Week 13 will present some interesting challenges for fantasy owners, given that six teams play on Thursday. The Packers visit the Lions, the Cowboys play host to the Raiders, and the late game has the Steelers traveling to Baltimore. The remaining teams square off on Sunday, with the exception of the Saints and the Seahawks, who play Monday night. Injury designations for Thursday games will be issued late Wednesday, with the others coming later in the week.
Looking back at Week 12, there were no fantasy players who were definitively ruled out for this week -- at least not yet -- based on new injuries. But there were still several injuries worth noting.
Here are a handful of players to keep an eye on in Week 13.
The Rams had three players leave last week’s game due to head injuries; of those, one is of particular concern to fantasy owners. Running back Zac Stacy suffered a concussion Sunday and will proceed through the team’s concussion protocol. On Monday, coach Jeff Fisher indicated the team would evaluate its players with head injuries throughout the week. As is generally the case around the league, don’t expect any hints as to whether Stacy will be available until Thursday or Friday. It also bears repeating that even if Stacy progresses back to practice, fantasy owners need to be prepared for the possibility that his status could change before kickoff if symptoms recur.
Another running back to keeps tabs on this week is Knowshon Moreno, who may have to sit out Week 13. The Broncos’ primary ball carrier was clearly struggling with a leg issue in Sunday night’s game, limping visibly at times, but he managed to gut his way through the contest. Moreno, now sporting a walking boot, has a bone bruise in his ankle, according to interim coach Jack Del Rio, who described the RB’s status as day-to-day. Bone bruising is serious, and the concern is progression from a bruise to some type of stress reaction in the bone. The location of the bone bruise in terms of risk to the joint is also important. Moreno’s status will become more clear as the week progresses, but fantasy owners should consider the possibility that they will need to find a replacement. On a positive note, the Broncos are optimistic that tight end Julius Thomas will return to action this week.
On Sunday, Bears running back Matt Forte suffered what coach Marc Trestman described as a “slight hyperextension” of his right knee. Trestman expressed optimism about Forte’s availability for this coming Sunday’s game against the Vikings. Forte’s ability to return to the game last week after suffering the injury would suggest that it was not especially severe. As the week unfolds we’ll see how much of a participant he is in practice; for now, it appears he will not miss time.
Jets running back Chris Ivory injured his ankle early in Sunday’s game and saw limited action afterward. When asked if he had a high or a low ankle sprain, Ivory replied “both,” according to the New York Daily News. ESPNNewYork.com’s Matt Ehalt notes that coach Rex Ryan will not update Ivory’s status until the team returns to practice Wednesday.
While it’s a good sign that Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is out on the practice field throwing the ball around, fantasy owners shouldn’t get too excited about the prospects of seeing him on Thanksgiving Day. Coach Mike McCarthy told reporters Tuesday that Rodgers’ chances of playing are “slim to none.” As ESPN.com’s Rob Demovsky notes, Matt Flynn has not yet been named the starter but appears to be on track to start, given his practice reps. Rodgers’ progress as far as throwing is certainly positive, but the overarching concern has to be the risk of reinjury with hard contact. After all, Rodgers is slightly more than three weeks removed from fracturing his left collarbone.