ensure there is a night game for TV.

2) Michael Thomas – The Saints WR has missed three weeks with a high ankle sprain and one more week due to suspension for a fight. Now he has a hamstring injury on top of the ankle sprain. It seems he injured his hamstring with the first day of practice this week and missed practice after that. The good news is his high ankle is fine. The bad news is the hamstring is likely enough to keep him from playing again this Sunday.

3) Baker Mayfield – The Browns QB was pulled last week with lingering rib (and likely AC joint) injury. Another week will help significantly, and I expect a bounce back for Mayfield this week against another AFC North and in-state rival, the Bengals.

4) Sam Darnold – The Jets QB should make his return this week. By game time, it will be 3.5 weeks since the injury. He finished that game but was then told to sit for the next two games. Darnold has had limited practice this week, but there is no reason he can’t play this week. He may experience some mild, residual soreness though.

5) Joe Mixon – The Bengals RB has not practiced yet this week as a result of a foot injury, but I still expect him to play on Sunday. He did return to finish the game on Sunday and has been on the sidelines of practice dancing. The rest feels precautionary, and he should suit up and play.

6) Keenan Allen – The Chargers WR had the bye last week to recover. He fell on his back making a Week 5 TD catch. A week of rest was the right prescription, and Allen has been to practice this week and is on track to play and be effective.

7) Jonnu Smith – From video, it looks like the Titans TE has a mild low ankle sprain. He is back at practice, and video shows him moving well. Expect Smith to be ready to start the game this week.

8) A.J. Brown – The Titans WR came back from a knee bone bruise and played well but has now potentially regressed. He missed practice time this week. We have to watch the final game status report closely here.

9) D. J. Chark – The Jaguars WR posted two DNPs last week but still played. This week he has not missed practice but has been limited. The ankle seems to be improving, and Chark is likely to play and be effective.

10) David Bakhtiari – The Packers blind side protector missed two straight practices with a chest issue. On video, it appears a defender fell on his chest and then caught a knee there. He did not finish the Monday Night game. Even though he has yet to practice, I still see him rallying to return to play this week

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Written by Dr. David Chao

David Chao, MD -- known digitally as Pro Football Doc -- is an expert contributor for Outkick. Chao spent 17 seasons as the team doctor for the San Diego Chargers (1997-2013) and is part of the medical team at OASIS in San Diego where he treats and specializes in orthopedic sports injuries, working with high-profile professional athletes from the NFL, NBA, and MLB.

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