NFL injury report: As Week 13 of the NFL season approaches, everyone will remember this year for the number of injuries and COVID-19 cases that have piled up across the league. We’ve seen countless starters go down this season between players landing on the NFL injury report and others hitting the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
The injuries in COVID-19 cases piled up in Week 12. From the Baltimore Ravens’ massive outbreak and star running backs testing positive to more injuries suffered by fantasy football stars, the final stretch of the season is brutal.
As the NFL Playoffs race heats up in the NFL, fantasy managers will enter Week 13 with everything on the line. It’s the final week before the fantasy football playoffs and player availability will be everything this week.
Let’s dive into the latest news and updates from the NFL injury report entering Week 13.
Updated: Dec. 6, 12:45 PM EST
Baltimore Ravens injury report: Latest news on Lamar Jackson, J.K. Dobbins and Mark Ingram
Baltimore played without three of its best players in Week 12, following a COVID-19 outbreak. While Dobbins and Ingram technically could have returned, 10 days after their initial positive test, the Ravens played it safe and kept both out.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Baltimore is expected to activate Lamar Jackson off the Reserve/COVID-19 list. The team fully anticipates him playing, despite the reigning NFL MVP missing more than a week of practice. Set to face the Bengals on Tuesday night, Jackson is a must-start fantasy quarterback for Week 13.
The Ravens have already activated Dobbins and Ingram off the Reserve/COVID-19 list. Before testing positive for the coronavirus, Dobbins had claimed the featured role in Baltimore’s offense and he will be an RB for this week. Ingram can be left on the waiver wire, with his days of fantasy relevance likely over.
NFL injury report: Latest news on Raiders RB Josh Jacobs
Update: Jacobs didn’t practice this week, hopeful to return for Week 14
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the unfortunate development regarding Jacobs’ health situation, as he continues to battle an ankle injury. Despite averaging only 3.8 yards per carry this season, Jacobs has been Las Vegas’ workhorse and ranks fifth league-wide in both rushing yards (782) and rushing touchdowns (nine).
Coming off a 43-6 loss to Atlanta last week, the Raiders desperately need to fix their offense in short order. Head coach Jon Gruden should also be concerned about the defensive side of the ball, but if Vegas can’t establish the run without Jacobs in the lineup, it’s going to be a much tougher contest against the winless New York Jets than it otherwise needs to be.
With Jacobs sidelined for Week 13, Devontae Booker will step in as the featured running back. A fourth-round pick in 2016, Booker draws a quality matchup for fantasy purposes. The New York Jets surrender 111 rushing yards per game and allowed 11 rushing touchdowns. Booker becomes a solid RB2 play for Week 13 and an intriguing DFS play.
NFL injury report: Latest news on Colts RB Jonathan Taylor (COVID-19)
Update: Jonathan Taylor activated from COVID-19 list, likely to play Week 13
Before Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans, the Indianapolis Colts placed Taylor on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. It kept him out for Week 12 and added uncertainty to his status for Week 13. Fortunately, there is a chance he can play against the Houston Texans.
According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, Taylor was a “high-risk” close contact because his girlfriend tested positive for COVID-19. As of Monday morning, tests haven’t determined that he contracted the virus. Under the NFL’s protocols, he must go five consecutive days with a negative best. If he does that, he’ll take a final test on the sixth day and return to the team.
Taylor returned to the practice field this week, coming off the Reserve/COVID-19 list. He is not listed on the NFL injury report for Week 13 and we anticipate he will play on Sunday. The rookie is a high-end RB2 against Houston’s porous run defense. In the event Taylor tests positive, Nyheim Hines becomes a top-15 running back in Week 13.
Philadelphia Eagles injury report: Will Zach Ertz (ankle) return in Week 13?
Updated: Zach Ertz activated off IR, will play Sunday
Doug Pederson provided some hope that Zach Ertz would return in Week 12, but that never came to fruition. Philadelphia played it safe with the 30-year-old tight end, which is understandable, given Dallas Goedert gives them a lot more.
After missing six weeks with a high-ankle sprain, the three-time Pro Bowl selection should be ready to play next Sunday. Philadelphia activated off IR and Ertz will be on the field in Week 13, but there’s no reason to start him.
