The notoriously vague nature of hamstring injuries is frustrating for fantasy football owners, as it's difficult to project when players can return and be productive members of the lineup; furthermore, even after returning, re-injury is fairly common. Several players around the league are affected by hamstring problems heading into Week 6. Here’s what we’re hearing about their status as of Thursday.
Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia Eagles: Vick strained his left hamstring in Sunday’s game on a run play, and as I noted Tuesday, it’s difficult to project a return timeline without any indication of severity. However, it must not be terribly severe, since Vick was listed as a limited participant in practice both Wednesday and Thursday. In comments on Thursday, Vick said he is improving daily, according to ESPN.com's Phil Sheridan, adding, “It’s feeling 10 times better than it did yesterday.”
Vick also hinted at being ready to go in Week 7, even if he is sidelined this weekend, something that has yet to be officially determined. While Vick does have a few more days of recovery before the game, he also seems to understand the importance of erring on the side of caution to avoid exacerbating the injury and missing more time. It’s looking like Nick Foles will get the start Sunday, but perhaps the bigger takeaway is that as of now, Vick does not appear as if he will be sidelined for long.
Miles Austin, WR, Dallas Cowboys: Austin has now missed two consecutive games because of a hamstring strain suffered in Week 3. The biggest health worry for Austin coming into the fall was that he would suffer another hamstring injury after dealing with them each of the last two seasons. That is precisely what happened, despite his -- and the team’s -- best efforts to take preventative measures in the offseason, although reports suggest this injury is not particularly severe. Still, the third such injury in three years is part of the rationale for a cautious treatment plan. Austin returned to full practice Wednesday, and practiced again Thursday, which is an encouraging sign. The Cowboys play Sunday night, and it’s unclear whether Austin will have done enough to be game-ready.
Darren McFadden and Rashad Jennings, RBs, Oakland Raiders: Jennings replaced McFadden as the starting running back Sunday night, while McFadden was sidelined with a hamstring injury suffered the week before. By halftime, Jennings had joined McFadden on the sideline, hampered by a hamstring injury of his own. Both backs took part in limited practice Wednesday, and both were back at it again Thursday, which bodes well for their availability against the Chiefs on Sunday. Since Oakland is traveling to Kansas City, fantasy owners will benefit from an early (1 p.m. ET) kickoff to help with making decisions.
Santonio Holmes, WR, New York Jets: Holmes missed the Jets’ Monday night contest due to a hamstring injury suffered in Week 4. He has not yet returned to practice, and appears likely to sit out again this week.