Goedert already looked like the better player this season and he is TE1 for this team heading into 2021. On top of that, the Green Bay Packers have allowed the seventh-fewest yards (456) and receiving touchdowns (two) to tight ends in 2020. Ertz isn’t a top-10 tight end in Week 13, especially with Doug Pederson indicating the veteran weapon will be on a snap count.
NFL injury report: Latest news on Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore
Everyone expected McCaffrey to miss Week 12 and he was inactive. The Panthers were heading into their Week 13 bye and knew it was in the team’s best interests to protect the All-Pro running back. It is a blow for fantasy owners, especially those who aren’t locked into a playoff spot, but McCaffrey will likely be back in Week 14. He practiced on a limited basis this past week and with more time to rest, he should return for the fantasy football playoffs.
Carolina’s offense sustained another hit in Week 12. D.J. Moore injured his leg against the Minnesota Vikings, coming down awkwardly on his right foot. Non-contact injuries are always concerning, especially when the player doesn’t return to the game.
Moore will get the bye to rest, but head coach Matt Rhule said X-rays on his ankle were negative. It’s a good sign that the Panthers aren’t ruling Moore out for Week 14, but it’s wise to consider him uncertain to suit up next week. If he can’t play, Robby Anderson and Curtis Samuel will be strong plays against the Denver Broncos. We’ll have to monitor the NFL injury report closely next week.
NFL injury report: Houston Texans RB David Johnson activated off injured reserve
Houston’s top running back suffered a concussion in Week 9, forcing the team to take extreme caution with the head injury. After missing three games, Johnson returned to the practice field this week.
Fortunately, he is out of the league’s concussion protocol and took part in practices leading up to Week 13. Johnson draws a tough matchup against the Indianapolis Colts, but there’s some reason for optimism. With Will Fuller suspended and the Colts likely to force Deshaun Watson into quick, short throws, that favors Johnson’s skills. Consider him a low-end RB2 in PPR scoring.
New York Giants injury news: Latest update on Daniel Jones
Update: Daniel Jones out for Week 13.
Daniel Jones left in the third quarter of Week 12 with a hamstring injury and things don’t sound promising. The second-year quarterback underwent an MRI on Monday, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, and the team is bracing for a potential Week 13 absence. Results from said MRI have yet to be released.
On Friday’s final NFL injury report, Jones was listed doubtful to play in Week 13. He managed to return to practice on Friday, but was a limited participant. Realistically, there’s no chance Jones plays on Sunday.
It’s a tough blow for the Giants, who just claimed the NFC East’s top spot. From a fantasy perspective, this impacts Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton. Colt McCoy is extremely limited as a passer and would immediately crush some of the appeal for New York’s pass-catchers. If McCoy is starting against the Seahawks, Engram is the only player who can be started in fantasy.
NFL injury report: Will Julio Jones play in Week 13?
Update: Julio Jones active for Week 13
Atlanta expected Jones to be a game-time decision in Week 12 and he was ruled out a few hours before they took the field. He’s the biggest name on the NFL injury report entering Week 13 and there’s justifiable reason to be concerned.
The All-Pro receiver was trending in the right direction after consecutive days of limited practice participation. Atlanta then downgraded him to a non-participant in Friday’s practice before Week 12.
After being a limited participant in practice Wednesday, he was downgraded to non-participation on Thursday. However, Jones returned to the practice field on Friday. He told reporters that he didn’t feel anything in his hamstring while running routes and feels “really good” entering Week 13.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Jones will suit up against the New Orleans Saints. The All-Pro receiver will draw a matchup in coverage against Marshon Lattimore, but Jones remains an elite fantasy play. With the Saints missing Janoris Jenkins, Calvin Ridley is also a top-10 receiver for Week 13.
Pittsburgh Steelers injury report: When will James Conner (COVID-19) return?
Conner, a survivor of Hodgkin’s lymphoma, risked his health during the COVID-19 pandemic to suit up for the Steelers. On Saturday, Pittsburgh’s featured running back tested positive for the coronavirus. While he is in good health at this time, per ESPN, his medical history makes him at-risk for complications from the virus.
Because he tested positive, Conner must sit out 10 days before he can return to the team. While he is eligible to come off the reserve/COVID-19 list before Monday’s game, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports it is unlikely.
Benny Snell Jr. will receive a heavy share of the workload, but Washington’s defense has allowed the fourth-fewest rushing touchdowns (five) to running backs this season. Consider Snell a low-end RB2.
NFL injury report: Latest update on Tua Tagovailoa
Update: Tua Tagovailoa (thumb) expected to start Week 13
After being benched for a poor performance in Week 11, Tagovailoa missed Sunday’s game with a thumb injury. While the Dolphins offered som reason to believe he had a shot to play, we could be looking at a multi-week absence.
According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, Tagovailoa experienced some weakness around the thumb and is still dealing with swelling. Miami coasted by the New York Jets, with Ryan Fitzpatrick doing enough to protect the football.
On Sunday morning, Ian Rapoport reported that Tagovailoa is expected to start in Week 13. While the Dolphins will first see how he performs in warmups, the team anticipates the thumb injury has improved to the point where Tua can start.
Tagovailoa isn’t a quarterback we’re comfortable starting in fantasy, even with an appealing Week 13 matchup. With that said, DeVante Parker is a mid-range WR2.
Kansas City Chiefs injury report: Clyde Edwards-Helaire (illness) could play in Week 13
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Kansas City experienced a bit of a scare this week with Edwards-Helaire missing practice due to an illness. Fortunately, despite showing flu-like symptoms, the rookie is trending in the right direction.
Before Sunday’s game, NFL Network reported that the Chiefs are hopeful Edwards-Helaire will be their starter on Sunday Night Football against the Denver Broncos. He felt much better on Saturday and the team will put him through a series of tests when he arrives at the stadium. For now, it seems likely CEH will start and he should be in fantasy lineups as an RB2.
Atlanta Falcons injury report: Latest news on Todd Gurley
Update: Todd Gurley (knee) expected to play
A knee issue landing Gurley on the NFL injury report is all too familiar. He wasn’t able to participate in practice leading into Week 12 and the Falcons quickly ruled him out days in advance.
Gurley practiced on a limited basis Wednesday before missing Thursday’s session. Atlanta took the same approach as Jones and both players practiced on Friday. Now, Gurley is expected to play on Sunday.
Even with Gurley is active, there’s no reason to start him against the Saints. New Orleans hasn’t allowed a 100-yard rusher in 49 consecutive games, the fourth-longest streak in NFL history. There will be better options at running back than whoever faces this defense. Unless you’re absolutely desperate, avoid Ito Smith and Brian Hill.
NFL injury report: Latest update on Detroit Lions RB D’Andre Swift and WR Kenny Golladay
Update: D’Andre Swift (illness), Kenny Golladay (hip) inactive for Week 13
Days after his breakout game, D’Andre Swift suffered a concussion and missed the next two games. Since he last played, the Detroit Lions have fired Matt Patricia and made offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell the interim head coach.
Swift exited the NFL’s concussion protocol on Thursday, but was unable to practice due to an illness. While this could be just a one-day absence, Adrian Peterson noted that Swift hasn’t been the same since suffering the concussion.
The rookie still couldn’t practice on Friday and after being listed doubtful to play, the Lions ruled him among their inactive before Sunday’s game. In his absence, Peterson and Kerryon Johnson will split touches in a difficult matchup.
Meanwhile, Detroit will also without Kenny Golladay once again. The Pro Bowl receiver is among Detroit’s inactives for Week 13 against the Chicago Bears.
NFL injury report: NFL players on Reserve/COVID-19 list
As stated above, NFL protocols require players who test positive for the coronavirus to be quarantined for at least 10 days. Those who test negative but are deemed “high-risk” close contacts must isolate for five days before they could potentially return.
Entering Week 13, here are the top players who are on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. We will keep their availability updated throughout the week.
- Adam Thielen – Tested positive for COVID-19 before Week 12. Activated off COVID-19 list Wednesday
- Brandon Aiyuk – Placed on COVID-19/Reserve list Nov. 20, activated on Dec. 1.
- Denver Broncos quarterbacks – Both Drew Lock or Brett Rypein are back in the mix after multiple negative COVID-19 tests.
- Larry Fitzgerald – Tested positive for coronavirus on Nov. 26, unlikely for Week 13
- Mark Andrews – Tested positive for COVID-19 on Nov. 28, won’t be eligible to return until Week 14.